Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Tried and True by Mary Connealy

This novel starts a new series about three sisters who are each homesteading a portion of land in the Idaho Territory. They are all supposed to wear trousers and pose as men. They've spent time fighting for the north in the Civil War and are using their two
year government exemption to complete the homestead process in three years instead of five. Only men can homestead so keeping up the ruse is important. They are doing this for their father, as a memorial to their brother who died in the War.

This novel centers on the youngest sister, Kylie. She's a woman at heart, loving her long hair and wearing dresses. It takes only one visit from the land agent Aaron to spot her as a woman. He threatens to rescind her land claim because of fraud. And then her life gets even harder when she is attacked at her cabin. Her land contains a valuable watering hole previously used by an aggressive rancher. Someone wants her gone and is willing to cause serious damage to see that happen.

This is a delightful cowboy comedy. I found it amazing and a little crazy that women could have served in the Civil War. It seems there were actually around 400 women documented to have done so. It serves as a great background for these women who need to be tough and capable to homestead on the frontier.

There are loads of interesting characters in this novel. The homesteading sisters have a pa described as a sour old goat. He is so ornery I wanted to slap his face. The sisters are amazing women, learning how to build homes and raise animals. They really epitomize that pioneer spirit women of the era had to have.

Aaron and Kylie get off to a rocky start but it soon become apparent romance is in the air. It will be interesting to see which of the sisters is conquered by love in the next book.

Connealy has a way with words. Here's an example: “The hammer rose, and her attitude fell. The sky was as sullen as her mood...” This novel is a fun and relaxing one yet contains a very strong Christian message.

I'm taking part in a blog tour of this book and you can read other reviews here.

Mary Connealy is an award winning, bestselling author of fun and lively historical romantic comedies. She and her husband live on a ranch in eastern Nebraska. Find out more at

Bethany House Publishers, 320 pages. Please visit your local Christian bookstore to purchase this book.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher for the purpose of an independent and honest review.

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