They all said it wouldn’t last….

Sierra McArthur never could have imagined they were right, but ever since her husband’s world was rocked by a family secret, it’s clear that their happily ever after isn’t to be. But one last night of passion with her husband creates a lasting consequence neither of them planned on….

Or is it?

Carter McArthur doesn’t want a divorce. But he doesn’t know how to fix all the mistakes he’s made in the wake of his family’s betrayal. But when a surprise pregnancy gives them one last chance at forever, Carter is determined to make her understand, she’s not his bride by accident. She’s his bride for keeps.

Titles in the Big Sky Brides series include:  Bride by Mistake – Bride for Keeps –

Stories that connect featuring all of the siblings you’ll find in Bride for Keeps include:

Kaitlin & Beckett’s romance in Bride by Mistake (#1 in Big Sky Brides & #3 in Montana Born Brides) — Cole & Jess’s romance in Keep Me, Cowboy (#3 in The 77th Copper Mountain Rodeo) — Sierra & Carter in Bride for Keeps (#2 in Big Sky Brides)  — Lina & Ace’s romance in Ignite (#3 in Firefighters of Montana)

Title:  Bride for Keeps
Series:  Big Sky Brides #2
Author:  Nicole Helm
Genre:  Contemporary Romance
Published:  April 15, 2018
Publisher:  Tule Publishing
My Rating:  4.5 stars

Bride for Keeps is a very difficult story to read.  I suspect it was also a difficult story to write.  You see, we Romance readers love a love story, the great guy meets fantastic girl have a few issues to deal with and eventually settle down with a happy ever after ending.  And that’s where we leave them, where everything is wine and roses – but real life isn’t like that.  Real life is messy, boring full of mistakes large and small, lots of wondering ‘what if”, secrets at times or at least distance from the truth.  Real love is a constant work in progress, it takes time, dedication to sticking to it, it means changing when you don’t want to, compromise when that’s the  last thing on your mind.  The reality is love is hard work, and those willing to put in the time, effort and work are the ones that get to that 50th anniversary cake.

Bride for Keeps isn’t easy to read because we’re watching a marriage implode.  We’re witness to a love that is facing challenges on all sides and this couple aren’t doing the work to make sure it lasts.  One doesn’t see the other runs away.  In order to survive together Carter and Sierra have to really talk, listen to the words of friends and family, decide what is truly best for them… and they have to want to make this love work, in spite of the fears, doubts and life itself getting in the way.,  It’s painful to read because it hits so close to home.

There are a lot of reviews out there all across the number range.  I’d like to ask you to ignore those reviews and go pick up Bride for Keeps and read it for yourself.  On the surface it’s easy to get annoyed with Sierra but beneath she’s falling apart because she loves Carter so much.  It’s equally easy to fault Carter for not opening up to his wife, for holding onto that perfect that no one can really find, when his world falls apart he made mistakes.  Huge mistakes.  And until those mistakes are made right – by talking with his wife – then their marriage really is over.  I got caught up in and continued with this story because it is so realistic.  It’s not fluffy, love solves every problem.  Here love is part of the problem, different views of what love is.  Watching Carter and Sierra find their way back to each other is painful, but it’s also beautiful in a way I cannot describe.  Sometimes the only way to win is to let go of all the crap around you and just be your true self.  That is a very hard lesson to learn, even if it is reality.

Stories that connect featuring all of the siblings you’ll find in Bride for Keeps include::  Kaitlin & Beckett’s romance in Bride by Mistake (#1 in Big Sky Brides & #3 in Montana Born Brides) — Cole & Jess’s romance in Keep Me, Cowboy (#3 in The 77th Copper Mountain Rodeo) — Sierra & Carter in Bride for Keeps (#2 in Big Sky Brides)  — Lina & Ace’s romance in Ignite (#3 in Firefighters of Montana)

*I received an e-ARC of this novel from the publisher via NetGalley. That does not change what I think of this story. It is my choice to leave a review giving my personal opinion about this book.*

Available for the Kindle