The Brickmaker’s Bride

The Brickmaker’s Bride

The Brickmaker’s Bride

Bestselling Author Judith Miller Debuts Historical Series Set in West Virginia

Yearning for a fresh start, Ewan McKay travels with his aunt and uncle from northern Scotland to West Virginia, promising to trade his skills in the clay business for financial assistance from his uncle Hugh. Hugh purchases a brickmaking operation from a Civil War widow and her daughter, but it’s Ewan who gets the business up and running again. Ewan seeks help from Laura, the former owner’s daughter, and he feels a connection with her, but she’s being courted by another man–a lawyer with far more social clout and money than Ewan. Besides, Ewan has resolved he’ll focus on making the brickmaking operation enough of a success that he can become a partner in the business and be able to afford to bring his sisters over from Scotland.

But when Hugh signs a bad business deal, all Ewan’s hard work may come to naught. As his plans begin to crumble, Laura reveals something surprising. She and her mother may have a way to save the brickworks, and in turn Ewan may have another shot at winning Laura’s heart.

Learn more and purchase a copy at Judith’s website.


  • Historical fiction may very well be my favorite type to read these days. It’s such a great escape into a time that so many have forgotten. In some ways, it really puts things into perspective when you read about how bricks were made and how backbreaking the work must have been. I don’t know how they’re made now, but I’m sure that it’s a far more automated process than it was back then. The very fact that I have any idea how bricks were made post-civil war is a testament to this author’s research and writing. In fact, she laid things out in such a way that I wouldn’t be surprised if I’m on Google some time today looking for pictures of some of the machines that were used. Another point in Judith Miller’s favor? The fact that none of her characters were perfect…

  • The author of The Brickmaker’s Bride, Judith Miller is one of my favorites. Her novels are always uplifting and awe inspiring to me. This book was a treat. Laura has had many disappointments in her life, but she has to carry on for her sake as well as her mother’s. Ewan is trying his best to do well in his life and the rest of his family.

  • Judith Miller has a way with words that draws you right into the story and I don’t mind telling you that I was not at all certain I would enjoy this book.

  • love the storyline of this story with Laura Woodfield and her mother trying to sell their brickyard since her father was killed in the war. The story follows the Woodfields as they sell the yard and as Laura courts a gentleman named Winston. The story is just intriguing with, in my opinion, several fun twists and turns as the story goes on.

  • LyonsLady says:

    I was drawn in immediately by the charming honesty of Ewan and inspired by the fiery Laura.
    Together, they make the story that I never would have expected. Judith has written a story that is truly new from other books I have read! She has taken a common business and used it to show us how the Civil War affected an entire community. And what an AWESOME job she has done with it! GET this book! It’s a wonderful story with delightful characters that have a strong faith in God that clearly drives their lives!
    I truly enjoyed this book….anyone who enjoys reading and enjoys history will love this book!!!

  • “The Brickmaker’s Bride” is the first book that I have read by Judith Miller & boy am I glad I signed up to review this book! The characters are so vibrant and so detailed. It’s really easy to pick the characters you want to root for while reading!

    I have to be honest though, there were a few times that I felt like I was on a never ending winding road, not knowing what was on the next page…but that is what makes this book such a page turner. Once I got a few chapters into this book I could not put it down!

    *To read the full review, check out my blog post!(

  • This was a cute book! It ended with me hoping that there will be a sequel. I’d love to see what happens next with Ewan and Laura.

  • This is a perfect historical Christian novel. Judith Miller does not disappoint with this new series! I love well written historical fiction – even if it is a bit predictable – because it draws me in to another time and place. The Brckmaker’s Bride is very well-written. I loved that it focused more on the story and the characters rather than simply detailing dresses or houses. There’s a bit of that too, but the character development in this book is excellent. Laura and Ewan are wonderful Christian characters. Winston is just horrible. And the slight cliffhanger at the end left me wanting book 2!

