In 1860s Seattle, a man with a wife could secure himself 640 acres of timberland. But because of his wife's untimely death, Joe Denton finds himself about to lose half of his claim. Still in mourning, his best solution is to buy one of those Mercer girls arriving from the East. A woman he'll marry in name but keep around mostly as a cook.
With over a million copies of her books sold, international bestselling, award-winning author Deeanne Gist has rocketed up bestseller lists and captured readers everywhere with her original, captivating historicals. Her latest release, Tiffany Girl, was touted as a “Must Year of the Year!” by USA Today, was one of the Top 10 Most Anticipated Books of 2015 by Huffington Post, and one of WikiEzvid's 10 Must-Read Novels That Take Place in the Past.
Not familiar with her work? Take a quiz to figure out which Deeanne Gist novel you'd like best.
Published by Simon & Schuster, Gist's awards include a RITA for Best Long Historical of the Year, National Readers’ Choice Award, Best Historical of the Year (RT Reviewers), Librarians’ Choice, Book Buyers’ Best, Golden Quill, Books*A*Million Pick of the Month, Seal of Excellent and Award of Excellence.
Her most recent series takes readers into the heart of the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair, where USA Today says …
“The historical details are absorbing, never intrusive and always eye-opening ... The characterization is rich and authentic ... The narrative is a treat, the tempo impeccable.”
“Seattle, Washington Territory April 1, 1865 ATTENTION BACHELORS! Due to the efforts of Asa Mercer, you can now secure a bride of good moral character and reputation from the Atlantic States for the sum of $300. All eligible and sincerely desirous bachelors assemble in Delim & Shorey’s building on Wednesday evening.”
Anna Ivey is alone in the world and pretty darn poor to boot, and with the promise of a future in Washington Territory she signs on as one of Asa Mercer’s Brides. Although it turns out being a bride is not what our Modern Minded Miss wants – she’d rather be Independent and work as a teacher or a nanny. Righto, a city with a serious shortage of women is going to be clamoring for nannies and teachers for their kiddos…
“To A S Mercer STOP Ivey refuses to marry STOP You owe me a bride or 400 dollars STOP Payable immediately or else STOP J Denton STOP .”
Joe Denton is one heck of a pickle as part of the land he claimed when he came over was on behalf of a wife who died before she got there, and he can’t provide the proof to hold onto his claim. He needs another wife pronto and Anna fits the bill, but there’s a little misunderstanding as Anna expects to work for Joe and cook for his logging crew, and Joe’s expecting a wife to help him keep his land with the added plus of being able to cook for his logging crew!
Bah! I’ve read one other novel by Gist and really enjoyed it, but this was just too boring, trite and oh so predictable. Why would a girl with no family and no money not jump at a chance for home and hearth with a hunky nice guy like Joe? The twist with older Mrs. Wrenne was just silly (actually dumber than a bucket of rocks, especially the never-ending lisp from her missing teeth), and the final big twist before the big ta-dah and HEA is pretty easy to spot a mile away.
This novel is overseasoned with wall paper, window dressing and 21C mindset, all topped off with a bit of name dropping to give it a supposed historical flavor. Make it rain 24/7, throw in plenty of mud and the occasional view of Mount Rainier and you’ve got an *authentic* locale (not). Add repeated references to flora that aren’t indigenous to the area, and sprinkle a healthy dose of sugar on top with cutesy names for all the animals and you’ve got a very unappetizing novel. As for the Christian aspect of this? Virtually non-existent until the latter third of the book, and even then only a few references to faith in God and a brief prayer or two. This is very much chick-lit and on the lite side at that. Large font and generous spacing (at least on my Kindle edition) make it a breeze to blow through in a few hours, but not recommended for readers looking for heartier fare.
Gripe #1 - what is up with a forest full of Redwood trees in Seattle? Yes, I read the author’s notes that claim there are (or were) some in the area, yet since she provides no source to back up that statement and Google hasn’t been forthcoming with any answers, I’m not buying into it until I see some solid documentation.
Gripe #2 -
“Anna had entertained her first Squamish Indian.”
Ummm, there is a local tribe here known as the Suquamish. Perhaps it was a typo, but I spotted it at least twice. I did find a Squamish tribe, but they’re up in British Columbia. I know, I know – it’s just fiction after all, but come on already – stuff like that takes seconds to look up these days so there’s no excuse for this kind of sloppiness.
I'll confess I skimmed the later half as I just could not tolerate this annoyingly bossy h any longer. And her delusional arrogance or even the anachronism!
