‘Blackthorne’s Bride’ by Joan Johnston

bb jjSTORY: Two years have passed since Josie Wentworth was bought from the Sioux for a gold watch and whisked back to England by Marcus Wharton, the Duke of Blackthorne. When Marcus breaks his promise to return Josie to America, she ends up as a maid in the home of his charming but neglected nephews. Once Josie’s long-lost family finds her, however, the suddenly wealthy heiress sets out to save the two boys from their indifferent uncle—and teach the duke a lesson in honor.

Learning that Marcus is seeking a rich American bride to save his estate, Josie plots to catch his eye—certain he’ll never recognize the beauty she’s become as the ragged captive he rescued. But Josie doesn’t wager on her marital charade taking a tender turn, as the nobleman she’s despised for years proves to be a very different man than she’s imagined. And there’s no denying his passionate caresses, as she falls deeper under the spell of a husband determined to claim her heart.

REVIEW: I waited a looooooooong time for this story and I can only say this: It was damn worth it!

This is the fourth book in Mail-Order Brides series (‘Texas Bride’ by Joan Johnston, ‘Wyoming Bride’ by Joan Johnston, and ‘Montana Bride’ by Joan Johnston I loved), and it was worth the wait.

I know that mail-order bride tropes are dime-a-dozen out there and sometimes I’m really skeptical about them, but this series in this authors hands was one of the best I’ve ever read. The reason for it is because the trope takes second place to the characterization, so that the story is character-driven.

To better understand the character and story of Josie, the youngest Wentworth sister, I highly recommend you read all three books before this one. I think you’ll get the dynamic of this family and their history much better. You’ll find out what happened to Josie and what shaped her character. As heroines go, she was everything we can only dream of being, smart, strong willed, loyal and witty. My heart went out to this young woman who has endured so much heartache yet remained optimistic and hopeful.

Our hero, Marcus, was a complex man and I needed some time to fully warm up to him, even though he’d exhibited plenty of good qualities.

I was truly happy to see the ending included all the Wentworth’s and their families. It was like a cherry on top of my sundae!

If you like western romance then this author and her books, this series included, must be on your list.

Melanie for b2b

Complimentary copy provided by the publisher


‘Montana Bride’ by Joan Johnston

mb jjSTORY: A Desperate Deception
The Promise Of Forever

When Karl Norwood’s mail-order bride meets an untimely demise on the way to the Montana Territory, Hetty Wentworth steps in to take her place. Hetty has no idea how she’s going to pretend to be all the things she isn’t—including the mother of two kids. She only knows her deception is necessary if she’s going to save two orphans from the awful fate she suffered as a child.

Karl smells a rat when a much younger woman than he was expecting arrives with two children who look nothing like her. But his mail-order bride is so beautiful, he doesn’t object—until he realizes that his charming new wife has been lying . . . about everything. Can a woman forced to keep secrets and a man hindered by distrust ever hope to find happily ever after in each other’s arms?

REVIEW: Ms. Johnson continues her Mail-Order Brides series with Hetty’s story, Hannah’s sister, the one that I was on a war path with in Hannah’s story. Holy Crap! She might have driven me to murder were I her sister! If there was trouble to be had, she was in it to her eyeballs!

She drove me crazy in the beginning of this story but then I slowly warmed up to her, as her character grew, I liked her more and more.

As I mentioned before in my earlier reviews of this series, Ms. Johnson is good when it comes to characterization. Hetty is the proof of that. She created a whiny, shallow and bratty girl and then turned her into a compelling, affectionate and determined woman I couldn’t help but care for.

As for Karl, he was a perfect Beta Hero. As smart, patient and kind man who is plain looking, he thought he hit a jackpot with his beautiful mail-order bride. Hetty on the other hand wasn’t of a similar opinion when it came to her opinion of her groom.

I’ve read all the books in this series and I’ve loved them all equally. I’m chomping at the bit to read Josie’s story in ‘Blackthorne’s Bride’!

If you like western romance then this author and her books, this series included, should be on your list.

Melanie for b2b

Complimentary copy provided by the publisher

‘Wyoming Bride’ by Joan Johnston

WB JJSTORY: After three months in a mail-order marriage, Hannah Wentworth McMurtry is a widow—pregnant, alone, and near death in the Wyoming wilderness. Though she is saved by a man with a face cut from stone, she still grieves the husband who died on their journey west. Hannah needs a husband, but does she dare marry another stranger?

Flint Creed has also lost someone he loved—when the woman he hoped to marry chose his younger brother instead. Now he must find a ranch wife of his own. But every female in the remote Wyoming Territory is too old, too young, or already married . . . until he discovers Hannah on the prairie. Flint doesn’t pretend to love her, but he doesn’t tell her he loves another woman, either. Hannah doesn’t pretend to love him, but she doesn’t tell him about the child she carries. Though danger surrounds them on the Wyoming frontier, the greatest threats of all are the secrets within—revelations that could destroy the new life Hannah and Flint have begun to cherish.

REVIEW: I was looking forward to reading the second book in this series ever since I read the first one!

Ms. Joan Johnston’s tales are new to me, but I’ve already tracked down almost all of her back list and hope to read them in between my Regency World.

What originally attracted me to this particular series, and for that matter this author, is the way she develops not just her characters, but the families within those stories. Everything about her books just has that feel of ‘saga’. They’re all connected and just sort of ‘grow’ on you…You just get hooked, and once you read one story, off you go to next and on and on!

This time we have Hannah’s story and as much as I liked her, I was on a war path with her twin, Hatty. Holy Crap! She might have driven me to murder were I her sister! If there was trouble to be had, she was in it to her eyeballs!

‘Wyoming Bride’ picked up where ‘Texas Bride’ left off and Hannah is doing exactly what her sister did, marries a man just to save herself and her two sisters, from the orphanage.

It was great to watch Hannah become strong and decisive woman. Like I said, character development seems to be one of many talents Ms. Johnson has.

As for our hero, Flint Creed, I thought him a very complex and it was too much fun being in his head, just waiting for him to figure out that the woman he thinks is his ‘soul mate’ is nothing but an infatuation.

And then we have the secondary characters, Ransom and Emaline, which are as well drawn as the first and following them was even more fun!

There were many times I wanted to strangle this idiotic chick and tell Ransom to drop her like a hot potato!

If you’ve never read any of Joan Johnston’s books, here is what you’re missing: great writing, wonderful three-dimensional characters and stories that have an epic feel to them. She excels in bringing her readers to go through sadness to elation within a paragraph! That’s a gift!

Looking forward to Hatty’s story which will be out later this year, ‘Montana Bride’ and then, the one I can hardly contain my excitement for, Josie’s in ‘Blackthorne’s Bride’!

*Book provided by the publisher through NetGalley.