14 November 2013

Melissa Jagears Debut book reviewed by Carrie Fancett Pagels

A Bride for Keeps

A Bride for Keeps by Melissa Jagears
Bethany House, 2013

Reviewed by Carrie Fancett Pagels

This debut fiction novel by Melissa Jagears is a solid read. (I read the ARC and not the final novel so there may be some differences but none that should affect this review.) 

Poor farmer Everett Cline has been jilted numerous times, both by mail order brides and by a local gal.  So he's abandoned the idea of trying again. But gorgeous Julia Lockwood arrives in his life after his best friend's wife sets him up.  And there is no escaping. But Julia has attracted the attention of one wicked man, also.

Spoiler alert
Bibliotherapy aspects: Both characters have a lot of emotional numbing which continues the majority of the story. The heroine, Julia, has had a terrible experience with her ex-fianc√© that has basically caused PTSD symptoms that are pretty severe--so severe that there is a near-tragedy. And she's also experienced her mother's and baby brother's deaths that traumatized her. She's convinced that because her mother and grandmother suffered so many miscarriages and stillbirths that she's unlikely to give birth to a healthy child. So she convinces herself that she will never be able to be a mother. There is a stalking and assault in this story and another woman is a battered wife. 

Spiritual arc: Although Everett professes to be a strong Christian he soon discovers that his faith is lacking when it comes to Julia.  The heroine is basically an unbeliever so it is interesting to see her story arc in faith.

You can find this at AmazonChristian Book.comDeeper ShoppingBarnes & Noble and other outlets.

Giveaway: A gently used ARC copy (mine!) will be given away to one of the commenters this week as well as a new paperback copy. (Disclaimer: I "won" an ARC copy from the publisher in a contest after I'd already ordered my own copy.  No review was required.)
Leave a comment and your email address!

39 comments:

  1. I enjoyed your great review and I LOOOVE spoiler alerts! haha Someday I WILL get to this book...love the cover!

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    1. Yes, an unusual cover but it really does reflect the content of the book, which is good. I know u love spoilers Diana, lol!

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    2. You love spoilers? I run from them! :) And when I first saw the cover I said "my story belongs behind that cover."

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  2. Sounds like a great book!
    Please have a terrific day God bless you
    Chris Granville
    granvilleATfrontiernetDOTnet

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  3. I enjoyed your review!! Sounds like a lovely book.


    northerncountrygrl26(at)gmail(dot)com

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  4. This will be a great book i know sure would love to win
    Shirley B jcisforme@aol.com

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  5. Sounds like a wonderful book that I would thoroughly enjoy reading! Thanks for the great review.
    God bless, Betti
    bettimace at gmail dot com

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    1. Thanks, Betti!!! Yes, you would really enjoy this read!

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  6. I've been following Melissa's A Bride for Keeps around and would love to read their story ~ love and the Lord triumph! Eager to hear how Julia is drawn to the Lord's love for her. Kathleen ~ Lane Hill House lanehillhouse[at]centurylink[dot]net

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    1. Kathleen, I have been praying for you! It's a really sweet story! Hugs!

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    2. Thank you, Carrie. It was good to share with you and Anne.

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  7. Interesting review. Sounds like a book that has some unusual circumstances. I'd love to read it.
    Please enter my name in the drawing.
    Thanks!
    cindialtman(at)gmail(dot)com

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    1. TY, Cindi! Yes, it does and I'll put your name in for the drawing! Blessings!

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  8. I'm actually an avid reader of mail order bride stories. For some reason, I'm intrigued by the "randomness" that we think we're pulling off. Laugh... Would love to win this!

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    1. I enjoy them, too, Heather! I think because there was this show when I was a kid--7 Brides for 7 Brothers but I dk if those were mail order brides or not. Blessings!

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  9. Love the review! Is it sad that I love spoiler alerts?! I don't like surprises - maybe that's why I like them. LOL
    I have heard many great things about this book - I know I will need to read it. :)
    lattebooks at hotmail dot com

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  10. Hmm he is a Christian whose faith is lacking and she is not but developed faith. I would love to read how this plays out. fishingjan[at]aol[dot]com

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    1. Two strong spiritual arcs in one book--now that is unusual!

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  11. I read the spoiler alert too. Just couldn't help myself.

    marypres(AT)gmail(DOT)com

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    1. Haha--Diana and I are the same way--we giggle about it!

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  12. Thank You for sharing your books with us! This cover is wonderful - that's the first thing that sells me everytime!

    missionwife AT hotmail DOT com

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    1. They did a GREAT job of making the cover fit the book, Melody!

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  13. I am looking forward to reading Melissa's book! Enjoyed her novella. Thanks for the giveaway.
    jacsmi75 [at]gmail [dot]com

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    1. Got my old Kindle charged up and sent Melissa's novella over to it--can't wait to read it!

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  14. Hi,I would just like to say,I'd love to win and read this book,it sounds so interesting and a lot like my life where the trusting part comes into play.I wouldn't care if I got the slightly used one or not.It sounds sad but it also sounds like it's going to end great.Trusting I win, but if not, bless the rest.Thanks,Linda. linda.stowe@att.net

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  15. Sounds interesting Carrie. I love it when a character gets saved in a novel. It's very interesting to see the development of their faith throughout the story.

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  16. Oh I so want to read this book.. It sounds so good !
    I so love to hear of salvation experiences in novels , I read one in Julie Lessmans book and cried it was so touching.
    Blessings
    Linda Finn
    Faithful Acres Books
    http;//www.faithfulacresbooks.wordpress.com
    faithfulacresbooks@gmail.com

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  17. I would love to win and read this book.Thanks for the chance.

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  18. Hello Carrie. I enjoyed your review. I tho't had entered but can't find it so guess I didn't. It sounds like I would like it. I can't resist reading the spoiler. Well, it's right in front of your eyes. How do you not read it unless you miss something near it. HA! I would love to win Melissa's book. Thanks for a chance . MAXIE mac262(at)me(dot)com
    And, hello to all of you OWG gals. Love you all.

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    1. I thot I saw u earlier, Maxie, but glad to see u again! Love u, too, sweetie!!!

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  19. Carrie, I really enjoyed your review!! I don't read all spoiler-alerts but I do read yours! ;) I find you don't give too much away anyways. I'm very intrigued by this book Melissa so it will have to be one for me to get!!

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    1. Maybe I only do mini-spoilers, Noela, lol! This is a solid debut novel!

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  20. I'm pretty good about skipping spoilers, but it really helps when they're labeled as such (thanks for the warning!) My great-grandma was essentially a mail-order-bride, so I like to read stories about them!

    rdalquis(at)css(dot)edu

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