Unemployed mill worker Zoe Hart jumps at the opportunity to emigrate to British Columbia in 1863 to find a better life and be reunited with her brother, who fled from home after being accused of a crime.
Pastor to miners in the mountains, Abe Merivale discovers an abandoned baby during a routine visit to Victoria and joins efforts with Zoe, one of the newly arrived bride-ship women, to care for the infant. While there, he’s devastated by the news from his fiancee in England that she’s marrying another man.
With mounting pressure to find the baby a home, Zoe accepts a proposal from a miner of questionable character after he promises to help her locate her brother. Intent on protecting Zoe and frustrated by his failed engagement, Abe offers his own hand as groom. After a hasty wedding, they soon realize their marriage of convenience is not so convenient after all.
A Bride of Convenience by Jody Hedlund is one of the best historical fiction novels I have read in awhile. It has characters that tug at my heart strings, a dangerous time period, and rules that must be followed. Yet the characters are bold and strong enough to finally find their own ways in their world. There is humor, hope, and scenes full of new beginnings. The romance between the protagonists was sweet and deeply felt. I could not stop reading this novel. Jody Hedlund is a talented writer. The pages flew by so fast. I am hoping for another Bride Ship story after this one.