Sunday, April 29, 2012
Texas Bride by Joan Johnston (Bitter Creek #1)
Title: Texas Bride
Author: Joan Johnston
Series: A Bitter Creek Novel
Publisher: Dell (March 27, 2012)
Length: 384 pages
Description from Goodreads:
Miranda 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.
Texas Bride surprised me that it connects with her Sister's of the Lone Star. Through Texas Bride you find out some "sad" information about the characters of that series, but it lends a realistic quality to both of the books. This was an extremely likeable read that kept me turning pages through the night and through class. Joan Johnston is a master at illustrating the difficulties and constraints of being a woman during this time period. Miranda's circumstances are heartbreaking and I couldn't imagine having to do what she does. She is an admirable and loving character that draws readers in. As for Jake, he is surly, protective, and as hot as the Texas sun! He has a bad habit of making things more difficult than necessary, but by the end of the book you'll be wishing you had a cowboy like him at home. The story as a whole is well thought out, but the way it is set leaves you wanting more. With the understanding that this is a series the ending of the book still felt rather abrupt. The adversarial relationship Jake has with his stepfather was left unresolved to me and that was a big part of the story I was looking forward to. I can't wait until the next installment of the Bitter Creek series! I give this book a 4 1/2 STAR rating.