Sunday, December 9, 2012

ARC Review Wyoming Bride: A Bitter Creek Novel by Joan Johnston

Hannah and her two sisters are so anxious to leave the orphanage where they live in Chicago that they concoct an outrageous escape plan. Hannah becomes a mail order bride, wedding an Irish man who whisks them off onto the Oregon trail. Soon things turn sour when they're kicked out of the wagon train and he dies of cholera, leaving Hannah and her two siblings to fend for themselves. Anxious, desperate, and destitute, they try to make their way back to the group that's abandoned them, but are set upon by a group of Sioux warriors. Separated from her two sisters, Hannah is saved by Flint Creed, a tall, dark, and handsome cowboy from the Wyoming territory. In love with his brother's fiance, Flint is eager to marry to distract him from the woman who's now off limits. He convinces Hannah to be his bride, but will their marriage ever be anything but a second choice?

Wyoming Bride is the second book in the mail-order-brides series, the first being Texas Bride.

Wyoming Bride is the story of Hannah who being the oldest of the three sisters left, after her older sister becomes a mail-order-bride for a man in Texas, must do whatever it takes to get her and her sisters out of the Chicago orphanage they are in. That means that she is the one to bite the bullet and become a mail-order-bride herself to a man who is headed to the Wyoming Territory.

As much as Wyoming Bride is about Hannah and the man who saves her on the prairie, Flint, it is also about Flint's brother Ransom and the girl he is engaged to Emaline. When Flint finds Hannah near death on the prairie after her escape from a Sioux ambush it is an answer to his problems. Flint's younger brother has just become engaged to the woman that Flint is in love with, Emaline. Flint feels he needs to marry quickly to put a buffer between himself and the happy couple because they share a house.

Being a history geek I love a historical romance that uses a lot of historic bits of fact thrown in, I was thrilled with all of the history that Ms. Johnson was able to include while still making this a fantastic story that doesn't feel like a history text ever. The love stories between Hannah and Flint and Ransom and Emaline are well developed never rushed and I felt accurately depicted as much as possible for the time period. I loved Hannah and wanted to slap Flint upside the head a few times but grew to love him too. Ransom is the hotheaded younger brother and Emaline while sweet her fear of childbirth while understandable got to be a bit repetitive.

Over all this is a great historic read set in the American West, it is a great love story with likable characters, plenty of ties to the first book as well as teasers to the coming books and enough history to keep even a geek like me happy.



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