Now and Forever

Now and Forever

by Mary Connealy

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Overview

Now and Forever by Mary Connealy

Saddle up for romance and adventure with the Wilde sisters!

Shannon Wilde is the middle sister--and the one who loves animals. She's established her own homestead and is raising sheep for their wool. Things are going fine...until Shannon gets swept over a cliff by Matthew Tucker!

Tucker seizes every opportunity to get away from civilization, but one particular walk in the woods ends with him sprinting away from an angry grizzly and plunging into a raging river, accidentally taking Shannon Wilde with him. Their adventure in the wilderness results in the solitary mountain man finding himself hitched to a young woman with a passel of relatives, a homestead, and a flock of sheep to care for.

As Tucker and Shannon learn to live with each other, strange things begin to happen on Shannon's land. Someone clearly wants to drive her off, but whoever it is apparently didn't count on Tucker. Trying to scare Matthew Tucker just makes him mad--and trying to hurt the woman he's falling in love with sets off something even he never expected.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780764211799
Publisher: Baker Publishing Group
Publication date: 06/02/2015
Series: Wild at Heart Series , #2
Pages: 336
Sales rank: 408,725
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

Mary Connealy is an award-winning, bestselling author known for her fun and lively historical romantic comedies. An author, teacher, and journalist, Mary lives on an eastern Nebraska ranch with her husband and enjoys spending time with her four daughters and three grandchildren. Learn more at www.maryconnealy.com.

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Now and Forever 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 24 reviews.
Blooming-with-Books More than 1 year ago
Now and Forever Wild at Heart By Mary Connealy Shannon Wilde has a soft spot for animals and she babies her sheep carrying into and out of the barn if necessary. But when she and Mathew Tucker end up on the wrong side of a protective mamma grizzly they end up on the wrong side of a cliff in a river no one has been known to survive. But surviving a deadly river is just the beginning of the troubles they find themselves in. Shannon may be the second Wilde sister to fall to the bonds of matrimony. But marriage to a mountain man is not something she wants. Nor is leaving her sheep and homestead behind. Matt Tucker has no plans to marry. He enjoys the life he has and can't see any woman agreeing to live up in the mountains with him. And he isn't willing to to leave any woman behind like his pa did. To his way of thinking a solitary life is his one and only option. But then an unexpected trip over a cliff wasn't an option in his opinion either. But civilization and a certain preacher have a different opinion about what is best for Tucker and Shannon after their fall. Pa is sure to be riled if Shannon gets married, giving possession of her claim to a man. What's a girl to do? If you're one of the Wilde sisters you prove to be stubborn with carefully hidden secrets that just might scare off most men. But when someone becomes determined to run Shannon off her claim it might not be a bad thing to have a man around to help her protect what is hers. But just how desperate is the coward who only attacks in the dark of night? And just how far will he go to get Shannon's claim? If you up for a humorous and intense story that features some seemingly impossible escapes you need to check-out the second book in the Wild at Heart series. This historical fiction is set shortly after the Civil War during the 1860's land rush in the Dakota / Idaho Territory border region. If you want to escape into the pages of a book give this one a try. I was provided a copy of this book by the publisher in exchange for my honest review.
rkokes More than 1 year ago
Now and Forever by Mary Connealy is the second book in the Wild at Heart series. This book focuses on the middle Wilde sister-Shannon. Shannon simply wants to live a peaceful life tending her sheep on her very own claim-trying to forget the Civil War nightmares that continue to plague her most nights. What she doesn’t count on is going over a cliff into a roaring rapids with reclusive mountain man Matt Tucker. All at once Shannon is plunged into battling the wild, injuries, and now a mysterious stranger-trying to destroy her property and livestock in order to drive her from her land. Will she be able to survive, and can she learn to trust Matthew through it all? I have to admit, I had a hard time getting through the first chapter of this book. I guess I just didn’t like how it was written (seemed kind of cheesy), and it took me months to sit down and finish. Finally, I just sat down and kept reading, and am glad I did. This book DEFINITELY gets better! I really ended up liking this book-the main characters Shannon and Matt are very likeable, there is plenty of action and adventure, and the author did a great job building up suspense surrounding the bad guy. Normally, I can figure out who the bad guy is pretty fast, but I didn’t figure this one out until he was revealed, which was fun. This book ended up being a great, quick read, and if you enjoyed the first in the series, I recommend this one as well. Please note: this is series where I definitely need to read the first book before the second, or you miss out on a lot of history surrounding the characters. As always, I thank Bethany House for providing me with a free copy of this book for my unbiased review!
