Friday, October 9, 2015

Fire and Ice by Mary Connealy

The Wild at Heart series comes to an end with this fun western romance.

This novel centers on Bailey, the only one of the Wilde sisters not yet married. Bailey is doing just fine on her ranch until Gage decides he wants to run his cattle in the canyon he owns but her ranch blocks access to. When she forbids him to cross her property, he literally blasts another path into the canyon.

The adversarial relation ship between Bailey and Gage takes a sharp turn when he comes to her in the spring – needing a wife. His ma is coming and he had written her last fall that he was married and doing just fine. He never thought his mother would actually come to visit. Gage desperately assures her the marriage would be in name only. Bailey strikes a hard bargain but, tired and lonely after a hard winter, agrees.

The situation becomes potentially deadly when it is clear someone is trying to kill Gage. And Bailey is fit to be tied with Gage's ma being very jealous of the attention he shows his wife. Perhaps this “marriage” is over before it really got started.

Talk about an overbearing mother, Gage's ma takes the prize. And Gage, being a man, just does not see what it is doing to Bailey. And Bailey, being the independent woman she's been for years, has a hard time being controlled by someone else. It's a recipe for relationship disaster which can only be surmounted if love breaks through.

Bailey fought in the Civil War (you have to read the previous novels in this series). She saw some pretty horrible things and took part in an act that haunts her even now. That results in a good lesson about God's forgiveness. Bailey is a strong female heroine I enjoyed.

This series has also contained a good lesson in parenting. The Wilde sisters' father is not a man whose example any should follow. It is amazing the women turned out as they did with such a terrible father.

This novel contains well drawn characters, frontier intrigue, a little romance, and a little humor. It was a pleasure to read.

My rating: 4/5 stars.

Mary Connealy writes romantic comedies about cowboys. She is the award winning author of several series. She and her husband live on a ranch in eastern Nebraska and have four grown daughters. You can find out more at www.maryconnealy.com.

Bethany House Publishers, 336 pages.

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