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Deeply Devoted (Blue Willow Brides Series #1)

Average Rating 4.5
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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 14, 2012

    Wonderful book

    I am always looking for a clean and true romance. This was a great book. I will read it again.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 1, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Deeply Devoted by Maggie Brendan

    Maggie Brendan explores the theme of communication and trust in marriage in her latest book, Deeply Devoted. Deeply Devoted is the first book in the new Blue Willow Brides series and focuses on the relationship between a wheat farmer and his mail-order-bride from Holland. Brendan is able to take the common Western idea of the mail-order-bride and give it an Inspirational fiction spin. With engaging characters and a very sweet and romantic plot this novel will appeal to Christian and Inspirational fiction fans as well as main stream romance fans. Deeply Devoted is a novel that has a lot to offer to readers from many different reading backgrounds. The main characters in the book, Catharine and Peter face a multitude of obstacles in their relationship and subsequent marriage. The cultural differences between them brings an interesting feel to the book, as well as dealing with secrets and issues from their pasts, and of course a meddling mother-in-law. Brendan is able to combine all of these ideas into a very engaging romance with an underlying Christian basis, that readers will love. This isn't your typical Christian fiction prairie romance. I tend to have some trouble with the repetitiveness that Christian fiction titles with a western theme typically have. It's the same story over and over again. I found Deeply Devoted to be quite different from the norm. Brendan is able to bring a fresh and unique approach to this book that is evident from the first chapter. I generally enjoy inspirational fiction that can transcend the reading barriers and I really felt that this is one of them. I can definitely see general romance fans enjoying this book just as must as Christian fiction fans. The faith issues are written with a light hand and are not overly dramatic or preachy. Brendan also does not leave the reader feeling let down by leaving all of romance behind closed doors. One of my favorite parts of the book dealt with how Catherine and Peter being so very different from each other in background were able to let each other grow and become the spouse they each needed. There love for each other jumps off the page and the reader will be cheering them on, even in the face of the obstacles they have to tackle. Clara, the mother-in-law, was in my opinion an essential character in this book. She provided much of the needed conflict to give this novel what it took to hold the interest of the reader, along with the secrets of Catharine's past. Brendan uses supporting characters like Catharine's sisters and Clara to bring the main characters closer together and allow them to see that communication is one of the most important issues in any marriage. I recommend this book to main stream romance fans who like their books clean, but still passionate. I also recommend it to Christian and Inspiration fiction readers and those who enjoy books where the clash of cultures is an important element. I thought Brendan provided a book with thought out characters, issues that most people today have faced in their own lives, and clear cut spiritual values. This is the kind of book I would like to see more of in this genre. I have always thought Christian fiction should reach out and draw other readers in and this book does that. It's very approachable and a wonderful read!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 5, 2011

    Awesome Mail Order Bride Romance

    My Thoughts

    Well, I love books about mail order brides, and this one was awesome, one of the best I've read! I was so touched by Peter's acceptance of Catharine's sisters and his attitude toward Catharine. And well, Peter was just a romantic sweetheart swooning his new wife and trying to please her in every way. And I am so glad he didn't let his mom ruin his life. Along with the characters of Peter and Catharine, I enjoyed the sisters as well as the other characters in this story. The author truly has a way of creating characters that capture your attention early in the story.

    In Deeply Devoted, Maggie Brendan creates a wonderful romantic story of love, devotion and forgiveness, creating unique and remarkable characters that are so real and believable. And what a wonderful Wyoming town to live in with its kind and friendly people willing to help out when their neighbors are in need. And the author describes the area with its dryness, wind and hardly no rain, especially for a wheat farmer in such detail the reader is drawn into the setting as much as the story. I wanted to take a trip to Wyoming while I was reading this book!

    If you like historical fiction this is a must read for you. Grab a copy of this book with a cup of your favorite coffee or tea and enjoy the journey of the wheat farmer and the mail order bride. You will not be disappointed! Now just waiting on the second book!

