Unconditional Recommendation: Tyler Newly, a saved Minnesota lumberjack, unwillingly travels to the city to interview and bring home brides for other men. Jade Crandall is working to provide for her family while trusting God to lead in her life.
Genre: Historical Christian Romance
This book is the ideal example of this genre—truths from the Bible are accurately depicted and explained (including the gospel!), the characters are interesting and not stereotypical, the plot is engaging, there’s a dash of suspense, and a highly enjoyable happy ending. The ending of this book is exceedingly joyous so if you love weddings and “things working out in the end” then this is the book for you!
This book is the second book in the series and though the characters from the first book appear, the story really focuses on the next generation of young people. I recommend the first book in the series and you can read that review here: Sky’s Bridal Train.
Much as their fathers had before them, young men from Sand Creek, Minnesota, venture into the northern wilderness to begin a new town. And, as was the case with the previous generation, the men find that to thrive, a town needs families. Against his will and his better judgment, Tyler Newly is sent to Chicago to get brides. Once a wealthy Chicago socialite, Jadyne (Jade) Crandall has fallen on hard times. Trusting God’s leading, she begins working for an old family friend. When a young, ambitious lumberjack from Minnesota arrives, Jade is suspicious of his business with her employer. She begins investigating and is shocked when she discovers the real reason for his visit. That’s when Jade devises a plan to disguise herself and travel back to Minnesota with him to keep an eye on Tyler Newly. Will Tyler discover the truth about who Jade really is? Will there be enough brides to pair off with the men in the settlement? And who is after the important documents that are entrusted to Tyler’s keeping?
Margo Hansen does a great job with developing her characters and that’s good because in this book there are a lot of them! I didn’t keep track of who all the young men were in the settlement or even who all the brides were that traveled to meet them but I never lost track of the important ones.
Tyler Newly is a respectable godly young man but he thinks the grass is greener on the other side of the financial fence. He dreams of owning a big house, hiring servants, and acquiring the finer things in life. Though his parents try to advise him otherwise, Tyler is bent on being someone in life and only learns how foolhardy his ideas are when he travels to Chicago and experiences opulence and high society first-hand.
Jade Crandall is a godly young woman who has endured the hardship of losing her father and their finances with dignity and grace. She is happy to work for her family and doesn’t despise her new position in society. She does her job well even when the woman over her makes her life difficult. Jade never reciprocates the ill will and carries on with her duties. When it comes to meeting Tyler Newly, Jade gets involved in a series of disguises to hide her job and discover what kind of man he is.
After reading several of Margo Hansen’s books, I can say that I find her plots well done and never what I expect them to be. She puts in the right amount of twists and turns so that you are kept guessing and therefore enjoy finding out what happens next.
This book is a good experience. It’s nice to see a cast of characters speak accurately about the Bible, the gospel, and value what the Lord values; it’s nice to be around characters who are kind, helpful, willing to learn, and willing to allow the Lord to lead in their lives; it’s nice to have characters written realistically with mistakes and complicated relationships in the mix; it’s nice when the story ends with all being well.
The ending was so happy that I went back and read it again just to marinate in the celebrations, resolutions, and hope. Enjoy!
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