Doctor in Petticoats (Sophie's Daughters Series #1)

Doctor in Petticoats (Sophie's Daughters Series #1)

4.4 29
by Mary Connealy
     
 

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Beloved author of humorous western romances, Mary Connealy begins a new series with a bang when an idealistic nurse locks horns with an embittered doctor.

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Overview

Beloved author of humorous western romances, Mary Connealy begins a new series with a bang when an idealistic nurse locks horns with an embittered doctor.

Editorial Reviews

Love My 2 Dogs
First off, I have loved every book that Mary Connealy has written that I have read so far. I loved this one from the first page and I loved even more how some of the characters in this book are from her other series called, Montana Marriages, but you do not have to read that series first to get the whole story.

Mary Connealy is definitely an author that writes books that you just can't put down. I am looking forward to reading the next book in this series.
Tammy Graham

WV Stitcher
This was such a fast paced story that I didn't put it down, reading it in one sitting. I loved the character of Beth she is a self assured lady who also has a quick wit. I found myself laughing out loud on several occasions. I also enjoyed how the book bounces back and forth between the sisters. When Mandy realizes her marriage is a mistake, she feels like she has to honor her wedding vows and stick it out.

If your a fan of fast paced, historical christian fiction then you are going to love this book. This was my first time reading anything by Mary Connealy and she now has a new fan in me. I am anxious to read the next book in the series.
Brenda Castro

Once Upon A Romance
As with all of Mary Connealy’s books I’ve read, Doctor in Petticoats is a fast-moving entertaining story featuring a talented, strong, independent heroine that knows how to survive in the rugged, wild west. But Beth is so much more; she is sensitive, tender and compassionate able to understand Alex’s grueling past and how she can help in his times of need.

Doctor in Petticoats will touch each emotion by mixing humor...with subtle inspiration, throwing in other strong yet caring characters to give the reader a story hard to put down and wanting more when you come to the end. Lucky for us there are at least two more books in the series!
Trudy

Book Reviews by Molly
Mary Connealy's new series, Sophie's Daughters, is E-X-C-E-L-L-E-N-T! I loved EVERYTHING about this book, from Mary's seasoned writing to the plot to sweet Sophie herself. There was no way I was putting this book down once I got started...Doctor in Petticoats is more than 5 star worthy, and should be read again and again....and again!
Molly Edwards
Loves 2 Read
Mary Connealy is a wonderful writer, and the thoughts that run through her characters minds are always intriguing and good for a few chuckles.

She is a great storyteller. Her books just keep getting better and better.
— Susan Milby

Hott Books
I knew I shouldn't have started this! I picked it up to while away an hour and then got frustrated when I only had an hour! Then I stayed up too late reading and couldn't let it go until I was finished. I laughed the whole way through the book - I was laughing out loud before I was finished the second page!
Regina Hott
Abbies Reading Corner
This book was amazing! I simply loved it!! I have not enjoyed a book this much in a long time. I lost sleep reading this book I could just not put it down! Mary Connealy is an amazing writer. I was a little worried when I saw her writing about the main character of the 3rd book in the series in the first but she did it beautifully. I was so drawn into these characters I started looking at other books of the author and found Beth was the daughter of one of the characters from a earlier book. I now want to go back and read all about her and all the other books that came before this one. The characters come across as real with problems to over come but you just fall in love with them. As soon as I finished this book I started on the 2nd in the series and found myself running for the 3rd as soon as it was done. A must read if you enjoy a good western Christian romance!
Abbie Tireman
Night Owl Reviews
Conneally did a great job in showing us that with faith and hope anything is possible especially to a man who thinks he’s given up. There is more to this series and definitely each one is getting better than ever.

— Tammie King

It Just Dawned on Me

Mary Connealy is one of my favorite Christian authors and the the book, Doctor in Petticoats, did not disapoint. It was a delight to revisit the McClellen clan with the daughters all grown up! The novel contained all the humor, suspense, danger, love and faith that I've come to expect in a Connealy offering.

— Dawn Castor

Once Upon A Romance - Trudy

As with all of Mary Connealy’s books I’ve read, Doctor in Petticoats is a fast-moving entertaining story featuring a talented, strong, independent heroine that knows how to survive in the rugged, wild west. But Beth is so much more; she is sensitive, tender and compassionate able to understand Alex’s grueling past and how she can help in his times of need.

Doctor in Petticoats will touch each emotion by mixing humor...with subtle inspiration, throwing in other strong yet caring characters to give the reader a story hard to put down and wanting more when you come to the end. Lucky for us there are at least two more books in the series!

