Type: Western Historical Romance
My Copy: Sent
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 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….
In Want of a Wife is a wonderfully enjoyable romance. I like the setting of the West, the characters that enhance the story and of course the quite romance of the hero and heroine.
Jane Middlebourne is desperate to leave her cousin’s home in New York, and her cousin’s son is ready to help. She was taken in by Francis Ewing and family when her parents died, but has been treated as an employee, and not a good one, for most of her life. She answers an advertisement about a rancher looking for a wife and heads off to the wilds of the west.
Morgan Longstreet owns Morning Star Ranch, he bought it about three years ago, he usually keeps to himself, but made sure that Cobb Bridge, the local sheriff, knew he was in town, as he has something in his past that interested Cobb. Although he has lived quietly for the last three years, he is ready to start a family, so advertises for a wife. When the two meet at the train station for the first time he is surprised, expecting someone different, yet after some thought they decide to marry; now they face the daunting task of getting to know each other.
I have read books by this author before and thoroughly enjoy her western historical romances, she writes with such realism and it is easy to believe we are standing in the middle of a dusty street in Bitter Springs, Wyoming. The world is hard and those that lived there are strong and pragmatic.
Morgan is quiet and although you would not know it, he has a sense of humor and he truly cares for the people that work for him. His first reaction to Jane is interesting, he was not sure she would work out since she did not look sturdy enough for the ranch lifestyle, but she proves him wrong many times. He had a very hard beginning in life, a mother he never knew, plus he was sent on the Orphan train at a young age, it is amazing he became the man he did, although he did have some bumps in his journey. Jane is marvelous and I loved her character, she also came from a sad upbringing, she was made to feel like she was nobody special, never receiving love from her extended relations so she was craving that feeling of family, and she was a little heartbroken when he did not kiss her on their wedding night in front of the whole town. The heat is tame as their relationship is the heart of the story, however they do share some enjoyable times together. They both have pasts that they need to overcome, hurtles to love, but I like how they work through them.
The secondary characters are so charming; I love the brothers that work for Morgan, Jem and Jessop, they are inseparable and are fun to have around. I also absolutely adored the two younger kids from town, Rabbit and Finn; they had me laughing at various times from their antics. The people that lived in town knew that Morgan was apt to keep to himself but they also are welcoming when he gradually becomes part of the community. I enjoyed the relationship between the sheriff and Morgan, what starts out as wariness develops into true friendship and mutual respect in the end.
The pace of the story is slow and quiet for the most part, there is a threat that develops mid-way through and the danger ramps up as Morgan’s past comes back to haunt him, and the story picks up at the right time. In Want of a Wife is part of a series however it can easily be read as a standalone. I am looking forward to more from this author as her stories are so entertaining.
I give In Want of a Wife by Jo Goodman 4.25 stars!