Saturday, December 21, 2013

A Bride for Keeps - Melissa Jagears

I am very excited that I got to read my first Melissa Jagears novel!  In A Bride for Keeps main character Julia agrees to move to Kansas to marry a friend of a friend.  Everette isn't expecting her and has had bad luck with mail order brides before.  After four bad experiences, he gives up on the marriage market.  This story is about how two very different people marry while still strangers and learn to love each other.
I have to admit that the mail-order bride theme is my all-time favorite plot.  It can be spun in different ways, and it never lets me down.  This book is no exception.  The author did a fantastic job creating these characters and the plot is fascinating.  I was hooked the entire way through the book.
My only critique is that I didn't find the attraction quite tangible enough.  I think it would have been more interesting if Julia's conflict had been increased by an attraction to Everette.  In other words, I didn't think her attraction to him came through at all in the book until the very end.  It seemed to me like she was forcing herself to reconcile to the idea of being attracted to him while he, meanwhile, was fighting emotions.
I saw another review that said this book was "physical."  It is most definitely not physical.  I may have misunderstood that reviewer, but in my opinion it erred on the conservative side even when compared to other Christian fiction.  The author did a very tasteful job of highlighting Julia's past abuse and did not directly spell anything out.  It took me until close to the end to make sense of exactly how she had been abused.
Overall, my opinion is that this is an extremely talented writer with a gift for storytelling.  I'll keep an eye out for more books with her name on them!
This book was a complimentary copy from the publisher in exchange for an objective, unbiased review.

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