Book Reviews by Molly - Molly Edwards

Mary Connealy's new series, Sophie's Daughters, is E-X-C-E-L-L-E-N-T! I loved EVERYTHING about this book, from Mary's seasoned writing to the plot to sweet Sophie herself. There was no way I was putting this book down once I got started...Doctor in Petticoats is more than 5 star worthy, and should be read again and again....and again!
Loves 2 Read - Susan Milby

Mary Connealy is a wonderful writer, and the thoughts that run through her characters minds are always intriguing and good for a few chuckles.
She is a great storyteller. Her books just keep getting better and better.
Hott Books - Regina Hott

I knew I shouldn't have started this! I picked it up to while away an hour and then got frustrated when I only had an hour! Then I stayed up too late reading and couldn't let it go until I was finished. I laughed the whole way through the book - I was laughing out loud before I was finished the second page!
WV Stitcher - Brenda Castro

This was such a fast paced story that I didn't put it down, reading it in one sitting. I loved the character of Beth she is a self assured lady who also has a quick wit. I found myself laughing out loud on several occasions. I also enjoyed how the book bounces back and forth between the sisters. When Mandy realizes her marriage is a mistake, she feels like she has to honor her wedding vows and stick it out.

If your a fan of fast paced, historical christian fiction then you are going to love this book. This was my first time reading anything by Mary Connealy and she now has a new fan in me. I am anxious to read the next book in the series.

Abbies Reading Corner - Abbie Tireman

This book was amazing! I simply loved it!! I have not enjoyed a book this much in a long time. I lost sleep reading this book I could just not put it down! Mary Connealy is an amazing writer. I was a little worried when I saw her writing about the main character of the 3rd book in the series in the first but she did it beautifully. I was so drawn into these characters I started looking at other books of the author and found Beth was the daughter of one of the characters from a earlier book. I now want to go back and read all about her and all the other books that came before this one. The characters come across as real with problems to over come but you just fall in love with them. As soon as I finished this book I started on the 2nd in the series and found myself running for the 3rd as soon as it was done. A must read if you enjoy a good western Christian romance!

Valerie Comer: Live Simply, Love Simply - Valerie Comer

Doctor in Petticoats is the first of her books I’ve read, and it won’t be the last.

I’m definitely going to look up the other two novels in this series, about Beth’s sisters.

Love My 2 Dogs - Tammy Graham

First off, I have loved every book that Mary Connealy has written that I have read so far. I loved this one from the first page and I loved even more how some of the characters in this book are from her other series called, Montana Marriages, but you do not have to read that series first to get the whole story.

Mary Connealy is definitely an author that writes books that you just can't put down. I am looking forward to reading the next book in this series.

Night Owl Reviews - Tammie King

Conneally did a great job in showing us that with faith and hope anything is possible especially to a man who thinks he’s given up. There is more to this series and definitely each one is getting better than ever.

It Just Dawned on Me - Dawn Castor

Mary Connealy is one of my favorite Christian authors and the the book, Doctor in Petticoats, did not disapoint. It was a delight to revisit the McClellen clan with the daughters all grown up! The novel contained all the humor, suspense, danger, love and faith that I've come to expect in a Connealy offering.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781607421955
Publisher:
Barbour Publishing, Incorporated
Publication date:
07/01/2010
Series:
Sophie's Daughters Series , #1
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
320
Sales rank:
19,569
File size:
2 MB

Read an Excerpt

Doctor in Petticoats


By Mary Connealy

Barbour Publishing, Inc.

Copyright © 2010 Mary Connealy
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-60742-196-2


CHAPTER 1

Mosqueros, Texas, 1879


Beth McClellen would die before she missed Mandy's wedding.

That wasn't some cute expression. It was a plain, bald fact.

She would probably be pounded to death any minute now.

The stagecoach, in its four-day-long quest to hit every bump and rock in northwest Texas, lurched into the air then slammed back onto its wheels. She'd planned to take the train all the way to Mosqueros, but a cyclone had ripped out a bridge somewhere and the trains weren't running. So Beth had no choice but to take the much slower stagecoach.

She'd still hoped to make the wedding. But it was cutting things really close. Even with the irritating delay, the stage had appealed to her. Horses, fresh air, Texas scenery—after four years in the teeming city of Boston, she thought the stage was brilliant.

She was an idiot.

The coach tilted up sharply as the trail rose. Beth fell against the seat back. "How can this thing stay in one piece?"

