A Reluctant Bride (Bride Ships, #1) by Jody Hedlund

A Reluctant Bride (Bride Ships, #1)

After facing desperate heartache and loss, Mercy agrees to escape a bleak future in London and join a bride ship. Wealthy and titled, Joseph leaves home and takes to the sea as the ships surgeon to escape the pain of losing his family. He has no intention of settling down, but when Mercy becomes his assistant, they must fight against a forbidden love.

Details A Reluctant Bride (Bride Ships, #1)

TitleA Reluctant Bride (Bride Ships, #1)
Release DateJun 4th, 2019
PublisherBethany House Publishers
GenreHistorical, Historical Fiction, Christian Fiction, Fiction, Romance, Christian, Historical Romance

Reviews A Reluctant Bride (Bride Ships, #1)

  • Deanne Patterson
    Why do I love historical fiction? This book is a prime example of why!After reading the book and about the author's research which sounds like she had a blast researching it by the way I realized this is based on a true event.I LOVE books based historically on true events.A Bride Ship! Doesn't that sound so romantic? Now I've read plenty of books about mail-order brides but none about Bride Ships, cue dreamy sigh! I love the main character's name...
  • Beth
    A new Jody Hedlund book is always something that I meet with great anticipation. When it’s the opener of a new series, even better! A Reluctant Bride is a lovely start to her Bride Ships series. I love that Hedlund tackles another intriguing historical event, this time women being a part of a bride ship to be sent to marry complete strangers. This is something I have vaguely heard about before but have never read any fiction concerning this hap...
  • Staci
    Great start to a new series!In A Reluctant Bride, Hedlund focuses on what life was like in London and how that influenced young women to leave their homeland and family to marry a stranger in a foreign country. Mercy and Joseph both have servant hearts. His upper echelon standing in society naturally puts a separation between them.I enjoyed being aboard the Tynemouth with Mercy and Joseph and living through a part of history I knew nothing about....
  • Amy
    So much love for this incredible book, the start of the ‘Bride Ships’ series by Jody Hedlund. Let’s just start by saying, yet again, she seems to be able to root out a piece of little known history and create something amazing out of it. I’d never heard of the Bride Ships, and it fascinates me. The journey alone takes a 1/3 of a year. Such an epic voyage to take to get from England to Vancouver Island. What’s more telling is the despera...
  • Tamara
    I always love learning something I didn't know, but it's somewhat embarrassing when it's the country you grew up in. I had no idea that there were bride ships arriving in Vancouver Island, and to think that my Cdn. history class could've been so much more interesting if the teachers had though to add this little nugget of gold.As usual, Jody Hedlund latest story hits all the right spots for me. It may have been a bumpy ride from England to Victor...
  • Abbi
    Jody Hedlund's books are always fascinating to me! I love the way she takes a bit of history that is often overlooked or not even known about and creates a beautiful love story around it! This book, and the ensuing series, give us a peek into the lives of women who found themselves on one of the "bride ships" headed to the other side of the world.Mercy and Joseph were both great characters! Though they came from completely different stations in l...
  • Erin
    Mercy Wilkins lives in one of the poorest sections of London. She's grown up assisting with the care of her siblings and neighboring children, and has often seen sickness and disease carry them away. Work of any decent kind is hard to find in 1862, much less if you are a young woman, but Mercy is determined to make a way for herself and to continue to help others. After seeing the struggles that come with marriage and motherhood, she promises her...
  • Aimee (Getting Your Read On)
    I don't think I've ever read anything about the bride ships that came to Canada from England. It doesn't necessarily surprise me that something like that happened but what does surprise me is the "how" of it all, I guess. The author took many of the events of this book from actual accounts so the story was very true to what really happened. I really love that because it gives me such a good feel for where the brides came from and how they may hav...
  • Melissa Tagg
    Wow, I was soooo all in on this latest release from Jody Hedlund! I've been a long-time Hedlund fan and have enjoyed so many of her books...but I think this one takes the enjoyment to a whole new level. I loved the characters and I LOVED the romantic tension. (Like, whoa, so much tension. So well done.) And the setting was an extra fun surprise for me...a lot of times, I don't super love it when a book starts in one place and roams to another. I ...
  • Rachael
    This was a thoroughly eye opening experience on a time and event in history I had no idea existed! The characters are incredibly well done, and I so enjoyed getting to know Mercy most of all. The plot was a fascinating one, and it’s rather amazing how much truth the author used in putting it together. I had such a hard time putting this book down. The view the readers get is from those in the steerage to those of wealth...and the drastic differ...
  • Elizabeth
    The start of a new Jody Hedlund series is always an exciting thing. She has more than earned her spot as one of my must-read authors with her stellar characters and in-depth research that shines through in her stories. The idea of bride ships is something I think I was aware of but had never really given much thought to. Through Mercy and the women she befriends on the voyage I was really able to feel the desperation that would drive a woman to l...
  • Beth Erin
    Full review on FaithfullyBookish.comMercy and Joseph’s story is more than the convergence of two worlds or a sweet tale of opposites and attraction. Hedlund digs deep to the very core of compassion and humanity by exposing and stripping away societal expectations, prejudice, and even legacy. Both characters struggle to overcome obstacles, navigate the literal and figurative stormy waters of life, and discover their God-given purpose.A Reluctant...
  • Emilee
    Wow! I finished this one last night. It’s an amazing novel. It was a little heavy on the romance to be believable, in my opinion, but still really good. What got me was it was based on a true story and in the Author’s Note at the end of the book she tells of all the true accounts. It’s crazy. I can’t wait to read the rest of the series!
  • Brittany