So, imagine a 19 y.o. penniless (completely! Can't even pay her fare) war orphan from the East who's is in a desperate situation (more on this later), reads an ad for women needed as wives and workers in the Washington Territory and signs on. This part is very interesting as a shipload of equally hopeful women travel 6-7 months down south, around the Argentinean shore and back up North to America's Western shore. The middleman goofs up (deliberately) as the widowed H is expecting a wife - needed to keep the bigger lot of lumber land allotted to married men. While the h is adamant that she'll never(!) marry and has come all the way to just be a cook at the H's lumber operation. So, the H is left high and dry and in a very, very sticky situation of losing his land.
But our girl sticks firmly to her stance despite his cajoling and almost begging. And this is my gripe! Yes, everyone has a right to decide whether they want to marry or not, and whom to, for that matter. Now the H is handsome, settled and a nice guy who agrees to all her requests (demands!), even helping a random woman etc. And this girl doesn't even consider the possibility, forget the advantages of hooking up with him - for her sake and his?
One might think that a young girl, newly landed, so far away from home, penniless in a country where women are highly priced but for one thing only - with or without the advantage of vows - would realize that she needs to make the best decision - for the distant future as well. So, I was baffled and could not agree with the author making the h so boldly confident in her refusal. Was it an appropriate thinking for those times? Won't her conditioning be different? A present day h acting similarly is understandable. I wondered - isn't she tired, scared and unsure of herself, the people, the new place with her not knowing a soul here? Without money. And her a pretty young girl whom men tried to claim/paw on landing. And I'm not speaking about emotions and feelings (although she starts finding him attractive pretty soon) but of practicality, necessitated by the times and her situation.
The H, in his anger, could have just deserted her then and there. But here, even after rejecting his proposal, this would-be employee is seen calling the shots - cool and calm as you please - about everything. And he agrees to everything! (Poor desperate guy even ends up proposing to a toothless 60 y.o.)
Her annoying bossy behavior is quite ott. When the H asks/pleads with her to not say anything confrontational to the judge overseeing his case, she relents very grudgingly. What and who gave her this level of confidence? A little meekness would have been more suitable. But, diffidence and self-doubt is not for this h. Either she's seriously immature or addled up there.
More? She rejects a suitor before leaving as well. Another rich, handsome man wishing to marry her. He gives some creepy vibes so understandable but I felt the H should have come out a winner by comparison. No? Her reasons for not marrying (not loving anyone) lie in her past and in the war. She lost her father and later her brother, and blames herself for their deaths - egged on by her mother and her brother. I wish her abiding self-confidence and boldness had helped her there too - to realize that that was not so.
Sorry, but my mind couldn't wrap around the anachronistic and unpractical attitude, the arrogance and the general unlikability of the h and the H's submissive meekness. So, meh!
Jo Denton runs one of the most successful redwood logging operations in Washington State, but his wife is dead. And he can’t seem to convince the judge of that. So half the land he owns goes up for sale if he can’t find himself a new wife.
Enter Anna. Who seems perfect. A Mercer bride who’s traveled all the way from the east coast to cook for Jo and his entire crew. She’s pretty. Kind. Smells like twinflowers. And makes the most spectacular doughnuts.
But no one told her she was coming out west to marry Jo. And she seems to have other ideas.
Deeanne Gist has a flare for characters that jump off the page, historical settings that flow as easily as modern day, and heroines with minds of their own.
Reviewed for THC Reviews "3.5 stars" I received an ARC copy of A Bride in the Bargain from the LibraryThing early reviewers program. It contains a plot device I usually enjoy, that of the mail-order bride, except with the twist that the bride doesn't know that she's bound for the altar. Once she finds out, of course she's none too happy about it, leaving her groom in the lurch, with seemingly no viable way to save half of his land grant that he has poured hard work into for more than a decade. A Bride in the Bargain sounded like a really fascinating story, and based on the synopsis, I thought I would thoroughly enjoy it. While there were some things that I did like about it, there were several other things that I did not.
