Mary Connealy’s books are consistently excellent. You can count on being entertained, encouraged, and inspired. You’ll also learn something along the way. I was given a copy of Fire & Ice by the publisher in exchange for my honest review. I give it 4.75 stars, but I give the series a 5.
The Wild at Heart series began with Tried & True, continued with Now & Forever, and concludes with Fire & Ice And I was right about the setup I saw in the second book. A really good writer does that though, and Mary is a really good writer, excellent in fact.
I’ve said before I wish I could write like her, but I can’t. We’re all unique and that’s what I love about Mary’s writing. Karen Whitemyer comes close with some of her western comedies, but each writer is unique just as each person is unique.
Plot Summary: Bailey Wilde, the oldest of the three Wilde sisters to soldier in the Civil War and homestead to help their Pa, Cudgel Wilde, build a dynasty to honor their dead brother Jimmy, dresses and acts like a man, because she was raised to act and be like a man. All three sisters were. But Bailey is afraid of men in groups. She can deal with them one-on-one, but a crowd of men moving towards her sets off a nasty memory from the way she’d like to forget. After spending the winter alone and nearly dying during a blizzard, Bailey accepts a strange marriage proposal from Gage Coulter, who owns a large ranch, and she’s had countless run-ins with him over property lines and who owns what. Her sisters are leaving the region, Kylie is moving back to Virginia, and Shannon is moving to the mountains.
When the story begins, Gage still believes Bailey is a young man, but he soon discovers his mistake. Good thing, too, because Gage received a letter from his mother that will change his life forever.
Gage Coulter needs a wife badly. His smothering mother is coming for a visit, and he already wrote her he was married. That should have been enough for Ma, but not her. The day Ma comes is the day Gage and Bailey are married. They ride into a vicious trap of hidden spikes in road, and Bailey is severely injured. Who is out to kill Gage and why?
As the story unravels, motives and means are brought to light, but Bailey and Gage are like fire and ice, each one sets the other off. Bailey’s the fire, she doesn’t hold much back. Gage’s eyes are like ice when he hides his true feelings.
I highly recommend Fire & Ice because even it’s comical, it’s very serious. Mary deals with serious issues in her books. Bailey’s fears of men and why, Gage’s flight from Texas to get away from charges of cowardice.
You’ll never be disappointed reading anything Mary Connealy has to offer.