Petticoat Ranch

( 52 )


Sophie Edwards is doing just fine alone, until a strange—yet oddly familiar—man rides into her life, insisting on rescuing her and her four daughters. Can she find a way to love a headstrong mountain man? When Clay McClellan discovers his brother has been murdered, he's bent on finding the killers and seeing them properly hung. But first his Christian duty demands that he ...
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Petticoat Ranch (Lassoed in Texas Series #1)

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Sophie Edwards is doing just fine alone, until a strange—yet oddly familiar—man rides into her life, insisting on rescuing her and her four daughters. Can she find a way to love a headstrong mountain man? When Clay McClellan discovers his brother has been murdered, he's bent on finding the killers and seeing them properly hung. But first his Christian duty demands that he marry his sister-in-law. After all, Sophie needs someone to protect her—right?

The Lassoed in Texas Series:
Book 1 - Petticoat Ranch
Book 2 - Calico Canyon
Book 3 - Gingham Mountain

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal

Sophie Edwards is a Civil War widow with four children. Clay McCellen decides to marry his sister-in-law, but he comes to realize that Sophie and her daughters are more than he can handle. This novelist lives in Nebraska.

—Tamara Butler Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781620297957
  • Publisher: Barbour Publishing, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 4/1/2013
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 352
  • Sales rank: 423,808
  • Product dimensions: 4.10 (w) x 7.40 (h) x 0.80 (d)

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 a little bevy of spectacular grandchildren. Find Mary online at
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 52 )
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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 52 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 10, 2007

    Demeaning Women: Strong Women Taught to Cower to Men, it deserves a Zero

    It has been a long time since I have been so angry and disgusted with a book. I held high hopes throughout the first few chapters, but with each passing comment I became more and more disgusted with its patriarchal comments against women. Unfortunately there are far too many examples to write down here, but I'll name a few. Sophie is about 1 or 2 months pregnant and walks up a hill. Her new husband, Clay, finds her, demeans her in public berating her for her stupidity to walk up a hill calling her a 'disobedient, little wife' and THEN when they arrive back at the house he tells her daughters that he didn't give Sophie's 'backside a tanning' as if she's lucky that he didn't. They argue constantly. Most every time Sophie is in the right and EVERYTIME Sophie backs down. In one instance, she finally confronts him about his frequent use of calling her and the little girls 'stupid' -he defends himself saying that he knows that they're smart and he only calls them stupid WHEN they ACT stupid. There is so solution or compromise on his part, the argument ends literally and unbelievably when he calls Sophie pretty and she lamely says, 'You think I'm pretty?' The women have taken care of themselves for about 7 years, but when Clay comes they PRETEND to be stupid so as not to hurt his feelings. Mandy pretends not to know how to rope cattle, the younger girls pretend they don't know how to saddle horses, etc. It's pathetic. There is no equality in this marriage, no matching of pairs of equal responsibility. I waited and waited for some type of resolution to come out of this marriage, something that allowed Clay to admit that women aren't all 'helpless, little wives' that should ask their husband permission to do the simplest of tasks or be berated infront of the children. His character doesn't change. What is inspirational about a book that leaves this man the way he is? A book that demeans and portrays strong women cowering to men?Women pretending to be weak? DO NOT READ

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 11, 2007

    Characters actions seem unlikely

    Let me preface this review with informing you that I am a Christian so my poor review is not based on any hostility, etc towards religion. In my opinion, this shouldn't be classified as a romance. The focus was definitely on morality, religion, and western survival. I just thought the characters acted a little inconsistently. Sophie, a tough as nails rancher who now lives in a thicket, has no urge to marry again after the poor treatment she received from her first husband. She has turned down multiple offers after being widowed. Upon first meeting her brother-in-law who believes they should marry, she agrees. Why? He offered no words of love. She doesn't seem to NEED a man. Why wouldn't the book be about him trying to convince her to marry him after showing he is nothing like his brother? And, just after being married a month, she finds out she's pregnant? She must be very fertile...and has a sixth sense about this because I don't know anyone who can figure it out that quickly without an EPT. This woman who wanted nothing to do with another man not only marries quickly but immediately knows him in the Biblical sense without a fight or even discussion? That's taking wifely obediance a little too seriously. Clay (the hero) has never been around women but immediately offers to marry Sophie because there's something in the Bible about taking care of your brother's widow. I do know the quote but I think that he jumped on that passage pretty quickly. The TWO men who hear Sophie calling through thousands of miles for her help seemed a little farfetched. Sophie complains about how poorly the townspeople treated her but as soon as she's married, suddenly they welcome her back in the fold? Either the author is trying to portray these Christian people as hypocrites, opportunists or completely fickle. And I always hate an ending where the person conveniently has twins. Especially when its not genetically linked on the father's side at all.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 29, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    My favorite western, bar none!