J_Augustine More than 1 year ago
Wilde about this story! Oh gosh! Just when I think Mary Connealy can't possibly come up with a better story, she goes right ahead and does just that. She definitely did with Now And Forever! I've been looking forward to the story of Shannon Wilde and Matthew Tucker for months, I even checked out Amazon and read the back cover blurb more than once, and believe me it lived up to my excited anticipation. Now And Forever had everything you could want in a book, danger, romance, humor, the guy rescuing the girl and vice versa, a dastardly villain, more revelations about the Wilde “brothers”, all wrapped in Mary Connealy's trademark excellent storytelling. Faith and forgiveness once again are key to the story and love triumphs over all. If you enjoyed the first book in the Wild At Heart series then you won't want to miss Now And Forever. I'm definitely on pins and needles waiting for the final book in the series. (I received a copy of this book from Bethany House in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.)
Cindy_k_greenCG More than 1 year ago
This is the 2nd book in the Wild at Heart series by Mary Connealy. I was so excited to have been chosen to review this book for Bethany House. I love Mary Connealy’s books and this one did not disappoint. Not having read book 1, at the onset there was some confusion on who all the characters were and how they were related, but once you get into the first chapter or so the book really is stand-alone. The author capably explains the necessary plot ideas that you might have missed from book 1. In Now and Forever, we meet Matt Tucker (wild man/mountain man) and Shannon Wilde (pretending to be a man since the Civil War and trying to forget that same war too) who end up going through an adventure together and surviving only to be forced into a marriage of convenience due to propriety. This is one of those books that you just tuck into, rest back into your pillow and enjoy every moment. Mary's writing style is so easy to get drawn into and before you know it several chapters have gone by. There's just something so genuine in the way the author creates her characters and as they reach their epiphany of life and love it touches your heart in a real way and the words flow over your soul and comfort you. Matt Tucker for instance is a hero to fall in love with and not just because he's handsome and able to fight and protect Shannon but he also has a heart for God. And he says things like this after Shannon finally divulges something personal and hurtful from her past: “”If I’m strong enough to listen, then for certain God is.” Memorable characters, terrific writing and the plotting and pacing are perfect. I definitely plan to get the other books in the series. I received a free copy of the book from Bethany House publishers for an honest review.
DKStevens119 More than 1 year ago
Wow! Action right from the start and kept me entertained through the whole adventure! I felt the bear breathing down Tucker's neck and then the breathtaking jump over the rock cliff wrapped in the arms of the handsome mountain man.. I enjoyed the interactions between strong women and mountain men. Tucker and Shannon in exciting adventures, filled with suspense, a mystery to solve and their surprise wedding made for a great romance. Someone called Mary Connealy's story "A Christian Cowboy Comedy". That is a fact! Through the whole book I found myself smiling, laughing and sometimes holding my breath. I really enjoyed this story and I'd recommend it to anyone who likes a book with a little humor, romance and adventure that will keep you guessing and turning the pages to see what they will face next! I was gifted a copy from Bethany House/Baker Publishing Group through NetGalley for my honest opinion which I have given.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love cowboy books & wild adventure! This book has it all!! Clean romance, humor, fast paced storyline, & strong female characters. You will Love it!
