“Joan Johnston continually gives us everything we want…fabulous details and atmosphere, memorable characters, a story that you wish would never end, and lots of tension and sensuality.” – Romantic Times
Title: Montana Bride, Book 3 (Mail-Order Brides Series)
Author: Joan Johnston
Story Setting: Wyoming Territory to Montana Territory in North America
Published By: Dell An imprint of the Random House Publishing Group
About The Author: Joan Johnston, a New York Times bestselling author, has written more than forty historical and contemporary romance novels. She has a Master of Arts Degree in theater from the University of Illinois and graduated with honors from the University of Texas, School of Law at Austin. Joan Johnston lives in Colorado and South Florida. Along with her joy of travel to research her novels, her past careers as an attorney, newspaper editor and critic, a theatre director and college professor give her a wealth of experience which she puts into her writing. If you enjoy England and Scotland settings she written a series called Captive Heart. This is book three of the Mail-Order Brides Series: Texas Bride, Wyoming Bride, and Montana Bride. Here is a link to the books that she’s written — an amazing list! http://www.fictiondb.com/author/joan-johnston~3886.htm
About The Story: Karl Norwood was an educated man ready to start his new life in the Montana Territory, proving to his father that he could stand on his own feet. He had chosen a mail-order bride to complete his life in the valley. She was a widow with two young children. When she arrived to Bitterroot Valley, he couldn’t believe his luck. She was absolutely beautiful. He knew that the children seemed older than she had said and also they looked like they were from different fathers. That bothered him a bit because he really knew nothing about her past. But could he be so fortunate to have such an exquisite wife? And once he was married, he found more and more things that just didn’t add up. Was this woman telling him any truth at all? Why did she put off consummating their marriage? And what kind of relationship could he have with a woman who started with lies?
Mr. Bao Lin, a young Chinaman, who worked for Karl Norwood, had been sent to Cheyenne to pick up the new bride and deliver her to Karl in the Montana Territory. Hetty Wentworth, a seventeen year old was found on the prairie by Mr. Lin, dying from an arrow inflected wound. He nursed her back to health. Hetty took the place of the bride after the demise of the real mail-order bride. She accepted the deception because if she hadn’t the widow’s children would be orphaned. Hetty knew how it felt to be orphaned, and if she could prevent it she would.
How was Hetty to manage pretending that she had been married before? She didn’t know the first thing about being married and here she was supposed to be a widow. Thank heaven her new husband gave her more time before consummating the marriage. Her greatest fear was once Karl found out that she was a virgin, would he kick her and the children out of his house. And if he fell in love her before he knew of the deception, would he continue once he knew?
My Thoughts: I only wish that I had discovered this series earlier! There are two books before this one that I MUST read! It’s been a long while since I’ve read about the pioneer days in North America. The wild land in the territories was a dangerous place which Joan Johnston described very well and the reader easily feels the uncertainty of life during that time. Life was particularly difficult for women. They had to be physically strong and willing to live a harsh life with men who took what they wanted. If you enjoy romance AND adventure, take a look at Joan Johnston’s writing. Her writing is delightful.