I really enjoy Mary Connealy's books. I've read the Kincade Brides series and several other trilogies I'll mention at the end. Last year I reviewed Fired Up, and I jumped at the chance to review Stuck Together. Some of Mary's stories are better than others, and I'd say anything she does in full-length trilogy form is worth reading. I've read some of her stand-alone shorter novels, but I find these full length novels are better, because the characters and plot are more fully developed and considered.
As I mentioned in my last review of Fired Up, I figured Stuck Together would center on Vince Yates and Tina Cahill, and it does. Tina is fellow Regulator-preacher Jonas Cahill's sister. She's small, but she's mighty_a crusader for temperance. In the first chapter, she starts a brawl. It's incredibly funny to read.
As for Vince, we actually find out more about his past as his family shows up unexpectedly in Broken Wheel. His dad drops off his mother and a half-sister, then promptly leaves. Vince's mom has dementia and the half-sister, Melissa takes care of the wife of her father, but after Melissa and Jonas fall in love, care of Mrs. Yates falls mainly to Tina, and Vince.
As Vince struggles with his own self-image and his growing love for Tina, he is also called upon to continue being sheriff and lawyer of Broken Wheel, even though he doesn't really like it. We find out that Vince actually had higher education, but didn't want to follow in his father's footsteps.
Vince has always seemed to me to be the strong, silent type, but he isn't. He just doesn't share a lot. But he is a natural leader, a trait confirmed several times throughout this story.
Towards the beginning of the book, just after his mother has been dumped on him, he takes a trip from Texas to New Orleans, supposedly to find information on how to treat crazy people, because Lana Bullard escaped from jail. But Tina suspects an ulterior motive when she observes Mrs. Yates' condition.
Vince and Tina find themselves Stuck Together in taking of Mrs. Yates, and in their hearts. Vince explains it nicely. "I can't believe the time I wasted trying not to end up stuck together with the only single woman left in town."
Mary Connealy has a knack for writing humor in the midst of very serious situations, and bringing the comic relief that is needed in writing drama.
I would recommend any of Mary Connealy's books for those who love historical fiction westerns. Her characters are well developed, even as they conceal things from each other. This book ends the Trouble in Texas series. I wonder what she'll come up with next.
You'll rarely be disappointed with Mary's books. You don't to read any other series of hers in order to enjoy this book. It can also be a stand-alone book, although your understanding of the characters and situations in this story will be enriched if you read the others as well. I have a tendency to sometimes read books out of order. Only rarely do I read all of a series. But I've read most of Mary's books - her Kincade Brides, Sophie's Daughters Trilogy, two other trilogies, Montana Marriages and Gingham Mountain. They're all good.
I'd rate this 4-1/2 stars. I rarely give five stars out to a book. It has to really blow me away - because I'm such an avid reader. So if I say I really like it, I really do.
I received this book from the publisher in return for my honest opinion.
This third book in the "Trouble in Texas" series is meant to be a lighthearted and amusing read, with a dash of spiritual profundity thrown in. Knowledge of the characters and the progression of the storyline in books one and two would definitely enhance the reader's enjoyment of this book. Entertainment, rather than accurate historical portrayal, is the primary goal, evidenced by scenes like Tina picketing the small-town saloon and inciting a spontaneous mud-wresting riot in the streets.
The plot moves along quickly and doesn't lack action, although the unique spiritual theme of this novel is developed through the thought life of Vince, whose anxiety about his mental health and his deliverance from that anxiety, teaches that we must trust every aspect of our future to the Lord.
If you've read the first two books in the series you would enjoy this one. If books loosely themed on the Wild West are a genre you enjoy, I'd recommend this series to you.
I received a complimentary copy of this book for review from Bethany House Publishers. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255.
Whenever I've picked up a Mary Connealy book, I've know I'm in for a bit of history, a bit of sweet romance, and a lot of fun and levity. She writes with the magic of an author that can weave a good story, tuck in some salient information from history, and leave you relaxed and feeling happy to have read her book. That is talent.
Lively Tina who so desperately needs to feel the connection and love of family and invincible Vince from the team of guys who have made up the "Trouble in Texas" series, clash and smash it out as they discover that they are getting stuck together in more ways than one.
The action is quick moving, the dialogue to the point and sprinkled liberally with levity, and you move with the characters through the pages bumping into trouble and solving issues in the town, on the ranch, and in the hearts and lives of the characters.