NDowning More than 1 year ago
My thoughts: Mary Connealy is quickly becoming one of my favorite authors. This book, Now & Forever, is a fast-paced, fun read. This is the second in her Wilde at Heart series. I read the first one, Tried & True, and enjoyed it very much. I was excited when this one came out because I got to find out what happened with the second sister, Shannon Wilde. It starts out with a wild ride, literally. I just couldn't put it down until I found out what happened to Shannon and Tucker. The story has many elements of romance, intrigue, and humor. My favorite line of the book was: "It was an admirable wife who armed herself before opening the door to a stranger." It literally made me "Laugh out loud". LOL. :) Seriously, if you like cowboy romance or just good writing you should read this book. I would definitely give it 5 stars. Now I have to wait for the third book to find out what happens to the last sister. I'm confident it will be worth the wait. Bethany House publishers provided the book in exchange for an honest review.
debforb56 More than 1 year ago
Now and Forever Wild At Heart book 2 by Mary Connealy is a book you don’t want to miss. Shannon is a strong-willed, self-reliant, strong woman who has homesteaded a place where she is raising sheep. She is literally thrown into mountain man Tuckers life when she saves him from a bear by throwing him and herself into the river. Little did she know how much this one act would change their lives forever. I really enjoyed this book. Shannon is a strong woman that is trying to make up for things she saw and did in the Civil War by caring for her sheep. Tucker is a self-sufficient Mountain man. He and Shannon have to be strong and courageous to survive their ordeal. Then they are thrown together relying on each other and God. Shannon has to save Tucker and ends up married to him. This is their journey of first survival, then finding who is burning homesteaders out before Shannon is the next homestead targeted, all the while learning to love themselves, each other and God. It is Shannon learning to let go of her past and let God heal her heart. This is a great fast moving exciting book. It combines, love, romance, the frontier, faith as well as a mystery. Who could ask for more. I had not read the first book in this series but this book worked as a stand-alone book too. I will be getting the first one because if it is as good as this one I don’t want to miss it. I highly recommend this book especially if you like romance, mystery and western books. If you would like to learn more about this book, the author and her other books or buy this book check out this site: http://bakerpublishinggroup.com/books/now-and-forever/348040 http://www.maryconnealy.com/ I was given this book from Bethany House Publishers for my honest opinion and review.
Jaquelyn More than 1 year ago
I love the Wilde sisters and I love Mary Connealy! And I had no choice but to fall in love with Tucker. After reading Tried and True, the first book in the Wild at Heart series, I couldn’t wait to start reading the next book! Now and Forever was full of suspense, mystery and of course romance. I love the dynamics of the Wilde girls, and love how their guys fit in. The Wild at Heart Series follows the Wilde sisters, Kylie, Shannon, and Bailey. They have all been through a lot and are just trying to make a living on their homesteads near the Dakota and Idaho territories. Now and Forever is Shannon’s story. Shannon is the middle sister and has a big love for her sheep. When she literally runs into Tucker while he’s avoiding a grizzly bear, she makes a quick decision, which ends in her and Tucker flying over a cliff. The river they land in is no regular river, and now they must fight to survive. Shannon must use all of her past experience to make sure they don’t end up just another casualty of the river. Knowing her sisters are worried helps her dig deep and fight to live. Being in this situation with Tucker has it’s advantages, and she feels herself learning to trust him. Tucker has always preferred living alone knowing his job can take him away from a family. He has always enjoyed living off the land and what it provides for him. That all changed when his eyes met Shannon’s. For some reason he can’t get her out of his mind, which causes him to be distracted when he should be paying attention. Flying over a cliff was not part of his plan, and now he must do everything possible to keep her safe. How can they make it out alive? Can Tucker learn to love Shannon and her silly sheep? Who wants to hurt them and make them leave their claim? Someone sinister is lurking about and must be caught. I would recommend this book to anyone who loves Historical Fiction with some suspense thrown in. Mary Connealy has an amazing way of drawing you in, and making it impossible to put the book down. I honestly can’t wait to read the next book in the series knowing how great this one was it’s sure to be awesome! I received a copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for my honest opinion. All opinions expressed are my own.
Regina_Jennings More than 1 year ago
Non-stop action, memorable characters and Connealy's trademark humor make Now & Forever a great read. Did I mention the creepy villain? You'll keep turning the pages to see what happens to him, but no spoilers here...
