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The Substitute Bride

3.87  ·  Rating details ·  235 ratings  ·  34 reviews

Fleeing an arranged marriage, debutante Elizabeth Manning exchanges places with a mail-order bride bound for New Harmony, Iowa. Life on the frontier can't be worse than forced wedlock to pay her father's gambling debts. But Ted Logan's rustic lifestyle and rambunctious children prove to be more of a challenge than Elizabeth expects. She doesn't know how to be a mother or a
Paperback, 288 pages
Published February 9th 2010 by Love Inspired Historicals (first published January 1st 2010)
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Average rating 3.87  · 
Rating details
 ·  235 ratings  ·  34 reviews

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The Substitute Bride was an easy, fun read. The story seemed to flow naturally, which kept me interested in reading it. Elizabeth had a lot of spunk and I enjoyed the banter between her and Ted. Even though my favorite character was Ted, at times he seemed almost too good to be true. Although there were some things that didn't seem quite realistic, I still really enjoyed the book and liked that faith and scripture were included in the story. I recommend this book to fans of both historical ficti
Donna Hatch
Feb 14, 2011 rated it liked it
Cute premise and plot about a marriage of convenience (my favorite plot devise) and overall extrememly well-written. However, the author really over did the similes and metaphors—no need to have one on every page! Also, it was also a bit too preachy for me, even for an inspirational, and I didn’t believe the bad guy having such a drastic change of heart at the end. Still, the romance was tender and unfolded beautifully.
Sep 24, 2009 rated it it was amazing
I love this story! I think it's one of my favorites that has come out this far! Elizabeth cracked me up! I love the banter between her and Ted. I love the fact that despite living a privileged lifestyle she tackeled the task of caring for two children and learning to cook and take care of a home without making excuses. Times got tough, but relying on God to forgive them, as well as forgiving others in their lives, helped them get through it and learn new things about themselves.
Mar 20, 2010 rated it it was amazing
This book was delightful and I loved how Janet wove conflict into the budding relationship between Elizabeth and Ted. Poor Elizabeth had determination to be a great farm wife, but was so frustrated at her lack of abilities. And Ted...sigh...he was so encouraging and patient and I just fell in love with him. He was a strong, steady, manly type and just right for Elizabeth and her independent spirit. I'll definitely be reading more of Janet's books!
Amazing how quickly she learned to take care of a home. It shocked me right out of the story when she was doing laundry, including boiling the diapers, without any instructions. She took to everything too easily, only a bit of trouble with cooking.
Mar 10, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: kindle, personal-copy
Review on Amazon:
Review on my blog:

The Substitute Bride was a good Love Inspired Historical read. I really loved the first half of the book, but the last half (in my opinion) wasn't as good...hence the four stars rating. I loved how Elizabeth took the place of a mail-order bride who had cold feet and Elizabeth met the potential husband instead. I thought that was really unique.

The characters were nice. I liked how
Mar 22, 2010 rated it really liked it
THE SUBSTITUTE BRIDE in the perfect mail order bride story. Elizabeth Manning never intended to be a mail order bride. Changing places with one cold feet bride, Elizabeth sets off to marry a man she has never even communicated with!
This was such a fun book to read. When Ted finds out this is not the bride he intended, there is bound to frustration, but I loved that he married her anyway. He needed a bride and she needed a home.
The love that grew between them was a joy to watch unfold. When Eliz
Rachel Brand
I've been reading a lot of mail-order bride stories lately just to see how they compare to my own, and this is definitely one of the best I've come across. It had just the right amount of humour and suspense intertwined with the romance. I found myself grinning several times while I read this during my commute, both at Elizabeth's hilarious cooking attempts and the slowly blossoming romance between Elizabeth and Ted. In all honesty, I think my only complaints would be that Elizabeth's father's c ...more
Myra Johnson
Feb 06, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Janet Dean has crafted another compelling historical romance, complete with a spunky, determined heroine and a strong but gentle hero who will capture your heart from the start. To pay off his gambling debts, Elizabeth Manning's father has arranged her marriage to a decidedly unsavory character. She escapes by switching places with a reluctant mail-order bride pledged to an Iowa farmer and finds herself married to Ted Logan, a widower with two motherless children. With the perils of gambling und ...more
Feb 19, 2010 rated it it was amazing
This is an extremely well-written story about a mail order bride and her experiences with her new, ready made family. Elizabeth Logan is a delightful lady; she is bold and daring enough not to be taken advantage of, but also needy in her own way. She has the type of personality that draws people to her. That alone would make this an interesting book, but on a deeper level the author deals with the effects dishonesty and fear can have on a relationship, the amount of trust it takes to believe som ...more
Aug 26, 2010 rated it really liked it
To be honest, and I hope I don't offend anyone, but these types of books are often cheesy. I read them once in awhile because I need something that doesn't make me think. This one; however, was really good!