  • I like historical fiction, as it weaves together history (which I love) and fiction (which I love). The book has what I feel is a somewhat unique setting for a Civil War-era book – immigrants from Scotland and a brickmaker’s family in West Virginia. The characters were winsome and likeable (well, some of them. Hugh is a bit devious and Winston, Laura’s suitor, was a bit stiff and unlikeable to me). Laura is a strong woman with a mind of her own (something that was somewhat frowned upon in that age), but is also sweet and someone with whom I could imagine being friends. The Christian element was gently woven throughout the book. It was definitely there, but wasn’t unrealistic or too forced. I’ve read other Judith Miller books, and so I knew to expect a great read.

  • I didn’t know much about the profession of Bricklaying so it was very interesting to read about this profession. It appears the author, Ms. Miller did quite a bit of research which went into a book to make it life like. I didn’t find a dull moment in the story. The characters were described quite vividly. This is a book that would catch the attention of readers who like historical fiction and leaving this world for a while to enter another era.

  • The Brickmaker’s Bride by Judith Miller was a fun read. This is the first book by Judith Miller that I have read and I have to say that she is a great author. I can’t wait to check out more books by her in the future.

  • It was nice to read a story that could serve as being very relatable for couples even today. People struggle to make ends meet each and every day, and reading and following this interesting young couple added a bright spot to my day. They face things that we all face within our relationships and marriages and that is what truly makes this story so great!

  • Author Judith Miller obviously did her research as she writes about the challenges of running a brickmaking business, as well as the rebuilding of lives after the Civil War. I learned a lot while also getting to know these fascinating characters. If you’re a fan of realistic historical fiction, you’ll love “The Brickmaker’s Bride.”

  • A seasoned writer, Judith Miller has written a charming novel that incorporates the affects of the Civil War in West Virginia. She is skilled with her character development and is easy to read in text and content. This is one of those books you may pick up to read at a trip to the park, or an afternoon when nothing else is scheduled for the day.

  • When it comes to historical fiction, you can always count on Judith Miller not only for meticulous research, but to be transported into an interesting era or situation. The Brickmaker’s Bride takes the reader to the Reconstruction era in West Virginia and into the world of brickmaking. Greed, social climbing, political drive, addiction and unforgiveness are there – but we also see honesty, integrity, caring for and helping others. I really liked the way spiritual themes were gently woven into the story – like being patient and waiting on God’s timing, not judging a person’s relationship with God. But my favorite message was that of helping others in the same way as we have been helped, a theme that is seen more than once.

  • A nice easy, read for me personally, and I really enjoyed it! It flows along in a nice steady pace, holds great twists, and fabulous characters! Overall this is a good book, with a sweet story, and I highly recommend it! 🙂

  • An excellent read. Good storyline, characters that are intriguing and enough twists to keep the story interesting. looking forward to reading more of Judith’s books.

  • Dede says:

    The Brickmaker’s Bride is a great example of how Christian authors can take a tired topic and revive it with beautiful words and spunky women. The story reminds me of how lucky I am to live in an era where speaking my mind doesn’t land me in house arrest. Many of the women in The Brickmaker’s Bride live in a world of frivolity and shallow thoughts. Having children is the only real contribution women are expected to make in life. Aren’t you glad we live in a whole new world?

  • The Brickmaker’s Bride is a good look at a post-Civil War America. Immigration is increasing, and the immigrants have as much opportunity to become as rich as established families. Miller includes prominent Pittsburgh names, such as Thomas Mellon, as examples of Scots-Irish immigrants who were successful. There were jobs available for them, not only due to the huge loss of life during the war but also due to the growth of industrialization. They were not universally accepted, however, as Miller implies at various points. There was plenty of stereotyping and discrimination to go around. In reading this novel, I also learned far more about brick making than I thought possible due to the detail written about the industry.

