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A Bride for Nathan

The Proxy Brides, Book 3
Narrated by: Leonor A Woodworth
Series: The Proxy Brides, Book 3
Length: 3 hrs and 40 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (4 ratings)
Regular price: £13.79
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Summary

Can a marriage by proxy work when the couple has never met? 

Nathan, a widower, is critically injured in a Civil War battle and lies on his death bed. His best friend, Ben, promises to care for his daughter, Belle. 

Ben’s sister, Allison, is doomed to become a spinster, so she jumps at the chance to become a widow rather than a spinster when Ben suggests she marry Nathan. She must do it quickly, because the doctor said he wouldn’t last out the week. 

A problem arises after the marriage - Nathan doesn't die, and the couple comes to the realization they need to end the marriage or try to live as a family to make the best of the situation for the child. 

Can Nathan live with Allie's problem, and can Allie cope with Nathan’s disability? Will the platonic arrangement become permanent, or will the couple come to fall in love?

©2018 Barbara Goss (P)2019 Barbara Goss

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  • Kate
  • Audiobook Blogger. Linktr.ee/MLHearingThings. Follow @MLHearingThings on Twitter, FB, Instagram, & Goodreads.
  • 27-03-19

A sweet Christian romance in the aftermath of war

A Bride for Nathan is a historical romance set in nineteenth century America. Civil War soldier, Nathan, is critically injured in battle and agrees to a "marriage by proxy" to ensure that his daughter, Belle, remains cared for. Believing himself to be on his deathbed Nathan marries his best friend's sister, a spinster whose own future would be much more secure with the status of a 'widow' - even if she hasn't met the groom. But the newlyweds plan goes awry when Nathan lives and they must find a way to move forward with their lives despite being thrown together so unexpectedly.


This was my first 'proxy bride' story, not only in this series but in the genre as a whole, so I felt some kinship with Nathan and Allie as they faced the unfamiliarity of their new situation and struggled to adjust to the changes in their circumstances. 


The narrator, Leonor Woodworth, has a pleasant voice. Soft and delicate, it suits Allie's shy, anxious, character well, capturing her hesitancy and naivety, but is a little childish in tone for a woman of her age. The narrator handles the male voices well, and creates an endearing performance as five-year-old Belle.


I liked the idea and warmed to the characters, but felt as though it needed refining. I believe that the story would have benefitted tremendously from some conflict or tension, as many of the points at which one would normally expect the characters to struggle were only fleetingly addressed. Aside from resisting sympathy Nathan managed his anger without taking his frustrations out on others, his friendship with Allie grew swiftly, and Belle took to her new mother (and the return of the father she'd never known) without any difficulty or adjustment - despite having been left alone with her deceased childminder for two days prior to the formation of her new family. Allie's anxiety also ebbed and flowed at convenient points in the story, allowing her to rally whenever needed and never really causing the paralysing inconvenience which often characterises social anxiety in real life. 


It was refreshing to have both protagonists in this story battling with their own disabilities - one physical and one psychological - and I particularly enjoyed the ways in which the overlapping facets of their conditions were treated. Nathan's amputation may have been brutally physical in nature but its lasting impact was on his confidence, and Allie's insecurity may be her main diagnosis but the way it presented as panic attacks and tremors was far more incapacitating. Neither experience was given any more or less validity than the other, and both were heroic in their own ways. 


I wish this audiobook had been twice as long, but had spent the additional time exploring the raw experiences that these damaged characters would really have had to overcome in order to grow together as the book progressed. At the moment it feels like the abridged, hallmark-channel version of a more interesting story, and that's a shame because ultimately it does not do the characters justice. There's a lot to like about the characters and the main plot of the book, and several of the supporting characters were also strong enough to have carried stories of their own, and it is because of this that I would have liked their experiences to have been presented with more honesty and depth. 


A Bride for Nathan is a very sweet, innocent, romance with a distinctly Christian tone. I would recommend this audiobook to anyone who likes stories in that genre and is looking for a relatively lightweight listen that focuses upon the growing relationship between the main couple without too many obstacles keeping them from their happily ever after. 


*I received this audiobook free of charge in exchange for an honest, unbiased review.

