Tidewater Bride

Laura Frantz

Selah Hopewell is busy avoiding all the unimpressive men of James Towne who are seeking wives in the year of 1634. She does, however, spend her days helping other women find their husbands. A godly woman with high standards, there is really only one man who meets Selah’s expectations and he has been crossed off her list as “mercenary.”

Xander Renick is a tobacco lord who serves as liaison between the James Towne English government and the Powhatan Tribe. Friend more to the Powhatan’s than the English, his opinions are unwelcome in the city council. But he does have one friend and that friend has a beautiful daughter. When life puts both Selah and Xander in difficult spots, they begin to rely more and more upon each other for aide, with romance catching them both by surprise.

I counted 10 Laura Frantz books on my shelf, plus one more that was loaned out and not returned… needless to say, Laura Frantz is one of my all time favorite authors. She writes beautiful historical romance for the early American time period.

That being said, Tidewater Bride may have been my least favorite of all her books. Unusual for Frantz’s style, three quarters of this book is used setting up the story. Only in the last quarter of it did the story pick up pace and get spicy.

I thought there was a confusing jump in emotions as well. Before Xander goes on his trip to the Powhatan tribe, his feelings for Selah are logical. She’s pretty. His son is arriving home soon and will need a mother. She was his first wife’s best friend and cares for the boy. Her father is his best friend. All good reasons to wed her. Then he goes on this journey and he cannot wait to return to her. With language like “beloved” this and “beloved” that I literally looked a chapter backward wondering, if I missed their feelings of love unfolding or was it edited out? Compared to her other writing styles where the whole story builds on one heartfelt interaction after another, this story seemed a little disjointed. But, hear me well:

Laura Franz is a master. While this was not my favorite of her books, it still ranks very high compared to other early American historical fiction.