Showing posts with label Mary Connealy. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Mary Connealy. Show all posts

Monday, February 5, 2018

Review: Hearts Entwined: A Historical Romance Novella Collection by Karen Witemeyer, Mary Connealy, Regina Jennings, Melissa Jagears

Heidi Reads... Hearts Entwined: A Historical Romance Novella Collection by Karen Witemeyer, Mary Connealy, Regina Jennings, Melissa Jagears

My rating: 4 stars / I really liked it


The path to love is filled with twists and turns in these stories of entangled romance with a touch of humor from four top historical romance novelists! Includes Karen Witemeyer's The Love Knot, Mary Connealy's The Tangled Ties That Bind, Regina Jennings's Bound and Determined, and Melissa Jagears's Tied and True.

My Review

I always look forward to the next novella collection from these four authors! Hearts Entwined is especially fun because the main characters in each story are connected in some way to a full-length novel. I love seeing secondary characters get a happy ending, like in Karen Witemeyer's story, the last of her Ladies of Harper's Station series. Claire is reconnected with a sweetheart from her past that she doesn't quite know how to handle and another surprise bundle of joy.

In Mary Connealy's story, it is two of the children from her Kincaid and Stone families that are reunited as adults and quickly fall back in love. Connor follows Maggie to the city as she follows her dreams of becoming a doctor. I loved seeing them work together in the doctor's office and the crazy action they encountered there. I am definitely grateful for the advances that have been made in medicine!

Regina Jennings's story was full of humor and action as camels are transported from Kansas to Texas in the midst of brutal heat and an even more brutal outlaw gang. The sweet romance that developed between cavalry soldier Bradley and officer's daughter Ambrosia was full of sparks and it was fun to read their interactions.

The story by Melissa Jagears had an entitled socialite in love with a mere secretary and going to work in a factory to prove that she could live the life he could provide. I admired her determination in new and difficult circumstances, and the compassion she had for those in poverty she connected with. He fought so much against the relationship that she came across as desperate and I missed the romance until the end.

Overall I enjoyed each of the stories with the fascinating history and sweet romance, although it wasn't as toe-curling as some of the previous collections.

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

Monday, October 17, 2016

Review: No Way Up by Mary Connealy

Heidi Reads... No Way Up by Mary Connealy

My rating: 4 stars / I really liked it


When Cimarron ranch patriarch Chance Boden is caught in an avalanche, the quick actions of hired hand Heath Kincaid save him. Badly injured, Chance demands that his will be read and its conditions be enforced immediately.

Without anyone else to serve as a witness, Heath is pressed into reading the will. If Justin, Sadie, and Cole Boden don't live and work at home for the entire year, the ranch will go to their low-down cousin Mike.

Then Heath discovers the avalanche was a murder attempt, and more danger might follow. Deeply involved with the family, Heath's desire to protect Sadie goes far beyond friendship. The danger keeps them close together, and their feelings grow until being apart is the last thing on their minds.

My Review

I'm always excited to start a new series by Mary Connealy! I prepared by reading the free prequel novella ( The Biden Birthright) which gives the background of the legacy and the quick romance between the parents of the children who are featured in this book. I felt like much of the history was retold in No Way Up, but I think it was necessary for those who didn't read the prequel. The violent history of the ranch will definitely come into play with the future books of the series, so I was impressed that this one felt like it was wrapped up nicely while still enticing readers to continue with the next book. Sadie is a great heroine, strong-willed enough to keep her brothers from riding roughshod over her and determined to not be left out of any of the action. I loved that Heath didn't have a problem with that, but encouraged her independent spirit while also helping her understand the overprotectiveness of her family. Heath does some growing in the book, but we only hear him tell of the difference between who he was before, living under the thumb of his brothers, and now, out on his own working as a ranch hand. He and Sadie share a bond and both come to appreciate the love of their families and older brothers in particular. There is plenty of humor of course, especially in the banter, and I love that Heath always seems to have a twinkle in his eye. There are sparks between Sadie and Heath from the beginning, and all the action and trials they endure give them insight into each other's strengths. I can't wait to read the next book in the Cimarron Legacy series!

(Thank you to Bethany House Publishing for a copy of the book; this is my honest review)

Don't miss the FREE prequel novella to The Cimarron Legacy series, The Boden Birthright!