  • Overall
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Beautiful story

Whenever Barbara Goss releases an audio, I can't wait to listen. This one has taken my heart! Nathan is a soldier, wounded in the line of duty. Not expected to live, his best friend Ben suggests he marry his sister, Allie so that Nathan's daughter will be well taken care of. Marriage by proxy, Allie becomes his wife, but ends up going to his home prior to his death. And with the help of good care, a fighting will and love, Nathan recovers! But now what will happen? I fell in love with this couple. Nathan is a broken man, a young widow and has had trouble with relationships. Allie is convinced that she should be a spinster, but truly loves her new stepdaughter and feels at home with Nathan. The two have issues well beyond their own relationship. Will their faith guide them to be together? It's a lovely story, and it is a smart, loving and well written listen.

Leonor A Woodworth brings this story to life. I love anything she narrates, always full of emotion and paced perfectly. I love her array of voices and she can portray characters in a way that I feel that I know them. She does a wonderful job with Nathan and Allie, and she is spot on with their daughter! Loved it!

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  • Darcie
  • California, MD, United States
  • 15-02-19

the wounded soldier & his proxy bride

This story was so engaging that I listened to it nonstop. Wounded soldier, Nathan, is not expected to live, especially after losing a leg in battle. He is a widower and has no other relatives to care for his 5yo daughter. His best friend, Ben, accompanies him home and then suggests that Nathan marry his spinster sister who will be able to care fore Nathan's daughter. This is during the civil war and proxy/mail order brides were a thing. Allison is approaching 30 and is still unwed...her mother is trying to change that and is match-making her with someone that Allie does not want. When her brother Ben, writes Allie and suggests that she marry his dying friend in order to care for his little girl, she believes that this is just the break that she needs! Since time is of the essence, Ben sends a marriage certificate that Allie can sign and have the local minister witness, so she is married without even meeting her groom. However, instead of waiting until Nathan passes to head to her new home, Ben summons Allie immediately since her current care provider has died. Allie arrives and bonds with Nathan's daughter and, to her surprise, Nathan is recovering well. Will Allie stay now that Nathan is on the mend and doesn't really need her? Can Nathan overcome the anger/guilt from the loss of his wife, and will he reveal the secret regarding her death? Great story, well developed characters and I look forward to Ben's story. Narration was perfect for these characters.
I voluntarily accepted a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an unbiased review.

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  • Catrina P
  • 05-03-19

A Bride for Nathan

A soldier not likely to survive his wounds... A woman with social anxiety... a little girl who needs a parent... a proxy marriage seems like the perfect arrangement. Nathan’s daughter would have someone to care for her, and Allie would have a child to care for, without a husband, when Nathan succumbed to his injuries. But things don’t always work out as planned. Sometimes it’s even better.

Barbara Goss is a wonderful storyteller. I am always touched by her work, and A Bride for Nathan is no exception.

The narration by Leonor A. Woodworth is fantastic. She brings out the emotions perfectly.

I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and I have voluntarily left this review.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Cinderella 7
  • 23-02-19

A Proxy Marriage, Can It Work?

First I just say that the Narrator Leonor A Woodworth did a
fantastic job of telling this story, she made everyone come
alive with such emotion and feeling. I just wished a man
could have done the men's voices, it would have been more
realistic.

Nathan was critically sounded in the Civil War and his best
friend Ben did everything he could to save him. Doctors
we're sure Nathan wouldn't survive so Ben took Nathan home
To his daughter, Belle.

Nathan made when promise to care for Belle. Ben contacted
His sister, Allison (Ally) to ask if she would marry Nathan by
proxy to have Belle as her daughter when Nathan died. She
agreed.

Ally moved to Nathan's home but a problem arose, Nathan
didn't die! What would they do now? End the marriage or
stay married for Belle's sake? Could their marriage ever be
a real one? Would they ever find love ❤ together?

I Very highly recommend this book to everyone. It's quite
interesting, full of emotion, tenderness and is absolutely
wonderful! I'm sure you will enjoy it as much as I have!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Sandra Sewell White
  • 15-02-19

a beautiful performance

Ms. Woodworth brings life to this wnderful story. Ms. Goss' story is one of love- lost, found, and reclaimed.
This is an unforgettable story!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • MichTeach
  • 27-03-19

One of my new favorite audio books!

I absolutely loved this book. The narration was easy to listen to and voices were done very well. I forgot there was a narrator and at times thought I was listening to a radio drama or some such thing. Leonor Woodworth is quite talented. The plot sucked me into the book. I suffer from anxiety disorder and could easily identify with the heroine's struggle. The presence of a child as a main character in the story added charm to an already fantastic novel. I highly recommend the book to anyone who enjoys historical romance--not just those who read sweet romance or western romance. I received this audio book for free and am giving an unbiased, honest review of what is a fantastic novel that I will listen to again in the future since I enjoyed it that much.

