In Want of a Wife by Jo Goodman

May 23rd, 2014 Kimberly Review 25 Comments

23rd May
In Want of a Wife by Jo Goodman
In Want of a Wife
by Jo Goodman
Genres: Historical Romance
Source: Publisher
Purchase*: Amazon *affiliate
Rating: One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarHalf a Star

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….

I love westerns, historical novels and mail order bride tropes, so when the chance to read, In Want of a Wife by Jo Goodman came up I snagged it. Boy Howdy, am I glad I did. This historical romance had everything. Goodman spun a tale of ranch life, romance and then weaved a suspenseful plot around our heroine and hero. I consumed this in two sittings and I am looking forward to reading more from Goodman.

1891, New York; Jane Middlebourne is at the mercy of her Aunt and looking for a way to escape when she answers an ad for a wife in Bitter Springs, Wyoming. Rancher Morgan Longstreet has a dark past, but he has rebuilt and claimed his life. He owns the ranch Morning Star and longs for someone to share it.

Jane and Morgan were complex, fleshed out characters, and I quickly came to care for them. Goodman did an excellent job of sharing their history and building their relationship. While this arrangement did not allow for much courting aside from their correspondence, she allowed the relationship to develop slowly. I loved the banter between them from the raised eyebrows to snarky comments. Jane is witty, and despite her fragile size is not afraid to speak her mind and handles both Morgan and the ranch hands like a pro. Morgan has secrets, and some of them are painful. He is guarded and despite his age has never had a relationship. Seeing the strength and growth that develops from their relationship was engaging to watch. The romance developed passion and was heated.

In Want of a Wife, Goodman weaves a suspenseful thread filled with secrets and danger that kept me on edge as I watched the relationship develop between Morgan and Jane. Life on the ranch and small-town happening brought moments of laughter as the characters interacted. I adored the secondary characters from the Sheriff to the older woman who advises both Morgan and Jane. I laughed, shed a tear and rooted for them. The more Goodman revealed about these complex characters, the more entangled I became.

Fans of historical romance, the west and suspense will enjoy, In Want of a Good Wife. Goodman shares the first chapters of The Last Renegade at the back of the novel. I was excited to see it is set in Bittersweet, Wyoming and was previously published in 2013. I have added it to my list. While In Want of a Wife is not part of a series, the town is the same, and I look forward to visiting.

Photo of kimbacaffeinate
About Kimberly
Kimberly is a coffee loving book addict who reads and listens to fictional stories in all genres. Whovian, Ravenclaw, Howler and proud Nonna. She owns and manages Caffeinated PR. The coffee is always on and she is ready to chat. Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

25 Responses to “In Want of a Wife by Jo Goodman”

  1. Jan

    Great review, Kimba! I’ve read quite a few of Jo Goodman’s regency books and loved them, but haven’t read her westerns. I think I may even have a few in my TBR pile!

  2. Dani

    Oooh! This does sound very interesting… I might just have to give it a try!!! πŸ™‚

  3. ShootingStarsMag

    I’ve never read anything quite like this, but that’s great it worked so well for you! And cheers to well-written characters.

  4. Faye D'Social Potato (

    I mainly want to read this because of the “Wild West” feel. I haven’t ever watched a single movie of that, nor have I read any (I did play Red Dead Redemption on the PS3 buuut that’s pretty heavy on the blood stuff). And my god, mail-order brides πŸ™ That sounds devastating, but also leaves a lot of room for character development in the most unusual circumstances… interesting indeed! AWesome review!

  5. Amir

    The last time I read a mail-order bride plot was Linda Howard’s Duncan Bride and that was YEARS ago! I am looking for new historicals to read and will definitely give this a try Kimba πŸ™‚ awesome review, as always!

  6. Sharlene Wegner

    I love western’s, but haven’t read too many historical westerns. I like the mail order bride theme, though I will put this on my list. Thanks for the review!

  7. Heidi

    I haven’t read a historical romantic Western in ages, sounds like a fun read. Hope you have a wonderful holiday weekend!

  8. Melissa (Books and Things)

    I haven’t read too many historical romances set in this time period. That alone makes me want to try it. This sounds fab and I just love a good complex character. You keep finding me more romances to add to my list!!

  9. Candace

    There’s a lot about this one that appeals to me. I love the time period and the setting and the mail order bride trope is good for this setting and time. I also like that it had great secondary characters. Sounds good!

  10. Jenea

    I would share a ranch with Morgan. πŸ˜‰ This sounds delightful Kim! I’m glad you enjoy it.

  11. Charlie Anderson

    I’m not gonna lie…I like historical, romance and the mail-order-bride premises. πŸ™‚ I may have to rustle this one up for summer!

  12. LuAnn Braley

    I remember a tv show back in the 60’s or 70’s about a bunch of mail order brides, set somewhere near Seattle. Enough nostalgia. :p I’ve TBR’d the book on GoodReads.

  13. Laurel-Rain Snow

    It has been eons since I read a Western, much less an historical one, but these characters grabbed me….so I want to know more! Thanks for sharing.

  14. Nick

    While I enjoy reading historical romances, I don’t think I’ve ever read a western one. That definitely needs to change, don’t you think? πŸ˜‰
    I love the blend of historical romance and suspense that this seems to offer. Great review, Kim! Glad you loved it. πŸ™‚

  15. kindlemom1

    I love well rounded characters and a small town setting so I think I would really like this one.

    Hope you are doing better and that you are able to have a nice long relaxing weekend Kim!

  16. Carmel

    I love me some cowboys, and I’m oddly fascinated by the mail order bride angle. The characters sound amazing (even the secondary ones!), and the main plot has peaked my interest. Happy Friday Kimberly!

  17. Mary

    As much as I lust after cowboys (I mean, seriously. How can you not?), I’m not the biggest fan of Westerns. But I like that Jane can hold her own and that there’s a strong relationship that builds between the couple.

  18. Tanja

    Okay here is a little secret – I have never seen a western movie. I mean the whole movie, I’ve seen bits of this and bits of that it was never that appealing to me. I do like people who can ride horses but cowboys are too cocky for my taste. I’m so glad you enjoyed this one, Kim! πŸ™‚

  19. anna

    Oh I loved it too Kimberly! I’ve got the Last Renegade on my tbr list too and book two True to the Law. I’m so looking forward to reading them.