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Montana Rose (Montana Marriages Series #1) [NOOK Book]

Overview

Widowed One Day—Wedded the Next

 

Cassie Griffin has always dressed in silks. Her free-spending husband expects nothing less. But now he has died, leaving her unprotected, heavily in debt, and pregnant. As any single woman doesn't remain so for long in Divide, Montana, Cassie wonders if marrying one of the locals might be her only answer. But the crude cowboys talking marriage make her wonder if joining her husband might ...

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Montana Rose (Montana Marriages Series #1)

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Overview

Widowed One Day—Wedded the Next

 

Cassie Griffin has always dressed in silks. Her free-spending husband expects nothing less. But now he has died, leaving her unprotected, heavily in debt, and pregnant. As any single woman doesn't remain so for long in Divide, Montana, Cassie wonders if marrying one of the locals might be her only answer. But the crude cowboys talking marriage make her wonder if joining her husband might even be better.

 

Red Dawson has a soft spot in his heart for Cassie, even though most of the townspeople see her only as a silk-clad china doll. He’d sweep her off her feet—except she’s a nonbeliever.

 

The most powerful rancher tramples everyone to claim Cassie. . .and the property that goes with her. Red can't allow Cassie to be forced into marriage with the brutal rancher so he marries her himself. Cassie’s well meant but disastrous efforts to help around the ranch make Red wonder if someone doesn’t need to now rescue him.

 

Will Red win over this seemingly fragile and spoiled china doll’s heart. . .and survive her "help" in the meantime? Will Cassie find true love with her cowboy—and his God—when she exchanges silk for calico?
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Christian novelist Connealy (Petticoat Ranch) writes to tickle the funny bone and tease heartstrings with the first in her newest series, Montana Marriages. In the Montana Territory of 1875, sweet and naïve Cassie Griffin's abusive husband dies, leaving Cassie no choice but to choose a new husband the same day she buries her first. With women scarce and lawlessness abounding, Cassie reluctantly agrees to marry Red Dawson, also reluctant, who offers to marry her only to save her from an immoral scoundrel who's been stalking her for months. Immediately traveling to Red's ranch, Cassie realizes how little she knows about life, love and faith. In turn, Red quickly realizes how brutalized his new wife was by her first husband. Slowly, sometimes painstakingly so, Cassie learns to trust her instincts and begins to blossom. No doubt, Connealy's characters are cute. Yet there is a systematic heavy-handedness on the subject of submission that gets in the way of what could have been a delightful story of unfolding marital love. (July)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Coffee Time Romance
Montana Rose was a thrilling read. Mary Connealy pens a read so true to form in the Wild West. She made the story so factual that I wanted to jump through time after reading how women were treated. That was so very true. I could only feel compassion for Cassie and her problematic life. Then there is Red and Wade, one cannot help but be torn between these two remarkable men. Ms. Connealy digs deep into the hearts of these three powerful characters to make an extraordinary tale that left this reader in complete awe.
TitleTrakk.com

Readers will enjoy seeing Cassie blossom like a tight bud opening up to the sunlight under Red’s love and encouragement. The book both humorously and dramatically illustrates the difference a harsh man and a kind, caring man Can make in a woman’s life. As Cassie learns to receive Red’s love, she also opens up to accept that God loves her. Montana Rose, the first book in Mary Coneally’s Montana Marriages series, is a rollick in the old west that will pull at your heart strings and is sure to keep you smiling.

— VICKIE MCDONOUGH

ONCE UPON A ROMANCE

Mary Connealy has again written a romance that will make you laugh while at the same time sit you on the edge of your seat wondering what will happen next. Cassie and Reds story is packed full of love and trust for each other as well as God. Ms Connealy has the ability to make you feel like you are in the setting with these strong human-like characters. Montana Rose is an uplifting story that will keep you turning the pages long into the night. Divide, Montana is a place I cant wait to visit again in the next book of the series.

CBA Retailers and Resources

Women who like marriage-of-convenience stories will read this book to see if the love of God and one determined man can change a woman's heart.

— KIM PETERSON

CBA RETAILERS & RESOURCES

Women who like marriage-of-convenience stories will read this book to see if the love of God and one determined man can change a woman's heart.

— KIM PETERSON

COFFEE TIME ROMANCE

Montana Rose was a thrilling read. Mary Connealy pens a read so true to form in the Wild West. She made the story so factual that I wanted to jump through time after reading how women were treated. That was so very true. I could only feel compassion for Cassie and her problematic life. Then there is Red and Wade, one cannot help but be torn between these two remarkable men. Ms. Connealy digs deep into the hearts of these three powerful characters to make an extraordinary tale that left this reader in complete awe.

TITLETRAKK.COM

Readers will enjoy seeing Cassie blossom like a tight bud opening up to the sunlight under Red’s love and encouragement. The book both humorously and dramatically illustrates the difference a harsh man and a kind, caring man Can make in a woman’s life. As Cassie learns to receive Red’s love, she also opens up to accept that God loves her. Montana Rose, the first book in Mary Coneally’s Montana Marriages series, is a rollick in the old west that will pull at your heart strings and is sure to keep you smiling.

