If you want to force a particular order, use the character to divide the number and the descriptor. So, " 0 prequel " sorts by 0 under the label "prequel. Series was designed to cover groups of books generally understood as such see Wikipedia: Book series. Like many concepts in the book world, "series" is a somewhat fluid and contested notion. A good rule of thumb is that series have a conventional name and are intentional creations , on the part of the author or publisher.
Your use of the site and services is subject to these policies and terms. Common Knowledge Series Bitter Springs. Series: Bitter Springs Series by cover. Series description. Related series The Dalton Gang. I didn't like that he hurt Jane, but I can overlook it because he'd been in the middle of having a nightmare of his abuse from when he was twelve. I don't blame Jane, either, for trying to wake him up because she was concerned about him.
It was just an awful situation all around. The sexual scene with Zetta Lee might also bother some, but I didn't have a problem with that either. He's having a nightmare at the time, not reflecting on it fondly. The abuse can be hard to read, especially when keeping in mind that he's twelve at the time. It's not that I want to read about child abuse, but I was glad that the author actually explored and acknowledged it rather than including it as a barely-there footnote in Morgan's story. I've seen authors take serious issues and just barely graze the surface of it before forgetting its existence.
They skirt the issue, only using it as an excuse to make their character detestable--manwhore, asshole, etc--before quickly brushing it aside, never really give it the respect it deserves by delving to the heart of it. I was glad that Goodman was not only unafraid to go there, but also didn't do so in a manner in which I found was gratuitous or used for shock value. I feel it was there to illustrate that victims of abuse don't forget it, even decades later, and some even have PTSD as a result. And when Morgan is horrible to Jane after awaking from the nightmare, I could understand him lashing out as he did because he's brought back to his past abuse.
Jane was understanding and, rather than being upset with him while he's emotionally raw, she remains by him, willing to listen if he wants to talk. The author also uses the scene as a way to show how victims of abuse can often blame themselves for it. Although Morgan was eleven when the abuse started by a woman who had raised him from the age of six , he still feels it's his fault.
He feels he could've told someone, that he should've been stronger and stopped it a lot earlier than he did. In response to this, Jane tells him more than once that it's not his fault and that he was a child. It's not that I expected to read anything else as a response, but I was still glad that the author acknowledged the self-blame victims feel, and then had Jane firmly tell him that it's not his fault and never could be. Near the end, view spoiler [Jane is assaulted kissed by one of Gideon's gang members. Jane, in response, gets back at him real good for that.
There honestly couldn't have been more satisfying justice dealt to a man assaulting a woman than what Jane does to him. And the author made it even better by making Jane be the one doing it rather than turning her into a damsel-in-distress and having a man come in and rescue her. The author doesn't just tell you how great she is, she actually show you.
At one point, someone view spoiler [Gideon hide spoiler ] says that Jane is "sass and brass. Since when?! The author shows you time and again how true those words are. She's super sassy with Morgan, giving him lip and putting him in his place and not being afraid to call him out. Early on, she makes it clear that she wants to be included in his decisions. At a point after this, he starts to give her a story instead of the truth. In response? You do not seem to understand that you make me vulnerable when you try to protect me from the truth.
She set her hands firmly on the top rail. And if he's not willing to give her the answers, she's smart enough to do it on her own. At one point, view spoiler [Finn and Rabbit show up at their ranch and Morgan pulls them aside so he can listen to their message without Jane being around. Jane figured something was up so, when Finn and Rabbit do make it into the house, she plies them with delicious food while casually asking seemingly-innocuous questions, drawing the answers from them easily.
I loved that, throughout the book, Jane proves Morgan's thoughts about her wrong at every turn. Morgan had thought he was getting himself a "sturdy" wife because he got Jane's cousin's photo instead of Jane's.
Instead, Jane turned out to be fragile-looking and the complete opposite of what he'd expected. He thinks she's too fancy to live on his ranch, but she shows him time and again that he's underestimating her and she's perfectly capable which the author shows by having Jane walk around Morgan's house and having remedies for every issue.
She even lays into Morgan about this later, telling him how wrong he was not only in his initial judgements of her, but also in his request for a twenty-four hour trial period. And as I mentioned before, I loved that she wasn't afraid to speak her mind no matter what. I was a little wary of continuing after I got past the prologue because I figured out pretty early on that view spoiler [Jane was a virgin. I've come to dislike reading about virgin heroines, but the type I absolutely despise is the surprise! And I was very happy that I did. Although view spoiler [Jane's a virgin hide spoiler ] , I felt she was in touch with her sexuality.
