Blackthorne's Bride (Bitter Creek Series #12 & Mail Order Brides Series #4)

Blackthorne's Bride (Bitter Creek Series #12 & Mail Order Brides Series #4)

by Joan Johnston

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Overview

A rogue nobleman, a rescued lady, and revenge undone by romance all play a part in New York Times bestselling author Joan Johnston’s irresistible novel of best-laid plots, delicious deception, and unexpected passion.
 
Two years have passed since Josie Wentworth was bought from the Sioux for a gold watch and whisked back to England by Marcus Wharton, the Duke of Blackthorne. When Marcus breaks his promise to return Josie to America, she ends up as a maid in the home of his charming but neglected nephews. Once Josie’s long-lost family finds her, however, the suddenly wealthy heiress sets out to save the two boys from their indifferent uncle—and teach the duke a lesson in honor.
 
Learning that Marcus is seeking a rich American bride to save his estate, Josie plots to catch his eye—certain he’ll never recognize the beauty she’s become as the ragged captive he rescued. But Josie doesn’t wager on her marital charade taking a tender turn, as the nobleman she’s despised for years proves to be a very different man than she’s imagined. And there’s no denying his passionate caresses, as she falls deeper under the spell of a husband determined to claim her heart.

Praise for Blackthorne’s Bride
 
“[Joan] Johnston’s gloriously dramatic twelfth Bitter Creek novel, the fourth installment in her Mail Order Bride subseries, whisks readers across the Atlantic. . . . [This] page-turner is replete with romantic angst, sizzling sex, and the promise of an enduring love.”Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“Second chances, marriage of convenience, revenge, reconnection, and redemption . . . Blackthorne’s Bride is another winner from Joan Johnston that gives readers a delicious story of love, laughter, forgiveness, and family.”—Smexy Books
 
Blackthorne’s Bride is a sweeping tale that takes you from the Wild West . . . to Regency England. [It’s] a feisty and surprisingly enticing romance that takes you on an adventure through the city streets of London and the countryside.”—Addicted to Romance
 
“Riveting . . . Johnston excels at descriptions, peppered with period details that make this book a picturesque reading experience.”—Buried Under Romance

The passionate Westerns in Joan Johnston’s Bitter Creek series can be enjoyed together or separately, in any order:
TEXAS BRIDE • WYOMING BRIDE • MONTANA BRIDE • SINFUL • SHAMELESS • BLACKTHORNE’S BRIDE • SULLIVAN’S PROMISE

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780399177743
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Publication date: 07/25/2017
Series: Bitter Creek Series , #12
Pages: 432
Sales rank: 234,371
Product dimensions: 4.18(w) x 6.85(h) x 1.11(d)

About the Author

Joan Johnston is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of more than sixty historical and contemporary romance novels. She received a master of arts degree in theater from the University of Illinois and graduated with honors from the University of Texas School of Law at Austin. She is currently a full-time writer living in Colorado.

Read an Excerpt

Chapter 1

The Duke of Blackthorne was sitting in a wing chair at his gentleman’s club in London, drink in hand, staring absently out the window, when his best friend said, “It’s the girl, isn’t it? You’re thinking of the waif you rescued from that savage.”

“What if I am?” It irritated him to be so predictable. And embarrassed him to have his late wife’s brother point out his preoccupation with a girl he’d barely known, rather than the woman who’d been his wife for a year, before she’d died bearing his son.

“It’s been two years,” Seaton said. “You need to forget about her. You have more important things to consider, if you want to rescue Blackthorne Abbey from ruin. You need to find a woman with means and marry her before the month is out.”

Blackthorne made a face. Within a month of marrying Fanny, which was to say, within a month of his return to London from America, he’d learned that the Blackthorne estate was badly strapped. His father had made a number of risky investments that had not paid off. Then his younger brother, Montgomery, had died in a carriage race, and Black­thorne had been pressed to settle his brother’s outrageous gambling debts and find somewhere for his brother’s two sons to live, since Monty had died not only destitute, but a widower, whose late wife had no family.

Blackthorne had done his best to economize and had put Fanny’s dowry to good use, but it soon became apparent that, without an infusion of capital, land that had been in his family for eight generations was destined to be lost forever.

