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The Runaway Bride

(The Bride Ships #2)

4.33  ·  Rating details ·  1,189 ratings  ·  326 reviews
Haunted by mistakes in her past, will she ever again trust her heart to another?

Wealthy Arabella Lawrence flees to British Columbia on a bride ship, still bearing the scars of past mistakes. One of the few single women in the boomtown, she immediately attracts suitors, but she is determined not to find herself trapped again by making a poor choice.

Vying for her hand are tw
Paperback, 384 pages
Published March 3rd 2020 by Bethany House Publishers (first published March 2020)
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Deanne Patterson
Mar 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Deanne by:
Have you read any of Jody Hedlund's books yet? If you haven't do yourself a favor and do so, she has so many available and they are all fabulous . Recently she's also released a YA fantasy series and it's a not to miss as well.

The cover of this book is really stunning and I was so excited to start into it. We've all heard of mail order brides, well these are ship brides, which I found so fascinating to learn more about as I read the first book in the series as well.
I can just imagine what the la
Randi Annie Framnes
The Runaway Bride is installment #2 in The Bride Ships Series and I knew from the first chapter that I would love this book. It has a theme and a plot that interests me as I have not read any work set in British Columbia before.

Gentlewoman and banker’s daughter Arabella Lawrence has run away from her family in London, who has tried to marry her off to a violent man old enough to be her father. She has to adjust to new dangers and challenges trying to carve out her new life in British Columbia.

Ladies, grab your fans! The smoldering looks, and the near kisses are sure to keep you holding your breath as butterflies dance in your stomach, you may just find yourself reaching for your fan along with Arabella! I loved this story and these characters. Especially our hero Peter. He is my new favorite literary hero!

Arabella's back story had me both sad and angry. Sad, for the hurt she must have felt at the seeming disregard her father had for her safety and angry at the man who hurt her. Of co
Oh my lanta, this book was good! I was hooked from page one and I could not put it down. This was my first Jody Hedlund book and now I feel like binge reading all her books. Mrs. Hedlund's writing style is so beautiful and captivating. Her characters were so enduring, well at least most of them, and her storyline was to die for.

The characters were so wonderful. Peter was my favorite from the beginning, though he was a bit cocky, he's arrogance was more enduring than annoying. His confidence is
Paula Shreckhise
I so appreciate every book I have read by Jody Hedlund. She writes from impeccable research and infuses heart into her stories.
Arabella Lawrence has fled a bad match in England so she has to carefully consider the two men who become her suitors when she lands in Victoria, British Columbia. Will Lt. Drummond sway her with his position in society or will Baker Peter Kelly charm her with his caring heart?
Ms. Hedlund takes us on a journey to Vancouver Island in 1862 to a place where men abound and
Jul 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
OH MY STARS, I love this book! ✨ I really enjoyed the first book but this second one is SO great! The chemistry between Arabella & Pete is amazing! Jody Hedlund is great at building tension & romance. I loved Arabella’s character & was intrigued with the mystery surrounding her life in England since the first book. I loved how Arabella had 2 men fighting for her & how it was written without a true love triangle, (you know who she’ll choose& the bad dude is obvious), since that may not be for eve ...more
Mar 05, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2020
Wow, what a romance! First, let's get this out of the way: while this is book two in the series, it absolutely can be read as a stand-alone novel. Main character Arabella appeared in A Reluctant Bride, and that novel's main character Mercy appears here. But this novel is largely set in the time that passes at the very end of A Reluctant Bride—after the Tynemouth arrives in Victoria and before Mercy and Joseph set their wedding date. While The Runaway Bride is a continuation of the story begun in ...more
Feb 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book was amazing! Not only do we get to see more of Mercy from book one, we get to learn Arabella’s story. I loved the concept of a bride ship. I really loved Arabella and Pete! And don’t get me started on their chemistry and those kisses! You almost need your own fan when reading those parts. I am really looking forward to the next book in the series! I definitely recommend this book!

I received a complimentary copy from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. All opin
Lisa  (Bookworm Lisa)
Wow! This book is so good. It is the second book in the Bride Ships series but can be read as a stand-alone.

The series follows young women who left their homes in England to become brides to men in British Columbia. This book is Arabella's story. She ran from home when abused by her intended. He was a much older man who went through several wives. Arabella does not want to become the next victim of a horrible man. He holds employment over her father's head to see that the match is completed. Ar
Heidi Robbins (Heidi Reads...)
What a match this was! Arabella is caught between the expectations and standards of her social class and being able to accept truly wonderful relationship with someone who doesn't fit. I was rooting the whole time for her eyes to be opened to the possibilities, freedom, and fulfillment in working for herself and not having to only rely on a husband for security. She has a wonderful character arc as she meets new people from all walks of life who challenge and reform her perspectives. I appreciat ...more
Mar 07, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2020
I love that this series is about what would motivate a woman to leave England and travel across the ocean to make a new life in Victoria. In The Runaway Bride, wealthy Arabella Lawrence, flees England to escape a marriage to a cruel man. Her vacillation between wanting to continue as an elite member of society in Victoria vs. pursuing an occupation and relationships she may enjoy rang very true.

