A Bride in the Bargain by Deanna Gist

 A Bride in the Bargain

I have enjoyed several of Deanna Gist's historical fiction/Christian romance books, so I was happy to see A Bride in the Bargain in the sale section of my Books a Million.

This book is based on the true events surrounding the contracts to purchase brides for men in Seattle that a Mr. Asa Mercer conducted in the 1900s.  Mr. Mercer apparently convinced men in the west to pay him a certain amount to go back east an obtain for them wives from the widows and orphans of the Civil War.  Unfortunately, most of the brides to be were not informed that this was the deal.  They thought they were headed west to obtain employment.  Mr. Mercer deviously tried to con the men and women out of as much money as could to pay for boat passage to Seattle and ended up only delivering twenty-five woman out of the promised hundreds.  This is the fictional story of one of those women.

Anna Ivey is orphaned after the Civil War claims the life of her father and brother and her mother dies of a broken heart.  She jumps at the chance to head west for employment but she never intends to marry.  Joe Denton has purchased a wife- against his better judgment- because he has to have a wife to keep his land.  Unfortunately, persuading his purchased wife to marry may be more difficult than he expected.  And on the way, both of them find out what is really important in their lives.

I loved this book as I have all of Deanna Gist's novels.  They are very historically accurate for the time, and I enjoy that.  The characters are very believable, and the relationship themes are sweet.  This one is definitely a thumbs up!