He’d spent the months of Fanny’s pregnancy filled with hope that she would bear him an heir to the dukedom, and with despair that he might be leaving his child an estate with only a glimmer of its former glory.

Unfortunately, things hadn’t improved in the year since Fanny’s death. In fact, they’d gotten worse. Now there was some doubt whether he could keep anything at all.

After his terrible experience losing Fanny and their son, he hadn’t been inclined to marry again. Now circumstances demanded it. He needed a rich wife, and he needed her in a hurry.

The New York Times lay open on his lap, so he could see the text of the advertisement his solicitor had inserted in all the major American newspapers several months ago—­along with the London Times, of course, in order to catch any American heiress who might already have crossed the pond to secure a British title in exchange for a bit of her father’s wealth:

WANTED: American heiress for purposes of matrimony to titled gentleman.

The notice then gave the name of the Blackthorne solicitor, in an effort to make the duke’s search for a wealthy bride somewhat anonymous. Not that everyone in Society didn’t know the straits to which he’d been reduced. His grandmother had paraded a number of eligible English heiresses in front of him, but he’d insisted that, if he was forced to marry for filthy lucre, he wasn’t going to do it among the ranks of his peers.

There was another reason he’d advertised for an American bride. Although he hadn’t admitted it to anyone, he kept imagining that, somehow, the mystery woman he’d rescued all those years ago would show up again in his life.

Blackthorne thought more often than he ought to of the girl he’d nursed on the sea voyage across the Atlantic. He knew so little about her, not even her name. Perhaps that was why she’d remained so intriguing. Where was she now? How was she? He could have left her with an American family who’d been willing to take her in, but he’d refused to let her out of his sight. Why? What was it about that suffering girl that had so captivated him that he’d insisted on taking care of her himself?

Was it the courage that had kept her from begging for mercy at the sting of the lash? Was it that stubborn chin lifted in defiance of the pain the savage had inflicted upon her? Or was it the enormous strength of will that had kept her alive in spite of the terrible wounds she’d endured?

A doctor had straightened her nose as best he could, but it would always have a bump where it had been broken. Her battered face and her blackened eyes, which had remained mere slits for the balance of the journey, had left her unrecognizable. Blackthorne had feared that infection would kill her on the voyage across the sea, but she’d survived, although fever had plagued her all the way to England.

Day after day, she’d remained out of her head with pain from her ravaged back, but she hadn’t complained, hadn’t screamed or cried. She’d hissed when a hot cloth touched her flesh. She’d thrashed as Blackthorne held her still for the doctor’s examination. Sometimes, she released a moan that was almost a sigh. He’d talked to her to keep her mind off the agony he knew he was causing, when he tended her ragged flesh.

“I’ve never seen a girl so brave,” he’d told her as she bore his ministrations. He’d waited anxiously for her fever to break, for her to speak intelligible words, to say something—­anything—­to prove that what she’d suffered hadn’t driven her mad.

“You have to let the physician mind the girl,” Seaton had admonished him. “He knows best. You’re liable to cause more damage, if you try to manage her treatment yourself.”

He’d barely looked up from the girl’s face, as he sat vigil beside her bunk in the captain’s cabin, while the fever raged. “I bought her. She’s my responsibility.”

“Listen to yourself,” his friend chided. “You rescued a damsel in distress. Your duties as knight in shining armor are over.”

“Not until I know who she is,” he’d murmured.

“What difference can that possibly make?” Sea­ton asked. “From the way she was dressed, it’s clear she’s one of the lower classes.”

Blackthorne had shifted his gaze sharply to look his best friend in the eye. “That doesn’t make her any less in need of my help.”

“What are you going to do with her when you get her to England?” his friend demanded. “You’re engaged to be married. How do you think Fanny is going to react to this wild hair of yours?”

He’d turned his attention back to the girl, who’d shifted and moaned. “Fanny will understand.”

“You don’t know my sister as well as you think you do.”

“Go away, Seaton,” he’d said in a firm, ducal voice. And Seaton had left.

Blackthorne was surprised by what the girl said when she finally spoke.

“All my fault,” she muttered against the pillow. “Everything. If only they knew. All my fault.”

“Surely you can’t be responsible for the attack on your wagon,” he’d said in a soothing voice.

She’d clutched the pillow tightly with both fists and said, “The fire. The fire.”