    A Reluctant Bride was a beautiful novel and a wonderful start to a new series. The author wrote a story that truly captured the main character’s despiration. She felt that she had no choice but to join the women on this voyage and try to escape the horrid circumstances and living conditions of the slums of London.The main characters, Dr. Joseph Colville and Mercy Wilkins, came from very different upbringings and stations in life. They were cont...
  • Sarah Monzon
    I am a puddle of mush. 😍😍 SO good!!
  • Lisa (Bookworm Lisa)
    Wow! Just wow! This book is beautifully written and captured me from the beginning. It is a lovely love story about learning to trust and recognize love, overcoming social expectations, and the plight of the poor. This is a story that I don't think I will be able to emotionally let go of for a while.As I read about the living conditions in London during the middle nineteenth century and the conditions on the boat for the poor, I started to think ...
  • Kailey
    Jody Hedlund has done it again! This is another 5 star, must read historical novel! Somehow she gets me so wrapped up in the story. I just couldn’t put it down! I loved it! I cared so much about the characters and their circumstances. I just had to know what was going to happen. I can’t wait to read more! I highly recommend this book!I received a complimentary copy from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinion...
  • Kristine Morgan
    Jody Hedlund is one of my favorite authors of Historical Fiction. She does a fantastic job of researching the setting and subject matter. Her words convey vivid scenes that create pictures in my mind. I could feel Mercy's despair and desperation to find her own way in the world, but fear joining her life or heart to anyone else. I fell in love with Mercy's kindness and found myself cheering her on. Joseph Colville has a title and wealth, but not ...
  • Susan's Reviews
    My thanks to the author, the publisher and NetGalley for an ARC of this novel in exchange for an honest review.For those who enjoy historical romance, this tale of a young girl who signs up to sail from London to British Columbia, Canada to become the future bride of a miner will be of interest. It wasn't to my taste, and I found the romance between the ship's surgeon and Mercy to be improbable. Yes, Mercy is a pretty, kind and decent girl, but i...
  • Paula Shreckhise
    A Reluctant Bride by Jody Hedlund is the first in the series Bride Ships. It is set in England and British Columbia in 1862. Mercy Wilkins has a servant’s heart but she is caught in poverty. Chapter 4: “Was death so common a visitor in these parts that people expected it, maybe even welcomed it as the only true savior from the pain? Or had they, like her, closed off their heart to the pain in order to continue on?”She embarks on a ship to t...
  • Rebecca
    "Where is a ship when you need one?"Desperate to leave the slums of London behind, hoping to pave the way for her beloved sister to escape the cruel clutches of the work house, Mercy Wilkins boards the Tynemouth, not realizing that the sturdy sailing vessel is travelling half-way around the world to British Columbia, bearing; of all things . . brides! Getting married is the last thing on Mercy's mind; her impression of men leads her to believe th...
  • Vera Godley
    Jody Hedlund has begun the new Bride Series with an in depth look at the poverty and tragedies that existed in London during 1862. There was the wealthy class and there was the poor. The poor who lived desperate lives without adequate clothing, food, shelter.Mercer Wilkins was one of the poor. Her family lived crammed into a slum. At age 10 the children were often thrust out of the home and onto the streets to make it on their own or they had to ...
  • MJSH
    “Though her hair was damp and unkempt, face smudged and weary, her garments soggy and splattered with all manner of filth, for a reason he couldn’t explain, she had grown more beautiful and not less.”What an incredible journey! Jody Hedlund is well-known for her beautifully written historical fiction and this beginning of a new series about bride ships will surely delight her fans and garner more followers. The story sets out in Victorian L...
  • Nancee
    A Reluctant Bride is an incredible journey from poverty stricken London, and the impossible living conditions in the slums. Mercy Wilkins finds her way to a bride's ship bound for British Columbia. Conditions on the ship are grim, and Mercy's only saving grace is that the ship's surgeon recognizes her compassion for those who need her. He requests her assistance in nursing the sick aboard ship, and the two share a unique camaraderie which develop...
  • Tricia Mingerink
    Another good book by Jody Hedlund. This book focuses a lot on the trials of a long sea voyage, and I found the history in it really fascinating. Both Mercy and Joseph were compelling characters, though it did annoy me that on the audiobook, the narrator gave Mercy a very child-like sounding voice that made her seem younger than she was. Which is doubly strange because it was a narrator I normally enjoy. But that is more a critique of the audioboo...
  • Romancebooksandmore
    I just finished this book and my heart is still pounding well I wipe a few stray tears from my eyes, so loving so heartbreaking, a story every person who loves a good romance story should read, I can't wait to read the second book in the bride ship series, I am hooked. Mercy Wilkins is going to Vancouver, not that she knows where that is or that she's accidentally gotten on a bride ship, but she really doesn't have a choice, it's either go on the...
  • Julie
    A Reluctant Bride is a sweet love story in a unique setting. The whole premise of a bride ship is fascinating and I love the voyage Mercy and Joseph take during this book, both physically and spiritually! Jody Hedlund does a wonderful job creating characters you come to care for and her writing style flows effortlessly. I definitely recommend this book to reads of historical romance! I received a copy of the book from the publisher, but the opini...
  • Jody Pulcheon
    I just finished reading "A Reluctant Bride" by Jody Hedlund and it was really good!! 5⭐! This is the first book in her new series called The Bride Ships. The story is based on true events and I think she did a really great job with it! I can't wait to read the next book in the series. Thank you to @netgalley and @bethanyhousefiction for letting me read this book!
  • Dawn
    I don't know how Jody Hedlund does it, but each book seems to get better and better. I loved both Mercy and Joseph. I loved how their characters developed and the perceptions the had changed over the course of the book. I also loved the way that the history of the ships was portrayed. I've read other mail-order-bride type books in the past and enjoyed them. I think that this is the first one I've read where the brides aren't coming to America but...