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Texas Bride by Joan Johnston
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WARNING! Gushing ahead!!!

Without a doubt, this is a character-driven story which, combined with fast pace and more than one couple to root for, will take you on a journey of self discovery for all characters. Ms. Johnston made sure that her writing was so good that as a reader, I just ‘wanted’! This multidimensional story left me laughing, crying, and definitely wanting more.

I wanted to know about all the kids that were left behind, and I wanted to know what happened to Jake’s father. I adored this book so much that as soon as I was done with it, I wanted to know more about Jake’s mother and her second husband. I NEEDED to know more, so off I went and bought all of the books connected to this dynamic and dynastic family.

I am all in knots waiting for WYOMING BRIDE (Hannah's story), MONTANA BRIDE (Hetty's story) and BLACKTHORNE'S BRIDE (Josie's story). I am not a patient person, so I’m reading all her books while waiting for these to hit the shelves or my Kindle.

Melanie ( )
  bookworm2bookworm | Mar 30, 2017 |
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. ( )
  Sarah_Gruwell | Jan 14, 2016 |
Typical Johnston. Funny, feisty, feels modern. Johnston seems to have this running theme of men not wanting women to suffer the pain of childbirth -- or death. Overall worth the read and worth reading the other two books ( )
  lesmel | May 21, 2013 |
Miranda, with her five brothers and sister after losing their parents, have been stuck in a orphanage, under horrid conditions and so when they find a ad in the newspaper for a mail order bride, Miranda knows this is her way out to save her siblings, now that she is eighteen and about to be kicked out, and does the only sensible choice and goes all the way to Texas with her two brothers, only her future husband has no idea about her situation or the brothers she is bringing along with her. Jake, having lost his wife and their child in childbirth, he knows he will never love another like his late wife, but he is desperate for a wife and a mother to his daughter, and so he puts an ad in the paper for a wife, and now that he is married he is shocked to find out that she is not only very beautiful....but has brought along her two younger brothers with her, and even though he is determined to never make love to her, she fills his senses like none other and soon he craves her touch and doesn't know how long he can stand not touching her especially when Miranda is so determined to consumate their marriage, he has no real chance and he finds a real passion in her arms.....Texas Bride is the ninth installment in the Bitter Creek series, but unlike the other books in the series, it is set in the 1800's, and having read most of the books in this series, I was very excited to read this one, and especially when I read the blurb, I couldn't wait to buy this one. Texas Bride, was a astounding read....and I just fell in love with both Miranda and Jake, both were the kind of characters that become deeply rooted. Both Jake and Miranda have gone through hardship in their lives, and only when they trust and love in each other are they able to heal and learn what it means to love. I just loved the conflict in the story on both sides, and it kept me on the edge of my seat most of the time, but at the same time I was just soaking up all the juicy details and Joan Johnston has become my favorite author again....one of my favorite things about this book would be the story line and the intimate connection that develops pretty quickly between Jake and Miranda....Definitely worth buying and reading!!!! A Treasure Of A Read!!! ( )
  addictofromance | Mar 3, 2013 |
Becoming a mail-order bride was the only option left for Miranda Wentworth. The only option that was good enough to get her and her siblings out of the Chicago orphanage and out of that horrid Mrs. Birch's grasp. About to turn 18, Miranda has no other choice but to leave the orphanage, in which she and her five siblings took shelter for the past three years since the fire burned down their house and claimed the lives of both their parents. Jacob Creed, puts out a notice for a mail-order bride a year after the love of his life passed away taking with her their stillborn son. Needing a mother for his 2 year old daughter and a woman to tend to his house, Jake has no intentions of falling in love with Miranda Wentworth, or bedding her for that matter.

Oh. My. Gosh. I absolutely loved this book. Joan Johnston never fails to pull on my heartstrings with her words & amazing characters. When I first heard about Texas Bride and after reading an excerpt, I automatically knew I was going to fall in love with this book. Miranda is a loving and caring woman with a heart of gold but she lacks experience in the love making area, but nevertheless has no problem stirring up emotions and a need so fierce within Jacob. Jacob Creed, with a heart that is still on the mend, has it set in his mind that the woman he took on as a mail-order bride is going to be nothing more then a mother to his growing daughter. Marriage in name, but not in the heart. Sad right? Yeah, that's what I thought, until I started reading ^_^ With each turning page, I was getting more & more engrossed in the book. This book made me laugh, cry and angry. *sigh* I was just an emotional roller-coaster.

What I liked about this book, was Miranda's background. Having taken over as parental figure for her younger siblings at the age of 15 is tough. Imagine that, caring and enduring the pain of 5 younger siblings, knowing that you could only do so much about it. And then making the tough decision to marry a man you've never met to try and carve out a better life for your family. Yeah, this definitely got me. Miranda is strong willed & doesn't give up without a fight. Great character and an equal match for the stubborn Jacob Creed. What I didn't like was that Jake was still so heartbroken over his late wife & his stillborn son & took a while to love Miranda... and I mean LOVE her & love her good! With doubts running through his head about possibly impregnating her practically drove me mad. I just wanted to throw the book at him & scream "She isn't your late wife!" with a few obscenities following, but Miranda took care of that for me... minus the obscenities of course.

I would definitely recommend this book. If you love western romances then I suggest you pick this book up! Haaawt & sizzling cowboys are definitely my kind of R & R. This book is the first in the series and I cannot wait to read the next book where we catch up with one of Miranda's sisters. ( )
  bishhy | Aug 4, 2012 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0345527445, Mass Market Paperback)

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.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:10:01 -0400)

Miranda Wentworth never imagined becoming a mail-order bride. Now it's her only hope of finding a home where she and her two younger brothers can escape the brutality of a Chicago orphanage. But Miranda has one gigantic concern: her husband-to-be, Jake Creed, knows nothing about the brothers she's bringing along.… (more)

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