A Bride in the Bargain

Written by Deeanne Gist
Review by Rebecca Roberts

In 1865, the land of Seattle, Washington Territory, belongs to landowners with wives: a married man can acquire 640 acres of timberland, but bachelors don’t even get half that. Lumberjack Joe Denton’s land is threatened when he can’t prove he was married and that his wife died before making the trek West to join him. To ensure his rights, he reluctantly buys a Mercer bride—an eastern orphan brought out West by Asa Mercer.

At nineteen, destitute and alone, Anna Ivey doesn’t realize she’s signed on for marriage; she only wants passage out West and a job as a cook. When she reaches Seattle and learns the truth, she refuses to marry Joe, jeopardizing his land and business. Joe must convince Anna to marry him before it’s too late, and Anna must convince Joe only love will induce her to marriage.

With her usual spiritually fulfilling yet comical and sassy prose, Gist has once again written a delectable Christian romance. The setting, characters, and plot meld so well with historical detail that everything comes alive and one is swept away by the story. This is definitely one of Gist’s best, and I hope she continues enthralling her readers with well- balanced, engaging stories.