Lassoed in Texas Trilogy by Mary Connealy, one of my all-time favorite authors (in addition to MaryLu!) has a great cover leaning strongly toward a similarity in the cover of the first book in the series Petticoat Ranch, but also continues the theme of boots and a great dessert blue sky and orange-tan dirt ground in Calico Canyon and Gingham Mountain.
Enjoy the pleasure of owning Mary Connealy’s complete Lassoed in Texas series all under one cover. Bask in laughs and tears as you visit Mosqueros, Texas, a Wild West town in the making, and meet three matchless couples and a passel of children who begin their relationships on rough footing. Will the mountain man rescue the widow and her daughters? Will the prim schoolteacher tame the rancher and his sons? Will the nosy schoolmarm learn to love a rancher and his orphans?
Award-winning author Mary Connealy lives in Nebraska with her farmer husband and is the mother of four grown daughters.
Sophie Edwards is doing just fine, 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? Faith and love help unruly wed newlyweds find common ground and a chance at love on the Texas frontier.
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.
Let yourself be swept away by this fast-paced romance, featuring Grace Calhoun, an instructor of reading, writing, and arithmetic, who, in an attempt to escape the clutchs of a relentless pursuer, runs smack dab into even more trouble with the 6R’s – widower Daniel Reeves, along with his five rowdy sons. When a marriage is forced upon this hapless pair – two people who couldn’t dislike each other more – an avalanche isn’t the only potential danger lurking amid the shadows of Calico Canyon. Will they make it out alive? Or end up killing each other in the process?
When I got the background on this book, I was a little apprehensive about reading it since I knew that it was about Miss Grace Calhoun. Upon reading Petticoat Ranch Miss Calhoun was present, but only faintly. She was definitely not my favorite character, especially in comparison to the wonders of Sophie and her girls. But, upon reading the first chapter of Calico Canyon Grace came slightly off her pedestal and I began to have some compassion for her. It was by the beginning of chapter three that I was enthralled and ready to commit a full friendship, and by the end of chapter five, I was ready to stand behind her and beat off all the bad guys. Grace is a real person, and just one more example of what you should not just a person by their first impression they leave with you. Grace is so much more than what she seemed and I’m so thrilled that I gave her a chance.
But this book is about so much more than just dear Grace. We meet new characters with Tillie and a plausible romance that just makes sense. Tillie and Grace come from completely different backgrounds, but at the same time could not have more in common. Then there is Hannah and the others in Chicago with their own lives of triumph and struggles. This book captures so many real issues and does it in a wonderful fashion and light. Briefly to mention, there is slavery, and child abuse, and death, and love, and do not forget the idea of multiples!
Mary did a great job with this story, and I was not at all let down! As a matter of fact I was nervous, to see what would happen. I am curious and anxious now about Hannah and Libby and I do hope that there will be more stories of their lives coming from our great author Mary Connealy. I strongly urge you to take the time to read Calico Canyon, it will not disappoint.
When Hannah Cartwright meets Grant, a disreputable-looking wrangler, she’s determined to keep him from committing two orphan-train children to hard labor on his ranch. How long will she have to play the role of schoolmarm before she gets a chance to rescue the children? Prudence, the town dressmaker, has designs on Grant. Will she succeed in securing his affections? As Grant struggles to run the ranch and raise six orphans, he finds love making tracks to his heart. Will he be caught in a web of deceit or lassoed by the love of one good woman?
Wow! This is the best from Mary Connealy yet, and quite possibly the best book I have ever read (under 300 pages). You have to understand… This is one of those books that you read when you have some time by yourself. First off is the matter of time, because once you start I promise it is impossible if not painful to put it down. Then, secondly, by yourself because otherwise you are going to be quite embarrassed by the looks that you will earn. I read it with only my two cats nearby and they still looked at me as if I were crazed. *snicker*
Upon starting the story there are a couple little giggles, but shortly there after they turn in to little chuckles, and then every once in a while a snicker. Once, finally it is under hand, then comes the shaking silent laughs that turn to out right snorts. Once you are sure that nothing could make you laugh anymore and you are fully in control of your senses, well then she goes and causes laugh out loud gasping and crying from laughter tears. Covering your mouth and slapping the desk as a reader you are stuck with the amount of pure glee and humor that your body has endured.
With that said, I guess I should not be surprised. Not at all really.
“Petticoat Ranch”(Book #1) was everything that a good historical fiction should be, and I’m glad to have read it. I so feel for the characters, they are completely real to me, and I’m fully on their side! When I first read it, I said this book was incredible. I cannot count the times that I giggled, or rolled my eyes. 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 the novel. As much as I enjoyed book #1, “Calico Canyon” (Book #2) was ever so much better! It started with a character that I was not found of from book one, and by chapter three I was swearing loyalty to her and wishing her well.
So far, everything that I have read by Mary has been a complete success in my mind, and I cannot wait to read more! Not only are her stories a good laugh, but they contain such heart beating romance that you blush and giggle with the emotions going through the characters as they trip over themselves in pure beginning steps of love. The bad guys are horrors, and you are almost screaming aloud for justice to be seen. Hardships of real life are touched on in the stories and lessons and the heart of Christ come through in the characters.
Earnestly, I cannot recommend the books and their stories strongly enough!