Friday, July 24, 2009

Review: A Bride Most Begrudging

A Bride Most Begrudging coverTitle: A Bride Most Begrudging
Author: Deeanne Gist
Genre: Historical Fiction, Christian Fiction
Pub Date: July 2005, Bethany House
Trade Paperback, 347 pages


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 want to go straight back to England as soon as she possibly can. She hasn’t the foggiest notion how to cook, she 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.

My Thoughts

I've been having a good run of luck with Christian Fiction lately, which makes me glad that I didn't give up on the genre entirely as I had been thinking of doing. Gist's debut novel is entertaining and fast-paced, in short, I couldn't put it down.

Being a debut novel, it is certainly not without flaws, but they did not detract from the story too much. While generally a well-written book, there were times when the language felt forced--as if Gist realized she needed to make sure the characters were speaking correctly for the time, so she threw in some key phrases and words for good measure. Sometimes the dialogues felt a bit awkward but with time, I think that is a skill that Gist can perfect.

The story itself may not be original, but the likable characters and great pacing make for an enjoyable read. As with most (Christian) romances, we have a great deal of miscommunication and lack of communication between the story's focal couple, Drew and Constance, but for once I didn't find it to be so frustrating, and it actually kept me turning the pages. And while this may be a work of Christian fiction, it is thankfully not one that outright preaches to the reader, and that is certainly the way I prefer it. In fact, there is nothing in the storyline that involves a character on a mission to convert someone to Christianity, which is also refreshing. Though a Christian, myself, I have never been particularly fond of the preachy fiction that focuses on converting and saving people.

Overall I thought that A Bride Most Begrudging was a strong debut work for Gist, and I look forward to reading her other novels, as well.

My rating: 4 stars

Other reviews of A Bride Most Begrudging:

Library Queue ~ Peace, Love, Vote Books ~ A Reader's Journal
A Peek at My Bookshelf ~ Relz Reviews

If you have reviewed this book and would like to see a link to your site listed above, please leave a comment with the link to your review!


  1. I thought this was a fun read, and I'm glad you enjoyed it too. I have found that none of Gist's books are overly preachy and that is something I'm glad about. I think my favorite of hers is The Measure of a Lady. Thanks for the link. I'll add yours to my review. :)

  2. Her books are very popular at my library! Glad to see others liked it as well.

  3. I have this one on my TBR pile. I love the cover too.

  4. Not a genre I've read much of but I do like the sound of this one and I love the cover :-)

  5. Oh, I can totally relate to your dislike of "preachy" inspiration fiction. A few years ago, when I was reviewing books, the vast majority of what I did was that genre. And I have to be honest and say that it really turned me off to it. Nowadays, I'll hardly pick one up, even though I know there are some good authors in that field. And some who are bridging the gap between Christian fiction and the mainstream.

  6. I enjoyed this one too and had high hopes for this author, until I read her next two books. Although they weren't preachy, I felt she missed out on taking the story where it could have gone to make it better and more interesting. And I HATED Courting Trouble-I could gripe about that book all day, but maybe that's just me because lots of readers seemed to enjoy it. If you continue reading her books, I'm eager to know your thoughts on them.
    My favorite Christian author is Laura Jensen Walker-funny chick lit and not preachy!

  7. Great review. I have seen this book out there but have not stopped to really see what it was about. This look s good.


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