For the second time in a row now, I've read a story that has multiple plot lines, none of which were explored quite to my satisfaction. The primary plot which I outlined above was my favorite and the most interesting, but there were at least three other secondary plots as well. First, Anna is adamantly against marriage, because she feels that she was responsible for the deaths of her entire family (father, mother, and younger brother), and doesn't believe that she is capable of handling the responsibilities of a wife without causing bad things to happen to anyone she loves. I've read similar story lines in which a hero or heroine has survivor's guilt, but in this case there were a lot of things about it that seemed rather forced. Anna claims that before her father left to fight in the Civil War, they were a happy family, but the mere act of her father enlisting and going away seemed to cause the family to disintegrate. Mom fell into some sort of clinical depression; Anna and her brother started fighting with each other (even physically); somewhere along the line Dad started sending nasty letters telling Anna that she and her brother's arguing brought the rebel bullets closer to him and that God would protect him if they would just get along (this part of the story made me extremely angry); then little brother runs off to join the war too after a particularly bad fight with Anna, which leads to Mom saying some horrible things to her as well. I realize that a husband and father going off to war can be exceedingly stressful, but there are plenty of families who manage without falling to pieces like this. I just had a hard time believing that they were a strong, happy family to begin with. On the contrary, they seemed pretty dysfunctional to me. The other thing that bothered me about this part of the story is that Anna was obviously quite wounded by all of these things, but then later has an instant epiphany after the town doctor counsels her for just a few minutes. This was something that was not believable to me at all. I know it's rather cliché and an often overused plot, but I think this whole story line would have been better is Anna had simply been afraid to love Joe because of loosing everyone she had ever loved. Instead the plot itself was overly convoluted and the denouement over-simplified, in my opinion.
Another plotline involved Joe needing to convince Anna that he wanted to marry her, because he had fallen in love with her and not just because he wanted to save his land. I think this part could have been very romantic, but it seemed to me that the author made Joe into one of those clueless alphas who barely has a romantic bone in his body. Strangely, he did a decent job of being somewhat romantic while Anna was staying at his house as a cook for the logging camp, and I even liked their picnic on the huge tree stump. Later though, that all changed for me. I guess he managed a few gestures during the actual courting phase that some readers may find romantic (Anna certainly did), but they didn't do a whole lot for me, at least not as written. Another thing that bothered me about Joe was his intense love of the land. I understand how the land gets into the blood of the men who work it especially back in the days when so much of the country was undeveloped, but Joe just seemed to love it almost to the exclusion of anyone or anything else. Even near the end of the book when Joe has to make a choice between Anna and the land, he still briefly waffles. I appreciated Joe's hardworking nature and ambition that made it possible for him to build a successful logging outfit from the ground up, and I can understand how it would be a difficult choice to leave all that. Still, I really prefer my heroes to be so utterly in love with the heroine that she, without a doubt, always comes first and absolutely nothing will ever stand in the way of their love. I think the final plot twist in the book, which then twisted on itself again, was intended to show Joe's commitment to Anna, but if Joe had been made into a more romantic hero in the first place, I don't think that part would have even been necessary. A man can certainly wear his heart on his sleeve when it comes to his woman without jeopardizing his manhood (I've seen it done numerous times in other novels), but from what I could tell that didn't seem to be something Joe was capable of.
For the most part, I liked the characters in the story, but I felt that the characterizations were pretty uneven. I've already discussed Joe quite a bit, and although he could have his more tender, gentle moments, they just weren't frequent enough or long enough to suit me. It's not that I disliked him, but he probably would be the type of guy who would drive me batty in real life. I admired Anna as a strong young woman who had lived through the deaths of her family members with dignity and had managed to eke out a meager living for herself. Most of the time she seemed like a very gentle, kind person, but her occasional spates of temper, especially in the flashback with her brother, made her seem rather shrewish. What in other heroines I have found to be an endearing spitfire quality, I think came off rather badly in Anna, because she was always arguing with someone she loved instead of defending herself against a villain or bucking the system like most spitfire heroines would be doing. In fact, almost all the characters had some temper issues. Joe sent some of Anna's seashells sailing across the room and then foolishly chopped down a tree in the dark in a fit of anger, the lumberjacks often smacked each other around and brutishly threatened to “talk with their hands,” and Joe's best friend, Red, kicked a hole in the side of the barn when he got upset. Even Red was contradictory, because he initially was encouraging Joe to woo Anna in every way he could think of, but then when it seemed that Joe would have to give up everything for her, Red did an about face and essentially said she wasn't worth it. All in all, I think I would have enjoyed these characters quite a bit if I had just been able to get a better lock on their personalities. As it was written, I felt like they were all over the place, and I was being constantly jerked back and forth between liking them and not being very certain about their motives.
