Saturday, November 15, 2014

Stuck Together #3 by Mary Connealy

Book Description

When a lawman who values order gets stuck with a feisty crusader who likes to stir things up, there's going to be trouble in Texas! 

Now that she's settled in town, Tina Cahill is determined to get Broken Wheel's saloon closed for good. To that end, she pickets outside the place every afternoon. Unfortunately, so far no one has paid any attention.

With nearly every other man in town married off, Vince finds himself stuck with strong-willed Tina over and over again. Of course, Tina is the prettiest woman he's ever seen, so if he could just get her to give up her crazy causes, he might go ahead and propose. But he's got one more surprise coming his way: Tina's picketing at the saloon has revealed a dark secret that could put everyone Vince loves in danger.

My Review

Vincent Yates, also known as Invincible Vince. He got his name because he never lets anything get to him. His friends gave him the nickname during their time in Andersonville, a civil war prison in Georgia. If there was trouble brewing, Vince was always there, on guard to stop it before it even had a chance to happen. But what’s behind that thick layer of muscle and brains? What made him so tough?

I love how the story unfolds with Vince’s family, and his mother. With her condition, it just made it heart wrenching through the rough times and heartwarming in the end.

Tina Cahill knows how to stir up a crowd! I never knew a brawl could be so hilarious and entertaining! Or that one girl could start it all! She was a wonderful addition to this series back in “Fired Up” but even better when we see her in this one. I was so glad to see this story revolve around her and Vince.
Tina has some problems, feeling like she will never fit in or be loved. Everyone has always sort of cast her aside. But she’s not one to wallow in self-pity; she’ll stand up and be on her own before she becomes someone else’s burden. But everyone has come to love Tina and couldn’t think to live without her. With her brother now courting Vince’s sister, I can’t blame Tina for feeling pushed aside, forgotten. Poor Tina doesn’t even believe Vince loves her; she’s just a pesky girl he can’t wait to get rid of. But Vince has a secret that he has vowed he will never curse another living soul with and he intends to keep it that way.

But Vince and Tina’s love isn’t the only thing hanging in the balance. The Indians and everyone in Broken Wheel teeter on the brink of War. First someone shoots at Luke and Ruthy and then again at the Indian Chief helping Luke track down the scoundrel who first shot at them! That sets the whole tribe in an uproar. If Luke and his friends can’t find the man who shot at them and been selling whiskey to the Indians there will be trouble in Texas.

Vince has to learn to let go of the things he can’t control, handing them over to the One who controls all things and trust in him. Tina has to learn that she is loved and doesn’t have to do things by herself. They’re all in it together, their stuck together.

“There are friends who destroy one another, but a real friend sticks closer than a brother.” ~Proverbs 18:24

It was the perfect book to end this amazing series! I give this book a 5 out of 5 stars!

I received this book for free from the publisher’s in exchange for this honest and unbiased review as part of Bethany House's Blogging Review program.

My Note:

I was as instantly, and quite literally, as swept away by this series as Ruthy was in the very first few chapters!

I have been so excited to share with all my friends, and my readers, about the series (I know some have already heard me tell them twice now that they need to read them!) and have found so much joy in talking about them.
My advice to you all: read them in order. Surely, they can be read from any point and still be quite enjoyable. But getting to know each character, how their stories unfold, and how they ended up where they did, in full detail, helps you to truly fall for each and every one of them. I tried reading the last book first and I just couldn’t connect to it.
However, as soon as I read the other two (I had to borrow the first two books from the library or who knows when I could have read them. But now I wish I had bought them! I still will, soon), I felt this overwhelming sense of friendship and love toward every single one of them. I was completely connected and devoted to seeing this series through. I couldn’t have felt that had I not read them in order.

Mary Connealy was smart, humorous, and downright splendid in this series, and I am highly recommending everyone to read them. I can’t wait to start reading the Kincaid Brides. I was so tripped out that the series had a seamless connection (the last book is about Luke’s sister and her husband!)

You won’t find much trouble getting hooked, as you will find it in Broken Wheel, Texas! Have fun, y’all!

