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A Bargain Struck

(The Heart of the West #1)

by
3.56  ·  Rating details ·  210 ratings  ·  37 reviews
Widower Connor Maguire advertises for a wife to raise his young daughter, Bridget, work the homestead and bear him a son.

Ellen O’Sullivan longs for a home, a husband and a family. On paper, she is everything Connor needs in a wife. However, it soon becomes clear that Ellen has not been entirely truthful.

Will Connor be able to overlook Ellen’s dishonesty and keep to his si
...more
Paperback, 336 pages
Published September 7th 2013 by Choc Lit (first published July 31st 2013)
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Average rating 3.56  · 
Rating details
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Sandi *~The Pirate Wench~*
Setting: 1800s Wyoming Territory
3 1/2 Stars
Steam Factor: Mild

Desperate for a home to call her own, widow Ellen O'Sullivan answers an advertisement from a widower Connor Maguire who is looking for a wife to help raise his young daughter Bridget, as well to help him with his sprawling Wyoming homestead. Although Ellen and Connor have only corresponded by letter Ellen appears to Connor all that he needs. When they finally meet face to face, it's clear that Ellen has withheld some more personal deta
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Bookread2day
Aug 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This is truely a lovely story. It will take readers back to 1887. You will be able to picture the scenary, water, horses with wagons and the dress code.
Widower Connor Magurie advertised for a wife to help him raise his eight year old daughter. Connor brings home his new wife Ellen O'Sullivan. Ellen wants to know why Connor did not advertise for a housekeeper to look after the home and his daughter. Connor tells Ellen that a man has neds and he wants a son to take over him just like Connor took
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Melissa
Sep 10, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
The character in this book has a scar on her face from an accident, and the entire book is based around her husband calling her ugly, her stepdaughter calling her ugly, random strangers calling her ugly ... Til suddenly birds chirp and rainbows appear and they realize that what's on the INSIDE is what matters! Ridiculous. ...more
Jan
Aug 26, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: historical, romance
I have to be honest - when I read the blurb for this new Choc-lit title by Liz Harris - author of the outstanding romance The Road Back I hummed and ahhed, wondering why, when choc-lit's romances are usually so innovative and inventive, they'd bring out a book in the UK on a theme which could be described as done to death (and often quite badly by the often slightly tacky American romance houses) but I worried needlessly, from the first few pages it becomes obvious that the talent of this author ...more
Tripfiction
Aug 14, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: books-set-in-usa
Novel set in Wyoming (Married life in 1887)

A year after Connor has been widowed he decides he needs a new wife to help with the work on the farm, look after his 8 year old daughter and bear him sons, so he places an advert in a newspaper. From the many applicants he chooses Ellen, without having met her, as the list of attributes she mentions in her letter seem to make her the best candidate. However Ellen has omitted to mention something, and that lie of omission may be too great to allow her t
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Rosemary Morris
Jan 22, 2014 rated it it was amazing
A Bargain Struck by Liz Harris

This is the first book I have read by Liz Harris. I am impressed. The plot engaged me from the first page. The hero, his small daughter and the heroine will stay with me for some time.

“Widower Connor Maguire advertises for a wife to raise his young daughter, Bridget, work the homestead and bear him a son.”

He chooses Ellen O’Sullivan, a widow who lost her beloved husband in tragic circumstances. However, when she arrives it is obvious that she has not been truthful.
...more
Laura
May 13, 2017 rated it it was ok
Ellen lost her husband and gained horrible scar in one horrible wagon accident, now she is a mail order bride hoping her future husband will overlook her scars.

