A Wife for Big John

Author: Lauri Robinson

Publisher: Wild Rose Press

Release Date: February 2008

Blue Ribbon Rating: 5


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Northern Minnesota, 1893

Big John Thompson is a large man whose sheer size and booming voice often intimidates those who don’t know him well.  He’s responsible for the lumberjacks who inhabit his timber camp and because of his last cook’s decision to leave the camp he placed an ad for a new cook and hired one – but that’s where his neat orderly life begins to take an unexpected turn.


Danielle ‘Dani’ Jones has plans to work for John in order to earn the funds to continue her journey to California to be with her fiancé, Jaime.  She raised her sisters after their parents’ murders and took over the family orchard until she had all her sisters married off and then she decided to leave the orchard in her sister Donna and her new husband’s hands.  When times were hard and money was needed Dani cooked for the local timber camp so she has no doubt she’s fully capable of everything required for the position she’s applied for and been hired to fill.


Imagine John’s shock when he returns home from a spring drive with the ‘river rats’ – men who work the logs down the river often in near freezing water – to discover it overrun with children.  He’s dog tired and completely clueless about what’s going on but it’s the discovery of a woman giving birth in one of the bedrooms aided by an unknown woman that has him hitting the floor.  Once he’s roused from his faint, John’s clued into the events as they happened – including the fact that the Daniel he thought he’d hired as a cook is really Danielle. 


Big John is well aware that allowing Dani to work as the camp cook would never work but he isn’t without a heart and has no intention of turning her out.  After tasting her cooking John makes the decision to hire Dani to cook for his household, which includes himself and his friend Howard.  John realizes almost immediately that he has feelings for Dani but he knows the dangers of his occupation and never considered marriage to be a feasible option.  Of course his growing feelings for Dani shouldn’t make any difference because she’s engaged and will be leaving in a few months for California.   Dani feels the need to make sure that John will be happy after she leaves so she makes the decision that he needs a wife – and like with her sisters, she creates a list to aid in ‘woman hunting’ – only how can she find the perfect woman for a man when all the available women in town are so… well, flawed?


Dani and John struggle with their attraction to each other and while neither of them is ready to admit the extent of their emotions, they share kisses that tingle her toes and leave John shaken.  With the aid of a few well meaning and interesting characters they’ll discover that God’s plan for their lives isn’t necessarily what they had originally planned.


Lauri Robinson has cemented herself on my authors to read list with her attention grabbing and charming historical tales.  Dani and John are strong personalities that bring this story to life through their zest for life and caring natures.   A WIFE FOR BIG JOHN gave me the opportunity to step back in time and experience a more simplistic life.  I got a real kick out of Howard’s fetish for Dani’s apple pies.  He’s an adorable character who seems to take great enjoyment in the more simple things in life.  Ms. Robinson brings humor, suspense, heartache, love, and friendship into the plot leaving readers feeling great about the time spent immersed in each page.

By Romance Junkies Reviewer: Chrissy Dionne

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