The Bride Ship
By Regina Scott
Frontier Bachelors #1
Love Inspired Historical, 2014
What was his brother's widow-his first love-doing on a ship full of prospective brides headed out West? Clay Howard had been tasked with escorting the Boston belle home, but he didn't anticipate Allegra being so strong-willed-or that he'd wind up traveling with her just to keep her from leaving without him!
Allegra Banks Howard isn't going to let Clay interfere with her plans for a new life with her daughter on the frontier. True, Allegra needs his wilderness savvy, but if Clay thinks he can rekindle what they once shared, he had better think again. Because risking her heart for a second chance at being his bride isn't something she'll undertake lightly . . .
I've always enjoyed Regina Scott's Regencies and wasn't sure about the direction of this new series, but it turns out that I had nothing to worry about! Regina's love for history shines through her writing as she sets this story against the backdrop of a fascinating event that I hadn't heard of - the Mercer expeditions to Seattle. Class distinction, prejudice, suspense, greed and deceit are all present. Rich with historical detail, appealing characters, and interesting plot, The Bride Ship quickly captured and held my interest.
The story begins in New York Harbor, 1866, as the widowed Allie and her four-year-old daughter, Gillian, along with many other ladies, set sail for Seattle. Realizing that a life of comfort and luxury came with the intolerable controlling restrictions of her mother-in-law, Allie joins the other Mercer's Belles bound for what they had been led to believe was a land of promise and opportunity. Clay, who Allie had loved at one time, lived with past decisions that he couldn't forget. Allie struggles with Clay's helpfulness because she sees him as " a specter of her past, a barrier to her future." I admired Allie's strength and determination, and the way Clay's initial attitude toward Allie changed as he came to understand her motives. Clay and Allie are very appealing characters, as are the secondary characters of Maddie and Catherine.
Galapagos - a day's excursion for Clay, Allie & Gillian
The characters are nicely fleshed out, and Regina does a great job at helping the reader visualize what this three-month voyage might have been like, along with stops at places like Rio de Janeiro, the Galapagos, and San Francisco. One of my favorite parts were the scenes where Clay met with the ladies on the hurricane deck and described the unwelcome realities they would face in Seattle. Yet this rugged, untamed land had a natural beauty, described in Clay's words . . . "Imagine a narrow plain crossed by streams, fertile, forested, the air scented with the resin of fir, fish leaping out of streams and into your nets. Behind it rises the highest mountains in the country, deer grazing their sides, the rocky tops brushing the sky, white even in the summer. And at its front stretch miles of blue-green waters where whales and porpoises play."
Clay and Allie had a committed faith and a close relationship to God, evidenced in the way they sought His direction and that prayer was as natural as breathing to them. The Bride Ship is a great beginning to the Frontier Bachelors series and I will definitely read other stories from Regina as they are published. 5-star rating, based on the Love Inspired line.
The Bride Ship can be purchased at CBD, DeeperShopping, Amazon, and B&N.
Regina Scott and her husband are the parents of two sons. They reside in southeast Washington State and are members of the Church of the Nazarene. Born and raised in the Seattle area, Regina Scott is a graduate of the University of Washington. She comes by her writing talent naturally--both her parents were excellent writers in their vocations as teacher and electrical technician. Her mother envisioned the plot for Sweeter Than Candy, the novella which was written as a tribute to her.
Regina Scott is a devout Christian and a decent fencer; owns a historical, fantasy, and science fiction costume collection that currently takes up over a third of her large closet; and has been known to impersonate an independent consultant specializing in risk communication.
Connect with Regina online at reginascott.com, Facebook, and Goodreads.
Thank you to Regina Scott for providing a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.