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McKenzie (Montana Skies #1)

3.57  ·  Rating Details  ·  346 Ratings  ·  63 Reviews
"Desperate times call for desperate measures" is the reasoning that prompts McKenzie Worthington, a young lady of Boston's high society, to respond to an ad for a mail-order bride for a man in the Montana Territory. McKenzie is desperate, after all, to save her beloved younger sister, Kaydie, from her evil, abusive husband, who robs banks for a living. And so, it is with r ...more
Paperback, 314 pages
Published September 7th 2010 by Whitaker Distribution (first published January 1st 2010)
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Jan 30, 2013 Kathryn rated it really liked it
I got this one as a Kindle freebie. It's a Western Christian Romance, heavy on the Christian. It started off really good and then about a third of the way in, I realized what a selfish brat the main character is. I was just going to skim the rest of the book but for some reason I just kept reading. I'm really glad I did. McKenzie matured and I really liked the message about marriage. This made up for any deficiencies in the story.

The only thing that really bothered me about the story was that M
Trinity Rose
Feb 08, 2011 Trinity Rose rated it really liked it
“McKenzie” by Penny Zeller is such a fantastic book. It’s about a mail-order bride. I love stories like that for many reasons. The main reason is I sort of was a mail-order bride.
McKenzie was from a Boston family who had it all, money, a fancy home, all she would ever want. So why did she become a mail order bride. Usually women who don’t have anything become mail-order brides so they can get away from poverty.
We find out McKenzie wants to find her sister who is in a very bad abusive marriage an
Mary Findley
Mar 16, 2012 Mary Findley rated it really liked it
"This Is Not a Small Thing!"
McKenzie Worthington is a desperate woman. She lives in a world of such wealth and privilege she has never even had to spoon food onto her own plate. She is willing to give it all up. Temporarily, at least. Someone must rescue her sister from a truly terrifying marriage in the wilds of frontier Montana, but McKenzie has no reason to hope for her family's help.
McKenzie grew up in the comfort of Boston high society but she has known heartache. The "perfect" man jilted
Aug 31, 2010 Wyndy rated it really liked it
McKenzie, a wealthy Boston socialite, decides that the best way to find her sister in the Montana wilderness is to become a mail-order bride. Her intention right from the beginning is to marry and then use any means possible to find her sister, return to Boston, have her father annul the marriage and get on with life. What she doesn't expect is to be greeted with kindness and love from the man, his ranch family, and the small town. Her idea of a relationship with God is attending church on Sunda ...more
Aug 31, 2010 Renee rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Christian romance readers
This is yet another marriage of convenience story that I really enjoyed. I enjoyed seeing McKenzie and Zach's relationship blossom along with McKenzie's growing faith in God. I was a little confused at first as to why a wealthy young woman couldn't just hire someone to find her baby sister instead of leaving the comforts of her home for the West and life with a stranger but it ended up working in spite of that! I'm really looking forward to seeing where the next story goes and I have the feeling ...more
Jim Hughes
Feb 21, 2011 Jim Hughes rated it it was amazing
As a pastor, I am always intrigued how God communicates to us. He uses a wide variety of ways to teach us how we should live. “McKenzie” is one of those ways. Author, Penny Zeller, has woven together the Gospel message into a very interesting and captivating story. Stereotypes are addressed and broken down. The foundation of marriage is examined and the reader discovers what the real foundation of marriage should be. McKenzie discovers for herself what meaningful life is and learns to embrace i ...more
Dec 03, 2010 Carman rated it really liked it
While I did see room for improvements in this book, I also saw potential. I will definitely be reading the second book in this series.

Here are some things I thought could be better… The dialogue could use some work, but that was only in some areas. Occasionally it would seem a bit dramatic or over done, but that is easily fixed. It seemed to miss some opportunities to bring the reader closer to the characters and what was happening in their lives. Or a scene wasn’t played out, when I think it sh
Teressa Morris
Oct 15, 2012 Teressa Morris rated it really liked it
McKenzie (Montana Skies #1) reminded me strongly of Janette Oke's Love Comes Softly series, with a little bit of Taming of the Shrew mixed in. McKenzie Worthington, at the beginning of the story, is a spoiled, entitled young woman who believes in her own goodness because she goes to church, even if, as she admits later, it is for "purely social reasons." When she marries the godly man Zach Sawyer and comes to live in the town of Pine Haven, she slowly begins to discover what it means to "walk wi ...more
Nov 03, 2015 Amada rated it it was amazing
This book is as good if not better than I had hoped it would be. The story is unique and I must admit that I loved it so much that I immediately plunged into the sequel "Kaydie". Though there are times I can't relate to McKenzie I still really grew to love her character (and I also found there where times when I saw myself in her personality). But I still think she's completely insane to want to leave a man like Zach! LOL! Personally I think that every mother out there needs to buy this book for ...more
Melinda Evaul
Feb 28, 2011 Melinda Evaul rated it it was amazing
Penny Zeller brings readers a sweet love story in this historical fiction. She weaves deep moral lessons into our hearts through her interesting cast of characters. I particularly enjoyed Zeller’s underlying themes of patience and forgiveness. “McKenzie” paints an exceptional picture of God’s vast love for us.
McKenzie Worthington is a scheming Boston socialite with a goal to rescue her sister and head for home. She undergoes enormous changes as she learns to express love for the people of Pine H
Kym McNabney
Feb 01, 2011 Kym McNabney rated it liked it
MACKENZIE is the first books I’ve read by Penny Zeller. I was given the honor of receiving her second book in this series, KAYDIE. After reading what Kaydie was about and discovering it was the second book in the series, the first one about her sister’s attempt to rescue her, I immediately ordered MACKENZIE.

