Tuesday, June 18, 2024

TOWARD THE DAWN by Mary Connealy, Reviewed by Paula and Rebecca #ReleaseDay

(A Historical Western Romance Set in 1800's Cheyenne, Wyoming)

After spending the winter snowed in a canyon, inventor Seb and runaway Kat want to return to civilization. Seb is hiding from someone who tried to kill him, while Kat is trying to escape the long arm of her uncle who wants her to return to an asylum. Solution- get married!

Thrilling chases, running from unknown bad guys and discovering the truth take center stage in this second book in the Western Light series. But much is going on inside the hidden canyon, too, where babies are born and a crazy person from the past makes an appearance.

Witty banter between Seb and Kat plus a sweet romance and a suspenseful plot make this a clear winner. Two themes were: Truth will come out and reconciliation is always best. The faith of the characters was evident and discovering how to get priorities straight was a helpful lesson.

I cannot wait to see how things play out in the final book.
*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 mine alone.*4 stars and a solid faith thread.

"We need to get married."

"But only a fool tried to court a woman with no preacher in sight and a group of men who'd shoot him for anything less honorable than a true courtship."

Clearly, it was what it was. Kat Wadsworth and Seb Jones needed to leave their Hidden Canyon hideaway, a proven safe haven for both them and their posse of newfound friends over the winter. Were nuptials their sole ticket to freedom? Was there something wrong with an ingenious inventor and heiress (except Seb didn't know that part yet, in fact Seb didn't know a lot of things about the pretty little woman) escapee from an insane asylum pledging themselves to a lifetime of marital bliss?

And so after an exceptional amount of teary good-byes and a generous load of supplies, the two set off to claim a homestead, build a cabin (including a laboratory for Seb) and . . . the story doesn't go quite like that at all. In fact, it may involve a bit of running for their lives, since all of those things that they don't know about each other? . . . actually make a difference.

But in the end, "I love you Kathleen Pendergast Wadsworth Jones".

Clever, engaging, suspenseful at times, encouraging, uplifting, and romantic. The author keeps her audience on the edge of their seat (whether it be on horseback, wagon or train) while Seb and Kat learn to depend on each other, order their priorities, and quite frankly . . . outrun their enemies. The clever flashbacks to the characters they left behind set the stage for what's ahead. A really fitting addition to the series.
*I received a copy of this book from the publisher through Interviews and Reviews. The opinions stated above are entirely my own. •3.5 stars

BackCover Blurb:
Despite trials that threaten their path forward, hope dawns for a future filled with love.

Kat Wadsworth and Sebastian Jones never imagined their lives would entwine so closely. Forced to flee on a wagon train from a vengeful uncle and an unknown gunman, they live in a hidden canyon with the family that rescued them. But as the days turn into months, they each have separate reasons for wanting to move back to society, and the best way to the independence they desperately crave might be through a marriage of convenience.

However, settling into their homestead in Cheyenne, Wyoming, reveals a different reality for Kat. Her new husband becomes consumed by his inventions, leaving her feeling lonely and isolated. And just when they think they've left the danger behind, a mysterious attacker lurks in the shadows, threatening the new life they've built. Together, they must confront the perils from their pasts to forge a future with hope and the prospect of love.

Bethany House Publishing, June, 2024
Available in digital ebook, paperback, hardcover, and audiobook:

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