Books with the lure of adventure, a whirlwind of conflict, and a splash of romance grab my attention every time. If said narratives include a historical backdrop and interesting characters, chances are I won’t move from my seat until I reach the last page. Deeanne Gist’s debut novel, A Bride Most Begrudging, captivates me every time I read it.
Privileged and sure of her place, Lady Constance Morrow ends up in the wilds of the Virginia colony, offered, quite against her will, as a “tobacco bride” to any farmer willing to pay the right price. Drew O’Connor, one of the most successful of those farmers, has no need of a bride, but he does need a woman—to serve as a housekeeper and companion for his young sister.
Constance has no desire to act as serving maid to some backwoods farmer; Drew has no patience for dealing with a mouthy debutante, but that’s the hand they’re dealt. And that’s where the adventure, and the fun, begins.
I never grow tired of reading this book. I get such a kick out of watching these two strong-willed characters spar with each other at every turn. They challenge each other intellectually and emotionally, and their tumultuous relationship forces both of them to change and grow in ways they never anticipated.
Of course, the added bonus is watching them fall in love. (Insert dreamy sigh.) Their “flint against steel” relationship adds spark to every encounter, and Gist’s talent for fanning the flames of physical attraction without burning up the page creates a sense of anticipation and delight.
I own every one of Gist’s historical novels, and I’ve read nearly all of them more than once. They’re just that good. Go ahead, and give one a try. You can find them all here.
—Vickie Price Taylor