Elizabeth is a classic debutante. She's always had everything done for her and when her father promises her to someone she finds completely appalling, she takes off. She winds up taking the place of a mail order bride she meets at the train station. When she arrives, she marries Ted Logan, a f
Xondra Day
May 18, 2013 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oct 05, 2009 rated it it was amazing
May 30, 2017 rated it liked it
Okay. Not my usual historical fiction; it was set in the Midwest in the 1800s in the USA! But I needed something to read on the exercise bike. Inspirational romantic story highlighting the addiction of gambling and the saving grace of the Lord.
Oct 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
An easy, fun read that I enjoyed and finished in a day.
Sep 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Loved this could not put it down. Great story.
Val Rider
Jun 01, 2020 rated it liked it
A good, cute, and quick read!
Mar 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Elizabeth escapes her home in order to avoid having to marry an old man who will forgive her father's gambling debts. It breaks her heart to leave her little brother behind, so she promises she will return for him and take him with her when she has figured out a way to support them. Elizabeth meets a girl at the train station not wanting to get on the train to meet her husband, as a mail-0rder bride. Ah - as an out, Elizabeth takes her ticket and becomes another lady. She meets her fiance and co ...more
Carol Rankin
Mar 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Substitute Bride

Fantastic adventure story with a lot of action, surprises, and love. It was a story full of love and surprises.
I don’t always really enjoy these short novellas, but The Substitute Bride was a lovely, refreshing story. I enjoyed the prairie/farmer life and the connections I found to Love Comes Softly by Janette Oke.

A widower with two small children and a black past. A desperate young woman fleeing an arranged marriage who switches places with a mail-ordered-bride. Gambling that ruins lives. Debts that threaten lives. A call from God. A beautiful love story written by God.

A cute, enjoyable story to b
Dec 23, 2010 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Linda C
Jul 03, 2012 rated it really liked it
Elizabeth flees an arranged marriage to pay off her father’s gambling debt. At the Chicago train station she meets a girl having second thoughts about being a mail-order bride. The prospective groom is a Christian farmer in Iowa. Elizabeth takes the girl’s place assuming she will get a job and repay the farmer for the cost of the ticket. Ted meets her and realizes that something is not right but proposes a marriage bargain. What I liked about this story is the fact that she tells him she is not ...more
Michelle Robinson
I could not like this book. I don't care for novels with big secrets, the deceit impedes my ability to believe in the couple's eventual HEA. However, the lie about her brother was understandable.

The thing that I could not really get comfortable with was how soon she was comfortable giving orders, at the home, when she had not added one thing of real value to the home and where, even a spoiled self indulgent young woman would be a little bit reticent about giving so many orders so soon, what if
Nov 01, 2012 rated it it was ok
I really can't believe I wasted a credit on paperback to claim this book. I trusted all the positive comments I read here on goodreads! This book was written by a grandmother, which should have been my first clue, I guess, that it might not be to my taste. The writing style wasn't the worst I have ever endured really; it was just ...odd. What is "chuffed"? The characters "chuff" from time to time. I guess I need to refer to a dictionary.

The only other complaint I have is that it was ama
Haley Whitehall
Mar 28, 2015 rated it liked it
This is the first book I've read by Janet Dean. I liked both Ted and Elizabeth, but the story aggravated me. Both of the main characters held back secrets, didn't trust each other, and Elizabeth put up walls unable to let Ted into her heart until the very end. Even for a Christian romance this story didn't have much romance. The best scene was when both of the MC's were making biscuits. I did see that Ted and Elizabeth made a good couple but would have liked to see them acting as a married coupl ...more
Mar 02, 2010 rated it really liked it
The Substitute Bride by Janet Dean is a sweet book about a marriage of convenience, the effect of secrets on a relationship, and the ability for personal change.

Elizabeth Manning, escaping an imminent arranged marriage, becomes the wife of Ted Logan. Both the characters and the setting are enjoyable and believable. What is intriguing about this book are the dichotomies: city girl/farmer; pampered daughter/farm wife; honesty/deceptiveness; strong faith/shaky trust in God, etc. What unifies the b
Aug 01, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: romance
Running from an arranged marriage, the girl takes the place of another who is supposed to be going out to Iowa as a mail order bride. Hoping to find a safe place to bring her young brother, she marries the man, even though she knows nothing about running a house or caring for children. Of course they fall in love, but things get in the way.
Nov 19, 2009 rated it really liked it
Loved this book. a great read and hard to put down.
Jan 30, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: book-club-books
This was a light hearted easy read - loved the characters and their dilemna's. Total fantasy but a nice book to read on the train!
Christy Stewart
This is everything you would guess from the back and nothing more. It would have been nice for there to be something, anything, more.
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Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 1 Dec 17, 2014 05:45PM  

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Janet Dean grew up in a family who cherished the past and had a strong creative streak. Her father recounted fascinating stories, like his father before him. The tales they told instilled in Janet a love of history and the desire to write.

She married her college sweetheart and taught first grade before leaving to rear two daughters, but Janet never lost interest in American history and the accoun

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