For a long time he’d thought she was saying her back was on fire, which he could easily believe. But it wasn’t that at all. She’d remained out of her head, raving and incoherent with fever, and it had taken more than a week before he’d cobbled together enough of the story, which had been revealed in bits and pieces, to understand her guilt.

She’d been referring to the terrible conflagration in Chicago three years previously, the one sup­posedly caused by Mrs. O’Leary’s cow, which had kicked over a lantern in the barn. The resulting inferno, which had raged for three days, had burned down virtually the whole city, including this girl’s home.

She’d been terrified by the flames and smoke and had hidden under her bed, making it necessary for her parents to hunt through the house for her. She hadn’t replied, even when they’d pleaded for her to answer them. Her parents had finally found her, and her father had dragged her out. But by then, the bedroom doorway was blocked by fire. Her mother had tied the bedsheets together so her father could lower her out the back window. Safe outside, she’d watched her home burn to the ground with her parents inside.

He’d prodded her for her given name, or her family name, but she’d been too lost in her personal agony to respond. Apparently, she’d been orphaned. It was a mystery how she’d gotten from Chicago to the Dakota Territory, but presumably it involved travel in a Conestoga wagon, since she—­and whoever was in it with her—­had been attacked by the Sioux.

She’d mentioned a few names, but he had no clue whether they were relatives or acquaintances. Hetty and Hannah—­always together. Miranda. Nick and Harry—­again, always together. And a Mr. McMurtry. He wondered if she could be married to the man. But she wasn’t wearing a ring, and there was no mark on her finger to show that she’d worn a ring that might have been removed by the Sioux.

She made two other statements relentlessly: “I have to find them. I have to go back. I have to find them. I have to go back.”

He kept hoping she would recover enough by the time they landed in England to answer all his questions about exactly who it was she had to find and where she had to go. But she was still far from well when their journey ended.

To his chagrin, Fanny was at the docks to greet him, together with her mother, who’d come along to welcome home her son and future son-­in-­law. Suddenly, he wasn’t so sure Fanny would understand that he’d spent the entire crossing nursing a half-­naked girl. Or why he’d parted with two irreplaceable heirlooms—­a whalebone-­handled knife and his grandfather’s gold watch—­to “buy” a young woman. Or why he’d insisted on nursing her himself, rather than allowing the perfectly capable physician he’d brought along to do it.

When he saw Fanny waving to him—­fragile Fanny, who’d fainted at the sight of a cut on his face from a bout of fisticuffs at Jackson’s Saloon—­he realized Seaton was right. Fanny would never understand any of this. She would shortly be his wife, and he didn’t want to start off his marriage with an unnecessary misunderstanding.

“Seaton, I need a favor,” he’d said.

“Anything, Blackthorne.”

“I want you to make sure that, once the girl is well, she’s sent home to America.”

“Of course. Consider it done.”

