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Publisher's Summary

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

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Mail Order Bride: Bertha

Would you listen to Mail-Order Brides of the West: Bertha again? Why?

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.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Bertha is sweet, shy and uncertain when the book starts, but by the end, much more self confident. A budding flower to full bloom.

Have you listened to any of Lara Asmundson’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

Yes, I like Lara Asmundson's performances. They are both soothing and compelling enough to keep your interest.

Any additional comments?

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.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Very Entertaining!

I enjoyed this book very much. I hope reading/listening to it will give my fellow peaches much deserved confidence. I have found a few extra pounds bothers me far more than anyone else and unkind remarks tell far more about the speakers than the recipient. Unkind words can do much damage so please think before speaking.

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Bertha is always quiet and shy.

I have loved this whole series of mail order brides. Bertha didn't get to be a mail order bride and she felt so out of place even at home. She is a quiet person and is a little plump, so she thinks that men aren't interested in her like they are her sisters. So, when an employment opportunity comes up, she decides to take it. Even if her employer will be Prudence, she will be able to be near some of her friends from the agency. It seems Prudence has changed and Bertha is willing to take the chance that the change is permanent. When arrives, there is a man who is a lot like Bertha, he is quiet and reserved. Will they be able to make a go of it?

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Full Size Love

I believe that Bertha is my favorite of the eight mail order brides. The story tells the true way I felt growing up oversized with a slender sister. All my life I had been teased and made to feel inferior to my sister and friends, and I wondered if I would ever meet someone who saw the real me. Thankfully I did, just before my 21st birthday. He was a wonderful, gentle man. We never had great riches, but he worked hard and didn't drink or gamble, and provided for his family. I lost him after 50 years of marriage and I miss him every day. I believe that is the way Bertha's marriage will work out and I look forward to hearing about her and Howie in future stories.

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Fantastic!

Bertha wanted to be a mail order bride. She didn’t make a match, so she took a job at Morgan’s Crossing managing a boarding house and doing the cooking. She met Howie who was a handyman for Mr. Morgan. He had been raised in an orphanage and was always in the shadows. Debra never disappoints in her very heartfelt stories. The narrator did a splendid job bringing the tale to life.

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loved this sweet story

I loved this sweet story as Bertha finds her voice and her true love. A very nice book that kept me listening and smiling! Ms Deborah is a gifted writer that will keep you smiling and sighing with her delightful stories!

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The last mail order bride.

Bertha was the last mail order bride. She didn’t find a match so she accepts a job running a boarding house in Morgan’s Crossing. Bertha is not thin so she knows she will never find a husband so when she becomes the center of attention she feels over whelmed by all the male attention. The narrator does a wonderful job with Berthas story. Even her voice resembles berthas quiet ways.

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This Review Needs A Title

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 meets Howie--both are super shy. They fall in love and that's that. Simple romance book. Chick book. Why did I finish it?

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Delightful conclusion to Mail Order Brides series!

What made the experience of listening to Mail-Order Brides of the West: Bertha the most enjoyable?

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.

Who was your favorite character and why?

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!

Which character – as performed by Lara Asmundson – was your 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!

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

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.”

Any additional comments?

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.

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More Of Bertha

I hope to hear more about Bertha and Howie soon. Such a sweet love story!