Friday, June 19, 2015

Mary Connealy's "Now and Forever" - another rollicking romantic comedy

Cover ArtIn the second book of her series about three sisters who fought as men in the Civil War, Mary Connealy focuses on Shannon Wilde, the sheep-loving middle sister. When Shannon and mountain man Matt Tucker avoid a bear by going off a cliff into a wild, raging river, Tucker thinks they're done for. But somehow they claw their way out, and when a search party--including a preacher--finds them several days AND NIGHTS later, there's nothing to be done but say their vows. Suddenly the mountain man is stuck trying to save his new wife's stupid sheep as someone is trying to run them off of their land. And no matter his personal feelings on sheep, someone attacking his wife and property doesn't settle too well with him.

As always with a Connealy book, I love her turn of phrase. While romantic comedies are not my husband's thing, I could still read lines out of this book to him and he'd snicker along with me. Classic Mary Connealy.

While everyone who survived the War Between States came home with scars, I love that the author takes a look at what one of the hundreds of women who fought in battle dressed as a man might have taken home from the war--how it affected her and what may have haunted her dreams after the experience. Had I been in Shannon's shoes, I could see suffering the same nightmares. Until it was pointed out, I had not connected how the peaceful life she has built for herself is a direct attempt to counter her war experiences, but after what she went through, it is little surprise that she would desire to create a life as different from battle as she could get.

Sometimes the bad guys are unrepentantly evil, while others are just lost souls in need of Jesus. I like that Connealy can take the villain/s from one book and turn them around into people one can potentially like in the next book, such as with the bad guys from the previous novel, Tried & True. However, such is not the case with all villains . . . She can craft a good sneaky villain too--one that you can gleefully despise.

While the book is written with a heavy dose of humor, it is has some good things to say too: if you have doubts, God is big enough to handle them, and He already knows about them, so it's not like you have to worry about breaking the news--just talk it out with Him. I have been thoroughly enjoying this series, and I am especially looking forward to Bailey's story in the next novel--she continues to become more intriguing with each book!

Thank you Bethany House and NetGalley for providing an e-copy for review. I was not required to make the review positive, and all opinions are my own.

Wild At Heart
1. Tried & True
2. Now & Forever
3. Fire & Ice 

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