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Fired Up #2 by Mary Connealy

Book Description

Rollicking Wild West Adventure and Romance from Bestselling Author Mary Connealy

Dare Riker is a doctor who saves lives, but someone seems determined to end his. It may have something to do with the traitors he dealt with during the Civil War, or it might be related to the recent incident with Flint Greer and the ranch. Whoever the culprit is, he or she seems really fired up, and Dare can't let his guard down for a moment, which is a challenge, since right now he's trying to win the heart of the recently widowed Glynna.

Glynna can't help but notice that danger follows Dare wherever he goes. There's the avalanche. And then the fire. But things really get out of hand when someone plunges a knife from Glynna's diner into Dare's back. Are Flint's cronies still plotting revenge? Is Glynna's son engaged in a misguided attempt to protect his mother? Is a shadowy outsider still enraged over past injustices? And can Dare survive long enough to convince Glynna to take another chance on love?

My Review

Continuing shortly after saving Mrs. Glynna Greer and her two children, and regaining Luke’s land, this story turns our attention to Dare Ricker, the local, and only doctor in all of Broken Wheel. Having learned all he knows from working in Andersonville, a civil war prison in Georgia. He feels he’s lying and cheating by calling himself a doctor. He didn’t get proper schooling for his skill; he’s no more a doctor than Tug Andrews is an honest tradesman. He decides he can’t be a doctor anymore and begins pursuit of becoming a rancher. Which he knows absolutely nothing about!

As for Glynna and her two children, Janny and Paul, things are going as well as can be expected for a widower of a man who bullied people out of their homes to steal their land and beat her nearly senseless. Both Glynna and her son Paul harbor a lot of anger towards her second husband, but it seems there’s even more behind her first husband story than originally thought. She likes Dare Riker, she’s thankful for him and his friends rescuing her and her children, but she can’t seem to get past her fears. The last two men she married were horrible scoundrels and had left her, and her family, broken and bruised in one way or another.

Dare Riker is still sweet on Glynna and it’s becoming harder and harder to stay away from her. But he’s worried more about her son, Paul. A young man like him shouldn’t be carrying around so much anger and hate, and yet here he is threatening Dare’s life if he doesn’t stay away from his Ma. Which turns Paul into a suspect when Dare’s house is suddenly set ablaze in the middle of the night, set up to kill the good Doctor. If that weren’t bad enough, he’d narrowly escaped an avalanche a couple weeks before that! Coincident? Vince doesn’t think so. Everything is piecing together and it seems someone is out to kill Dare Riker. But, who? Could it really be Glynna’s son Paul?

“A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for the triple-braided cord is not easily broken.” ~Ecclesiastes 4:12 (NLT)

I love how Dare’s friends all care and come to his aid, without even asking. They stand by him and they watch out for one another.

Dare is hilarious. One of my favorites was when he was getting annoyed with Paul and his attitude.

“Dare wondered if God ever got plump tired of the people He’d created.”

I’ve wondered that as well. Lol. How exhausting we must be!
My second favorite is when Tina Cahill, Jonas Cahill’s, the parson’s, sister rolls into town! Expecting that chubby young woman he once knew, which meant he had less to worry about some lowdown cowpoke chasing after her, here tumbles in the most beautiful girl in all of Broken Wheel! Some would argue in all of Texas. No man can take his eyes off of her! Which makes one man in particular stumble like a drunken fool, head over heels for Tina Cahill. That makes Jonas rather upset and very protective over his little sister.

“[Tina,] smiling, as if begging each and every man to say something that might get him punched by a preacher.”
Tina’s a little spitfire too! She is an amazing addition to the cast.

I loved the message of the story. It’s about trust and forgiveness, even to those who don’t deserve it. Holding on to anger and hatred keeps us bound tight in the very chains we thought we’d escaped. The hardest part is letting go and both Dare and Glynna learn to trust one another.

I have to say, this one of my all favorites in all the series. The title perfectly describes not only Dare Riker, but also many of the characters and the situations they all encounter throughout this book. It’s filled with humor, action, and mystery that well keeps you on your toes!

I give this book a 5 out of 5 stars!

