Review: “Stuck Together” by Mary Connealy

Sometimes it’s good to read a story that is funny and endearing with realistic characters. Stuck Together by Mary Connealy is one like that. It’s her third and final book in the “Trouble in Texas” series, though it could be read as a standalone story, too. (For my review of “Fired Up” in this same series, click here)

18469501Synopsis from Goodreads: 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.

Vince Yates finds himself in circumstances out of his control – he’s not used to being helpless. He’s an in-charge type, ready to lead and get through any situation – including corralling Tina as she pickets and badgers citizens who frequent the saloon (but really, he’s just trying to protect her). This results in some very comical mishaps.

Vince must rely on his friends when his father, mother, and unknown sister show up in Broken Wheel. To further complicate things, Vince is the temporary sheriff who has to track down an unknown menace, keep prisoners from escaping jail, and keep an eye on his addled mother.

Tina is feisty, independent, and able to take care of herself. Underneath a tough façade, though, she feels unloved because of her family history. She was orphaned when young, raised by her cold aunt, and now feels like a burden to her brother, Jonas. When she and Vince are attracted to each other, each has his and her reasons for not wanting to have a relationship. His, because he doesn’t want to end up like his mother or father, and hers, because she still feels unlovable.

God has other plans, however, as He shows them the beauty of His provision, second chances, and the power and strength of friendship. I thoroughly enjoyed this latest from Mary Connealy!

 

Connect with Mary Connealy at her website, on Facebook, or Twitter.

Note: Thank you to Bethany House for the complimentary copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

Book Review: “Fired Up” by Mary Connealy

If you know me well, you know that I love a variety of movie genres (and book, too. My favorite book genre is probably historical fiction). As long as I can remember, thanks to my parents, I have been watching westerns. I like everything from the old black & white TV westerns, John Wayne films, and more current westerns like Wyatt Earp and True Grit.

It should come as no surprise that I also enjoy written westerns, in book form. Recently I’ve discovered Mary Connealy, who authors adventurous westerns with romantic comedy elements. Seriously, I’ve laughed out loud on more than one occasion while reading her books. So far, I’ve read her Kincaid Brides series and the first two of her Trouble in Texas series.

"Fired Up" by Mary Connealy

Fired Up, her latest from the Trouble in Texas series, is a thrilling tale set in 1868 Texas shortly after the Civil War. It includes characters from the first book in the series, Swept Away. Dare Riker, the self-educated town doctor, contends with someone mysteriously trying to kill him while fighting his increasing attraction to widow Glynna Greer. Through a series of perilous attempts on his life, Glynna and his group of friends from the war must work together to protect Dare and thwart his unknown enemy. As a result, Dare and Glynna are drawn closer together due to various circumstances. They admit their growing attraction, much to the woe of Glynna’s mistrusting teenage son, Paul.

Fired Up completely held my attention, keeping me up flipping pages until the “wee hours” of the morning. I really liked how Mary picked up where Swept Away ended, diving in with the same central cast of characters. Equally including elements of drama, adventure, mystery, and romance, Mary tackled often difficult subjects such as forgiveness, domestic abuse, and the Civil War with care, empathy, and a great sense of humor. I thoroughly enjoyed watching Dare and Glynna’s characters grow and mature during the course of the novel. I can’t wait to see what Mary has in store next for this group of friends in Texas!

So, if you enjoy historical fiction or westerns, check out Mary Connealy’s Fired Up, recently released from Bethany House Publishers.

Note: I received a complimentary copy of this book from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group, in exchange for an honest review. The opinions expressed in this review are solely mine.