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The Rivals (A Bitter Creek Novel) Mass Market Paperback – September 1, 2004

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The Rivals (A Bitter Creek Novel) + The Price: A Novel (Bitter Creek, No. 4) + The Next Mrs. Blackthorne (Bitter Creek, No. 6)
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

At the start of Johnston's swift-moving Bitter Creek romance (The Price, etc.), 17-year-old Kate Grayhawk, the out-of-wedlock daughter of Libby Grayhawk and Clay Blackthorne, skips out of her Virginia boarding school and heads for Jackson Hole, Wyo., where her mother lives. But soon after leaving a phone message for her mother, she's drugged and kidnapped at a Teton Village bar near home. Desperate to find her daughter, Libby phones Clay, the U.S. attorney general, and is surprised when he later shows up on her doorstep. Romantic tension sizzles between the estranged lovers as they recall their long-ago affair and the decades-old animosity between their families, but they put their differences aside to join Deputy Sheriff Sarah Barndollar in the hunt for Kate, which is made perilous by threats of avalanches and impending blizzards. A precipitous secondary romance between Sarah and Drew DeWitt, Clay's cousin, is complicated by the disappearance of Sarah's husband, Tom, 15 months earlier. But as the search for Kate leads Sarah and Drew to nearby Bear Island, Sarah discovers that Kate's disappearance may be linked to Tom's "abandonment." Though some elements of the protagonists' heroic search will strain readers' belief, the story's suspense and surprising conclusion nicely counterpoint the dual romances.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

"Publishers Weekly"Johnston's characters brim with humanity.
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Product Details

  • Series: A Bitter Creek Novel
  • Mass Market Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Pocket Books; 1st Printing edition (September 1, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743454405
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743454407
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1.1 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #162,609 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Joan Johnston, the top ten New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author of the Bitter Creek (THE COWBOY, THE TEXAN and THE LONER plus 18 more including the Mail-Order Bride, Captive Hearts and Sisters of the Lone Star series) and Hawk's Way (nine in all) novels, has written more than fifty-five award-winning historical and contemporary romance novels, thirty-eight of which are connected. She received an M.A. in theater from the University of Illinois and graduated with honors from the University of Texas School of Law at Austin. Joan Johnston lives in Colorado and South Florida.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Harriet Klausner #1 HALL OF FAME on September 1, 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
In Jackson Hole, Wyoming no one except the families and the Teton County Sheriff Department cared about two missing teens. That abruptly changes when Kate Grayhawk never makes it home as she is the daughter of influential Texas mogul Clay Blackthorne and the granddaughter of his powerful enemy King Grayhawk.

Deputy Sheriff Sarah Barndollar, raising three kids alone since her spouse vanished last year, investigates the serial vanishings. Meanwhile the feuding families' hatred for one another interfere with her case because they suspect the other side abducted Kate and set out to prove it. Clay's cousin Drew DeWitt offers a rare dose of sanity, but insists on being part of her inquiries. As they race to save lives, they fall in love, but she is Wyoming wilderness while he is big shot urban.

This solid entry in the continuing saga of the Blackthorne family is a fine police procedural romance. The story line moves at a fast clip while readers will shake their heads at the setbacks caused by the family feud. Though a government conspiracy has been used so often that one wonders how any trees remain in the forest, Joan Johnston's latest thriller is a delightful investigative romantic suspense.

Harriet Klausner
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Jennifer - romance advocate on October 11, 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I too am a hugh Joan Johnston fan. I own all of ther other books. But I was highly disappointed with this novel. Please don't judge her by this book. This is the first thriller romance novel she has attempted. The story was not engaging, and the characters lacked depth and their relationships were not beliveable. The passion and excitement just wasn't there. I hate to give her a bad review because all of her other books are so great. Try any of her other books and see the real Joan Johnston and why she is a bestselling author.
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By LoveMy5Dogs on December 30, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
Overall Rating: 3.95
Action: 4.0 / Emotion: 2.5 / Romance: 3.5 / Sensuous: 1.5 / Suspense: 3.5 // Laughter: 0 / Tears: 0

The Rivals: 3.95:
Found this book to be entertaining, intriguing, and enjoyable simply because Joan Johnston's storytelling style holds appeal. The lack of character development for the main hero and heroine was minimal, so the book was not as good as it could have been.

Hero: 2.0:
Drew DeWitt: The only reason a reader would know much about Drew was if they had read *The Price* first. Johnston spent more time describing him and his personality in that book than she did in this one. The best thing about Drew in this book was the way he interacted with Sarah's kids.

Heroine: 2.0:
Sarah Barndollar: Sarah, too, was not as richly developed as the heroine of a romance novel should have been. Johnston, did, however, realistically portray the difficulty that Sarah was experiencing as a single mother, who was working long hours to support her three children.

Secondary Hero: 3.0:
Clay Blackthorne; Johnston began fleshing out Clay's personality, the one Blackthorne child that was, basically, omitted from the first three books of the series. It was impossible to not be interested in this conflicted man, who was being groomed for the White House. However, Johnston really should have made him a much younger, inexperienced man when he was seduced by Libby nineteen years ago.

Secondary Heroine: 2.5:
Libby Grayhawk: Again, Johnston began developing Libby's personality and telling her backstory. It is obvious that Libby has some issues with her father and regrets betraying Clay, but it was difficult to identify with her on a deep level because her character development was minimal.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
I highly recommend this book to any Nora Roberts fan, BUT first read The Cowboy, The Texan, The Loner, and The Price (all by Joan Johnston). This was the first Joan Johnston book I ever read, which hurried me to read more. After reading this book, I went on to read the rest of the Blackthorne/Creed/Grayhawk stories (I only wish I had read them first and then this one). I am a huge Nora Roberts fan and would definitely say that Joan Johnston's novels are up to speed with Nora's books. Every single one of them is interesting and has made me want to read more, sometimes I wish the stories would continue a little longer. I recommend all of the Blackthorne books and her Bitter Creek series. I am finally about to read The Next Mrs. Blackthorne.
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By T. Bourg on April 23, 2009
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
I loved this book so much that after I finished reading it I immediately ordered "The next Mrs. Blackthorne", the sequel. It just arrived and I started reading it, and I really like it alot! I usually read Norah Robert's books, (I am so spoiled by her amazing writing!) Unfortunatley I have read all the Norah Roberts books, as well as her "J.D. Robb" books, so it is nice to find a new author that I enjoy!
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
The Rivals heats up the Bitter Creek series with a lightening turn of events. Joan Johnston knows how to write a story filled with greed, animosity, backstabbing murder, and deception. Among some hot and heavy sex and the adventure awaits the reader. So grab The Rivals and hold on for an explosive ride!!! 5 stars!!!!!
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book is a part one of two in the series. The characters were involved with each other from both past and present. The plot moves quickly and has many twists and turns,keeping the reader's attention throughout. The book ends with a wedding, but the pair engaged may not make it to the altar.
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