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: Anna’s Crossing by Suzanne Woods Fisher

Anna’s Crossing
by Suzanne Woods Fisher
Rating: 4/5
An Amish Beginnings Novel #1
Revell – Fiction | Historical Romance

As an Amish community sets off for the New World in 1737 to find a place free from religious persecution, Anna König has to go along because she is the only one who knows English. She has heard all of the horror stories surrounding voyages across the Atlantic, along with the challenges in the New World. She is set on returning home if she survives.

The Charming Nancy‘s ship’s carpenter, Bairn, is weary to be taking on more passengers made up of “Peculiars”. He would much rather have more cargo than passengers overloading his ship. Although he’s built bunks in the lower deck for their guests, he is convinced that something bad will happen on the voyage.

When Bairn and Anna meet, he can’t stop thinking about her. She is different and mesmerizing. She is all wrong for him and his lifestyle, but he can’t stop finding ways to interact with her. Even after he is warned to stop associating with her, he can’t seem to help himself especially when Anna starts seeking him out. Will Bairn be able to help Anna when she needs it most? Can Anna help Bairn find his faith? Will the ship make it safely to the New World? What surprises await Bairn and Anna as they fall in love?

I’ve only read one other book by the author, but I really enjoyed reading about Anna and her journey. I was not familiar with the struggles that the Amish went through when they immigrated to the New World, but I was impressed with all the author researched in order to write such great historical fiction. There’s a special place in my heart for Amish fiction and I really liked the intricate story. Her characters are so endearing and I absolutely adored the different relationships in the story.

I recommend this book for any fans of Amish romance and historical fiction.

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

Book Review: Thunder by Bonnie S. Calhoun

Thunder
by Bonnie S. Calhoun
Rating: 5/5
Book 1 of The Stone Braide Chronicles
Revell – Fiction/Suspense/Young Adult

Selah Rishon Chavez lives in a post-apocalyptic America where only remnants of civilization remain after the Time of Sorrows tainted the land with radiation. The day before her 18th Born Remembrance, she goes against her parents’ wishes and goes hunting for a Lander, an alien-like humanoid who is worth a bounty if their distinctive mark remains on their skin after they arrive on their land. As she tries to subdue one, her older brothers take over and steal her prize. The next morning when she wakes up, she finds the Lander mark on herself and confronts her mother. Her mother shares the truth with her and tells her to flee for fear that her father and brothers will kill her. Selah is not who she thought she was. Her father is not who she thought he was. As she tries to make plans to escape and disappear, she realizes that the only one who can help her is Bodhi Locke, the Lander her brothers have taken captive to sell. Can she trust Bodhi with her secret and her life? Will he be able to explain what she is? Will she ever feel like she belongs?

After reading the free pre-quell, Tremors, I was hooked. I don’t think I’ve ever read anything from this author, but I’m a sucker for all the YA post-apocalyptic reads. I could not put the book down. I was so caught up in the world that Calhoun created and had to know what happened next. I haven’t had that in a book in a while. It’s an easy read that’s clean and exciting and fun. I loved the characters and cannot wait to get to know them even more. I am now a huge fan and can’t believe I have to wait so long till the next book in the series comes out. I might just have to reread the story again; it’s that good.

Do yourself a favor and read this book if you want some reading that’s entertaining and just plain fun.

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

The pre-quel, Tremors, is free on Kindle now.

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Book Review: Tried & True by Mary Connealy

Tried & True
by Mary Connealy
Rating: 4/5
Book 1 of Wild at Heart Series
Bethany House – Fiction/Historical

Meet Kylie Wilde. She is done dressing like a boy. She served during the war and is ready to go back east to civilization after she fulfills her promise to homestead and sell her land to Pa. She doesn’t have a problem with other people helping to take care of her, unlike her two older sisters who still dress as men. However, when the local land agent, Aaron Masterson, arrives to make sure everything concerning the homestead is all legal, her secret comes out. Although she is attracted to the handsome Mr. Masterson, can she trust him to keep her secret? Will he even care? Aaron also served in the war and cannot imagine how a woman did the same, but she is still trying to defraud the government. How can he ignore both in good conscience? When problems arise concerning Kylie’s homestead claim, can Aaron convince her to stay? Can they discover who is stirring up trouble for Kylie and for Aaron?

This story is just too adorable in my opinion. I really enjoyed reading about the characters and I cannot wait to read more. The premise is so interesting from a female’s viewpoint of surviving the war. I admire the courage that these women went through to serve their country. The interactions between Kylie and Aaron and her sisters are quite hilarious and endearing. I look forward to reading more about the characters in the next books in the series. I’ve read some of Connealy’s books before and was not disappointed. I am definitely a fan. Her writing is fresh and light. Kylie’s character development was realistic and touching. Aaron’s character development was liberating and inspiring.

I definitely recommend this book to anyone who enjoys historical fiction with a thread of humor.

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