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In Want of a Wife | [Jo Goodman]

In Want of a Wife

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. 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.
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Publisher's Summary

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.

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...

©2014 Joanne Dobrzanski (P)2014 Tantor

What the Critics Say

"This first-rate tale easily measures up to its predecessors and will make [listeners] eager for their next visit to Bitter Springs." (Publishers Weekly, Starred Review)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.1 (102 )
5 star
 (42)
4 star
 (42)
3 star
 (12)
2 star
 (3)
1 star
 (3)
Overall
4.2 (95 )
5 star
 (40)
4 star
 (43)
3 star
 (8)
2 star
 (2)
1 star
 (2)
Story
4.1 (96 )
5 star
 (37)
4 star
 (40)
3 star
 (9)
2 star
 (7)
1 star
 (3)
Performance
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  •  
    Mary Oakville, Ontario, Canada 05-25-14
    Mary Oakville, Ontario, Canada 05-25-14 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    64
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    "An enjoyable listen."

    This book is a light and easy listen with engaging characters. I especially enjoyed the fact that Jane, the female lead came across as a strong and self-reliant individual. Narration wasn't great but it wasn't awful either. It sometimes sounded like the book was being read rather than performed but the main characters were well delivered.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    LeQuita 06-07-14
    LeQuita 06-07-14 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
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    4
    1
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    "Love the story, not the narrator"
    What did you like best about In Want of a Wife? What did you like least?

    I love Jo Goodman, she's a great author. I enjoyed the characters and their all written wonderfully. Lil Fin is a sweetie. Mrs. Sterling is a sweetie also. I love how she handles Morgan. Mrs. Sterling is a great motherly sort. Jane handles the change from her old life to her new life smoothly. The way she took hold of the changes and soared. Jane and Morgans love for each other is beautiful. The way she comforts Morgan when he tells her of his past and she takes him into her arms and loves him even more.

    What i like least about the book is that it felt as if the book just kept going on, and on, and on and on. Not because the book was boring, IT'S A GREAT READ. But listening to Talmadge Ragan read the book caused me to want to throw my hand up and just loose a credit and stop listening.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The love story was beautiful, how it blossomed over time. The way they finally began trusting each other and shared their secrets and it only drew them closer.


    What didn’t you like about Talmadge Ragan’s performance?

    The performance as a whole! Her narrating the story made it very hard to listen to. I wanted so many times to end the book, but since I used a credit, I didn't want to waste it. Several times her words were jumbled together. The way she pronounced each and every word, I know your suppose to enunciate your words, but the way she pronounced each and every syllable made it a not very good listen. It detracted from the story, It was as if this was Jo Goodman's first book, and i know better than that. Every book of hers that I've read have been great reads. Reading this book was better than listening to it. Inflection wasn't good enough and you couldn't tell that Jane was from New York and Morgan was from Montana. Everyone sounded the same. There was no emotion as she read. It was as if she "READ" the book vs performing the book.


    What would have made this romance irresistible?

    A different narrator. I think Kirsten Potter, Joyce Bean, Xe Sands or Kate Reading would've been great narrators for this book.


    Any additional comments?

    I used a credit for this book because of the reviews that I read. Three out of four reviews were rave reviews and they really enjoyed the narrator. I'd read the book and really enjoyed it. So I wanted to listen to it and enjoy it all over again. It's amazing how you can read a book yourself and love it to pieces. Then listen to it and are crushed because you feel slighted. As if you were duped and an awful trick has been played on you.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Deborah TYLER, TX, United States 07-31-14
    Deborah TYLER, TX, United States 07-31-14 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Great read, poor listen!"
    Would you listen to In Want of a Wife again? Why?

    No, I would not recommend that anyone listen to "Siri" re-read this book. I would listen again if it were reproduced with a different LIVE reader.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of In Want of a Wife?

    I guess the most memorable moment was when Jane rescues herself by almost cutting off the penis of one of her abductors. Self-sacrifice, suspense, and timing all play a significant role in this scene.


    Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Talmadge Ragan?

    I would like to listen to Kate Reading perform this book, but almost anyone else could have done a better job.


    If you could take any character from In Want of a Wife out to dinner, who would it be and why?

    I would like to take two characters out to eat, Rabbit and Finn. I am certain that there would not be a dull moment and I am sure I would learn much from them.


    Any additional comments?

    Good read for women who like western settings. I also found it interesting that one of the characters was sent to the west on an Orphan train.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Yvette GILBERT, AZ, United States 05-12-14
    Yvette GILBERT, AZ, United States 05-12-14 Member Since 2009

    I am a lover of books. I enjoy losing myself in a fabulous romance and great story plot.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A BEAUTIFULLY WRITTEN, WESTERN LOVE STORY"

    From the publisher's summary, this book came across as a Hallmark movie story line, and there are times when I crave a great Hallmark movie romance. For me, it feels like it's rare to find a good Western romance, so I really welcomed the idea of reading/listening to this book.

    Morgan owns his own ranch just 8 miles out of the town of Bitter Springs. He placed an ad for a mail order bride, and when he picked up Jane from the railroad station, she was not what he expected. And, this book was not what I expected! Wow! It was just captivating and so beautifully written. The leads are two very interesting people who have compelling backgrounds that make their love story a profound one. This is definitely a book about expectations. Their first impressions, each of their own personal perceptions of one another and the reservations they brought to the marriage all ironed out into an emotionally, sweet story with sexy moments and a fulfilling ending.

    I found Jane to have such a quiet, yet strong dignity that made her an awesome heroine. Even though her options were limited, she was intelligent, well-read and definitely left Morgan off-balance. Morgan is the boss at his ranch and is not used to answering to anyone, but he learns to share a life with a spectacular woman. I loved the way Morgan and Jane grew into their affection and love for one another. As they grew into marriage, I love how Morgan desired to please Jane and noticed the little things she desired and made an effort to make her happy. I loved their passion for one another and the trust that became a healing balm to each of their lives.

    There is emotional depth in each of the characters that is unfolded at a wonderful pace that keeps the reader intrigued and invested into this love story. There are great supporting characters which include some of the townspeople (including adorable Finn & Rabbit) from Bitter Springs as well as Morgan's ranch hands. There is also an imminent threat from Morgan's past that brings this novel to an exciting and culminating ending. All I can say about that is that Jane is awesome!!!! What an incredible woman! She was just as formidable in fighting the foes as Morgan was (a woman beyond her time).

    The only drawback to this book was that it did leave me wanting more. As I finished the audiobook, I really didn't want it to be over. I wish Jo Goodman would make volumes of books just exploring more of Morgan and Jane's life together.

    Narrator: Talmadge Ragan did a fabulous job! Her performance was impeccable! This was one great audiobook and a fabulous listening experience!

    4 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mona Denison, TX, United States 05-23-14
    Mona Denison, TX, United States 05-23-14 Member Since 2011

    Crazy for audiobooks!!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "OUTSTANDING"

    I haven't listened to a book that I enjoyed as much as In Want of a Wife in a long time.
    The story line is very well done with a not so typical twist to it. A bad man gone good with desires to keep his past just that, in his past; but circumstance has it's own ideas. That's Morgan's thorn in his side. Then there's Jane. A young woman with horrific tales to tell of a life that No one should have to endure.
    I love how all the characters had a complete development making this story all it was.
    I hope Jo Goodman continues to write more in this historical era, with as talent an ability to express as she has.
    I gave the narration a 4 because it would have been nicer if the characters had a more distinct difference in their voices. Once you get to know who each person is and with the flow of the story line you are able to follow who's saying what.
    Worth the credit? Absolutely!!