    This story starts out with a in non-stop action. I had to laugh at the girls fighting all the time and poor Clay not knowing how to handle all the woman 'stuff' because he'd never been around them much. Ironically that primitive mentality made him all that more attractive as a hero. He's a real man's man and as such, the very tomboyish girls and his new wife go out of their way to perpetuate that acting incompetent when they are just as good with a gun and lasso as any man on the frontier. Many of the scenes made me smile. Connealy is very witty and her caveman humor is to-die-for funny! Plus, she has the dialogue down to a science...even had me thinking like a western yokel. :) Hilarious! A lot of times romantic tension in novels feels contrived and the animosity forced. Not so in this one. Sophie had every reason to want to chokehold the man and kiss him senseless all in the same breath. Wow. I loved that. She's fiesty and loveable without feeling forced by the author. Did I mention that I love marriages of convenience stories? The only thing in this one that made me snicker is the hero kisses her breathless a few times and later on she's feeling faint! I had no idea they'd consummated their relationship. Made me go back and search for what I was missing. Must've been that warm snuggling Clay referenced in his thoughts that got her 'in the family way.' I know, you're snickering, too. Maybe it was the publisher's idea to skip that, but it made me smile regardless. :) The most satisfying of all was the culmination at the end. Without giving away the details I'll just say that it reminded me a lot of the Home Alone movies. One exciting event after another. Tough girls who know how to survive and a momma who taught them well. In the end I felt just as proud of them all as if I'd been there myself. I'd totally bought into the plot and my heart was with the couple through to the last page. Tender and sweet, tough and calculating, adventurous and passionate...this story has it all. It's now at the top of my list of favorite historical westerns. It's the best one I've ever read, bar none.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 24, 2014

    Amazing book!

    A good story of hardship and romance. Loved it!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 30, 2013

    Stablehand house

    For breaks and to sleep and eat.

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  • Posted August 8, 2013

    I just finished reading Petticoat Ranch by Mary Connealy. Mary C

    I just finished reading Petticoat Ranch by Mary Connealy.
    Mary Connealy is absolutely one of my favorite authors. Everything she writes is heartfelt, awesome, and HILARIOUS.
    Petticoat Ranch, her first published novel, is no exception.
    Sophie Edwards and her family of four young daughters have a very nice life, living in hiding in a thicket outside town--they even have a disguise Sophie wears whenever they have "visitors" so everybody thinks a crazy old woman lives there.
    Everything changes one night when a mysterious man who is being chased comes riding through their little home. He is thrown from his horse into a flooding river and Sophie and her girls rescue him.
    What shocks the girls is that, once he is cleaned up, he looks exactly like Sophie's dead husband. Exactly.
    Clay McClellan turns out to be Cliff's twin brother, a brother whom Cliff himself did not know about. Clay decides it is his duty to marry his brother's widow to support her, and he does just that.

    Clay buys back his brother's ranch and moves the family back. He finds himself stuck in a world full of females--unlike any other he has seen before. When the bad guys who killed Sophie's first husband returns, a lot of great action ensues.
    I struggled to put this book down. It is a must-read.

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  • Posted August 15, 2012

    more from this reviewer


    Sophie Edwards has been hiding and living on her own for two years in the thicket. One night a man rides by her home and over a cliff. Seconds before a flash flood threatens to kill her and the mystery rider she and her girls pull the man to safety. As they work to doctor the man up Sophia soon realizes he looks just like her husband. Problem is she buried him herself two years ago!! Clay wakes up and thinks he is surrounded by angels. Soon he finds out that Sophia is his late brothers wife. He plans to look after the family and has Sophia married to him before she can beat him senseless for such an idea! What follows is a hysterical love story filled with laughter, love and petticoats.

    Last year I was lucky enough to read the series Sophie’s Daughters which is the three young girls(Mandy, Beth and Sally) in this book all grown up. I have wanted to go back and read how it all began and finally a few months back the Kindle version of the whole trilogy was released.

    What I liked: Sophie and her girls are great you can’t help but fall in love with them. They are strong Texas ladies and letting a man into their life was quite fun to read. I also enjoyed meeting some of the side characters. Plus the story of Sophia praying to God for help which in turn had people coming from 100’s of miles away to help her was really neat and a cool way to show how God is always their for us.

    What I did not like: The one thing that kind of bothered me was the rule Clay made with the girls about no crying. I know its part of the story line and parts of that carries over to the series about them, I just thought it was kind of stupid. But watching Clay run every time a girl cried was funny!