Penny has quite a way with words. MACKENZIE is a delightful story with wonderful characters. I’ve always been intrigued by mail-order brides, and was pleasantly surprised by the plot. The qu
Nov 01, 2012 Susan rated it really liked it
Shelves: finished
"McKenzie" is the first book in the Montana Series by Penny Zeller. A tender romance novel that starts you out on McKenzie's journey of love, faith and hope. Penny pens her characters realistic and believable in this well developed novel. This is not a quick read, but one that will make you want to stay up and finish the book. Recommended for all romance, Christian readers.

This review is based on a complimentary copy which was provided for an honest review.
Phyllis Rogers
Feb 15, 2011 Phyllis Rogers rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
This is a beautiful story about grace and forgiveness and how God uses all things for Good.
Mckenzie had her plans but God used them to accomplish his will in her life, Zach and her family.
Mckenzie thought she could never love again but Zach showed hed the true meaning of love.
Though the story seemed a little sporadic at times, I really enjoyed Penny's completely different twist on the concept of mail-order brides.

McKenzie Worthington and Zachary Sawyer first meet via her letter answering his notice for a mail-order bride -- it's the beginning of a tentative relationship, sight unseen. They don't fall in love at the drop of a hat, but go about getting to know one another thru steady correspondence over the next couple of months. When McKenzie and Zach do finally meet
Jan 25, 2011 Zette rated it liked it
Because I am such a sucker for the mail-order bride story, I was excited to read McKenzie. The reason for McKenzie's choice to become a mail-order bride added a nice twist to the story and her search for her sister added a little mystery. I had a hard time connecting with McKenzie because she was so self-centered in the beginning but I did learn to like her as she changed. Zach was an awesome lead man and every Christian woman's dream. Overall I enjoyed the book but I felt like there were defini ...more
Molly (Cafinated Reads)
Jan 24, 2011 Molly (Cafinated Reads) rated it liked it
Recommends it for: everyone
Recommended to Molly (Cafinated Reads) by: Whitaker House
Well, this was an okay debut. It has the intents of being a good book but I think that it could have been a lot better. I am thinking that this was a little bland, though, because this is the author's FIRST novel, and sometimes the first ones are great, and sometimes they need more work. This falls a little in between those two things I just mention. It does need a little work but it's still a good read. It took me quite some time to pin point what I thought was wrong with the book though. It ha ...more
Aug 29, 2011 Katie rated it really liked it
I enjoy reading historical fiction books centered on a “mail-order bride”. Something about that just really intrigues me, so I was excited when I won a copy of McKenzie, the first book in a new series, Montana Skies. And Penny Zeller even added a neat and unique twist to it—mail-order bride McKenzie has no plans of remaining married to the man she came out west for! Once she finds her sister, she has every intention of leaving him and returning to high-society Boston.

The characters in McKenzie
Glenda Alexander
Feb 12, 2013 Glenda Alexander rated it it was amazing
by: Penny Zeller

I picked up this book because of the name and because it was Christian Fiction. I love Historical Christian Fiction and am partial to the name McKenzie (loved the cover). I also was extremely intrigued by the inside flap! When I read that Penny Zeller writes with wit, brilliance, descriptive clarity, and gentle, inspirational prose. She provides a plentiful supply of intrigue, romance and drama, truly enough to keep anyone reading . I had to find out for myself if any au
Susan Hollaway
McKenzie Worthington is a spoiled, wealthy, socialite who is on a mission to rescue her sister from the clutches of an abusive husband. Only thing is, her brother-in-law is on the run and the last place she knew her sister to be was in Montana territory. When her best friend marries the man she thought she was destined to marry, she decides to go find and bring home her sister. When a Wyoming rancher, places an advertisement in the Boston newspaper for a mail-order bride, it seems the answer to ...more
Dec 21, 2012 Christy rated it really liked it
Most fans of romance will enjoy this first novel in the Montana Skies series about a Bostonian woman that travels out West as a mail-order bride, yet has an ulterior motive.

The title character of this book, McKenzie, answers an ad for a mail-order bride willing to travel to Montana Territory. The only thing is, she's really not all that interested in becoming a wife, much less to a complete stranger, but she is, however, in search of her sister who is trapped in an abusive marriage and also live
Jan Marie Newby
Jul 30, 2011 Jan Marie Newby rated it it was amazing
McKenzie, by author Penny Zeller, tells the story of the depth of one sister's love for another. McKenzie Worthington loves her younger sister, Kaydie, so much that she is willing to risk everything in order to rescue Kaydie from a disastrous marriage to an abusive and evil man. McKenzie goes so far as to enter into a marriage via the venue of becoming a mail-order bride as a means to travel to the Montana Territory in search of her younger sister.