Before anything sexual even happens between them, Jane has sexual dreams about Morgan. Instead of feeling shameful or guilty about this when she wakes up, she just feels disappointment that Morgan isn't there with her. And I liked that the author included that. At times I thought the book would get preachy and religious because Jane's faith and belief in God is mentioned more than once.
She prays and also refers to Morgan as being a "Godless man" this isn't meant as a judgement, just an observation. However, how much can an author really want to push religion when she has the heroine sitting through Sunday service thinking about sex with her husband instead of concentrating on the sermon itself?? And this was also another instance in which Jane didn't shy away from thoughts of sex, as many virgin or virgin-until-recently heroines do. Morgan and Jane together make such a good pairing.
He's completely head-over-heels for her, just as she is for him.
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However, they've got a partnership going rather than an imbalanced relationship with one following the other's marching orders. Although she gets to the heart of things when it counts, she also concedes in situations where she knows Morgan is right. They banter playfully and also have their serious and tender moments. Heck, even the side characters were great. I don't think I met a good character in this book I didn't like, with Jem, Finn and Rabbit being my favourites. Jem is probably my favourite support character because he's such a loveable idiot.
He stopped reading and cocked an eyebrow at Jem. Oil of petroleum. Sodium chloride. And the relationship between Morgan and Jane and Morgan's ranch hands was great, too. Morgan picked up his coffee cup. Morgan looked at them over the rim of his cup. The book does have them, but not an awful lot. Sometimes the dialogue between characters came out sounding robotic. View all 7 comments. This was sooo good! Jane, an unwelcome "family member" to her cousin's household much in the manner of Jane Eyre answers and ad for a wife, and she exchanges letters with Morgan Longstreet until they come to an agreement.
She's to ride out to Bitter Springs, Wyoming where they're to be married, sight unseen. Both Jane and Morgan have secrets and things don't go smooth when she first arrives, but I absolutely loved their journey! So much feeling, so passionate, and oh-so-very steamy! I have to This was sooo good! I have to say both Jane and Morgan's family were utter crap! Morgan had his own horror story with people that were supposed to care and look out for him growing up as a boy. The last few chapters I was biting my nails with nervous anticipation! Pretty frightening, but both Jane and Morgan prove to be smart and capable.
I'm loving Jo Goodman, and I can't wait to dive into her next Western historical! I listened to the audio version, and Talmadge Ragan's performance was excellent! Too bad the rest of the series isn't in audio version! I want to read True to the Law next. View all 5 comments. As the ward of a distant cousin, she's destined for a lonely life of servitude. Morgan Longstreet recently bought a ranch in Bitter Springs and needs a wife to help him manage Morning Star. When Jane answers his ad for a bride, he believed he'd found the perfect solution for both of them.
The conflict When Morgan sees Jane in person, he doesn't mask his disappointment because he thinks she's not going to be tough enough to withstand the rugged life on a ranch in Wyoming. Jane's discouraged as she'd hoped to find a willing partner in Morgan, in time developing affection for one another. The heart of the story I love western historicals and this was one of the most authentic stories I've read in the genre for quite some time. There was no instant love here and ranch life is tough. Morgan's not an easy man and he doesn't mask his feelings around Jane.
She's well educated and forthright, which made them surprisingly a good match. He's not educated but extremely bright and savvy, though very reticent. Both had complicated pasts and Morgan's resurfaced to wreak havoc in a major way. Narration Unfortunately, this was the weakest part of my reading experience. The narrator didn't seem to have a sense of the tone of the story or understand the characters. I couldn't tell when Morgan was being clever or caustic because no distinctions were made. Most of the performance sounded rote, almost as if it was computer generated.
ISBN 13: 9780425264171
It just didn't work for me and I had to go back and read the prologue from the sample to understand what turned out to be a critical passage. The bottom line I enjoyed the story in spite of my issues with the narration. I just had to work harder to figure out the nuances provided by the author. I loved how Morgan and Jane's relationship developed and it's the strength of the story.
And, the ending was exciting with a strong climax. I'll definitely go back and read the first two books in the series this one stands alone very well as I didn't discover it was part of a series until I'd finished and I'll continue it but not with this narrator. I received an audio ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review View 2 comments. May 07, Mei rated it it was amazing Shelves: historical. Another wonderful book! I've read the first book, The Last Renegade, and enjoyed it very much. Jane was such a wonderful heroine, completly different from Raine, but in so ma Another wonderful book!