    "Available October 2011 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group."

    I received this book from the publisher Revell to read and review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 55

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 10, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Best mail order bride novel I've ever none!

    I can't remember the last time I stayed up into the wee hours of the night to finish a book. I could NOT go to bed last night until I had read the last page and I started in the afternoon. You know it's a fantastic book to hold my attention for over 300 pages, make me skip dinner, and then make me unable to rest until I finished to whole thing. I think it was about 2AM by the time I went to bed. This story was awesome! It started out sweet like any other Christian book but kept intensifying with each chapters. Important elements to the story slowly trickled out over time and made it impossible to put down.

    I had not read any books by Maggie Brendan before and figured this would be like any other typical Christian prairie romance, but I decided to give it a try anyway. Boy, was I wrong about that! It was anything but typical. I am so glad I joined the blog tour for this book because this is one of the few Christian fiction titles available that deals with mail order bride issues that doesn't make you wait for the entire book while they "get acquainted," if you know what I mean. I was thrilled about that. I always figured in real life it didn't work that way, only in Christian books, LOL! And unlike many novels that deal with secrets, this one had situations that were believable and worked for me. I absolutely loved the characters. All of them. Even the meddling mother/mother-in-law.

    This novel is not only incredibly romantic with a hero that is swoon-worthy, but it makes you think about communication in marriage and makes you want to be a better spouse. Seriously. I loved Peter. Absolutely adored him. And when he got upset I understood it. Rather than getting ticked off at him I just hurt for him. Same for Catherine. She wasn't a petty wife with dumb issues that are supposed to carry an entire story. She was like a real person to me. I loved her and her sisters. I especially loved the scenes with her and Peter and their coming together as husband and wife. Tastefully done, yet enthralling at the same time.

    I wish all Christian historicals were this yummy and inspirational. I think more people would switch over from secular fiction if they found more books like these on the inspy shelves. The scriptures all fit perfectly, too, and there was nothing sappy about the faith element. It wasn't heavy-handed, but was clearly present. I can't say enough good things about the book. The writing was stellar, too. I highly recommend it. It's making my best fiction list for this year!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 17, 2013

    Good book

    This was a good read. I enjoy these books that keep my interest from the beginning to the end.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 5, 2013

    Wonderful story!

    I highly recommend this!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 22, 2012

    So good!!!

    Such a cute and heartwarming story. Read it in a couple hours! Great read!! Cant wait for the next one!

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  • Posted June 25, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    A wonderful mail-order bride story Catharine Olsen, from Hollan

    A wonderful mail-order bride story

    Catharine Olsen, from Holland, was willing to be a mail-order bride to start her life over. Peter Andersen, in Wyoming, wanted a mail-order bride because he couldn't find a woman to suit him, even with his mother's unwanted help.

    Both parties left parts of their lives out of the letters that they exchanged over several months. Peter sent the money for her voyage, but didn't tell her that his mother, Clara, desperately wanted him to marry Dorothy Miller so he didn't let his mother know that he was even writing to Catharine, yet alone planning on bringing her to America so they could marry. Catharine used the money she had left from her parents shipping business, after they died and left her guardian over her two sisters, to pay for the voyage for Greta and Anna. Peter didn't know anything about her sisters or the fact that she'd been married before and lost a child in her past life.

    Peter picks Catharine and the girls up at the hotel and takes them to lunch to discuss things, still not realizing the sisters will live with them, then the problems begin because as they are leaving his mother is arriving, sees him with the 'ladies' and demands to know what's going on. Peter invites his mother to the wedding and she shows up with his grandmothers wedding ring that 'he was going to give to Dorothy' and tries to stop the wedding that way. Catharine doesn't let her get away with it and agrees to marry Peter.