Swept Away #1 by Mary Connealy

Book Description

Laughter, Romance, and Action Abound in This New Series from Mary Connealy

Swept away when her wagon train attempts a difficult river crossing, Ruthy MacNeil isn't all that upset at being separated from the family who raised her. All they've ever done is work her to the bone. She prayed for a chance to get away, and then came the raging flood. Alive but disoriented, she's rescued by Luke Stone. . .so unfortunately, there are more chances to die in her immediate future.

Luke is heading home to reclaim the ranch stolen from his family. But the men who killed his father are working hard to ensure Luke doesn't make it alive. He has no choice but to keep moving. Still, he can't just abandon Ruthy, so she'll have to come along.

His friends--a ragtag group of former Civil War soldiers--take a fast interest in the pretty gal. Luke thinks that's rather rude--he's the one who found her. And the more time he spends around the hard-working young woman who is a mighty good cook, the more he finds himself thinking beyond revenge and toward a different future. For the first time in a long time, Luke is tempted to turn from his destructive path and be swept away by love.

My Review

Oh, what a book, what a book! Funny, charming, and full of Texas action! And not just from the men. I couldn’t wait to read the next two books! I am serious! But you can read about the other two soon. Today I’m talking about book 1 in the Trouble in Texas series.

Right off the bat, I fell in love with both Ruthy and Luke. Ruthy, this strong and determined woman who grew up with a family half her life who selfishly used and mistreated her until the day a storm swept them all away. A handsome man rescues her on the side of the river and brings her to Broken Wheel, Texas. A little town in the middle of nowhere, in the middle of Indian Territory, full of ragamuffin men! Thank goodness, she didn’t have to deal with much other men. Just Luke, Dare, Jonas, and Vince.

Luke heads back to Broken Wheel to reclaim his land, the S Bar S, from a no good thieving man who seems to have run every other rancher out of land and house, and seek revenge for his father’s murder. Calling on his regulator friends to help in the fight. The friends he made in Andersonville, a civil war prison in Georgia. The bond they formed there is stronger than any biological bond could have produced.

“There are friends who destroy each other, but a real friend sticks closer than a brother.” ~Proverbs 18:24 (NLT)

This verse is the very foundation for this amazing series. It’s their favorite reminder of how strong and deep their friendship and trust runs in one another. And it truly does. They are ready and willing to lay down their lives to help Luke.
Ruthy can see this all too well. And I think it’s what attracts her to Luke. Their relationship was perfect executed. Not only did suit each other, but it went right along with the theme of being swept away.

If you thought this was just another Texas romance, you are sadly mistaken. You get plenty of that Texas action spice. Especially, nearest the end when Ruthy joins in to save Luke. She’s no city girl; she can track and shoot a gun better than any man in Broken Wheel, maybe even all of Texas. And she isn’t afraid of backing down from doing whatever is right.

What’s so great about this story is it’s not all about Luke and Ruthy. Oh no, it’s much more!

When Dare, the local, and only, doctor in Broken Wheel is called out to S Bar S Ranch, he meets an infuriating snob of a woman, Glynna. She doesn’t want his help, she refuses to pay for any help she does receive, and she demands he leave her alone. But come to find out when he is called out, yet again, to the S Bar S, that her husband Flint Greer is physically abusing her. When he realizes his mistake, he wants to put a bullet through the man that would lay his hands on a woman. But Flint Greer is a wild man and would kill anyone for so much as looking at his wife or anything that belonged to him. That’s when everyone’s plans change from getting Luke’s ranch back to rescuing Mrs. Greer and her two children.

Luke still seeks out vengeance for his father’s murder in the midst of it all. But before he goes to fight for his ranch and Mrs. Greer, his friend Jonas says something rather profound.

“If you want God on your side, you’d better be on His.”

Wow, right? If we want God on our side we need to do things his way. That was just too amazing, I couldn’t get that out of my head (still can’t). Neither could Luke.

I could talk about the book all day! Hopefully you will enjoy it as much as I have. And I look forward to sharing my reviews for the next two!

I give this book a 5 out of 5 stars!