Customer Reviews

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Blackthorne's Bride (Bitter Creek Series #15) 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 27 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Blackthorne Bride was a wonderful book. So hard to put down. Kept me in the book al the way through. Joan Johnston is a great writer.
McM0mmy-PW More than 1 year ago
This is the first book in the series I've read. I have to admit, I didn't like Josie for a bit with how she wavered back and forth on if she should trust Marcus or not. After I got 2/3 of the way through I Loved Josie! What I liked most about the book was how Josie tried to treat everyone the same, no matter their standing! The last chapter did have me in tears with the ending, I'd have to say it was perfect!
BuckeyeAngel 6 months ago
Two years have passed since Josie Wentworth was bought from the Sioux for a gold watch and whisked back to England by Marcus Wharton, the Duke of Blackthorne. When Marcus breaks his promise to return Josie to America, she ends up as a maid in the home of his charming but neglected nephews. Once Josie’s long-lost family finds her, however, the suddenly wealthy heiress sets out to save the two boys from their indifferent uncle—and teach the duke a lesson in honor. I’ve read this author before so I knew that I liked her writing and was glad to see she didn’t disappoint. This was a pretty good story. I really enjoyed following Josie through her tale. I haven’t really read any books with this premise in a long time. It was a good change of pace. I highly recommend for anyone who likes this genre. **I voluntarily read and reviewed this book
Historical_Romance_Lover More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed Josie and Marcus's story! Marcus rescues Josie and brings her back to England. He then entrusts others to take care of her welfare. What he doesn't know, is that those people don't have have her best interests in mind. When Josie is reunited with her family and is now an heiress. When she learns that Marcus is seeking a rich bride, she puts her hat into the ring. She wants to teach him a lesson for the way he treated her. She soon learns that he had no idea that she was treated so poorly and is nothing like she imagined. Can they get passed all their issues to find their HEA? I really enjoyed the last book in the Mail-Order Brides series and can't wait to see what Johnston comes up with next!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Fell in love again with Josie
sportochick More than 1 year ago
Blackthorne's Bride has a dramatic Prologue with an interesting combination of a Historical Romance with a little bit of Western Historical. I will be honest and say that it took me a few tries to complete the book but once I settled into the pages I was impressed with Marcus's character. He did mesmerize me in the Prologue and I felt a little disappointed in who he was two years later. However, he did redeem himself and once again became a man I admired as the book continued. The author handled this transition with finesse causing this reader to continue reading with interest. Josie was quite the interesting girl/woman. With all the trauma in her youth one would expect a bitter woman instead she is very loving to others worrying about their welfare more than her own. Which makes her revenge, not fit her personality though it does fit her circumstances. I kept expecting her to give up her desire for revenge, but she was rock solid on her reasons. Author Joan Johnston's scenic descriptions were rich and fully detailed. Her ability to weave in Josie's family in America and Josie in England was unique. I give this 3.5 STARS and plan to read more of this authors books.
AntoniaG More than 1 year ago
A very enjoyable read. It made me want to take my time so I didn't miss anything. The side story of Seaton and Lark I'd definitely enjoy more in it's own story, but it was okay to help the main storyline along. I alternated between feeling sorry for and hating Fanny. Josie and Marcus were fascinating and at times I wanted to just smack them both. Definitely was worth the time.
Crystal61 More than 1 year ago
The last in the series, this story brought everything to a close. I enjoyed Marcus as we saw his kind-heartedness as he rescued Jose, his devotion to his late wife, even his self-absorption as he did what he could to restore his family home. Josie is a strong woman, surviving everything she went through and willing to accept the truth as it comes to light. There are glimpses of characters from the previous books, and I had tears in my eyes as this story came to an end. I received a copy of this book through Netgalley, and this is my unsolicited review.
1parkerd More than 1 year ago
I always enjoy Joan Johnston books. Cowboys, Dukes, England, Indians, mail order brides, current day, doesn't matter to me. Never read one I didn't enjoy. This one was mostly in England, with family in America. I love reading about the decendants of the previous books. Blackthornes and Creeds. I need to go back & reread my old books to catch back up on everybody.
DJernigan More than 1 year ago
What a lovely and satisfying way to end the "Mail Order Brides "series: "Texas Bride," "Wyoming Bride," and "Montana Bride" Yes, it can be read as a stand alone story, but don't deprive yourself of the others. They are all amazing! It is one of my favorite series. It is packed with steam and romance. This is the eagerly awaited story of Josie, the youngest Wentworth sister, whisked away to England after being rescued from a tribe of renegade Indians by a handsome Duke. I don't want to give too much away so I'll leave it at that. This a must-read for all Joan Johnston fans. I have read everything Ms. Johnston has written. She is the Queen of steam and romance, and never fails to deliver a story that draws the reader in from the very first page. It keeps you enthralled in the story until the end. This is a keeper!
