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Montana Bride by Joan Johnston
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Ms. Johnson continues her Mail-Order Brides series with Hetty's story, Hannah's sister, the one that I was on a war path with in Hannah's story. Holy Crap! She might have driven me to murder were I her sister! If there was trouble to be had, she was in it to her eyeballs!

She drove me crazy in the beginning of this story but then I slowly warmed up to her, as her character grew, I liked her more and more.

As I mentioned before in my earlier reviews of this series, Ms. Johnson is good when it comes to characterization. Hetty is the proof of that. She created a whiny, shallow and bratty girl and then turned her into a compelling, affectionate and determined woman I couldn't help but care for.

As for Karl, he was a perfect Beta Hero. As smart, patient and kind man who is plain looking, he thought he hit a jackpot with his beautiful mail-order bride. Hetty on the other hand wasn't of a similar opinion when it came to her opinion of her groom.

I've read all the books in this series and I've loved them all equally. I'm chomping at the bit to read Josie's story in 'Blackthorne's Bride'!

If you like western romance then this author and her books, this series included, should be on your list.

Melanie for b2b
Complimentary copy provided by the publisher
( )
  bookworm2bookworm | Mar 30, 2017 |
This has a different feel from the first two books. There's less connection between the characters. I spent an inordinate amount of time hoping Dennis would be killed by a log or eaten by a bear. That's something, at least. ( )
  lesmel | Mar 21, 2016 |
** I received this book for free as part of a first reads promotion ( )
  lilnursesuhy | Mar 4, 2015 |
This is book 3 of the Mail-order bride series. It can be read as a standalone but does pick up right where book 2 left off. (So it's probably best to read in series order in order to fully appreciate it.)

Hetty Wentworth's wagon was attacked during her trip west, leaving her dying and alone. Reluctantly rescued by a mail order bride (who was traveling with her escort and two kids), she finds herself rescuing the kids when their mother unexpectedly dies on their journey. She plays the part of their mother to save herself as well as the kids. Karl senses something is up but allows her to stay. Then the secrets are revealed...

This was a pretty good western romance. Sweet yet not lacking in steam! The story was fast paced and entertaining. You will enjoy this read!

I received this book in exchange for an honest book review. ( )
  Books007 | Oct 27, 2014 |
Good story, though I must say that Hetty really annoyed me through about the first half of the book. In the previous book, Wyoming Bride, Hetty is one of three sisters who leave the orphanage where they have been living the last several years. Her twin has become a mail order bride in order to save herself and her sisters from the cruel head of the orphanage. But Hetty is quite immature, and very much of a flirt, whose antics get them kicked out of the wagon train they are part of. When they are alone on the prairie, her sister's husband dies and they are attacked by Indians. Josie is captured, Hetty is injured, and Hannah takes off to find help. Hetty is found by another traveler and taken in and nursed back to health.

The other woman is a mail order bride headed to Montana with her two children. But Hetty is disturbed by this woman's treatment of the two kids, and when she tries to defend them the woman ends up dead. Hetty doesn't want the kids to face the same life she had in the orphanage, so she decides to pretend to be the bride. This will be a real challenge because the groom is expecting someone older and more experienced.

Karl sent for a wife because he feels that's the only way he can get one. He's not particularly good looking, but he's intelligent and is in charge of a logging operation. When Hetty first arrives he is stunned by her beauty, but soon becomes suspicious of her. She looks too young to have two kids, especially two that look older than their stated ages. He's willing to give her a chance until it becomes obvious that she's been deceiving him about more than just her age.

Hetty really disgusted me at the beginning because she was so immature and shallow. Her first reaction to Karl was disappointment because his looks didn't measure up to those of his friend. Plus she was more taken with the friend than with Karl. I give her credit for knowing that it was wrong of her, but it didn't seem to stop her. She also has a tendency to not think about the consequences of her actions. I did like her determination to take care of Grace and Griffin. She starts out treating Karl pretty badly, but as the book went on she did begin to mature and see the good man under the plain exterior. It took her longer than I liked for her to see that the handsome exterior of the friend covered a slimy interior. Her relationship with Karl was a slow developing one that took a big hit when she had to confess her deception. It was a slow process for her to earn back his trust, but one she was determined to do. I liked seeing her gain more confidence in her abilities, which enabled her to be more the kind of wife Karl needed. The chemistry between them gave them one area where their compatibility was undeniable.

I really liked Karl. He did not have an easy time of it. His older brother was in charge of the business and had sent Karl to Montana to start up the mill. However, he has never respected Karl's abilities or intelligence and sent his friend Dennis as second in command. Karl, however, has a doctorate from Harvard and is an excellent botanist. He also has very different leadership skills than Dennis. Karl is a firm believer in respecting his workers' and their ability to do their jobs, where Dennis is far more of a bully. Karl also has spent a lot of time feeling second best because of his ordinary looks as compared to Dennis's. This feeling is only made worse by Hetty's arrival. He is stunned by her beauty, but can see her disappointment. I loved the way that he's willing to give her time to adjust and does his best to show her how he feels. I also liked his determination to be a good father to the two kids, even though Griffin made it a real challenge. I really enjoyed seeing him stand up for himself and his beliefs against Dennis and how it quickly became obvious that he was doing far better than anyone, including himself, expected. I felt bad for him with the way Hetty treated him, and completely understood how he felt when the truth came out. He had fallen in love with Hetty, and now had to decide if that love could survive the lies.

I disliked Dennis from the very beginning. I hated his attitude toward Karl. His attentions to Hetty showed him to be the snake that he was, and his treatment of Griffin showed a cruel streak. His actions got worse as the book went on and I kept waiting for people to see him for what he was. The kids saw him far more clearly than the adults did.

I enjoyed the two kids, Grace and Griffin. Their life had not been easy to this point, and neither was confident that it would get truly better and stay that way. Hetty's care of them made them start to believe a little bit. Grace was quite mature for her years and I thought she had been very clever in her attempts to save herself and Griffin from their previous life. She wanted to believe in the possibilities. I also enjoyed her clear eyed viewpoints as she and Hetty helped each other. Griffin was a harder case. He protected himself by being a brat. I enjoyed seeing him gain respect for both Hetty and Karl. He also had a cynical outlook for a kid, but it helped him see Dennis for what he was. I loved seeing him go into protector mode during the bear hunt. ( )
  scoutmomskf | Sep 8, 2014 |
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This book is dedicated to:
Roseanna J. Dirmann
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Chapter One

"Don't you dare strike that child!" Henrietta Wentworth set her plate of hardtack and beans aside and rose from her seat on a fallen log beside the campfire.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0345527488, Mass Market Paperback)

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?

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:13:17 -0400)

After she is rescued from an abandoned wagon on the Oregon trail, Hetty Wentworth becomes a mail-order bride for a handsome man in the Montana territory, but just as she is settling in to her new life, her husband's best friend tries to ruin her one chance at happiness.… (more)

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