Book Review

Review: A Bride in Store by Melissa Jagears

Something has to really catch my eye in order for me to take one of those quizzes that pop up all over social media. But, the other morning, a blog from Bethany House caught my attention with their quiz of “Which Character Are You” (click on the title to take the quiz and feel free to share your response with me in the comments on this blog post). with the possible options being characters from 4 of the novels being released during September. Two of the four books are waiting for me to read and I had just started A Bride in Store. Lo and behold, apparently, I have a lot in common with Eliza Cantrell from A Bride in Store. This definitely made the novel a bit more fun to read. I kept looking at the character to see if we had much in common. There were definitely a few things, but there were also a number of ways we are quite different.

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**I received a free copy of this book from Bethany House and NetGalley in exchange for my honest review**

Impatient to meet her intended groom and help him grow his general store, mail-order bride Eliza Cantrell sets out on her travels a week early. But her plan goes sadly awry when her train is held up by robbers who steal her dowry and Axel, her groom-to-be, isn’t even in town when she finally arrives. Axel’s business partner, William Stanton, has no head for business and would much rather be a doctor. When his friend’s mail-order bride arrives in town with no money and no groom in sight, he feels responsible and lets her help around the store–where she quickly proves she’s much more adept at business than he ever will be. The sparks that fly between Will and Eliza as they work together in close quarters are hard to ignore, but Eliza is meant for Axel and a future with the store, while Will is biding his time until he can afford medical school. However, their troubles are far from over when Axel finally returns, and soon both Will and Eliza must decide what they’re willing to sacrifice to chase their dreams–or if God has a new dream in store for them both.

I really enjoy a mail-order bride story, but I have some mixed feelings on this novel. The characters and storyline had aspects that I loved and other parts that frustrated me.

First of all, both Will and Eliza were extremely well-developed. I enjoyed getting to know both of them. Will is charitable to a fault and Eliza is determined and hardworking. In many ways, they are a classic case of opposites attract, but by the end of the novel, they are the perfect compliment to one another.

The storyline had some strong and exciting points that I won’t go into because I can’t without spoilers. There were moments when I couldn’t read this book fast enough, but then I would get a little bit bored with it and felt like it dragged on until the next exciting thing happened. Within the storyline is also the point at which I would become frustrated with the characters. While Eliza is extremely honest about what she thinks, she isn’t so honest with her feelings for Will. And Will seems to just sit around brooding about Eliza, a lot.

One thing that I did appreciate though, was the overarching message in this novel. Both Will and Eliza have big dreams that keep getting thwarted. Each of them have to learn to be willing to let go of their own dreams to allow God to give them something better.

I would love to hear from you! Do you have any favorite mail-order bride stories?

For more on the author or this book, please check out the following links:

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5 thoughts on “Review: A Bride in Store by Melissa Jagears

  1. This sounds soooo good! The cover alone makes me want to pick it up and take it home! WHy have I never heard of this one before?
    I love a good mail order bride story. The only thing I love more is a good love triangle and this one seems to have both. 🙂 I can’t pick just one favorite mail order bride story, but I love the sweet tender love story that takes place between a couple that might not have chosen each other.

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    1. We probably do have very similar book shelves… Mail order bride stories or marriage of convenience type stories are definitely among my favorites. As for a love triangle, this one has one but it is a bit different. You’ll have to read it to find out why 🙂

      This book is actually a third in series, I believe. Melissa Jagears has a novella that is part of this series for free on kindle called Love by the Letter. Then there is a novel titled A Bride for Keeps.

      I had read the novella and novel quite awhile before this one, but don’t remember them too well. So, I don’t think it would matter what order they were read in.

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    1. It was pretty good. There is a free ebook offered on Amazon that goes along with the series (Love by the Letter) and another novel (Bride for Keeps) as well. I read them quite some time ago and recall that I enjoyed them as well.

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