The Boden Birthright by Mary Connealy

After the death of his wife, prosperous businessman Chance Boden heads west along the Santa Fe Trail with his son to escape the powerful, controlling hands of his in-laws. He has plans to establish his own ranch, but instead he finds work with Frank Chastain, owner of a vast amount of land.

Chance doesn't want to work for anyone, but Frank's beautiful daughter gives him reason to delay buying his own holdings. With winter coming, no home in which to live, and Veronica's offer to care for young Cole while Chance learns the ways of successful ranching in the desert, Chance has little choice but to accept the Chastains' offer to stay on.

When Frank is attacked, his dying wish is that Chance marry his daughter, but after dealing with his in-laws, Chance isn't going to let anyone come between him and his son. Then Frank's precarious hold on the land he received as part of an old Spanish Land Grant forces Frank to make a desperate choice to save Veronica's inheritance--and also gives the men who attacked Frank reason to come after him.


Thursday, February 11, 2016

Review: With This Ring? by Karen Witemeyer, Mary Connealy, Regina Jennings, Melissa Jagears

Heidi Reads... With This Ring? by Karen Witemeyer, Mary Connealy, Regina Jennings, Melissa Jagears

My rating: 5 stars / It was amazing


Four top historical romance novelists team up in this new collection to offer stories of love and romance with a twist of humor. In Karen Witemeyer's "The Husband Maneuver," Marietta Hawkins decides to grab the reins when the ranch foreman she loves seems to be leaving forever. Regina Jennings offers "Her Dearly Unintended," where friends stranded by a rising river pretend to be newlyweds when a dangerous stranger arrives.

Mary Connealy's "Runaway Bride" finds a Texas ranger getting more than he expected when he rescues a young woman fleeing a dangerous arranged marriage. And Melissa Jagears' "Engaging the Competition" finds a young woman forced to assist the man she's often sparred with after an accident leaves him helpless. Each tale is a fun blend of history and romance that will delight readers.

My Review

I absolutely loved all these stories! They were each so interesting and unique with the angle of the plot, and all the stories have vibrant characters and settings. We get to revisit great characters from other books by Karen Witemeyer and Mary Connealy, but they are perfect as stand alone stories too. There is a fantastic element of humor throughout which kept me smiling as I read the predicaments the couples found themselves in. And the romance? So wonderful! I enjoyed all the novellas equally and highly recommend this collection!

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

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)

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Review: The Lassoed by Marriage Romance Collection by Mary Connealy, Angela Bell, Angela Breidenbach, Lisa Carter, Rebecca Jepson, Amy Lillard, Gina Welborn, Kathleen Y'Barbo, Rose Ross Zediker

Heidi Reads... The Lassoed by Marriage Romance Collection by Mary Connealy, Angela Bell, Angela Breidenbach, Lisa Carter, Rebecca Jepson, Amy Lillard, Gina Welborn, Kathleen Y'Barbo, Rose Ross Zediker

My rating: 5 stars / It was amazing


Come along on a romantic journey jam-packed with all the angst of marriages founded upon practical choices as well as coercion. Meet nine couples who barely know each other before they find themselves suddenly married—to please family, to stem the tide of gossip, to save the land—and joined for life. But can love grow when duty comes before romance?

My Review

Marriage of convenience is one of my favorite fiction themes, and here is a fabulous historical collection chock full of them! All the stories had vibrant characters with great chemistry, realistic settings, and well-rounded plots that wrap up nicely for the length of a novella. The majority I would rate 5 stars, a few would be 4 stars. My favorite was "The Sweetwater Bride" by Mary Connealy, focusing on Tanner, the son of Silas and Belle from her earlier book The Husband Tree. He is scouting his land in the harsh mountains and discovers Debba McClain, living alone on her family's hidden ranch, forgotten and completely isolated from society for five years. His protective instincts immediately creates a bond which takes a romantic turn as they get to know each others strengths and their attraction develops. Unfortunately, Tanner comes up with a creative way to get her off her land to meet his family, which puts him in hot water not only with Debba but also his mother when she finds out his methods. I highly recommend this collection and will definitely be reading it again.