  • I liked THE BRIDEMAKER’S BRIDE. I liked Ewan and Laura. I didn’t like Laura’s suitor (why did she choose him?) or Ewan’s relatives. The storyline is intriguing. Especially why was Laura – a proper lady – so involved in the brick-making business? Why was their brick field the only one Ewan’s aunt would consider? Why did she insist on wanting Laura’s home? Was that part of the sale of the business? If so, why didn’t they ever tour the house? So many questions. Read the book to find out.

  • I love reading about the Civil War era but it was a little different in this book because it was a look at the Post-Civil War era. I loved the look into immigration post-Civil War and the brickmaking world.

    And I also loved the Christian themes woven into the story especially trusting in God’s timing.

    Judith Miller is one classic author that never lets me down for a good book and she has done it once again!

  • The characters are extremely well written, as far as writing goes, the book is great.

  • It has been awhile since I have read a book by Judith Miller but I am glad I picked up this book. I enjoy books from this time. Judith did a good job on the character development.

  • As expected, I found the book to be beautifully written with well-rounded characters and an informative yet engaging plot. I liked the mixture of characters with some quite likeable, a couple who were very unlikeable, and even those who began one way but turned out quite another. The ins and outs of brickmaking were quite interesting to me and were something I had never considered. I always enjoy learning something new while reading a good novel.

  • Moments says:

    “The Brickmaker’s Bride” is book 1 in Judith Miller’s Refined By Love series and I thought this to be an excellent story to begin this series. I loved how I was completely drawn into the book so completely on the first page; so much is learned about Laura and her life right away and so much is hinted at as to what is to come in the story. Laura is dealing with the memories of home and her father whom never returned home from the war and is being courted by a seemingly perfect man. However, Ewan arrives as he is supposed to take over and run the business that was formerly run by Laura’s father.

  • Book by Book says:

    The Brickmaker’s Bride is the first novel I have read by Judith Miller, and as a huge fan of historical romance, I really enjoyed it. It held my attention from start to finish, and I think other fans of historical romance with enjoy it, too. It’s a good read.

  • An excellent historical novel from Judith Miller!! My favorite from her in a while. The two main characters are well supported by a cast of secondary people. The scenery is so vividly described I feel like I am there and the history is amazing. Love learning about that time period. If you like a good historical, then be sure to pick this one up!

  • This novel is so rich in history! From the process and business of brickmaking to the etiquette of ladylike behavior, I definitely felt immersed in the time period. The characters have unique and individual personalities that seem to jump off the page. I admired Laura’s independent spirit and determination to make her voice heard in the politics of the future of her father’s business. I felt bad for Ewan having to deal with his uncle and wish that storyline had been tied up in this book. I’m looking forward to seeing where things go in the next book in this series!

  • Judith Miller writes wonderful historical romances, and I’m thrilled to see her begin a new series! The Brickmaker’s Bride contains all the elements of a wonderful story: a charming setting, endearing characters, and a heartwarming romance, with faith seamlessly woven throughout.

  • I would recommend this book to a few of my friends that love history settings and tend to read books set in the colonial times as this book has a lot of history of brick making and a good strong back ground.

  • My Review – I couldn’t wait to finish this book and find out how it ended. It was a page turner for me. I love historical romance. The setting of this book is spectacular. It is a terrific read.

  • Veronica's 'Views says:

    I knew nothing about brickmaking and I liked learning about the process, especially as I learned more about Irish immigrants in the years after the Civil War, too. I really liked Ewan and felt so sorry for him to be stuck with an aunt and uncle who seemed determined to make his life miserable. His perseverance and love for his sisters were very admirable; I also loved his strong faith and his scriptural view that all things will work together for good to those who love God, even though bad things still sometimes happen and we don’t always get our prayers answered the way we like.

  • This book had a good story line through out and a good ending. This was my first book by Judith Miller and I would recommend it to others as a clean christian fiction set in the time period of the 1800s after the Civil War.

