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A Bride Most Begrudging

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Any ship arriving from England means good news for Virginia colony farmers. The "tobacco brides" would be on board--eligible women seeking a better life in America, bartered for with barrels of tobacco from the fields.

Drew O'Connor isn't stirred by news of a ship full of brides. Still broken-hearted from the loss of his beloved, he only wants a maid to tend his house and care for his young sister.

What he ends up with is a wife—a feisty redhead who claims she is Lady Constance Morrow, daughter of an Earl, brought to America against her will. And she wants to go straight back to England as soon as she can. She hasn't the foggiest notion how to cook, dares to argue with her poor husband, and spends more time working on mathematical equations than housework. What kind of a wife is that? Drew's Christian forbearance is in for some testing.

Headstrong and intelligent, deeply moral but incredibly enticing, Constance turns what was supposed to be a marriage of convenience into something most inconvenient, indeed.

347 pages, Paperback

First published January 1, 2005

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About the author

Deeanne Gist

17 books1,855 followers
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.

Gist's credits including People Magazine, Parents, and Parenting. Her entertaining and informative presentations have been featured on the front page of the Wall Street Journal. Deeanne lives in South Carolina with her husband. When not writing, she enjoys boating and keeping up with her readers via www.IWantHerBook.com and her very active online community on her blog, Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and on her YouTube channel.

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5 stars
5,258 (36%)
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 973 reviews
Profile Image for Misty.
347 reviews5 followers
January 19, 2010
Where to start?

I was so annoyed by this book. It's touted as a historical Christian Romance. I heard many times how "clean" it was. Eh? Sure the nitty gritty details were skipped but the theme of the entire first half of the book was sex. They both wanted it and it was all leading up to their "wedding night" which happened 6 months after they were married. They finally get around to it and then everyone gets all angsty again because they end up abstaining for another 5 or 6 months while they make assumptions about each others feelings and avoid each other and don't communicate.

Drew is a total jerk. But then he transitions to this nice guy on occasion. But not in a natural way. Total personality disorder going on. lol. Josh isn't much better. They don't seem to know how to examine and express their feelings in a healthy way.

The LANGUAGE. Holy cow. I don't mean bad words. It was just annoying. The author was going back and forth between using current American English full of contractions and common phrases of today with the language of early American colonists. I would just get used to talking like an early colonist in my head when she'd switch back to "normal" writing. I suppose I could excuse it a little if the narration was one way and the communication between characters another way but she just randomly switched it up. I got so annoyed that I googled the history of contractions and found out that only the "not" contraction was speculated to be used then and very rarely at that. It wasn't present in written word of the time until about 30 years after the book was set.

She didn't use the King James Version of the Bible for her biblical quotes. She apologizes for that in the authors notes but that doesn't change the fact that it messes up the authenticity of the book. Who cares if the author likes the modern language version better. It's wrong for the times and doesn't fit with her book.

The math. I skipped all that. It didn't have anything to do with the story and it didn't make Constance appear intelligent to me. I get that it's her passion and that's fine but making it an integral part of the book and the interaction between Drew and Constance was annoying to me.

ok...good things. I was interested in the whole tobacco bride thing and would have liked more information on that. I also liked learning about life for the early colonists. In the end I was invested enough to finish the book, even through my annoyances and eye rolls so it earns a star for that.

I won't read any more of her books though.
Profile Image for Kathleen.
281 reviews33 followers
January 25, 2013
This book intrigued me because it sounds a lot like To Have and to Hold: A Tale of Providence and Perseverance in Colonial Jamestown. The basic plot does has a lot of similarities, but they are still very different.

I tried to like this book, but it was hard to take it seriously. 2 1/2 stars.

Here are some of my thoughts while reading:

Lady Constance calls herself "Lady Morrow" at one point. Why can't Christian historical fiction authors do basic research on proper titles and forms of address!

"Lifting her hands above her head, she leaned her face toward the heavens and twirled in a circle." — In context, this struck me as very odd behavior.

Constance refers to Drew as "this O'Connor person" — That doesn't sound like 17th century language, does it? Also, Drew is an anachronistic name.

"Lady Hannah Eastlick" — another anachronistic name (for her class)

Everyone has a middle names, which is very anachronistic.

