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Mistaken Bride (Irish Brides Book 2) Kindle Edition

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Length: 285 pages Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled

Whispers in the Reading Room by Shelley Shepard Gray
"Whispers in the Reading Room" by Shelley Shepard Gray
Lydia’s job at the library is her world—until a mysterious patron catches her eye...and perhaps her heart. Learn more | See more from the author

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About the Author


Renee Ryan grew up in a Florida beach town outside Jacksonville, FL.  Armed with a degree in Economics and Religion from Florida State University, she explored various career opportunities, including stints at a Florida theme park and a modeling agency. She currently lives in Savannah, Georgia with her husband and a large, fluffy cat many have mistaken for a small bear.  Renee can be contacted through her website at

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Boston Harbor, July 1850

To Bridget Murphy's way of thinking the voyage to America was more than a thrilling journey across the vast Atlantic Ocean. It was the beginning of a new life. For her and her two sisters. But especially for her.

From the moment she'd boarded the Annie McGee, Bridget was simply Bridget, the soft-spoken Irish lass earning her way to America as a stand-in nanny for the Atwater family.

No more humiliation hanging over her head. No more whispers trailing in her wake. The past had finally become the past.

And now the wait was over. Today she would begin her new life in earnest. Endless possibilities awaited her in her new country—her new home.

Bridget leaned over the ship's railing for her first glimpse of America, the ribbon streamers at her elbows billowed in the breeze. A gasp of delight flew past her lips, not only because she felt very smart in her new green sateen dress, but at the sight that met her gaze. Chaos, utter and complete chaos, met her gaze. The air vibrated with seagull shrieks, calls for carriages, laughter and commands.

Caught up in the madness, she took a moment and simply watched the activity below. Passengers disembarked the ship with hurried steps. Workmen staggered under the weight of their cargo. Carts full of wares were scattered everywhere. Children darted headlong past the lopsided piles.

Although she recognized many of the people already on the docks, none noticed her.

More the better.

A sudden movement in the distance caught her attention. She narrowed her eyes. A man, alone, worked his way through the crowd with methodical grace. His tall, lithe form stopped every few moments to speak with one of the passengers. There was something about him…

Something that tugged at her very core.

She couldn't tear her gaze away.

He moved with the kind of steps only a man confident in his own worth could pull off. Bridget placed her hand on her forehead to shade her eyes from the sun and continued watching him. He had broad shoulders, long legs and lean hips. Even though she couldn't see him clearly from this distance, she knew his eyes would be a vivid, piercing blue. The kind of color that turned silver in the light.

A little shocked at herself, at the fact that she was admiring a man when her heart was still so tender, she tried to pull back, to duck out of sight. But she found herself leaning forward ever so slightly.

As if sensing her eyes on him, he looked straight in her direction.

Her breath caught in her throat and she pulled back from the rail. Surely he hadn't seen her watching him. The distance was far too great.

Torn between embarrassment and a sudden wish to see the man up close, to discover if his eyes were truly the color of the sky, she hesitated a moment longer. She'd tarried long enough.

Joining the rest of her fellow passengers, she hurried across the ship's main deck. She'd told the Atwater siblings farewell earlier this morning. Pamela, the youngest, had been the saddest over their parting. Well, besides Bridget. Laurel and Hilary had been too busy arguing over a treasured bonnet to care overmuch that they'd never see their temporary nanny again.

Bridget sighed to herself. The journey hadn't been long enough to win over the older two girls. If only—

No. No more regrets. No more if only. Bridget was finished trying to fix the unfixable. Never again would she dwell on things she couldn't change.

Increasing her pace, her boot heels struck the weathered planks in perfect rhythm with the rapid beating of her heart.

She'd lost sight of her older sister, Nora. No matter. Nora, being Nora, had prepared for this very contingency and had set up a common meeting place near the gangplank.

Not wishing to hear yet another lecture on setting priorities and keeping to timetables, Bridget increased her pace. She resisted the urge to look over the railing at the wharf below. Was he still there? Winding his way through the thick knots of people and cargo, looking for someone in particular? Someone special?

Who? she wondered.

Without breaking stride, Bridget tossed a jaunty wave at the widow Mrs. Fitzwilliam, who had befriended the Murphy sisters on the journey. With her was her attendant Stillman and the three McCorkle brothers Mrs. Fitzwilliam had taken in as her wards. Good-hearted, gracious souls, getting to know them all had been a real blessing. Already running late, Bridget did not stop to speak to them.

Then again…

She'd already fallen behind. What would be the harm in saying one more goodbye to her new friend and those darling boys?

Just as she changed direction, a throng of passengers surged from behind, shoving her back on course at an even greater speed. She would have to catch up with Mrs. Fitzwil-liam and the boys later.

Nearing her destination, Bridget wrenched free of the crowd and slid into another small, unoccupied spot along the ship's railing. At the precise location she'd been told.