A Bride in the Bargain had several plot cliches that I'm not particularly fond of too. Joe ended up keeping a secret from Anna, but I thought his reasons for it were pretty weak. Of course, when the secret comes out, it leads to “the big misunderstanding” and then a lack of communication about their feelings for one another only compounds it all. Another thing that I thought the author could have done a much better job with is the descriptive details. I truly felt that this story had a lot of potential and in spite of my other issues with it, could have been great if there had just been more richness in the details. The first thing that comes to mind is that I would have liked to know more about what the lead characters were feeling for each other. Instead their feelings seemed rather stunted at times, and in my opinion, the author was doing more telling than showing. Also, I found their dialog was sometimes stilted, with them seeming to say only what was necessary, rather than their words having the more poetic quality of many other romances I've read. Finally, even though the setting was the beautiful, majestic forests of Washington Territory against the gorgeous backdrop of Mt. Ranier, I just couldn't seem to picture all of it in my mind's eye, because there simply wasn't enough detail. I have read other books that were set in the same area of Washington, and the depictions were so vivid, I felt like I was in the heart of the forest and could almost smell the pine. Sadly, this was not so with A Bride in the Bargain. I will definitely give Ms. Gist credit for the one thing I thought she did describe fairly well, and that was how a lumberjack went about his work of felling trees. I found this to be pretty interesting and different, since I haven't really read any other lumberjack heroes. I also thought that for an inspirational romance, there was a surprising amount of sexual tension (which of course was only consummated off canvas), but with the story lacking that all-important emotional connection, I certainly wouldn't go so far as to call it sensual. Additionally, in my opinion, the religious content was fairly low-key and non-preachy, so except for readers who are seriously averse to any religious depictions at all, I would say that almost anyone, including those who aren't typically readers of inspirationals, could potentially enjoy this story.
I realize I've spent a large part of my review criticizing this book, and I always dislike it when I have to do that. I go into reading every book with a desire to not just like it, but to come away from reading it, thinking that it was fabulous. Unfortunately, A Bride in the Bargain fell short of that mark. I can say that it moved along at a fairly quick pace and kept me reading. Even though I had several frustrations with the book, I was never bored with it, which is always a positive. I also liked that the author interjected a bit of the real history of Seattle into the story, as well as a couple of real personages as characters. I'm sure there are many romance readers who will find A Bride in the Bargain to be a worthwhile read, and in spite of my criticisms, I actually did too. It's simply that I thought it could have been so much more than just worthwhile. Ultimately, I think that seeing so much potential in the story, but not having it live up to that potential, is what made me so frustrated with it. Since this was my first read by Deeanne Gist, I can't say if the issues I had with the book are inherent in her writing style or if it was a peculiarity of this particular book, but as I have another of her books on my TBR pile, I will likely be giving her another chance to wow me in the future.
Second bluest skies host heated romance for a Christian novel.
This was actually a pretty amusing novel, but there was a ton of physical attraction between the leads. Basically, Anna is drooling over Joe’s superior muscles and whatnot, and it was soooo annoying – and then there were several almost-sex-scenes between the characters (who eventually married, of course)! Also, it rains a lot more in Seattle than in this book.
Content: 4/5 for multiple references of marital relationships and a ton of lusting.
Note: the bluest skies you'll ever see are in The Dalles, OR. Get that right. ;) Or over Trillium Lake under Mt. Hood on a sunny day.
Also, real life Seattle rains even more than in this story. And that's saying something.
Okay, I'm done.
Girl: Oh, no, I have a mysterious illness. Me: You mean that allergic reaction you just had to the only variable in your life - the chloroform? Girl: Argggg, I feel sicker today!! Me: Yeah, chloroform. Girl: Huh, I feel better today. Me: No chloroform. Doctor: You have TB. Move to Texas for your health. Don't pay attention to the fact that you didn't even have symptoms and were perfectly healthy until you started working with chloroform. Girl: Okay! Me: *facepalm* Girl: *moves away making guy leave his lumber company* *feels better* Me: arggggkdjgjakdkssl Girl: Huh, I should get a second opinion. Smart Doctor: You're allergic to chloroform. Go back to Seattle where the air is kinda the same as in The Dalles and is therefore the best air ever. Me: You know that's right.
Although I extremely enjoyed the book itself (and would have gladly given it a 5-star rating), I could not get over the "inappropriate" content. Although nothing bad truly happened, much was insinuated. It made me feel guilty to read the book.
In which a beautiful nineteen-year-old woman fell in love with her twenty-seven-year-old handsome employer who is supposed to be her husband due to the contact she signed in.
Plot - the whole thing was fascinating. The plot was like straight out of some KDrama or something.
Writing style - have no problem with it although I have to admit, I just skimmed the last 20 pages or so because I grew tired of the romance between them. Sorry.
The first quarter of the novel was really fascinating, I have to say.
Anyways, read it in one sitting. Fast-paced. Would I recommend it? Absolutely yes if you're into romance that is kinda illogical.
