No Way Up

by Mary Conneally

No Way UpI always look forward to reading a new book by Mary Conneally. For a limited time, she offered for free the prequel novella, The Boden Birthright, to this book. In it, she sets the stage for this series.

One thing I like about Mary’s books, is the way she connects the different series to each other. Trouble in Texas was connected to the Kincade Brides. So is this. Yet, each one is a trilogy in its own right, and each story in the trilogy is complete in own right. It’s not a serial, but a series. I like those better.

Heath Kincade, the 10-year old surprise brother in Over the Edge, is all grown up and out on his own. He’s a ranch hand at the Cimarron Ranch, owned by Chance Boden. When an avalanche falls on his employer, Heath saves his boss, and catches the eye of the boss’ beautiful daughter.

Chance Boden knows his time may be short, so he has his will read aloud to his children. He’s requiring them to live at the ranch for one year, because two of them live in a town about 30 miles away, and Chance understands the legacy of the land, whereas Cole, his oldest, and Sadie, his beautiful daughter, would rather live and work away from the land. Justin, the youngest, already loves the land and works the ranch.

It’s blackmail, because if they don’t stay, the ranch is forfeited to their lowdown cuss of a cousin that none of them likes. Plus, they wonder whether he’s really related or not.

But there’s no getting away from it, so the two wandering children stay. Their troubles are just beginning. Heath suspects that the avalanche is no accident. That’s confirmed when the lot of them are attacked from the mesa of a mountain where there is no way up, at least not one anyone can see.

I was given a copy of No Way Up from the publisher for my honest review. I love to read Mary Conneally’s books, but for this one, I take issue with the manuscript editors. I found no less than two Point-of-View problems called “head-hopping.” It’s not something I usually see in Mary’s books. She’s always been very consistent. I also found an instance of a word missing in a sentence. That’s also very unusual. I’ve read Mary’s “raw” writing on her website. I was surprised and rather disappointed, because usually her books are of a higher standard. I know no one’s perfect, but shouldn’t readers expect the best?

I give this book 4 stars, because of the editing. It’s not fair for the readers to spend money on something of less than the best quality. If I’d paid for this book, I would have been disappointed. We fans of Mary Connealy expect better.

The POV problems jarred me out of the story world. I thought “Is it just me?” I read and re-read the passages where I found them several times to make sure I hadn’t made it up. The last thing an author wants is for their readers to be taken out of the story world.

I would recommend this book, but with those caveats, because I am a fan.