MelissaF More than 1 year ago
I loved the first book in this series and couldn’t wait to read this one. The story of these sisters grabbed me. I love the setting of this book. The action-packed beginning is sure to have you biting your nails. I liked Shannon’s heart, her spunk and her love for her animals. But overall I was a bit disappoint with this one. I just couldn’t really connect with the story. I felt like the first scene dragged on a little too long. Then we went from Matt Tucker thinking he would never marry anyone to pretty much convincing Shannon to marry him. It all happened a bit fast. However, if you don’t like kissing scene described too intently you will like that part. It is quick and sweet. It was nice to meet up with the characters from the first book and see how Kylie and Aaron were doing. And I will probably read the third book and see how that one is when it comes out. As always, this is my opinion only and if this sounds like a book you want to pick up then give a try. An e-copy of this book was given to me by the publisher through netgalley.com in exchange for an honest review.
BrittanyMc More than 1 year ago
Now & Forever is book two in the Wild at Heart series. It can definitely be read as a stand-alone novel, but I think the story is richer if you have read book one. While I liked book one very much, I absolutely loved Now & Forever! I could hardly set the book down! There is humor, danger, suspense, interesting characters, deep issues, and a really wonderful romance. I connected with the two main characters, Shannon and Tucker, very easily. Of course, I met them a bit in book one. They were both likeable and the situation that they found themselves in at the beginning of the book was extremely exciting. The danger doesn’t stop there. I enjoyed the intense situations in the story. But, my favorite part of this book was the development of Shannon and Tucker’s relationship. It was so well done and believable to me. There was some lightheartedness, some tears, some hurts, some anger. But most of all, it was two people falling in love and learning about each other. I found Tucker to be a very caring man. I enjoyed this story from start to finish and am looking very forward to reading the third book in the series. My thanks to Bethany House Publishers for the complimentary copy of this book that I received in exchange for an honest review.
Digging4Pearls More than 1 year ago
Shannon Wilde enjoys life on her simple homestead, tending sheep until she gets swept over the side of a cliff by Matthew Tucker. Well, in all actuality she's the one responsible for hurling them down the side of the mountain and into the raging river full of rocks, rapids, and treacherous water. Matthew Tucker was content with his life in the backwoods until his eyes met the blue gaze of one Shannon Wilde. He wasn't fooled by her dress and immediately knew she was a woman, especially when he find himself strapped to her in order to keep them alive through the rapids. Mary Connealy weaves a delightful tale in her Wild at Heart series featuring the Wilde sisters. I found this book to live up to Mary' reputation of writing lively historical romances. I rate it a 4 out of 5 for happily-ever-afters. This book was provided free for review by Bethany House Publishers - 2015.
CaraPutman More than 1 year ago
I love Mary's sense of humor...her books are just plain fun to read. The characters are so memorable and I just love the depth she puts into them. What seem like surface quirks are always deep rooted. Now & Forever starts at high octane and ends at the same speed. In between, the book has romance, mystery and a touch of suspense. The mystery keeps you guessing and the romance keeps you swooning. Add in memorable characters, and this book is perfect for readers who love a historical, cowboys, and heroines you want to call friend. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
MichelleKrim More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed this story for some lighter reading, historical fiction without the long history lessons. It had adventure, some unusual, yet entertaining characters and enough danger and suspense to keep me turning the pages into the early hours of the morning. The bits of humor were an added bonus that's not usually found in historical fiction. Shannon Wilde has been pretending to be a man for years, starting back in the war between the states. She now wants to forget about the horrors of the past and just peacefully raise her sheep. Matthew Tucker is a rugged mountain man who likes his lifestyle and doesn't see himself settling down in the valley. When Tucker accidently runs into a bear cub, upsetting the mama bear, she attacks and leaves him running for his life. Shannon comes along and the only way to save Tucker is by first putting them in more danger. After a few harrowing days trapped by themselves, Tucker and Shannon finally escape the caves and are found. As word will quickly get out that Shannon is actually a woman, they're faced with the choice to marry and save her reputation. Soon after, the couple faces more trouble as it becomes apparent that someone is determined to chase Shannon off her homestead. I liked that the author shows the struggles Shannon has coming to terms with her duties during the war. She was strong enough to do what she had to do, but she also has a softer side, evidenced in her relationships with her sisters and her sheep. I also enjoyed getting to know some of the characters that will have more prominent roles in the next book. It makes me want to keep reading the series to find out what happens to everyone in the end. I'd classify this book as clean reading more than inspirational, as there's not a real strong thread of faith. The story can appeal to a more general audience. I have read the previous book in this series, but Now and Forever can stand alone without the reader feeling like they're missing anything. I received a free copy of this book from Bethany House in exchange for my honest opinion.