NookBookLady More than 1 year ago
The book opens with a rather brutal prologue in America. Marcus, the Duke of Blackthorne is on a tour of America with his friend (who is the brother of his fiancee). They want to go on a buffalo hunt and is in a band or renegade Sioux's camp. He sees a young woman tied to a post and being whipped. Marcus is stunned and attempts to barter for the girl with his knife and his grandfather's gold watch. He rescues her and takes the girl to England. Marcus has been summoned back home and takes the girl with him. On the ship, he devoted himself to nursing the girl. Since Marcus is going to be married soon, he asks his friend, Seaton, to take care of the girl. Two years later, Marcus's wife has died in childbirth along with the baby and his younger brother died in a carriage race leaving Marcus the guardian of his two nephews. The previous Duke has made a series of bad investments that ha almost bankrupted the estate. Marcus needs to marry a rich woman to make the estate solvent and has his solicitor search for a wealthy American bride. The young woman that Marcus saved, Josie Wentworth, was dumped at one of his estates at the request of Marcus's fiancee. She knew she was dying and realizing that Marcus loved the young woman he had saved, wanted Marcus to have her after she died. In the time that Josie has been at the crumbling estate, she has been a maid of all work at the mercy of the housekeeper and Marcus's nephews nanny. A Pinkerton agent visits Josie and tells her that she is an heiress. As Josie is getting ready to leave for America, she discovers that Marcus is now a widower and seeking an American heiress. She decides to marry Marcus so that she can rescue his nephews and take them to America with her. There were so many points in this novel that I wanted to scream. I liked Josie and thought she was an amazingly strong woman. However, what made this book a 3 rather than the 5 it should have been was Marcus. He was obsessed with Josie from rescue to landing in London, then he just lets his friend take over. Marcus is off-handed when asked about his nephews. I would have rather seen Josie grab the boys and leave England with the Pinkerton agent and marry him! I received this ARC from NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Thank you.
Joana_Varela More than 1 year ago
I've received an eARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. 3.5* This book was a bit odd. Not because it was bad, on the contrary, but sometimes it created contradictory feelings. Marcus Wharton, Duke of Blackthorne, always kept me guessing. Heroic enough to save a girl and almost lose his life doing it, but not enough to deliver her directly to a safe haven. I know he “hands” her over to his friend and almost brother-in-law, but still. If I had saved someone and made sure they survived taking care of them, I wouldn’t have them with someone else at the end. Even if there was a nuance to consider. Same thing with the “abandonment” of his nephews. For someone who said that loved them, a small letter from a governess shouldn’t be enough. At least (more in my opinion, but let’s keep a low bar) a visit once a year, to be sure they were well fed and well taken care of and were learning what they needed to learn. I agreed with the female lead character – Marcus should have sent the boys to live with him, but I understand that at the beginning, it might have been a difficult decision – but not forever. Josie is strong-minded and she is determined to get her revenge for being left in England and not sent back home to America, and made a maid in her supposed-to-be rescuer's country house. She also wants to avenge the two boys that the duke left almost abandoned at that same house. When the opportunity arises, Josie was a bit torn about going straight home or getting her revenge, for herself and the boys, which she planned to take with her to America. Choosing the second option, Josie tricks the duke, thinking him the horrible villain, but she then starts to realize that he is a broken man, who is still suffering, and he actually believes that the girl he saved is back home with her family and that his nephews are happier in the country where they can play, than with him in the city. Josie basically tells him that he should think for himself, that he should open his eyes and see that he deals with his matters himself, and not shove them to someone else, even if he trusts them – that’s how he got into this mess. I realized right from the beginning how everything got mixed up, but I believe the point the author wanted to make was that there wasn’t a “real” villain, but just people who were flawed and did what they thought was right even though it was wrong. In the end, it was a nice book, because Josie managed to entice me and made Marcus understand his mistakes and correct them. And, in the end, as is should be, all the family gets back together in America, for a visit with the characters from the previous books of the series (which I haven’t read). A happy ending, no doubt.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I thoroughly enjoy all of Ms. Johnston’s books and Blackthorne’s Bride didn’t disappoint! It can be enjoyed as a stand-alone story, however I highly recommend reading the entire Brides series. The author does a good job of catching you up on the other stories, in case you didn’t get a chance to read them. I love Josie’s character and was really looking forward to this book! I think Marcus is a perfect hero for her and it was satisfying to see her also reunite with her family. I am definitely going to re-read the entire series, as they are all such quick and wonderful reads! Enjoy!
