Fire up your love of romance with Montana Rose, where Cassie Griffin, a seemingly spoiled pregnant woman, is widowed one day and wedded the next. Marrying handyman Red Dawson seems the only alternative to Cassie’s being hitched to a brutal rancher. But can this “china doll” bear exchanging smooth silk for coarse calico? Red was reluctant to be yoked to an unbeliever, but sometimes a man has no choice. Will Red change Cassie’s heart by changing her name? Wade Sawyer is obsessed with saving Cassie from a marriage of convenience. How far will he go make her his own?
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By Mary Connealy
Barbour Publishing, Inc.Copyright © 2009 Mary Connealy
All rights reserved.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This isn't my usual kind of book, but I'm glad I won it in the Early Reviewers giveaway. Connealy writes very believable characters--flawed, all on different paths, sympathetic even when they're not the protagonists. That's one of the things I liked best about Montana Rose; nobody is painted as being evil, just caught up in their troubles and not seeing the truth.Cassie is a young woman out on the frontier of Montana whose abusive first husband has died, and who then is married to Red, a man she didn't even really know but who cannot bear the thought of her left to the mercies of the rough men of the town. The book tells the story of their getting to know each other, of him helping her heal the scars of her past, of both of them growing in love and faith for each other. It's a sweet and gentle book, and I will definitely be on the lookout for more in this series.
This was a very well-written book and the author displayed an excellent writing style; however, I just couldn't get into it. This book did cover a number of issue and contained great characters but Christian Romances are not my genre.
I received this book as a part of the Early Reviewers giveaways. I am so glad I won this book because it has introduced me to a new author to follow! The minute I began reading this book, I knew I was going to enjoy it. I found myself wanting to read the book all the time, not wanting to stop reading!The characters in this book are wonderful to read about. You can feel the emotion in the writing, and genuinely feel for the characters. I look forward to reading the next book in the Montana Marriages collection by Mary Connealy!
This is my first full book of this author's and I must say I LOVED it! It contains not only good Christian teaching without being preachy, but also a great storyline and humor. It caused me to think about some of my beliefs and actions and really left me feeling good when I finished it.I can't wait to start "The Husband Tree".
When Cassie's extravagant, free-spending husband dies, leaving the young 18-year-old pregnant and penniless, she's forced to choose a husband the very next day who can offer protection and provide for her baby. Red Dawson offers to marry her, only to save her from the rough treatment she's sure to encounter from some of the other men. When he takes his spoiled bride to his sod home, he wonders if he's made a mistake. The worst of it is that she doesn't share his faith. Red is determined to teach Cassie how to be a proper Montana ranch wife, but neither of them is prepared for what the future holds.... I enjoyed this book so much for many different reasons. First of all, the characters practically leap off the page. They are multi-dimensional, and Mary Connealy really does a fantastic job of creating people you care about. The heart of this story is Red and Cassie, but the secondary characters were just as wonderful. Cassie forms a friendship with some of the local women, and they are just as endearing. Secondly, the romance is to die for. Red is such a patient man, and he's very considerate and careful with Cassie. I love that from the beginning, he always calls her, "Cass, honey." He cherishes her and in every possible way, puts her needs before his own. Thirdly, although the romance is its principal draw, there are parts of this book that are very funny. Cassie has never had to do manual labor, and when she tries to help Red with the ranch work, it always ends in disaster. To make matters worse, she feels sorry for her husband, believing him to be accident prone! Finally, there is a villain who causes suspense. I don't like plots that are too easy. Every story needs a challenge, and Wade provides that conflict for Red and Cassie. All the above factors create an enjoyable read that seeks to show God's love, not just tell about it. It's inspirational, but not preachy. The author's easy writing style and pacing added to the story's appeal. The story switches from Cassie's view to Red's to other characters as well, giving you a well-rounded story. I can't wait to read the next in the series, as the characters played such a role in this first book.
Married at 15 to her guardian, Cassie Griffin at 18 finds herself a widow and very pregnant. Cassie is called a "China Doll" by the towns-people in Divide, Montana, and there being no shortage of prospective husbands, Red Dawson, a young independent rancher, steps forward to marry her. He takes her to his cave home where he teaches her to milk, gather eggs, and feed Harriet, the mean sow. All the while, Wade Sawyer, the wayward son of a wealthy rancher, watches Cassie and Red from afar, awaiting his chance to kill Red and take Cassie as his wife. Red patiently suffers Cassie's fits of anguish, submissiveness, and unique brand of ranch help while waiting for the baby to be born. The story is slow going but is a fast read. It is a story of faith and determination. It may be Red's story although intended to be Cassie's.
