Monday, April 8, 2019

Review & Giveaway: The Unexpected Champion by Mary Connealy

Book Three in the High Sierra Sweethearts series

Heidi Reads... The Unexpected Champion by Mary Connealy

My rating: 4 stars / I really liked it


City dweller John McCall never expected to be out in the High Sierras of 1868 on a wild-goose chase to find the Chiltons' supposedly lost grandson. But now that he's out here, things have gotten even more complicated, mostly due to wildcat Penny Scott. She's not like any woman he's ever met--comfortable in the woods, with a horse, and with a gun.

When Penny and John are taken against their will by a shadowy figure looking for evidence they don't have, both realize they've stumbled into something dangerous and complicated. With their friends and family desperately searching for them, Penny and John must make a daring escape.

When they emerge back into the real world, they are confronted with a kidnapper who just won't stop. They must bring a powerful, ruthless man to justice, even as this city man and country woman fight a very inconvenient attraction to each other.

My Review

The conclusion to the High Sierra Sweethearts series did not disappoint! Full of adventure, humor, and tough characters with tender hearts. I enjoyed getting to know Penny more, and John had some surprises up his sleeve in this book! He has a great attitude, and I was impressed that he was so proactive in hunting down his kidnapper instead of remaining a victim. Penny and he are a great match as they both learn from each other's very different skill set. I liked the new settings the characters explored and the new types of adventure as they investigate in the city. I felt like this third book brought something fresh to the series as well as wrapping up the loose ends of the mystery and bringing more of the characters we fell in love with in the first two books. I'd love to read novellas for Adam and Utah!

(I received a complimentary copy of the book; all opinions in this review are my own)

Don't miss the previous books in the High Sierra Sweethearts series . . .

Book One
 Heidi Reads... The Accidental Guardian by Mary Connealy


She's the only witness to a wagon train attack. Keeping her safe, though, means his world is about to be turned upside down.

When Trace Riley finds the smoldering ruins of a small wagon train, he recognizes an attack by the same group who left him as sole survivor years ago. Living off the wilderness since then, he's finally carved out a home and started a herd--while serving as a self-appointed guardian of the trail. He'd hoped the days of driving off dangerous men were over, but the latest attack shows otherwise.

Deborah Harkness saved her younger sister and two toddlers during the attack, and now finds herself at the mercy of her rescuer. Trace becomes an accidental guardian when he offers the only shelter for miles around and agrees to take them in until they can safely continue their journey. His simple bachelor existence never anticipated kids and women in the picture and their arrival is unsettling--yet enticing.

Trace and Deborah find themselves drawing ever closer as they work together to bring justice to the trail and help the group survive the winter--but every day closer to spring means a day closer to leaving the mountains forever.

Book Two
Heidi Reads... The Reluctant Warrior by Mary Connealy


Union army officer Cameron Scott is used to being obeyed, but nothing about this journey to Lake Tahoe has gone as expected. He's come to fetch his daughter and nephew, and seek revenge on the people who killed his brother. Instead he finds himself trapped by a blizzard with two children who are terrified of him and stubborn but beautiful Gwen Harkness, who he worries may be trying to keep the children.

When danger descends on the cabin where they're huddled, Cam is hurt trying to protect everyone and now finds Gwen caring for him too. He soon realizes why the kids love her so much and wonders if it might be best for him to move on without them. When she sees his broken heart, Gwen decides to help him win back their affection--and in the process he might just win her heart as well.


Mary Connealy writes “romantic comedies with cowboys” and is celebrated for her fun, zany, action-packed style. She has more than half a million books in print. She is the author of the popular series Wild at Heart, Kincaid Brides, Trouble in Texas, Lassoed in Texas, Sophie’s Daughters, and many other books. Mary lives on a ranch in eastern Nebraska with her very own romantic cowboy hero.

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