Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Duncan's Bride (Patterson-Cannon Family, #1)” as Want to Read:
Duncan's Bride (Patterson-Cannon Family, #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Duncan's Bride

(Patterson-Cannon Family #1)

3.97  ·  Rating details ·  7,435 ratings  ·  407 reviews
Reese wanted a wife. Someone to have children with, someone to help rebuild his ranch, someone uncomplicated, and very different from his first wife, the woman who'd destroyed his life. Now he had Madelyn--sophisticated, citified, willing to herd cattle, keep house and start a family. The only thing she asked for in return was love--one thing Reese couldn't guarantee.
Paperback, 251 pages
Published May 25th 1998 by MIRA (first published August 1st 1990)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Duncan's Bride, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.97  · 
Rating details
 ·  7,435 ratings  ·  407 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Duncan's Bride (Patterson-Cannon Family, #1)
3.5 Stars

I liked it. Not Howard's best but still enjoyable.

However, the story itself is hardly believable.

(view spoiler)

Enjoyment: 3/5
Lisa Kay
May, 2012 Update
Read this last May and had to read it again for 2012! Loved it! With all the recordings of less-than-desirable books from the 80's & 90's, why can't they put this one on audio?

★★★★★ Five full stars! It has been 21 years since I last read Duncans Bride and it is still holds up to the ravishes of time and my fickle changes in reading material. I love Linda Howard at her best and I found her here in this quick-read of a Silhouette Intimate Moments publication. Ms. Howard has
Dec 11, 2012 rated it really liked it
3.5 stars.

Did a re-read... think it might drop a half star for me. He was a bit of a jerk. She was a bit too naive! Still a good read though. But my reading tastes have definitely changed over the years.


I love anything by Linda. Serious, Gruff Hero who eventually succumbs to the love of a good woman. Need to get more of her older stuff out on Kindle. Thanks Jenna for the book.
Chantal ❤️
I will be brutally honest and say that I did like parts of this book but I did not looooove it.
The heroine was just about the most amazingly understanding woman to put up with his bullshit.
You decide here.

Not only does he treat her horrible but he is a really terrible lover to the heroine.
That's a first for me! Normally, even if they are asshole, they are at least good in bed.

Sorry about my strong language here.
I just knew when he got out the lube for their first night
Mindy Lou's Book Review
It's pretty rare for me to love the heroine more than the hero. Madelyn was kind of awesome and I really loved how she handled a lot of the situations when Reese was a giant A-hole.

So... Reese was a giant A-hole. He has his reasons, but kind of took those reasons too far at times. I will say that if you want to see a man have to grovel at the end, you will get that with him.

I enjoyed the audiobook from audio escape and while the female narrater wasn't the best with the male voice, it wasn't bad
3 Stars

Overall Opinion: This was an enjoyable read, but I wanted more. I feel as though it had potential to be that more but it just didnt get there. I struggled with the H but I actually liked the h so there is that! I liked the whole arranged marriage, but the instalove for the h bugged a little. I didnt hate it, but I didnt love it either 🤷♀

Brief Summary of the Storyline: This is Maddie and Reeses story. Reese puts a want ad in for a wife after he is finally get his ranch back in order
So many good reviews and I don't have much to add. This is a "mail order"/arranged marriage story of a bitter rancher hero and the city girl heroine who rescues the ranch, teaches the hero how to love, paints the house, and fries a mean chicken (literally).

Heroine makes this story. She is unflappable, but feels deeply. She also knows when to cut her loses after the hero throws a tantrum for the black moment. Hero finally wakes up after his ex-wife dies and he realizes that holding on to his
Sep 08, 2016 rated it really liked it
Kudos to this book because it's set back in the 80's and it mentions electric typewriters and people still communicate via mail. Lol. But I've NEVER been so upset with a book character before!!! EVER!!! Reese was so stubborn. Ugh. Nevertheless, this was an adorable book!! I. Must. Read. The. Follow up.
I fully expected Duncan's Bride to be one of those weepy, Hallmark, watch the dove fly into the sunset and wipe away a tear kind of book. Sweet and schmaltzy. Hell on wheels NO! Madelyn is a kick-asss, spine of steel heroine that made laugh out loud. I want to be her. Madelyn, her reactions as well as her actions to Reese and her circumstances are the primary reasons to read this. The steamy sex doesn't hurt. Not overly explicit but hot.

Reese is an emotionally and financially bankrupt Wyoming

I'm so glad I read this book! I was thisclose in returning it to the library, thinking it might not be as good as I hoped for. I don't even know why I thought that, but it was excellent. Reece Duncan is a Montana rancher hard on finances and time. He'd been burned before by an ex-wife determined to wreck him and bankrupt his ranch. Not again. This time, Reece was going to advertise for a woman built to withstand labour and the expectations of living on a ranch. So what if he doesn't
May 19, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Linda Howard is legendary in the romance genre, and this may be one of her finest. I recently reread it to see if it would live up to my fond memories and I am pleased to say, if anything, it surpassed them.

