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He May Be Her Only Hope. She May Be His Last ChanceMiranda Wentworth never imagined becoming a mail-order bride. Now marriage to a stranger is her only hope of finding a home where she and her two younger brothers can escape the brutality of the Chicago orphanage where they live. With any luck, she can even start a family of her own, once the three of them are settled at Ja He May Be Her Only Hope. She May Be His Last ChanceMiranda Wentworth never imagined becoming a mail-order bride. Now marriage to a stranger is her only hope of finding a home where she and her two younger brothers can escape the brutality of the Chicago orphanage where they live. With any luck, she can even start a family of her own, once the three of them are settled at Jacob Creed’s Texas ranch. But Miranda has one gigantic concern: Her husband-to-be knows nothing about the brothers she’s bringing along. What if he calls off the deal when he discovers the trick she’s played on him?Jake Creed is hanging on to his Texas ranch by his fingernails. His nemesis, Alexander Blackthorne, is determined to ruin him. Jake will never give up, but he’s in desperate trouble. His wife died six months ago in childbirth, along with their stillborn son, and his two-year-old daughter needs a mother. The advertisement Jake wrote never mentioned his daughter—or the fact that he has no intention of consummating his marriage. He’s determined never to subject another wife to the burden of pregnancy. But Jake doesn't count on finding his bride so desirable. He doesn't count on aching with need when she joins him in bed. And he never suspected his bride would have plans of her own to seduce him.


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He May Be Her Only Hope. She May Be His Last ChanceMiranda Wentworth never imagined becoming a mail-order bride. Now marriage to a stranger is her only hope of finding a home where she and her two younger brothers can escape the brutality of the Chicago orphanage where they live. With any luck, she can even start a family of her own, once the three of them are settled at Ja He May Be Her Only Hope. She May Be His Last ChanceMiranda Wentworth never imagined becoming a mail-order bride. Now marriage to a stranger is her only hope of finding a home where she and her two younger brothers can escape the brutality of the Chicago orphanage where they live. With any luck, she can even start a family of her own, once the three of them are settled at Jacob Creed’s Texas ranch. But Miranda has one gigantic concern: Her husband-to-be knows nothing about the brothers she’s bringing along. What if he calls off the deal when he discovers the trick she’s played on him?Jake Creed is hanging on to his Texas ranch by his fingernails. His nemesis, Alexander Blackthorne, is determined to ruin him. Jake will never give up, but he’s in desperate trouble. His wife died six months ago in childbirth, along with their stillborn son, and his two-year-old daughter needs a mother. The advertisement Jake wrote never mentioned his daughter—or the fact that he has no intention of consummating his marriage. He’s determined never to subject another wife to the burden of pregnancy. But Jake doesn't count on finding his bride so desirable. He doesn't count on aching with need when she joins him in bed. And he never suspected his bride would have plans of her own to seduce him.

30 review for Texas Bride

  1. 4 out of 5

    Val ⚓️ Shameless Non-Snowflake ⚓️

    DNF @ 70 pages I'm so pissed off, I can't even fucking stand it. I wish I had NEVER picked this book up and I will NEVER read anything by this author ever again. When I started this story, I knew the main character, Jake, was a descendant of the Creed family, a family featured in two of Johnston's other series, the Bitter Creek series and the Lone Star Series, both of which I read over a decade ago. So imagine my utter SHOCK when, as I start this book, it mentions that Jake's father (Jarret) neve DNF @ 70 pages I'm so pissed off, I can't even fucking stand it. I wish I had NEVER picked this book up and I will NEVER read anything by this author ever again. When I started this story, I knew the main character, Jake, was a descendant of the Creed family, a family featured in two of Johnston's other series, the Bitter Creek series and the Lone Star Series, both of which I read over a decade ago. So imagine my utter SHOCK when, as I start this book, it mentions that Jake's father (Jarret) never came home from a war and his mother (Creighton), in her grief, immediately remarried and had children with an Englishman who then fucks Jake out of his rightful inheritance. Imagine my HORROR when I finally realize why those names seemed so familiar. Because who were Jarret and Creighton Creed? Oh, none other than the MAIN love story of Frontier Woman, a book I read and loved way back in 2001. Meaning Johnston decided to RIP apart the couple of a previous book. A couple whose HEA has lived safe and happy in my mind for over 16 years. I can handle a lot of shit in my books, but I won't stand for two things in my romance: 1) Main love interests being killed off 2) The wreckage of previous HEAs. There is no need for it and, in my opinion, it ruins the point of reading romance. So fuck you, Joan Johnston. I'll be returning this and the other 3 books comprising this series that I picked up posthaste.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Jessica's Totally Over The Top Book Obsession

    3.5 extra baggage Stars Spoilers Texas Bride is my first book by Joan Johnston and I enjoyed it. This book gave me mixed feelings as I liked a lot about it but it had some things in it that I didn't like. I love mail order bride books and this one is written well. The main thing I didn't like about this book was that the hero Jacob thought of his dead wife all the time. He always compared his new wife to his dead wife. He was insensitive to his wife Miranda and hurt her many times. I did under 3.5 extra baggage Stars Spoilers Texas Bride is my first book by Joan Johnston and I enjoyed it. This book gave me mixed feelings as I liked a lot about it but it had some things in it that I didn't like. I love mail order bride books and this one is written well. The main thing I didn't like about this book was that the hero Jacob thought of his dead wife all the time. He always compared his new wife to his dead wife. He was insensitive to his wife Miranda and hurt her many times. I did understand were he was coming from at times but I felt he could have tried harder to make Miranda happy. Once he fell in love with Miranda it was better but I still felt like there was too much of his dead wife's ghost haunting the marriage for my liking. Overall a good read.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Jilly

    Well, my dearies, if this book doesn't trigger you, I don't know what will. We have everything you need to be driven into a homicidal rage: Abused children I have an idea: maybe let's try NOT torturing children in books. Widower who constantly compares the heroine to his dead wife With that haircut? I'd scream too! Virgin super-hero NOT an oxymoron. Somehow, they go hand-in-hand. Backstories that are complicated and half-explained, but must have come from a completely different series because this is Well, my dearies, if this book doesn't trigger you, I don't know what will. We have everything you need to be driven into a homicidal rage: Abused children I have an idea: maybe let's try NOT torturing children in books. Widower who constantly compares the heroine to his dead wife With that haircut? I'd scream too! Virgin super-hero NOT an oxymoron. Somehow, they go hand-in-hand. Backstories that are complicated and half-explained, but must have come from a completely different series because this is book number ONE! In this case, I don't care. That's freaking adorable! So predictable that if you just read the blurb and think of what the story is - you are 100% correct. Wait, what? I didn't predict the creepy doll. *shudder* Okay, so only a couple of those are actual triggers for most people. And, there is no cheating at least. But, for a book to succeed at such a level of blandness, along with touchy subjects, it is special. Almost as special as our heroine, who can apparently do anything. I read this to check a box in my 2017 MacHalo Reading Challenge.

