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Margo Hansen, author
Christian Fiction Romance/Western
They want a Norwegian wife for their son Nels.
Her aunt’s letter is a command that Irena must obey. Travel across the ocean to America, where there’s a husband and a home waiting for her. So Irena sets off filled with trepidation and uncertainty but also filled with hope— hope that she can leave behind her life of loneliness and servitude and finally have a place she can call her own. But she finally arrives in Minnesota to a grouchy mother-in-law and a husband who doesn’t even want her.
Rex Newly has watched his siblings get married one by one and knows his turn will come eventually, but he’s in no hurry. He wants to take his time and be sure of God’s leading for his life. So how is it that he suddenly finds himself engaged to be wed and building a house for his prospective bride?
Irena’s Bond of Matrimony is Margo Hansen’s fourth book in her series about romance and adventure set in the north woods of Minnesota. As Irena continues her search for belonging, Rex considers where God is leading him. Both will learn that the paths they start out on may not turn where they expected, but that they ultimately arrive at the destination set by God.
The thunder is what woke her, or at least Irena thought it was the thunder. There was a blinding flash of light then a few moments later another loud boom shook the house. Irena remained curled in the position she had been sleeping in while she tried to recall where she was. The many days and nights of travel had left her confused, but something felt different here. Something was very strange. She turned in the bed just as the lightening pierced through the house again, and what she saw in that moment made her heart leap to her throat. She screamed and scrambled out of the bed. The man who had been lying in the bed beside her also jumped, and even though the thunder that followed the lightening was deafening, Irena distinctly heard a thud as his body hit the floor on the other side of the bed.
Irena heard a groan, then, “It’s okay! I’m Nels Jenson, your husband,” his voice said in the dark.
Irena’s hand flew to her mouth while she tried to quiet her pounding heart. “Oh! Oh, I’m sorry. I forgot where I was, and the storm woke me and…”
She heard Nels light a match, and her eyes followed the flame as he lit the lamp on the table beside the bed. She turned away from him as soon as she saw that he was dressed only in his undergarments, and she clutched at her nightgown in embarrassment.
“Nels!” A voice called from somewhere in the house. “Is there anything wrong? What happened?”
Irena heard Nels move to the doorway of the room and call down the stairs to his mother. “Everything is fine, Mother. Irena was frightened by the storm.”
“Oh, for goodness’ sakes…” Irena could hear Mrs. Jenson’s muttering fade away as the woman returned to her bed. Nels moved back to the bed and sat down with his back to Irena.
“Are you all right now?” he asked over his shoulder.
Irena nodded, then realized he wasn’t looking at her, so she said, “Yes; I’m sorry.”
“We should get some sleep,” was all he replied as he leaned forward to blow out the light. The room was dark for only a moment before lightening flashed through it again, and Irena saw that Nels was lying down and was turned away from her. She slid beneath the covers but kept as close to the edge of the bed as she could.
Another boom of thunder rattled the window, and rain began to beat on it in earnest. Irena was terrified of storms. There had never been anyone to comfort her or reassure her that all would be well. In the Torkelson family she had been the one the children ran to for comfort, and somehow she managed to quell their fears while hers remained. In the Cavendish home she had always endured the storms alone, quaking and quivering in her bed. As she lay now, trembling with fear and uncertainty, she felt Nels turn toward her, and she was amazed at how much more frightened she was of him than of the storm.
Irena swallowed and whispered, “Yes?”
“There are only two beds in the house.” And having said that, Nels turned back and apparently went to sleep.
Only two beds in the house. In other words, thought Irena, he had no choice but to sleep with me.