The Preacher's Bride by Jody Hedlund: A Review

I haven't read many books in the Christian market featuring Puritans. This story was wonderful! The writing was smooth and easy to get into. I loved the romantic dynamic between heroine and hero. I'm a sucker for "ugly duckling" heroines. Add to that a healthy dose of danger and intrigue, and you've got an engrossing read.

Besides the interesting plot and realistic, strong characters, Jody planted me in Puritan England effortlessly. She is genius when it comes to weaving history into the story. I learned all sorts of interesting things, like it was against the law to dance. Can you imagine? And to even preach about Jesus without a special license...

I flew through the story and finished with a happy sigh.

If you want to read more reviews, fellow blogger Jill Kemerer posted some wonderful quotes about The Preacher's Bride. You can find the author, Jody Hedlund, on facebook and at her blog.

The Preacher's Bride is based on a true story. Do you like fiction based on historical figures? What was the last book that left you with a happy sigh?


Tabitha Bird said…
I can't wait to read it!

Happy sigh? Yes. Love that.
Jody Hedlund said…
Hi Jessica!

Thank you for posting such a lovely review! One of the things I really had to work on was NOT dumping loads of history in specific spots. During my revision process I had to go through and weave the information in better. It's tough to do in historicals and I think there will always be a tad bit more description because of the nature of trying to convey a particular time period. But I think the goal for any of us is to try to get in the info without overwhelming the reader!

Thanks again for your shout-out today! :-)
Jessica Nelson said…
Jody, you did an EXCELLENT job with the historical info. It seemed to fit everywhere you put it. Pat yourself on the back, girl. :-)

Tabitha, thanks for stopping by! If you like historical romance, I think you'll like this. :-)
I would cry. No dancing. Ack. No, I can't imagine. But doesn't she have one of the characters dance on the inside? I loved that and believe I do that regularly.
~ Wendy
Diane said…
It was a great read. I found the history very interesting too! :O)
Jaime Wright said…
Wonderful review Jessica! It WAS an amazing book! I LOVED IT!
Erica Vetsch said…
I just finished this book and will be posting my review on my blog soon.

I enjoyed it very much!
Cindy R. Wilson said…
Oooh, good interview. I've heard such great things, thanks for sharing your opinion.
Jessica Nelson said…
Wendy, LOL, yes, I think she does dance on the inside.

Thanks for stopping by, Diane. I LOVE your profile pic. Beautiful!

Jaime, cool! It's always fun to hear others like the same stuff as me. It's kind of validation of my opinion. *grin!*

Erica, I'm looking forward to seeing your review. :)
Jessica Nelson said…
You're welcome, Cindy. :-) It's fun talking about stuff we like, right?
anita said…
Hey Jessie! Great post...

I thought I might find you out on the blogasphere today. :-)

As for the no dancing? I grew up in a staunch Baptist home, and my parents were very strict about no dancing. But by some lovely miracle (not to mention some schmoozing on my part) they let me go to Homecoming my 11th grade year and prom as a senior. So I can sympathize with that character to some degree ... but at least I finally got to wear my dancing shoes. Heh.

Have a great day!
Jessica Nelson said…
Awww, Anita, that's nice they let you go. Yeah, I don't get the whole no-dancing thing. Sure, some is not appropriate, but for the most part it's an expression of joy, you know?
Keli Gwyn said…
I enjoyed your review, Jessica. Like you, I felt that Jody transported me to another time and place with her judicious use of hisotical detail. One thing I found particularly impressive was her dialogue. She captured the feel of the time in the way the characters spoke and their diction.
Tana said…
Loved, loved, loved, Jody's novel!!! I don't read much historical but of what I have read, Jody's was on of the best. The last book with a happy sigh? Would actually be Jody's! Lately I've read a lot of novels with no HEA, so it was refreshing to have that golden moment at the end.
Sarah Forgrave said…
I'm about 1/3rd through Jody's book, and it's sitting next to me on the couch. Come to think of it, I should cut this comment short so I can get back to it. lol
Jessica Nelson said…
LOL Sarah! Hope you enjoy.

T. Anne!!! No HEAs??? I don't know how you do it. :-)

Hi Keli,
Yep, I totally agree about her dialogue. It was awesome.
Jill Kemerer said…
Jody's book totally left me sighing. I agree with your review--I felt right in the thick of 1600's England.

Also, I just finished The Forbidden Rose by Joanna Bourne--amazing!! She's one of my favorite authors.
Hi Jess -

I'm 3/4 of the way through The Preacher's Bride and love it! I can't wait to post a review.

Susan :)
Linda Glaz said…
Sounds good. Think this might be the new "Amish" fad?
Jessica Nelson said…
Linda, Amazing! That is EXACTLY what I was thinking!!

Susan, Looking forward to your review. :-)

Jill, I think I remember you mentioning that book. I'll have to keep a look out for it.
Dara said…
I'll have to add that to my list of books to read.

I think it was also illegal to celebrate Christmas too. A lot of things were illegal with the Puritans--they were super legalistic in many ways.
Linda Kage said…
YAY for Jody!! I've bought my copy but I've gotten so many books lately, I haven't gotten to it yet. Boo Hoo. After hearing all these great reviews, I'm thinking I may have to bump it up to next in line on my TBR list.
This book is on my birthday wishlist. I am looking forward to reading it. Great review.
Erika Robuck said…
I loved this book! It was my first Christian Historical Romance, and I fell in love. I also enjoyed your review!
Nancy said…
Yes, I do enjoy historical books about a real person or incident. I can't remember the last book that left me with a happy sigh, but it was probably a childen's book.
I don't read historical fiction, but doesn't mean I never will!

I just read "The Season of Second Chances" by Diane Meier that I really enjoyed - I love happy endings, even if they aren't tied up in a pink bow - this one had hope and joy at the end, so I was left with a good feeling!

There are others, but since that's the one I just finished, I remember it first!
Deb Shucka said…
Great review, Jessica. I can hardly wait to read Jody's book, and you've made me even more eager.
Oh, yes. I believe Jody is the next up and coming historical fiction author of our time. Really. She's that good.

I love stories based on true events. Preacher's Bride was the last book I read which gave me a happy sigh. I hated it to end!
Rachna Chhabria said…
Hi Jessica..thanks for this lovely review. Like I told Jody, I am waiting for the Indian Bookshelves to get the book, so I can read it.
Patti said…
I love historical fiction and have been looking for this book in bookstores. I guess I'll have to break down and order it on line.
Jennifer Shirk said…
I haven't read Jody's book yet. But I'm a BIG fan of ugly-duckling stores too. I think that's why I love Jane Eyre so much. :)

The last book I read that gave me a happy sigh was Kristan Higgins' book All I Ever Wanted. It was hilarious but also sweet and sigh worthy at the end.
I whole heartedly agree with your book review! Jody had me soaking in every word and devouring this story!
Karen Lange said…
Yes, this book was definitely a "happy sigh" book! Jody is a talented and amazing writer.
Jennie Allen said…
It looks so good! Thanks!

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