TammyS32 More than 1 year ago
I loved this historical read. Josie is rescued by Marcus but for some unknown reason instead of returning her to American and her family she is kept captive on one of his estates with is nephews. Needless to say, this read is filled with drama and suspense due to all of the miscommunication. The story is fast-paced and very entertaining.
nelriv More than 1 year ago
Received an ARC for my fair review for netgalley. It was not a bad book, but not a great one. I ready Wyoming bridge a couple of years ago, and wanted to read the conclusion, the twin sister that was captured, which is Josie. Marcus saves Josie from the indians after she was tortured, poor girl. What I did not like was that, if he was not going to stay after developing feelings for her while tending to her injuries, then give her to her family, but no he gives her to friends to take care of her. Of course, things do not work out that way, she is working as a maid, practically a servant, and is protecting Marcus's neglected nephews, so she develops hatred for Marcus, understandable and justified. Marcus loses his wife, and the whole time, supposedly he could not forget Josie, yeah right, so that is why you never inquired about her well being, I could not accept that. Josie, finds out her family is looking for her and she is an heiress, she plans on marrying Marcus, to keep his nephews, but develops feeling for him. Eventually they have an HEA.. To each its own, I couldn't do it
Kelly-T More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed Blackthorne's Bride. It held my interest throughout and was very well written. Marcus Wharton, the Duke of Blackthorne, comes upon a woman who had been savagely beaten and is being whipped. He saves her from the renegades and personally nurses her back to health. He is unable to stay with her while she travels by ship home to America, so he gives his best friend instructions to make sure she continues to heal and then is returned to her family. Marcus is engaged so he marries. But he never forgot the brave woman he nursed back to health. Two years have passed. The brave woman Marcus saved is Josie Wentworth, and she was not returned to America she was made to be a made in one of the Duke's properties. While she is there, she becomes close to the Dukes nephews. She is angry with the Duke for not keeping his promise to return her to her family and the neglect he shows his nephews. When she learns she has inherited a fortune she decides to go see the Duke and try to buy the nephews freedom. That does not happen, she ends up as his bride. As Josie and Marcus come to know each other they learn that each is not what they expected and feelings begin to change. I won't tell the rest but the ending is fantastic.
Ajgray More than 1 year ago
Loved the book. The story of Josie, by itself, is remarkable but add to it Marcus and it is a becomes a great love story. The torture Josie endured by the Sioux is horrific and then being mistreated as a servant makes you wonder how she survived intact and not bitter. There are so many different story lines in this book that it would be easy for sequels to be developed. I would highly recommend this book.
georgia1 More than 1 year ago
Blackthorne's Bride was the forth in the Bitter Creek Series. Not having read the previous books, I was grateful that this novel could stand alone. But it does make me want to go back and read the rest of the series. Marcus Wharton, Duke of Blackthorne, was in America hunting with a group of men when he comes upon a girl being treated brutally by a tribe of Indians. He saves her and takes her back to his home in England to help her recover, but hands her over to his brother in law to follow through and then return her to her family in America. Simple you say? Of course not. Josephine Wentworth was that girl who was banished to one of Blacktorne's estates and had been treated as a servant with no correspondence from Marcus. She has taken care of his two small nephews, who she feels have been abandoned by him. Josie gets word her family is alive in the Americas and makes the journey back to find she has inherited a lot of money. What follows is Josie seeking revenge against Blackthorne because she feels he has neglected his nephews and wants to take them with him Finding that he is looking for a rich wife from America, you can guess what happens! As with all of Joan Johnston's books, you are drawn into the characters and feel a part of the story. This is definitely a page turner with action, adventure and a love story that will have you anxious until the end! Thank you for another fabulous story!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Blackthorne's Bride is a wonderfully written novel. The story is interwoven with other books written by Ms. Johnston, but I enjoyed it as a stand-alone novel. The tale of Josie Wentworth and Marcus Wharton, the Duke of Blackthorne is full of excitement, intrigue, passion and love. Josie is an unusual heroine as she was completely adaptable to whatever situation she found herself in. The transition from serving as a maid to becoming a Duchess is elegantly maneuvered, without any angst involved. From the beginning to the end Josie is most concerned with helping and taking care of others. She is loyal, intelligent and charming. What a perfect heroine. Marcus is also an ideal hero. He is gentle, considerate and forgiving. Marcus spends quite a bit of time in the dark as to what is happening around him, but once he catches on, he's back on track to being the man Josie deserves. Ms. Johnston has written a highly entertaining and compelling tale, one I thoroughly enjoyed.