    Since Clara's ploy with the ring didn't work, she hires a private investigator to check Catharine out. She thinks Catharine is out to get Peter's money and will prove it, she thinks anyway. The investigator discovers that Catharine was married before but can't find a divorce decree, so he says! Clara wastes no time in letting Peter know this piece of information.

    Can Peter trust Catharine, why didn't she say anything to him about her previous marriage, she didn't tell him about her sisters coming, what else might she be hiding. Can Catharine believe that Peter loves her, he didn't tell her that he dated Dorothy, he didn't tell his mother that she was coming and he was going to get married, what else might he be hiding? Will this marriage survive?

    An enjoyable book to read and yet again, another book that shows you should be honest in all things and trust God to lead you in your life. Maggie did a fine job of keeping me interested, so yes, I'm anxiously waiting for the second book in The Blue Willow Brides series, Twice Promised, to come out in September for the Kindle and in October in paperback.

    I won this book at southernbellewriter(dot)blogspot(dot)com, I was not required to read the book or post a review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

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  • Posted April 16, 2012

    I was first captivated by Ms. Brendan's hand at penning Christia

    I was first captivated by Ms. Brendan's hand at penning Christian Historical Romance after being loaned the Heart of the West Trilogy by another reader who highly recommended them. I read 1 book a day, for three days in a row, and was hardly able to put the books down.

    It was because of this, that I was extreamly excited to get my hands on a copy of Deeply Devoted. I devoured this novel in the same fashion, within a 24 hour period. I just could not put it down...even when my eyes told me enough was enough.

    The story revolves around Ms. Catharine Olsen, and her two younger sisters, Greta and Anne, who travel to America by way of Amsterdam, after Catherine answers an add for "mail order brides". Together with her sisters, she makes the trip across the country, to the wide open spaces of Wyoming, to start her new life with her new husband Peter.

    The phrase "mail order bride" might be enough to turn off any seasoned reader, as it is a story line that is frequently used in historical literature. Let me assure you, I have read my fair share of these novels as well, and this book is simply different, on some many levels, and does not heavily focus on this topic. Have no fear...

    The character development within the novel was wonderfully done. To some, it might seem that Catherine was far too accepting of her situation, and "fell head over heels" with Peter too quickly. But there is only so much that can be said within the confines of a novel. Take it or leave it, sometimes less is more.

    The play by play between Catherine and her husband Peter was endearing and heart felt. I was reminded of my own Grandparents, and their life long love story.

    Of course, not all happy endings begin with happy "starts" and prior histories, as the reader soon finds out. As Catherine finds herself wanting to reveal her past more and more to Peter, she finds it more and more difficult to do. Life, and lifes changes come rapidly, and Catherine finds herself in a tough spot. Should she, or shouldn't she? And will Peter still love her when he knows the truth?

    Of course, one cannot leave out a spectacular cast of secondary characters, who are the "bread and butter" of the story, and hold everything together. From the precocious Greta, and her secondary love story, to the younger sister Anne, who would bring a smile to the face of anyone who has ever had a younger sibling. Not to forget, the story has it's fair share of villianous characters, including Peter's meddling mom Clara, and her private investigator friend. The invidual subplots and stories keep the reader on their toes and intrested, wondering what happens next.

    I will be anxiously awaiting the next in this series, which I have been told do involve Greta, and finally Anne, allowing the story to conclude full circle.

    I highly recommend this novel to anyone wanting good, clean romance, without overbearing Christian undertones.

    This novel would also be perfect for young adults as well as adults alike.

    Many valuble life lessons in love, honestly, and devotion are within these pages, and hopefully can serve as an example to many.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 26, 2011

    Highly Engaging!

    In my opinion, Deeply Devoted is Maggie Brendan's best book so far! None of her other books have gripped me like this one. And let me tell you, this one had a strangle hold. I stayed up waaayyy to late reading it, because I just had to find out what happened next.