    5 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer Baytown, TX, United States 10-14-14
    Amazon Customer Baytown, TX, United States 10-14-14 Member Since 2012
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    "Narrator ruined the book for me"

    Narrator had this weird pronunciation of words especially words ending in ed. It drove me crazy! I wish I had read the book myself it would have been more enjoyable. Story line was great! Really enjoyed the way the characters rolls played out with out a lot of agonizing second guessing in the relationship.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    KatieV NC, United States 09-19-14
    KatieV NC, United States 09-19-14 Member Since 2013

    KatieV

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Enjoyable Opposites Attract Story"

    Re: the narrator and the negative comments. I think she did a good job with what she had to work with. See my comment below about the lack of contractions in the book. That makes for some wooden dialogue and I imagine it's very hard for a narrator to get past that.

    ***Review

    This was enjoyable, particularly the last quarter or so. The hero is very likeable. The kind of badass cowboy you'd want in real life versus the kind of alph-hole that's only fun to read about. The heroine was likeable as well. It's a nice opposites attract, mail-order-bride type of scenario.

    Both have had a traumatic family life (especially the H).

    At times I think it was a little too slow. Most of the story took place in dialogue/narrative with little to no action until the very end.

    Also, I thought the lack of contractions was odd. I suppose possibly it was the heroine's strict, rigid upbringing. But, I also noticed that the cowboy hero used precious few as well. I know not everyone is from the South where we make up new contractions every day, but I think the near lack of them made for dialogue that sounded a bit wooden at times

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Majbritt Breindal Rasmussen Denmark 06-26-14 Member Since 2013

    moevs

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Nice realistic story"
    What did you love best about In Want of a Wife?

    The story was not over done, it was nice and level, not to dramatic and not to slow.


    Which character – as performed by Talmadge Ragan – was your favorite?

    all of them, she has a fantastic voice for audio books.


    Any additional comments?

    the story is just the one you would want, when just relaxing and enjoying.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lady M 06-17-14
    Lady M 06-17-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "I Could Not Finish It!"

    I really did want to like this book. Mail Order Bride western romances are some of my favorites. But this book lacked substance, not much of a story, yet. After listening 7 hours I see no purpose in the story. Morgan and Jane are likable private individuals. Morgan likes to eat, as do his ranch hands. It goes into detail about what they eat and how they eat it, Jane's ride to and from the ranch, who is seated where in the church. There is so much detail the story (if there is one) is lost.

    They talk about rustlers, and someone stays with Jane making sure she does not go outside. The ranch-hands, even Morgan, hang the wash, etc, to keep Jane inside. But no rustlers are encountered, no action taking place. Very little is said about the rustlers in the first 7 hours...actually little is said about anything, other than mundane things, lighting the hard to light cook-stove, cooking, Jane having one of the "hands" buy her a pretty sewing box, she had seen in the mercantile when she was in town, paying for it with her own money, rather than ask Morgan for it. She mends his clothes. The only excitement (if you can call it that) was when Morgan tried to ride a Mustang, and hurt his ankle and ribs.

    There has been no romance thus far, even after consummating their marriage. Some of my lack of enjoyment in the story could be the narrator, like Jane and Morgan she is straight forward in her reading of the text; unemotional. Most of Ms Ragan's performance sounds by rote.

    There seem to be contradictions from the Prologue to after Jane arrived in Bitter Springs and married. I had to go back and listen to the prologue to see if I was mistake about what transpired between Jane and her cousin, since this was my 4th attempt at listening to "In Want of Wife", but I was remembering right.

    I'm too bored now, but maybe I will try once again to listen to "In Want of Wife" and see if any loose ends gets tied up. I would fast forward to the last chapter, but could miss explanations for the contradictions, if there are any.

    I see several people enjoyed the book; literature, like food, is certainly up to an individual's taste.

    3 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    desiree 05-24-14
    desiree 05-24-14 Member Since 2013

    I love to read all genres of books, but love my historical romances!!!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "No Story"
    Any additional comments?

    I'm not sure if it was the narrarator or the boring story, but this book was a struggle to finish. Do not recommend this book, if your looking for a fun exciting book.

    5 of 10 people found this review helpful
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