Britney_Adams More than 1 year ago
A grizzly bear, sheep, and wolves! Oh my! I can always count on Mary Connealy to humor me with her stories, and she certainly delivered the laughs in Now and Forever. She also delivered drama, danger, and intrigue in this Wilde adventure. I loved Shannon Wilde and Matt Tucker! Shannon is an independent woman who is determined to maintain her homestead and tend her sheep. Matt is a mountain man content to hunt and trap and live off the land. These two are entertaining characters and the fireworks between them are fun to behold! Now and Forever is another delightful story in the Wild at Heart series. I love these feisty sisters and can’t wait to read Book 3, Fire and Ice! I received a complimentary copy of Now and Forever through the Bethany House Blogger Reviewer program. All thoughts expressed are my own and no monetary compensation was received.
GCWineholt More than 1 year ago
NOW &FOREVER Wild at Heart - Book two. By Mary Connealy A heartwarming story from the early west. A romantic novel set in the Dakota Territory about a mountain man (Tucker) and a young woman (Shannon) who saves him from a grizzly and their fight to survive a fall from a cliff into a river, which is known for no one surviving the rough water. You are along on their wild adventure in surviving and their rescue. After their rescue, they get married and settle down on a homestead property, which she owns. They get to know each other better and start their healing from the river adventure. Their adventure together continues as a man is trying to burn them out of the homestead property. There are others to share in their life; her sisters also have homesteads and a Native American woman that raised the mountain man. The story has romance, humor, mystery, adventure and God all rolled up in a great fictional novel. The book is a part of a series by the author. The details of the clothing, mountains and cabin they live in are great. The writing keeps you wanting to read more and is hard to put the book down. I found the book very interesting and full of surprises that will keep you interested to the very end. I would really like to see it made into a movie; it has a great story line. I received this book free from Bethany House for purpose of this review, I was not required to write a positive review, the opinions I have expressed are my own.
BookwormMama14 More than 1 year ago
Romance and suspense in the mountains of Idaho Territory, 1866. Shannon Wilde, the middle sister, has a soft spot for animals. She cares for her flock of sheep on her homestead. When her life takes a dramatic turn off of a cliff with Matthew Tucker, she finds herself married to the rugged mountain man. Shannon is a strong independent woman who is not used to being protected by a man. But as attacks begin to try and drive her off her land, maybe she needs that protection after all. The attacker picked the wrong family to mess with, Tucker's fury is not something to trifle with. But will he be able to protect the wife that he is falling in love with? Will her past drive a wedge between them? Find out on another adventure with the Wilde family! Mary Connealy is quickly becoming one of my favorite western authors. Her romantic comedy has a side of action and terror, which makes her books well balanced. Now & Forever is not for squeamish stomachs however. I found myself grimacing as I read through a couple of the scenes. I was hooked from the start though, and I couldn't put it down through all of the action and suspense. It really felt like Criminal Minds meets the Old West as they try to find out who is behind the attacks. I enjoyed watching as Shannon and Tucker's relationship developed, turning into love and respect for one another. After experiencing unbelievable horrors in he Civil War, Shannon's faith is on shaky ground. Tucker helps her through her journey of reestablishing that faith in God. Even with their challenging upbringings and pasts, they learn to work through their differences, becoming a team that is inseparable.   I received a free copy of Now & Forever from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for my honest review.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great book. I highly recommend it.