  • A Rup Life says:

    I would say that the theme of this book is to pay it forward by helping others. Loved that theme!

  • So I have a soft spot for the Irish as my heritage is Irish and I love learning more. Ewan is such a wonderful man trying to bring his family over to America to be with him while battling his uncle and aunt. Will he ever become a partner in his Uncle’s brickyard? Will he find true love? I loved learning about Laura as well and her secrets. Laura sees something in Ewan that she admires and they work together to get her father’s brickyard producing as much as possible for Ewan and his Uncle.

  • I’m always interested in a unique setting for a story. When this one popped up on my radar earlier this year, I have to say, the idea of a story set around that of a brickyard caught my attention rather quickly. Plus, it is written by an author I have enjoyed in the past.

  • I found it an easy read. I think it took me about 2 or 3 days from cover to cover. (I was spending ALOT of time sat waiting for my kids at the pool – no laundry was left undone due to the reading of this book!) I loved the historical details that went into this story. The mental images of the riverboats and layouts of the cities in the 1860’s were very interesting!

  • Judith Miller has a gift for transporting her readers back in time. With descriptive writing and beautiful word pictures one feels as if they are watching each of the characters as they journey from page to page.
    Great writing, great characters, and great read!

  • This is my first novel by Judith Miller and was a very pleasant experience. I needed something entertaining, light but historically sound and The Brickmaker’s Bride is all this and more.

  • I absolutely enjoyed this story set in 1868, taking place in West Virginia and focusing on a widow with a grown daughter. As I read I had a feeling I knew what ending the author was leading me towards. While I was partially correct, the author threw in a well-crafted twist in the end. One of the aspects of the book I so enjoyed was the beautiful mother/daughter relationship throughout the novel. Another enjoyable part was how Ewan stayed true to his word and faith even when other characters disappointed or broke their word. I hope many take time to really enjoy the tale!

  • WV Stitcher says:

    The Brickmaker’s Bride is the first book in what promises to be an exciting new historical series by Judith Miller. As a fan of historical fiction this one takes place in 1868 so it was perfect. What made this story unique for me was the brickmaking aspects. It was easy to see that Ms. Miller did her research in this area because I felt as if I received a mini education in the brickmaking business!

  • I liked this story a lot. Great time period, great characters, good and bad, and great tension and conflict in the plot.

  • I truly loved this book. Not only was it rich in details but it was also rich in inspirational overtones that blended so nicely with the story. Judith’s knowledge of the era and the brick making business came through beautifully in her descriptive writing. I could imagine the beauty of the Tygart River Valley and see the process of brick making in my mind. I am now fascinated by the craft!

    I also loved the ease of the relationship between Laura and Ewan but at the same time, I like that she had two suitors. It added a little tension to the romance aspect of the story. Overall, I think it’s a great story and a great start to a new series. I can’t wait to read the next book! If you like historical romance you will love this book!

  • I practically read one historical romance novel after another, so I was a little bit surprised that The Brickmaker’s Bride was a breath of fresh air to the genre. With a dazzling cover and intriguing plot enriched by vivid characters and descriptions, I flew right through the pages; reading the book in just one afternoon. Overall, The Brickmaker’s Bride was a delight to read and I recommend it other readers.

  • Judith Miller has done a great job weaving together a story set after the Civil War in 1868. I love Laura’s spirit and how she is involved with the brickyard. The role of women was seen so differently back then, and Laura’s character brought a lot of life to the story. It was eye-opening to read about all the hardships they faced in the aftermath of the Civil War. Many times we just read about an event, but don’t pause to think about all the changes and hardships people would of gone through during such times. Stories like this one, make us think.

  • I found the story line in this book to be actually pretty refreshing. I really liked it! The love triangle got a little complicated, but who doesn’t love the woman being the hero in the end. I would go further into the review, but I don’t want spoil the good stuff for you!

