Wyoming Bride

Author: Joan Johnston

Publisher: Dell

Release Date: December 26, 2012

Blue Ribbon Rating: 4


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Hannah Wentworth finds herself in a situation she never imagined.  Her life should have been so much different, but tragedies have befallen her family too many times to keep her from having the will to survive through more. After the Chicago fire took her parents' lives and the only home the six Wentworth children knew, Hannah and her siblings scheme for a way to escape the horrible orphanage where they were placed.  Their eldest sister, Miranda, became a mail-order bride and escaped in the night with their two youngest brothers in tow in book one of the MAIL-ORDER BRIDE series.  Hannah, along with her twin sister, Hetty, and their youngest sister, Josie, wait to hear from Miranda, hoping she'll send for them to join her in Texas.  After months of no word, the three sisters come up with a plan of their own.

Hannah is an engaging heroine.  We get to know her as a young woman of seventeen who hasn't borne much responsibility for anyone else because her oldest sister took care of them all.  Hannah is thrust into a responsible role when marrying Mr. McMurtry will help her sisters escape the tyranny of the orphanage headmistress-in-charge.  Terrorized by the headmistress' beatings for anything and everything, Hannah cannot leave her youngest sister there to bear the brunt of it all, while Hannah and her twin sister, Hetty, could leave on their eighteenth birthday.  Hannah doesn't want the responsibility but she takes the risk when she knows becoming a mail-order bride will help all three of them at once.

Next, Hannah is married to a stranger, pregnant, and working hard as part of a wagon train on the way west.  She doesn't tell anyone she's pregnant, including her two sisters traveling with her, hoping to find the right moment to approach her distant husband.  He barely speaks to her and hasn't touched her since their wedding day, so Hannah can't help feeling more for her unborn child than the man who is the father.

What happens next is more than most of us can imagine, let alone withstand the memories that will eventually surface.  Hannah becomes a woman who will continue to make choices in the best interest of others in the days to come.  It's that woman who drives the story forward and who you'll hope will finally find happiness against all odds.

Flint Creed finds Hannah near death alone on the prairie and brings her to his home to heal.  He's sure that she's the answer to his problems.  Women are scarce in the Wyoming Territory and he needs a wife.  Since his brother is about to marry the woman of Flint's dreams, Flint needs a way to forget about what he can't have, so finding Hannah seems to be the solution.  Until he realizes that Hannah has secrets and memories of a past that have not yet surfaced.  Hannah becomes a lot more to handle than Flint ever imagined and the question is...will he be man enough to meet Hannah's needs, as well as her dreams?

The first five chapters of this novel are a fast-paced adventure, and just when you think there isn't much more that can happen to these sisters, something else does and forces them into survival mode.  That's what I love most about Joan Johnston's style—her books are an adventure, making you feel as if you're traveling right along with her characters, rooting for their happiness.

WYOMING BRIDE continues with the story that TEXAS BRIDE didn't disclose.  So, if you haven't read book one yet, you won't have book two spoiled for you, but I highly suggest that you read both books in order because MAIL-ORDER BRIDE is an addictive series.  If you're a longtime Joan Johnston fan, the MAIL-ORDER BRIDE series is also connected to Ms. Johnston's other series, so it seems very promising that as this series continues, there will be more references to characters you've loved in the past.  I find backtracking through previous books to be enticing as a new fan and have started a collection of Joan Johnston's books to read in the future.

WYOMING BRIDE is a daring journey into the Wyoming Territory.  Filled with challenges and brave characters who symbolize North America's history, this engaging romance is sure to win readers' hearts.  You also get two romances to follow in this book because Flint's brother is racing right along with Flint in the efforts to please his hopefully soon-to-be wife.  The best part is that the journey doesn't end here because we can look forward to Hetty's story in MONTANA BRIDE, and then Josie's story in BLACKTHORNE'S BRIDE.  Those who love the pioneering spirit of America's past will enjoy the escapades in the MAIL-ORDER BRIDE series.  Fun-loving and irresistible, the Wentworth sisters' habit of finding trouble, then scrambling out of it, makes for some entertaining reading.

By Romance Junkies Reviewer: Dorine Linnen

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