Jane was such a wonderful heroine, completly different from Raine, but in so many ways very similar to her. I loved her honesty and her strait-forwardness. Her complete dedication to make a good wife to Morgan. Her thoughts and reasoning were excellent! Her reactions to a very bad situation very clear-headed and very clever. Cheers for Jane!!! Morgan was interesting in his own way. After a very difficult life, he made a new one for himself. I appreciated his reasoning behind the fact that he accepted Jane at the beginning, and his change of mind was a pleasure to read.
Obviously I loved reading about all the secondary characters from The Last Renegade. I especially loved the role Rabbit and Finn had here! Such a heroes in their own! I'll be looking forward to read True to the Law and all the other books Ms. Goodman will write in this great, great series! View all 8 comments. I liked the plot. I liked most of the content. I liked the characters. BUT, I did not like the writing style. I don't even know how to describe it I guess some terms that come to mind are: Formal.
Overall, I found it hard to feel the connection between Morgan H and Jane for much of the book. The second half was definitely better than the first th 3. The second half was definitely better than the first though. Both Jane and Morgan started to reveal more of their secrets, which allowed the couple to grow closer. Not sure this author's writing style really works for me.
It is intelligent and different than the norm, so it may just be that I am not bright enough to keep up. One big positive: No OW around at all. And Morgan was not some confident manwhore. Instead, he had a limited sexual background, and it was not a feel-good one. Note about potentially upsetting material: view spoiler [ hero was sexually abused as a boy and he does recount that time period hide spoiler ] View all 11 comments.
Oct 14, Keri rated it it was amazing Shelves: romance-historical , read. Love Mail order bride stories and this one was extra special. I thought that Jane and Morgan's romance happened in the right sequence and timing, so by the end of the story you really believed in their romance.
I wasn't ready for it to be over or leave Bitter Springs, so I hope that she has other stories lined up as good as this one was. I need more time with Jane and Morgan. View all 6 comments. Sep 26, Linda rated it really liked it Shelves: american-west-romance , historical-romance , epistolary-format , layers-with-depth , moments-of-angst , mail-order-bride , gilded-age , farms-ranches-orchards-nurseries , character-driven , series. Jane Middlebourne had come to Bitter Springs to marry Morgan Longstreet, a rancher, who was in need of a wife.
They corresponded by letters, each omitting some secrets that they meant to share with the other when the time was right. Morgan was a quiet man, "a thinker" as one of his men referred to him. When he spoke, he meant what he said. Jane did a wonderful job matching his earnestness. Well, maybe I did but I didn't mean it. I just couldn't say the other.
Partly I kept my tongue in my head because it hurts a mite to look on you that way, like there's a radiant light coming from you that could blind me if I stare too long. Mostly, though, I didn't say anything because you wouldn't believe me. I thought maybe that had passed some, but I guess not.
That family of yours sure did twist the way you see yourself. The reasons I want to take a swing at them just keep piling up. She said quietly, "I never know what you are going to say, Morgan Longstreet. I found the tension realistic and the witty dialog entertaining. I did, but the author resolved it in a timely manner. I would not recommend reading it by itself.
Many of the townspeople returned in various contexts. There were the ever-lovable Finn and Rabbit, the common-sense Cobb Bridger and the rascally Davis brothers whom are now employed as Morgan's ranch-hands. Oh, and the ending? Not the epilogue but the last 15 or so pages? I couldn't read them fast enough. If you enjoy Ms. They are primarily known for writing American West romances: some that are part of a series and others that are stand-alones. Review on Oct. I will keep my original 4 star rating. But I read this book from beginning to the end as if it was a new story.
Morgan and Jane are both quiet characters, nothing theatric. No one is brooding or feisty. Just 2 people slowly getting to know each other. I imagine some might find it slow or even boring. But I have said this before in a review for anot Review on Oct. But I have said this before in a review for another Jo Goodman's book: it simmers.
This is not a loud book. It doesn't have a "dark" hero, even though Morgan did have a rather difficult past. It does not have a "fiery" heroine I imagine anyone who follows my reviews would have noticed how much I dislike a fiery heroine , even though Jane had reasons to be bitter. They are just 2 adults who made the decision to marry and tried to find a way for it to work. There are explicit sex scenes but nothing over the top. I usually do not care for "the mystery". I want to read about the relationship and prefer books to focus on that.
Jo Goodman's books usually are half and half on romance and mystery and I have said it again and again, when it is on the relationship, I absolutely love it. But this time, I actually sat down with the book. I read through every page, about Morgan's past, about Jane's life in New York, about Morgan's brother plotting against Morgan and about Morgan's men on the ranch.