She didn't expect an answer from the drunk across from her and she didn't get one.

He did slide farther down on the seat, slumping sideways, growling in his—well, Beth wasn't about to call it sleep. Stupor was more like it. She braced herself to shove him to the floor if he fell forward onto her. She'd use him as a footrest, and for the first time in days the man would serve some use on this earth.

Give me strength to keep from knocking him to the floor on purpose, Lord.

They reached the hilltop and the ascent switched to descent. The stage picked up speed and the hooves of the horses rose from plodding walks to fast clips.

Beth knew it by sound and feel, not sight. She'd closed the curtains to block out the sun, hoping to also block some of the billowing dust that seeped through the windows. And if it lessened the stifling heat of an August Texas a few degrees, it might also lessen the stench of her fellow rider.

Darkness might keep him asleep, too. She could only pray to the good Lord it would. The few times he'd been semi-lucid, he tended to break into rants about the dreadful state of the world. He'd start with generalities then launch into particulars, muttering to himself as if she wasn't there and he was a lunatic.

Well, if he thought he was alone, then he was wrong, wrong, wrong. But he was right on one count—he was definitely a lunatic.

More than once in the last four days, she'd been tempted to shut him up with the butt end of the pistol she had strapped to her ankle.

The driver shouted over the thundering hooves of his four horses. He'd been shouting at the poor horses for days.

Beth was tempted to swing out the door, clamber onto the top of the stage, and beat the man to within an inch of his life for the way he pushed his horses. And it didn't pass unnoticed that Beth was contemplating violence against every man within her reach.

It had been a long trip home.

The driver wasn't completely heartless. They'd stopped several times and gotten a new team, but the relentless pace, the shouting of the driver—they wore the poor horses down long before they finished their run.

Another shout had Beth sitting straighter. It was a new shout, laced with fear—nothing she'd heard from the driver before. She pushed aside the curtain on the window and saw the same desolate, broken range she'd been seeing all day. West Texas, a brutal, barren place.

Her family had found a fertile valley in this desolation, but almost the only one. A rugged, man-eating, soul-crushing country that either hardened people into gleaming white diamonds or pulverized them into useless coal dust.

Beth liked to think she was a diamond. And she'd crushed her share of men into dust right along with Texas.

The trail was narrow. They were rolling quickly down one of the thousand dips in the mountainous area.

The driver shouted again. "Whoa."

That really caught her attention. The man never said whoa. Not outside of town. He stopped for nothing.

She leaned forward, holding her breath because she was a little too close to the snoring, reeking passenger. She'd been on this stage for four days in the sweltering heat and roiling dust and she was no fresh posy herself, but this guy was ridiculous.

The stagecoach slowed, slid sideways, and picked up speed. The driver shouted and cursed and Beth could see, if she angled her head, the man battling with the brake.

Had the brake given out? Was the stagecoach a runaway? No, not a runaway. She could feel the brakes dragging on the wheels, hear the scrape of the brake as it tried to slow the heavy stage.

"Keep your head. Keep your head." Muttering, Beth knew the side she'd just looked out of rode too close to a rock face that rose high on her left. She slid to the other side of the coach. Before, she'd been too close to the man's feet. Now she could smell his breath.

Inhaling the dusty air and stench through her mouth to make it bearable, she pushed back the curtain on this side and her stomach twisted.

The whole world fell away from this side of the coach.

She stood, holding on to the rocking, jouncing stagecoach. Letting go with one hand, she shoved the door open. Poking her head out she saw ... disaster. Dead ahead.

Emphasis on dead.

No way was she getting home for that wedding.

A stagecoach lay on its side not a hundred yards down the trail. Bodies everywhere. A quick glance told Beth that five people were unconscious or dead on the ground. If they hit that wreckage, they'd kill any passengers left alive then plunge over the side of the mountain.

Beth saw a horse racing away far down the trail, dragging harness leather behind him. No sign of the three other horses that had pulled the ruined stage. A sudden twist in the trail concealed the accident, but it was still coming.

Beth started praying with every breath. And she asked for the thing this country demanded most.

Lord, give me strength.

The driver shouted again, throwing his whole body on the brake while he sawed on the reins. His horses leaned back until they were nearly sitting on their haunches, fighting the forward motion of the heavy stagecoach. He didn't have the strength to hold the brake and the horses on this steep incline.

Beth's ma hadn't raised her to spend a lot of time fretting and wringing her hands. If there was a bronc to bust, Beth busted it. If there was a wagon to pull, Beth hopped out and started pulling before anyone had to ask.