Characters - I especially like the heroine in this because of all the characters, she's the one with the character development.
Also, I've noticed that there were a lot of plot devices but no worries, ghats completely fine with me.
Now, the male protagonist do I kind of not like. Sure, he gave up everything he loves for the girl but honestly, based on his attitude, I don't think that's possible.
Romance - I was really liking the romance at first but then, they start kissing each other and telling themselves they love one another. I was like, the hell? Care to elaborate why you love the damn girl please. Well, I do understand the girl's side but the man? No. I think, he's nothing but a lonely 28-year-old man who longs for a very, very beautiful girl like her who also happens to be an excellent cook and his last hope in getting his land.
This novel was very intriguing and once I began reading I couldn't stop until it was finished, I had to take a quick break late last night at about five in the morning, but that was only because I could no longer hold my eyes open.
I could not have asked for a better novel from Mrs. Gist. She is new author to me, but I was quiet please with the change of pace and her writing techniques.
From the beginning until the very end the characters were thoroughly developed and blended together as in real life matter. The novel came alive to the point where I felt as if I could have stepped back in time and actually watched these real lives happening around me.
I am enjoyed the authors note at the end of the novel. Mrs. Gist places her story around incidents that happened in real life, but is humble enough to admit that she couldn't possibly know all the details behind each item.
I look for to more of Mrs. Gist's novels, I will definitely be an advent and return reader of hers.
I was pleasantly surprised by just how much I liked this one. I’ve read a couple other Gist books, which were okay and left me not really expecting to enjoy this one as much as I did. I totally got caught up in the story and the characters. I really liked Anna, she was pretty brave to escape the only world she knew to make a new beginning in Seattle. I liked that she stood up for herself and wouldn’t get bullied into things. I wanted to smack her parents, especially her dad, who really put some stupid ideas into her head. They did help to explain why Anna was so reluctant to marry and fall in love. Speaking of her love interest all I can say is, who knew lumberjacks could be so hot? I fell for Joe right from the start and he continued to win me over as the story progressed. I especially loved their date on top of a Redwood stump. I’ve seen Redwoods and they are huge, I think that would be an awesome place to picnic. The tone of the novel was pretty lighthearted for the most part, towards the end there was a more serious storyline that kind of took me by surprised. I was pleased with how everything worked out though, I was nervous for a bit that I wouldn’t get my HEA.
As for the Christian elements, I was again pleasantly surprised with how all of that was handeld. With being a Christian book I thought I’d get preached at every other page, but the Christian elements were very subtle and aside from the characters being Christian we weren’t preached to or bombarded with scripture.
Before this, I handled planned on reading Gist’s books, but I loved this one so much I’m going to give her others a try. Definitely recommended to anyone who enjoys a good romantic story.
Content: Clean. There is an attempted rape, which is stopped early on and there was nothing too discriptive. There is also a wedding night, again no details.
Here is a book I really wanted to give a 4 or 5 rating to but just couldn't for one reason only. That one reason, however, was a big one. I just could not make the story's heroine, Anna, a sympathetic character no matter how hard I tried. Even though I understand Ms. Gist's reasons for Anna's behavior, she still came across as an incredibly self-centered girl who put her own worries above the welfare of everyone else. I actually hope this is just a personal thing because I think the story is well written. But, think about it, Anna absolutely refuses to marry Joe even though she is in love with him and he has been incredibly kind, patient and generous to her and obviously cares a great deal about her. Because of her decision he will lose absolutely everything he has worked so hard for ten years to build, not to mention the 14 other men who have grown to love her that will lose their entire livelihoods if she refuses. Her excuse is her fear and then her worry that he is asking her for the wrong reasons (however much his actions say otherwise) so she doesn't take the chance. UGH! If she had thought of anyone but herself and taken the chance, then worked out the problems that chance entailed, Ms. Gist would have had a sure winner. Even though the story ends well, a book that had huge potential became nothing more than an entertaining but mediocre read. Still, I would recommend it if just for the hope that someone may disagree and really enjoy it.
Looking forward to the day I can read a Christian novel where the lead female character isn't a complete ninny. Today was not that day. Why can't the "heroine" ever have common sense or at least some shred of emotional stability?
I'm giving the book a 3 out of 5 because it did manage to make me want to move to the redwoods and eat potatoes and hotcakes every day, whatever a hotcake is.