SusanSnodgrassBookworm More than 1 year ago
Mary Connealy at her best! Christian Cowboy Comedies is what she does and she does it very well. This one had a very suspenseful mystery included that keeps the reader guessing.  Shannon is the middle Wilde sister, the ones who fought in the Civil War dressed as men. Tucker is a wild mountain man, tracking and hunting for a living. They meet up on the way over a cliff after going over is the only option. That or being eaten by a grizzly bear.  No more clues to the rest of the story here. This is a terrific story, filled with Mary Connealy's usual dry sense of humor. I love the woman's work!  Interspersed with all the action and humor, we see a wonderful spiritual message that God is in control and cares about everything that concerns us. And He can heal all our wounds, even the ones we let no one see. I can't wait for book three in this series and find out what Bailey Wilde gets herself into!
Janine_S More than 1 year ago
“Now & Forever” by Mary Connealy is the second book in her 'Wild at Heart' series, and wow what a book. This is a book where it is not exactly necessary to have read the first book “Tried & True” but it will help with figuring out a few of the characters, especially the Wilde family and that dynamics. I think that reading this first two books will be somewhat required reading when it comes to “Fire & Ice” this fall, for the two major characters are seen all through the first two books. I would like to say that the two major characters in “Fire & Ice” is not a great surprise, HOWEVER, this is Ms. Connealy and with her nothing is a sure thing. This is so predictable again to Ms. Connealy's writing, which of course is not predictable. The villain of the story is one of two characters, though I suspected one more than the other, just because of a hunch. However, the hints and clues all fitted each of the characters that are suspect, so honestly either one could have been it. The one who was the villain truly had a hidden dark soul without a doubt and frankly it was almost scary how this character seem to find enjoyment with what they were doing. This is Shannon Wilde's story and what a story it is. As her back story comes out it almost horrific with what this young lady went through in her past. Regardless what happened though there is something gentle within Shannon that she is not afraid to show to her sheep, though she is guarded with everyone else. It seems almost if Shannon is trying to figure out where she fits in the world, for she is so use to doing things one way but now due to a marriage of no choice she is finding that there are other ways of doing things. Some of those new things are things she likes and some not so much. Matt Tucker is a man we also meet in “Tried & True” and we learn a great deal more about this mountain man. He is the typical Alpha Male who has to protect everyone, can do everything, doesn't need anyone, and especially hates being laid up. His pride gets in the way at times but he is not reckless on the most part. Tucker is a man who is a thinker, and careful. There is a reason why he has the reputation that he has and frankly it is well earned. Though Tucker seems almost perfect for the Alpha Male, he isn't and it shows at times. The romance within the story is some different and yet, so similar to “Tried & True”. Again the chemistry between Shannon and Tucker is there from the get go, well maybe from “Tried & True” but honestly that is only hinted at. But now in “Now & Forever” that chemistry is different for it is not between a man and woman but now it is between man and wife. It is that same chemistry with a little more intensity, after all this time it is between man and wife, though never once is the reader privy to their private husband and wife moments. I truly found myself falling in love with the characters as the story works itself out even with all the crazy things going on by the hands of the villain. The story takes several twists and turns throughout the story and I almost have to wonder if there isn't a part of this story that will be carried over into “Fire & Ice” for things seems to have gotten off track on that. Other than that wondering, the story on the part is pretty well concluded within the book, but with Ms. Connealy what might seem concluded in a book, but in the next book shots that idea out of the water. So I am looking forwarded with baited breath for the fall for “Fire & Ice”. I highly recommend this book to all who enjoy historical romances that has a touch of suspense and plenty of humor, all of which are so characteristic of Ms. Connealy's writing.