  4. 5 out of 5

    MG

    Miranda Wentworth is desperate. She turns 18 years old in 2 days when she will be dismissed from the orphanage where she has lived for the last 3 years since The Great Fire of Chicago burned her home and her father's business to the ground. Though she was able to save her youngest brother who was an infant at the time, she was unable to save her parents; thus, she and her 5 siblings were sent to the orphanage where they have been treated abysmally by its proprietress: Miss Iris Birch. Miranda ha Miranda Wentworth is desperate. She turns 18 years old in 2 days when she will be dismissed from the orphanage where she has lived for the last 3 years since The Great Fire of Chicago burned her home and her father's business to the ground. Though she was able to save her youngest brother who was an infant at the time, she was unable to save her parents; thus, she and her 5 siblings were sent to the orphanage where they have been treated abysmally by its proprietress: Miss Iris Birch. Miranda has done her best to shield her younger brothers and sisters from the physical punishments Miss Birch seems to relish, but she can no longer keep them safe if she is not there. Since everything was burned to the ground, she has no money to be able to take them with her, and their uncle has not agreed to allow them to live with him as he says he is not cut out to deal with children and believes them to be better off in the orphanage. Fortunately (perhaps?), Miranda's younger sister Josie has been busy planning their next step in life: she has answered several letters on Miranda's behalf for mail-order brides.... and one has accepted! Miranda finally agrees that it is their best course of action, and she takes her two young brothers (Nick, age 10; and Harry, age 4) with her because her three sisters are older (the twins are 17, and Josie is right behind them in age as well). What will Miranda find when she arrives all the way to Texas, and will her new husband allow her to keep her brothers with her once he realizes she has omitted the detail of their presence? Jacob Reed needs a wife... in name only. He left that detail out of his ad and the letter he sent in reply to Miranda Wentworth along with the fact that he is a recent widower (his beloved wife passed away 6 months earlier in childbirth along with his stillborn son). He does not want to have to go through that ever again, but he needs someone to be a mother to his 2 year old daughter... another detail he left out of his correspondences. Jacob is in a bind financially as well - he returned from the war to find his father gone, his mother remarried to an Englishman that Jacob despises, and his new stepfather (Blackthorne) has threatened repeatedly to take Jacob's land because he believes it should have been decreed to his wife (Jacob's mother, Cricket) instead of to Jacob. Though Cricket has told her husband she does not want the land and insists that Jacob be allowed to keep it, Blackthorne is equally determined to possess it as he does not believe Jacob is the right man to keep the business running. Jacob needs a wife to manage the household and help him care for his recently crippled father-in-law (Slim) who was trounced by a steer and is paralyzed from the waist down. Taking a mail-order bride is Jacob's best option as the local women in the area are unwilling to cross the powerful Blackthorne. But when his new wife arrives, will she accept that he cannot consummate their marriage ever because he refuses to allow another wife to fall victim to death in childbirth? What I liked: --- Jacob was described as the quintessential cowboy of the post Civil War era... yum --- Miranda was very likeable as the female main character, and she was easy to sympathize with and root for as the h --- The story was interesting and kept me glued to the pages --- The ancillary characters were engaging and added to the story nicely What I didn't like as much: --- Too much slow burn - the steamy goodness was there eventually, but I left like Jake took too long to get down to it when he knew he was going to lose the battle much earlier on --- Obviously, Blackthorne was an a-hole for the most part, but he did have some redeeming moments... it left me a little confused as to what his deal actually is/was and how he fits into the story (I assume there is more about him in later books in the series) Overall, an interesting plot with some twists and turns and engaging characters! Plot --- 4/5 Main Characters --- 4/5 Supporting Cast --- 4/5 Steam Level* --- 3/5 Violence --- nothing graphic Language --- not egregious POV --- 3rd *Note that steam level is not a rating so much as a how hot was it: 0/5 - clean; 1/5 - mild; 2/5 - sensual but nothing descriptive; 3/5 - now we're getting somewhere; 4/5 - yes please! ; 5/5 - they did EVERYTHING in this one, y'all

  5. 5 out of 5

    Mei

    What a nice series! I love the mail order bride trope and here it was done really well! Miranda was a sheltered rich banker's daughter who, with her 5 siblings, were orphaned during the Great Chicago fire and put by a jealous uncle in an orphanage where the vel caretaker was abusing all of them. She accepts the offer to become a mail order bride in order to help her siblings escape the brutality. Afraid to leave the youngest of her sibling she takes with her her two brothers, after the brutal beati What a nice series! I love the mail order bride trope and here it was done really well! Miranda was a sheltered rich banker's daughter who, with her 5 siblings, were orphaned during the Great Chicago fire and put by a jealous uncle in an orphanage where the vel caretaker was abusing all of them. She accepts the offer to become a mail order bride in order to help her siblings escape the brutality. Afraid to leave the youngest of her sibling she takes with her her two brothers, after the brutal beating the caretaker delivers. Arriving at destination, she's completly exhausted, her back still bleeding even after days of travel, she meets her intended and marries him immediately without telling him that she has two brothers in tow. When Jake discovers her deception, he's hurt but he also has a surprise for Miranda: he's already been married and his wife died leaving him with a little daughter, besides he's taking care of his father-in-law who's been crippled. So starts their story: with deception from both parts! There's also a convoluted family situation to take into account: his stepfather wants his land. There's a side story about his mother and his stepfather, who are very much in love. Jake's mother loves her son and tries in many ways to curbe her beloved husband (who's hiding a terrble secret from her)! It's very complicated and left unresolved... perheps in the next books it will be resolved... The story is about building trust between them. And with trust also love. It is a nice slow growing romance, where both parties have secrets, misgivings, lies, misunderstandings. But it is also very romantic and sweet! On to the next one about the missing sister!