"What all were you taught?" Seriously, Drew?

Constance's older sisters were married at ages twelve and thirteen. I question the historically accuracy of that.

The sisters are named Leoma, Arietta, Kristina, Doreen, and Jocelyn. Hahahaha! Is it really that hard to choose historically accurate names?

"God ye good den" — what in the world does that mean?? [apparently it means "Good day" but it was never explained]

Drew considers building a schoolhouse for the children and letting his wife be the teacher. I'm pretty sure that never would have been allowed.

Oh my word, there is a character named Kendra! I can't believe this. LOL

Umm, the word "okay" did not exist back then.
Profile Image for Erin.
147 reviews4 followers
February 9, 2009
This is a great romance. The whole book makes your even your toes tickle, but it is completely clean! The romance is the best kind, it is in the conversation and in their actions.

I have read other Christian romances that laid the whole religion thing on way to thick, but this was just about the way they lived and what they thought--no preaching.

I didn't really like the first chapter--it was too fast and the second (or third?) was too slow (the marriage scene) but the rest was paced very nicely. I never was annoyed because they took too long to make up. They always talked about their problems without letting them fester for ages. But there was plenty of drama and conflict.
Profile Image for Paula Shreckhise.
1,164 reviews90 followers
January 29, 2021
Lady Constance Morrow finds herself kidnapped and transported to the Virginia Colony to be sold as a tobacco bride. A pampered but devout young lady, she is not prepared for the hardships she will encounter in a marriage of convenience in a brand new land. What is more, she is very intelligent and had planned on editing a Lady’s Diary of Mathematics.
This was a very informative story, describing the conditions of early colonists. They had to make everything they used or import it from England.
I have read a few books by this author but had not read her debut. This was a very interesting story with lots of elements that caught my interest. I will continue to look for her books.
Profile Image for Kellyn Roth.
Author 27 books908 followers
November 9, 2021
After much delaying, I got around to reading this novel. It was a pretty good book. I've read that there were historical inaccuracies, but I didn't notice them. Probably because my knowledge of that period isn't the best ever ... we're actually going to study it next year!

Anyway, I enjoyed the characters and plot. The writing style was nice. The content was a little ... over what I found comfortable. Just a bit, though. It wasn't dreadfully inappropriate. Just a lot of mentions of consummating marriages, etc. For the stage of my life I am currently in, I can't read about that, so the rating is pretty much based on that.

~Kellyn Roth
Profile Image for Hannah.
2,446 reviews1,337 followers
August 10, 2014
I'm just going for the middle here. I really enjoyed the story and the plot itself. The writing is good and the characters feel multi-faceted. And I really loved the friendship with Mary and the child Sally.
And I love the cover!
And the tongue-in-cheek humor of including the skunk!

Why it didn't get five stars:
First, the focus on the physical. That is of course a part of the natural state of things, but these two seem to have started lusting for each other and enjoying fantasizing about deep kisses, etc, from moment one. Fantasizing about such things is dangerous if out of control. And, may I repeat, physical attraction is NOT the number one reason for getting married. It's one of many reasons. I felt that all else took side issue to their sexual tension, and that bothered me.

Second, historical. Gist did her homework and read about the time period...but there are obvious gaps. There should have been much more study done. First, the privy: no man in America at that time would think twice about any such thing as "wasting good wood". England was facing a severe shortage of wood, and the forests of massive trees in America stunned them with the sheer vastness of the plenty. She would have been less likely to have had the privy in England! And not to provide one for the grandmother's needs would make him unfeeling indeed.

Second, the Indian attack. Not only did the Indian boy speak in a fashion of mingled short words and good King's English that didn't match in the least, within the same paragraph, but he spouts politically correct words about the claiming of the land and the logistics of the attack. The truth: The Powhatans had been friendly to the English and had been paid for the lands. John Smith and his men insisted on fair dealings. After Pocahontas's death, however, relations grew strained, both parties becoming discontent with each other. Opechancanough hated the English and had married into the Powhatan tribe from his own to the south. But the warriors didn't come up with overtures of peace. They attacked that morning, with their usual methods. They came out of the forests in scores, with their allies from other tribes (her version makes it sound like only the Powhatans attacked), in full war paint and feather. They attacked in groups of two or three and more, even taking on the stockades. But it was a regular attack. The unexpectedness of it was that the English thought the Indians were friendly...not that they had to sneak up on the white man and pretend friendliness to get a shot at the back of his head. They were better warriors than that.

