Romancing the Stacks: Montana Bride

Welcome to Romancing the Stacks. This is a series of reviews featuring one of my favorite genres: Romance Novels! Nothing is better than curling up with a good romance. This review will explore Montana Bride by Joan Johnston.

I am willing to admit that I am a tad bit shallow. I may be a librarian, but I believe you can judge a book by the cover. My sole and underlining reason for picking up this book was the shirtless cowboy on its cover. I judged that I enjoy the cover so might as well try the book. In truth, I only gazed over the summary and just started reading the book. A book cover has the power to make you do that especially when it involves a shirtless cowboy.


When Karl Norwood’s mail-order bride meets an untimely demise on the way to the Montana Territory, Hetty Wentworth steps in to take her place. Hetty has no idea how she’s going to pretend to be all the things she isn’t—including the mother of two kids. She only knows her deception is necessary if she’s going to save two orphans from the awful fate she suffered as a child.

Karl smells a rat when a much younger woman than he was expecting arrives with two children who look nothing like her. But his mail-order bride is so beautiful, he doesn’t object—until he realizes that his charming new wife has been lying . . . about everything. Can a woman forced to keep secrets and a man hindered by distrust ever hope to find happily ever after in each other’s arms? 

Book Review:

If you have read my previous reviews, you would know that I tend to accidentally pick books to read that are never the first in their respective series. This is the third book in the series, but in my defense there was a very good looking shirtless cowboy on the cover. That tends to make a girl skip over the fact this book is in a series. I did understand the story without reading the other books, but I think it would be helpful to read this series in order. They kept referencing an event that was never clearly explained in this book. Something about Hettie’s old beau that she thought she married. They mention a few times but never explain what exactly happened or why she was having nightmares about it. I also think it might add to the heroine’s character development a little more if you read the series in order. I enjoyed aspects of this book. I liked how the heroine wasn’t at first physically attracted to the our hero. She grew to love him for patience and kindness first then found herself attracted to him. I didn’t like how he thought she was the most gorgeous creature on earth and that seem to be all he focused on. She was falling in love with him while he was all about the lust. Hettie was a girl who lived a hard life and was just trying to help out a few orphans as no one ever helped her. Karl would have been a great hero if he wasn’t so caught up in Hettie’s look. Also there was Karl’s best friend who tried to undermine him at every turn. Literally tried to seduce Hettie who was already married to Karl, tried to undermine Karl at work with the men, tried to kill Karl, try to hit Karl’s new son, and Karl was still like “He is my best friend.” Also there was another romance with the fourteen year old orphan girl Hettie and Karl adopt as their own and an orphan 16 year old boy. While reading it I thought it was sweet, thinking it was going to continue in another book. By the end where they were going to get married in a year. I understand this is a historical romance set in the wild west where you marry young, but not 15 years old. 15 is still a child! I think if this book had a few tweaks I would have loved it, but as is I can only say I didn’t hate it.

Mail Order Bride Series:

  1. Texas Bride
  2. Wyoming Bride
  3. Montana Bride
  4. Blackthorn’s Bride


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