That was the McClellen way.

So helping was a given, and it didn't take but a second to know she wasn't going out on the side that might crush her between the mountain and a racing stage. So the cliff side was her only choice.

One horse whinnied, a terrible, frightened sound. Beth could have wept for the scared animal if she was inclined toward tears—which she wasn't.

The shout and the frightened horse jerked the nasty scourge of a man who was Beth's traveling companion upright in the seat, as if he'd been poked by a pin. "Wha'waz'at?"

Ignoring the idiot, Beth swung herself onto the roof, grateful she'd changed into her riding skirt for the journey home. Just as she heaved herself upward, the stage rounded a bend in this poisonous sidewinder of a trail.

Beth's feet had just hooked over the top of the stage and they slipped. For a terrible second, Beth was thrown out. Her legs dangled over nothingness. Her fingers clawed at the railing atop the stage. Her wrists creaked as the weight of her body fought her slender hands. One hand lost its grip. She clawed frantically for a hold. Her fingers ached; the palms of her hands were scraped raw.

Give me strength.

After heart-pounding seconds of doubt that she had the strength, she regained her hold.

Then the trail straightened and Beth's legs swung back with nearly as much force as they'd flown out. Her boots, with their pointed leather toes, smacked into her fellow passenger.

"Hey!"

It felt like she hit him in the head. That cheered her somewhat and helped her ignore her now-bleeding hands.

Give me strength, Lord. Give me strength.

Scowling at the mess ahead of them on the trail, Beth assumed—if they figured out a way not to die in the next five minutes—they'd be held up for a good long time. She was definitely going to miss the wedding, and that made her mad clean through.

Rage gave her the burst of energy she needed to drag herself onto the roof. She landed on her side on top of her wretched home for the last few days with an oomph of pain. She didn't know if God gave strength in the form of rage, but she took it as a gift anyway.

Rolling to her hands and knees, she scooted forward. "Get over!"

The stage driver shouted in surprise and practically jumped off the seat. A stage driver ought to have steadier nerves.

"I can drive a team. Get over and hand me the reins. You concentrate on the brakes."

The man didn't move, staring at her like he was a half-wit.

Beth dropped down beside him and wrenched the reins out of his hands.

"You can't drive this thing." But before he was done yelling, the lout must have noted her experienced grip on the handful of reins. He left her to the horses, turned to the brake, and threw every ounce of his considerable weight against it.

The wheels scratched on the rocky trail, skidding, slowing, shoving the horses along in front of it.

"Whoa!" Beth shouted, rising to her feet, hauling with all her strength—and some strength besides that must have been supplied by the Almighty because the horses responded.

With the stage slowing from the brake, the horses weren't being pushed as hard. They slowed.

It was taking too long.

They came around the next curve. Death and destruction loomed only yards ahead.

Beth leaned harder, bracing her feet, calling to the team in a voice she'd learned years ago got an uncommon response from animals. Her family being the exception, she'd rather be with animals than most people she'd met.

Give me strength. Give me strength. Give me strength.

Suddenly, a weight hit her from behind and almost tossed her headfirst onto the horses' hooves. A viselike arm snaked around her waist to stop her fall. Then, the second she was steady, two hands gripped the reins. And she had the strength of ten.

And the stench told her who was helping her.

High time the drunk got involved in saving his own worthless hide.

The stage driver shouted with exertion. The stage slowed. The wheels locked, sliding now, scratching on the coarse, rocky trail.

They skidded straight for the wreckage. The trail narrowed. No getting around it.

Just ahead the stage lay on its side. It looked like it had rolled at least once, judging by the damage. Doors were broken off, wheels shattered.

Only a miracle had kept the coach from plunging off the edge.

One woman lay closest to Beth's stage. Her four horses would trample the injured woman. Then the stage would roll over what was left of her.

She shouted to the team, but the horses were nearly sitting on their haunches now. The lead horse on the left, a dark red chestnut with black mane and tail, screamed in terror at what lay straight in their path.

Give me strength. Give me strength. Give me strength.

The man's arms flexed. Muscle like corded steel flexed as he pulled and added his voice to the shouts of "Whoa!"

The woman on the ground lying facedown stirred. She raised her chest up with her arms and turned to the noise. Blood soaked her hair and face. Her blue gingham dress had one arm ripped off and the woman's bare shoulder looked raw. Her eyes widened at the oncoming stage. Her mouth gaped in horror as the stage skidded nearer, nearer, nearer.

