On My Kindle ~ Stuck Together by Mary Connealy

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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! 

Tina Cahill, newly arrived from the East, is determined to get the saloon in Broken Wheel, Texas, closed for good. To that end, she pickets outside the place every afternoon. Unfortunately, so far no one has paid any attention.

Vince Yates earned the nickname “Invincible Vince” because of his reputation for letting absolutely nothing stop him. Not his tyrant of a father. Nor the injuries he suffered in the Civil War. Nor the fact that he is Broken Wheel’s only attorney and sheriff yet has no law degree.

But Vince is about to face his biggest challenge yet: his past has just caught up with him. His father, mother, and the sister he didn’t know he had show up in Broken Wheel without warning. His father is still a schemer. His mother is suffering signs of dementia. And his surprise sister immediately falls for one of Vince’s best friends. Vince has a lot of people to take care of, and Tina doesn’t approve of how he’s handling any of them. But with almost all the other men in town married off, Vince finds himself stuck with feisty 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 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.

Sharing my thoughts~

There are only a handful of historical authors whose books I automatically snatch up, and Connealy, queen of romantic comedy with cowboys, is one of them. She had me chuckling from the very first scene, a wild saloon brawl instigated by the heroine. Tina, a woman who’s been abandoned for most of her life, is always thinking of causes to fight for, and she’s determined to shut down the saloon by picketing. As much as she annoys Vince, a self-acclaimed lawyer and a not-wannabe town-appointed sheriff, he can’t help but appreciate her spunkiness. 

Broken Wheel was a north Texas town set smack-dab in the middle of Indian Territory. Only idiots lived here, and idiots rarely needed a lawyer. Vince figured it was only fair to count himself and all of his friends among the idiots.

Vince hightailed it away from his childhood home after he healed from the war, escaping a mother with dementia and a tyrant father. But that doesn’t last long and Invincible Vince finds himself caretaker for his mother and a sister he never knew existed. As much as he might enjoy a lasting relationship with Tina, Vince recognizes that it’s only a matter of time before it becomes apparent which parent he’ll take after, and he refuses to pass either of those genes down to a child or to saddle his wife with a tyrant or a man who can’t remember her name. For me, how and when Vince finally resolves this issue seemed hasty and a bit rushed. But then, he was tracking down a…well, I won’t spoil your reading pleasure. 🙂

We met Vince and Tina in the second book in the Trouble in Texas series, Fired Up, where the fireworks were already sparking between these two. You can read my review here. All of the Trouble in Texas books can be read as stand alones, but really, why not scoop them up and settle in for a few laughs? With subtle spiritual references, both mainstream and inspirational romance lovers will enjoy Stuck Together.

Disclaimer: Sending a big thank you to Bethany House Publishers and NetGalley for allowing me the privilege of reviewing Stuck Together and for the free copy I received in exchange for my fair and unbiased review. This opinion is my own, and I received no compensation.

Have you read FIRED UP by Mary Connealy?

Fired Up
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About the book~Fired UpTrouble in Texas Book 2

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 Greer came west as a mail-order bride and ended up in a bad situation. Now her husband, Flint, is dead, and she’s determined to care for her son and daughter on her own. She wants to believe Dare Riker is as decent as he seems, but she’s terrified to lock herself into another marriage. She plans to support her small family by opening a diner–never mind that cooking is not her greatest talent. The men in Broken Wheel, Texas, are so desperate for home cooking that they seem willing to overlook dried-out beef and blackened biscuits.

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 summary~
Feeling like a fraud because of his lack of schooling, Dare Riker isn’t convinced he’s supposed to be a doctor. Glynna and the rest of the town know that he’s the closest thing to a doctor Broken Wheel will ever have. Dare saved Glynna from the rough treatment of her deceased husband, and his heart’s set on marrying her, but Glynna promised her son she’d not marry again without his blessing. When danger strikes Dare more than once, he can only hope it’s not Glynna’s son intent on killing him.

My opinion…

Glynna wasn’t the typical Connealy heroine: headstrong, gun-toting, and a ‘save the hero from himself’ kinda gal, but she wasn’t weak, either. After surviving her second husband’s abuse, she was determined not to marry again and to make it on her own. She opened a diner, but couldn’t cook, and I enjoyed a twist from the normal stereotype.

I also loved how the author set up the chemistry between Vince and Tina, secondary characters. I’m hoping that’s because Vince and Tina’s story is up next in the Trouble in Texas series. 🙂

Sparks always fly in a Connealy novel, and you’re guaranteed a few laughs. This one was no different. A theme of forgiveness weaves throughout the book so naturally, it’s seamless and as essential to the plot as the romance. I enjoyed a few hours reconnecting with Glynna and Dare, and I can’t wait to read Connealy’s next Romantic Comedy with Cowboys. Will it feature Vince and Tina?

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Disclaimer: Sending a big thank you to Bethany House Publisher and NetGalley for providing me with an advance review copy of Fired Up. The opinions expressed in this review are my own, and I received no monetary compensation.

Have you read Fired Up? 
Do you agree with my review? What were your thoughts?
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SWEPT AWAY by Mary Connealy ~ My Review

About the book~
Swept away when her wagon train attempts a difficult river crossing, Ruthy MacNeil isn’t terribly upset at being separated from the family who raised her. All they’ve ever done is work her to the bone. Alive but disoriented, she’s rescued by Luke Stone…so unfortunately, there are more chances to die in her immediate future.

Luke is on a mission to reclaim the ranch stolen from his family. But the men currently on the property won’t let it go without a fight. Luke plans to meet up with friends who will help him take back the land, and since he can’t just leave Ruthy in the middle of nowhere, she’s going to have to go with him.

But the more time Luke spends around the hardworking young woman, the more he finds himself thinking of things besides revenge. Will Ruthy convince him to give up his destructive path and be swept away by love?

In my humble opinion~
Ruthy MacNeil is a hard worker, and her “adoptive” family takes advantage of that. They also intend for her to marry their son once they reach their destination. Ruthy’s not so fond of that idea, or the family, and is looking for an escape when the wagon she’s steering gets swept away (don’t you just love the title?) from the train. Luke Stone refuses to leave her behind, even if it means hauling her into the middle of his fight to win back his ranch. Both characters, along with the supporting cast, are sure to wiggle their way into your heart.

Ever read a book where you alternated between smiling and biting your nails? Well, if I bit my nails, this would be the book. Fast-paced action mingled with just the right amount of romance and humor will keep you turning pages long after your bedtime, and is sure to leave you with a smile on your face after you’ve shut down your kindle. Recommended for all historical lovers, and even those who aren’t. Give Mary Connealy (the master of “romantic comedies…with cowboys”) and Swept Away a chance. You might become a Connealy fan like me.  

Swept Away will be available on March 1st, but you can pre-order it here.

Disclaimer: A huge thanks to NetGalley and Baker Publishing Group/Bethany House for providing me with a free copy in exchange for my fair and unbiased review.