3.5 stars. I have mixed feelings about this one. I really enjoyed the characters and the story, but I found some issues with the details...especially how much focus there was on physical attraction. There's more to true love than mere physical attraction, and it would be very nice for there to have been more exploration of the personality also. After all, Anna is terrified of someone who'd been abusive, so it would have been nice to see exactly how she realized this guy wasn't the abusive type at all...the handling of this came out a bit too simplistic. It had a lot of potential to be much deeper, and it just didn't quite make it.
Kuzey-Güney Savaşı'ndan yeni çıkmı�� ABD'nin batı kıyıları... Seattle yani tam olarak hikayenin geçtiği yer. Gerçekten yaşamış olan üniversite rektörü Asa Mercer'ın doğudaki dul ve öksüz kadınları batıdaki eş bekleyen adamlara getirmesi ile başlıyor olaylar. Para karşılığında ve kadın ile erkeklere farklı içeriğe sahip sözleşmeler imzalatarak! Anna Ivey de bütün ailesini savaş yüzünden kaybetmiş bir genç kadın. Doğu kıyısından, Massachusetts'den. Joe Denton ise yaptığı anlaşma gereği sahip olduğu arazinin tamamını elinde tutmak istiyorsa evli olduğunu kanıtlamak zorunda. Ve bu ikili Joe'nun kerestecilik yaptığı evde birbirlerine tutuluyorlar tabi, Anna borcunu ödemek amaçlı aşçı olarak Joe'nun yanında çalışmaya başladığında. İnişli çıkışlı sayfalar sonunda kitap bitiyor. Okuması çok rahattı.
Gelelim sevdiğim yerlere: Anlatım, gerçek karakterler tarihi kurguda yeniden hayat bulmuş -ki bunu çok severim ben-, karakterlerin salak olmaması (Anna'nın bazı sacmalamalarini 19 yaşında olmasına bağlıyorum). Sevmediğim şeyler: Fazla klişe olması, çevirirken kimin neyi yaptığının anlaşılmayacak şekilde çevrilmesi. Bazen fazladan özne ismi kullanabilirdi çevirmen. Anna mı yaptı, Joe mu? diye anlamaktan yorulduğum, ciğerimin solduğu yerler oldu. Bunun yerine genç kadın, genç adam vb. ifadeler eklenebilirdi.
Genel olarak keyifli saatler geçirdim ve kafam dağıldı, ki en çok buna ihtiyacım vardı aylar sonra!
I have reread this book more times than I can count and have deemed it my favorite book for over 10 years. I just reread it again today and I have yet to find another book thats characters are so real to me and with chemistry that sparks off the page. This is probably one of the most swoon-worthy books I’ve read & set the standard for all books I’ve read since opening its pages as a teen.
I simply love everything about this book. The plot, character development...but most of all the descriptive writing and witty banter Gist has a knack for. I like for my characters to be well described, & with this novel I can picture every character like they were standing before me.
I love the setting of this book- in fact I think it’s the only post civil war Washington book I’ve read! AND definitely the best novel with a lumberjack hero. Joe Denton is what dreams are made of. A manly lumberjack with a sweet side and heart of gold. Anna is spunky, sweet & a domestic goddess. Her character’s charms are unmatched by other heroines.
I’ve loaned this book out to countless friends over the years who count this book as their first introduction to Christian fiction.
I so wish Deeanne Gist still wrote for the Christian fiction market and with this style of writing. In my opinion it is her best work.
I enjoyed learning about lumberjacks. I liked aspects of MC, Joe and Anna.
This story lacked logic? (1) Mercer had a scheme where he charmed woman out East & Seattle bachelors to fork over money to be paired for marriage. Anna at 1st surmised she'd be a governess or teacher in her new city, then Mercer made a deal she'd be a cook, not a bride, for Joe. Joe was lead by Mercer to believe Joe would wed Anna soon upon her Seattle arrival. (2) Anna met widowed Mrs. Wrenne on the boat bound for Seattle. They befriended ea. other. Once they reached Seattle, they barely saw each other again. Huh? (3) Anna could be contrary. She blamed her behavior for the deaths of her father & brother (both joined the Union Army & died in the war) & her mom who died of a broken heart. Huh? Anna did not remotely cause these 3 deaths. Where was Anna's common sense? (4) Anna slept in Joe's home while Joe slept in the barn. Joe's lumberjack men had quarters 1 mile away. Anna needed an older woman as chaperon to maintain propriety. Anna served 3 meals daily for 15 men, total. She would have been the talk of the town (even though it was labor intensive to travel to/ from town) !
