Series: Bride Series #1
Published by Diversion Books on January 1st 1970
Genres: Historical Romance, American West, Native American
Length: 14 Hours and 14 Mins
Source: Self Purchased
Reading Challenges: Oldie But A Goodie Reading Challenge
Raised in the hills of Tennessee, Emma Simms dreams of the day she’ll escape her life of poverty to start over in the excitement of Knoxville But when her mother dies and she’s left with no one but her stepfather, Luke Simms, her dream abruptly becomes a nightmare. Luke plans to send Emma to Knoxville alright—straight to a notorious brothel.
River Joe, the mysterious Cherokee-raised frontiersman, knew from the first time he set eyes on the beautiful Emma that he had to have her as his own. And one glimpse at the handsome, buckskin-clad stranger ignites the flame of dangerous desire in Emma’s heart.
Their passion could consume them both, but their love could very well save her life.
Emma Sims, was raised in the hills of Tennessee, by her mother and stepfather. Her real father passed away when she was but a girl. When her mother married her stepfather, their lives changed drastically. Emma aches for the day when she can find freedom away from her stepfather who is abusive. But when her mother dies from a miscarriage gone wrong, Emma is overwrought with grief. Having no clue what will happen to her now. But then, while in her secret hideout by the river, she meets the mysterious River Joe, a white man who was raised by Indians. The most handsome looking men she has ever seen, but she is wary of him. But after one meeting, she knows that she can trust him with her very life. A chemistry builds between Emma and River, and in one wild night…they mate in the ways of the Cherokee. All Emma wants is to be able to be with River Joe. He is handsome, tender and loving. But while off meeting with the trader for the animal skins, to help provide for his family for the winter. Emma is sold, to the river boat captain. When River finds her gone, he seeks her out and rescues her. But that is not the end of their trials. There is two men working together to find Emma, and to kill River Joe. They go into hiding in the mountains with River’s people, they share some beautiful years together, but will their love be enough to fight their enemies who seek to destroy them at all costs?
River Joe, was raised by the Cherokee when he was only four years old after his parents were killed. He was raised into a loving family, and learned the wonderful ways of the Indians. Even though he is technically a white man, he doesn’t consider himself so….he views himself as a real Cherokee. He honors the ways of his people. But then one summer, he spies Emma, a most gracious and beautiful girl who blossoms into a woman. River knows that she has only known sadness and pain, never the loving touch of a man. He seeks to show her what true love is and that he will fight for her with his dying breath. River is a hero you just want to sigh over. Throughout the story, we see how creative and talented he is. He is judged as an Indian even though he is white. He loves his people, is a warrior and a hunter and a lover. He protects his own. What I found really remarkable about his character, is how much he fights for Emma. Not only in protecting her, but by showing her not to be afraid or anxious. To believe in herself. He is a rock solid hero to love.
Emma Sims didn’t grow up with tender love or protection. All she knew was hard work like a slave on the small farm her stepfather forced her to work alongside her mother. She only knows the pain of his beatings when he is displeased. He wants her to marry a man, she knows would be just as cruel to her. But her mother has been able to protect her. Until she dies in a most horrible way. Emma has never known true confidence in herself because she has practically been beaten into submission. She fears everything surrounding her, until River joe. He shows her true strength of character. This is where we see true growth from Emma. Emma starts out as a fearful sixteen year old girl who grows into a fighter. This journey is what I admired the most in this story. Seeing her come into herself, and the various ways she blossoms. She has spine, courage and passion.
Plot and Story Line
Tennessee Bride is the first book in the bride series, where this trilogy focuses on the River family. Our first book, we are introduced to the parents of this strong and vital family. Now I love a great native american romance…but I can tell you, this beats any that I have read. I have read quite a few, since I have always been fascinated with this culture. But Bittner adds a curious twist that I didn’t see. I loved River and Emma together. Even from the beginning, you sense how strong their chemistry is.
“That is what you call instinct. You feel the trust. You know by instinct that you can trust me, and the same instinct tells you that you cannot trust Tommy Decker. Animals have the best instincts.”
But they also share a friendship and emotional ties to one another. Fate isn’t kind to them, both are tested in some brutal ways. This story totally had me teary eyed many times. Mostly because, I wanted these two to have their HEA without the fear of being attacked or killed just for loving each other. This story shows a aspect of history of America that isn’t pleasant. We see that evil roams everywhere, and will use people as they see fit. We see seeds of sexual slavery, of young girls (sometimes very young) who had no guardians, where neighbors would sell them to the sex trade for a little bit of cash. This part of the story is very realistic, and the way that Bittner tells it, it just about breaks your heart. She writes truly compelling characters, that fight those that would do horrible things, and fight for freedom and love and to raise a family in peace. We see the beauty of the Cherokee, their strength, and fighting spirit to never give up on finding a place of their own. This village of the Cherokee that this pair becomes a part of, was truly one of my favorite part of the story. Seeing them build a family, having Emma find love in River’s adopted family was so poignant at times. There are some moments toward the end, that you fall in love with our heroine even more!! She shows her true colors towards the end, and even though there were heartbreaking parts….we also get to see the joys and triumphs this couple wins!!
What a narrator, I fell in love with her voice instantly. She does historical so well, and since we see couple of plot lines from different POV from various characters, she handles the inner voices of the characters SO well. It flowed so smoothly, and I was always eager to be listening to her. This definitely won’t be the last time I pick this narrator up!!! She is on my list for future books for sure.
What a beautiful scene we have pictured here. I love the river boat, and the river!!! SO pretty. I could look at this cover all day.
Tennessee Bride is a truly heartwarming romance that takes you through a journey of struggle, pain, strife, grief, but also passion, joy, laughs and a love that never dies!!! MAGICAL.