Tuesday, May 6, 2014

In Want of a Wife (Bitter Springs #3) by Jo Goodman

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.

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 not that woman. But when she sets out to prove him wrong, the secrets he cannot share put into jeopardy every happiness they hope to find….

Type: Historical Romance--America 1890s
Heat: 3 out of 5
Rating: 4 out of 5

Amazon | All Romance | Book Depository | BAM | Goodreads

In Want of a Wife was so one of those reads I just didn't want to give up! Seriously yall I was glued to my book the whole time as Jane leaves her life on the east coast to marry a man who placed an ad for a wife. One she's written to but never met until now.

That's pretty much the quick of it. Jane and Morgan are both in need of a different future. He needs a second half to help on his ranch and be there for him and Jane needs to escape the horror that is her family back home and the two come to an arrangement of joining their lives through good and bad and the unexpected.

I really liked Jane and Morgan. They're not what the other was expecting but they really complimented each other nicely. They both have a strength and resilience to themselves you can't help but admire and root for. Her sassy nature pulled him out of his shell and his protectiveness gave her security and home for the first time. It wasn't perfect and uncertainties cropped up on both ends but it felt real and right seeing them together.
"I don't want to sleep in the other room tonight. Or any night from now on."

"I am not asking you to." When he was quiet, she lifted her head and looked at him. "Did you think I was going to argue?"

"Maybe, I don't know. I'm still working on how marriage changes things. No woman's ever let me stay in her bed."

Jane blinked. She was quite certain it had required considerable effort for him to squeeze out those last words. "You man I will be the first woman you've slept with?"

"Once we actually go to sleep, yes."

Jane's head dropped back to his shoulder. "I feel as if the appropriate response here is 'I'll be damned,' but I defer to you on matters of blasphemous phraseology."

Morgan gave a shout of laughter, turned and pressed Jane's shoulders into the mattress. "That mouth of yours," he said, and then he brought his down on it and kissed her long and hard and deeply.
Some parts are awkward and some sweet as the two tried to come to grips with their new lives and suddenly being married to a virtual stranger. You could really feel how they felt as things progressed. How they wanted to make things work but struggled with doing and saying the right things now and again. I don't know. I just found it achingly sweet watching them make the best of an awkward situation. and ended up teary eyed and choked up in more than one spot over them. The two were able to grow with each other in so many regards and I loved watching it happen. The steamy bits were very nice and emotional as well. Again, sometimes a little awkward but fitting which I so appreciate.

My only quibbles were that things were a bit too formal in print sometimes. Where phrases were proper but but lack of contractions made dialogue a little unnatural feeling. And a couple spots that had me scratching my head a little but that were eventually explained and made sense given time. It didn't take away too much from the read but did snag my attention.

The book is fairly slow going. The romance is slow. The action is slow. But it works. It never dragged or lost my interest but held me completely in it's spell. I don't even know what it was exactly. But I totally fell head over heels for Bitter Springs. For Morgan and Jane. And all of the people around them. I just loved these two and the people who slowly made themselves a part of their lives in some way.

In Want of a Wife was just a touchingly sweet read. It's a hard life these two have set out on but they've made a home and a family together and it just really grabbed my heart. The dry humor that infused so many parts, the romance and steamy bits and a secondary cast--that totally had me smitten-- made for a wonderful read and one I was really sad to see end even though it was time. It wrapped up nicely (if messily and somewhat heartbreakingly) but I so didn't want it to end. I just loved the feel of them all and can't wait to revisit this town and the earlier books in the series.  Goodman definitely has a new fan.

Have you read Goodman?
Have a favorite mail order bride romance?
Or historical set in America?

More Goodman on herding cats!

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