— VICKIE MCDONOUGH

PUBLISHERS WEEKLY

Montana Rose Mary Connealy. Barbour (Anchor, dist.), $10.97 paper (320p) ISBN 978-1-60260-142-0

Christian novelist Connealy (Petticoat Ranch) writes to tickle the funny bone and tease heartstrings with the first in her newest series, Montana Marriages. In the Montana Territory of 1875, sweet and naïve Cassie Griffin''s abusive husband dies, leaving Cassie no choice but to choose a new husband the same day she buries her first. With women scarce and lawlessness abounding, Cassie reluctantly agrees to marry Red Dawson, also reluctant, who offers to marry her only to save her from an immoral scoundrel who''s been stalking her for months. Immediately traveling to Red''s ranch, Cassie realizes how little she knows about life, love and faith. In turn, Red quickly realizes how brutalized his new wife was by her first husband. Slowly, sometimes painstakingly so, Cassie learns to trust her instincts and begins to blossom. No doubt, Connealy''s characters are cute. Yet there is a systematic heavy-handedness on the subject of submission that gets in the way of what could have been a delightful story of unfolding marital love. (July)

titletrakk.com
Readers will enjoy seeing Cassie blossom like a tight bud opening up to the sunlight under Red’s love and encouragement. The book both humorously and dramatically illustrates the difference a harsh man and a kind, caring man Can make in a woman’s life. As Cassie learns to receive Red’s love, she also opens up to accept that God loves her. Montana Rose, the first book in Mary Coneally’s Montana Marriages series, is a rollick in the old west that will pull at your heart strings and is sure to keep you smiling.

— VICKIE MCDONOUGH

Once Upon A Romance
Mary Connealy has again written a romance that will make you laugh while at the same time sit you on the edge of your seat wondering what will happen next. Cassie and Reds story is packed full of love and trust for each other as well as God. Ms Connealy has the ability to make you feel like you are in the setting with these strong human-like characters. Montana Rose is an uplifting story that will keep you turning the pages long into the night. Divide, Montana is a place I cant wait to visit again in the next book of the series.
CBA Retailers & Resources
Women who like marriage-of-convenience stories will read this book to see if the love of God and one determined man can change a woman's heart.

— KIM PETERSON

TITLETRAKK.COM - VICKIE MCDONOUGH

Readers will enjoy seeing Cassie blossom like a tight bud opening up to the sunlight under Red’s love and encouragement. The book both humorously and dramatically illustrates the difference a harsh man and a kind, caring man Can make in a woman’s life. As Cassie learns to receive Red’s love, she also opens up to accept that God loves her. Montana Rose, the first book in Mary Coneally’s Montana Marriages series, is a rollick in the old west that will pull at your heart strings and is sure to keep you smiling.

CBA RETAILERS & RESOURCES - KIM PETERSON

Women who like marriage-of-convenience stories will read this book to see if the love of God and one determined man can change a woman's heart.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781607421115
  • Publisher: Barbour Publishing, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 12/1/2009
  • Series: Montana Marriages Series , #1
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 47,009
  • File size: 3 MB

Meet the Author

Mary Connealy writes romantic comedy with cowboys. She is a Carol Award winner, and a Rita, Christy, and Inspirational Reader’s Choice finalist. She is the bestselling author of the Wild at Heart series, which recently began with book 1, Tried & True. She is also the author of the Trouble in Texas series, Kincaid Bride series, Lassoed in Texas Trilogy, Montana Marriages Trilogy, Sophie’s Daughters Trilogy, and many other books. Mary is married to a Nebraska rancher and has four grown daughters and three spectacular grandchildren. Find Mary online at www.maryconnealy.com.
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Read an Excerpt

Montana Rose

Montana Marriages


By Mary Connealy

Barbour Publishing, Inc.

Copyright © 2009 Mary Connealy
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-60742-114-6


CHAPTER 1

Montana Territory, 1875


Cassie wanted to scream, Put down that shovel!

As if yelling at the red-headed gravedigger would bring Griff back to life. A gust of wind blew Cassie Griffin's dark hair across her face, blinding her.

For one sightless moment it was as if the wind showed her perfectly what the future held for her.

Darkness.

Hovering in a wooded area, concealed behind a clump of quaking aspens that had gone yellow in the fall weather, she watched the hole grow as the man dug his way down into the rocky Montana earth.

Muriel, the kind storekeeper who had taken Cassie in, stood beside the ever-deepening grave. If Cassie started yelling, Muriel would start her motherly clucking again and force Cassie to return to town and go back to bed. She'd been so kind since Cassie had ridden in, shouting for help.

In a detached sort of way, Cassie knew Muriel had been caring for her, coddling Cassie to get her through the day. But Cassie had gone numb since Muriel's husband, Seth, had come back in with the news that Griff was dead. Cassie listened and answered and obeyed, but she hadn't been able to feel anything. Until now. Now she could feel rage aimed straight at that man preparing the hole for her beloved Griff.