(Thank you to Barbour Books for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review)

Saturday, September 26, 2015

E-book sale: $1.99 for Tried and True by Mary Connealy

Tried and True

Only $1.99 for the e-book of the first book in Mary Connealy's current series Wild at Heart. I loved the first two books Tried & True and Now & Forever, rating them both 5 stars. (Read my review for Tried & True here and Now & Forever here). The third and final book, Fire & Ice will be released on October 6th.
(Be sure to check the price since e-book sales are for a limited time)


Saddle up for a wildly fun ride with the Wilde sisters!

Kylie Wilde is the youngest sister—and the most civilized. Her older sisters might be happy dressing in trousers and posing as men, but Kylie has grown her hair long and wears skirts every chance she gets. It’s a risk—they are homesteading using the special exemptions they earned serving in the Civil War as “boys”—but Kylie plans to make the most of the years before she can sell her property and return to the luxuries of life back East.

Local land agent Aaron Masterson is fascinated with Kylie from the moment her long hair falls from her cap. But now that he knows her secret, can he in good conscience defraud the U.S. government? And when someone tries to force Kylie off her land, does he have any hope of convincing her that marrying him and settling on the frontier is the better option for her future?

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Review: With This Spark by Mary Connealy, Ruth Logan Herne, Pam Hillman, Myra Johnson

Heidi Reads... With This Spark by Mary Connealy, Ruth Logan Herne, Pam Hillman, Myra Johnson

My rating: 4 stars / I really liked it


With a love of God, country and romance, award-winning and best-selling authors Mary Connealy, Ruth Logan Herne, Myra Johnson and Pam Hillman take you back to a simpler time in America's past... but romance is never quite as simple as it might seem and these authors use their love of God and expertise to delight readers all over the world!

My Review

I'm a total novella junkie! I love the quick fix of starting and finishing a story at the end of a long day or during naptime. I'm always a fan of these short stories by my favorite authors like Mary Connealy, but collections like With This Spark also introduce me to authors I haven't read yet but discover that I love their style, like Pam Hillman! (I'm looking forward to reading more by her in the near future...) In fact, Castaway With the Cowboy was my favorite of this collection and I would give it an individual rating of 5 stars. The characters were ones I quickly connected with and there was enough action to make the story feel like a full-length novel. I also enjoyed Texas Tea by Mary Connealy, since it featured minor characters from some of her earlier books, but the explanation of how the families and individuals are connected would be confusing without reading the other books first (the Lassoed in Texas trilogy). All the stories feature that wonderful spark of attraction between the main characters that make me love reading romance ;)

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

Saturday, July 25, 2015

E-book sale: 99 cents each for the Hope For the Holidays historical and contemporary novella collections

(Be sure to check the price since e-book sales are for a limited time)
 Hope for the Holidays: Historical Collection
Only 99 cents for the e-book Hope for the Holidays: Historical Collection by Mary Connealy,  Ruth Logan Herne, Myra Johnson, and Julie Lessman. I really enjoyed this novella collection and rated it 4 stars!


"Sophie’s Other Daughter" by Mary Connealy
Laura McClellen is just answering a call for her big sister, Doctor Beth, at the Reeve's home. Ike Reeves shows up for a surprise Christmas visit, exhausted and filthy. Ike claims the right to escort Laura home and outlaws after Ike turn a simple ride into a fight for their lives.

"A Town Called Christmas" by Ruth Logan Herne
When gruff English pioneer Edward Stillwell offers a former prostitute a job, he gets more than he bargained for: a wagon train more! With winter rolling in, can Sylvie’s faith, hope and optimism be just what the guilt-laden Idaho rancher needs to love Christmas—and people-- again?

"Designs on Love" by Myra Johnson
Ranch foreman Jacob Collins has had designs on Vera Mae Beasley since their schooldays. When the pretty seamstress returns home to settle her late family's affairs, Jacob hopes his Christmas surprise will win her heart and convince her to stay.

"A Whisper of Hope" by Julie Lessman
With a husband dead set against adoption, Charity O’Connor Dennehy has barely a whisper of hope for more children, but if hope doesn’t disappoint … will it be enough to find a precious bundle under her tree?

Hope for the Holidays: Contemporary Collection

Only 99 cents for the e-book Hope for the Holidays: Contemporary Collection by Mary Connealy, Audra Harders, Ruth Logan Herne, Sandra Leesmith, Tina Radcliffe, and Missy Tippens. I really enjoyed this novella collection and rated it 4 stars!


