The Left-Behind Bride by Mahrie G. Reid

The Left-Behind Bride is #10 in the twelve book series “Canadian Historical Brides” published by BWL Publishing. Each of the Canadian Historical Brides novels features one of the ten Canadian provinces (this one is Nova Scotia) and two of the novels feature the three Canadian Territories. These novels combine fact and fiction to tell the stories of the immigrant brides and grooms who came to Canada from diverse backgrounds to join in marriage and build the foundation of the free and welcoming country that is Canada. Mahrie G. Reid is the author of The Caleb Cove Mystery Series, one of which I reviewed here.

Here’s the synopsis of The Left-Behind Bride which is taken from Ms. Reid’s website:

Maggie Conrad’s husband of ten days is sent overseas in WW1 and never comes home. A second suitor is lost at sea in Nova Scotia’s August Gale. Turning thirty, and on her own, she resolves to make a life for her herself and her younger brother, Ivan. Against her wishes, Ivan goes to work for the rum runners and operates a surf boat bringing shipments ashore. When war-veteran and Prohibition Preventative agent, John Murdock (JM), arrives undercover in the area he is referred to Maggie for room and board. With a rum runner and a man she suspects is a policeman living under her roof, Maggie must juggle law and justice, family loyalties and her growing attraction to John as she decides whether marriage might be in the cards for her after all.

Maggie gripped her head with both hands. I’m making myself crazy. If I opt to marry as a security move, I’d want a man with a sense of humour and common interests. And if he turned out to be bossy, she’d be worse off even though she may have gained security.
So what am I looking for? To be useful and needed? To have a purpose?
If I owned a specialty shop of my own, I’d be safer. But how needed?
Well, at least no one could fire me.
She paced to the window. I’m chasing my tail here and talking to myself. I need fresh air.

I would describe The Left-Behind Bride as a quick, cozy read. To Ms. Reid’s credit, it is lighter on romance and heavier on getting the time period and historical details right (there is even an included bibliography). Such details run the gamut from 1920’s era prices and wages to dress styles to prohibition and women’s rights (or the lack thereof). This is what made the read enjoyable for me; learning little things along the way about Nova Scotia in the Roaring Twenties. The characters were easy to get to know, and even Maggie’s prickly Aunt Maude comes around to seeing things differently once Maggie proves her independence.

While I have not read any of the other nine books in the series (books #11 and #12 are due to be released this year as well), if they are as well written and factual as The Left-Behind Bride, I highly recommend them for all readers. The series is available in paperback and in affordable eBook formats.

I wish to thank Mahrie G. Reid for supplying a PDF copy of the book in exchange for a fair and honest review.

The Left-Behind Bride by Mahrie G. Reid
BWL Publishing

James M. Fisher is the owner and editor-in-chief of The Miramichi Reader. He began TMR in 2015, realizing that there was a genuine need for more book reviews of Canadian literature. It has since become Canada’s best-regarded source for the finest in new literary releases. James has been interviewed about TMR on CBC Radio and other media sites. James works as a Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) Technologist and lives in Miramichi, New Brunswick with his wife Diane and their tabby cat Eddie.