Review (Christian Fiction): Deeply Devoted (Blue Willow Brides, Book 1) by Maggie Brendan

Deeply Devoted (Blue Willow Brides, Book 1)
by Maggie Brendan
Copyright 2011
Revell Books
336 pages
ISBN: 978-0-8007-3462-6
Historical Romance

From the publisher:
She is staking her future on a man she's never met. Can she learn to love him?

When Catharine Olsen leaves Holland for Wyoming as a mail-order bride, she brings some extra baggage with her: two sisters, her mother's set of Blue Willow china, and a tragic past. As she steps off the train, Peter Andersen is glad to see that she is everything her letters showed her to be. But he is a bit perturbed by her unexpected companions. How will he support them all? And what other secrets might Catharine be keeping from him?

Filled with sweet romance and vivid characters, Deeply Devoted highlights a clash of cultures as a highborn European and a simple wheat farmer learn to love one another and trust God with the past--and the future.

My Review:
~5 stars~
This spring I read a beautiful mail-order bride story by Catherine Richmond (Spring for Susannah) and I was blown away and figured it would be a long time before I read another on par with it. This fall Maggie Brendan has once again proven that mail-order bride stories can be fresh and exciting. It just goes to show that even if you think there can't possibly be anything that hasn't been written before in a romance the right person with the right kind of talent may come along and blow that thought out of the water. Ms. Brendan is definitely one of those talents.

Catharine Olsen leaves the tragedy of her past behind her as she sails to America to meet her husband Peter Andersen little does he know that Catharine brings more baggage than just her mother's Blue Willow china. Both want their relationship to work but Peter's nosey mother, Clara will go to any length to prove that Catharine has ulterior motives when it comes to marriage. Secrets kept and a drought and pestilence threat could prove to be the straw that breaks their tenuous romance in two.

From the first page I was captivated. I loved seeing a real romance develop between two people who first fell in love through letters. It seems in most mail-order bride tales the love story unfolds gradually and by the end they're married (predictable) but not so with this book. Ms. Brendan does not shy away from issues like love and intimacy. Everything is tastefully done and not offensive in any way and the story just gets better and better.

The secondary characters are equally as impressive as the main characters. Catharine's little sisters, the nearly grown Greta and the precocious Anna definitely cause their fair share of problems but they support their eldest sibling as any sister would. I'm really looking forward to reading more of Anna and Greta in this series. It will be especially interesting to see what happens between Greta and her beau (who I don't like very much). Don't even get me started on Clara Andersen, oy vey that woman most definitely fits the meddling mother-in-law mold, however she does gain your sympathy by the conclusion of the book.

As far as romance goes Deeply Devoted is one of my favorites this year. If I hadn't already promised this book to someone else it would be going on my keeper shelf. Maggie Brendan has definitely outdone herself with this book, it is by far my favorite of hers to date. If you only read a few romances this year make sure Deeply Devoted is one of them.

To learn more about the author visit

*Thanks to the author and publisher for my review copy*



  1. Wow, Renee! I thought this would be just another sweet prairie romance (not that those aren't good, too!), but this sounds unique and really good! Thank you for the review. :)


  2. Thank you Amber for stopping by and reading my review! I hope you like this story!


  3. With this glowing review, I look forward to reading this book. I also enjoyed Spring for Susannah and love books with a mail-order bride theme. Can't wait!!


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