Others have commented about Connie's obsession with math. That really didn't bother me as much; it seems more realistic for a character to be ambitious beyond her generation than for history to change its course in other parts. I liked the idea of her being a mathematician. It was hardly far-fetched, compared to the education of the male scholars of the day.
Profile Image for Trisha.
50 reviews8 followers
October 30, 2008
I read this book for Book Club and I thought it was ok, except for a few things. It just kept going and going, one crazy crisis after another. Plus sometimes the main characters seemed dense to me. I just felt like I was on a roller coaster of problems the whole time, instead of really concentrating on developing characters the author developed multiple plot lines so by the end I just felt tired.
Profile Image for Tandie.
1,481 reviews227 followers
January 22, 2020
2 stars. This started out strong. Marriage of convenience, and life on a tobacco plantation. Drew is kind of a turd, but he and Constance ease into life together and become friends over math equations. They both love solving story problems. That should’ve been a red flag. I got a little tired of the do they like me? No, they could never love one such as I. Vomit. Barf. Diarrhea.

Drew pulls a Florence Nightingale and nurses Connie back from death’s door. They say lovey dovey things and Drew makes sweet gifts for her. All’s well until Connie sews a dress that’s conservative by London standards, but whorish to the colonists. He angrily demands that she leave her fox fur coat on for the entirety of the town Christmas party. All the ladies ooh and ahh over her fancy coat and a few beg to try it on. The ladies were actually pretty kind about her fashion faux pas. Drew acts like a total jerk and decides she’ll never do as a farm wife, with all her hoity toity fashions and lack of farm skillz. He decides he’s going to send her back to England on the next ship, even though they’ve decided to have a real marriage and have consummated it. He’s just going to hump & dump her, after they’ve both said I love yous? Also, she was educated by her math loving uncle, and women should not be educated!

Drew starts being really mean to her and stops sharing the one bed in the house with his wife. Connie, in turn, is trying desperately to please her husband. She’s an earl’s daughter, got kidnapped & put on a tobacco bride/criminal transport ship, only to reach America and be sold to the highest bidder. Give her a break dude! She does the chores, and doesn’t complain about the hard work. She has a lot of failed attempts at learning to cook and candle making, and Drew says she’s useless!

Worse, the douchery gets worse. Drew promised his dying father he’d build this big, weird looking house on the plantation, has hired laborers, and had been working on it all summer. He won’t show his wife the inside. A shipment of furniture arrives on the boat he’s sending her away on; he tries to hide the the furniture by getting it into the new house before she sees it. Connie, bless her naive little heart, is still trying to make their marriage work. She tries to kiss and snuggle, to seduce him, and he gets angry with her. She asks Drew why he doesn’t want to share a bed anymore. “Isn’t it obvious? I don’t want to get you with child.” At her horrified look, he says “I don’t want you carrying my child.” Well maybe dastardly drew should’ve thought about that before he started romping his wife 3-4 months ago!

Connie was out crying and praying or something, and some pissed off natives come raiding, killing, and burning houses. Drew sees the smoke and runs home to find dead people, but no Connie. He panics and realizes he can’t live without her. Searching frantically, he finds her holding and rocking a beloved character. He’s so relieved, he professes his eternal love as they flee marauders.

I’m skeptical of a man who only remembers that he adores his lady love when he thinks he might lose her. Drew suddenly stops being an arsehole and they live happily ever after. No groveling. No apologies for his cruel words or crap behavior. The death rate was so high in the colonies that they didn’t bother naming their children until they made it to the age of 3. It’s a hard knock life Drew. Your fiancé may have died a few years ago, but get over it! Oh, and Connie the doormat Mary Sue? Get mad! Go break his stupid tobacco pipe in two and stomp on it.