BookReview4you More than 1 year ago
'Blackthorne's Bride' by Joan Johnston is Book Four in the "Mail-Order Brides" series This is the story of Marcus and Josie. I have read the other books in this series, but feel this can be a standalone book . Marcus saved Josie from Indians when she was younger and he nurser her back to health on the ship back to England. Marcus had promised her that she would be sent back to America when she was able to travel again. He left instructions with his soon to be brother in-law to send her home. Marcus was to marry and felt his new wife wouldn't understand his connections to Josie. About two years later Marcus's wife has died and he is in need of a new wife with a good bit of money. Josie has been kept on a poor estate of Marcus and left work as a maid. But her family has just found her and she has money now. Josie has grown close to the two little boys who have been left at the estate with her...that are Marcus nephews. Josie plan is to offer Marcus money in exchange for the boys but when she shows up he thinks she is there to become his wife. Which set in to motion Josie new plan to take the boys with her as their Aunt. But will she be able to leave? Will Marcus be upset when he finds out who she really is and how she was treated?
DebDiem More than 1 year ago
Blackthorne's Bride by Joan Johnston is a fabulous historical romance. Ms Johnston has penned an awesome story and furnished it with phenomenal characters. Marcus and Josie's story is loaded with drama, suspense, humor and sizzle. I totally love the way this story unfolded. A big thumbs up to Ms Johnston for delivering another amazing book. I enjoyed reading Blackthorne's Bride and look forward to reading more from the talented Joan Johnston in the future. Blackthorne's Bride is a Bitter Creek Novel but can be read as a standalone. This is a complete book, not a cliff-hanger. I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book that I received from NetGalley.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very well worth the wait from the last story. Josie 's story took me in, and I rooted for her to have her happy ending. I was not disappointed. Joan Johnston weaves a wonderful tale of adventure, and takes you along for the ride.
def618 More than 1 year ago
While visiting America, Marcus, Duke of Blackthorne, rescued Josie Wentworth who was being tortured by Indians. Not knowing anything about her, he, and his soon to be brother-in-law David, took her back to England to heal. David was supposed to send her back to America when she was well, but instead sent her to work at Marcus’s remote estate. Marcus’s two nephews live there with a governess and housekeeper who don’t like the boys. Josie’s family in America has hired Pinkerton agents to find her and bring her home. When the agent finds her, she learns she is wealthy and promises the boys she will come back for them. Marcus is wallowing in self-pity as his wife died and he is broke. He placed an ad for an American heiress to wed a titled gentleman. While preparing to leave England, Josie sees the ad and applies, hoping she can have the boys. Marcus doesn’t recognize her as she looks nothing like the beaten woman he rescued. They agree to marry. Marcus is not always likeable but improves greatly as he figures out who she is and why David didn’t send her home. This is a very good, complex story and I do not want to spoil it. It will have a HEA, but how they get there is for you find out. This is the first book I’ve read by this author. It is part of a series, but easily read without reading the earlier books. Thank you to the publisher for giving me an ARC. They did not ask or require me to write a favorable review.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed this fourth book in the Mail Order Bride series. It’s not necessary to read the others in the series but it I recommend you do for more in depth understanding of the characters and just plain enjoyment. This is Josie’s story; she is captured and nearly killed by Indians and then ‘bought’ by an English Duke who takes her to England. The Duke promises to return Josie to her family in America as soon as she fully recovers but instead she is sent to work as a maid in one of the Duke’s remote properties. While there she meets, and befriends the Dukes two young nephews who are being mistreated by their governess and housekeeper. Josie is found by a Pinkerton agent hired by her family and told she is an heiress and that her family is waiting for her. She leaves with the Pinkerton agent but promises the two young boys she will return to take them away as well. Before leaving for America Josie learns that the Duke’s fallen on hard times and needs to marry an heiress to save his estate. Josie and the Duke agree to marry and both vow not to fall in love (the Duke doesn’t recognize her as the woman he saved from the Indians). In fact, Josie plans to head for America with the Duke’s nephews at her first opportunity. But of course, neither Josie or the Duke count on the passion they find in each other’s arms. It’s an interesting trip to their HEA. It was also fun to find out how Josie’s sisters and their families from Texas Bride, Wyoming Bride and Montana Bride have grown and fared since their stories were told.
AudSJ More than 1 year ago
"Blackthorne's Bride" by Joan Johnston.. Is a 5 star read, in my humble unbiased opinion. I was hooked from page one. Had to force myself to go to bed because I couldn't keep my eyes open.. but didn't want to miss what was going to happen next. I do love a story where all ends well, yet manages to keep me guessing as to what the author has up their sleeve. I hope you enjoy this book as much as I did!! Happy Reading!