Reese Duncan is the quintessential Howard hero......... strong alpha, stubborn, sexy, and prideful. However, Duncan's Bride stands out to me NOT because of the hero, but because of the heroine. Madelyn is everything that I love my heroines to be. She has a ton of class, heart, devotion, work
KNOCKED OUT!This is a 5++++++++++++++ rating book.Absolutely wonderful awesome heart warming emotional read.Loved Reese-Maddie both are cute adorable caring strong intelligent characters,Reese is a man full of integrity and his ranch is his pride and when that pride was attacked and half snatched he was filled with bitterness but Maddie came into his life and completely healed him though it took some time but he did came to his senses

Reese-Maddie's are now on my top 10 favourite couples
Jane Stewart
Sep 26, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Really good characters and relationship development. I didnt want to stop reading.

I liked the audiobook better than the physical book due to the narrators wonderful interpretations.

Reese was wealthy land owner/rancher in Montana. He married Alice who divorced him after 2 years and took half of everything he owned. For 8 yrs he has been under a mortgage and barely existing with half of the land left and a small herd of cattle.

Reese wants a wife and kids so he places an
Great classic, contemporary mail-order-bride story!

There are times when Reese will make you want to smack him, but other times he's so swoonworthy. I love how protective he is.

He has a huge chip on his shoulder because of his ex taking him to the cleaners and some of the things he says to Maddie are infuriating, but she gives as good as she gets and figures out just how to handle him.

The parts about ranch life were interesting and sad at times. The blizzard made me sad for the poor animals.

I loved this as much the second time as when I read it the first time.

The heroine was the absolute best. And the hero was a perfect Alpha with a heart of gold deep down.

The love story had such emotion and heart.

Wonderful writing and I felt like I was right there, watching a movie take place in my mind (best way for me to describe it).

The dedication and strength the heroine had in her love for the hero was beautiful.

I loved description of ranch life, the scenery came to life and the secondary
Bark  |  Ladies Of Horror Fiction
Oct 06, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: romance
Duncan's Bride is sexy, sassy, a real page turner, it's all the things I've come to expect from Linda Howard.

Reese Duncan wants a wife but not for love or any of those sappy reasons. He has a strong sex drive, he wants children and a strong woman willing to help him rebuild his ranch. In the heroine's words he wants a brood mare. He's been burned by his ex-wife who wasn't willing to rough it out as a ranch wife and took half of everything he owned in the divorce settlement, leaving him nearly
Nikki ღ Navareus
Sep 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everybody.


What an adorably charming story. I enjoyed every single second of this awesome read. I loved Reese, with his scarred, emotional distrust of women that kept him from moving forward with his life, vowing never to be royally fucked over ever again. And Maddy was adorable and so full of personality. She was so supportive to Reese trying to pull him through his mistrust, always keeping this amazing wit about her as well. The drama in this story was delicious too. And the sex!! This
Jan 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Home means many things to many people. To Madelyn, it represented something she longed for-- a husband and family. She wanted those things so much she was willing to take a huge risk in answering to the newspaper ad of a Montana rancher looking for a wife.

Reese Duncan was lonely; he wanted a wife and family, but not an emotional involvement that goes along with it because of the nasty divorce that he went thru a few years back which made him and his ranch financially ruined. It made him hard and
I Liked it,Yes. But I did not love it.
I was initially impressed with the writing style and the happy-go-lucky type h, She was strong, stubborn and has her mind set on all good things, I was jealous of the H's ex-wife myself, I expected the h to be aswell instead she felt sorry that he could not move on. Oh Well, She has a Big heart all right.

Now, you must be wondering if the h was so good why such mediocre rating? Credits our H, I don't think he has any positive, appreciable traits in him, He
Jan 24, 2010 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book. I loved the message about carrying emotional baggage from one relationship to the other. Reese was an alpha male in every sense of the word. Maddie was a strong and intelligent woman who made Reese really think about whether or not he was willing to lose her. I loved Maddie's character and I actually liked Reese's character also. It was nice to watch their passionate love story unfold before your very eyes. I've already re-read this book twice in a span of 2 days.
Feb 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Heroine was awesome! 4,5 stars
Jacqueline J
I really like this book. I love the mail order bride theme. The characterization of both the hero and the heroine are very full and complete. LH is a prime example of showing not telling. By the actions and words of the characters you know who they are. Reece is embittered and needs Maddie to help him live again. Maddie is a very different character. I love the way she seems to stroll through life while really getting a lot of stuff done. Her calm nonchalant character is very different from most ...more
4.5 stars for the audiobook. The narrator really captured the heroine.
Grade B