Profile Image for Crystal.
1,365 reviews52 followers
November 20, 2007
I would say only read this book if you're really desparate for clean historical romantic fiction. it's pretty groan-inducingly bad--as in, paragraphs and even pages skipped bad. it's set in Virginia early colonial days. I enjoyed hearing a little bit about the daily life of that time, and Native American-settler relations. But there really wasn't enough of that, and too much of a really annoying element about how the heroine liked to do math and helped her uncle with a women's math journal. I think it's pretty hard to take an author serious after she admits in the author's note that she moved the women's math journal back in history about a hundred years for the purpose of her novel. if she's that free and easy with history, why believe any of the rest of it? the tobacco bride concept was interesting, but I'd have to read up on it more to get a real feel for it. and the main, romantic plot? embarrassing how it tried to be as titilating as a normal romantic novel, but in a wholesome, "Christian" way. the dialogue felt very modern and anachronistic, out of place in its own setting, whether in prayer or dialogue with another character.
in short, I did not like the book. I read the whole thing, but only by skimming most of the second half and rolling my eyes a lot. if it hadn't been lent to me by a friend, I probably wouldn't have gotten that far.
Profile Image for Carissa (Regency Woman).
261 reviews50 followers
July 22, 2013
When precocious Lady Constance Morrow is kidnapped aboard a ship headed for the Americas, loaded to the gills with female and male prisoners as indentured servants, she is certain that upon arrival she will find someone to believe her story. Such is not the immediate case, and she is purchased as a bride by a most reprehensible man who then has the bad fortune to lose her in a game of cards. Constance finds herself then under the ownership of sturdy Master Drew O'Connor who wants no wife. Obviously, God had other plans. Together the two attempt to forge out a new life, particularly since despite both of their wishes, they are bound together in holy matrimony per the laws of the colony.

Deeanne Gist writes what you might call sensual Christian romance. She's not afraid to pronounce sexual attraction between a husband and wife, and though she soundly closes the bedroom door against the reader, she has a fun time with the foreplay. Which, I admit, is refreshing, especially for readers like myself who are bored with books where the beau and his lady are perfectly unmoved by sexual attraction and the accompanying emotions. Deeanne has no such problems, and I commend her for her forthrightness. Some will find her too descriptive, but I found it to be just enough without crossing into impure territory.

Now, as for the story, I admit that it is a little weak. For instance, my suspicious mind doubts that Constance would have made the voyage to America still a maid. Yet, she does. Also, a part of me wishes, however fleetingly, that the book had a counterpart to it, written from the perspective of Drew's brother. Josh has more flaws than his brother, therefore making him more interesting. I like Josh, moral scabs and all, and I wish Deeanne has written a sequel, which it appears she hasn't. Maybe someday she'll indulge Josh and give his story an end.

Speaking of endings, there were aspects of the ending I didn't like. When I pick up a fluffy romance, I don't expect the type of tragedy that climaxes A Bride Most Begrudging. It was a shock, and I really wished she hadn't gone where she did at the end. Still, there were enough unique aspects to Deeanne's writing that kept me fully engrossed from start to finish. I love that Constance is interested in mathematics, and I love all of the little historic bits that Deeanne added to her story, like explaining the mistletoe at Christmas. Her work is charming and I'd say she does for Revolutionary fiction what Karen Witemeyer does for the prairie romance, infuses a bit of life.
Profile Image for Hannah Linder.
Author 4 books439 followers
June 15, 2016
I really enjoyed this book! Set in a period of time I seldom read, this book was both exciting and romantic, although the main action was towards the end. I, myself, truly love books about forced marriage (or marriage of convenience) that end with both spouses falling in love with each other. Very romantic. A definite should-read to anyone who loves Christian fiction romance!
Profile Image for Sandy .
375 reviews10 followers
February 23, 2022
I have had the misfortune in recent weeks of having chosen several novels in which the main characters get married for the wrong reasons and spend 98 percent of the book denying their mutual attraction and hence dancing a fruitless mating ritual. Perhaps there is a polite term for this type of pseudo-romance but I can’t think of one.

Add to this frustration the pseudo-17th-century English language. This book is padded with phrases such as “I like not …” and “I wish not … “ and “ I must needs …” interspersed with 21st-century grammatical constructions and words such as “cost-effective”! This hardly serves to convince me that the historical elements of this “historical fiction” are accurate. Again (as happens frequently with this genre) I find myself wondering about the ratio of history to fiction and turning to non-fiction sources for a more accurate description of the time period.

