A Bride for Keeps

Title:  A Bride for Keeps
Author:  Melissa Jagears
Pages:  331
Year:  2013
Publisher:  Bethany House
This is a story set in Kansas in the year 1876 out on the prairie.  Life then was a lot of hard work and lonely.  Friends lived a distance away and the nearest town sometimes more than an hour away.  Julia Lockwood arrives as arranged by her pen pal, Rachel.  Unbeknownst to Julia, Rachel has yet to tell her friend, Everett, that Julia has arrived to marry him.  Everett Cline has not had success with mail-order brides.  He has been unsuccessful in getting three of them to the altar.  When he discovers Rachel’s scheme, he just knows Julia will reject him too.
Julia is on the run from her father and his business partner, who value her for her looks only.  Julia has other issues that she carries with her that she allows to determine her future and her behavior.  She went to church infrequently as a child with her father, but only so he could see and be seen by his business acquaintances.  Julia’s mother died when she was nine, as well as her infant brother.  Julia has built strong walls around her heart for protection and refuses to let anyone in.  If she works hard enough, she will be loved and valued, right?
Everett had accepted that he would always remain single, and now Julia has arrived and surprisingly enough agrees to marry him.  He keeps his distance because he knows she will leave him and he’ll be alone again.  Their strained relationship stumbles along with neither one trusting the other.  Everett finally has his lack of reliance on God and willingness to open up called on the carpet by his best friend.  Will he be able to show his wife her true worth to him as well as to God?
This is one of those stories where you smile at the end, having read a good story.  I was able to read this in a short time with my nose pressed into the pages as I anxiously read to see how Everett and Julia’s troubled relationship would emerge.  One thing that I liked Everett’s willingness to put his wife’s needs before his own and do things to make her happy instead of what he wanted to do.  Rachel’s guidance as a friend and wife was encouraging to read about, and I liked her practicality.  I look forward to more books from this author.  I hope you will take the time to read this tender and charming romance.
My rating is 4 stars.
Note:  I received a complimentary copy for an honest review of this book.  The opinions shared in this review are solely my responsibility.  Other reviews can be read at http://seekingwithallyurheart.blogspot.com/ .  Also follow me on Twitter @lcjohnson1988, FaceBook at https://www.facebook.com/lisa.johnson.75457
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