    Over all this was a great book and I really enjoyed it and can’t wait to read the other two books in the series. I just love Mary’s writing style and how she tells her stories. I really can not get enough of her and can see myself going back and rereading her books at some point which is not something I do a lot. If you like Historical Fiction and Western Romance this is a great book for you.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 4, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

    No text was provided for this review.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 7, 2011


    This book is amazing! I loved how the girls defended the ranch with out a problem while the men where out trying to save them from getting hurt. Mary is such a good author! A definate read!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 20, 2008

    One of my favorites!

    Historical fiction is my favorite Christian fiction genre I believe. It is how I got started reading Christian fiction, one problem with it, is that some how I seem to have started with the best and often have a hard time finding anything that really meets the par. Things are great and enjoyable, but not quite as exciting as those first Liz Curtis Higgs or Tracie Peterson and even Francine Rivers' Redeeming Love. Well, boy is that not the case with Mary Connealy! Welcome to my favorites' shelf! (Literally I do have a favorites' shelf, if my mom didn't have half my books from it, I'd post a picture). (Ugh, it was a library book... I'll have to get a copy to put on my favorites' shelf....) Petticoat Ranch is everything that a good historical fiction should be, and I'm glad to have read it. I'm a southern gal through and through, and I'd like to think myself a Southern Belle. I'm really invested in my genealogy, and I have my family tracked for years to the late sixteen century in the Carolinas, and Virginia, and then later Georgia, Florida, Tennessee and Texas. I guess one way to put it, is to say that I'm completely biased. I love the bumper sticker that says 'North 1 South 0 Half Time'. Not that I'm saying 'yay to slavery', but I know the stories, and have read journals of my own family members and have seen how cruel some of the North was against them. Not saying the South were angels, but I'm partial to my rebels, as they are my own blood. With that said... It's often hard for me to ever feel much for a story with Norther ties and empathy. Not at all the case with this book. I so feel for the characters, they are completely real to me, and I'm fully on their side! This book was incredible. I cannot count the times that I giggled, or rolled my eyes. I have no recollection of how many times I scoffed or said, 'MEN!'. I am quite unsure of how many times I snickered and had a little evil laugh, feeling I'm sure the emotions of Sophie and her girls. In all cases, it was plenty, and I definitely was smiling through out this novel. That is, when I wasn't scowling and wanting revenge for my own self. The sermons were perfect and powerful, and so true to how God works. The reactions of the characters was real, and the men were not overly flowery, but were such 'men'. (A problem often found with women authors, but not so with this book in my opinion. With that said, usually male authors have problems with their female characters in my mind too.) Sophie is such a strong woman, struggling to keep it all together, and I just love her personality. The girls are fabulous, and I really giggle and evil giggle with Beth loving what she's up to. I really cannot praise this story enough, now that I think about it. So many different personalities are captured within the different characters, and the main two commandments of Love from Jesus Christ reverberate through the pages. Even the most stubborn of a person can see a little insight into themselves through these pages.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 3, 2008

    Old-Fashioned FUN

    This book reminded me of the style of one of my favorite Regency romance writers, Barbara Metzger. The exagerated characters, their off-th-wall reasoning, and the perfect comedic timing. Mary Connelly captured that same zany humor, developed it in an entirely different setting, and added the God-fearing undergirding with just the right touch to brighten the story and not overwhelm it. Mrs. Connelly, may never have read a Metzger book, but she has the same type of distinctive voice that captures and pleases a reader. Bravo!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 26, 2007

    I loved the whole book!!!

    I hope there is a sequal to this book. I loved the story line and the humor. It was awesome!!!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 28, 2007

    A reviewer

    I really wasn't sure what to expect from this book..the first line on the back says 'Outlaws and In-Laws face off on the Texas Frontier.' The line didn't do much to excite me, and I figured I was about to read a romance novel set in Texas. As we all know, I'm not a huge fan of romance novels in general. To my surprise, 'Petticoat Ranch' proved to be a lot more than that. While there is an element of romance, and it is indeed set in Texas, there is a lot more to it than that. The story centers around a young widowed woman raising four girls on her own. After her husband died, Sophie Edwards was forced to leave her home and move her four young girls into the wilderness. Though having always been a tough woman capable of survival, Sophie was forced to expand her skills, and instill the survival instinct in her daughters. One night a stranger is badly injured nearby. Though frightened that her hideaway will be revealed, Sophie cannot sit by and watch someone in pain. As the stranger heals, their interconnected pasts are revealed, and a relationship is formed. Mixed in with the empowered women, the love story and the survival story, are a band of outlaws hell bent on getting Sophie out of the picture forever. These men are reckless and don't bat an eye at the idea of killing a woman. After coming eye to eye with their leader, Sophie realizes she knows this man and understands why her life is truly in danger. 'Petticoat Ranch' is a quick moving story..the intensity of the opening chapters sucked me in quickly and never really released their hold on me. It's nice to find a story that you can lose yourself in, and that's what I did with this one. Two thumbs up!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 18, 2007

    'Petticoat Ranch' Rocks!!!!