The first chapter was a bit scattered and then it really picked up. Although I could foresees the outcome of this book you never know what twists an author may take. I loved Joe's masculinity and ability to work hard. The effects Anna has on him make all of his characteristics show even more. Anna is quite the little spunky girl and cook even I was hungry for one of her meals. Read this in 1 day if that'll give you and idea as to how much I loved it. I just love Deeanne Gist I think she does a historical/romance novel justice by not dwindling in the sensuality but the true love at hand that surpasses the physicality and keeps it wholesome and god-fearing. In short a beautifully written story that brought the past to life, as well as the fictional characters.
Disclaimer: This book contains more references to "muscles" and "undergarments" than any other clean romance book I have ever read. While that may be a good thing for some...it was not for me and ultimately earned it a three star rating - instead of a four or five star rating :)
Pros: The book has a great plot and strong, believable characters (the hero and heroine are amazing people). One of the best things about this book is the small witty dialog (when the author is not taking about muscles) and details that make the story charming. The setting was breathtaking (if you like trees) and I found the details of the setting balanced the dialog in the book, neither one was too heavy.
Cons: I am praying the author has other obsessions in her next books, besides muscles and female 1800's undergarments. The story was littered with details about physical traits...I was like, "He is buff, I get it, thanks...please move on!" There was an "intense danger" part in the beginning of the book that might scare some, but I understand the author put it in to 1.) show what men have been like around the heroine 2.) to show that the heroine is no wilting flower.
(I am a conservative Christian - clean romance reader) - Also, this book borders with 'some details' which almost not label it a clean romance (I decided to read a certain portion to my husband, and found myself embarrassed and then blushing - while giggling, not a good sign in the "clean- romance" category). P.S. He said it was okay to read ;)
All in all, watch out for this author liking to make romantic chemistry with everything I have mentioned above. Reading this book was not a waste of time. I do want to read more from this author if her romantic writing improves. I will NOT recommend this to my other conservative Christian friends without several warnings :)
DNF after about 70%, which in itself was too irritating and too much
I don't know how to say this except to be perfectly blunt and honest:
1. The heroine's retarded
2. She has no legitimate reason for being so retarded
3. The author has no legitimate reason for making her so retarded, so
CONCLUSION: None of her bullshit "no I won't marry, wah wahh" ways make any sense.
Basically, she sucks. Like...she keeps saying that she doesn't want to marry, but has no legitimate reason why, especially when the hero is
2. WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAYYYYYYYYYY kinder than she deserves
3. Strong and capable
4. Trustworthy and reliable
5. Takes care of his own and is obviously nuts about her.
Um...why say no?
Author's answer: No reason, just to keep the story going for no good reason because there's no actual conflict apart from the convoluted and FORCED bullshit from the heroine.
I can't remember the last time I've hated a heroine so much, seriously. Like...think of the most pathetic, unjustified, bullshit whiny female who's constantly running away, has a bunch of complexes that doesn't make sense, and who's only good points are that she's (of course) good-looking and can cook.
That's not enough to drag me through the story.
So, sorry not sorry, I'm out of here--officially on the wagon train of "pissed off and leaving".
Worst book I've read so far this year, and definitely the first one to piss me off.
I can't, I just can't, and therefore I'm gone.
(2 stars in itself is generous of me, by the way, and I'm literally just giving those stars to the hero, who's swoon- and drool-worthy.)
I really enjoyed this story by Deeanne Gist. Its the story of a woman running from an emotionally abusive family. Anna thinks she is going to be a cook for a logging camp in Seattle but in reality, the man who agreed to pay her passage to Seattle from Massachusetts, has signed her up as a mail order bride. Once she gets to Seattle, having traveled for nearly a year (by ship around South America), the last thing she expects is to be someone's wife. And in true stubborn woman fashion, she refuses to become her intended's wife.
Joe sends away for a bride after his wife dies before she can join him in Seattle at his logging camp. In order to keep the land grant he was awarded when he first arrived, he has to have a wife. Seeking a wife in name only, he is both shocked at Anna's charm and beauty and dismayed to find out she refuses his suit, thereby (potentially) causing him to lose everything he has worked for for over 10 years.
This was such a nice story. The romance between the two was believable and when Joe put his mind to wooing Anna, extremely romantic. This is a Christian story, so while there are no bedroom scenes, there are, almost surprisingly, a few very heated kissing scenes which only lends to the romance, in my opinion.
I would have given this a 5 star review except for the "major misunderstanding" that leads to the zenith of the story. Its an overused one and I don't find it realistic in any way for two people to act that truly love each other.
It's been a few years since I've read a Christian romance (or any Christian fiction really), so on a whim I picked up A Bride in the Bargain at the library.
