Review: The Brickmaker's Bride by Judith Miller (Litfuse Blog Tour & Giveaway)

October 31, 2014

Title: The Brickmaker's Bride
Author: Judith Miller
Publisher: Bethany House
Pages: 352
ISBN: 978-0-7642-1255-0
Publication Date: October 7th, 2014

In the clay-rich hills of the newly founded state of West Virginia, two families tentatively come together to rebuild a war-torn brickmaking business.

Ewan McKay has immigrated to West Virginia with his aunt and uncle, promising to trade his skills in the clay business for financial help. Uncle Hugh purchases a brickmaking operation from a Civil War widow and her daughter, and it's Ewan's job to get the company up and running again.

Ewan seeks help from Laura, the former owner's daughter, and he quickly feels a connection with her, but she's being courted by another man--a lawyer with far more social clout and money than Ewan. Resolving that he'll make the brickworks enough of a success that he can become a partner in the business and be able to afford to bring his sisters over from Ireland, Ewan pours all his energy into the new job.

But when Hugh signs a bad business deal, all Ewan's hard work is put in jeopardy. As his hopes for the future crumble, Laura reveals something surprising. Can she help him save the brickworks, and will Ewan finally get a shot at winning her heart?
I'm always interested in a unique setting for a story. When this one popped up on my radar earlier this year, I have to say, the idea of a story set around that of a brickyard caught my attention rather quickly. Plus, it is written by an author I have enjoyed in the past.

This was a unique story and an interesting one that offered a look into the brick making business after the Civil War, when reconstruction was big. We see most of the story through Laura and Ewan's eyes. Laura has the expertise in the industry, as she was raised in the office by her father as he ran things. It was through this she found a love and had pride for the company. With her father dead from the war, and it is just her and her mother, times are changing and with Laura's mother getting older, the stress of running the company isn't the best idea.

Ewan isn't new to brick making, his father taught him all he needed to know, but he is quite new to the brick running business, which he is taking part of with his uncle. Ewan has a sharp mind and is ready to put his whole self in to learning. He wants to desperately become a partner in the company, so the success is important. However, he has an uphill battle. His uncle is a gambler and his aunt is as selfish as they come. And with his uncle trying to hide the gambling from his aunt, his uncle is content to give his wife whatever she wants and leave Ewan on his own for a lot of the time.

This story had it's fair share of antagonist in it. Not only was there Ewan's aunt and uncle, but there is Laura's suitor. Right off the bat, he came off with an attitude. Between the three of them, I wondered if there was ever going to be any happiness for our characters. Between a gambler with a superiority complex, a selfish, socialite wannabe, and prejudice, controlling lawyer, it pulled things in many different directions.

Thankfully though, things did smooth out. The ending was enjoyable.

Laura was a girl who had great pride and things. I enjoyed her character for her strength, but a few times I scratched my head at her choices, even when an explanation was given. It didn't seem to sit with who she was. However, with those questions I had in her decisions, it was used later on in the story as a way for her to learn and grow, so that helped. Ewan was good character as well. He is determined to do the right thing. He has a caring heart and a willingness to stand up for people. He also doesn't mind facing down his uncle. Ewan and Laura each face struggles in this story, but it helped flush out who they were.

All in all it was a nice story and an interesting backdrop.

About the Author:
Judith Miller is an award-winning author whose avid research and love for history are reflected in her bestselling novels. When time permits, Judy enjoys traveling, visiting historical settings, and scrapbooking the photographs from her travel expeditions. She makes her home in Topeka, Kansas

Don't miss Judith Miller's latest novel, The Brickmaker's Bride. CBA Retailers + Resources raves, ". . . a wonderful story about faith and love throughout life’s trials."

Judith is celebrating with a Kindle HDX giveaway and  a "Refined by Love" Facebook author event on November 4th.
 One winner will receive:
  • A Kindle HDX
  • The Brickmaker's Bride by Judith Miller
Enter today by clicking the button below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on November 4th. Winner will be announced at the Refined by Love Facebook Author Event. Connect with Judith for a fascinating evening centered around her new Civil War-era series. She'll be hosting a book club discussion, giving away prizes, answering your questions, offering an exclusive peek at the next book in the Refined by Love series, and much more!

So grab your copy of The Brickmaker's Bride and join Judith and friends on the evening of November 4th for a chance to connect and make some new friends. (If you haven't read the book, don't let that stop you from coming!)

Don't miss a moment of the fun; RSVP today by signing up for a reminder. Tell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 4th!

Thank you to Litfuse Publicity and Bethany House, I received a copy of this book for free in exchange for an honest review.

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