I find it interesting that Connor and his daughter are focused on the surface the rest of their community is most welcoming of Ellen. I should say most of the community because the mangy school teacher and the creepy brother in law care only for themselves and what they want and don’t even care if they hurt those they profess to love. Ell
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Dianne
May 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
This was a good book, there were elements of it I didn't, but those improved as the story continued. In a way I understood some of Connor's feelings, however I thought throughout the first half of the book he treated Ellen dreadfully. I was pleased when I witnessed an improvement. I thought Ellen was far too forgiving especially about the wedding. I love books with children in the plot and read a lot of them. Never have I disliked a child character as much as I did Bridget. She was despicable an ...more
Rita Wright
Jan 14, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Such a well written book. Conner is a Farmer/Rancher that lost his wife and baby in childbirth. He has a 7 year old daughter that needs schooling. He sends for a woman, Ellen that has farming experience and is Irish, and willing to bear his children. Conner knows he will be a good provider but will never Love another women like the wife he lost. Ellen meets all of his requirements, but she keeps something from him until they actually meet. He still married her. They maybe could have a happy home ...more
Wendy Forsyth
Sep 13, 2020 rated it did not like it
I'm up to Chapter 24. But this novel is one long yawn, and a contrived one at that, especially through the specific character of 9 year-old Bridget. Her overly-confident and boorish manner totally belies any semblance of behavioural standards recorded/expected in 19th century USA, or anywhere else for that matter. That aspect alone is so very incongruous that I won't be finishing this book. Not recommended. ...more
Ayona Iona
Sep 06, 2017 rated it it was ok
The story line lacked depth and not enough substance. Boring.
Lucinda
Mar 07, 2013 rated it liked it
In a way, reading this book slightly reminded me of the time I watched the movie Oklahoma!, which is an old musical film about people living in the late 1800s/early 1900s America, particularly in the southern regions, hence the title.

The characters in this book lived in a very small, tight-knit community, the sort of small place where everyone knows everybody else’s business. Connor Maguire, the main male character of the book owns a farm deep in the Wyoming countryside, and has a young daughter
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Shaz Goodwin
Aug 14, 2013 rated it really liked it
I was looking forward to A Bargain Struck having loved The Road Back. Although it didn’t affect me in quite the same way (emotionally) it is beautifully written and takes the reader back to a time when life was totally different with a slower pace and life was hard.

Ellen O’Sullivan arrives in Baggs, Wyoming Territory in July 1887 to marry Connor Maguire. Having communicated with each via letter, this is the first time they’ve met. This is a marriage of convenience. Ellen needs a husband having l
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Megan Readinginthesunshine
Jul 27, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I really like the cover of A Bargain Struck – I always like to read something a bit different and this seemed like an intriguing read!

This was SUCH a refreshing read, it was something new and different, and I particularly liked that I never knew which way the story would take me next.

The characters are very strong in this, and Liz Harris has done a fantastic job in creating them and making them so lifelike. I really liked Ellen from the beginning, she was longing for a home and a family and I re
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T
Nov 10, 2013 rated it really liked it
This book was given to me in exchange for an honest review.

This is a fun romantic read set in the early 1800's in Wyoming during the late homesteader days. The main character meets her husband through mail, they literally decide through mail written correspondence only that they both have something to offer the other and she travels from back east to marry him. He is seeking a mother for his little girl, someone to run his house and give him a male heir for whom he can pass the homestead farm on
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Lisa C.
Aug 26, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I struggled to finish this story and wouldn't recommend it. I found myself shaking my head too many times at the inaccuracies and misused words. Wheat is not harvested at the same time you harvest corn. You don't buy heads of cattle. West Barn and East Barn were used as proper names. During that time, it's highly unlikely the little girl would be allowed to be such a complete and total brat and speak to an adult as she did. Even with no female figure in her life for the previous year, that nasty ...more
Barb
Jul 03, 2016 rated it really liked it
“A Bargain Struck” by Liz Harris is a novel set in Wyoming in 1887. Ellen O’Sullivan has come to Baggs, Wyoming to meet the man she intends to marry as a mail order bride. The beginning of the story does not tell the whole tale at first. Connor Maguire seems less than pleased that Ellen wants to keep the bargain to marry. Ellen is a widow with a secret, but Connor desperately needs someone to help him on his farm and be a mother to his daughter Bridget. To say that the first meeting between the ...more
Carol W
Dec 08, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I was really looking forward to another story from this author

Ellen answers an ad for a wife. She is trying to rebuild her life after an accident and tragedy.
Connor is not looking for love but a wife to look after his young daughter Bridget and keep house.
They both believe that this marriage contract will suit their needs just fine.

Ellen has not been quite truthful in answering the ad, but Connor honours the deal just the same.

As these two characters start married life and begin to find out abou
...more
Blodeuedd Finland
This is not your typical sort of romance, neither is it historical fiction. No, it's...romantic historical fiction ;) And this one in a western setting.