  6. 4 out of 5

    Tina "IRead2Escape"

    Texas Bride is the first book in the Mail Order Brides series by Joan Johnston. When a book deals with the topic of mail order brides it has to have all of the right elements to be easily accepted. Let’s face it, what are the chances of a mail order bride showing up and everything is so perfect and happily ever after from page one? Not only that, but this particular subject typically falls under the genre of historical romance, which makes it even trickier. Morals and male/female roles were so d Texas Bride is the first book in the Mail Order Brides series by Joan Johnston. When a book deals with the topic of mail order brides it has to have all of the right elements to be easily accepted. Let’s face it, what are the chances of a mail order bride showing up and everything is so perfect and happily ever after from page one? Not only that, but this particular subject typically falls under the genre of historical romance, which makes it even trickier. Morals and male/female roles were so different then. Miranda Wentworth is the oldest child of 6. Their parents were killed in the Great Chicago Fire and were shipped off to an orphanage. Miranda is now turning 18 and being turned out of the home. The problem is she just can’t leave her siblings behind. The woman who runs the home is abusive and she won’t be there to protect the younger ones. In an attempt to save them all, Miranda has decided to be a mail order bride in the hopes that her new husband will be willing to let her send for the others once she is settled. Taking the 2 youngest boys in a last minute decision, she promises the girls that she will return to them, as soon as she can. Jake Creed has lost the only woman he’s ever loved in childbirth. He is left a single father of a 2 year old girl and a caregiver to her disabled father. He needs a wife. He doesn’t want a wife, he’ll never love anyone again, but he needs one. Against his better judgment he advertises for a mail order bride leaving out the little detail of his child and father in law. More importantly, he leaves out the part where he will be a husband in name only. He has no intentions of consummating this marriage or ever falling in love, again. It’s too big of a risk to lose someone else he cares about. ”Isn’t all of life like that? I’d call any day so full of averted disasters a good one.” Jake is amazed at how easily Miranda fits into his life. She works hard, loves his daughter and even puts up with his surly father in law. He finds himself falling under her spell and having to constantly refrain from touching her and more. It doesn’t help that she knows his conditions and doesn’t care. She wants to be a wife in more ways than just his helper and friend. As if that isn’t enough tension, Miranda is still hiding the existence of her remaining 3 siblings and he senses she is hiding something from him. How can they ever build a relationship when it is based on lies and deceit? Ms. Johnston did a good job of not creating too much drama and strife between the characters, without making it too easy on the characters. I really enjoyed this story and can not wait to read the other girls stories. You can find this review and others at http://tinar1121.blogspot.com

  7. 4 out of 5

    Aly

    4.5 Miranda Wentworth and her five younger siblings lost their parents three years ago in the Great Chicago Fire of 1871 and live at the Chicago Institute for Orphaned Children. Now that she's 18, Miranda's departure is imminent. She'll be happy to never see again the cruel headmistress but at the same time, she doesn't want to leave her brothers and sisters and fear for them. One of her sister bring the solution: "Wife Wanted: Must love children, cook, sew and do laundry. Reply to Mr. Jacob Creed 4.5 Miranda Wentworth and her five younger siblings lost their parents three years ago in the Great Chicago Fire of 1871 and live at the Chicago Institute for Orphaned Children. Now that she's 18, Miranda's departure is imminent. She'll be happy to never see again the cruel headmistress but at the same time, she doesn't want to leave her brothers and sisters and fear for them. One of her sister bring the solution: "Wife Wanted: Must love children, cook, sew and do laundry. Reply to Mr. Jacob Creed, General Delivery, San Antonio, Texas." Miranda is not so sure about marrying a man she knows nothing about, except for his name, but Josie already answered the ad and Miranda is determined to offer a better life to her family. The day of her departure, she decide to bring the youngest (her two brothers) with her and embark on a train. The plan is to get married before mentioning to her future husband that she brought them with her and that three other siblings will join them in good time. She leave the ruthless life of the Institute for the endless prairie wilderness of Texas and the harsh reality of being a rancher's wife. When Jacob Creed lost his beloved wife and their stillborn child in childbirth, he swore to himself to never fall in love again nor get a woman pregant again. He doesn't want a wife but he knows he need one, at least to take care of the household chores and the two-year-old daughter he didn't mention he have. When he meet his bride, the twenty-seven year old widower is surprised to see such a raggedy-looking waif but what take him aback even more is to realize it'll be harder than he imagined to resist her. And the more he gets to know her, the more his resistance crumble. While I liked Jake, a man who try to keep his distance but doesn't have the closed-off heart that he wished he had, it's really the heroine's personality who shined and her journey who make up the story. Miranda was a courageous, resilient and altruistic young lady who learned to assert herself with both a vulnerable and a strong side. She sacrificed so much for her siblings. She won Jake's heart with her attitude, her kindness, her inner-beauty and the way she adapted to her new life. My only complaint is that I wished I felt more strongly the connection between Miranda and Jake when they made love for the first time but other than that, I can't stay it wasn't a beautiful and satisfying love story. It's sad that they had to deal with harsh circumstances but at the same time, it showed the true test of love.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Lover of Romance

    Miranda, with her five brothers and sister after losing their parents, have been stuck in a orphanage, under horrid conditions and so when they find a ad in the newspaper for a mail order bride, Miranda knows this is her way out to save her siblings, now that she is eighteen and about to be kicked out, and does the only sensible choice and goes all the way to Texas with her two brothers, only her future husband has no idea about her situation or the brothers she is bringing along with her. Jake, Miranda, with her five brothers and sister after losing their parents, have been stuck in a orphanage, under horrid conditions and so when they find a ad in the newspaper for a mail order bride, Miranda knows this is her way out to save her siblings, now that she is eighteen and about to be kicked out, and does the only sensible choice and goes all the way to Texas with her two brothers, only her future husband has no idea about her situation or the brothers she is bringing along with her. Jake, having lost his wife and their child in childbirth, he knows he will never love another like his late wife, but he is desperate for a wife and a mother to his daughter, and so he puts an ad in the paper for a wife, and now that he is married he is shocked to find out that she is not only very beautiful....but has brought along her two younger brothers with her, and even though he is determined to never make love to her, she fills his senses like none other and soon he craves her touch and doesn't know how long he can stand not touching her especially when Miranda is so determined to consumate their marriage, he has no real chance and he finds a real passion in her arms..... Texas Bride is the ninth installment in the Bitter Creek series, but unlike the other books in the series, it is set in the 1800's, and having read most of the books in this series, I was very excited to read this one, and especially when I read the blurb, I couldn't wait to buy this one. Texas Bride, was a astounding read....and I just fell in love with both Miranda and Jake, both were the kind of characters that become deeply rooted. Both Jake and Miranda have gone through hardship in their lives, and only when they trust and love in each other are they able to heal and learn what it means to love. I just loved the conflict in the story on both sides, and it kept me on the edge of my seat most of the time, but at the same time I was just soaking up all the juicy details and Joan Johnston has become my favorite author again....one of my favorite things about this book would be the story line and the intimate connection that develops pretty quickly between Jake and Miranda....Definitely worth buying and reading!!!! A Treasure Of A Read!!!

