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Montana Bride: A Bitter Creek Novel [Kindle Edition]

Joan Johnston
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Book Description

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?

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 869 KB
  • Print Length: 225 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0345527488
  • Publisher: Piatkus (7 Jan. 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #212,811 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition
What happened to the editor of this novel? Was he/she asleep/AWOL (like the Ms Johnston of old)/bored/couldn't be bothered? My mind boggles, frankly.

I loved JJ's original Bittercreek novels, then she went silent for a long while, before the Creeds started warring with the Blackthornes, and I became a fan of that series, until it dragged on a bit too much and too unnecessarily. I hadn't seen anything from her in a while, and frankly, after reading this novel, I wish I'd not bothered looking.

This tale had a male lead who, from his description, was sort of of average height/not quite ugly, but at the same time nothing to look at/not strapping, but sort of able to hold his own. He did, however, have strength of character and was a noble sort, but he was REALLY was the tale.

The female lead had her heart in the right place, after causing the death of a would-be suitor, but her causing the death of the original mail-order bride, was comical and had me raising my eyebrows in a 'really? That was the best you could come up with?' moment. She seemed rather immature (she was 17 when she met and married the 30yo lead) and a bit frivolous (she showed her disappointment after the male lead's better-looking best friend turned out not to be the lead), meek and non-assertive, except for where the children were concerned; the latter being a complete and total OTT about-face.

The 'romance' was a non-starter, and was along the lines of what my great-gran would have read, a la Barbara Cartland - a few kisses, a touch to the chest (not breasts), some fumbling under the covers and hey presto, a pregnancy.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars 7 Jan. 2015
By reader
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
great book
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.4 out of 5 stars  144 reviews
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Book Three In The Saga of the Wentworth Children... 12 Jan. 2014
By terrylynn - Published on
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Joan Johnston has created a series around the six Wentworth children who were orphaned after the Great Chicago Fire killed their wealthy and loving parents and destroyed their home. Sent to an orphanage by a selfish and unfeeling uncle, Miranda, twins Hannah and Hetty, Josie and their two little brothers find themselves in hell. When the oldest Miranda comes of age and is able to leave, she takes her two little brothers with her and becomes a mail order bride which is chronicled in the first book of the series, Texas Bride. When the twins and Josie finally make their escape from the orphanage, they find themselves on a wagon train headed west where Hannah is to become a mail order bride herself (book two Wyoming Bride). But disaster strikes the wagon train and the girls are separated. Montana Bride is the story of Hetty and where she ends up after being left to die in a Conestoga wagon with an arrow wound to her shoulder.

Our hero Karl is a learned man who was educated at Harvard but finds himself in the Montana territory, determined to prove to his brother he can handle his end of their logging enterprise. Karl knows he is a smart, but plain man and he longs for the company of a wife and family so he places an ad for a mail order bride with children and waits patiently for their arrival. After being rescued, Hetty finds herself in the company of a Chinese man who is escorting Karl's intended bride and two children to Montana when disaster strikes yet again. Hetty feels her only choice to help the children is to pretend to be Karl's mail order bride. What follows is the slow and somewhat painful making of a family as Hetty and the children find themselves forced to tell lies about who they really are. Karl knows that something isn't right, but is so captivated by Hetty's beauty, he decides to let it go... initially. Can Karl create a life in the wilderness with Hetty that is built on lies? Can he prove to his brother that he has what it takes to be his partner, even as someone out there is determined that he won't succeed?

Montana Bride is a typical western romance about four people who are longing for the love and comfort of a family but have some obstacles to overcome before they can make that happen. Karl is a bit of an unusual hero but he is appealing in many ways and proves he is more than up to the challenge. Hetty's heart is in the right place and she is determined to turn this rag tag bunch in to a real family and to one day find her brothers and sisters. A tender romance that had me looking ahead with anticipation to Josie's story and hoping that the Wentworth children will find one another in the end.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars If you are a fan of historicals, a fan of beautiful descriptive writing, and a fan of steamy romance, you won’t want to miss out 9 Jan. 2014
By Guilty Pleasures Book Reviews - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition
3.5 Stars

If you are a fan of historicals, a fan of beautiful descriptive writing, and a fan of steamy romance, you won’t want to miss out on Montana Bride.

