Bride in the Bargain
Author - Deeanne Gist
Publisher - Bethany House
Deeanne Gist is one of my newer favorite authors, so I was pleased when I had the opportunity to read her new book. Ms. Gist has the ability to tell a story in such an entertaining and wonderful way. I was drawn in immediately, and felt well acquainted with Miss Anna Ivey of Granby, Massachusetts in no time. The year is 1865, and the ravages of the the Civil War are fresh in Anna's mind and heart, having lost loved ones in the war. Anna is looking for a fresh start, so she signs on with Asa Mercer to become a cook in Washington state. Or so she thinks.
On the other side of the country in Seattle, Joe Denton has his own set of problems. He needs his late wife's death certificate to satisfy ownership requirements on his 640 acre claim. Trouble is, the court house in Maine where her death certificate was stored burned down, and the judge in Washington won't take Joe's word for it. Bottom line: Joe needs a death certificate or a wife. He has built a successful lumbering business, and naturally stands to lose a lot if he can't keep the claim. He reluctantly signs on for one of Mercer's brides - to the tune of $300.
After a rough journey, Anna makes it to Seattle and meets Joe, her 'boss'. Oops, wait, why is Joe taking her to a church? Turns out Anna's contract and Joe's contract each read a little differently. Anna refuses to marry and Joe finds himself at the mercy of the judge, with only weeks to go before he loses his land. Anna and Joe find themselves in unfamiliar territory, so to speak, and the results provide humor, soul searching, and adventure. Things worked out a little differently than I expected, but it was all good, all the way. Ms. Gist keeps the reader guessing, and this is a great thing! Bride in the Bargain was a wonderful story, no disappointments here. This is a great read for summer or anytime. Can't wait for Ms. Gist's next book. :)