Profile Image for (Katie) Paperbacks.
520 reviews139 followers
January 27, 2023

This was a reread for me, but it has been years since I've read Deeanne Gist. I forgot how heavy her romances can get for being a Christian author. At least in this book, I feel like her others aren't this heavy from what I remember.

I really loved romance stories growing up, and that's all I cared about was the romance 😄. But lately I've been wanting more to a love story than just the romance. I think I enjoyed other Deeanne Gist books more than this one, but it was nice to reread and see what I thought.

*topics do get a bit heavy talking about the Native American wars and also deaths of a loved one.
Profile Image for Acidic Siren.
193 reviews
January 7, 2016
Okay. It wasn't entire without enjoyment, but it was far, far....far, from being a favorite for me.

1. I could hardly tolerate Gist jumping from dialect to dialect. (Halfbutted attempts, at that.) She was all over the place, and it drove me batty.

2. I know she tries to explain away her usage of the New King James Version bible, but, for me the excuse just wasn't good enough. You're writing historical fiction. It would have made no difference to the core of the story, however, it would have added a touch more accuracy. I will let a lot of things slide with historical fiction, especially if it ties to the plot, but this aggravated me.

3. The other two items aside, I couldn't stand Drew. I thought he was a real jacka** - I'm not sure if I can say type that word here. In real life, I used a much more colorful word to describe Drew to my own husband. Also, Drew seems to start a lot of sentences with "Um" which, yeah, that wasn't happening.

The book ended well enough, I suppose and I did manage to finish it, but I wrestled with whether to rate it one or two stars.
Perception is key, and when I write a review, keep in mind that it's what I felt/thought while reading the book. In this case, there were such easily fixed historical inaccuracies. I mean, one or two, for the sake of a plot line...Sure! But when you want me to pretend early colonists were spouting the New King James bible at one another? I, like, can't even. <---I don't really talk like that, either.

The true mark of how much I enjoyed a book, is whether or not I rush to GR to check out the author's other offerings. ----- That definitely did not happen here.
Profile Image for Alyssa.
88 reviews1 follower
January 23, 2019
I loved A Bride Most Begrudging much more than I was expecting. The story captured me and I couldn't stop reading.

The premise and time period was good as it made me consider how life would have been back then. I don't know much about American history so even though this book didn't tell a lot, I still learnt some things.

The characters were irritating sometimes but I grew with them and soon realised how true they were. I liked how Constance held onto her education and was persistently herself, she was a true feminist. Drew was a very loyal man but some of his values seemed a bit skewed.

It was great how verses from the bible were referenced and how the characters deliberated with their faith. I thought it carried a wonderful message of second chances and giving your life to God despite the troubles life brings.

It bothered me how the women and natives were treated in this book and I wasn't a fan of some of the character's perspective and actions. However, I realised this makes the novel true to the time period and makes me thankful for the environment we live in now.

The development of the romance was lovely. It was gradual, predictable but also beautiful. Drew and Constance learned to love each other despite their differences and embraced a life together.