Nora was nowhere in sight.

More relieved than annoyed, Bridget took a deep, steadying breath. And promptly wrinkled her nose in chagrin.

Throughout the month-long journey across the Atlantic, she had created vivid pictures of America in her mind. She had not accounted for the smell.

She raised a gloved hand to her mouth. One moment passed. Two. On the third she drew in another tentative gulp of air. Her eyes immediately filled with water. The stench was truly, truly awful. A mixture of rotting fish, animal sweat, burnt tar and something else entirely—garbage, perhaps?

Another jostle from behind and Nora wiggled in beside her.

"There you are," Nora said, familiar frustration in her tone. "You weren't here earlier."

Bridget ignored the gentle reprimand and smiled at her sister. She, too, wore her new dress, a gift from fellow passengers Ardeen Nolan and her aunt, Mrs. Kennedy. "Don't fuss, Nora. I only just arrived."

"Well, that explains it, then."

With her dark chestnut hair parted in the middle and contained in a tight bun, Nora should look severe. Instead, she positively glowed. Perhaps it was the vivid blue of her new gown. Or the paisley shawl. Or perhaps Nora glowed for an entirely different reason.

They had arrived safely in America and had added a new member to their small family.

Smiling, Bridget lowered her gaze to the squirming infant clutched possessively in her sister's arms. "I see no one has come forward to claim baby Grace."

Nora's pretty blue eyes narrowed to tiny slits. "Not a single person."

Bridget bit her lip to keep from stating the obvious—that Grace had likely been left behind for good. She'd suggested it before, but Nora refused to believe it. Sometimes Nora was the wisest person she knew, and sometimes surprisingly naive. Baby Grace had been abandoned days after her birth. Nora had found her shortly after the start of their journey, and had cared for her ever since.

"I suppose she'll have to make do with us for the time being." And Bridget wasn't completely sorry for it, either. The baby had become a part of both their lives, Nora's more than hers, even if only on a temporary basis. Grace wasn't really theirs, no matter how much they wished it to be so, but for now, they were all she had.

Nora looked out in the distance, her eyes taking on a troubled look. "I'm sure there's been a mistake." She lowered her gaze to the child in her arms. "Who could abandon such a precious little girl?"

Who, indeed?

In Bridget's estimation anyone who walked away from their own baby didn't know the first thing about love. Every child deserved to be loved. Even the difficult ones.

Familiar stirrings of regret filled her. She had so wanted to turn all three Atwater girls into friends, as much as charges. She'd almost succeeded. With a little more time.

She was doing it again. Trying to change the unchangeable.

"We'll have to report her situation to the American authorities as soon as possible," Nora said only halfheartedly.

It was, of course, the right thing to do.

Though Grace's mother had left her behind, there may well be other family with a claim.

"I suppose we must." Bridget reached out and touched the baby's flawless cheek. Large blue eyes stared back at her. "She's really quite beautiful, isn't she?"

"She's perfect."

Bridget couldn't argue with that bit of truth. All children were a gift straight from the Lord. One day Bridget wanted at least five tiny blessings for herself.

A space opened up along the gangplank and she started forward, then stopped and looked back at Nora. "Are we to meet Maeve here or on the docks below?"

"Below," she said. "Flynn had a few last-minute details he needed to address before he could leave the ship. Maeve chose to stay behind with him."

Of course she had. Bridget's younger sister adored her new husband, as did they all. The ship's doctor was now a part of their family. Best of all, Maeve's shipboard romance had restored Bridget's faith in the possibility of finding love again for herself.

Love. Romance. Marriage.

Were they still possible for her at the age of four and twenty? Had she missed her chance when Daniel had decided he didn't want to marry her?

She ignored the pang in her heart and reminded herself anything was possible with God. Despite the thirteen years between their ages, Flynn Gallagher was a perfect match for Maeve. Their union was a blessing and a testimony to the power of love.

Finished feeling sorry for herself, Bridget tossed her shoulders back and stepped away from the railing. "Right, then. Here we go."

Without looking back, she moved onto the gangplank. For once Nora allowed her to take the lead.

All the planning, prayer and gathering of meager funds had brought them to this glorious day. The moment Bridget's feet touched the wooden dock, her le...

Product Details

  • File Size: 655 KB
  • Print Length: 285 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0373829159
  • Publisher: Love Inspired Historicals (May 1, 2012)
  • Publication Date: May 1, 2012
  • Sold by: Harlequin Digital Sales Corp.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B007BBV9P6
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #246,074 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Renee Ryan grew up in a Florida beach town where she learned how to surf and skateboard very poorly. As a teenager, she gave up on both pursuits and began entertaining herself during countless hours of "laying-out" by reading all the classics.

After graduating college, with a degree in Economics and Religion, she explored various career opportunities at a Florida theme park and a modeling agency. She moved on to teach high school Economics, American Government and Latin while coaching award-winning cheerleading teams.