I felt that they were all part of the story, and I did not mind reading about them in a romance novel. They were part of Morgan and Jane's story. And they helped me understand Morgan and Jane as characters. This time around I wasn't rushing to find out just how they came to the "I love yous". This time around, I waited for them to tell me at the time Jo Goodman deemed appropriate.
I have to repeat how I love Jo Goodman's characters. They remind me of Mary Jo Putney's characters: steady and quiet; dignified and elegant, even when they appeared foolish, they seemed calm and collected. Just how I like them. Original Review Loved the characters and writing, as always. The plot was again overshadowing the relationship, but I think that's Jo Goodman's style. No conflicts or stupid fights between the lead characters so the conflict has to be external, which usually means a mystery or murder or external threat kind of plot.
That means a lot of attention being dedicated to describing that threat. But whenever the attention is on the couple, I absolutely loved it. View 1 comment. Nov 14, Wollstonecrafthomegirl rated it really liked it. This was very, very good. At this point, I'd expect no less from Ms Goodman. This book deserves a better review than I can provide, I've left it a little too long since I finished reading to provide a proper overview of my thoughts.
I know it isn't five stars frankly, if it was I'd have found time to review it. It's probably around 4. An absolutely stellar, solid read but it didn't send me into the stratosphere. I love a marriage of convenience story. What we have here is a mail order This was very, very good. What we have here is a mail order marriage story, so sort of the same idea. Watching two people come to be better versions of themselves and grow to love one another, what can I say?
Two strong central characters. Jane, who takes control of her life and makes a massive move across country, across class, across culture. Much to the surprise of our hero, she comes up to scratch. I love a heroine with skills who tries hard. As she says herself, she might be delicate, but she isn't weak. Then there's Morgan. The strong, silent type with a tragic history. His unwillingness to give Jane the credit she deserves is grating, but necessary because it powers much of the story.
They have great chemistry together and Goodman writes excellent sex. I think part of what bought the rating down for me is the same problem I often have with westerns [is this a western? It makes me feel fatigued after a while, particularly when its powered with a large cast of western characters who are often indistinguishable from one another. I could have lived with one or two or three less elements. That sounds like massive criticism, it isn't. This is overwhelmingly a great book and these things did not bother me that much.
I am already looking forward to my next Goodman. Jun 16, Bukcrz rated it really liked it Shelves: mail-order-bride. For me, this book's gift is the slow, yet simmering build up of romance between the hero and heroine. I love that it's not a spark at first sight. Their first meeting isn't promising yet I love that both of them are willing to risk at least a part of themselves on the line while keeping some close at heart. Which made me love the story more. The way they came together is logical yet the longing and fascination towards each other gives romance its way to develop between them.
I love books like the For me, this book's gift is the slow, yet simmering build up of romance between the hero and heroine. I love books like these, where the plot is logical and doesn't hurt my eyes from a lot of eye-rolling and the romance develop as both characters opens themselves towards each other. The hero is a picture of 'silent-water-runs-deep' without too much angst.
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Still you will know his story, your heart will open to him, and will wave and smile to him as he walks towards the sunset with the heroine. I wish he just walks towards that sunset but in true strong men fashion, he will bleed, sweat, and ached towards that sunset. He will really earn that sunset. The heroine, on the other hand is that nurturing woman who is ready for a home. Like any other woman in her time, she will use her intelligence and grow a backbone to conquer the wild west. I love that when her worth was question by the hero, she did not just cower, instead she gracefully asked her due respect.
I like her character because often, mail-order-bride characters are portrayed as women who will accept all because they are in their last rope. This woman, though in her last rope, was smart enough to plan for all possible cases and that is why she is not just the perfect match for the strong hero, she will also match the harsh new life she chose for herself. Great read. Sep 21, Lorka rated it did not like it Shelves: dnf-at-all. Oh man! I was so excited to find this book at the library finally.
I love mail-order bride stories!! Especially with the stoic, gruff hero and the heroine trying to escape from a previous bad home life. The book starts with the hero waiting at the train station for the heroine to arrive. The train station employee kept trying to have conversation with the hero as he waited, but the hero was getting irritated and was coming off as an uncommunicative loner.
I was thinking, "ok, ok,this is good. Not a single spark all the way thru to page It came off to me more of a Historical Western book, than a romance. What really frustrated me though, that contributed to me not caring about the characters I never felt like I understood or knew anything about the hero. Half-way thru the book, I couldn't really even explain what drives him, what his 'mystery' past is, WHY he wanted a mail-order bride in the first place, or even what his personality is As for the heroine, I don't feel her personality fit the situation.
Her personality did not match with someone that had been verbally and emotionally abused her whole life. And the whole mystery from the first chapter of 'was she pregnant by her cousin? So I lost interest and just didn't care anymore Mar 14, Vintage added it Shelves: boring-hero , boring , boring-heroine , dnf.