  9. 5 out of 5

    Angela DeSilva

    Excellent read for fans of Western historical romance. Great series.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Dorine

    If anyone can charm the pants off rancher Jacob Creed, it has to be Miranda Wentworth, the oldest of six orphans who survived the Great Chicago Fire of 1871. Requesting a mail-order bride is a bit desperate, but she seems willing enough to fast-track herself to be his wife. That should have been his first clue… Miranda Wentworth and her five siblings are forced to live at an orphanage after their parents die in the Great Chicago Fire of 1871. Having lost everything, they have no choice but to If anyone can charm the pants off rancher Jacob Creed, it has to be Miranda Wentworth, the oldest of six orphans who survived the Great Chicago Fire of 1871. Requesting a mail-order bride is a bit desperate, but she seems willing enough to fast-track herself to be his wife. That should have been his first clue… Miranda Wentworth and her five siblings are forced to live at an orphanage after their parents die in the Great Chicago Fire of 1871. Having lost everything, they have no choice but to suffer every imaginable punishment over the last three years, at the hands of an evil headmistress-in-charge. Now that Miranda is eighteen-years-old, she must move out and find employment, leaving her siblings behind until they reach an age when they’ll be forced to leave as well. There isn’t much hope that Miranda can earn enough to support herself and her siblings. That is…until her youngest sister arranges for Miranda to become a mail-order bride for a man willing to send her first class tickets to Texas. Once her sister’s plan is revealed, Miranda realizes it’s the only way to get her family away from the orphanage. Having been beaten numerous times, Miranda isn’t sure her youngest siblings will survive starvation and torture at the hands of the sadistic headmistress without her protection. Ten-year-old Nick and four-year-old Harry escape with Miranda with barely enough money or food to get to Texas without starving. Miranda can only hope that her soon-to-be husband will understand not only the surprise of two brothers with hungry bellies, but also accept her three sisters in the future. Jacob “Jake” Creed lost his first wife during the birth of their son. Still grieving the loss of not just his beloved wife but his stillborn son as well, Jake has to marry again for his daughter’s future. Running a ranch with a two-year-old in tow is impossible. Having a disabled father-in-law to care for too—the only feasible answer is a new wife as a helpmate. It would have been much easier to court someone local than to send for a mail-order bride all the way from Chicago. But, due to Jake’s step-father’s threats to take his ranch at first chance and ruin anyone who helps him, it’s highly unlikely that anyone who knows Jake’s situation will be eager to wed him. Surely his new bride who said she loved children will accept that he has a two-year-old daughter. If becoming a mail-order bride isn’t tough enough, Miranda has to marry this stranger quickly before he finds out about her brothers who plan to hide in his wagon full of supplies. Or, before he discovers the fresh wounds she’s nursing from her final beating at the orphanage, and the scars she’s hiding as a result of the Great Fire. She isn’t the only one with secrets. How long will a marriage last that has been built on deceit and more mouths to feed than is expected? From the very first chapter, I was thoroughly entertained by Miranda and her siblings. Miranda has spunk and matches Jake toe-to-toe. Jake thinks he has the perfect wife, and it’s highly amusing watching Jake try to refuse Miranda anything. Jake and his family are just as enthralling, if not a bit more stubborn. Miranda can handle them all just fine, much to Jake’s frustration at times. You can’t help but love them all for their ability to survive one disaster after another and still have the strength to hope for a better future. The children are adorable and often steal the show, making sure the adults don’t always take themselves too seriously. This is the first book I’ve read by Joan Johnston and it made me anxious to read her backlist, so I did some research to find out how the books are connected. You’ll want to visit her site for the details but the MAIL-ORDER BRIDE series will introduce a Blackthorne, so it’s a prequel to the BITTER CREEK novels. Also, those who’ve read the SISTERS OF THE LONE STAR series will recognize Cricket Creed, Jake’s mother. Not having read the previous books and not wanting to spoil this one, all I can say from my research is that I believe that TEXAS BRIDE will delight current fans with familiar characters, as well as create new exuberant devotees out of those of us who are just getting started. I know I had a tough time letting go at the end—I wanted more hours, more story and more answers about what’s next. Hooked me completely! TEXAS BRIDE is charming, full of characters young and old that you’ll bond with immediately, leaving you impatient for what promises to be a tempting series for historical western fans. Fair warning; this novel leaves you craving for book two, WYOMING BRIDE, grinning with anticipation after reading the excerpt included. Great concept for a series that’s sure to please western historical readers who adore the pioneer spirit! 4.5 Blue Ribbon Review, Courtesy of Romance Junkies.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Ipshita

    3.5 stars

  12. 5 out of 5

    Tonya Lucas

    Joan Johnston's Bitter Creek Series has always been on of my favorites. I've read the modern day series twice and the 3 "Sisters of the Lone Star Trilogy"- Frontier Woman, Comanche Woman, & Texas Woman series, once. I was so glad to get the chance to read the Mail-Order Bride series. Texas Bride is just as I figured it would be. Fabulous... Joan Johnston has a profound way of weaving a series and her characters into your heart with all the trials, tribulations, and intrigue that the other books Joan Johnston's Bitter Creek Series has always been on of my favorites. I've read the modern day series twice and the 3 "Sisters of the Lone Star Trilogy"- Frontier Woman, Comanche Woman, & Texas Woman series, once. I was so glad to get the chance to read the Mail-Order Bride series. Texas Bride is just as I figured it would be. Fabulous... Joan Johnston has a profound way of weaving a series and her characters into your heart with all the trials, tribulations, and intrigue that the other books in Bitter Creek has always incorporated. I am so glad I'm backtracking to see how the Creed/Blackthorne feud actually began. Oh the deceptions the feud has created are what makes this series addictive. Jake and Miranda's journey was spectacular.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Tin

