Montana Bride

Joan Johnston. Dell, $7.99 mass market (432p) ISBN 978-0-345-52748-6
In Johnston’s third Mail-Order Bride historical (after Wyoming Bride), which ties in to her long-running Bitter Creek series, an orphan gets an unexpected opportunity. Lucy Templeton, a mail-order bride, falls over a cliff and dies on the way to meet her prospective husband, Karl Norwood. Hetty Wentworth, who was traveling with Lucy, decides to take her place. She becomes an instant mother to Griffin and Grace, Lucy’s wards, as they head westward. Hetty is disappointed to find Karl plain and ordinary, but as she gets to know him, mutual attraction starts to grow. She appreciates his kindness toward her and the children and struggles with guilt over not telling him the truth about her impersonation. The dangers of 19th-century Montana Territory add realism to this swiftly paced romance, as Karl tries to decide whether Hetty’s love for him is merely just another lie. The only sour note is the stereotyped portrayal of Lin Bao, a “Chinaman” prone to “Confucius say” moments. Agent: Robert Gottlieb, Trident Media Group. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 11/11/2013
Release date: 01/07/2014
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