Did the romance come quick? No. Did it come easy? No. This couple struggled and my heart wept for her. Ellen was a strong woman who had been through a lot and she acts like a little grey mouse, not voicing her opinion. I shall not say what happened, but she has a secret and it's something others have a hard time handling.

Life on the frontier was
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Beverley Eikli
Sep 08, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I finished A Bargain Struck last week and it had me weeping several times - the first from sorrow and the second from happiness. The ending is definitely worthwhile.

I loved the nuanced relationships. The story is told from the perspective of rancher Conn, who 'needs' a wife for his 8-year-old daughter, Bridget, and from that of the heroine, Ellen, who has arrived having omitted telling her husband-to-be something rather important.

I have an 8-year-old daughter, myself, and I thought the reactions
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Angela Britnell
Oct 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing


This is an intriguing book set in 1887 Wyoming, not a time period I usually read about. Connor, a widower with a young daughter, needs a wife to work with him and hopefully have a son to continue the farm. He advertises for a wife and accepts Ellen but when she arrives it's obvious she hasn't been entirely truthful with him. Without giving anything away I'll say Connor honors the bargain they made and marries her, but with misgivings. This practical approach to marriage can sit uneasy at times b
...more
Christina
Oct 09, 2013 rated it it was amazing
A Bargain Struck is a heart-warming story about a mail-order bride, Ellen, who goes to join her future husband without having told him the whole truth about herself. As soon as this truth is revealed, the reader can’t help but empathise with her and from then on you are on her side, hoping she will triumph against the odds. The hero, Connor, has his own reasons for wanting to marry a stranger, and as the story unfolds, it’s easy to sympathise with him as well. When Ellen slowly falls in love wit ...more
Anne Harvey
Nov 10, 2014 rated it really liked it
A love story with a difference. Set in the American West in the 1880s, this is the story of a marriage of convenience between Ellen, a widow, and Connor, whose wife died in childbirth the previous year. He is desperate for a son to eventually take over the homestead and she is equally desperate to leave the home of her brother who uses her as a nursemaid and skivvy for his family. The two have never met and Ellen hasn't been told Connor that she's been facially disfigured by an horrific accident ...more
Paulette
Apr 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Historical fiction is not a genre I read often, but I have usually enjoyed those I have read....

This one though had me hooked from page 1 and I am so pleased I decided to go for it when I picked it.

The reasoning behind the choices of Ellen, Connor & Bridget trickle out at a perfect pace to keep you wanting to know more.

Ellen; gentle kind and caring, but scared to trust, with good reason....Connor; a perfect gentleman most of the time....Bridget; hurting and trying to grow up... only time will
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Bobbie
Sweet story

A bit. of a different take on the typical mail order bride tale. Well written, good story, characters you feel for, root for, and want to know better. Some family drama thrown in for good measure. I recommend this book.
Jody
Jul 21, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: library, ebook
I like the story line, but I mostly just skimmed this book. I am not sure it was the writing or just not getting wrapped up in the characters but finishing this book was work. Internal dialogue seemed kinda repetitive.
Anna
Jul 01, 2016 rated it liked it
I read it on my kindle and think that the cover does not do the book justice.
Yes, it is not very original in the storyline and the characters don't need much pushing to turn around to a happy ending.
But it's also not a bad read. I'd rate it rather average.
...more
Serena Spencer-jones
Oct 14, 2013 rated it it was amazing
A perfect little novel - masterful - simple in it's beauty, a Laura Ingalls Wilder for grown-ups! ...more
Vanessa Woolley
Oct 18, 2013 rated it really liked it
Absolutely thrilling read and very informative too
Jeanie V.
Apr 24, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, 2014-reads
LOVED IT!!! Just finished - I could not put it down!!! Review to come. I am a very happy reader right now! :)
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Madison Mega-Mara...: "A Bargain Struck" by Liz Harris 1 1 Jun 05, 2014 03:56PM  

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Born in London, Liz Harris graduated from university with a Law degree, and then moved to California, where she led a varied life, from waitressing on Sunset Strip to working as secretary to the CEO of a large Japanese trading company.

Six years later, she returned to London and completed a degree in English, after which she taught secondary school pupils, first in Berkshire, and then in Cheshire.

I
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Other books in the series

The Heart of the West (3 books)
  • A Western Heart
  • The Lost Girl

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