    This book (and author) came under my radar when a fellow blogger recommended it on Facebook. I can't remember anymore who it was (I've narrowed it down to two), but I want to say thank you to them -- because this book kept me company when my children were at home sick with a virus. Texas Bride is the first book in Joan Johnston's Mail Order Bride series, a sub-series of her Bitter Creek stories, and focuses on the lives of the Wentworth Children. I think the history of mail-order brides is very co This book (and author) came under my radar when a fellow blogger recommended it on Facebook. I can't remember anymore who it was (I've narrowed it down to two), but I want to say thank you to them -- because this book kept me company when my children were at home sick with a virus. Texas Bride is the first book in Joan Johnston's Mail Order Bride series, a sub-series of her Bitter Creek stories, and focuses on the lives of the Wentworth Children. I think the history of mail-order brides is very compelling -- there's something about risking it all, traveling half-way across the country in order to marry a man you've never met before. For the most part, it's women who dream of having a better life who answer these advertisements. Miranda Wentworth grew up in the lap of luxury -- the daughter of a famous Chicago banker, but their lives changed forever when the Great Chicago Fire destroyed her father's life work, and turned her and her siblings into orphans. Now that Miranda is 18, she needs to leave the orphanage, and her options are very limited: to wash dishes for minimum pay, or to be a mail-order bride. The first choice will allow her to live close to her siblings in Chicago, but Miranda takes the second choice -- hoping that her new husband would be able to help her get her siblings out of the orphanage and allow them to live with her in her new home in Texas. There's such a practicality and pragmatism to the mail-order bride system -- one wonders if love is ever a factor when a man posts an advertisement or when a woman answers said advertisement -- and that's, I think, were romance novels fit in. We need to believe that it is possible for these men and women, who risk their happiness in order to find a helpmeet, to find love. He didn't watch his future bride step down from the coach because he wanted the possibility of a fairy tale to last as long as possible. - p. 35 Jacob Creed lost his wife to childbirth, and now he needs a new wife to take care of his daughter and father-in-law while he manages his small farm. Jacob needs an extra pair of hands to help him with the day-to-day running of his household and farm -- because of his fight with his father-in-law, who owns a large majority of Bitter Creek, it's been an uphill struggle for Jacob to make ends meet. It was, literally, a long shot when Jacob posts an ad in a Chicago newspaper hoping to find a wife, and, as luck would have it, he gets a lot of responses for it. But it is Miranda's letter that intrigues Jacob, and so he arranges for her to travel to Texas. There's a lot of deception between Jacob and Miranda: Jacob didn't mention his daughter in the letter, and Miranda never mentioned her siblings, or her two younger brothers whom she brought with her to Texas. It really isn't the best start to a marriage, but I appreciate that Joan Johnston decided to tell an unvarnished, no sugar-coating version of the life of mail-order brides. This is part of what drew me to the series -- Miranda isn't Mary Poppins, and things don't magically get better when she arrives. The house is still in dire need of repair. Jacob is still engaged in a feud with his father-in-law. Joan Johnston writes a compelling family drama of one family being ripped apart by the greedy machinations of Alexander Blackthorne, and one family being patched together (Miranda's and Jacob's) -- there's such a heart to Johnston's characters and story, that draws you in. Miranda is a wonderful heroine, who is way over her head, but she is really trying her best and doing her best to help Jacob. She's placed in a difficult situation when she needs to act as mediator between her brothers and her new husband. Jacob is gruff and keeps his feelings bottled up. He is still grieving for his late wife, whom he loved, and doesn't quite know what to do with his new wife. He had vowed to himself that he wouldn't bed her, but that was before he had met her -- and Miranda is beautiful. Miranda is beautiful inside and out, and it's an irresistible, incredibly attractive combination to Jacob. There's not a lot of courting involved, since they're already married -- and it's difficult to nurture intimacy considering the amount of work they do every day -- but, in the midst of chores, of cows, of children, there's a wonderful dynamic that develops between our hero and heroine, as their odd family slowly mix together. She felt protected. She felt cherished. Of course, those feelings were an illusion. She wanted them to be real. She warned herself to be careful, to be cautious, not to let herself become vulnerable. She didn't want to lose her heart to a man who couldn't -- or wouldn't -- love her back. Better to remain friends. Better to remain safe than sorry. - p. 180 The "villain" of the story is very curious: Alexander Blackthorne is an English lord who married Jacob's mother -- he has then proceeded to convert the town and own most of it. I'm not really certain why there is such enmity between Alexander and Jacob -- my impression is that it's really tough love at work, but it seems a bit extreme, and I couldn't imagine how difficult it is for Jacob's mother, who is caught in the crossfire. Overall, this was an absorbing page-turner. I ended up reading the second book in the series right after I finished this one.

  14. 4 out of 5

    soriya

    For the first time in my life, I stopped reading a romance novel half-way. The plot was great, and the main characters are a bit annoying, but they're not the reason I stopped. I just couldn't get through the knowledge of what his stepfather did to his mother. And even though I understood that he loves her, and a ruthless business like him would not let anything take her away from him, including: (view spoiler)[ 1. KEEPING HER IN THE DARK REGARDING THE HUSBAND THAT SHE THOUGHT WAS DEAD! 2. Treating For the first time in my life, I stopped reading a romance novel half-way. The plot was great, and the main characters are a bit annoying, but they're not the reason I stopped. I just couldn't get through the knowledge of what his stepfather did to his mother. And even though I understood that he loves her, and a ruthless business like him would not let anything take her away from him, including: (view spoiler)[ 1. KEEPING HER IN THE DARK REGARDING THE HUSBAND THAT SHE THOUGHT WAS DEAD! 2. Treating her son like they're nothing but something to be tolerate and being ruthless with them because he wants soemthing they have. (hide spoiler)] I'LL NEVER GET OVER THE FIRST POINT. At least let the woman know the truth. At this point, i finally understood why it is called Bitter Creek. Anyway, I wished I could go back and finished it, but I don't think it will happen. I'll never get over the deceit of his stepfather, nor the hero for helping him conceal it. Also, I have anger towards Joan Johnson herself for doing what she did to the first heroine she ever wrote.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Susan

    Good book. Miranda and Jake's marriage got off to a rocky start. I was really impressed with the way that Miranda got herself and her brothers out of Chicago and to San Antonio to meet Jake. She showed a lot of courage and resourcefulness to make that trip successfully. The fact that she hadn't told him about her brothers and the sisters she left behind was a worry for her, but she had to hope for the best. Meanwhile, Jake hadn't exactly been honest with her either. His ranch was in bad shape an Good book. Miranda and Jake's marriage got off to a rocky start. I was really impressed with the way that Miranda got herself and her brothers out of Chicago and to San Antonio to meet Jake. She showed a lot of courage and resourcefulness to make that trip successfully. The fact that she hadn't told him about her brothers and the sisters she left behind was a worry for her, but she had to hope for the best. Meanwhile, Jake hadn't exactly been honest with her either. His ranch was in bad shape and she was expected to care for his daughter and father-in-law too. I really enjoyed the way that Miranda took things over right away and made an immediate difference. I also liked the way she set about trying to get Jake to be a real husband to her. It was pretty obvious that he was fighting a losing battle. I am looking forward to the stories for the sisters.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Veda

    Love this series. Children that have lost their parents in the Chicago fire. Put in an orphanage by their uncle, who said all the money was lost in the fire. Eldest sister heads to Texas to be a mail order bride. Little does she know the groom is hiding as much as she is about her past. Loved having people show up in the book, that I have met in other books. Reading as the loose ends are being tied together. Will this group of people learn to trust, as ND love again.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Among The Muses

