I just loved how real the people became, it was funny, serious, charming and all without a dull moment. When I was finished I was sad to find it was the last of a series so I called and order all the rest andl fell in love with them all over again. A great read by itself but if you are a lover of books get the whole series!
Mandy's scoundrel husband, Sidney Gray, has been dead for a year, but fear and three small children have kept Mandy barricaded on the Montana mountaintop where Sidney had built Gray Tower. The Cooter family has declared a feud against the Grays and, even though Mandy is the fastest and most accurate gunslinger in the west, she refuses to take her children into danger.
Until Tom Linscott, whom she's known since arriving in Montana with Sidney, climbs the cliff one starlit night to claim Mandy as his bride. Sparks begin to fly immediately, as Mandy is no push-over. Neither is Tom, who takes Mandy's rifle then casually bundles up the children and begins to ride away, knowing Mandy will follow. As they ride the several day journey to Tom's ranch, he teaches the children to call him Pa, to Mandy's disgust. She's loved Tom much longer than she ought to have, but can't bear to put him in danger from the Cooter feud.
For indeed, the Cooters are coming from all across the land to join up and kill off the Grays-and anyone who stands by them. Tom Linscott has bought himself a barrelful of trouble, but he wouldn't have it any other way.
Not only the Cooters are coming, but so are Mandy's family, the McLennans, in this final novel in the historical western series Sophie's Daughters. Sharpshooter in Petticoats is not a stand-alone book and (apparently) not only the closing tale to Sophie's Daughters but to two other series Lassoed in Texas and Montana Marriages which I haven't read. As such, things got a bit confusing for me when characters old and new poured onto the stage in the final chapters. Still, Connealy's witty writing style made this a book I thoroughly enjoyed.
Hear me on this: Nobody writes historical romance with humor like Mary Connealy!! How do I know? Because I read A LOT and few authors are able to set my fingers atingle at the mere touch of their books like Ms. Connealy. Why you may ask? Because this woman is supremely capable of making me laugh, swoon and palpitateâ€”and that's just on the first page! From there it's a high-speed chase with horses and buggies through a plot as wild as a bucking bronc and a love story just as crazy and fun. Which means on a sigh-worthy scale of one to ten, a Connealy love story is usually a twenty.
Who knows, maybe a twenty-five for her latest series entitled "Sophie's Daughters," which captures the romantic pursuits of the grownup McClellen daughters from another Connealy classic, Petticoat Ranch. It's hard to say which of the three books in this series is the bestâ€”Doctor in Petticoats, Wrangler in Petticoats or Sharpshooter in Petticoatsâ€” because this is clearly Connealy's pinnacle work so far, in my humble opinion, and trust me on thisâ€”the woman just gets better and better! So if you like lots of laughs, thrills and _ ahem _ gentle passion in your romance, pick up some petticoats and "slip" into a great time!