"I'm sorry, little one." Cassie ran her hand over her rounded stomach. "You'll never know your daddy now." Her belly moved as if the baby heard Cassie and understood.

The fact that her husband was dead was Cassie's fault. She should have gone for the doctor sooner, but Griff ordered her not to. At first Griff had been worried about the cost. He'd shocked Cassie by telling her they couldn't afford to send for the doctor. Griff had scolded Cassie if she ever asked questions about money. So she'd learned it wasn't a wife's place. But she'd known her parents were wealthy. Cassie had brought all their wealth into the marriage. How could they not afford a few bits for a doctor? Even as he lay sick, she'd known better than to question him about it, though.

Later, Griff had been out of his head with fever. She stayed with him as he'd ordered, but she should have doctored Griff better. She should have saved him somehow. Instead she'd stood by and watched her husband die inch by inch while she did nothing.

Cassie stepped closer. Another few steps and she'd be in the open. She could stop them. She could make them stop digging. Refuse to allow such a travesty when it couldn't be true that Griff was dead.

Don't put him in the ground! Inside her head she was screaming, denying, terrified. She had to stop this.

Before she could move she heard Muriel.

"In the West, nothing'll get you killed faster'n stupid." Whipcord lean, with a weathered face from long years in the harsh Montana weather, Muriel plunked her fists on her nonexistent hips.

Seth, clean-shaven once a week and overdue, stood alongside his wife, watching the proceedings, his arms crossed over his paunchy stomach. "How 'bout lazy? In the West, lazy'll do you in faster'n stupid every time."

"Well, I reckon Lester Griffin was both, right enough." Muriel nodded her head.

Cassie understood the words lazy and stupid. They were talking about Griff? She was too shocked to take in their meaning.

"Now, Muriel." Red, the gravedigger, shoveled as he talked. "Don't speak ill of the dead."

On a day when Cassie didn't feel like she knew anything, she remembered the gravedigger's name because of his bright red hair.

One of the last coherent orders Griff had given her was, "Pay Red two bits to dig my grave, and not a penny more."

Griff had known he was dying. Mostly delirious with fever, his mind would clear occasionally and he'd give orders: about the funeral, what he was to be buried in, what Cassie was to wear, strict orders not to be her usual foolish self and overpay for the grave digging. And not to shame him with her public behavior.

"Well honestly, it's a wonder he wasn't dead long before this." Muriel crossed her arms and dared either man to disagree.

"It's not Christian to see the bad in others." Red dug relentlessly, the gritty slice of the shovel making a hole to swallow up Cassie's husband. "And especially not at a time like this."

It was just after noon on Sunday, and the funeral would be held as soon as the grave was dug.

Cassie looked down at her dress, her dark blue silk. It was a mess. She'd worn it all week, not giving herself a second to change while she cared for Griff. Then she'd left it on as she rode for town. She'd even slept in it last night ... or rather she'd lain in bed with it on. She hadn't slept more than snatches in a week. Ever since Griff's fever started.

She needed to change to her black silk for the funeral.

Cassie wanted to hate Muriel for her words, but Muriel had mothered her, filling such a desperate void in Cassie that she couldn't bear to blame Muriel for this rage whipping inside of Cassie's head, pushing her to scream.

"Well, he was a poor excuse for a man, and no amount of Christian charity'll change that." Muriel clucked and shook her head. "He lived on the labor of others 'n' spent money he didn't have."

"It's that snooty, fancy-dressed wife of his who drove him to an early grave," Seth humphed. Cassie saw Seth's shoulders quiver as he chuckled. "Of course, many's the man who'd gladly die trying to keep that pretty little china doll happy."

Cassie heard Griff 's nickname for her. She ran her hands down her blue silk that lay modestly loose over her round belly. Fancy-dressed was right. Cassie admitted that. But she hadn't needed all new dresses just because of the baby. Griff had insisted it was proper that the dresses be ordered. But however she'd come to dress so beautifully in silks and satins, there was no denying she dressed more expensively than anyone she'd met in Montana Territory. Not that she'd met many people.

But snooty? How could Seth say that? They were slandering her and, far worse, insulting Griff. She needed to defend her husband, but Griff hated emotional displays. How could she fight them without showing all the rage that boiled inside her? As the hole grew, something started to grow in Cassie that overcame her grief and fear.

Rage. Hate.

That shovel rose and fell. Dirt flew in a tidy pile and she hated Red for keeping to the task. She wanted to run at Red, screaming and clawing, and force him to give Griff back to her. But she feared unleashing the anger roiling inside her. Griff had taught her to control all those childish impulses. Right now though, her control slipped.

* * *

"A time or two I've seen someone who looks to be snooty who was really just shy ... or scared," Muriel said.

Red kept digging, determined not to join in with this gossip. But not joining in wasn't enough. He needed to make them stop. Instead, he kept digging as he thought about poor Cassie. She'd already been tucked into Muriel's back room when he'd come to town yesterday, but he'd seen Seth bring Lester Griffin's body in. He couldn't imagine what that little woman had been through.

