“A Bride at Last” by Melissa Jagears
#3 in The Unexpected Brides Series
Review copy source: Influencer copy from the author and publisher
My rating: 3.5 out of 5 Stars
About the Book:
Abandoned by his mail-order bride, Silas Jonesey has fought an uphill battle to recover from a pattern of poor choices. Now his prayers for reconciliation have finally come true and his estranged wife has contacted him with her whereabouts.
Kate Dawson was supposed to be a mail-order bride, but upon realizing she’d been deceived about her intended groom, she’s now settled into life as a schoolteacher. When the mother of a student passes away, Kate assumes she’ll take on care of nine-year-old Anthony–until two men suddenly show up in town, claiming to be the boy’s father.
Silas can see Anthony loves Kate, so he enlists her help in reaching out to the boy and attempting to prove his paternity to the court. When a common interest in Anthony leads to an interest in each other and Silas and Kate begin to think they can overcome their rocky start, neither is prepared for the secrets and past hurts that have yet to come to light. Can Silas, Kate, and Anthony’s wounded souls bind them together or will all that stands between them leave them lonely forever?
I really love how Melissa Jagears writes – her style flows well and keeps you interested. I don’t often read the mail-order-bride stories, or any sort of westerns in general, but if it’s by Mrs. Jagears I am sure to try it.
I have read her previous books of this series and adored each one (I think my favourite was the novella though!!), so I was really excited to read this next book, “A Bride at Last”. And while I enjoyed the writing style, and the characters, I was let down on some aspects of it. It just wasn’t my favourite. There were a couple of things that disappointed me, and I think I will start with those and then move on to what I did like.
In the beginning, the faith strand seemed strong and that really gladdened me. But as the book got going, it was nearly forgotten, and when the Lord was brought into it, I don’t think it was in a very respectful light. At one point, one of the characters prays for an answer but immediately after the character prays, it says ‘But of course there was no answer’. And it leaves it at that – as if God never answers us today, like it’s normal and expected. But He does speak. It’s not an audible sound, but He speaks to our souls, I firmly believe this and think that is the norm. The Bible says, “And it shall come to pass, that before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear.” (Isaiah 65:24) – He answers even before we call. There are many other verses to attest to that, but I will leave it with this one.
The other thing that was a disappointment was how it was very much centered around physical-attraction between the two main characters. Almost inappropriately so. There were some parts I wanted to skim over because of how…’gushy’ (only more so. That’s not quite the right word) it was. It was nearly blush-worthy. And I was sad to see that the characters couldn’t just fall in love because of their hearts – their personalities. I know that they did do that in some respect, but it was really much more of a physical attraction and that is what was greatly portrayed throughout the book. Love is more than physical. It is a choice, a state of the heart, a commitment to God. I read a quote on Pinterest that said “A woman is not written in brail – you don’t have to touch her to know her” and that’s true.
But now for the things I did like. :) The characters, besides from the physical attraction issue, were well crafted and easily liked. Kate was a strong character, and I liked how much she cared for Anthony (the little boy). Silas was a good character too, though frustrating at times. They both had a hard past (most people do…), but he seemed to have a harder time letting go of her past – almost holding it against her, which seemed like he was forgetting that he had ‘his own past’. I know that was intentional, but I think it could’ve used a little more work.
The plot was good – I enjoyed it. It was an easy read, and captivating. As I said, I really like Melissa Jagears and how she writes. =)
I feel like it seems that I disliked this book a great deal but that’s not the case. I DID like it, I just didn’t like ALL of it. There were parts that made it really difficult for me to fall in love with it, like I did with her other books (which I highly recommend you read!).
Still, I would read more of Mrs. Jagears books, and reread the ones I loved. =)
*I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author and publisher in exchange for my honest review which I have given.
You can read my reviews of the previous books in this series below. The first two are very short since I was not required to write a review and I didn’t have time. The third is lengthly though and shows how much I loved that book: