When I pick up a Jody Hedlund novel, I expect a story that completely captivates my imagination with vivid characters, while immersing me in a unique time and place in history. She rarely disappoints. “The Runaway Bride” is the second book in “The Bride Ships” series published by Bethany House, and is at fault for causing me to read late into the night (and simultaneously wake up tired the next morning) because I couldn’t wait to find out what happened next!
“The Runaway Bride” is a beautiful Christian Historical Romance that is overflowing with adventure, hope, and new beginnings in 1862 British Columbia. I adored each primary character, and empathized with their dilemmas on every page. Themes of courage, forgiveness, and not letting other’s judgements define us are portrayed with emotional insight through the choices of each character. As should be the case in any well-written story, this caused me to look at my own heart in regard to these matters of faith.
The one thing I would change about this story, if I could, would be a little less ‘steaminess‘ between the hero and heroine. Although they technically managed to avoid crossing any boundaries before marriage, their thoughts and actions were sometimes just too much for a Christian Romance. I still loved the story and think Jody Hedlund is one of the best authors of the genre, but sometimes her romance aspects tend to push the bounds of my clean-reading comfort zone.
All in all, “The Runaway Bride” was a wonderful story and a top-notch continuation of “The Bride Ships” series. It’s only fault was occasional, semi-inappropriate scenes, so I would not recommend it for very young readers. However the good FAR outweighed the bad in this novel, and I am eagerly anticipating the next story set to release this summer. I’ve even discovered that there is not only one but TWO more Bride Ship books still to come – and that is very good news!
“Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.”