"When's the last time she came into our store?" Seth asked. "Most times she didn't even come to town. She was too good to soil her feet in Divide. And you can't argue about fancy-dressed. Griff ordered all her dresses ready-made, sent out from the East."

Everything about Cassie Griffin made Red think of the more civilized East. She never had a hair out of place or a speck of dirt under her fingernails. Red had seen their home, too. The fanciest building in Montana, some said. Board siding instead of logs. Three floors and so many frills and flourishes the building alone had made Lester Griffin a laughingstock. The Griffins came into the area with a fortune, but they'd gone through it fast.

"That's right," Muriel snipped. "Griff ordered them. A spoiled woman would pick out her own dresses and shoes and finery, not leave it to her man."

Seth shook his head. "I declare, Muriel, you could find the good in a rattlesnake."

Red's shovel slammed deep in the rocky soil. "Cassie isn't a rattlesnake." He stood up straight and glared at Seth.

His reaction surprised him. Red didn't let much upset him. But calling Cassie a snake made Red mad to the bone. He glanced over and saw Muriel focusing on him as she brushed back wisps of gray hair that the wind had scattered from her usual tidy bun. She stared at him, taking a good, long look.

Seth, a tough old mule-skinner with a marshmallow heart, didn't seem to notice. "This funeral'll draw trouble. You just see if it don't. Every man in the territory'll come a-running to marry with such a pretty widow woman. Any woman would bring men down on her as hard and fast as a Montana blizzard, but one as pretty as Cassie Griffin?" Seth blew a tuneless whistle through his teeth. "There'll be a stampede for sure, and none of 'em are gonna wait no decent length of time to ask for her hand."

Red looked away from Muriel because he didn't like what was in her eyes. He was through the tough layer of sod and the hole was getting deep fast. He tried to sound casual even though he felt a sharp pang of regret—and not just a little bit of jealousy—when he said, "Doubt she'll still be single by the time the sun sets."

Muriel had a strange lilt to her voice when she said, "A woman is rare out here, but a young, beautiful woman like Cassie is a prize indeed."

Red looked up at her, trying to figure out why saying that made her so all-fired cheerful.

Seth slung his beefy arm around Muriel with rough affection. "I've seen the loneliness that drives these men to want a wife. It's a rugged life, Muriel. Having you with me makes all the difference."

Red understood the loneliness. He lived with it every day.

"She's a fragile little thing. Tiny even with Griff's child in her belly. She needs a man to take care of her." Muriel's concern sounded just the littlest bit false. Not that Muriel wasn't genuinely concerned. Just that there was a sly tone to it, aimed straight at Red.

Red thought of Cassie's flawless white skin and shining black hair. She had huge, remote brown eyes, with lashes long enough to wave in the breeze, and the sweetest pink lips that never curved in a smile nor opened to wish a man good day.

Red thought on what he'd say to draw a smile and a kind word from her. Such thoughts could keep a man lying awake at night. Red knew that for a fact. Oh yes, Cassie was a living, breathing test from the devil himself.

"China doll's the perfect name for her," Muriel added.

Red had heard that Griff called his wife china doll. Griff never said that in front of anyone. He always called her Mrs. Griffin, real proper and formal-like. But he'd been overheard speaking to her in private, and he'd called her china doll. The whole town had taken to calling her that.

Red had seen such a doll in a store window when he was a youngster in Indiana. That doll, even to a roughhousing little boy, was so beautiful it always earned a long, careful look. But the white glass face was cold and her expression serious, as if someone neglected giving the poor toy a painted-on smile. It was frighteningly fragile. Rather than being fun, Red thought a china doll would be a sad thing to own and, in the end, a burden to keep unbroken and clean. All of those things described Cassandra Griffin right down to the ground. Still, knowing all of that didn't stop him from wanting her.

Cassie got to him. She had ever since the first time he'd seen her nearly two years ago. And now she was available. Someone would have to marry her to keep her alive. Women didn't live without men in the unsettled West. Life was too hard. The only unattached women around worked above the Golden Butte Saloon and, although they survived, Red didn't consider their sad existence living.

"You're established on the ranch these days, Red. Your bank account's healthy." Muriel crouched down so she was eye level with Red, who was digging himself down fast. "Maybe it's time you took a wife."

Red froze and looked up at his friend. Muriel was a motherly woman, though she had no children. And like a mother, she seemed comfortable meddling in his life.

Red realized he was staring and went back to the grave, tempted to toss a shovelful of dirt on Muriel's wily face. He wouldn't throw it hard. He just wanted to distract her.

When he was sure his voice would work, he said, "Cassie isn't for me, Muriel. And it isn't because of what it would cost to keep her. If she was my wife, she'd live within my means and that would be that."

Red had already imagined—in his unruly mind—how stern he'd be when she asked for finery. "You'll have to sew it yourself or go without." He even pictured himself shaking a scolding finger right under her turned-up nose. She'd mind him.

