Book Review: Fire & Ice by Mary Connealy

Fire & Ice
by Mary Connealy
Rating: 4/5
Book 3 of the Wild at Heart Series
Bethany House – Fiction | Christian | Historical Romance

Bailey Wilde is the last of the Wilde sisters to stick around in the West. She is also one of the best (and smartest) ranchers in the area. Ever since she served in the Civil War, she’s disguised herself as a young man and worked hard to be the son her father wanted and loved. Her only real competition is Gage Coulter, who is trying to gain back access to his canyon of 5,000 acres of grass for his cattle. Ever since he found out that Mr. Bailey Wilde had set up a homestead at the entrance to his canyon, he’s been trying to find a way to buy the land or barter a deal to trespass through her land to give his cattle access. He’s determined and will get his way, despite any warning gunshots that Wilde shoots his way.

When Gage finally figures out the truth about Miss Bailey Wilde, he continues to try to barter a deal with her, but she refuses. When Gage shows her his plans to force another opening to the canyon, Bailey gives up. She will have to find another place for her herd to graze. She is disappointed but still determined to make this work.

After a long and lonely winter, Bailey is overjoyed to see Gage, despite the circumstances. She is shocked when he proposes marriage, in order to fool his mother, who is coming to visit him. In her loneliness, she decides to marry Gage in exchange for the rights to the canyon and her homestead. Can Bailey and Gage find a way to make this marriage work? Can they learn to trust and respect each other’s skills? Can they learn to let go of their pasts and see the promising future that’s before them?

Ending this novel was bittersweet. I didn’t want the series to end. I’ve enjoyed all three books in the Wild at Heart series and I can’t wait to see what else Mary Connealy comes up with next. She is incredibly talented at creating characters that are flawed and lovable and frustrating and endearing! I love all of the humor and faith she infuses into her stories. She pulls me right into the historical setting and I’m not content until I find out what exactly happens to the main characters.

Although you could read this book by itself, I would recommend reading the other two books first just to be more familiar with some of the other characters. I recommend this book to anyone who loves a great historical romance with comedy!

I received this book for free from the publisher and NetGalley but was not required to give a positive review.

Book Review: In Good Company by Jen Turano

In Good Company
by Jen Turano
Rating: 4.5/5
A Class of Their Own Book 2
Bethany House – Fiction | Historical Fiction

Meet Millie Longfellow, a nanny who grew up in an orphanage in New York. Although she works well with kids, Millie always seems to find trouble and mischief and again finds herself looking for another job. After returning to the employment agency, she bumps into Everett Mulberry, who is searching for yet another nanny for the three children that he recently became a guardian to. She must not lose this job and Everett cannot lose another nanny for the summer. Although the children have scared away all the other nannies, Millie is confident in her abilities to handle the children as the family moves to a house in Newport for the summer season.

When Millie learns from the children about their parents’ suspicious deaths, she requests that Everett look into the matter more carefully. As Millie gets closer to the children, she also gets Everett to take a more invested role in their lives; she starts to see that behind all the snobbery and elitism, Everett is someone who cares for others. Can Everett get over the societal barriers that keep him from following his heart? Can Millie let go of her preconceived notions of 1882’s high society?

Even though I was reading a few other books, I picked this one up and finished reading it in a few hours. That should say all I need to about the book. I have not read the first book in the series, After A Fashion, but I just purchased it on my Kindle after reading this book. The writing was so well done and really entertaining. I was immediately pulled right into the world of 1882’s high society. Millie’s character was so endearing and quirky. The plot had some interesting twists that I didn’t see coming but the story was not dark at all.

I only gave it a rating of 4.5 because I felt it didn’t really address the faith aspect as well as I thought it could have. Other than a note that the cover art didn’t seem period appropriate (felt too modern), I felt the story and characters were well written and thoroughly enjoyable. I recommend this book to anyone interested in a historical romance with spunk and fun.

I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Book Review: With Every Breath by Elizabeth Camden

With Every Breath
by Elizabeth Camden
Rating: 4/5
Bethany House – Fiction/Historical

After Trevor McDonough beats her in a competition to get a college scholarship, Kate Livingston spends years working her way up the ranks in the government in D.C. to help support her family’s boarding house. When she’s offered a job working with a research doctor from Harvard, she jumps at the chance until she realizes who the doctor is. For some reason, Trevor has changed his last name and offered her a job as his assistant. Trevor is trying to find a cure for tuberculosis and needs her help.

When Kate agrees to their partnership, she tries to discover why Trevor is the way he is, why he changed his last name, and what secrets he’s keeping. Along the way, Kate develops feelings for Trevor despite her loyalty to her late husband and high school sweetheart. Has Kate fallen in love with a man she barely knows? Can Trevor find a cure for tuberculosis before he loses everything? Will his past mistakes put Kate in danger?

I don’t believe I’ve ever read a book by Elizabeth Camden, but I definitely enjoyed her writing style. Her writing transported me into the late 19th century and painted a picture of what life was like for a woman like Kate. I honestly wasn’t too interested in the first 1/3 of the book, but I kept reading hoping the story got better and it did. As someone who majored in biology and is on her way to medical school, I was really interested in the history of tuberculosis and its treatment. I really appreciated all of the research that went into the book. Everything was fairly believable. The characters were well developed and relatable for the most part.

I highly recommend this book to anyone who loves historical fiction.

I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for a review.