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A Bride for Keeps

(Unexpected Brides #1)

3.90  ·  Rating details ·  2,213 ratings  ·  298 reviews
Everett Cline will never humiliate himself by seeking a mail-order bride. Not again. He's already been jilted by three mail-order brides and figures a wife just isn't in his future. However, a well-meaning neighbor hasn't given up on seeing him settled, so she goes behind his back to bring yet another woman to town for him.

Julia Lockwood has never been anything more than a
Paperback, 331 pages
Published October 1st 2013 by Bethany House Publishers
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3.90  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,213 ratings  ·  298 reviews

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A beautiful marriage of convenience story! Completely heart-warming and romantic!

I had been meaning to read this book ever since loving the short story Love by the Letter by the same author, and was sure that it would probably not disappoint. I was so right. I was swept in from the very beginning as we meet the hero, Everett Cline, and learn that he's had FOUR disappointments IN A ROW with women. The first girl he wanted to marry jilted him for another, and of the three subsequent mail-order bri
Mada Linx
Jul 04, 2018 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 19, 2013 added it  ·  (Review from the author)
Ha. What do I think? I've read it a hundred times over. Hope people like it!
Melody Cox
Dec 06, 2013 rated it it was ok
This is a difficult book for me to review because it left me with many mixed emotions.

Everett Cline is a nice-looking, God-fearing homesteader who has been quite unlucky in the love department. Sending for multiple mail order brides, one at a time of course, they all chose someone else to spend their life with. He feels he must be greatly lacking and has given up the idea of marriage and a helpmate. His very good friend and neighbor, Rachel, secretly answers a mail order bride ad as herself but
3.5 stars
A Bride for Keeps is a heartwarming mail-order-bride story of how God heals two battle-scarred hearts when strangers are brought together by a meddlesome neighbor who is a friend to them both.
Jul 07, 2013 rated it did not like it
Shelves: couldnt-finish
Ugh I cannot believe I waited so long for this book. It seemed so promising- a pretty cover and a different spin on a mail order plot line. But the characters really lack depth. Just like the story line.

Julia, the supermodel from 1876, struggles with being so drop dead gorgeous; her beauty is so intense that no one can think about anything else, including herself. She pretty much goes cycles through feelings of shame (crimes committed against her because of her beauty), guilt (because apart from
Pleasant story of a couple who didn't really want to be married at all, but end up paired together by force of circumstances. Once they tie the knot, there are all sorts of things to contend with, from old secrets to broken bones. I liked both Julia and Everett, but especially loved their friends, who were responsible for bringing them together and who showed such a sweet picture of family life. It reminded me of Amanda Cabot's "Scattered Petals", which was one of my favorite and most memorable ...more
Salt Flatts, Kansas, Spring 1876, and the train has just arrived in town with another mail-order bride for Everett Cline, only he didn’t order this one. He wants a wife, but he’s given up hope of finding one after one jilted him, one arrived dead, one arrived married and the fourth left him for a farmer with a bigger spread before they got married.

Julia Lockwood is from a well-to-do Boston family, but has run away to be Everett Cline’s mail-order bride on the advice of her pen-pal. But when she
Kathy * Bookworm Nation
After reading the novella Love by the Letter I was excited to read A Bride for Keeps. It started out good, but about halfway in I started to lose interest. While I liked Julia and Everett, I just got fed up with how they treated each other. Everett had been burned in the past (view spoiler) causing him to doubt Julia’s intentions and was unwilling to open his heart for more pain. Meanwhile, Julia has run away from an unloving home and c ...more
Oct 14, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this debut novel by Melissa Jagears. This is the story of Julia and Everett. What a moving mail order bride tale!

After being jilted by his sweetheart years ago, Everett set out to find himself a mail order bride for companionship as well as need for help around his farm. Three attempts and three failures later, he has given up. His friends, however, have not given up! Much to Everett's surprise, his new mail order bride has arrived!

Julia is typical of many mail-order brides in t
Diamond Jones
Aug 09, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I was lucky to receive this book to read before it's debut. A bride for keeps was an amazing & inspiring story to read. Everett and Julia both experienced pain in their past causing them to shut each other out. Reading their struggles and pain felt like I was right there in the story. This was the first book I read by Melissa Jagears and I must say she has made my favorite author list with this book. So far A bride for keeps is the best mail-order-bride story I read so far this year, and the ...more
Beautiful love story! Full review to come.

I am quick to fall in love with any story about 1) a mail-order bride, 2) a fish out of water and 3) healing of past hurts. Melissa Jagear’s debut, A Bride for Keeps, not only provided a wonderful story with those themes, but also exemplified restoration in a seemingly hopeless situation.

