Publication Date: 05/06/2014
Publisher: Penguin Group
Imprint: Berkley Sensation
Genre: Historical Western Romance
(Received for an honest review from Berkley Sensation)
Purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Book Depository, Indiebound
Jo Goodman on the WEB: website, facebook, goodreads
Books in the Series:
The Last Renegade
True to the Law
"Nat Church and the Runaway Bride" from Boots Under Her Bed (short story)
In Want of a Wife
Coverart: Click the Image for a larger, clearer view of the covers in this series.
Excerpt from, In Want of a Wife, courtesy of Amazon's Look Inside feature.
SHE HAS NOWHERE LEFT TO TURN
Jane Middlebourne needs a way out. In 1891, life in New York is unforgiving for a young woman with no prospects, especially when her family wants nothing to do with her. So when Jane discovers an ad for a mail-order bride needed in Bitter Springs, Wyoming, she responds with a hopeful heart.
HE HAS EVERYTHING TO LOSE
Rancher Morgan Longstreet is in want of a wife who will be his partner at Morning Star, someone who will work beside him and stand by him. His first impression of the fair and fragile Jane is that she is notthat woman. But when she sets out to prove him wrong, the secrets he cannot share put into jeopardy every happiness they hope to find….
Author Jo Goodman brings readers another story from Bitter Springs with her latest book, In Want of a Wife. Goodman is able to take a Western theme and turn it into just about anything she wants. With this book, she takes a reoccurring theme in Western romance, the mail order bride and adds to it child exploitation, to create a story that is multi-layered while still being romantic. Readers who are looking for a good cowboy romance, this book is that and a lot more. Jane is a sassy East Coast girl and Morgan is a Wyoming cowboy looking for a wife. It's an explosive combination.
What I liked:
With any Jo Goodman book, especially her western historicals, readers know they will get good quality writing and engaging characters. I think I like Goodman's westerns best because she is able to capture not only the customs and traditions of the times, but also the heart of people who lived them. She gets into character so well and readers are drawn right along with her. Her character's speech patterns and mannerisms are authentic and that adds so much to the overall feel of the book. In Western writing of any kind atmosphere is key and Goodman has got it down to a science.
I always appreciate an author that takes the time to get a little more in depth when it comes to romance than just boy meets girl, they fall in love and live happily ever after. Goodman's books don't tend to be that straightforward. With any good book, there is conflict and with In Want of a Wife, the conflict is two-fold. When Jane and Morgan meet for the first time, she is coming to him as a mail-order-bride, but she isn't exactly what he was expecting. Morgan has some demons of his own to face in this book and that struggle it what made this one so interesting. Between both those issues, Goodman has conflict galore, and for whatever reason it works with this book. I liked all the secrets and the situations that brought these two characters closer and made their relationship grow.
Child molestation and exploitation isn't often something you find in western romance. It is a theme that Goodman has used in several of her other books as well. In this book I think it was handled with respect for it's devastation and in way that showed recovery is possible. I think that needs to be central when writing about this subject. Yes, it is a horrible thing, but those who have suffered it's consequences can move forward and find love and happiness and Goodman portrayed that well.
What I didn't like:
The romance between Jane and Morgan is slow building and romantic but there were times when I felt they were pushing the boundaries of where they were in the relationship. Moving a little too quickly and sometimes not quick enough. The pacing was a just a little off, but it wasn't a big issue. It was still a very well written love story.
Goodman's western romances may not be for the readers who want their HEA's all tied with a bow. I liked the complexity of Jane and Morgan's relationship and how their pasts did not keep them from having a wonderful future together. I want my character's to earn their HEA and Goodman sees to it that they do.
In Want of a Wife is available NOW from your favorite bookseller.
I'm giving this one 4 out of 5 apples from my book bag!
About the Author:
Jo Goodman is the USA Today bestselling author of True to the Law, The Last Renegade, and Kissing Comfort,.
The publisher is sponsoring a giveaway for one copy of In Want of a Wife by Jo Goodman.
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