  • The Brickmaker’s Wife is the first book in Judith Miller’s latest series called Refined By Love and it’s a fantastic book. This is a wonderful Christian Historical Fiction that takes place right after the Civil War in the newly founded state, West Virginia. Judith Miller writes with authority about The Civil War, West Virginia, brick making process, brickyard management, unwed mothers, banking, and government of this time. As a huge fan of history I absolutely love all things Civil War including the post Civil War rebuilding.

  • This story is set in a reconstruction America, the Civil War has finally ended, and the country is trying to recover. Laura Woodfield’s father was a casualty of the war, and now her mother wants to sell their brickyard.
    The faith of most of these people touched me; they really lived their love of God. I enjoyed this story in many ways, and we need to remember our past, so it doesn’t repeat.

  • I have always enjoyed Judith Miller’s books and this is no exception. This was a great way to start a new series. I enjoyed getting to know the characters and all the detail that was added.

  • I enjoy Judith Miller’s books, since she does a wonderful job at bringing her characters to life and filling her novels with historical details. This book wound up being no exception! The story moved along at just the right speed. I enjoyed getting to know Ewan and Laura as they worked their hardest to get her father’s brick making business back up and running.

  • Judith Miller has a very unique way of bringing you into the story, so much so that you feel like one of the characters. Laura was my favorite character in the story! I felt bad for her because of the situation she found herself in.

  • I never thought I would find myself fascinated about brickmaking but I did find it quite interesting. I was glad to read how about a family that followed the rules of etiquette but they weren’t snooty about it. This novel showed a good example of how we need to reflect God’s love to others.

  • I did love the story. It was a bit rosy, but the unique perspective and colorful characters more than made up for that. Miller’s writing was smooth, as always, and drew me into the story from the very beginning. The Brickmaker’s Bride is definitely a historical fiction worth reading.

  • The Brickmaker’s Bride is filled with well-developed characters that easily paves the way for future stories. It a book about relationships and how individual choices can have devastating affects on those around us. It’s also a book about how forgiveness can heal even the deepest of wounds.

  • I really like a story when you can observe personal and spiritual growth in the characters, and Judith Miller did a wonderful job of fleshing out the characters and their growth through trials. While I enjoyed the characters, I did feel that the story started a bit slow. There was a lot of historical detail, as well as brick making detail, which gave a lot of background information but kind of slowed down the momentum of the story for me. That being said, I did enjoy the book and was satisfied with the ending and would recommend this book for a good weekend read.

  • This book was a fantastic and quick read – full of some twists I didn’t expect and even some I did. Having read Judith Miller before I knew I’d enjoy this book too, but this was probably my favorite so far. I was rooting for the ‘bad’ apple to turn over a new leaf, but I won’t tell you want happens as you’ll have to read it on your own to find out and does Laura find love even with her secret? Read it and find out, you won’t regret it.

  • The book has an old time feel that will draw you in. The characters are set in great detail so much so that you will feel like you’re actually in the story with them. A great book for adults as they would have a feel good time with it.

  • A delightful story that offers a good mix of historical fiction, drama, and romance while being grounded in essential, life-affirming Christian values!

  • The story was so deep; featuring so many different relationships. It really showed how a relationship you have with one person could effect how you would relate to others. I can list dozen of relationships, but the main point would be that they all went to show that how you treated others directly defined who you were as a person.

    The overall moral of the story of paying forward kindnesses, or treating others as you would wish to be treated, was wound throughout the story. It really gave a great look at people behaving as good Christians, and also those not acting with the best values (some finding a better path… and some not quite making it there).

  • The Brickmaker’s Bride is a story of struggle to help one’s family and prosper. Ewan McKay wants to start over. He has left Scotland and has traveled to West Virginia. He has told his uncle that he helps him with money he will help in a clay business. Ewan meets Laura who is the daughter of the business he has bought. As she helps him he starts to be attracted to her but she has another man. When they are faced with big problems Laura might be the one that has to save them. This is a story of family responsibility and starting over. I give this book a 4/5. I was given this book by Litfuse Publicity Group and all opinions are my own.