The situation certainly seems hopeless when Julia Lockwood, quite the stranger to life on the prairie, steps off the train as Everett Cline’s fifth mail-order bride. Unw
Seema Khan
Read Melissa Jagears for the first time with A Bride for Keeps. Honest opinion? The book was a flat line most of the time. The story was fine, but was excruciatingly slow. I thought it lacked excitement, the only place where your interest piques is (view spoiler)

I'm not saying that I'm unable to appreciate the book. It was nice, in the sense that it felt real. Both the main characters Julia and Everett have many flaws, which basically is true for r
Oct 17, 2013 rated it it was amazing
What a fantastic read. From page one to the very last page this author draws you into the story. If this is Melissa Jagears debut book I can’t wait to see what follows! She has made a fan out of me. I finished this book early this morning and I thought about it off and on all day. It made that big of an impact on me.

If you want to know how hard it was to live in the west in 1876 this book is for you. The characters are lovable, well most of them are, and the hardships are plenty. Brides are hard
2.5 stars. It could've been really good.
He's had terrible luck and some humiliation in past attempts at procuring a mail-order bride. She's fleeing from a traumatic past and can't stand to even let a man hold her hand.

So much "Let my love open the door, to your heart" potential. Characters were decent, I would've enjoyed some shades of grey between good guys and bad guys. Contrived misunderstandings, too many overheard snippets of conversation used as plot devices.

I enjoy well written Christia
Karen Witemeyer
Oct 01, 2013 rated it really liked it
Readers who enjoy sweet prairie romance will enjoy Melissa Jagears's debut novel. She has a unique twist on the marriage of convenience story and sports characters with emotional woundedness that made me want to reach into the pages and give them a hug.

The pacing was a little slow for my taste, and I sometimes grew impatient when the characters refused to reveal their past to each other and thereby clear the misunderstandings between them, but I understood that they both had trust issues and the
Jul 31, 2018 rated it really liked it
A nice sweet refreshing change!

I have found myself lately getting a little bored of the typical storyline of a man meets a woman or a woman meets a man, they have a challenge to become a couple then they finally get together and HEA.

With that being said I found this book a nice refreshing change because Melissa Jaguars has focused on the challenges of marriage. I enjoyed reading about life after marriage and how marriage is not easy.

My favourite aspect of this story was how Mellissa Jaguars h
Kellyn Roth
Originally posted on the January 2017 Mini Review post

Ah, that was cute! I admit it was somewhat cliché, but not much, and I really enjoyed it (because some clichés are just too awesome). The character were believable and the plot was well-paced. I was a little frustrated at the main characters for their back-and-forth-ness sometimes.

Anyway, this is an enjoyable, sweet romance that was only sometimes frustrating and therefore worth it. Besides, I argue that if a couple characters can make me fru
Emily Rachelle
Sep 16, 2013 rated it it was amazing
{Review is of an ARC}

By the time I won this book, I'd forgotten I ever entered a request for it. By the time it came in the mail, I'd given up hope of it coming and was about to mark it as lost in the mail on the LibraryThing website.

By the time I finished the book, I knew I'd never forget it again.

The first chapter is slow, full of telling rather than showing. The first couple of chapters - and a few spots throughout the book - give backstory in an awkward info-dump fashion. There's a few sente
Aug 31, 2013 rated it really liked it
Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Debut authors have been on fire in the Christian fiction market these past few years – each time I close a new book (such names as Dani Pettrey to Katherine Reay to Becky Wade come to mind, and many more I’ve yet to “meet”), I am in awe of the talent these publishers are acquiring. Melissa Jagears saw her publishing ambitions come true among the crop of the best 2013 had to offer for new talent. The story is a familiar one, this time it’s about the educated and proper Julia L
May 14, 2013 rated it really liked it
The author added a very different twist to mail order bride fiction that I'm used to reading. Very different approach, I like that!
Rachel Brand
Life on the prairie is difficult, especially for a single man. Everett Cline has made several attempts to marry, but all of them have fallen through—including two mail-order brides who fell for other men. His failed marriage attempts have made him the town joke, and Everett has resigned himself to a life of bachelorhood. It’s natural that he’s less than pleased when his best friend’s wife arranges one more mail-order bride for him. It’s clear the moment that that she steps off the train that Jul ...more
Lindsey (Books for Christian Girls)
About this book:

“Although Everett Cline can hardly keep up with the demands of his homestead, he won't humiliate himself by looking for a helpmate ever again--not after being jilted by three mail-order brides. When a well-meaning neighbor goes behind his back to bring yet another mail-order bride to town, he has good reason to doubt it will work, especially after getting a glimpse at the woman in question. She's the prettiest woman he's ever seen, and it's just not possible she's there to marry
Oct 29, 2013 rated it liked it
A Bride for Keeps, Melissa Jagears’ freshman novel and published by Bethany House, is the story of two people whose fears nearly keep them from a most precious love.