He'd imagined it many times—many, many times. And long before Griff died, which was so improper Red felt shame. He'd tried to control his willful thoughts. But a man couldn't stop himself from thinking a thought until he'd started, now could he? So he'd started a thousand times and then he stopped himself ... mostly. He'd be kind and patient but he wouldn't bend. He'd say, "Cass honey, you—"

Red jerked his thoughts away from the old, sinful daydream about another man's wife. Calmly, he answered Muriel, "She isn't for me because I would never marry a nonbeliever."

With a wry smile, Seth caught on and threw in on Muriel's side—the traitor. "A woman is a mighty scarce critter out here, Red. It don't make sense to put too many conditions on the ones there are."

"I know." Red talked to himself as much as to them. He hung on to right and wrong. He clung to God's will. "But one point I'll never compromise on is marrying a woman who doesn't share my faith."

"Now, Red," Muriel chided, "you shouldn't judge that little girl like that. How do you know she's not a believer?"

"I'm not judging her, Muriel." Which Red realized was absolutely not true. "Okay, I don't know what faith she holds. But I do know that the Griffins have never darkened the doorstep of my church."

Neither Seth nor Muriel could argue with that, although Muriel had a mulish look that told him she wanted to.

"We'd best get back." Seth laid a beefy hand on Muriel's strong shoulder. "I think Mrs. Griffin is going to need some help getting ready for the funeral."

"She's in shock, I reckon," Muriel said. "She hasn't spoken more'n a dozen words since she rode in yesterday."

"She was clear enough on what dress I needed to fetch." Seth shook his head in disgust. "And she knew the reticule she wanted and the shoes and hairpins. I felt like a lady's maid."

"I've never seen a woman so shaken." Muriel's eyes softened. "The bridle was on wrong. She was riding bareback. It's a wonder she was able to stick on that horse."

Red didn't want to hear any more about how desperately in need of help Cassie was.

Muriel had been teasing him up until now, but suddenly she was dead serious. "You know what the men around here are like, Red. You know the kind of life she's got ahead of her. There are just some things a decent man can't let happen to a woman. Libby's boys are off hauling freight or I'd talk to them. They'd make good husbands."

Muriel was right, they would be good. Something burned hot and angry inside of Red when he thought of those decent, Christian men claiming Cassie.

It was even worse when Red thought of her marrying one of the rough-and-ready men who lived in the rugged mountains and valleys around the little town of Divide, which rested up against the great peaks of the Montana Rockies. It was almost more than he could stand to imagine her with one of them.

But he also knew a sin when he saw it tempting him, and he refused to let Muriel change his mind. She badgered him awhile longer but finally gave up.

He was glad when Seth and Muriel left him alone to finish his digging. Until he looked up and saw Cassie as if he'd conjured her with his daydreams.

But this was no sweet, fragile china doll. She charged straight toward him, her hands fisted, her eyes on fire.

"Uh ... hi, Miz Griffin." He vaulted out of the shoulder-deep hole and faced her. The look on her face was enough to make him want to turn tail and run.

She swept toward him, a low sound coming from her throat that a wildcat might make just before it pounced.

She'd heard it. All of it.

God forgive me for being part of that gossip, hurting her when she's already so badly hurt.


(Continues...)

Excerpted from Montana Rose by Mary Connealy. Copyright © 2009 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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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 29 )
Rating Distribution

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(18)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 29 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 14, 2012

    Sweet & Charming

    Absolutely a Must Read! Tough and loveable that's what us ladies are. Wonderful additions of the Word in the reading. Gives you something to think on. :)

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 30, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Montana Rose Montana Marriages Book One By: Mary Connealy


    Montana Rose
    Montana Marriages Book One
    By: Mary Connealy

    I received this book free from NetGalley in exchange for a review. I have enjoyed everything I’ve read by Mary Connealy. This book is no exception! It is a definite must read for anybody who loves Inspirational romance, the West, and humorous situations.
    God can fill that emptiness. This is the message in Mary Connealy’s book Montana Rose. Griff had taken everything out of Cass. All that was left was a shell of a person when he died and Red Dawson marries her. She doesn’t even know who she is. Griff had been so controlling and beat her to get the perfect wife. Red is patient, loving, and kind toward Cass trying to teach her what she needs to know. Griff had called her stupid; Red says she just hadn’t been trained. She had no faith in God and no courage. Red is also the town minister and teaches Cass about God.
    Wade Sawyer is mad because he wanted to be the one to marry Cass. She threatens to kidnap her and give her everything she wants. He doesn’t understand everything Cass wants is right there with Red. Wade doesn’t see that he is empty and needs to be filled with God’s love. He comes to take Cass away and she says whom shall I fear? She and Red invite him into their home and tell him about God’s love.
    Belle and Anthony are married. She has been married many times to no-account husbands. Once this one dies, she is going to move on. She doesn’t understand why she keeps attracting the same type of men. Why can’t she find one like Red? I was drawn into her story. Her situation seems hopeless, but with God all things are possible.
    Will Wade listen and be filled with God’s love? Is Cass ready to forget about Griff and live her life with Red? How will Belle deal with her lazy husband? God can take any situation and turn it to His good. Enjoy this book and read the other books in the series!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 6, 2012

    I Also Recommend:

    Funny story with a happy ending! Starts out scary with Cassie st

    Funny story with a happy ending!
    Starts out scary with Cassie standing on her husbands grave as women hungry men maul her while trying to make her choose her next husband. Enter Red to the rescue. He marries her and brings her home and Cassie the sheltered and battered widow who has never been allowed to have a single thought of her own learns to become a ranchers wife. Fun reading all the way.


