Thursday, January 7, 2016

Review: Fire and Ice by Mary Connealy

Heidi Reads... Fire and Ice by Mary Connealy

My rating: 5 stars / It was amazing


Bailey Wilde is one of the best new ranchers in the West. She's been living disguised as a man for a while, but when Gage Coulter comes to drive her off her homestead, he quickly realizes he's dealing with a woman--a very tough, very intriguing woman at that.

Gage is an honest man, but he didn't make his fortune being weak. He won't break the law, but he'll push as hard as he can within it. Five thousand acres of his best range land is lost to him because Bailey's homestead is located right across the only suitable entrance to a canyon full of lush grass. Gage has to regain access to his land--and he's got to go through Bailey to do it.

Spending a winter alone has a way of making a person crave some human contact. In a moment of weakness, Bailey agrees to a wild plan Gage concocts. Can these two independent, life-toughened homesteaders loosen up enough to earn each other's respect--and maybe find love in
the process?

My Review

The author's trademark humor and action are in full play in this novel, but what stood out to me was the layers and depth of Bailey's character. I've been looking forward to her story since in the previous two books she seemed like the toughest and hardest of the three Wilde sisters. Her father encouraged her to go to war dressed as a man, and the experiences she had not only strengthened her, but gave her vulnerabilities she struggles to overcome. We see both sides of her personality as her ranch is threatened and she endures a harsh lonely winter. Gage is also a contrast of strength and vulnerability and once they let their guard down, the two connect in ways that help heal their trauma from the past. I enjoyed reading the conflict Gage's mother brings into the mix with several chuckles, and was glad that the sisters' dysfunctional relationship with their father was finally put to rest. This book reads well as a stand alone but I recommend you read the whole Wild at Heart series for full enjoyment- they are all 5 stars in my book!

(Thank you to Bethany House Publishing for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review)

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