In Want of a Wife - Bitter Springs series, Book 4
Another it's me, not you. Feb 23, Dorine rated it it was amazing Shelves: historical , favorites , western. Recommended Read! Jo Goodman creates a tale that easily compels western historical romance lovers' hearts. It took me about a minute to fall in love with author Jo Goodman's talent. I love westerns and if they're historical westerns with romance, I love them even more, but finding one that mesmerizes is true gold. Jo Goodman understands how to create a setting and then slowly build upon it with three dimensional characters who demand your attention.
Do you crave the unlawful Wild West and the men who manage on just this side of the law, along with their strong, supportive women? In , Jane Middlebourne is the poor relation to her cousin Francis who brought orphaned Jane into her home when her parents died, but not necessarily into her heart. Jane has been given many privileges as someone in a wealthy household but spent most of her time as the hired help. Jane and her cousin, Alexander, concoct a scheme to get Jane out of his mother's control, but not without consequences. Jane escapes with some money to become a mail-order bride in Wyoming but realizes she may have made a huge mistake once she arrives.
Rancher Morgan Longstreet believes his life is moving forward in the right direction the day he arrives at the train depot to pick up his sturdy, made for ranching, mail-order bride. Until he realizes the photograph he was sent is not the delicate woman who steps off the train. Dare he send her packing for a lie when his attraction is undeniable?
Sound like a familiar story? There's nothing new about mail-order bride stories and the many ways they can be told. What's new is when an author can layer a story piece by piece and snag your heart in the process. So, Jane and Morgan are opposites in many ways, then thrown together and dealt personal circumstances to overcome. They're not left alone to their own devices but surrounded and meddled with by Morgan's ranch hands as well as the folks in town.
Sterling lends her straightforward advice, without much care whether Morgan wants her say so or not.
Or she tells Jane what she thinks without Morgan's permission. Then there's the young brothers Finn and Rabbit who annoy Morgan with their helpfulness, especially when Marshall Cobb Bridger deputizes the youngsters. And, the things they say are some of the best one-liners! Let's not forget the three brothers who work for Morgan at the ranch, when they're not fighting one another, who become quite fond of Jane and rile Morgan every chance they get. And that's just the beginning of the many secondary characters who add to the realism of this story.
Jo Goodman is a western historical romance master with her subtle layering that makes her characters spring to life, grabs our hearts and keeps us glued to the pages. Her fine attention to detail lands some of the funniest laugh-out-loud moments between the lead couple and the other characters. The laughter isn't continuous but unexpected and laugh-out-loud worthy, which is the best kind of funny, in my opinion. Plus, some of the conversations between Jane and Morgan are so endearing and wonderful and so memorable I will forever refer back to them.
One such conversation happens in the middle of the book and it's such a great scene that sets the stage for what you hope for their future. IN WANT OF A WIFE intrigues, is finely-laid out, molded and shaped, then allowed to blossom into well fleshed-out characters who can't help but love each other deeply once they realize neither one of them is giving up. I know they're on my "to be read" list. Review by Dorine, courtesy of Romance Junkies. View all 4 comments. Jun 02, Laura Kyahgirl rated it really liked it Shelves: part-of-a-series , absolutely-beloved-character , gotta-love-small-towns , historical-fiction , western , romance-historical.
Why is that? Well, because this is the third book that takes place in Bitter Springs Wyoming and by now, all the secondary characters are old friends. This book can stand on its own but I think it would be much more enjoyable if a person had also read and One of the things I like about Goodman's western romance stories is that the main couple get a chance to get to know each other and become friends as well as lovers.
Usually there is some secret in the past of one or more of the characters but its not used a lame device for creating tension. One of the things I liked about this book in particular was the sense of going full circle in the community. Morgan Longstreet manages to undo and change some of the bad memories due to the Burdick family in the first book. As with every book in this series the two Collins boys, Finn and Rabbit, very nearly steal the show.
They are fantastic characters. May 15, namericanwordcat rated it it was amazing Shelves: illegitimate , romance , historical-romance , ginger-man , abuse-sexual-or-physical , adopted , brunette , kindle-own , married , abusive-mother. They are all going straight to the top. I am a sucker for mail order bride stories. I adore them. I love the circumstances of the couple that make such a marriage necessary and all the couple time we get with a married couple makes for good romance. As the this book opened, I was impressed with the setting of mood and mystery. Once our hero and heroine meet, the wit of both of them jumps off the page.
We get a ginger hero as a bonus.