A Bride in the Bargain by Deeanne Gist. FYI, this is her daughter on the cover!
Now, in case you haven’t noticed by now, I am going to point out a little fact about me: I’m completely obsessed with historical novels! History has always fascinated me, and I love reading about times gone by… even when it’s fictional!
A Bride in the Bargain is set in 1860’s Seattle, where men are multiple and women are scarce. It’s a little timberland, you see, and a man with a wife could claim 640 acres of land for free. Enter Joe Denton, a hard working logger in danger of losing his land because he does not have a wife. Desperate, Joe reluctantly decides to order one of the highly anticipated Mercer Brides. (I did some research folks, and the Mercer Bride debacle really happened!) A man named Asa Mercer travelled from Seattle to the East to recruit young women as brides for local settlers. The only problem is that Anna Ivey, Joe’s chosen “bride” signed on to become a cook, not a wife! (This Mercer fella didn't care how he got the ladies on the ship, as long as they got to Seattle) Anna is handed over to Joe, but unwilling to marry a man she doesn’t love Anna stubbornly refuses to wed him, jeopardizing his last possible attempt at saving his land, his business and the jobs of many locals. With only a few short months before a final ruling is made, can Joe convince Anna to marry him?
I love every single page of this book! I love the characters and their chemistry, I love Joe's attempts at wooing a most reluctant Anna, I love their Christian faith which makes them strong, I love the history lesson about the Mercer Brides, I love the crash course in logging and the vacation I got to take in 1860’s Seattle. What I love most, though, is this book's total unpredictability! Deeanne Gist is a wonderfully gifted writer who knows how to weave a story, and kept me guessing (and I kept guessing wrong!) until the very end… and even then she manages to pull the rug out from under you with very unexpected events, and even more unexpected outcomes. Nothing in this book turns out like you imagined. It turns out even better!
For the Romantic Heart this book is a must read! Even for the Less Romantic Heart - I can guarantee this book will make your heart smile!
P.S. You're welcome