I just finished reading A Bride for Keeps by Melissa Jagears! This is her debut novel and I’m already excited to see what stories she’ll share with the world next.
The concept for the story isn’t anything new; it’s a romance starting with a marriage of convenience so you already know the story is going to be about how the characters fall in love. No matter how heart-wrenching and emotional the story gets, as a reader, there’s safety in knowing it will all work out in the end. Melissa does not disappoint, and makes the journey well worth the read. She’s taken a familiar concept and made it her own.
With this kind of story I seem to have a habit of reading compulsively, not wanting to put the book down, almost as if the faster I read, the sooner the characters will fall in love and work out their problems. I loved both the main characters from the start, Everett who’s had the unlucky fortune of losing 3 mail order brides before Julia, and Julia who’s lived a life of privilege financially but been mistreated physically and emotionally. They were both very sympathetic characters and I was routing for them all the way. Sometimes I get frustrated when characters take this long to work out their problems, but Everett and Julia’s issues were really brought to life, so that although they did take their sweet time to warm up to each other, it didn’t seem like things were happening too slow. Their emotions were never contrived and always seemed natural which, I think is Melissa’s writing strength.
I usually try to not do any of my drawings from the end of a book, but since even the title implies the characters will be together in the end, I don’t feel bad about making a spoiler drawing for a change. I wanted to do the opposite from the cover and have the characters facing each other, so the inspiration for this drawing comes from the last scene before the epilogue. I didn’t give it a background, but the scene takes place in the barn, and Julia is in her nightgown!
I thoroughly enjoyed this one, and I thank Melissa for telling me about it so I could get a review copy from her publisher for this feature! Check out her website: http://melissajagears.com/