Main male character Peter Kelly's confidence and easy going manner were a lovely compliment to Arabell
Mar 22, 2020 rated it really liked it
Are you looking for a swoon-worthy read with lots of heart? “The Runaway Bride” by Jody Hedlund is exactly that. This book is the second book in the “The Bride Ships” series but can be read as a standalone.

"The Runaway Bride" by Jody Hedlund tackles some fascinating subjects—one being “bride ships.” Prior to reading this book, I did not know anything about this subject. I loved reading about Arabella, an aristocrat from England in the 1860s, who rode on a bride ship to Vancouver Island. Like th
Beth Erin
May 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Full review featured on

The Runaway Bride is specifically Arabella’s story although we get to check in a bit with our heroine from book 1 as well. This lady of good-breeding has a conflicted heart of gold beneath her pampered facade. Her struggle between doing the expected thing and doing the right thing resonated with me as she sought faith, truth, and (dare she hope for?) love.

Personally, I was smitten with Irish baker Peter Kelly from the moment he graced the page with hi
Feb 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Jody Hedlund discovered a hidden gem when her research led her to the Tynemouth, widely known as the “bride ship”. This second book in the series tells us the story of Miss Lawrence who we were introduced to in the Reluctant Bride. The contrast between upper class and lower class remains a theme here, but from the opposite angle. Arabella is middle class intending to marry someone of similar station. In comes Lieutenant Drummond who fits the bill. But then there is Pete, a lower class baker. Who ...more
Feb 29, 2020 rated it really liked it
What another terrific read by Jody Hedlund. I knew nothing about the bride ships until her first book. I had to wonder what would make a woman do something that seemed so drastic...England to Canada. Not only do they plan on marrying someone they don’t know yet, but they are in a totally new country across many miles of seas.
Ms. Hedlund does a great job of answering those questions by using probable situations. I really enjoyed the main characters in this book...their faults and all. The struggl
Mar 05, 2020 rated it really liked it
We first met Arabella Lawrence in A Reluctant Bride, the first book in Jody Hedlund's Bride Ships series. We had been given some hints of her background, and readers everywhere were anxious to hear Arabella's story. I'm glad to report that Jody delivered another good one!

Arabella arrives in Victoria, British Columbia, ready to make a match among the gentlemen of her class. She's rather dismayed when living arrangements require some menial work to be done by all the women, but she quickly discove
Aimee (Getting Your Read On)
This is a series I am so interested in and excited about. I love the way this author infuses bits of history into these romances. It makes the story come alive for me. This is the second book in this series and while I think it can stand alone, I would recommend reading the first book before this one just because it really sets the stage for these women that came over from England on bride ships. It's also really good. You won't regret it.

Arabella is an interesting character. Her backstory unfol
Maureen Timerman
Feb 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2020
This is the second book in this series that I have read, and they can be read separately. They are both really good!
When the facts unfold as to why the wealthy Arabella fled England and embarked to the unknown wilds of British Columbia, you will cringe. I had to wonder how long she would have survived if she had stayed?
We also meet the kind hearted baker Peter Kelly and the Navy Lieutenant Drummond, whom I had a bad feeling about.
Loved the compassion showed by some to the Natives, especially the
Feb 04, 2020 rated it really liked it
Originally posted on Inkwell Inspirations, with a giveaway of The Runaway Bride

“Today she might meet the man she’d marry.”

Jody Hedlund’s second installment in her new Bride Ships series, The Runaway Bride, explores the relatively unknown history of poor and middle-class British women willingly boarding bride ships to seek a better life and to find husbands in British Columbia in the 1860s. The treatment of the natives during the smallpox epidemic of 1862 in Victoria is a part of history that may
Feb 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviewed, favorites
What a heartfelt story!

Jody Hedlund has the gift of bringing together the most unlikely couple and creating the most endearing venture. More so, she lets these differences bring out the best in each other, such that their differences are only tools to make each other better. I won't forget this story so soon.

Arabella Lawrence has been trained on how to be a proper lady. She would surely agree "training" is all it was as there was no place for error, no place for imperfection or frailty. But ther
Apr 01, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: tn-reads
In looking back on this book several words pop into my head...