Nutz2read More than 1 year ago
Can I have the next one, now? 4.5 stars Now & Forever is the second book in Mary Connealy’s Wild At Heart series. I’m a big fan, so of course, I was super excited to read this book, especially after loving the first one! I generally have the same expectations for all of Connealy’s books - humor that makes me laugh, an adventure that keeps me guessing, and characters that come alive. I’ve added a new one with this series - a seriousness that gives the story a new depth. Many of Mary’s books are light or what some call “fluff,” but with this series, she’s stepped away from that adjective a bit. Possibly because the Wilde sisters all served in the Civil War, but while there is humor in these, there is also sorrow. I really appreciate that she isn’t glossing over the pain of war, or forgetting where the sisters earned their tough exterior. Particularly with this story, Shannon’s pain is almost palpable at times, drawing me in until I almost cried with her at the imagery of what those in the war suffered. Mary definitely excels at descriptions. Using just a few words, she can paint a picture that comes to life and fills my mind. I love the little details that aren’t one hundred percent necessary, but that add another layer to my understanding of the setting and the world around the characters. Her writing is very straight-forward, something I really enjoy. I had to laugh several times at the just honestly blunt manner of the dialogue and the characters’ thoughts. She also does an excellent job of giving each of the characters a unique voice. I enjoyed getting into the head of the villain, as I got a glimpse of their plan and it increased the sense of intrigue and suspense. I never felt the story lagged, though it does end a bit abruptly (more about that later). It flows very quickly and smoothly, holding my attention from the very first page. I did not want to put it down and would pick it up again as soon as possible. Shannon Wilde may be my favorite of Mary’s heroines, to date. She’s the middle sister, in more ways than one. She’s strong, but she also learns how to be weak and lean on others. She is brave, but knows her limits. She is sensitive and hurting, but doesn’t let that stop her from doing what needs to be done. She, like her other sisters, served in the Civil War, which left her with scars. For me, this one fact set her apart. Even though her world seems to be falling apart, she learned how to be strong and keep moving. I’ve read many books set during the war or just after, but not many have had the depth this book does in just one scene. Matthew Tucker is a bit more of Mary’s stereotypical hero, though I honestly didn’t mind. He’s strong, stubborn, set in his ways, and determined. But he is also gentle with Shannon, something that surprised me a little bit with him being a “mountain man.” Though his pride is stomped more than once, he is still willing to let her take the lead now and then. He’s also very protective, though he tries to give her space. He also has a strong faith, something I found fascinating. Though God is an integral part of all of Mary’s books, this one takes it a step further, with a conversation about Shannon’s doubts. She’s not sure God hears her, or even still exists, and those doubts keep her walking in her fear. Though this is a bit deeper than her other books, unfortunately, it became glossed over with everything else going on. So, I applaud her for making the effort to incorporate more serious subjects in her stories, but I’m also a little disappointed that they were forgotten for the sake of keeping the story moving. I’m honestly never quite sure what to say about the romance in Mary’s books. They definitely aren’t typical historical romance novels. The heroes aren’t soft spoken, or poetic. They tend more toward blunt and sometimes a little dense. I did really enjoy their relationship, as they both learned what it means to be married and depend on someone else. While I wouldn’t say there was a huge amount of romance, there are a few sweet moments, sometimes sprinkled with humor. I also appreciated the realistic take on marriage, as they both have to strive toward making it work. I have to confess that I found the ending to be a bit abrupt and rather anticlimactic. I was expecting something else to happen, so when it just kind of stopped, it was a bit of a let down. I didn’t want it to end! I would have loved another chapter or two, to kind of tie things up and give the characters a little longer to work things out. Despite my negative comments, I will say that I really enjoyed this book. Mary’s books are always good for a laugh and a break from reality. I am anxiously anticipating the final book in the series and finding what becomes of the final Wilde sister! I received an advanced copy of this book from NetGalley for my honest review, which I have given. I was not required to write a positive review and have not been compensated for it in any way. All opinions expressed are my own.
Alice_Knightly8 More than 1 year ago
Already not a huge fan of westerns, this story had some highly unrealistic elements to it and the story moved rather slowly. The writing style was a bit choppy and hard to understand at times, as well. This was my first Mary Connealy, though, and I have friends who loved her earlier works, so maybe I'll try again starting with one of her first novels. Also, I had not read the first book in this series, and I know it would have probably improved my opinion.