I enjoyed this over-the-top contemporary romance with the alpha-male Reece and superwoman Maddie. I loved the banter, especially when they did the "top this strange fact" game. Of course, Reece was an idiot, and Maddie was likeable, but not very believable. I mean, how many people who've never done it can pluck and butcher a chicken without help or instruction? And she happens to be a stellar cook of good old fashioned farm food, mends, cleans and...wait for it.... scraps and paints
This is an old style Harlequin that was originally published back in the late 80's early 90's. Although the Hero could be a bit of a pig at times I still liked him, and I really liked the heroine who had a bit of grit and refused to take a lot of his behaviour and stood up for herself.
May 25, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Georgie-who-is-Sarah-Drew by: Kathy
3.5 stars rounded up

During Howard-fest-month last year (thank you, Kathy), I didn't bother with Duncan's Bride - uber-Alpha-male orders mail-order bride around? So not me.

Well, big mistake. Big. Huge.
Let's hear it for the mail-order bride with a mind of her own. And a few extra cheers for her getting her good-humoured way without making it into a battle of the sexes.
Oct 19, 2015 rated it really liked it
Duncan's Bride is a story mostly based around the couple, his bitterness, her backbone, and the ranch. There are others thrown in sometimes- and I wasn't sure the story would be able to survive based off only them and the ranch. In fact- I wasn't drawn into the story at first- until Maddie became ensconced into Reese's life on the ranch.

Reese is an off-putting, sexy, brute of a man, with lingering anger/rage flowing through his veins, thanks to his ex-wife. I just couldn't see how Madelyn fell
~ Cariad ~
Sep 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everyone!
Recommended to ~ Cariad ~ by: Nikki ღ Navareus
Wow. It's a good thing that I wasn't working today because I've done nothing except read this book all morning and pretty much through lunch!

And it's not like I'm ever going to know the life I've just read about either (had to Google what a steer was and also why they'd eat biscuits with meat and gravy... because, biscuits are sweet in the UK!) and maybe that's why I found the story so interesting and awesome to read - I've been happily lost in it.

I think this might well be my first full cowboy
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 next »

Readers also enjoyed

  • What Price Paradise
  • The Bridal Veil
  • A Taste Of Heaven
  • Silver Lining
  • Gabriel's Bride
  • The Rainbow Season (Turner's Rainbows Saga, #1)
  • The Divorce (The Relationship Quo, #1)
  • Separate Beds
  • In Want of a Wife (Bitter Springs #3)
  • The Texan's Wager (Wife Lottery, #1)
  • Eyes of Silver, Eyes of Gold
  • The Spanish Groom
  • Morning Glory
  • The Heart Breaker (Rocky Mountain, #2)
  • Simply Love
  • The Unwanted Wife (Unwanted, #1)
  • Texas Glory (Texas Trilogy, #2)
  • Jackson Rule
See similar books…
Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the GoodReads database with this name.

Linda S. Howington is an American best-selling romance author writing under the pseudonym Linda Howard. After 21 years of penning stories for her own enjoyment, she submitted a novel for publication which was very successful. Her first work was published by Silhouette in 1982. She is a charter member of Romance

Other books in the series

Patterson-Cannon Family (2 books)
  • Loving Evangeline (Patterson-Cannon Family, #2)

News & Interviews

“Let us remember: One book, one pen, one child, and one teacher can change the world.” That’s Malala Yousafzai, Pakistani human rights...
47 likes · 17 comments
“I'll tell you what's wrong!" he roared, "I'm trying to quit smoking!" Then he strode angrily to the truck, leaving her standing there.

She blinked her eyes, and slowly a smile stretched her lips. She strolled to the truck and got in. "So, are you homicidal or merely as irritable as a wounded buffalo?"

"About halfway in between," he said through clenched teeth.

"Anything I can do to help?"

His eyes were narrow and intense. "It isn't just the cigarettes. Take off your panties and lock your legs around me, and I'll show you.”
“amusement in her eyes and had to grin.
"How are you feeling?" he asked, his voice dropping to a low, intimate tone that excluded everyone else in the cafe and made several women draw in their

Her mouth quirked in that self-amusement that made him want to grab her to him.

"This isn't one of my good days. The only thing holding me together is static cling."

"Come home with me, and I'll take care of you."
She looked him in the eye and said quietly, "Give me one good reason why I should."

Right there in front of God and most of Crook, Montana, he drew in a deep breath and took the gamble of a lifetime, his words plain and heard by all, because no one was making even the pretense of not listening.

"Because I love you."

Maddie blinked, and to his surprise he saw her eyes glitter with tears. Before he could start forward, however, her smile broke through like sunshine through a cloud bank. She didn't take the time to go around the counter; she climbed on top of it and slid off on the other side.

"It's about time," she said as she went into his arms.”
More quotes…