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Texas Bride: A Bitter Creek Novel by [Johnston, Joan]
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Texas Bride: A Bitter Creek Novel Kindle Edition

5.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Length: 386 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Product Description

Review

"Johnston warms your heart and tickles your fancy."

About the Author

Joan Johnston is the bestselling, award-winning author of fifteen historical romances and nineteen contemporary romance novels. She received 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. She is currently a full-time writer living in South Florida.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 824 KB
  • Print Length: 386 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0345527445
  • Publisher: Piatkus (28 Nov. 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00GBCW8QA
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #283,959 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
Miranda was raised in a loving family with five other brothers and sisters. The Great Fire in Chicago claimed the lives of her parents, but Miranda was able to save her baby brother Harry from the fire. With everything gone, Miranda's Uncle Stephen places her and her siblings in an Orphanage. For three years their lives have been a living nightmare under the watch of the Mistress of the orphanage. Miranda is about to turn 18 and she must leave, she is not so much worried about her fate but those of her brothers and sisters.

One of her sisters has been applying to mail or bride ads for Miranda and has received a response from Jake Creed in Texas. He lost his wife six months ago in childbirth and has a two year old daughter. He is trying to hang on to his ranch, land, and family and needs a wife's help.

He sends tickets for Miranda's travel and they are to be wed! Miranda brings along her two younger brothers as she cannot in good conscience leave them there but she does not tell Jake. Jake has not told Miranda he has a two year old daughter and does not intend consumate their marriage for fear of getting her pregnant. Will Miranda's determination, spirit, and strong will be enough to help put this family back together again?

I devoured this novel in a day it was just that good and would happily give it more stars than 5! ********** The writing was wonderful and I have ordered the next book in the series and cannot wait for its arrival.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
great book
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x91069a20) out of 5 stars 116 reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x910fdd20) out of 5 stars Texas Bride is a Joyfully Recommended Title 5 Jan. 2013
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
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!

Vanessa for Joyfully Reviewed
6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x910fdd38) out of 5 stars strong western romance 27 Mar. 2012
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
The Great Chicago Fire of 1871 left the six Wentworth children orphaned. The sextet have lived at the Chicago Institute for Orphaned Children for three years, but now the oldest Miranda is about to be sent away. Her five siblings fear her departure as she has been their strength to survive and their buffer from the wrath of abusive headmistress Miss Birch. Her sister Josie the bookworm arranged for Miranda to become a mail-order bride to a widower Texas rancher. Miss Birch catches them and hits Miranda several times with a rod.

Miranda takes her two youngest siblings (ten years old Nick and four years old Harry with her as she travels to the San Antonio area, but worries about the three teenage sisters she left behind. Widowed since his wife died in childbirth, Jacob Creed struggles to keep his ranch without the help of his affluent stepfather Alex Blackthorne. He is shocked when his new spouse arrives with two small children while she is shocked to find he is the father of a two years old daughter. Each is further shocked by their attraction, but he feels guilty for wanting her as he vowed to never endanger a woman with a pregnancy; while she will do what takes to make her his real wife.

This Bitter Creek western romance begins the Wentworth Mail Order Bride saga with a strong entry as readers learn the difficulty of life in Reconstruction Era Texas through the eyes of the Chicago transplant, her brothers and her husband. Although there is some exciting late suspense that detracts from the engaging changing relationships, the fully developed cast makes for a strong tale of love as readers will root for the pair to make it.

Harriet Klausner
6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x910fdf0c) out of 5 stars Very disappointed 12 April 2012
By Sally Jones - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
**********************MAYBE SPOILER************************************************************************

What a way to ruin, one third of 'The Sisters of the Lone Stars' series! :( I no longer like Cricket Stewart Creed since she became Mrs. Blackthorne, wife of the biggest scoundrel, which is the G rated version of what I really would describe him as! What he did to her REAL husband,Jarrett,not mention her and her children, is unforgivable. Reading intimate scenes between her, and that vile, reprobate, literally made me ill. The continuation of their family dynasty, I could have done without.

As for the main couple (Jake and Miranda), I really enjoyed their story. I am sorry to say, however, I will not be reading any continuations of their story from here on in, as I am not interested in the decades long, Creed/Blackthorne fued.
HASH(0x91100558) out of 5 stars great example of western historical romance 6 Dec. 2015
By Sarah L. Gruwell - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
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.
HASH(0x9110057c) out of 5 stars An absorbing page-turner! 14 Nov. 2015
By Tin @ Love Saves the World - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
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.
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