December 7, 2012

Book Review: Texas Bride by Joan Johnston

At First Sight: Following the death of their parents during The Great Chicago Fire, the Wentworth siblings were put on a orphanage where they endured a lot of mistreatment from the main caretaker. Still, the six siblings managed to stick together... until Miranda, the oldest, turned 18. 

Knowing she had little chance of keeping them all together once she was out and and with a low-wage job at a hotel, Miranda agrees to go along with her sister Josie's crazy scheme and become a mail-order bride for a Texas rancher named Jacob Creed, hoping once she gets to Texas her husband turns out to be wealthy enough to allow her to bring all her siblings from Chicago to live with them. 

At the last minute, and following a rather harsh beating from the caretaker, Miranda decides to take her little brothers, Nick and Harry, along with her. 

When they finally arrive in Texas after a long, difficult trip things aren't quite what she expected. Her husband is young, and reasonably handsome but he's also butting heads with the biggest land-owner in the region, who happens to be his stepfather, and that's making his ranching operation twice as hard as it already would be. 

Jake also haves a young daughter, Anna-Mae, a surly, wheelchair bound father-in-law and its still clinging to the memory of his first wife, whom he loved dearly. 

Second Glance: So, I picked up Texas Bride both because I had heard good things about it and because I got the second book of the series, Wyoming Bride, for review. 

It took me a while to get into the story, because it does take a few chapters for Miranda and Jake to met, and once they did it was a pretty standard story of two people reluctantly falling in love with a few extra troubles thrown. Miranda and Jake weren't neither good nor bad and it was kind of nice seeing them blend their families, even if Jake was rather reluctant about it. 

It was the other problems that started to sink the book for me. Miranda decides not to tell Jake about her sisters at first since he's none-too pleased about her bringing along two extra-mouths to feed without letting him know first. And Nick's sourly attitude doesn't help. And this will complicate things later on, leading into the next book. 

Also, the feud between Jake and his stepfather is a bit senseless. It's never really explained why Blackthorne - the stepfather - is so hard on Jake, part of their animosity is explained but not all the way. And then the whole thing is over. 

Which was kind of the problem with the ending, it just ends all too neatly in someways, too neatly for a story that was all over the place all the time. 

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