True confession time: I only requested this book because I have an unrequited love affair with all things Montana. I didn't really pay any attention to the description of the book beyond the title, so it was a bit of a surprise to realize as I read that it was (in my view) a Christian romance. I lowered my expectations accordingly (having found previously that books with such an overt point of view, whatever it is, tend to have less-than-stellar writing and plotting) and kept reading.How refreshing, then, to find that Montana Rose is a very good book. It is well-written, and the characters appealingly drawn. In a nutshell, a woman in 19th century Montana finds herself widowed and pregnant, an unacceptable condition in that time and place. She is forced into marriage with a local fellow (at her husband's funeral, no less!) who is a virtual stranger, and struggles to make a life for herself and her family.The Christian message is not subtle, but it fits smoothly within the narrative rather than sticking out like a sore thumb. It's true, though, that I don't have any beef with a Christian viewpoint, being one myself though not evangelical. Someone with a strong non-Christian worldview would probably find this book's message overbearing.As I said, there were some interesting plot "twists." I dreaded the inevitable preaching about a woman learning that it is her Christian duty to be submissive and obedient to her husband, but that wasn't the message at all. Cassie's new husband, Red, is much more interested in molding Cassie into a wife who can be an equal partner for him in their hardscrabble frontier life.Still, it's hard for a Christian novel to generate much reader suspense over whether the good guys will prevail and the bad guys be thwarted. There's really only one way for it all to work out, so the emphasis for me as a reviewer became whether the journey is enjoyable even when the destination is preordained. In the case of Montana Rose the answer, quite happily, is yes.
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!!
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. As I read I was reminded that I had just recently read another book by this same author. Both books were set in the West, had female protagonists, and marriages that were necessary. Montana Rose (I never did figure out what the title was about) is about a woman I have almost nothing in commmon with. Yet her relationship with Red snagged my attention. The fundamental faith of the characters was believable. I liked the way Red preached. For a fun read, try it.
This book made me laugh out loud in several places, and smile in many more. It was a fun read. Cassie Griffen lives in Divide, Montana, where a single woman doesn't stay single for long. The book starts out with her burying her husband and then pretty much being forced to marry again on that same day. Red Dawson steps in and marries Cassie to save her from a far worse fate. Now he must help her become her own person, not some made-up person her previous husband made her into. The interaction and mishaps that happen to them are funny and tender and I enjoyed reading this story. Looking forward to reading book two in this series!
I read straight through this entire book in one evening, and I felt light-headed afterwards, like I'd been looking over the characters' shoulders while I went. At first, Cassie irritated me to no end; any woman who tries so hard to be obedient to someone who continually demeans her...I had to forcibly remind myself that she didn't have the benefit of the feminist movement or a strong, supportive mother her whole life.I've never actually read Love Comes Softly, which Mary Connealy cites as inspiration for the opening plot, but if it's even half as engaging as Montana Rose, I'm sold already! I fell in love with Red right along with Cassie, and I feared for them both every time the scene cut to Wade, watching from afar. We have a term for men like him in the twenty-first century! Stalker!But the final scene, the explosive ending...well, I don't know if anyone saw it coming. I sure didn't! And I have to admit that Mary's solution was far more Christian and completely more satisfying than my own reaction of "Oh, just shoot him, already!"This wasn't just an exemplary work of historical fiction, but it was also a work of inspiration that no one who reads it will soon forget! I can't wait for the next in the series, and I've already checked Petticoat Ranch out from the library!
The beginning grabbed my attention. Unfortunately it didn¿t last long. After the initial interest the book read like a journal. An interesting journal, but a journal none the less. I waited patiently for something to happen. My patience was soon rewarded!The characters; Red, Cassie and Wade could be from any era, but living in Montana after the Civil War helps to make them more believable. Times are hard; women are scarce. Cassie went from wife to widow to newly married in less than 24 hours.Though the novel is a Christian romance, it isn¿t preachy. You won¿t be bombarded with scripture or `fire and brimstone¿ sermons. The internal conflicts are those that people of many faiths must deal with even today. It was an easy read and I came away feeling good.
Montana Rose is a sweet story about Cassie and Red. The story takes place in the 1800s in Montana and gives us a glimpse of what life was like for a widowed woman. While I did like the story I always felt like Red was a little too modern in his thinking. I thought his opinions and way he thought women should be treated was great but was it accurate to the time? Minor detail really, since the story was enjoyable. Since this is a first in the Montana Marriages series, the author left the door open for other character's stories to be written. I will definitely look for these new books to find out about the people from Divide. If you like Christian fiction you will enjoy this book.
