Wednesday, September 10, 2014

My review: Tried & True

Tried & True is the newest book in Mary Connealy's new Wild at Heart series!  I loved this one and can't wait for the next book!
I love the cover!  It's so pretty! The colors are gorgeous and her expression is great!  The back cover is lovely too, though I don't have a picture of it, sorry.  You'll just have to buy the book and see it for yourself! :)

Saddle up for a wildly fun ride with the Wilde sisters!

Kylie Wilde is the youngest sister--and the most civilized. Her older sisters might be happy dressing in trousers and posing as men, but Kylie has grown her hair long and wears skirts every chance she gets. It's a risk--they are homesteading using the special exemptions they earned serving in the Civil War as "boys"--but Kylie plans to make the most of the years before she can sell her property and return to the luxuries of life back East.

Local land agent Aaron Masterson is fascinated with Kylie from the moment her long hair falls from her cap. But now that he knows her secret, can he in good conscience defraud the U.S. government? And when someone tries to force Kylie off her land, does he have any hope of convincing her that marrying him and settling on the frontier is the better option for her future?

About the Author:
Mary Connealy is an award-winning, bestselling author known for her fun and lively historical romantic comedies. An author, teacher, and journalist, Mary lives on an eastern Nebraska ranch with her husband and enjoys spending time with her four daughters and two grandchildren. Learn more at
(Description and about the author from Christian Book.  Cover photo from Deeper Shopping. All rights reserved.)

My Review: 4 stars
Great start to a new series!
Tried & True is the first book in Mary Connealy’s new Wild at Heart series. I’m a big fan of Mrs. Connealy’s books and was very excited when I saw she had a new series starting. I’m happy to say that I really enjoyed this book!
As always, Mary does an excellent job of drawing in her readers and grabbing their attention. I was laughing from the start and found I really liked the characters, too. The descriptions were also very well done and I could easily imagine Kylie’s home and the town of Aspen Ridge. Though now I want to visit Idaho and see some of the beautiful scenery described in the story!
Kylie Wilde is the youngest Wilde sister and also the prissiest. She fought in the Civil War for two years and is tired of pretending to be a man. She wears dresses every chance she gets and dreams of returning to “civilization,” as she calls it. I really liked Kylie’s character and found I could easily connect with her. I loved that she was strong enough to do what she considers men’s work, but was also very happy to allow a man to actually do it. So often it seems in western novels that the women lean one way or the other, but Kylie had a very nice balance of being feminine, but also getting a job done. Kylie is strong in her own right, but none of her family seem to see that and they tend to run roughshod over her. I really enjoyed watching her come into her own and discover how strong she truly is.
Aaron Masterson is a good foil for Kylie. The first man to see her in a dress, then later call her on her charade, he is strong, but also kind. He can’t understand why she and her sisters were convinced to fight in the war as men, but admires their strength and fortitude. He struggles to know what the right and honest thing to do is, when faced with the injustice of the land grants. I loved how Aaron quickly became Kylie’s defender, even to the point of putting her in jail to keep her safe. He isn’t easily swayed by anyone, least of all her overbearing family, and stands up for her until she finds the strength to do so herself. I also loved his care and concern for her sisters. He sees that they are being mistreated and ignored by their father, and attempts to show them all love.
Kylie and Aaron’s relationship starts out on the wrong foot, when he calls her on her disguise and removes the exemption from her homestead grant. But they quickly find their footing, as they join forces to find out who is behind the attacks against Kylie and her home. I actually really enjoyed their romance, which isn’t really one by most standards. I loved the care Aaron lavishes on Kylie as they spent time getting to know one another. While they both have thoughts of marriage early on, it didn’t seem farfetched or rushed. I adored the selfless love shown through their actions, as Kylie and Aaron put the other’s needs before their own, even to the point of accepting the death their dreams. This was prior to either of them becoming aware of the love they felt for each other, which in my mind made it even sweeter.  
I have to admit, my favorite part of the book and probably a reason some people won’t like it as much, is that it is more serious than many of her other books. There were still several parts that made me laugh, but I loved that they talked about God more and had real conversations that mattered. Several of the characters served in the Civil War, so that contributed to the seriousness. They had to face the demons haunting them left over from the war and all they witnessed, as well as learning to trust God and give their burdens to Him. As much as I love the side-splitting laughter caused by her books, the honesty and faith in this one spoke more to me than any of her past stories.
My only complaint is that the mystery they had (finding out who was targeting Kylie) seemed to drag on a little, then was quickly resolved. I would have enjoyed maybe a little more time spent expanding on that, but overall, it still worked out well. The story was well paced and didn’t lag anywhere, which is more important to me than the mystery being further fleshed out. I’m basically just nitpicking.

I highly recommend this book if you enjoy Western romances filled with great characters, laughter-inducing scenes, and God.

I received a complementary copy of this book from Bethany House Publishing for my honest review, which I have given. I was not required to write a positive review and have not been compensated for it in anyway. All opinions expressed are my own.

Are you a fan of Mary Connealy's?  Does it bother you when one of your favorite authors deviate a little bit from their normal pattern?  Or do you tend to appreciate the change?  After hearing my take, will you still consider reading the book?

Thank you for stopping by!  I hope you enjoyed my review and will consider picking up a copy of the book!  In case you're interested in checking it out some more, or maybe purchasing a copy, here are some links to get you started. 


Christian Book

Barnes & Noble

If you're a newcomer here, I hope you realize these links aren't intended to pressure you or anything like that.  They're just something I like to add to make it easier for you and to help promote books I enjoy.  :) 
I hope you're having a lovely day!


1 comment:

  1. Mary's books are always enjoyable, and I like that this story is more serious, Sarah. Will try it if I can make time.