Tuesday, February 28, 2023

FORGED IN LOVE by Mary Connealy, Reviewed by Rebecca, Paula, and Winnie #ReleaseDay


"We're saying she died."

But not really . . . after barely surviving an horrific stagecoach robbery, Mariah Stover's friends merely considered it prudent to be spread the word around that Mariah had succumbed to her injuries. After all, the incident showed every indication that it was the Dead Eye Gang who jumped the stage and killed everyone else, including Mariah's father and brother. The notorious gang never left witnesses and if they if they happened to find out that Mariah was alive, she would be "marked for death". . . not a mark that anyone would want to carry around.

Mariah, on the other hand, after gaining her wits, is convinced that she can remain in Pine Valley and resume her father's blacksmith business, after all she has no memory of the incident, and therefore cannot possibly identify any of the gang members. Thankfully, her friends still keep their eyes peeled for trouble, including and especially the town's diner owner, Clint Roberts, whose feelings for Mariah far surpass what he has allowed himself to convey.

A woman blacksmith, and an upscale chef . . . an odd couple if there ever was one . . . caught in a series of . . . "accidents"?

Enjoy the author's trademark wit as Mariah and Clint play a game of tug-a-war between forces both known and unknown . . . forging a friendship that is much stronger, and sweeter, than anything an enemy can destroy . . . could it be . . . love?
*I received a copy of this book from Baker Publishing through Interviews and Reviews. The opinions stated above are entirely my own. 3.5 stars
Mary Connealy has a fantastic imagination when it comes to creating colorful, interesting, and engaging characters and plopping them down in perilous and novel situations. She then stirs the pot a little, adding suspense and more danger. She sprinkles in a bit of inspiration to flavor the pot, then proceeds to figure out a way to save the situation and have the hero and heroine come out the other end victorious.

Forged in Love is the first book in Connealy’s newest series, Wyoming Sunrise, set in Pine Valley, Wyoming in 1870. It features Mariah Stover, who is left for dead in a stagecoach ambush in which her father and brother were killed. Trained in her father’s blacksmith job, she takes over the business, but soon realizes someone doesn’t want her alive as a witness. Clint Roberts owns a diner in the town and has had his eye on Mariah for a while. Mariah is plucky, determined, and courageous, and also an advocate for women’s rights. Clint is a handsome, chivalrous hero who does his best to protect her.

Filled with Connealy’s signature wit and humor, plenty of danger, action, and a bit of romance, this book should satisfy those who enjoy clean historical fiction. I highly recommend Mary Connealy’s books.
*I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy from Bethany House Publishing. All opinions are my own.

A new series by Mary Connealy? You can count on me being on board.

I was drawn into this book from the first exciting scene: Mariah is the lone survivor of a stage coach attack, pinned under the conveyance and left for dead. The Dead-eye gang leaves no witnesses, even women. But when they find out she lives, she is in constant danger. That brings out the protective instincts in diner owner, Clint, who has been interested in Mariah since he moved to Pine Valley to homestead. He frantically searches for her when the horses, but not the stagecoach, charge into town.

I like the setting, in the shadow of the mountains, in a community where folks look out for one another. Mariah is one of the few females but has two close friends in Nel and Becky.

Things are turned on end when the gang strikes. Pine Valley is no longer a quiet little town. Mariah is an independent woman blacksmith in one of the first territories to recognize women’s suffrage. But will she be able to to continue if she marries?

Lots of threats and tricky villains to combat. Add in a patient hero, feisty heroine, amusing banter, spiritual growth and you have the perfect old west story. Ms. Connealy is a favorite author who I will turn to again and again.
* I received a complimentary copy of this book from Bethany House on behalf of the author. I was not required to post a favorable review. All opinions are my own. *
5 stars and a solid faith thread

BackCover Blurb:
When sparks begin to fly, can a friendship cast in iron be shaped into something more?

Mariah Stover is left for dead and with no memory when the Deadeye Gang robs the stagecoach she's riding in, killing both her father and brother. As she takes over her father's blacksmith shop and tries to move forward, she soon finds herself in jeopardy and wondering--does someone know she witnessed the robbery and is still alive?

Handsome and polished Clint Roberts escaped to western Wyoming, leaving his painful memories behind. Hoping for a fresh start, he opens a diner where he creates fine dishes, but is met with harsh resistance from the townsfolk, who prefer to stick to their old ways.

Clint and Mariah are drawn together by the trials they face in town, and Clint is determined to protect Mariah at all costs when danger descends upon her home. As threats pursue them from every side, will they survive to build a life forged in love?

Bethany House Publishing, February 28, 2023
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