    Jake Creed is in need of a wife to do the "womanly" chores and take care of his two-year old daughter and grouchy father-in-law, while he tends to his crumbling ranch. Having recently lost his wife and son during childbirth, Jake fits the definition of a hurt man with issues, but knows he must find a wife to take care of his young daughter and help with the tasks that have been neglected. Miranda Wentworth is simply in need of saving. Saving herself and her five younger siblings from the horrid o Jake Creed is in need of a wife to do the "womanly" chores and take care of his two-year old daughter and grouchy father-in-law, while he tends to his crumbling ranch. Having recently lost his wife and son during childbirth, Jake fits the definition of a hurt man with issues, but knows he must find a wife to take care of his young daughter and help with the tasks that have been neglected. Miranda Wentworth is simply in need of saving. Saving herself and her five younger siblings from the horrid orphanage – run by the abusive headmistress – she and her brothers and sisters were forced into following her affluent parents' deaths resulting from the Great Chicago Fire of 1871. What better way to be saved then to become a mail-order bride ... right? With her mind made up, Miranda agrees to become Mrs. Creed, to a man unseen, in a place completely foreign to her, and without telling her soon to be husband that she's taken her young brothers (age 10 and 4) along with her. Beyond the fact that Jake has a wife to take care of, in addition to two more young mouths to feed on a barely existing budget, he also has other issues. The problem is Jake refuses to consummate the marriage in fear of getting his young wife pregnant (he doesn't want to relive that horrible memory still fresh in his mind again), and Miranda wants nothing more than to discover passion and love with her husband. As you can imagine, differences of opinion keep the sexual tension rife throughout the book, but the heat level itself doesn't really flame too much higher than 'warm'. The sexual encounters were not graphic or abundant, but more of a sexual tension exploration and the desires that the H/h felt towards each other. This is a story of two people who both need saving, need a little comfort and love, and need to learn to rely on another person for help. This is a story of heart warming romance. I enjoyed the attributes of the protagonists, and the secondary characters were just as enjoyable. There were only a couple of times that I was left wishing for a little bit ... "more"? Especially in the matters regarding the antagonist. The conflict is obvious and understandable, but I still felt like there was a little closure missing by the end of the story. Texas Bride is my first experience with author Joan Johnston's writing – and it won't be my last. Overall, I found it to be a good read: entertaining and engaging with the late nineteenth century, Texan, western setting. The characters are enjoyable with Miranda being a strong woman despite the multitude of changes and challenges being thrown at her. And despite her physically distant husband having his mind set on not being with his wife sexually, he's not absent in regards of her well being – at least not eventually. Both these main characters learned to concede and stand-up for themselves and their families. It really was a romantic read. At the end of Texas Bride, readers are also left with a little teaser glimpse into the next Bitter Creek Novel, Wyoming Bride, the story of Hannah Wentworth, one of Miranda's sisters who are still unaccounted for at the conclusion of Texas Bride. I'm definitely looking forward to that story!! Recommended For: Historical romance readers with a penchant for westerns, family obligations, kids in the picture, broken heroes, strong woman, resilience of spirit, and enjoy the heat level to be right down the middle: not too hot, not too cold. :)

  18. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    I’m glad I gave this series another chance. The first book of the series I read, Book 3, I abandoned as I hated the lead heroine and I felt the untruths went on for far too long. This one, Book 1, is far better in my estimation. It hits the spot perfectly for a western historical romance. The whole mail-order bride/marriage of convenience thing has become a real weakness for me since starting to read historical romances more often. I loved it in this work as well. Both Miranda and Jacob come from I’m glad I gave this series another chance. The first book of the series I read, Book 3, I abandoned as I hated the lead heroine and I felt the untruths went on for far too long. This one, Book 1, is far better in my estimation. It hits the spot perfectly for a western historical romance. The whole mail-order bride/marriage of convenience thing has become a real weakness for me since starting to read historical romances more often. I loved it in this work as well. Both Miranda and Jacob come from hard-lived, tragic pasts that come with a ton of baggage. Their journey as a couple while dealing with those painful pasts made the book for me. I liked that the author kept the secrets and misunderstandings to a minimum. Those aspects of historical romance drive me up the proverbial wall, and they seem to crop up in so many titles. The secrets of Miranda’s brothers and Jacob’s daughter come out real quick. Miranda’s sisters stay secret for a bit longer but their existence is learned only about half way through. So that’s not held over the story’s head until the very end, either. I liked that refreshing departure. As unique individuals, Jacob and Miranda are strong and carry the story well. I liked their combinations of strength, heart, and vulnerability. They dealt with the issues and problems that came their way in realistic ways and developed as individuals as a result of those obstacles. The only chink in the books armor, occurred in this area, though. There were times where Miranda read as too perfect: beautiful, strong, courageous, a bit vulnerable, willing to sacrifice her life for others, hard-working, and sweet. While those aren’t bad in and of themselves, they do stand out starkly if not balanced with a few sins. I loved the chemistry between Jacob and Miranda as well. There’s definitely a ton of tension of the sexual variety present. Yet, due to Jacob’s no pregnancy rule, the amounts of sexual encounters are lower than one would imagine for a western historical romance. I actually liked that; it left lots of room for the development of their emotional connection. I loved seeing that develop, even if it did over such a short time period that the book takes place during. They seemed to balance each other out so well, filling holes in their souls with each other’s love. Like I mentioned, I’m glad as heck I gave this author and series another chance. Her characters and romance make the story shine. Even though there are a few romantic clichés and too-perfect characterizations, overall they are not as present as they could have been. I’d definitely recommend this title to lovers of historical romance, especially of the Western variety. I look forward to reading more books by this author.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Alex

    At First Sight: Following the death of their parents during The Great Chicago Fire, the Wentworth siblings were put on a orphanage where they endured a lot of mistreatment from the main caretaker. Still, the six siblings managed to stick together... until Miranda, the oldest, turned 18. Knowing she had little chance of keeping them all together once she was out and and with a low-wage job at a hotel, Miranda agrees to go along with her sister Josie's crazy scheme and become a mail-order bride fo At First Sight: Following the death of their parents during The Great Chicago Fire, the Wentworth siblings were put on a orphanage where they endured a lot of mistreatment from the main caretaker. Still, the six siblings managed to stick together... until Miranda, the oldest, turned 18. Knowing she had little chance of keeping them all together once she was out and and with a low-wage job at a hotel, Miranda agrees to go along with her sister Josie's crazy scheme and become a mail-order bride for a Texas rancher named Jacob Creed, hoping once she gets to Texas her husband turns out to be wealthy enough to allow her to bring all her siblings from Chicago to live with them. At the last minute, and following a rather harsh beating from the caretaker, Miranda decides to take her little brothers, Nick and Harry, along with her. When they finally arrive in Texas after a long, difficult trip things aren't quite what she expected. Her husband is young, and reasonably handsome but he's also butting heads with the biggest land-owner in the region, who happens to be his stepfather, and that's making his ranching operation twice as hard as it already would be. Jake also haves a young daughter, Anna-Mae, a surly, wheelchair bound father-in-law and its still clinging to the memory of his first wife, whom he loved dearly. Second Glance: So, I picked up Texas Bride both because I had heard good things about it and because I got the second book of the series, Wyoming Bride, for review. It took me a while to get into the story, because it does take a few chapters for Miranda and Jake to met, and once they did it was a pretty standard story of two people reluctantly falling in love with a few extra troubles thrown. Miranda and Jake weren't neither good nor bad and it was kind of nice seeing them blend their families, even if Jake was rather reluctant about it. It was the other problems that started to sink the book for me. Miranda decides not to tell Jake about her sisters at first since he's none-too pleased about her bringing along two extra-mouths to feed without letting him know first. And Nick's sourly attitude doesn't help. And this will complicate things later on, leading into the next book. Also, the feud between Jake and his stepfather is a bit senseless. It's never really explained why Blackthorne - the stepfather - is so hard on Jake, part of their animosity is explained but not all the way. And then the whole thing is over. Which was kind of the problem with the ending, it just ends all too neatly in someways, too neatly for a story that was all over the place all the time.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Joyfully Reviewed