Having come from a wealthy and privileged backgr
Feb 09, 2013 Brenda rated it really liked it
I really liked this book. I like reading about peoples struggles during those times in the west. McKenzie answers an advertisement for a mail order bride in order to get the funding and help to rescue her sister from her abusive criminal husband. She of course doesn't tell the man whose letters she responds to that sshe is just going to be with him long enough to rescue her sister and then she is going to leavee him and get an annulment. She is past the time that most of her friends are married ...more
Amanda Beth
Nov 11, 2011 Amanda Beth rated it it was amazing
I thought this book was heart-warming and inspiring. It really showed what a mess we are when we don't have a personal relationship with God. I liked how she took Mckenzie's character through the process of just simply knowing God, to having a deeper relationship with Him. She was able to see the changes in her thoughts and personality. I think all Christians could relate to that process, because God takes us all through it, so we can be transformed into the person He wants us to

I thought the
Tamara Tilley
Jan 23, 2016 Tamara Tilley rated it liked it
MCKENZIE by Penny Zeller was a good read. At times it was a little slow, but overall, an enjoyable story.

McKenzie Worthington, a woman of Boston’s high society, is on a mission fueled by desperation. Finding out her sister is in an abusive marriage in the Montana territory, McKenzie decides to leave her affluent life behind to become a mail-order bride so she can get to Montana and search for her sister.

Zach Sawyer, a rancher in the Montana territory, has decided that his adopted son Davey needs
Mar 14, 2011 Pegg rated it really liked it
McKenzie is a sweet story with a wonderful character arc for the female lead. McKenzie learns about life, love, and most importantly about the Lord through her adventure to find her sister in 1880s Montana. Zack Sawyer, the rancher who advertises for a mail order bride, reminded me of the male lead in Francine River's "Redeeming Love". He is a man of character, faith, and steadfast in his relationship with the Lord. This book is very appropriate for young teens and still a page turner for adults ...more
Jan 30, 2013 Melissa rated it it was ok
Shelves: kindle-books
I wanted to like this book because I usually do love marriage of convenience stories, but quite honestly there was not much I found to like. But let's start with the positive, shall we?

~ Asa: He was the only character that had any spark of personality or life. His witty lines were easily the best dialogue in the book.
~ The story concept of a mail order bride: I've always been a sucker for these stories, I guess it's the romantic in me.
~ While there is certainly a strong focus on God
Nov 23, 2012 Paula-O rated it really liked it
Penny Zeller writes Montana Skies series with book #1 "McKenzie"

"Desperate times call for Desperate measures"

thus, McKenzie chooses to become a mail-order bride and go from her big city Boston living to the wild west in search of her sister whom she feels is in danger. she feels desperate to find and bring her home again.

Desperate is the reasoning that prompts Zach Sawyer to let himself be talked into writing a letter for a wife..he needs someone to share his life with but more then that his ad
Vera Godley
Mar 12, 2012 Vera Godley rated it really liked it
"Desperate times call for desperate measures"

In Boston in 1881, McKenzie lives the protected, cultured life of the well-to-do daughter of a Boston attorney. Success. Wealth. Culture. McKenzie really has a life of ease. However, she is only one of three daughters in the family. Peyton, the eldest, is already married and living a high society life as is expected of one in their station in life. Kaydie has previously run off and married the "love of her life" who turned out to be a scoundrel and
Angela Dueck
Oct 19, 2013 Angela Dueck rated it did not like it
I didn't really like this book. I didn't even finish. I got about 100 pages in before I stopped reading and I thought about stopping earlier a couple of times but was going to give myself time till when they finally met.

I found the book was slow moving. McKenzie and Zach only met 100 pages into the book and there wasn't a whole lot happening in the pages leading up to it. It was mainly just flashbacks and having them worry about sending letters to each other. Their correspondence was written in
Jan 11, 2012 Ibjoy1953 rated it it was amazing
In the attempt to find her sister, Mckenzie Worthington answers an ad for a mail order bride in Montana because she thinks that is where Kaydie is living with her abusive husband. She never intends to stay married once she finds Kaydie, but no way will McKenzie tell her husband until she’s found.

Since Zachary Sawyer’s neighbors passed away and he adopted their son Davey, her realizes that Davy needs a mom in his life. And because there are just no women in the little town in Western Montana, Zac
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Penny Zeller is the author of several books and numerous magazine articles in national and regional publications. She is also the author of the humor blog "A Day in the Life of a Wife, Mom, and Author ( where she provides weekly doses of inspiration and humor, along with movie reviews from a Christian worldview, and interviews with some of her favorite author friends. ...more
More about Penny Zeller...

Other Books in the Series

Montana Skies (3 books)
  • Kaydie (Montana Skies #2)
  • Hailee (Montana Skies #3)

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