Mail-Order Brides of the West: Bertha, a Montana Sky Series novella by NY Times and USA Today best-selling author Debra Holland
Bertha Bucholtz returns to her St. Louis home after an unsuccessful stay at the mail-order bridal agency. Her family house is overflowing with her thin, beautiful sisters and their many suitors, and shy, overweight Bertha is lost among the chaos. Even her baking skills - so praised at the agency - aren't special, for her six sisters and her mother are also excellent cooks. Desperate to be living on her own, Bertha searches for a job as a cook but with little success.
Then a letter arrives from her nemesis at the bridal agency. Shrewish Prudence Crawford, now Mrs. Michael Morgan, invites Bertha to move to Morgan's Crossing, Montana Territory and work as a cook and housekeeper at the boarding house for her husband's miners.
Upon her arrival in Morgan's Crossing, Bertha has to contend with Prudence, who seems to have mellowed - or has she? The boarding house is dirty, run-down, and full of uncouth miners. As the only single woman for miles around and a lauded cook, Bertha quickly becomes the siren of the tiny town as well as nearby Sweetwater Springs, as miners and cowboys flock to court her. Now the shy woman who had no choice of suitors has an abundance of them to pick from. She never would have dreamt having too many swains was a bigger problem than having none at all.
©2014 Debra Holland (P)2015 Debra Holland
I would listen multiple times to Bertha's story because the couple is sweet and both shy, yet overcome that shyness to make life better for others.
Bertha is sweet, shy and uncertain when the book starts, but by the end, much more self confident. A budding flower to full bloom.
Yes, I like Lara Asmundson's performances. They are both soothing and compelling enough to keep your interest.
Mail Order Brides of the West: Bertha by Debra Holland
A beautiful and sweet conclusion to the Mail Order Brides series by Holland. It's the story of a shy and overweight girl blossoming with a job and independence. She falls into the arms of a shy and quiet man who soon wants to kiss her toes rather than just rub her sore feet in the shadows.
Definitely an "awwww" romance.
Novella length and can stand alone.
Fans of the series will be thrilled that Bertha has finally received her own story! I know I was certainly happy for her! It was also a special treat to catch up with previous brides in Bertha’s story – Darcy, Lina, Trudy and Prudence all made appearances - as all of their stories seemed to coalesce herein. I loved hearing what they’ve been up to! This was a wonderful and fitting finale to the series. Bertha’s book is a funny, clean and highly satisfying novella with very little angst. It’s a delightful tale with genuinely likable characters.
Howie! He is Mr. Morgan’s stable caretaker at Morgan’s Crossing. Being an introvert, Howie doesn’t talk much. Women make him nervous and he never knows what to say – so he doesn’t. When Mrs. Morgan assigns him to making sure that the men’s new cook and housekeeper settles in and finds everything she needs, he is expecting a dried-up battle-axe. When Bertha literally falls into his arms, he is a gentleman extraordinaire. Howie immediately recognizes that Bertha is beautiful inside-and-out – something other men had missed much to their detriment. That's why he's my favorite!
It's a tie between Bertha and Prudence. Lara did a great job with both of their voices and their characterizations.
I enjoyed watching Bertha blossom with her new job through Lara's performance. As Bertha's confidence grew, her inner strength and courage came to the forefront and I was so proud of her! AND you could hear it in the way Lara voiced her character!
I was also most impressed with Prudence. She has come a long way from the bullying snit that she originally was as she has re-made herself into a much better person. Lara did a great job voicing Pru when she was fighting the devil on her shoulder and also when she was funny and someone others want to be around!
The most memorable moment to me was when Bertha first arrived at Morgan's Crossing. She lost her balance and literally fell out of the wagon into Howie's arms. Even though she was heavy, he was a perfect gentlemen. He did not see her as heavy. He saw her as beautiful when she had been worried that she had crushed him. Here's a short snippet from that swoon worthy scene: “Don’t be sorry, Darlin’”, he said in his best cowboy drawl, “for I’m certainly not. It’s not every day a man like me gets to assist such a pretty lady. Any time you need help in or out of a wagon, you just give me a holler” he said in a teasing tone, “I’ll be right there, hoping you’ll fall in my arms again.”
Mail-Order Brides of the West: Bertha is the delightfully sweet and lovely conclusion to Debra Holland’s Mail Order Brides series. I’ve enjoyed this series so much that I hate to see it come to an end. I’m not ready to say goodbye! Bertha’s story could be enjoyed as a stand-alone read, if that is your preference. However, just know that previous characters in the series appear through-out.
Reading the other books and wanting to know Bertha's story and how she would find love.
Howie was. He saw the beautiful woman that Bertha could not.
Lara did a very good job at each character in this audible.
Prudence! Lara did a great job of showing how Prudence had changed from her book but how tough (and funny)she still was.
Debra does it again! This is the last of her Montana Brides series, for now, but I hope not for good! She does a beautiful job of bringing all the brides together along with their husbands this latest installment. What a delightful story of friendship, personal growth, and unforeseen love. Debra is a master at causing her readers to care for the people and towns that she creates. They are not merely stories in a book, but have quickly become a part of the reader's imagination! No wonder other authors have asked to continue stories about the people in Morgan Crossing, Montana through Amazon Worlds!
If you have ever been the last one to be picked on a team, you know how it feels to not really be wanted. Bertha was the last mail-order-bride to be left behind only to be sent home due to the agency's closing. Bertha's arch nemesis and fellow mail-order-bride, Prudence then informs her that there is a job opening at the mine that Prudence's new husband owns. All Bertha wants to do is bless people with her wonderful cooking and be left alone. Howie is the stable caretaker at Morgan's Crossing and does not see anything more for his life but work until he sees the new cook and boarding housekeeper, Bertha, for the first time. After that, he sees much more in his future and he plans to make Bertha part of it. Can Bertha overcome her shyness to see how much more her life can be? Can Howie persuade her that he is much more than just a mere stable "boy"? You will have to listen to find out!
The story was a little on the silly side and the narration was not that great either. I won't be listening to other books by this author or narrator. Boring.
Sweet, loving, and an amazing cook, Bertha had given up on finding love. After the agency closes she takes a great leap of faith in leaving home to travel out to see her old nemesis Prudence and take her up on her offer of a job. When she first arrives she is pretty sure she made a huge mistake but as she literally falls in to the arms of Howie the handyman she realizes that this may be the best decision she ever made after all!
This is my favorite book in the Mail Order Brides of the West series! We get to check back in on all of the amazing women from the agency and their families! I am sad to see their stories end but know that there will be glimpses of them in Debra's other books.
I have been waiting to read Bertha's story since she was introduced in the first book. This book did not disappoint. I was able to catch with old friends and learn Bertha's story all at the same time.
Proud Canadian who loves Jesus, Dogs, Country Music, Lilacs, Gregory Peck movies and audio-books with a HEA.
This was a wonderful conclusion to the Mail-Order Brides of the West series.
Although this is Bertha's story, I really loved that Pru was able to show how much she has grown. Bertha knew that Pru didn't miraculously become a better person but she was willing to forgive her and allow her to do better. I look forward to revisiting these characters in the Montana Sky Series.
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