Three people – all longing for a loving family – struggle to put the past behind them and look toward the future with hope in Melissa Jagear’s latest 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?
Melissa Jagears is one of those authors who takes a common trope (in this case mail-order brides or marriages-of-convenience) and puts her own spin on it, giving the theme a refreshing twist and making it stand out above the rest. Her characters are full of passion and humor and kindness and life – and so are her stories!
We learned some of Silas’ history in the previous book, A Bride in Store, but in A Bride At Last he is the main character and as such the details of his painful past come fully to light. Abandoned by his mother to an abusive orphanage as a child, then abandoned by the first family who adopted him, then abandoned by his wife … it’s no wonder Silas struggles with fears and has sometimes turned to alcohol to numb the pain. In the course of fighting for the son he only just discovered was his, he meets Kate – a young teacher with a history of running away when the going gets tough. To top it off, Kate suffered abuse at the hands of her drunk brother-in-law and is understandably leery of Silas’ past history of drinking. How in the world could two people with this much baggage ever see the way clear to trust each other? That, my friends, is the making of a beautiful story, and Melissa Jagears delivers one in spades! The crate scene? Be still my heart! Your own heart will ache for them and smile for them – and then repeat – as you make your way through the story, probably in one sitting due to the twists that will keep you riveted to the pages.
Emily Dickinson wrote, “Success is counted sweetest by those who ne’er succeed.” I think in A Bride At Last, we could say that love is counted sweetest by those who have never really known love. And oh my, how sweet is this love story. And the kissing? Unlike Fred Savage in The Princess Bride, I adore “kissing books” and this one does not disappoint 🙂 Sparks aplenty! Even more than the romance, though, there is the love of family – even the kind of family we piece together ourselves. Family found, family created, family restored. Not without its difficulties or hurts, but family nonetheless for people who have long been without.
Speaking of family, the epilogue at the end ties the whole series together so poignantly. My fangirl heart grinned happily and yes I even got a little misty-eyed. Loved seeing Dex & Rachel and Everett & Julia and Will & Eliza (from previous books) and their families some years down the road. And of course Silas and his family 🙂 Also, there were some minor characters that popped up earlier in the book who I’m hoping we get to know more about in future books/series.
Bottom Line: A Bride At Last is a book which will draw you in by its characters and keep you there by its many captivating layers of twists and turns. With tender honesty, Melissa Jagears pens a story of people torn by addiction, abandonment, and anxiety – and the beautiful healing that can come when they lay these wounds at Jesus’ feet. Recommended for anyone who enjoys marriage-of-convenience stories or who struggles with trust issues… And people who like “kissing books” 🙂
A Bride At Last gets 4 out of 5 stars!
(I received a copy from Bethany House Publishers via Litfuse and Netgalley in exchange for only my honest review.)
Purchase a copy: http://bit.ly/1M44A97
Win a copy:
Celebrate the release of A Bride at Last by entering to win a $100 Memory-Making giveaway and RSVPing to Melissa’s August 4th author chat party!
One grand prize winner will receive:
- A $100 gift card to Netflix (for a family movie night), Shutterfly (to create a family memory book), or TablePlayGames (for a family game night)
- One copy of A Bride at Last
Enter today by clicking the icon below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on 8/4. The winner will be announced at Melissa’s 8/4 A Bride at Last Facebook author chat party. RSVP for a chance to connect with Melissa and fiction fans, as well as for a chance to win some great prizes!
Melissa Jagears, an ESL teacher by trade and the author of A Bride for Keeps and A Bride in Store, is a stay-at-home mother on a tiny Kansas farm with a fixer-upper house. She’s a member of ACFW and CROWN fiction marketing, and her passion is to help Christian believers mature in their faith and judge rightly.