In Want of a Wife

  • by Jo Goodman
  • Narrated by Talmadge Ragan
  • 12 hrs and 27 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

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...


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)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

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.
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- Lady M

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.

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- LeQuita

Book Details

  • Release Date: 05-06-2014
  • Publisher: Tantor Audio