Blackthorne’s Bride (Mail-Order Brides #4) By Joan Johnston

Posted July 25, 2017 by Literati Lovers in Book Reviews / 0 Comments

Blackthorne’s Bride (Mail-Order Brides #4) By Joan JohnstonBlackthorne's Bride by Joan Johnston
Published by BANTAM DELL on July 25th 2017
Genres: Fiction, Romance, Contemporary, Western, Westerns
Pages: 432
Format: ARC
ISBN: 9780399177743

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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.

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#NewRelease BLACKTHORNE’S BRIDE by @JoanJohnston @penguinrandom is NOW available! #historicalromance #mailorderbridesseries

Sally’s Review

I will never get tired of reading about arranged marriages or mail order brides.  The couples are forced to deal with whatever issues they have because their relationship has to work.  Historical Romances generally are refreshing with honest characters who don’t have the time or want to beat around the bush.  The heroes and heroines are getting to know each other and usually have the pressure of having to be intimate to provide an heir.  I LOVE this since I am not a fan of angst and just don’t have the patience for it.  I appreciate that most Historical Romances get to the point and the characters make their feelings known.  BUT, in order to stay true to the Romance genre, there has to be a small sprinkle or little dash of misunderstanding and assumption.

Blackthorne’s Bride is book 4 in the Mail-Order Brides series by Joan Johnston.  I haven’t read a book by Ms. Johnston in 20 years and she did not disappoint.

Marcus Wharton, the Duke of Blackthorne, was Josie Wentworth’s savior, until he wasn’t.  He left her as a maid in his brother’s home and never sent her back home to America as he had promised.

Marcus never forgot about the girl he saved and wondered why she never wrote him to at least thank him for saving her life.

Two years after rescuing the American girl, the Duke of Blackthorne has to find an heiress to help him save his family’s land and pay off the debt he inherited from his deceased brother.

Luckily for the Duke, Josie agrees to marry him, but she has her own reasons for doing it.  This is where the dash of misunderstanding and assumption starts coming into play because the Duke has no idea that Josie is the American girl he rescued and is obsessed with, and Josie sees Marcus as “the Dastardly Duke” because he basically kept her as a prisoner for two years and neglected his two nephews whom Josie has come to love.

The Duke sees this as a position he needs filled by a woman who would love to have “caught herself” a Duke and has no intention of letting his heart soften or become enamored by his new bride.

He’d seen and spoken to a great many prospective brides.  The moment she’d lifted her chin and met his gaze from behind gold-rimmed spectacles, bringing him up short for failing to offer her a proper proposal he’d known:  This is the one.

Josie had a plan:  Marry the Duke, give him what he needs and, in the bargain, take his nephews with her back to America.  Things didn’t quite work out the way she wanted them to.

He wasn’t an easy man to love.  Too proud.  Too used to getting his own way.  But somehow, she’d fallen, deeply and surely, in love with him.

The Duke may not have made it easy for Josie to love him, but Josie unknowingly was making it hard for him to resist her.

Miss Wentworth came tripping into the room wearing a robin’s-egg-blue evening gown, a smile on her face that revealed bewitching twin dimples, her wide-spaced blue eyes open and unguarded behind the ridiculous spectacles perched on her upturned nose, and said, “Good evening, Your Grace.”  His heart jumped.  And then pounded hard in his chest, as though he’d been running in place the fifteen minutes he’d been waiting for her.  His body sprang to agonizing life, reminding him that he was no more than a savage beast, determined to mate with the most alluring of its kind.

The secondary characters were present which I also loved.  Ms. Johnston made them interesting enough to want to get to know.  Great descriptions of characters, settings, and emotions and an overall story well-told.  This is the fourth book in the series but can be read as a standalone. I am now going to go back and read the first three!




About Joan Johnston

Joan Johnston (born Little Rock, Arkansas) is a best-selling American author of over forty contemporary and historical romance novels.

Johnston was the third of seven children born to an Air Force sergeant and his music-teacher wife. She received a B.A. in theatre arts from Jacksonville University in 1970, then earning an M.A. in theatre from the University of Illinois, Urbana in 1971. She received a law degree (with honors) at the University of Texas at Austin in 1980. For the next five years, Johnston worked as an attorney, serving with the Hunton & Williams firm in Richmond, Virginia, and with Squire, Sanders, & Dempsey in Miami. She has also worked as a newspaper editor and drama critic in San Antonio, Texas, and as a college professor at Southwest Texas Junior College, Barry University, and the University of Miami.

Johnston is a member of the Authors Guild, Novelists, Inc., Romance Writers of America, and Florida Romance Writers. She has two children and one grandchild, and divides her time between two homes, in Colorado and Florida.


* Paperbook Book Club of America’s Book Rak Award (twice)
* Romantic Times’ Best Western Historical Series Award (twice)
* Romantic Times’ Best New Western Writer
* Romantic Times’ Best Historical Series Award (twice)
* The Maggie (twice)
* Romance Writers of America RITA Award finalist for The Disobedient Bride

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