"Hope for Christmas" by Mary Connealy
Kelsey is alone, lost, pregnant, stuck in a blizzard and surrounded by wolves.
And then things get worse. Tanner Harden finds her but with trouble coming and a baby at risk, can they stay alive long enough to fall in love?

“Her Christmas Cowboy” by Audra Harders
Can a single mother looking for forgiveness, and a reclusive cowboy convinced he’s beyond redemption, find hope and love in a simple Christmas pageant?

"Longing for a Miracle" by Ruth Logan Herne
Christmas dimmed when an automobile accident claimed Tasha Sorkos’s little girl… could saving Rafe Karralis’s sick daughter bring the light of faith, hope and love back into her eyes?

"A Heart Full of Hope" by Sandra Leesmith
Elena Delgado loves her father’s new business partner, Stephen Edwards. As they work together to find funding for the project that will bring jobs and hope to their small community in time for Christmas, will Stephen notice her? Or is he still in love with the fiancĂ©e who left him?

“I’ll be Home for Christmas” by Tina Radcliffe
Dr. Matthew Christopher doesn't believe in happily ever after. Can wedding planner Patience McCord melt the heart of the last bachelor in time for Christmas?

"One Perfect Gift" by Missy Tippens
In this sweet Cinderella story with a country music twist, a homeless single mother with a secret may get more than she expected for Christmas, including hope, love and home, sweet home.

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Review: Now & Forever by Mary Connealy

Heidi Reads... Now & Forever by Mary Connealy

My rating: 5 stars / It was amazing


Matthew Tucker survives a grizzly attack by jumping over a cliff into a rushing river. Unexpectedly, Shannon Wilde takes the plunge with him. Going through a series of waterfalls and rapids turns into a bonding experience.

By the time they battle their way back to civilization, Shannon has been thoroughly compromised, and only a wedding will do. A mountain man who loves to wander in the wilderness far from other people finds himself hitched to a young woman with a passel of relatives, a homestead, and a flock of sheep to care for.

As they learn to live with each other, strange things begin to happen on Shannon’s land. Someone evil clearly wants to drive them off, but whoever it is apparently didn’t count on Tucker. Trying to scare Matthew Tucker just makes him mad–and trying to hurt the woman he’s falling in love with sets off something even Matthew never expected.

My Review

Adventure, humor, and romance. The Mary Connealy triple threat delivers again! Shannon is devoted to her sheep, and Tucker becomes quickly devoted to Shannon, sheep and all. It's adorable how fast and hard he falls for her. He is a fascinating character as a mountain man who shuns society yet still treats Shannon with gentleness and respect. Since she never received that from her own father and was believed to be a man while serving as a medical assistant on the front lines of the Civil War, it's no wonder she falls in love with Tucker just as deeply. There are plenty of humorous and heartwrenching moments as they struggle to communicate, disagree and compromise, and fight for the safety of their farm and family. I can't wait to read the story of the third sister Bailey next!

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

Thursday, March 12, 2015

E-book sale: Only $1.99 for A Match Made in Texas by Karen Witemeyer, Mary Connealy, Regina Jennings, Carol Cox

Only $1.99 for the entire novella collection of A Match Made in Texas! (Normally it's $1.99 per story). I rated this book 5 stars and absolutely LOVED three of the stories- read my review here. Definitely a great deal you don't want to miss!


In the small town of Dry Gulch, Texas, a good-hearted busybody just can't keep herself from surreptitiously trying to match up women in dire straits with men of good character she hopes can help them. How is she to know she's also giving each couple a little nudge toward love?

A Cowboy Unmatched
Neill isn't sure who hired him to repair Clara's roof--he only knows Clara desperately needs his help. Can he convince this stubborn widow to let down her guard and take another chance on love?

An Unforeseen Match
Hoping to earn an honest wage on his way to the land rush, Clayton ends up on Grace's doorstep, lured by a classified ad. He may have signed on for more than he expected though--and he may have found the one woman who can keep him from moving on.

No Match for Love
Andrew can't fathom how refined Lucy ended up as the caretaker to his dotty aunt, and somehow her arrival has prompted even more bizarre occurrences around the ranch. When they join forces to unearth the truth, will the attraction between Andrew and Lucy develop into more?

Meeting Her Match
When the tables are turned and a tenderhearted meddler becomes the beneficiary of a matchmaking scheme, her world is turned upside down. As her entire life changes, will she finally be able to tell the banker's son how much she cares for him?