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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 2, 2012

    Got I-Can't-Put-It-Down Syndrome? Don't worry, you're not alone.

    I've read pretty much every Mary Connealy book out there, and let me just say that this is my all-time favorite. Probably a safe statement when I say it's my favorite book, period. I want a Red for myself! As soon as I picked it up, I was hooked. Red's character is humorous yet human at the same time. Reading about Cassie's past made me want to scream, and reading about her antics had people giving me strange looks when I burst into uncontrolable laughter. Mary Connealy puts the perfect amount of humor in her writing, balanced with realism that will tug on your emotional heartstrings. I was baffled on how she'd clean up Wade's character for his appearance in the final book of this trilogy, but she did an excellent job of it.
    I especially loved how she made Red a tough, rough rider, yet he was the preacher on Sundays. He wasn't one of those wimpy pastor characters, he was a solid guy who could carry a gun and a Bible. His thoughts and actions were purly human and he wasn't perfect, which made him that much more of an enjoyable character to read about.
    Cassie's innocense and nieve mind make her endearing, and Red's so sweet to her. However, she isn't a complete damsel in distress. Her backbone is tough and she shows Red in her own way that women are a force to be reckoned with (with a little help from Belle, of course).
    All in all, worth the time and money. I promise you, you won't be able to put it down, so make sure you have a bit of spare time before you start reading Montana Rose. Bravo, Mary Connealy!

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  • Posted October 4, 2011

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    Another book I picked up and just couldn't put down

    Cassie's husband took the easy way out.

    Well, now, that's not exactly true. He may have left her without teaching her anything about the life or chores of the ranch but he's left her with the ranch he bought with her money. He left her in Montana with beautiful silk dresses, of course, they can't be worn when milking a cow. He made sure that she was never seen anything a 'lady' wouldn't do including talking to the lowly. Then again, no one in Montana ever measured up t his standards so she had no friends. He let her pregnant but without protection.

    Worst of all, he left her completely unprepared. Cassie wasn't prepared to saddle a horse and ride to town for help because he didn't think riding was ladylike. He made sure to tell Cassie what he wanted to be buried in, how she was to dress, and how much to pay the gravedigger but he forgot to mention how she was to pay him. He forgot to mention that the single men in the area would literally fight over her at his graveside service or that she'd be married again with hours of his death while standing on his grave. He also forgot to mention that he'd mortgaged everything they owned - even her family bible, family portraits, and clothes - and hadn't even begun to pay.

    What a way for Cassie to start her new life - in shock.

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  • Posted July 11, 2011

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    More then just a romance

    Cassie Griffin is not noticed by the three other people as they talk badly of her late husband and her. Red Dawson is digging the hole they will be putting Griff into and Seth and Muriel, who have taken her in and helped her since his death yesterday. When the couple leaves Cassie comes forward and attacks Red. He can't be digging a hole for Griff, Griff can't be dead. He is though. Griff was her guardian at twelve and married her at fifteen. He beat all her childness out of her and told her how to be a proper person.

    Red Dawson was a believer but he had one big sin, he often thought of another mans wife and now that man was dead. Cassie was an unbeliever though so Red could never make her his own.

    After the funeral at least twenty men started grabbing for Cassie. She did not understand what was happening to her. Then the Sawyers rode up and demanded she marry Mort. Wade, the son, had pulled her unto his horse but then his father grabbed her and demanded the pastor marry them right now. When he refused the man was harsh to the pastor, what would he be as a husband. And then Red came and asked if she would marry him. She was considering death as a first choice and Red seemed a good second choice as any.

    Cassie did all she could to be obedient. She had been ruled by Griff although she did not realize he was wrong in his ways. She was pregnant and knew nothing about it. The town people thought her a snob as she was not allowed to speak to them and Griff had squandered all her wealth but kept her well dressed. The town thought she was to blame for all that as well.

    Wade was obsessed with Cassie. His father was cruel to him and he seen Griff being cruel to her. A side story is Belle, a woman Cassie admires after meeting because she speaks her mind and talks directly to people, even men. Belle is on her third husband even though she hates men.

    This is a wonderful story with some humor along with danger and love.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 1, 2009

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    Delightful and Engaging!

    I thoroughly enjoyed "Montana Rose." It is definitely reminiscent of the author's acknowledged inspiration, "Love Comes Softly", but with a flavor all its own. The characters were dynamic and believable, and the integration of religion seamless, as is so rare in many purported Christian novels. Even the supporting characters had strong presences in the story, despite its obvious focus on the relationship between Red and Chrissy. I look forward to reading the remainder of stories that were only partially fleshed out in Montana Rose.