Karl and Hetty start their relationship off under unusual circumstances. Not only is she marrying a complete stranger she is lying to him about who she is and who the two children are she is trying to pass off as her own. I will be honest in saying I didn’t really care much for Hetty at first. Even though I understand the reasons why she felt she had to lie when her and Karl met, once she knew the kind of man he truly was there was no question he would understand and accept her and the children. She continued to carry on the charade much longer than needed. Her constant reminder about her disappointment in Karl’s looks got old very fast. The word “plain” was way overused when she first met him. I really had a hard time connecting with her after she continued to prove her immaturity. The children in the story were oftentimes much more mature than Hetty seemed to be.

Karl was amazing. He was a patient caring man who only wanted to please everyone around him. He accepted the children and Hetty into his life even after he knew there was something off with her story. He was a loyal friend to everyone he came in contact with and was a very understanding boss with this logging crew. Even after he discovered the truth about Hetty and the children, he put his own feelings aside and continued to be a supporter for them all.

I loved the kids, Grace and Griffin. They added so much spark to this story. They have not had an easy childhood. They have experienced more hurt and heartache than any child should have to live through. Once Karl comes into their lives he gives them what they have always wanted; living with a real loving family. Watching the relationship form between these characters truly warms your heart.

One thing I have always admired about Johnston is her ability to write description. It adds a serene level of believability while reading about the wilderness and the trails her characters travel. There is no question she has done a lot of research about the area and all the surroundings she writes about.

I did enjoy the pace of the story and the way they were able to overcome the deceit. Nothing was rushed and they were able to develop an honest true love.

If you have been following along The Mail Order Bride series by Ms. Johnston, you won’t want to miss out on this installment.

Review copy provided for an honest review.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Painfully slow and annoying 13 Jan. 2014
By Romance Reader - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition
I'm a sucker for a good mail order bride story. This wasn't one. Montana Bride was painfully slow and contrived from page one. It got worse page by page. I did a lot of skimming to get this one behind me.

One of my pet peeves is when the basic premise of a story makes no sense. In Montana Bride (this is not a spoiler since it occurs in the beginning) the heroine accidentally kills a viciously cruel, aging prostitute who is travelling west to become a mail order bride. She has two bratty children in tow. She completely loathes the kids who are the illegitimate spawn of another prostitute who died. The children "paid" her to take them with her and pass them off as her own (this makes no sense for obvious reasons). The heroine decides to lie, assume the identity of the prostitute, marry the mail order husband, and raise the kids as her own. Meanwhile, the Chinese servant who is accompanying them west knows all this and does not tell his boss.

What the what? Who the who? Huh the huh?

The reader, and by the reader I mean me, wonders why the heroine doesn't simply explain what happened and offer herself as a wife instead. She is younger, kinder, and prettier than the nasty old prostitute. The prospective groom had already agreed to marry a woman sight unseen (because he himself is a plain fellow) and to care for the children. I found it all very annoying and nonsensical and annoying and slow. And annoying. I was extra annoyed because I had read another book in this series and had not cared for it. I bought this grab-and-dash at the grocery store and didn't read the jacket copy well enough to jog my memory of the other book.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars okay 9 Jan. 2014
By Kindle Customer - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I think...meh. Not nearly as good as the two previous novels. I just didn't care about them as a couple.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Stereotypical characters 25 Mar. 2014
By Mary E. Young - Published on
Format:Mass Market Paperback
When Hettie's wagon is attacked by Indians, she is left alone to die. Fortunately, another wagon stops and Bao, a Chinese man, nurses her back to health. Quickly she learns that the women and her children traveling with the Chinese man are intended to be a mail-order bride/family for Karl. When the woman dies, Hettie takes on the children herself, pretending to be the bride Karl is expecting.

Overall I thought this was an OK book. The characters seemed a bit stereotypical. Every time the author switched points of view, she repeated the same information that she gave before, i.e. Karl is insecure about his looks, Hettie is upset about her previous flitting. If the author had cut out the repetitiveness, the book would have been half as long!
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