    Catharine, who is a mail-order bride, and her sisters come across the ocean from Holland to live on the Wyoming Prairie. Little do they know what they're in for...Peter, Catharine's betrothed, certainly didn't!

    Slowly they come to love each other, but will their love be stronger than the secrets of their pasts?

    The characters really came to life for me and not only could I faintly see their outlines, I saw them in my head full and fleshed out. Catharine and Peter were wonderful, as were the side characters such as her sisters, and Angelina and Mario, who popped to life for me. They were all so unique and stood out, each in their own way. I honestly had a hard time understanding Peter's mother, Clara. But I figure that Clara was probably just as confused as I was!

    This book hooked me from the first page and didn't let go till I had read the last one. Deeply Devoted is a beautiful love story, set in a young Cheyenne, Wyoming. I'm sure that lovers of Christian Historical Romance will be delighted to read this lovely story. Overall, a very engaging romance that I would highly recommend :)

    Final Rating: 5 out of 5

    "Available September 2011 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group."

    Thanks to Donna Hausler and Revell Publishers for my complimentary copy of Deeply Devoted, which I recieved in return for an honest review. Thanks :)

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  • Posted September 25, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Can This Marriage Survive? Great Fun To Read!

    Maggie Brendan in her new book "Deeply Devoted" Book One in The Blue Willow Brides series published by Revell Books takes us to Wyoming in 1887.

    Catharine Olsen is leaving Holland for the Cheyenne Territory in Wyoming to begin a new life as a mail-order bride. Her parents had died in a shipping accident which caused her to find out that the accountant had embezzled the shipping company's profits leaving them almost broke. However, Peter Andersen, a wheat farmer, had placed an ad for a wife and the two of them had been corresponding until Peter had asked her to come to America and marry him. So here she was arriving in a new city in a new country to marry a man she has yet to meet. With her she has brought her Blue Willow china and her two younger sisters, Greta and Anna as Catharine has vowed to look after them.

    Peter Andersen is delighted with his new bride and longs to make a home together but has to make adjustments because of her sisters and his mother, Clara. Clara is a lonely widow who had already picked out a bride for her son but he chose to marry another. Now Clara is going about doing her best to drive a wedge into their marriage so that possibly Peter will divorce and marry her choice after all. Catharine is terrified that Clara will discover her secret and her marriage will dissolve while each of the sisters is off on their own adventures.

    Maggie Brendan has written a love story about the deep issues of marriage, the forging and bonding together between a man and woman. The theme of communication that runs through this "Deeply Devoted" is so important and is displayed vividly in the lives of Peter and Catharine. And, of course, there is God. Without Him to turn to there would be no resolution of the issues that plague them and the healing that brings them their future together. "Deeply Devoted" is a wonderful, sweet story with power and depth that will keep you flipping pages. I recommend this book highly and look forward to the next book in the series!!

    If you would like to listen to interviews with other authors and professionals please go to Kingdom Highlights where they are available On Demand.

    To listen to 24 hours non-stop Christian music please visit our internet radio station Kingdom Airwaves

    Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Revell Publishers. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255 : "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

    Available September 2011 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

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  • Posted October 5, 2011

    Characters you'll love

    Secrets. Lack of communication. Some of the same things that cause marriages to fail today. That's what threatens the mail-order bride, Catherine Olsen, and her husband Peter Anderson.
    The couple did reveal much about themselves and their feelings during their correspondence courtship. Perhaps that is why they began their marriage with deep devotion and romance.
    But a meddling mother-in-law, a private detective, Catherine's two sisters and the couple's uncertainties pull at thread that threatens to unravel their love and marriage.
    I like Catherine and Peter. Maggie Brendan created characters readers will care about. I worried right along with them as circumstances and secrets lurk in the shadows waiting to snatch their hopes and dreams.
    You'll enjoy this book. I recommend it.
    Note: I was provided a review copy of this book.

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    Posted January 17, 2012

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    Posted January 6, 2012

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    Posted January 10, 2012

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