I thoroughly enjoyed Runaway Bride by Jody Hedlund which features a wealthy young woman who fled for her life to escape marriage to an abusive older man. Fearing for her life she boarded a bride ship to British Columbia where she joined other women with hopes of a better future. With two vastly different men wooing her, Arabella felt immediate attraction to the one least suited to a woman of her standing but no sparks with the one she thinks she should marry. Time revealed the true character of both men and Arabella’s choices became more clear.

Arabella was a very likeable character. Although raised with every thing she could ever desire, she managed to adapt to a different lifestyle where she learned to enjoy serving others rather than being served. Her compassionate heart endeared her especially to the town baker who decided to marry her at their first meeting. Peter was a charmer and quite forward for the times yet he too had a heart filled with compassion for others. Lieutenant Richard Drummond was a gentleman on the surface but his perfect veneer hid a scheming heart.

Runaway Bride is an enchanting and fun to read tale that made me want to read all night. The plot moved along at a steady pace with a few surprises along the way. I highly recommend it to all lovers of historical fiction.

I voluntarily reviewed a copy of this book provided by Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group. A favorable review was not required.All views expressed are my own.


Haunted by Mistakes in Her Past, Will She Ever Again
Trust Her Heart to Another?

Wealthy Arabella Lawrence flees to British Columbia on a bride ship, still bearing the scars of past mistakes. One of the few single women in the boomtown, she immediately attracts suitors, but she is determined not to find herself trapped again by making a poor choice.

Vying for her hand are two very different men. Lieutenant Richard Drummond is a gentleman in the Navy, held in high esteem. Peter Kelly is the town’s baker who has worked hard to build a thriving business. He and Drummond not only compete for Arabella’s affections, but also clash over their views of how the natives should be treated in the midst of a smallpox outbreak.

As Arabella begins to overcome her fears, she discovers someone in dire need–a starving girl left behind by her tribe. Intent on helping the child, Arabella leans on Peter’s advice and guidance. Will she have the wisdom to make the right decision, or will seeking what’s right cost both her and Peter everything?

Read an excerpt here.


Jody Hedlund ( is the author of over 20 novels, including Love Unexpected, Captured by Love, Unending Devotion, The Preacher’s Bride, and A Noble Groom, and is the winner of numerous awards, including the Christy Award, Carol Award, and Christian Book Award. She received a bachelor’s degree from Taylor University and a master’s from the University of Wisconsin, both in social work. Jody lives in central Michigan with her husband, five busy teens, and five spoiled cats. She loves hearing from readers on Facebook and on her blog.