I don't think this book was actually the best but I couldn't help but love it. Even though the writing and details may not be the most accurate, I was swept away this story. A Bride Most Begrudging was not a perfect book but I loved it so much.
Profile Image for TJ.
2,785 reviews168 followers
April 12, 2010
I just love reading a book that will educate as well as entertain. This one does a little educating (I had no idea about the ways and means that women were bought and sold as "Tobacco Brides" during the colonization!) and a lot of entertaining. It was a book that was hard to put down. It fell apart a little at the end when Drew's months long atrocious behavior toward Constance just poofed and went away without any affirmation on his part (REALLY frustrating) and the Christian message, which was handled beautifully throughout most of the book, suddenly became a pounding hammer. Still, the 4 stars stand on the basis of pure enjoyment until that point.
Profile Image for Maria.
221 reviews
July 18, 2021
This was my first time reading a novel by Deeanne Gist and I later found out it was also her debut novel.
The reason I picked this up was because I love marriage of convenience stories, and I did enjoy that aspect of it in this novel. However, there were also some parts that I didn't really enjoy. Due to the setting in the 1600s, there was a lot of sexism, and I just didn't like that attitude, even from Drew himself. Although he later becomes more accepting, for the most part, I didn't appreciate his attitude toward Constance. Because of that, I just didn't really like him, and a novel is no fun when you don't really like the love interest. I also felt that there were too many miscommunications between the two main characters, which made for some frustrating reading! Maybe I just wasn't in the right mood for this...
However, I did enjoy the setting and learning about the tobacco brides. Not a bad novel, but I probably wouldn't re-read it.
Profile Image for Haley.
1,121 reviews18 followers
April 2, 2009
Perhaps it was my mood, but I didn't enjoy this as much as I thought I would. My favorite plot line in a love story is when the man and woman are forced to marry and slowly learn to fall in love, so I thought this one would be right up my alley. I got very bored with the setting and background of the story though (tobacco farming etc.). I found the issues that arose in Constance and Drew's marriage to be tedious and silly. I could never really relate to Constance and didn't like her character very much.
Profile Image for Jeannette Garcia.
80 reviews11 followers
June 4, 2013
This book was okay for me. I wasn't so excited over the time period or the setting. I thought the story was good only at certain parts... it was engaging at times, but mostly didn't claim my full attention. I thought the initial tension between Constance and Drew was good and there were a few laughable moments. Some parts of the story felt rushed and not fully developed... for example, when did Josh realize he had feelings for Mary? It just didn't seem practical. Many people loved this book, but it was a story that didn't really stir me.
Profile Image for Lindsey (Books for Christian Girls).
1,644 reviews3,638 followers
May 25, 2019
This is a mini ‘Books For Christian Girls’ review. It is not a full content review and will not receive one. These mini-reviews are years old and just for clarity on the rating the book received on Goodreads.

“Definitely not my cup of tea with all the mentions of consummating marriages and such sexual content. Felt like I was invading the couple's privacy.”

*Main Content-
Many, many kisses; A large part of the plot is surrounding the topics of consummating marriages & being in bed together.
Profile Image for Courtney.
4,290 reviews
May 23, 2017
Amazing, wonderful, lovable, anything that you can say that is a positive adjective can be used to describe this novel. Deeanne Gist outdid herself and I officially have a new favorite book!

The story line made me happy, sad, angry, and tickled my funny bone to the core. I read this story in one day and I could not put it down. I am so sad that it was a library book and I will be purchasing this novel very soon for my own personal collection.
Profile Image for Melissa.
Author 20 books862 followers
December 29, 2017
Loved finding a real passionate romance in Christian fiction--I get tired of the really light ones that you wonder "if they didn't say 'I love you' to each other, I would have had no clue."

Definitely a romance lovers book.
Profile Image for Martha.
799 reviews45 followers
March 28, 2019
This has wonderful history and an engaging romance.

Lady Constance Morrow is visiting her uncle who is being deported to the American Colonies. When she lingers too long she is kidnapped by the Captain. She manages to make a friend of Mary, one of the women who is being transported to be bartered as a bride to the colonists.

Two months later they arrive at a Virginia port where the Captain presents Constance to the crowd as one of the brides. In spite of her protests Constance is sold to a crude, sleezy man named Emmet. Later that night a rugged colonist arrives to claim her, having won her purchase receipt in a card game.

Drew O’Conner doesn’t want a wife. He has lost too many family members and the woman he fell in love with died like so many others who never make it through the hardships of wilderness life or the long lonely winters. Besides, Drew doesn’t like redheads or girls with freckles. But he couldn’t allow the woman to be tied to Emmet.

Drew practically drags Constance through the forest to his homestead. He doesn’t want to believe Constance’s claims that she is a gentlewoman who was kidnapped. Still, he can’t explain her baring, her cultured speech, her ability to read and, to top it off, her complete lack of practical skills. Fortunately for Drew and Constance, Drew’s brother Josh purchased Mary who is skilled at cooking and household tasks that stymie Constance such as starting a fire, collecting eggs, and even cleaning.