I couldn¿t believe my luck when I snagged a book for an Early Review. Even though Montana Rose is not a book that I would normally be attracted to, I was excited to have the ability to share my opinion with others. I can¿t say I¿ll be drawn to read other books in this series, but I did enjoy branching out a bit. So here goes¿.I couldn¿t help but feel for Cassie (the main character) in many scenes. I always tried to keep in mind that this was set in time where women weren¿t thought of as much more than property (as seen when Cassie¿s first husband dies and the fight for her hand in marriage), or I might have gotten annoyed at how poorly women are treated. Like most books, I enjoy ¿ there was a definite change in characters. Red sacrifices his life as a single man in Montana to marry Cassie and save her from wretched men in those parts. Cassie learns to look to Red as her husband and no longer just the man that saved her. Red is perhaps the best character, trying desperately to teach his new wife that she doesn¿t need to be submissive to him; that his house is their house, that Cassie doesn¿t have to agree to everything he says, that she can actually laugh ¿ all things she was never allowed to do previously. Bottom line: this book is about finding your way, finding faith and understanding love and life.
5 STARS Its a Christian romance with a good story. It kept me wanting to see what happens next. I would like to read more books by Mary.It starts with Cassie mourning her husband dead. Everyone in town new her husband was always spending money on her and he had loans everywhere.Their is not a lot of women in this small town in Montana. The men were gathering around her saying she had to choose right after the funeral. Cassie or China Doll some called her was in shock. Muriel the shopkeeper's wife tried to help her and wanted Red the grave digger to marry her. Red did not want to especially right their at cemetary. Than Wade and his father Mort Sawyer said, She is marrying him. Mort carried her to his horse. Now Mort was big rancher and people were scared of him and his men. Cassie tried to get away and Red Dawson came and rescued her from him and asked Cassie to marry him. So right their at the grave she got married again. Cassie at 12 lost her mom and Griff became her guardian and married her at 15 and moved them to Divide Montana. He spent all of her inhertance and morgage all her belongings. So now she had nothing but a dress and was pregnant.Red is a honest hard worker. He went around and paid off her debts that her husband made. Red worked and barted for all he had and now had a small home,full pantry 500 cows. Red preached on sundays. delivered groceries on sat.Clean stables. you really care about Cassie and Red and the people of divide. I would like to see how things turned out for Belle.I enjoyed this story I was given to read in exchane of honest review from Netgalley.
From the outside Cassie Griffin looked like she had everything. A nice house, silk dresses and all the pretty things money could buy. Everything that is except a loving husband. Griff was a rough man who always made his 'china doll' feel unworthy. Then one day Griff dies. Cassie is left pregnant and penniless. Because the preacher is in town they feel like she should marry up with one of the cowboys. Her choices are not too great (especially a rich ranchers son named Wade Sawyer) but when Red Dawson steps up to the plate she agrees to marry him. Red is a fine man who slowly teacher Cassie how a real man should love his wife. Can he help her become more than just a submissive mouse? Will Cassie ever feel worthy of Red's love? And what will happen when Wade decides that the 'china doll' should belong to him?This was a very enjoyable story. I fell in love with Red. Who wouldn't! The secondary characters were interesting too. Especially Belle. The rough and tough gal who always manages to marry worthless men. I have a feeling we haven't seen the last of her. As with all of Mary's books she mixes a generous portion of humor, mayhem and a dash of suspense.
This was a sweet love story. Taking place in the 1800's, this is a Western love story between Cassie & Red. It was great to see Cassie become a stronger woman and fall in love. That time was very difficult for women. But it was a sweet and moving love story.
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!!
First I thought, this is too melodramatic. Then I thought, this is too sweet. Then I finished reading the book and found it was neither. In 1875 single women in Montana Territory were a scarce commodity and did not usually remain unattached for long. When Cassie¿s much older husband dies, and she ends up marrying Red Dawson, almost before the grave is cold, they are both in for an experience of change and growth that neither one can imagine. I enjoyed seeing how they grew to trust each other, how Red¿s Christian faith formed his behavior, and how Cassie came to follow Red¿s faith. There are moments of both danger (from another man who wanted to marry Cassie) and comedy (as Cassie and Red learn about each other). The side story about Belle and Anthony seemed distracting, but it did show another woman¿s way of coping with the hardships of living in the western states in the late 1880¿s. This is the first in the Montana marriages series. It was a quick and pleasant read and I would be willing to read more in the series or more of Mary Connealy¿s books.
Montana Rose is a powerful tale of personal struggles. The story begins with Cassie's struggles to choose what to do with her life after her husband and mentor dies. She is gorgeous and pregnant and believes she has no choice but to marry a man she doesn¿t know. As the story continues, Cassie evolves and comes to know herself. Her new marriage to Red Dawson brings an opportunity for growth and reflection before her new baby arrives. It is a romantic story grounded in a story about God and his enduring love, but it is also a story about how much strength a woman can have when put in a seriously difficult situation.
Outstanding storyline and cast of characters. This is indeed a great story and I can add no more except to say that all the reviews about Red, Cassie, Wade, Belle and the other characters....so true. A truly great read! I have to read both Belle's (book 2) and Wade's (book 3) stories. Excellent HEA. Happy Reading! *****vrnb****
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. :)