Tidewater Bride

Written by Laura Frantz
Review by Janice Derr

Shopkeeper’s daughter Selah Hopewell helps pair unwed women from England with James Towne’s tobacco farmers. Though she spends a majority of her time matchmaking, she remains unwed. This is no implication about her eligibility, however. Selah’s beauty, intelligence, and potential dowry make her one of the colony’s most sought-after women, but she is unwilling to consider just any man. Content with her life helping young women find husbands and helping out at her father’s store, she is determined only to marry if she finds a man she truly loves. The man who catches her eye is the complicated and brooding Xander Renick. The owner of one of the largest tobacco settlements, he has taken on the role of peacemaker between the colonists and the neighboring Native American tribe. He is a widower, as his wife, the favorite daughter of the Powhatan chief, died when the couple and their young son journeyed to his native Scotland. When he is finally able to move on from his grief, Xander sends for his son and begins a fresh start for the two of them. He is surprised to find that his thoughts so frequently turn to Selah and how she is the only thing missing from his new life.

Selah and Xander’s love story is a gentle and inspirational romance, but not without conflict and drama. There are plenty of obstacles thrown in their way, including unwanted and persistent suitors, family tragedies, and heightened tension between the colonists and the tribe members. The book is packed with action, making it a fast read. The well-researched descriptions of the colonial era draw the reader in, and it is a treat to be introduced to such thoughtful, complex characters. This novel is a sure winner for any romance fan.