Local community authorities show up forcing Drew and Constance to marry. Constance convinces Drew to a marriage of convenience which can be annulled later. That was the original plan but things begin to change as they spend time together, Constance grows close to Drew’s younger sister and Drew finds himself admiring Constance’s determination to learn and fit in. But really, Drew begins to think he is completely unworthy of this remarkable woman and he sets his heart on sending her home to England.

I found this story charming. Constance and Drew are wonderfully real characters. I was just frustrated by their failure to communicate their misconceptions of each other’s feelings. The history seemed well researched and I was very interested in the detail of colony life in 1643. My ladies book club enjoyed the story but thought it a bit longer than needed. We recommend this to readers who enjoy Christian, historical romance.
Profile Image for Rachel Crain.
190 reviews3 followers
April 3, 2021
I loved this book! I read it twice lol! Great Romance, action and characters. Recommend.
Profile Image for MJ Adams.
Author 7 books32 followers
March 30, 2015
This really was a lovely story. Normally, I take notes about what I'll say in my reviews as I read, but I was so engrossed I completely forgot to do that. In fact, I sacrificed some sleep and a little of my own writing time just so I could finish the story in a weekend.

First, let me comment on the history. 16th century Colonial America is not a time-period I'm strong in, but it seemed well researched and authentic. The dialogue was period-specific enough to sound genuine without being so stiff — as 16th century speaking probably would be — that I couldn't relate to the characters. I also love it when authors give a little of the history at the end of their book. I definitely learned some things while being entertained.

Despite this being Christian romance and a clean read, it definitely sizzled. The romance between the characters was heart-felt and genuine, and pretty darn sexy even though the author "shut the door" on the actual activity. I actually didn't even realize the door had been shut until a couple chapters later when I found myself realizing I hadn't been forced into the sometimes uncomfortable role of voyeur.

The only real mark I have against this story is the editing. There were numerous places, especially toward the middle of the story where dialogue from two different characters was included in the same paragraph. Several times, I had to stop and sort out who was saying what. Normally, editing issues bother me a great deal, but because the story was so good, it wasn't that big of deal.
Profile Image for Chana.
1,590 reviews145 followers
February 3, 2014
This is women's Christian fiction? Didn't realize that although I guess I got a clue when the author signs her author note "In Him, Deanne Gist".
I actually really, really liked this book. I found myself very involved in the lives of the characters, caring what happened and emotionally invested in their fictional lives. I also liked that the book is historical fiction and that her setting is based in reality, particularly the Indian massacres that took place in 1622 and 1644.
I didn't understand why Drew had to act like such an idiot sometimes. I was feeling Constance's pain during the times he rejected her. I don't think I would have had her equilibrium and understanding. But the author does a good job of describing the thought processes that went on in Drew's head, especially considering all the people he had lost in his life from Indian attacks and illnesses. I also like that the Indians were not drawn as bad people, that a balance was shown of the rights and wrongs committed on both the Indian and White settler's sides.
The things that might have made this "Christian" fiction seemed totally normal to me; like saying or quoting psalms, looking up things in the Bible in order to understand what a person should do, or honoring both marriage vows and the sanctity of the intimate relationship within marriage.
All in all I thought this was a very good book.
Profile Image for Kristin.
603 reviews88 followers
March 28, 2018
This was a book club selection...a book that I had heard about over and over again. In a few words it is clean historical romantic fiction. A gripper and a page turner it is not. Just a nice easy read.

The story is about Lady Constance Morrow who has gone to say farewell to her uncle who has been accused of a crime and is being sent to the colonies from England as an indentured servant as his punishment. Lady Constance is kidnapped, sent to the colonies, and sold to a tobacco farmer wanting to purchase an English bride. And the plot thickens...

I found the subject of the tobacco brides interesting...I had never heard of them. I found the day-to-day living elements interesting. But I found the characters for the most part highly annoying. I mean really...Drew goes 4 MONTHS without talking to her or sleeping with her?? Yeah right...I don't buy it. The math bored me to tears. Scratching out problems on the hearth with charcoal...snooze.

But it had it's heart-warming and heart-wrenching moments and it kept me reading. If you are interested in a nice Sunday afternoon read this is for you.

My rating: somewhere between GOOD and OK.
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