A good read anytime, but especially for a relaxed, lazy summertime bit of enjoyment.
DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary copy from Bethany House a division of Baker Publishing Group in exchange for my review. Opinions are my own. I was not compensated nor required to give a positive review.
Tina Cahill, newly arrived from the East, is determined to get the saloon in Broken Wheel, Texas, closed for good. To that end, she pickets outside the place every afternoon. Unfortunately, so far no one has paid any attention.
Vince Yates earned the nickname "Invincible Vince" because of his reputation for letting absolutely nothing stop him. Not his tyrant of a father. Nor the injuries he suffered in the Civil War. Nor the fact that he is Broken Wheel's only attorney and sheriff yet has no law degree.
But Vince is about to face his biggest challenge yet: his past has just caught up with him. His father, mother, and the sister he didn't know he had show up in Broken Wheel without warning. His father is still a schemer. His mother is suffering signs of dementia. And his surprise sister immediately falls for one of Vince's best friends. Vince has a lot of people to take care of, and Tina doesn't approve of how he's handling any of them. But with almost all the other men in town married off, Vince finds himself stuck with feisty Tina over and over again. Of course, Tina is the prettiest woman he's ever seen, so if he could just get her to give up her causes, he might go ahead and propose. But he's got one more surprise coming his way: Tina's picketing at the saloon has revealed a dark secret that could put everyone Vince loves in danger.
About the Author:
Mary Connealy is an award-winning, bestselling author known for her fun and lively historical romances. An author, teacher, and journalist, Mary lives on an eastern Nebraska ranch with her husband and has four daughters and two grandchildren. Learn more at www.maryconnealy.com.
Broken Wheel's lawyer and lawman, Vince Yates is in for a rode awakening, when his wretched father arrives on his doorstep. Most would think after not seeing your parents for many, many years that it would be a happy reunion but not so in Vince's case. His scheming father even brings his sick mother and his mistresses daughter. But even though this man says he is here for a visit as always he leaves---only this time he leaves Vince with these two women that he barely knows.
Tina Cahill, is Broken Wheel's picketer and chef at Glynna's Cafe. Although the people of the town love her and enjoy her cooking, they could care less if she succeeds in her cause. Shots are fired which interrupts her trying to show support for her cause.
As always Mary Connealy can give you a gun-fight, a jail break and a missing person all rolled into a sure fire hit!
**Disclosure** This book was sent to me free of charge for my honest review from Bethany House.
This story is again set in the small town of Broken Wheel in Indian Territory in the year 1869. Tina Cahill has been in town now and works at the only restaurant as a cook. Her afternoons are spent picketing in front of the only saloon in town against the evils of liquor. Once she has a cause, she is fervent in seeing others are aware of it and doing something about correcting it. She is still living with her brother and arguing with Vince, one of her brother's best friends. She also notices how handsome Vince is.
Vince Yates receives word from his father that his mother's mental health is deteriorating and that Vince should come home to Chicago to take his place in the family business and in caring for his mother. Vince refuses as he has no desire for the family business of banking and has no fond memories of his father. As a result, his father brings his mother and another surprise to Vince and secretly leaves. In such a small town, Vince has to rely on everyone to help him care for his mother, including Tina Cahill. He likes to spar with her verbally, but she is getting to be dangerous to his heart so he tries to keep her at a distance. After all, he has vowed to himself never to marry as his mother's mental illness also affected her father as well and Vince thinks he will be affected as well. However, he is forced to spend more and more time with Tina and realizes what a gem she is, but he can't inflict his potential mental illness on her can he? Vince tries to control his future, but will he ever realize there is One who holds his future?
This is the last book in the Trouble in Texas series and I was hoping it would end on a high note, but for me it ended flat. The scenes that were supposed to be funny like when Tina is flailing around with her picket sign just weren't funny to me. I also thought having Jonas fall in love with Melissa was too convenient and contrived. However, I did enjoy and appreciate how everyone in the small town of Broken Wheel pitched in to look after Vince's mother, even though they weren't related. The town genuinely cared about her welfare and did what it took to keep her safe. I thought the author did a good job of portraying (and making me care about) Vince's father as a cruel and uncaring man; I really didn't like that man! This was an okay book; it just wasn't as good as the first two books in the series.