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  • Becky
  • 26-03-19

It will probably appeal to a lot of people.

I enjoy mail-order bride/marriage of convenience novels where the couples learn to love each other after starting as strangers. This book fits that genre. It is a clean (very clean) romance with a Christian underlay.

Unfortunately the writing does not contain any real depth. The plot seemed simplistic and superficial; there are no surprises. The character development is somehow lacking. Good characterizations in novels make the characters real people to me; this was not true for the characters in this book.

If I were still a teenager, I would probably have enjoyed this gentle, easy going romance. It will probably appeal to a lot of people.

I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

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  • Jocelyne
  • 21-03-19

Beautiful Clean Slow Burn Romance!

This is the third book in The Proxy Brides Series. I haven't read the first books in the Series yet. I love the cover! This is a sweet and clean slow burn romance. Nathan and Allison are great and strong characters, both struggling against a disability/disorder. I love their happy ending. Belle, Nathan's daughter, and Ben, Nathan's brother, are also great characters. Leonor A Woodworth did a great job with the narration. I enjoyed my listening.

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  • sci teacher
  • 21-03-19

Post-Civil War Family Drama

Summary: Nathan Conn gets his leg blasted off in the final days of the Civil War. His friend, Ben, takes care of him, going so far as to take him home and stay with him through his rough recovery. Nathan could die any day. If that happens, what will become of Nathan’s young daughter? Ben’s not exactly equipped to raise Belle. But he might know someone who is.

Additional Comments:
- Characters 4/5 Stars: Everybody is nearly sickeningly sweet, but I think that’s a genre thing. Allie’s nice. Sam’s nice. Belle’s unrealistically the perfect child. Nathan’s hardworking and handsome. Ben’s a saint. You get the picture. Despite this, there is some character development both in Nathan and Allie. Besides, they’re all likeable people.
- Plot 4/5 Stars: This isn’t exactly a shoot-’em-up Western story, but it’s an interesting Civil War era recovery tale. The daily act of living was a struggle sometimes. Add in serious war injuries, emotional scars, and unexpected responsibilities and there’s enough action to keep things going.
- Mini-mystery: One fun thing woven throughout the book is a mini-mystery surrounding Nathan’s first wife.
- Narration 4.5/5: Very nice.
- Content Warnings: None. Some awkward, married people conversations that serve the plot well but that’s about it.

Conclusion: If you enjoy Civil War and post-Civil War, clean stories, this is a good one to check out.

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  • Terri C.
  • 18-03-19

Heartwarming and uplifting!

I listened to the audio version of this book and really enjoyed it. It is a Christian historical romance.
Ms. Goss always does a great job writing stories, but she also does a great job in providing variety between her books.
Nathan was different in that he was a soldier who had lost his leg and returned home with everyone expecting him to die. His little girl needed someone to look after her. Nathan's good friend asked his sister, who suffered from a social anxiety to marry Nathan by proxy. The surprise was that Nathan didn't die. Allie and Nathan worked through their discomfort together and actually became helpful to each other in dealing with their different challenging circumstances.
The story was heartwarming and uplifting. The narration by Leonor Woodworth gave even greater warmth and grace with the telling of the story. It was wonderful!
I was given a complimentary copy of this audio book. All thoughts are my own.

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  • Ashley Hedden
  • 06-03-19

Great Read

A Bride for Nathan (The Proxy Brides, Book 3) was a great read by Barbara Goss. Nathan is a widower who was critically injured during the war. His best friend Ben promises to take care of Nathan's daughter. Ben tells his sister Allison she should marry Nathan by proxy to be a mother to his daughter, Belle. They marry but Nathan doesn't die as they thought he would. I loved reading Nathan and Allison's story and can't wait to read more by Barbara Goss.

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  • Zena
  • 03-03-19

Loved, loved, loved the one!

It is well written with good continuity and flowing scenes, the falling in love and romancing is done very tastefully, the characters are believable and I thoroughly enjoyed Nathan and Allie's story.
Both of them have handicaps and it was quite touching to see how they learned to live with and overcome them.
Barbara Goss has given us a remarkable story and Leonor Woodworth has done an excellent job with her interpretation and narration.
I have no hesitation recommending it having listened to the audiobook version.
My review above is unbiased and given voluntarily.