Love Finds You in Bethlehem, New Hampshire
by Lauralee Bliss
My absolute favorite read is a mail-order bride story, so when I discovered Love Finds You in Bethlehem, New Hampshire, I was eager to get a copy. I read the back cover blurb and was even more intrigued. The artist who placed the advertisement, Thomas Haskins, takes one look at Sara McGee and realizes he can’t marry the penniless, uneducated and unkempt woman who steps off the train in his posh resort town. Being a man of honor, he befriends Sara, who, under his chaperone sister's tutelage, learns how to be a lady. However, Tom’s caught the eye of a cultured and determined socialite who wants him as her husband and entices him with a promised trip to study art in Italy, an offer that sorely tempts him.
Lauralee Bliss has created two characters I liked, although at times I was none too pleased with Thomas’s choices. A kindhearted man who’s decided it would serve his career to marry--and ease his lonely heart--his initial prejudice and aloofness toward Sara troubled me. However, I loved watching the change the Lord worked in his heart. Sara is a sympathetic character. I felt for this young woman who’d lost everything and everyone, forcing her to live on the streets of New York City. She shows inner strength and a strong faith, which come to her aid as she deals with those who’ve misjudged her. Can two people from such different worlds ever find happiness?
Bliss turned the tables on the traditional mail-order bride story, and I like what she did. There’s plenty of emotion and tension between Thomas and Sara. I enjoyed getting a look at the affluent Gilded Age through the eyes of characters from such diverse backgrounds. Bliss brought the setting to life. And I liked the fact that Thomas is an artist, a profession I’ve rarely encountered in a romance but works so well in this one. If you’re looking for a sweet, traditional romance or a mail-order bride story with a twist, I’m sure you’ll enjoy Love Finds You in Bethlehem, New Hampshire.
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Question for You
Do you enjoy mail-order bride stories? Why or why not?
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