Tried & True is the first book in Connealy’s new Wild at Heart series, and it is set in Idaho Territory during the summer of 1866. Kylie Wilde is a young, single woman who is trying to homestead after serving in the Civil War (pretending to be a young man). Her father has practically made men out of his three daughters, and the older two embrace manly ways as necessary and beneficial to life on the frontier, but Kylie refuses to learn how to do men’s work. She wants tea parties and frilly dresses, but she let her father bully her into homesteading 160 acres.
Aaron Masterson is the local land agent and figures out Kylie is a woman who is claiming a military service exemption, which is only available to men because women weren’t allowed to serve in the war. Kylie wants that exemption in order to shorten her required time to live on the frontier from five years to three. She can’t imagine living so far from civilization any longer than that.
Complicating things further, there is someone who wants Kylie’s land, and they aren’t asking nicely. While trying to protect Kylie, Aaron comes to terms with his unresolved anger and hatred toward those who killed his family. The dramatic ending expresses the love and forgiveness that we are only able to offer through Christ.
Tried & True is an engaging beginning to the Wild at Heart series. I enjoyed the humor, romance, and suspense while learning more about life on the frontier and how the Civil War affected individual lives in that era. I am looking forward to reading the future books in this series.
I received this book for free from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for an honest review.
Book three in the Montana Marriages series continues the story of Wade Sawyer and Glowing Sun, a white woman who was raised by a Flathead tribe after her biological family died. Wade helped rescue Glowing Sun from some white men who took her from her Flathead family in The Husband Tree. Tragedy strikes her village just before Wade learns his abusive father needs him back at the ranch. Glowing Sun reluctantly goes with Wade to make sure he honors his father. Her spunk and honesty challenge Wade to stand up to his father in this romantic comedy.
The Husband Tree is the second book in the Montana Marriages trilogy, and in it, Mary Connealy takes us on a cattle drive with the Harden family and some hired hands. Over the mountains and through the woods to Helena we go.
Belle Harden has three beautiful, hard-working daughters and a baby girl that she carries with her as she rides. Having had three husbands, who did as little as possible around the ranch before they each died, has taught Belle to rely on her own strength and knowledge for running her ranch. She doesn’t take kindly to a hired hand trying to take the reins from her, and she definitely isn’t looking for another husband, but circumstances put her in an awkward position with a man to whom she is actually attracted.
This is another humorous love story from Mary Connealy.
The final book of the Lassoed in Texas trilogy is set in a small town that lies at the end of the “orphan train”, and a single man named Grant adopts all the “leftovers”–the kids who have a disability, appear angry, look troublesome, or are too young or old, and haven’t been chosen by any family at any of the stops along the way. Hannah Cartwright, the new school teacher, fears for the safety of the children entrusted to the care of a single man, since she had been adopted by the same evil man as Grace Calhoun (Calico Canyon). Grant does his best to convince the meddling schoolmarm of his good intentions, but circumstances continually paint him in a poor light. Shirt Lady also complicates Grant’s life and adds to the mystery. Gingham Mountain ties up a few loose ends from the previous book while introducing an interesting cast of new characters.
Calico Canyon is the second book in the Lassoed in Texas trilogy and focuses on the new school teacher, Grace Calhoun, who was introduced in Petticoat Ranch as a severely prim and proper young woman. We learn in Calico Canyon about the man who has tormented Grace since adopting her as a child and who has now tracked her down to kill her. What will she have to do in order to escape his clutches?
Daniel Reeves, a widower with five rambunctious boys, accidentally brings home a new “ma” for his boys, and complete mayhem ensues when the local pastor comes calling. The dynamics between Daniel and his boys and their new ma make for a fascinating–and funny–story with a heartfelt ending.
As a book reviewer for Bethany House Publishers, I receive emails when they have new books to review, and I usually recognize at least one author, but a few months ago, I knew none of the authors on the list. Since I share all of the books with my mom, I asked her if she had a preference, and she said to request “anything by Mary Connealy”. Stuck Together was her newest book, and it was very entertaining. My mom then brought me several of Connealy’s previous novels, which I voraciously read and thoroughly enjoyed over the next three weeks. I will be posting reviews of these nine books over the next couple weeks.
Petticoat Ranch is the first book in the Lassoed in Texas trilogy and is set in the 1860’s. Sophie Edwards is a fiercely independent widow and mother of four young girls. She can hunt and provide for her girls and protect herself and them if need be. She’s smart, strong, and self-sufficient. One night, she and her oldest two girls bravely rescue a complete stranger, who looks oddly familiar.
Clay McClellan is searching for the murderers responsible for his brother’s death, but he discovers a family he didn’t know he had. He tries to do the honorable thing and take care of them, but he may have met his match.
God allows two men to hear Sophie’s silent prayers for help and sends them to West Texas, but will they reach her in time?
Petticoat Ranch had me laughing out loud and sharing short sections with my husband. Mary Connealy definitely wrote this series for women with its strong female characters, handsome cowboys, laughter, and tears. This is a very entertaining story, and my mom and I highly recommend it.