On the unforgiving Kansas prairie, we meet Everett Cline, confirmed bachelor and overwhelmed farmer. Having been rejected by four fiances, three of them mail-order brides, Everett is finished with romance. Fortunately for him, his best friend’s wife and neighbor, Rachel, has one more trick up her sleeve.

After corresponding with the b

I was interested in this book more because of the author than the genre or period setting which is frankly not my favourite. This is one reason for the perhaps slightly lower-than-otherwise rating. Nothing personal at all, it’s just that late 19th century America is not a setting that that I really go in for, it’s not familiar to me and doesn’t have the same attraction as others. Hence, I’m at something of a loss to understand some of the terms used for everyday items by the characters. Though I
City Girl Moves to The Country
My Reflections:

I received three books packaged in one order this week and was instantly drawn to the beautiful cover of this book, then to the intriguing story line. Upon cracking the cover of this novel I was transported to Kansas in 1876, my heart still lingers there....

This book held me captive, and stole my heart in the process.

It is an endearing story about a man and a woman both harboring pain from the past. Everett Cline a tender, honorable character who has been rejected by three mail or
Aug 03, 2013 rated it really liked it
Everett Cline has a complex. If you endured what he did, you’d have one as well.

A Midwestern farmer with a small, growing farm, Everett needs assistance (i.e. a wife) So, like many men in his time, he seeks a mail-order bride. It’s just that every bride ends up leaving him for someone else. One left him for someone moving back east. One died on the train. One met another man on the train and decided to marry him instead of Everett. One saw Everett’s farm and decided to leave him for a man with
Kay Dee
Mar 29, 2017 rated it it was ok
it was a typical romance but only ok. it started out with so much potential.
i had read the short prequel and liked the first few chapters of this book.
1- a lady with trauma in her past
2- a man with serious rejection issues
3-a marriage of convenience
three ingredients that make for a good lil romance.

poor communication is the basis for like every conflict in romance. basically, if the potential couple just talked to each other (or close friends) and asked questions instead of assuming things the
Ann Keller
Jul 01, 2014 rated it really liked it
Good story about Julia Lockwood, an abused woman who flees West as a mail order bride. Her fiancé, a man her father wished her to marry, took advantage of her, defiling her innocence and taking from her one of the most precious gifts she could have given a husband. She now views herself as a marked woman, unworthy of any decent relationship. Nevertheless, she's out of options.

Unfortunately, her husband-to-be, Everett Cline, has been jilted before. One of his mail order brides died before they co
Feb 19, 2013 rated it liked it
Since I was old enough to read Christian fiction, mail order bride stories have been one of my first loves. Fostered through Al and Joanna Lacy and Janette Oke, if it said “mail order bride” it didn’t take me too long to think about reading it and the same still holds true to this day. But could you image ordering three brides…and all of them picking a different spouse? Oh I cringed for the hero for such is his lot.

Julia is an interesting and at times, confusing character. Her angst goes deep an
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Clean Fiction: Discussion of this September's Main Group Read 2 4 Feb 22, 2015 04:43PM  
Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 2 Jan 11, 2015 01:47PM  
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My Review Star System:

A rare, solid 5 means I LOVED it or was so impressed that I bring these books up in random conversations.

4.5-4 means great story. Recommended.

I don't post 3 star or below for newer Christian fiction (conflict of interest--I might have to work with the aut

Other books in the series

Unexpected Brides (3 books)
  • A Bride in Store (Unexpected Brides, #2)
  • A Bride at Last (Unexpected Brides, #3)
“His prayer was so different, like a conversation. People should not talk to the Almighty God like they were friends. It simply wasn't done.” 3 likes
“Did someone hurt you?” She quickly looked down to the side and swallowed several times in a row. He kept his hands from gripping her any harder. Someone had hurt her. Thinking of a man harming her made him want to punch something. A lot of things. Her lips stayed pressed against each other. She wasn’t going to talk about it. Tugging ever so slowly, he finally convinced her to take a step toward him. When she was close enough, he pushed her head against his chest. Could he help her overcome her hurt? Once she realized she had nothing to fear from him, she’d come around. He’d have to be sensitive. And patient.” 1 likes
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