    Miranda Wentworth will do anything to protect her younger brothers from the rod of the mistress at the orphanage. Since she has to leave the orphanage because she will be of age, she has no choice but to take her youngest siblings with her. Fate had answered her dilemma in the guise of becoming a mail-order bride to a stranger in Texas. However, Miranda wasn’t too sure that her groom-to-be would accept these young stowaways since she never mentioned them to him. She comes up with a slick little Miranda Wentworth will do anything to protect her younger brothers from the rod of the mistress at the orphanage. Since she has to leave the orphanage because she will be of age, she has no choice but to take her youngest siblings with her. Fate had answered her dilemma in the guise of becoming a mail-order bride to a stranger in Texas. However, Miranda wasn’t too sure that her groom-to-be would accept these young stowaways since she never mentioned them to him. She comes up with a slick little plan and hopes it will play out well for her HEA. Jacob Creed is in need of a wife to help out at the ranch so that he doesn’t lose it his enemy. He keeps mum about his “conditions” for his bride-to-be, and he fails to disclose that he already has a child. He has his own goals in completing this quick marriage of convenience. He certainly doesn’t think that he will desire his wife either! However, Jacob soon finds that even his “conditions” may not be enough to hold off a woman intent on seduction! Texas Bride was a heart wrenching sweet tale of romance with just the right amount of realistic conditions added to jack up the angst. I didn’t like the hardships that Miranda had to endure, but I felt that they were probably authentic to the time period in Texas Bride. Jacob wasn’t one of those great billionaires either, but more a down-to-earth hard-working man that truly deserved his HEA in Texas Bride. The development of the secondary characters added more to the overall story, and answered some questions that were brought to life, since I read the series out of order. However, I was still looking for resolution in their stories as well in Texas Bride. Yet I can’t find fault with Jacob and Miranda’s love story in Texas Bride. I felt invested with Jacob and Miranda and cried at several points in Texas Bride. I liked that Jacob learned to take a risk and that Miranda learned to trust Jacob in Texas Bride, as well. The dialogue was witty and entertaining at several points and engaged me in the lives of the various characters. The fact that I could become involved in this historical western, which I don’t normally read, makes Texas Bride a Joyfully Recommended read! Reviewed by Vanessa for Joyfully Reviewed

  21. 4 out of 5

    Mariann {at} Belle's Book Bag

    My Review: Miranda and her 5 siblings are orphaned when their parents die in the Great Chicago Fire. They have been living in an orphanage for the past 3 years and as Miranda's 18th birthday approaches, she has to leave the orphanage. She answers an add placed by Jake Creed for a mail order bride on his Texas ranch. Miranda sets out for Texas with her 2 brothers. Jake doesn't know Miranda is bringing her brothers with her and has plans of sending for her sisters once they are married. Miranda do My Review: Miranda and her 5 siblings are orphaned when their parents die in the Great Chicago Fire. They have been living in an orphanage for the past 3 years and as Miranda's 18th birthday approaches, she has to leave the orphanage. She answers an add placed by Jake Creed for a mail order bride on his Texas ranch. Miranda sets out for Texas with her 2 brothers. Jake doesn't know Miranda is bringing her brothers with her and has plans of sending for her sisters once they are married. Miranda doesn't know that Jake is recently widowed and living with his crippled father-in-law and 2 year old daughter in a house desperate in need of repair. She also doesn't know of the feud between Jake and his Step dad involving Jake's ranch. Since his wife died in childbirth along with his infant son, Jake is not looking for a wife. He is scared to death of Miranda meeting the same fate as his first wife, so he tries to fight his growing feelings for her by avoiding her. Miranda is determined to make Jake her husband in every way and he doesn't stand a chance. This is the first book that I have had the pleasure of reading from Joan Johnston. I thoroughly enjoyed Texas Bride and would definitely recommend reading. The concept of mail order brides is one of my favorites and this story did not disappoint. This is a sweet love story involving Jake and Miranda along with a great bunch of secondary characters. The way Joan Johnston wrote these characters added to the story by pulling you in and making you interested in learning more about them and hoping for them to get their HEA. This story does not end with Texas Bride but continues on with Wyoming Bride (Hannah's story), Montana Bride (Hetty's story) and Blackthorne's Bride (Josie's story). I can't wait for these to be released!! 4 out of 5 rating Copy courtesy of NetGalley

  22. 4 out of 5

    Z-squared

    I wanted to like this book, in spite of the simplistic opening chapter. Once past a hopelessly naive discussion of how Miranda comes to be a mail-order bride (I absolutely detest when historical fiction authors assume people are as simple as the technology of the era they live in), the book sets up a very touching conflict. Miranda needs a way out of poverty and a chance to save her family from abuse, and Jake needs a babysitter/cook/housekeeper that won't die in childbirth like his last wife. T I wanted to like this book, in spite of the simplistic opening chapter. Once past a hopelessly naive discussion of how Miranda comes to be a mail-order bride (I absolutely detest when historical fiction authors assume people are as simple as the technology of the era they live in), the book sets up a very touching conflict. Miranda needs a way out of poverty and a chance to save her family from abuse, and Jake needs a babysitter/cook/housekeeper that won't die in childbirth like his last wife. They have a particularly horrible wedding before he whisks her off to the wasteland that is his ranch, and things go downhill from there--which is great! So much dramatic tension and potential for delicious make-up sex! And yet, (view spoiler)[the only sexual encounter described in detail is their first one, which was just hate sex (hide spoiler)] , and Jake was a whopping giant a-hole (view spoiler)[to take Miranda's virginity (hide spoiler)] under such circumstances. That scene squicked me out a little, tbh, but I was willing to roll with it because I expected their reconciliation to be epic. And... it wasn't. This book left me completely unfulfilled. Jake eventually thawed and got over himself, but there wasn't nearly enough groveling or growth in their relationship. And dammit, (view spoiler)[I wanted one more sex scene where they were nice to each other (hide spoiler)] ! It wouldn't have made the book unseemly(view spoiler)[ (given the level of detail in the first encounter) (hide spoiler)] , and it would have allowed us to bask in their healed relationship. Instead, the ending was rushed, I got no emotional payoff, and I don't give a crap about following up on the characters in this universe.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Katie