  • I enjoyed reading the history that fills the pages in this book. I can honestly say that I knew nothing about brickmaking and all that went into it. It was honestly something I never thought about until now that I’ve read this book.

    Besides the history, another thing I enjoyed about this book was that Ewan was an immigrant from Ireland. As part of my family history, my great-great grandparents came over from Ireland and began a new life here. I’m a sucker for pretty much any book about Ireland or the Irish!

  • I found this book to be a great pace and an enjoyable story. A story abouth taking a chance on love and trusting God in the disappointing times and the good times. I really enjoyed the characters and felt like Judith Miller did an excellent job at bringing them to life and giving them multiple facets. I really enjoyed the setting and found it fun that Ewan came from Scotland. Overall I really enjoyed this book and look forward to more.

  • This was a very entertaining novel. It kept my attention. I really liked the characters of Ewan and Laura, and I rooted for them all through the novel. I really liked the portrayal of Ewan’s faith, it was very refreshing to find a young man with a faith like his. I also enjoyed the story because it was set in my home state of WV. I think Judith did a very good job of showing WV in a good light.

    I received a complimentary copy of this book for my honest review.

  • This is the first Judith Miller book I have read in a while, and I thoroughly enjoyed every page of this story. Its not a fast pace story that keeps you on the edge of your seats, but it is a fun, relaxing, enjoyable story that you just can’t put down.

  • I found The Brickmaker’s Bride interesting in its treatment of Scotch-Irish immigrants and their treatment by society and the general populace during this post Civil-War period. The story features Ewan, a Scotch-Irish immigrant who had been brought to America by his Uncle Hugh for the sole purpose of purchasing and operating a brick making refinery.

    Judith Miller created a complexity of characters for this story……

  • This review is for the book “The Brickmaker’s Bride” by Judith Miller. The story begins with Laura and her mother returning to the brick factory her father built up. Now that he has passed away, they need to sell the business. Unfortunately, the people they sell to are slightly crooked – well, one of them is, and the other has some sense.

    The story is primarily about Laura and Ewan falling in love, but other stories are mixed in together. I felt this story was a bit slow-going and took me a while to get through. It is a historical novel set in the 1800s. I will say by the end I was starting to enjoy it more.

    Thank you to Litfuse Publicity and Bethany House for a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.

  • This is the first book of Judith Miller’s Refined by Love series, and I can’t wait to see what direction she’ll go in for the rest of the series! I really enjoyed reading about Ewan and Laura’s story and appreciated the historical details about the process of brick making. I love history, which is one of the reasons I love historical romance, so I enjoy when an author can expertly weave those details into the story.

    I also fell in love with Ewan and his devotion to his sisters and their safety, and I appreciated his desire to do so in an ethical way, despite his often scrupulous uncle. I sympathized with Laura’s situation in losing her father and then trying to choose between two men, with everything else going on with her life.

  • If you haven’t read any books by Judith Miller, you’re in for a treat. If you have, then you already know you’re going to love this one.

  • When circumstances happened and things looked dire for one of the family members, Laura & Ewan are drawn into the drama but find much greater gifts than either ever expected. This story is both heartwarming and filled with love that you will enjoy even after you have read the book.

  • The story is a little cliched – Laura and Ewan are perfect for each other, but she already has a suiter (and he’s barely redeemable, right from the get-go), he worries that it would be asking a lot for her to marry an Irish immigrant given the general antagonism they face during this time, and she believes she isn’t worthy to marry for love because she cannot bear children. But even if the story is predictable, it is also charming and interesting. If you like historical romantic fiction with a Christian worldview, this is an enjoyable and swift read.

  • Write a Review

     characters available