    M. Connealy's writing style is memorable and engaging, and I don't think I'll spoil anything by saying that the chapter that focuses on Cassie's labor is one I will never forget!!

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  • Posted September 29, 2009

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    Montana Rose Moved Me

    If the name Mary Connealy is on the cover of a book, I know I'm in for a good read. Having cracked up as I hightailed it through Petticoat Ranch and Calico Canyon, I was fully prepared to chuckle my way though Montana Rose as well. To my surprise, I found this historical to be delightfully different. While some scenes launched me into laughter, Montana Rose offers more than mere entertainment. Connealy has crafted a story with an important message, but she conveys it with such skill and finesse that I was swept into this heartwarming tale and enjoyed every moment with her engaging characters.

    Cassie Griffin loses her husband one day, and at his burial the next, the many bachelors in her tiny Montana territory town vie for the opportunity to wed the silk-clad, seemingly spoiled woman they refer to as the China Doll. When the ruthless rancher with the largest spread claims the right to marry her, god-fearing Red Dawson feels led to protect her and proposes, despite the fact that she's not a believer. Pregnant and penniless, Cassie chooses the lesser of two evils and accepts. While Red attempts to live his life as a testimony of his faith, Cassie seeks to mold herself into the wife she thinks he wants, just as she did with her controlling, abusive first husband. Scenes when Cassie attempts to learn new skills showcase Connealy's trademark humor, but others moved me at a deep level as Red exhibits the patience of Job while dealing with his attraction to his beautiful, bungling bride.

    Of the Connealy books I've read so far, Montana Rose stands out as my favorite. I love Red's godly character, his devotion to Cassie, and witnessing her journey to wholeness and healing as she learns to accept the love of the Lord and her new husband. I heartily recommend this book.

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  • Posted September 7, 2009

    Recomment

    This was a very fun book to read. I highly recommend it!

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  • Posted August 30, 2009

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    Western humor at its best!

    Mary Connealy and historical westerns - they are like peas and carrots, german chocolate cake and coconut frosting, Husker football and red and white fans - you just can't have one without the other. Mary's books are in the rare category where I will read sections of the book out loud to my husband because the writing is so good I know he will appreciate it along with me, even though he doesn't have a clue about the storyline. I did that with Montana Rose - I read him an entire chapter and we both laughed through the whole thing. Seriously, Mary is probably one of my single favorite authors right now and I just eat up any book she writes. If Mary Connealy is listed as the author then you are guaranteed...

    1) Excellent storylines - off the beaten path too, they are not your same 'ol, same 'ol!

    2) Fantastic characters - we're talking the kind you love and the kind you hate and especially the kind you laugh at... a lot!

    3) Humor - lots of it. Laugh out loud, humor. You can not remain in a bad mood if you are reading one of Mary's books.

    To top it off, Montana Rose is one of my favorite Mary books so far - you must get this book!

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  • Posted July 27, 2009

    First in Montana Marriages series is a surefire winner

    Montana Rose by Mary Connealy is the first in the Montana Marriage series and what a way to kick it off! Cassie Griffin learned well how to be a perfect china doll under her abusive husband's tutelage; she doesn't interact with other people, she does everything her husband asks without question and she never shows sadness or fear. That facade is challenged when he dies leaving her a penniless pregnant widow in the Montana Territory in 1875. Before his body is buried, the men are lining up in the cemetery in front of the pastor for her marriage. After being violently grabbed and shoved in the fight, she is shocked to see gravedigger Red Dawson propose marriage to her. She marries him purely to escape the brutality of her other suitors and then sets out to be his perfect wife so that she never need feel his anger or his fists. Red has long been attracted to the mysterious woman known around town as the china doll, but did his best to keep her out of his thoughts. Their sudden marriage shocks both of them, especially as he tries to teach her what real love looks like both from a husband and from God. I've read a few of Connealy's other books, and she just keeps getting better and better. The humor and romance are both handled with a light, deft touch. The reader can't help but be charmed by both hero and heroine. She refuses to fall into Western cliche with the handling of the story's villain. She also draws a subtle parallel between Cassie's trying to live up to her husbands' wishes and earn their love through works and rules and how Christians often try to do the same with God. In a glutted genre, this book is truly a cut above the rest.

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  • Posted July 25, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    western romance

    Every time I pick up a book by Mary Connealy, it just gets better. Montana Rose is unforgettable, packed with charm, western fun and down to earth circumstances characteristic to the old west. Mary's characters capture your imagination as they struggle with the rustic conditions of the pioneers, their strengths and weaknesses and their faith. Cass Griffin is endearing as she overcomes an abusive relationship with an innocence that tears at your heart as well as the heart and patience of the hero Red Dawson. If you want a great read, Montana Rose is a must.

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  • Posted July 24, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Fun, Funny, Touching

    Mary Connealy has crafted yet another fun, funny, touching book. Her heroine is a sweet, dutiful wife who suppresses all her anger and frustration until the day of her husband's funeral. She unleashes all that anger on the gravedigger. But when some rough men, living in a rough environment, decide Cassie has to choose a new husband immediately, this same gravedigger may be her only hope.