Renee now writes for Love Inspired Contemporary and Love Inspired Historical. For further information about Renee, check out

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Sis Steele on May 1, 2012
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Full of historical detail, plot twists and turns, and characters who are rich in emotion, Renee Ryan weaves a tale of an Irish immigrant, Bridget Murphy, who has made the difficult journey across the sea with her sisters only to find herself immediately thrust into a predicament with its own challenges, all due to a mistaken identity. In this romantic story, a combination of the best of mail-order bride and governess themes, Bridget takes on the responsibility of two children left motherless. The father, William Black, is a good man but a distant parent who guards his heart. Bridget is nursing her own guarded heart so the course of their romance had this reader sighing with pleasure, nodding, smiling and even gasping in surprise a time or three!

It is the mark of an excellent middle book in a trilogy when you read it FIRST and find yourself engaged by the current love story, then ordering the first book in the series and longing for the release of the conclusion. The love story must stand on its own but provide nods to the past tale of romance as well as foreshadow the future. Following Cheryl St. John's "Wedding Journey" in The Irish Brides Trilogy, Renee Ryan has crafted a wonderful of love in the New World in "Mistaken Bride" and has me impatiently waiting for Winnie Griggs's "A Baby Between Them" to arrive.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Hannah Rose on May 14, 2012
Format: Mass Market Paperback
The first book was good, but this one...... it was so so good. Lot of heart, suspense, wasn't a shallow story just to fill the pages required in a novel. I went to bed almost as the sun was coming up on night reading this story. Had to just stop and get some sleep, then finish the last few pages later. A story that will win your heart over. Hard to wait for the last one "A Baby Between Us," to come out in June.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By fonts on December 1, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I read so many books, have to use every option to get the ones I want. This one was not available except through kindle, and I am glad I purchased it. It is the second book in the "Irish Brides" series by 3 authors. Its a wonderful series about 3 sisters leavng Ireland and coming to America. You will want to read these in order as it is what I call a connecting series. Some series do not matter the order they are read, but you will definitely like this one better by reading it in order. The first book is called "The Wedding Journey" by Cheryl St John, and the last one is "A Baby Between Them". I am reading the last one now. If you enjoy HR books this one is a must read and will not disappoint.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Karen A. Peale on May 5, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I really loved the historical part of the "Irish Brides" series, which is mostly found in the first book by Cheryl St. John. This book was okay, the love story sweet. I do love seeing the characters from the ship, however I disliked how much "thinking" the two main characters did. It got on my nerves and I skipped many pages. If you like momre action and dialogue, this is not a book for you. The older sister, Nora, is also very annoying. I would tell her to bug off. I am usually a fan of this author, but I found this book lacking excitement.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By NurseBecky on December 26, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Bridget is the second of the three sisters to fall in love. This is the second book in the triology. The story is a wonderful read! Bridget must learn to trust God and that He is in control. At the same time Will is learning to love again and can not believe the transformation Bridget has made in his children.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
I love historical romances, and it's a delight to read one that doesn't need to resort to Hawt Steamy scenes in lieu of a plot.

This one, though, had so many historical facts so wrong that I had great trouble keeping in the story. Probably the biggest one was that an Irish family forced off their property in the late 1840s would have calmly gone to a Protestant Church in the USA. They wouldn't have been Protestant - they would have been Catholic, and that would have caused a huge amount of trouble with trying to integrate into the community.

Further, while I understand this is a Christian romance, the Christian part was slathered on with such a heavy hand that it did not feel realistic at all. It's worse than the Boy Scouts in "Farmer in the Sky" - and that's saying a lot.

Finally, it's only too obvious that there's a pile of setups for future novels, again done so heavy-handedly that it's jarring and intrusive.

The size of the town isn't making sense. It's apparently large enough to run a chocolate factory (that doesn't know how to make chocolate), yet small enough to have just one mixed-goods shop.

And the appearance of the mystery horse-robber is more melodramatic than managed.

The basic concept is good. The story needs a lot of work.
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By L. Bear on March 7, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I enjoyed the first book in this series, but this one swept me away and made my heart sing! Bridget was a joyful heroine who I will long remember, and Will was a wonderful match for her. Their story was interesting and compelling and had me eagerly turning the pages. I adored the children too. I'm an avid reader of historical fiction, and I especially loved that the sisters came from Ireland, as that brought a richer depth and texture to their story. Although I've read many books with a similar story-line (hurt and handsome widower with adorable children in need of a mother) none have captured my imagination and made me smile like this one. The author writes well, has good insight into human nature, and everything flowed well without being too drawn out or having too many silly obstacles in the way to keep the couple apart. This book had whit and charm, and I will definitely be checking out this author's other books in hopes of finding more uplifting and clean reads, but first I'll be happily reading Nora's story in the third book of this series. Finally, it was the beautiful cover that first caught my eye and drew me to this book, so hooray for great covers too!
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