    I loved 'Petticoat Ranch'! It was a funny drama filled book that i have read over and over agian.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 26, 2007


    What a well-written historical romance! Mary Connealy¿s witty, warm story grabbed my heart from the very first scene. Sophie Edwards is a tough, all-or-nothing kind of woman with four little girls to protect on a falling-down ranch in 1867 Texas. Her husband Clay is dead, and all the responsibilities of running the ranch fall to her and her 2- to 10-year old girls. In comes Clay McClellan, her dead husband¿s twin brother, and bless his heart, he hasn¿t a clue what to do with five females. Mary Connealy¿s easy wit and true-to-life dialogue and characterizations draw the reader into this ¿Mars¿ meets ¿Venus¿ story and true love eventually conquers. This is such a great story, and so different from the historicals I¿ve read. It¿s real, it¿s funny, it¿s heart-warming, it¿s romantic. Read Pettical Ranch. You will absolutely love it!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 26, 2007

    Mary Connealy is a new voice in Christian fiction!

    In PETTICOAT RANCH, Mary Connealy weaves a heartwarming tale set in 1867 Mosqueros, Texas, of widow Sophie Edwards and her four young daughters forced to live in a protective thicket to ward off the advances of lecherous men from the nearby town. When her murdered husbandâ¿¿s twin stumbles into her path, their marriage of convenience changes Sophieâ¿¿s life for the better. But now she must tame her new headstrong husband who has no idea how to handle the gaggle of women threatening to turn his stable world topsy-turvy. In a humorous yet poignant way, Mary explores the tug-of-war struggle between two strong-willed people who eventually fall in love. But be warned, thereâ¿¿s nothing syrupy sweet about this story except for Sophieâ¿¿s darlinâ¿¿ daughters. Ranch life requires constant vigilance as danger abounds, especially when the varmints who murdered Sophieâ¿¿s first husband return to kill her and take over the ranch. Sophieâ¿¿s call for help to a God sheâ¿¿s not sure is listening brings together an eclectic group of cowpokes who apprehend a few of the scalawags while the real scoundrels lie in wait until the womenfolk are unprotected. Of course, Sophie and the girls have prepared for the worst, and in a delightful twist, the bad guys eventually get their comeuppance. Mary Connealy is an accomplished writer whose story brims with grit and determination. Prepare to chuckle one minute and feel a tug at your heartstrings the next. PETTICOAT RANCH is a must read! Buy it now!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 27, 2007

    Christian Historical Western Made Fun

    What does a seasoned cowboy, raised by mountain men and toughened by the trail, do when confronted by a feisty vision of femininity? Throw in a passel of cute-as-bug girls with tears that flow a-plenty, and just watch this self-assured cowboy crumble. Clay McClellan has his hands full when he vows to serve and protect Sophie Edwards and her daughters, and regain control of the ranch his brother called home before being lynched by a vigilante. Love and laughter fill the pages of Connealy's debut novel bringing joy back into the old West. A must-read novel, Petticoat Ranch offers a great start to a long, successful future for a most talented author.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 17, 2007

    Delightfully fun read

    Mary Connealy made her first trip out of the publishing gate a memorable one. Not that I want to equate Mary with a horse, but you get my drift. Petticoat Ranch is a fun, light-hearted inspirational read that allows the reader a humor-filled glimpse into the harsh realities of Western life for women. Sophie and her girls form a close-knit family that becomes better in stages when Sophie marries Clay, a somewhat sexist and clueless-about-women guy. (Are there guys who aren't clueless about women??? Just asking.) If it's cold where you are, put on a pot o' tea or grab a steaming mug of cappuccino or plain old Joe, sit back and read Connealy's first published novel. If it's hot, you're probably reaching for the sweet tea. In any case, read this delightful entry into the published world.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 18, 2007

    Hilarious Battle-of-the-sexes

    I read Katie's review, below, and had to laugh. Petticoat Ranch's underlying theme is about dealing with anger and it sounds like that struck a little too close to home for Katie. I loved Petticoat Ranch, a light-hearted guys against the girls story where everybody wins and everybody learns, through as many mix-ups and misunderstandings as possible, to respect each other's strength.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 25, 2007

    Great Christian Romance

    This wonderful Western Christian Romance is a lesson in a time much rougher than now. Sophie is a gutsy herioine way before her time, who through heartache, dissapointment, and the will to survive is rewarded by God. A great clean, spiritual, funny, loving read!!! I would definitely read more of this author, but can't find anything else by her.

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