Twenty feet, then ten, then five.

Give me strength, Lord.

The man behind found more strength and pulled until his muscles bulged.

The stage passed over the woman.

The skidding stopped.

Too late.

CHAPTER 2

Dust swallowed the stage. Beth was blinded.

The horses had trampled the poor woman.

Give me strength. Give me strength. Give me strength.

Practically throwing herself to the ground in the choking dirt, one battered, bleeding hand slipped on the stage seat and Beth nearly fell. Ignoring her own pain, she hung on grimly, scrambled to the ground, and rushed to the horses' heads.

The woman had rolled off to the side or they'd have crushed her to death. She'd saved herself.

Beth wanted to shout in triumph and give the woman a big hug. Instead, Beth dropped to the rocky, dusty trail beside the bleeding woman. "Lie still. Please." She guided the woman to her back. "Let me make sure you don't have any broken bones."

Beth had trained four years for this. But this was her first real chance to use her medical skills—more doctor than nurse thanks to the generosity of the doctor she'd apprenticed with.

Out of the corner of her eye, Beth saw the stage driver lead the horses to the side, tie them to a scrub pine on the uphill slope, and then rush to the closest victim.

The woman stared sightlessly upward as if the horror had taken a firm hold of her mind and wouldn't release her.

"Don't be afraid." Beth used her horse-soothing voice. People responded well to it, too. Finally she slipped past the lady's terror.

"My husband. Is my husband all right?" The injured lady's face was coated in drying blood. She grabbed the front of Beth's dress with one hand. Her other, more battered arm moved weakly, nearly useless. Beth let the woman drag her forward until their noses almost touched.

Smoothing back the woman's hair, Beth tried to soothe her. "I'll go check your husband."

Beth didn't waste time prying the overwrought woman's hands loose. Instead, she murmured comfort and, even with her head held tight, managed to check the woman's arms and legs, her ribs and head, searching for injuries.

There was obvious swelling along her ribs and the woman winced with pain when Beth pressed, but the bones held. Cracked, not broken—Beth hoped. The bleeding arm was cut to shreds, but the bone was intact. The woman gritted her teeth and dragged in a painful breath when Beth touched too close to the shoulder.

Beth noted the bleeding head wound was more dried than wet. That told its own story of how long these folks had been here—hours most likely, but not days. There was a chance the wounded could still be helped. "Please, let me go so I can check on your husband."

No response.

Give me strength. Give me strength.

This time Beth's strength might be required to tear loose from the death grip.

Suddenly the woman released Beth's collar. "Go." The woman's pain-filled eyes seemed rational. "I—I can tell my arms and legs work. I'll be fine. Go check the others."

Beth gasped for breath then nodded, satisfied the woman didn't need anything right now. God willing, this one would survive. Beth patted the woman's hand. "I'll see to your husband."

Beth stood and raced toward the next victim. She noticed the drunk climbing down from the stage at last, unsteady, more of a danger to the injured than a help. He might trip over them, and if that didn't kill them, his breath would finish them off.

Beth scolded herself. They'd have never gotten the stage stopped without his help.

Fine, she'd stop thinking of him as a waste of human flesh. Now if only the bum would stay downwind.

The stage driver rushed to another victim.

Beth headed for a man pinned under the wrecked coach. His body was crushed. The man was beyond help, and Beth prayed for his soul and any loved ones he'd left behind as she raced on. Another man lay dead beneath the wheels of the stage, his neck bent at a horrible angle, his eyes gaping and empty.

There were six in all. Four alive. Only the woman was conscious.

The woman finally got to her feet and assisted. She found her husband, unconscious but among the living, and turned her attention to him.

The stage driver got a canteen of water and the three of them washed wounds.

Two more of the victims began rousing. One had a badly broken leg.

The woman's husband had a dislocated shoulder. As he awakened, he was maddened with pain. Still only partly conscious, he couldn't lie still, yet every move caused cries of anguish, awful to hear from anyone but somehow worse from a man.

Beth had read of dislocated joints in her studies, but she'd never had the opportunity to try and repair one.

His wife struggled to calm him. Every time he lashed out he'd bump her somehow and she'd gasp with pain.

"What's your name?" Beth asked, trying to get the situation under control. Maybe if they all just took a minute to calm down ...


(Continues...)

Excerpted from Doctor in Petticoats by Mary Connealy. Copyright © 2010 Mary Connealy. Excerpted by permission of Barbour Publishing, Inc..
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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