About the Book
Love sneaks up on eight couples in the Old West.
The Old West comes to life under the talented pen of bestselling author Mary Connealy. Enjoy a lighthearted ride alongside seven historical and one contemporary cowboys and the women who tame their hearts.
The Advent Bride
Melanie Douglas is alone on the Nebraska plains, teaching school to get by. She finds a unique box with hidden drawers to use over the advent season to engage a young boy in his schooling. When Henry O’Keeffe sees a positive change in his son, he has to see for himself what this new teacher is doing.
A Bride Rides Herd
Matt Reeves arrives at his brother’s ranch to find Betsy Harden alone with the little girls during a cattle drive. Will the ladies be too much to handle when Matt steps in for the missing ranch hand?
His Surprise Family
A lonely young rancher orders a mail-order bride and after the vows are spoken, she “surprises” him with her three little brothers. No amount of apologies Meghan McCray gives are going to make Silas Harden, Jr. believe a word she says. Should Silas just build himself another house and let his mail-order family take over the one he’s got?
Homestead on the Range
Widow Elle Winter meets new homesteader Colin Samuelson on the Nebraska prairie, but the attraction between them is soon dampened by the discovery that they have seven children between them. Soon their children are working against them to bring the two families together.
Sophie’s Other Daughter
Dr. Ike Reeves comes home to visit his family only to bring trouble in the form of outlaws who believe he witnessed their latest crime. When the gang traps Ike and his old nemesis, Lauren McClellen, in a cave, they must work together to outsmart the thugs. But will their time together put them in a compromising situation that will threaten both of their good reputations?
The Sweetwater Bride
Debba McClain takes offense at being offered a wedding in exchange for valuable water rights. But she doesn’t like to see a good man’s cattle die of thirst–and the rancher Tanner Harden is rather handsome.
Luke Reeves has gotten wealthy in the oil business and goes to visit his uncle to convince him to sign over the oil rights to his land. But when he meets his grown up adopted cousin Libby Cooper, he may be forced to give up one dream to win another.
Hope for Christmas
It might be 2016, but Montana is still a mighty rough place to survive the winter. When Silas Harden finds the very pregnant Kelsey Black in a wrecked car surrounded by a pack of wolves in the heart of a blizzard he takes her to his remote home. What will Silas do when the baby decides to come and Kelsey confesses why she was out in such a terrible storm?
First, I have to express my delight at the cover. I can just imagine cowboy brides in cowboy boots, especially if they are in Texas.
With eight wonderful tales, Mary Connealy takes us on a journey through the Old West, from the Nebraska grasslands and plains to Montana and Texas, from the 1800s to the 2000s. Some of the stories are linked through family, but they are not all in chronological sequence and occasionally reveal another plot. Just a word of caution: double-check the dates at the beginning of each novella.
I enjoyed the diversity of the scenarios, as well as how several of them had a Christmas theme. I also appreciated how Biblical themes were presented without overwhelming readers with heavy-handed preaching.
In her plots, Connealy’s clever, witty humor shines through, as does her historical knowledge. The characters in each short story are engaging to get to know, and you won’t want to leave them when the book ends.
The Calico and Cowboys Romance Collection is another compilation of short stories that will keep your attention until the end. They’re also enjoyable, entertaining, clean and wholesome. The book will fascinate and engage you as you read it. It’s a terrific pastime if you have a period of time to read. You will want to absorb, think about and delight in each novella.
I received an e-copy from NetGalley. However, my review is voluntary, and all opinions are my own.