    Oh, I don't know. I liked the beginning of this book a LOT and the simplistic* writing works VERY well for me, but . . . then there was just too many characters and too many plot points that just . . . okay, this is a spin off of sorts and I'm pretty sure some of what's mentioned happened in previous books (this is the first I've read by the author), BUT 1) this is the first book of a new series. I shouldn't feel like I'm missing stuff 2) I'm not entirely sure everything happened in previous boo Oh, I don't know. I liked the beginning of this book a LOT and the simplistic* writing works VERY well for me, but . . . then there was just too many characters and too many plot points that just . . . okay, this is a spin off of sorts and I'm pretty sure some of what's mentioned happened in previous books (this is the first I've read by the author), BUT 1) this is the first book of a new series. I shouldn't feel like I'm missing stuff 2) I'm not entirely sure everything happened in previous books? (view spoiler)[So I read past book descriptions and one of them is Cricket's love story with her first husband. UM. Doesn't that make what happened in this book kind of a bummer if you've read that one. (hide spoiler)] And everything also got WAY TOO DRAMATIC. And didn't make a lot of sense. (view spoiler)[I am so confused about the stepfather. How bad of a guy is he? And I didn't really understand his and the hero's relationship. And WHY was Jake so against taking Miranda's money? They're married and in love at this point AND it's her home, too! Why wouldn't she spend it on their house and land? (hide spoiler)] *=Bare bones? Clear? Simplistic seems to have negative connotations, but I mean it as a very positive thing. I don't like overly involved writing. Anyway, I DON'T KNOW. I liked the writing so much and I loved that it was a US historical romance, but the plot lost me so completely and I'm just not sure if I'll try more by her or not.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Kat Morrisey

    I'm really waffling as to how to rate this book. I can't decide whether it should be 3 or 4 stars, though the more I think about it, it should be somewhere in between. Though I could change my mind. Hmm, yeah, I'm undecided. LOL Whether three or four though, the point is, I really liked this book. I'd never read anything by this author before but this won't be my last read by her. The story was well developed and it was truly heartbreaking in certain parts. Both the MCs had suffered so much loss I'm really waffling as to how to rate this book. I can't decide whether it should be 3 or 4 stars, though the more I think about it, it should be somewhere in between. Though I could change my mind. Hmm, yeah, I'm undecided. LOL Whether three or four though, the point is, I really liked this book. I'd never read anything by this author before but this won't be my last read by her. The story was well developed and it was truly heartbreaking in certain parts. Both the MCs had suffered so much loss in their lives. Actually, most of the characters had lost a lot. But the hardships they faced were common, sadly, back then. And I am so glad that Miranda's jerk of an uncle was revealed to be the douche he is. The series order states this is the first in the Mail Order Brides series, but #9 in the Bitter Creek series. That had me a bit confused but I think these books are prequels to the Bitter Creek books. Or at least this one is. (The hero is a Creed and his step dad is a Blackthorne. BUt the Bitter Creek Novels seem to be contemporaries. I think.) Maybe someone out there can help me out with this? And please correct me if I'm wrong! *This book was a self purchase. All opinions are my own.*

  25. 5 out of 5

    Melanie

    RRAH's THOUGHTS AND PONDERINGS: WARNING! Gushing ahead!!! Without a doubt, this is a character-driven story which, combined with fast pace and more than one couple to root for, will take you on a journey of self discovery for all characters. Ms. Johnston made sure that her writing was so good that as a reader, I just ‘wanted’! This multidimensional story left me laughing, crying, and definitely wanting more. I wanted to know about all the kids that were left behind, and I wanted to know what happe RRAH's THOUGHTS AND PONDERINGS: WARNING! Gushing ahead!!! Without a doubt, this is a character-driven story which, combined with fast pace and more than one couple to root for, will take you on a journey of self discovery for all characters. Ms. Johnston made sure that her writing was so good that as a reader, I just ‘wanted’! This multidimensional story left me laughing, crying, and definitely wanting more. I wanted to know about all the kids that were left behind, and I wanted to know what happened to Jake’s father. I adored this book so much that as soon as I was done with it, I wanted to know more about Jake’s mother and her second husband. I NEEDED to know more, so off I went and bought all of the books connected to this dynamic and dynastic family. I am all in knots waiting for WYOMING BRIDE (Hannah's story), MONTANA BRIDE (Hetty's story) and BLACKTHORNE'S BRIDE (Josie's story). I am not a patient person, so I’m reading all her books while waiting for these to hit the shelves or my Kindle. Melanie

  26. 4 out of 5

    Kellison

    3.5 Stars. I liked the main characters, Miranda and Jake, and the secondary cast is mostly enjoyable, too. I had a few issues here and there with the believability of some of the events (yes, I know it is fiction), especially a specific event involving fire and some cow hands. My biggest complaint was when the book changed POV to Jake's stepfather, Blackthorne. I don't care what he is thinking, because especially once I learned about what all he has done to Jake and his family, I really just hat 3.5 Stars. I liked the main characters, Miranda and Jake, and the secondary cast is mostly enjoyable, too. I had a few issues here and there with the believability of some of the events (yes, I know it is fiction), especially a specific event involving fire and some cow hands. My biggest complaint was when the book changed POV to Jake's stepfather, Blackthorne. I don't care what he is thinking, because especially once I learned about what all he has done to Jake and his family, I really just hate him. His character sort of sucked all around, why are you putting me in his head? I liked that Jake had loved his first wife, and that that is in no way diminished or dismissed because he married again and loved again. It was a nice change for the author to show that Jake could love again without having to belittle his love for his first wife—there is no finite amount of love that he has to ration out. He can still love Priss in his memories and love Miranda in the present, without either suffering for it.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Bill Landau

    I don't usually read this type of book but the librarians I work with are participating in a weekly readers advisory session and I drew Western Romance out the hat this week. And guess what....I liked it! It was a very quick, fun read. Kind of sexy and yet had a western flare to it. Basically, the whole book tells the story of a young mail order bride and her new husband who only wants someone to cook and clean. So you read through most of the book wondering whether they are really going to "do I don't usually read this type of book but the librarians I work with are participating in a weekly readers advisory session and I drew Western Romance out the hat this week. And guess what....I liked it! It was a very quick, fun read. Kind of sexy and yet had a western flare to it. Basically, the whole book tells the story of a young mail order bride and her new husband who only wants someone to cook and clean. So you read through most of the book wondering whether they are really going to "do it" and the author does a good job of building the suspense. I was impressed. I might try another in the series.

  28. 5 out of 5

    StellaR

    I swear I wanted to catch up some contemporary romance but these western historical keeps beckoning me to read them. Now that I finished this one, I'm curious about the other sisters! Love the simple life it portrayed, the hardship of the people back in the days and love when heroes are not your typical alpha, super rich, super good looking..Right, onto the next one.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Zoe

    I really want to rate this book one star because both of the lead characters pissed me off with their lies. Deception is a frequent plot mechanism in such books. I don't know why deception in this book annoys me so much. I took an immediate dislike to both characters and then the book is done for. But I will refrain from rating. Only read 20% before I DNFed.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Miranda

    LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this first book in the series. I'm on to book number two! Highly recommend if you love historical romance.

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