Reviewed by Meg Massey

Priscilla White has long ago determined that she was never meant to be a wife and a mother. Instead, she has dreamed of becoming a missionary to India. One day, she receives a letter from the mission board stating that they will no longer send unmarried individuals into the mission field. Suddenly, all her hopes for helping the children of India are dashed.

When ruggedly handsome Dr. Eli Ernest strides into town, he interrupts a morning church service where Priscilla is in attendance. In the area to raise awareness for missions to the natives in the Oregon county area, he immediately captures the attention of Priscilla; that is until he notes that he doesn’t think she could handle a mission environment.

Despite their rocky start, the two soon find that they are being thrown together by everyone in town. Everyone seems to believe that if they marry, both of their problems will be solved. Reluctantly, they do agree to marry in name only, in order to travel to Oregon County together to perform mission work.

Along the way, Eli finds that Priscilla is stronger that she seems, and her beauty goes much deeper than her appearance. Priscilla discovers that Eli, while at times gruff, is a very sensitive, caring man. Will they keep their agreement to be married in name only? Or will their growing attraction and connection bring them together? And even if a romance grows between them, will they survive the journey to the West?

Beautifully written, Jody Hedlund’s The Doctor’s Lady is a vivid depiction of the rigorous journey that many endured to travel West during this time period. Priscilla and Eli are true characters of depth, and this novel’s storyline is also enriched by unique supporting characters. The final pages are not to be missed, as Hedlund describes her inspiration for this novel. While some might argue that the ending might be a bit predictable, I will assert that any lovers of historical romance will enjoy this tale.

Rating: ★★★½☆ 

Meg lives in Pennsylvania with her husband, Ryan. Library professional by day, freelance writer by night, Meg writes about life, entertainment and everything in between on her blog.

Review copy was provided free of any obligation by Bethany House. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.