Extremely interesting
Overcoming class distinctions
Sexual tension

Extremely interesting: Ms. Hedlund is a marvel at introducing the reading audience to historical facts from the location and era in which the characters live. Well presented were the stories of smallpox among the natives and prejudice against them in this time. Prejudice against the “lower” class is a key for this story. Abuse of power from the military
Mar 25, 2020 rated it really liked it
What a story! I loved the meetcute between Arabella and Peter. It was such a cute way for them to meet and their developing relationship throughout the book kept me guessing as to how it would all play out in the end. I really enjoyed getting to see Arabella again and learning more of her backstory after meeting her in The Reluctant Bride, and Peter was quite a character. I really liked him. The story was full of twists and I had trouble putting the book down at times because I wanted to know wh ...more
When I started this historical romance, I wasn't sure how well the pairing of upper class Arabella with working class Peter would work. In fact, when Peter first appeared on the page, I wasn't sure what I thought of him. He's a bit brash and very sure of himself, but in just a while, he won me over with his desire to see the natives treated fairly in the midst of a smallpox outbreak - one that was brought on by the very people oppressing them. His unswerving faith in Arabella to make it on her o ...more
Mar 11, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: hard-copy, kindle
With her new Bride Ship series Jody Hedlund has been exploring what would drive women from different walks of life to seek a new, unknown life on the Canadian frontier. Arabella Lawrence is a gentlewoman running from a dangerous situation. When she arrives on Vancouver Island, she must learn to overcome her fears and break away from the expectations of others. The journey from England to Canada is ending as Arabella’s story opens so the focus is now on life in a wilderness town. With Hedlund’s b ...more
"Yet, as far as he'd fallen, God had held on tight. When he'd been at his worst, God's grace had been at its best."

It's another beautiful, redemptive, and satisfying historical fiction from Jody Hedlund. This is book 2 in The Bride Ships series but can be read as a stand-alone. The main characters from the first book make an appearance in this book but they play minor roles and their story is quite separate from the story of Arabella and Peter. Arabella is a well-to-do gentlewoman fleeing from a
Mar 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Eeeeep! Another Jody Hedlund Book!!! She is a FOREVER favorite and I will literally read anything she writes! A fabulous FABULOUS escape from this crazy life right now. Although it DID take me much longer than normal to finish...due to life upending...this story is rich and delicious. Like biting into a piece of rich dark chocolate that melts on your tongue.

The land...the people...the story...the romance...(Can I just say...baking bread...mmmmhmmm)...Jody Hedlund has a way of portraying the emot
Kathryn Bochman
Mar 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Each book by Jody Hedlund is a new reason to fall in love with historical fiction. The Runaway Bride, second in her Bride Ships series, is a story that captures both your heart and mind even after the story has concluded! The heroine, Arabella, is truly breathtaking. I was able to relate to her on so many levels - from her red hair, love of baking, fear of not living up to the expectations of others, to her being an abuse survivor. In fact, it is this character’s courage in the face of seemingly ...more
Feb 23, 2020 rated it really liked it
I loved the first book in this series with a passion, which always leaves high expectations for what follows. Honestly, I struggled a little to get into this story in the beginning. I hadn’t connected much depth of connection to Arabella in the first book and so it took time to make those empathetic connections. Pete is quickly likable and is quite the character.

As always I enjoy learning so much about little known history from the books that Jody Hedlund writes. This is her forte, and yet agai
Susan Snodgrass
Feb 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing
'Maybe it was time to let the wisdom of God's Word guide her.'

Jody Hedlund brings us the second book in her Bride Ships series with this one, my favorite so far. Arabella Lawrence, a wealthy young woman, escapes from a forced marriage in England by getting on a bride ship, ships that carried women to marry men they'd never even seen. But anything was better than the brutish and cruel man her father was forcing her to marry. Arabella is determined not to fall prey to such a man on Vancouver Islan
Mar 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Arabella Lawrence takes the chance of a lifetime to find a new beginning in Canada, escaping a difficult situation.

Peter Kelly is a prodigal of sorts, making his living as a baker, and also fighting for the fair treatment of the Natives. He is smitten by Arabella from the moment he sees her, but will his past exclude him from vying for her hand?

A fantastic read from beginning to end, from Peter and Arabella who instantly captured my heart, with strong bonds of faith that bring the story together
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Jody Hedlund is the author of over thirty historicals for both adults and teens and is the winner of numerous awards including the Christy, Carol, and Christian Book Award.

Jody lives in central Michigan with her husband, five busy children, and five spoiled cats. Although Jody prefers to experience daring and dangerous adventures through her characters rather than in real life, she’s learned that

Other books in the series

The Bride Ships (4 books)
  • A Reluctant Bride (The Bride Ships, #1)
  • A Bride of Convenience (The Bride Ships, #3)
  • Almost a Bride (The Bride Ships, #4)

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