I would use the label "Christian" lightly. It seems to be more of a gateway book for those who enjoy secular "bodice-ripping" romance novels but are maybe looking for something a little toned down. Very little mention of God (and what is mentioned seems rather tossed in), and very little to no spiritual elements. God seems to be someone to whom the characters throw a quick prayer to only when they need something. On the other hand, the sexual tension is high in this story, something a Christian reader may not be looking for. Now, I understand the characters are human and therefor subject to normal desires and lusts same as anyone, but the couple only seem to hold themselves back out of concern of what others will think rather than a moralistic or religious code of honor.
While I enjoyed the setting and thought the characters were pleasant enough, the storyline was a bit predictable except for a plot twist in the end which confused me as to its purpose.
If you're looking for a fluffy Christian romance that's not preachy, then this one's for you.
Before I start reading a new book by Deeanne Gist, I make sure my schedule is clear - no deadlines looming, no appointments to get to - because I know once I start, I'm not going to want to stop.
In A Bride in the Bargain we meet Joe and Anna, two people who fall hard for each other, even though they're not looking for love. Despite their feelings, they're a stubborn pair, and the road to a happy ending is fraught with missteps, some comical, some nearly tragic. But the journey is a great one.
One of the complaints I hear most often about Christian romances is that they are no real emotion, no sparks. That everything is so squeaky clean and chaste that it's not real. Well, if you're looking for a wonderful book with a heap load of sexual tension, here you go. Gist does a skillful job at this in all her books. She shows us the honest emotions of her characters, including their passion and desire for each other, but never crosses the line into gratuitous sexual conduct. I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a gripping historical romance.
I did not finish this book. It was way to slow to get to the heart of the story. Already 10 chapters in and the bride had barely made it to the ranch.
This story is about a man who moved out northwest to make his fortune in lumber. He acquired his land through a government grant which requires him to be married. Wife dies before she can make it out there, so he takes part in a venture to bring women out to marry the lumberjacks. Through a series of misunderstandings, the chick that is brought to him does not want to marry him. I'm sure at the end they end up together. duh!
What I really disliked about this book is that the characters were so unbelievable. The two main characters Joe and Anna were so not from the late 1800's which is when this was supposed to have taken place. Anna is way to out spoken and "feminist". Joe is too docile for a lumberjack.
It may have taken me longer to finish this book but that has nothing to do with my enjoyment. I loved this. This was my first Deeanne Gist book and it won't be my last! JOE! I loved him! He was so sweet and honest and manly! Who knew a big lumberjack could be so swoony! Anna was wonderful as well. I loved her stubborn nature and fierceness but also her kindness and compassion. I hated the guilt she carried for so long, I wish she could've been reasoned with sooner. Ronny was a very small side character but I absolutely adored him. I loved hearing about the jack business for back then, it was very interesting. I loved the thought process of Joe as a man too. Shaving or washing in front of Anna was like the big move for him, I thought that was funny! Towards the end there was one part that just destroyed my heart and then a couple chapters later brought it back together and made it burst with giddiness! *sigh* Overall I was very pleased, and I imagine I'll visit this again!
I really enjoyed this novel! First of all, I loved the setting, particularly Joe's land. It was such a beautiful picture! This story was also based on a real event, which I found fascinating. I fell in love with Joe. Not only was he huge and good-looking, but his kindness and thoughtfulness were what made him even more swoon-worthy. Although I came to like Anna in the end, I thought she was a bit too stubborn in her opinions at times. Now, don't get me wrong. I love a strong heroine, but I guess I just found her a tad annoying at times. However, the romance between them was so good! Their chemistry was amazing and I enjoyed all of their interactions. I also loved getting to know all the lumberjacks and I definitely have a soft spot for Ronny! Overall, a delightful read!
This was a fun historical Christian romance novel with some quite amusing scenes as well as some somewhat predictable plot twists, but I really liked it a lot, and it was one of those books that sucked me in and that I found hard to put down, which is why I went to bed after midnight when I'd finished the book. Anyhow, it is a well-written book for its genre, and it has earned a place on my favorites' list.
Anna Ivey journeys west to Washington from Massachusetts with a boatload of mail order brides, but her contract stipulates that she will not marry but rather be a cook for Joe Denton's lumber camp. But Joe has signed up for a bride because he has to be married to keep the second 320 acres of his 640 acre lumber camp. Will sparks fly or will Joe loe lose half his property?
Gist has penned another wonderful book that is filled with humor, great characters, and a delightful plot that sets you right in the midst of an 1860's lumber camp.