    Red Dawson is a simple, hard-working man, so he isn't interested in marrying a woman who's used to wearing silk and has been sheltered from hard work. But if he doesn't step in, the poor little thing is going to end up in a terrible situation. Maybe God does want him to help her.

    I enjoyed this book immensely. I especially liked the hero, a man who was very sweet but realistic at the same time-that's some amazingly good writing! I highly recommend this book, and I can't wait for the next book in the series, to see what happens to Cassie's friend, Belle. If you haven't read any of Mary's books, read this one and you'll be hooked like I am!

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  • Posted July 2, 2009

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    I Also Recommend:

    Marriage and Giggles

    Every time that I pick up and read a book from Mary Connealy I am in awe at the topics and issues that are addressed in such a loving and in depth manner. This specific book deals with marriage, courage, abuse, healing, strength, and new faith. The lives of the characters are so real and so easily comparable to real life that it is extremely difficult to remember that it supposedly just a fictitious story in novel format.



    Cassie is a woman who was brought up in a closed environment where she was unable to think or be for herself. She was then thrust into a life where the static existence that she formerly knew was practically ripped to shreds as piece by piece she learned to think for herself. Belle is a wounded woman who has endured so much pain at the form of broken hearts in marriage that any hope she once had has dwindled. It is now time for her to either accept the painful defeat of life or find hope in an attempt of grace in action. This book tells the story of Cassie and gets a good foot in the door of the tale behind Belle's life. (Cannot wait for another book in the series to find out more!!)



    Many people know and think about abuse and how it is a physical pain, but often they forget about the emotional and spiritual scars that are endured as well. Within this tale, various characters find ways of adapting and moving forward in life from years of proverbial abuse. Some make the right decisions and some do not. Watching these characters and their mistakes and correct actions can cause a reader to grow as well.



    This book is filled to the brim with situations where a reader can learn through someone's pain instead of their own. Also in the style of Mary Connealy, conversations and events fill a reader full to giggling whether they want to or not. Their were points where I'm not sure if I should blame my own pregnancy or not for the giggles brought me to tears. For me personally, another best part of this book was reading about two characters and their own experiences with pregnancy. This is the first book with a birth that I have been blessed to read that was more than she's pregnant and in the last chapter has the babe. I was enthralled by the experiences and interactions that it proved to provide with neighbors and spouses.



    And now, I impatiently wait for the next book in the series or other from the imaginations of Mary Connealy!!

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  • Posted June 25, 2009

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    Great new start to a series!

    Mary Connealy is an author who truly knows how to grab your attention right from the get go.

    As Cassie Griffin watches her husband get buried, she feels utterly hopeless. Alone and pregnant, she has nowhere to turn. Thank God for the likes of Red Dawson, who steps up to marry her, take her back to his home, and care for her. Though this decision is sudden, it is the only way to keep Cassie safe from slimy villain Wade Sawyer.

    Connealy has created two humble, innocent characters in Cassie and Red. Readers will thrill in watching them grow up together, learn together, and best of all, love together. There are some honest laugh-out-loud scenes as Cassie fumbles to learn about Ranch Life, as well as a sincerely sweet, tear-jerking moment when Cassie finally gives birth.

    The focus may be on Cassie and Red, but the story is full of dynamic characters. Side characters such as the rough and tough Belle and her daughters, and the lovely Muriel round out the plot, leaving openings for future installments. There is also plenty of Connealy's signature action - fights, weather, wild animals - to keep you turning the pages late into the night. Connealy is a master of keeping solid Christian values in her books, without the message feeling too overwhelming. I am very excited to continue with this new series!

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  • Posted June 1, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    The first Montana Marriages Americana romance is a strong tale that focuses on the impact of spousal abuse

    In 1875 in the Montana Territory, Cassie Griffin's abusive husband dies. She has no time to rejoice or grieve her loss as the same day she has her odious spouse interred, she must pick his replacement as that is the law with a shortage of marriageable females. Cassie selects Red Dawson, who, as a Good Samaritan, offers to marry her to keep her safe from a stalker. Neither wants to wed, but do.

    They exchange their vows and immediately go to his ranch to live. Cassie quickly realizes how unsophisticated she is when it comes to relationships with people, especially men and even with God. Red quickly understands that his frightened little mouse of a wife is an abuse victim. As they fall in love, he wonders if she will ever trust him.

    The first Montana Marriages Americana romance is a strong tale that focuses on the impact of spousal abuse even after the abuser is dead. Cassie is a super soul struggling between her growing attraction and love to her second husband and her fear of being touched. Red is a kindhearted person who marries Cassie to keep her safe not expecting to fall in love with "the mouse that roared". Although perhaps a bit simplistic, Mary Connealy provides a wonderful Reconstruction Era inspirational as love heals all wounds.

    Harriet Klausner

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    Posted January 10, 2012

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    Posted November 22, 2011

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    Posted December 27, 2009

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