Julia Lockwood has never been anything more than a pretty pawn for her father or a business acquisition for her former fiance. A mail-order marriage in faraway Kansas is a last resort, but she’ll do anything to leave her life in Massachusetts and the heartbreak she’s experienced there.
Everett doesn’t see how a beautiful, cultured woman like Julia could be happy sharing his simple life, but he could really use a helpmate on his homestead. Determined to prove she’s more than just a pretty face, Julia agrees to a marriage in name only. Faced with the harsh realities of life on the prairie and hesitant to explore the tentative feelings growing between them, can Everett and Julia ever let each other–and God–in long enough to fall in love?
A Bride for Keeps begins with Everett Cline, a man who has had zero luck with women. Julia Lockwood is a woman desperate for a home and a protector. Together they agree to a makeshift marriage, leading to a very long road of love, faith, and hope.
The things I loved about this book— the CHARACTERS! You fall in love with Everett and Julia right away. Everett has been three times jilted and he is afraid to hope so he hardens his heart towards Julia. When he attempts to make it right, he turns into the sweetest man. Julia is scared of being hurt again and she’s afraid she’s only worth her looks. When she finally sees her worth through God’s eyes that made the story for me. And while I loved Everett and Julia, I must say that the secondary characters stole the show! Dex, Rachel, and their children were kind, generous, and simply hilarious! There were times when I reread a moment with them and just laughed.
The things I did not like about this book—the plot was not unlike many other historical fiction, prairie based books I’ve read. That’s not to say that I didn’t love this one! A Bride for Keeps was different, because it made me laugh and cry and it kept me reading for the entire night! It caught my attention and kept it. But I still wasn’t thrilled about the repetitiveness of the story. There were times when I wanted to scream at the characters, “Gosh! Just wake up and realize you love each other and get on with your life already!” Julia certainly frustrated me to no end at some points.
Overall I would recommend this book because it did make me feel what the characters were feeling. Be it joy or pain I couldn’t help but sympathize even when I was annoyed. A Bride for Keeps is a love story, yes. But it was also a story of forgiveness, redemption, and moving on. I enjoyed it thoroughly!
**I received this book for free from Bethany House through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts are completely my own.