Expected Release Date: Available Now!
Publisher: Barbour Publishing, Inc.
Imprint: Barbour Books
Author’s Website: http://www.maryconnealy.com/
My Source for This Book: Netgalley
Part of a Series: Yes, Book 2, Sophie’s Daughter’s series, Spinoff of Lassoed In Texas Series
Series Best Read In Order: Probably, but worked well as a standalone.
Steam Level: Warm
Ride into the Rockies where love peaks between a tough Texas tomboy and a passionate artist. On her way to Montana, Sally McClellan’s party is attacked and robbed. But then artist Logan McKenzie saves the badly wounded cowgirl who has been left for dead. Can this landscape painter tame the tomboy without breaking her spirit? Sally doesn’t know much about ribbons and lace, but Logan’s presence makes her want to connect with her feminine side. Will this fractured female discover a way to capture the artist’s love—or find herself captured and killed by outlaws?
I will be the first to admit that I don’t typically read “Inspirational” romances. They tend to be… a bit preachy for my tastes. However, I have to say that Wrangler in Petticoats was surprisingly good for me.
Sally is a tough girl who knows how to work the land — a rancher born and raised who finds value in practicality. Logan is a talented artist who sees beauty in all things, and who often ignores important everyday chores in favor of capturing the majesty that surrounds him in the mountains.
Sally is on the way to visit her sister who is due to have a baby soon when her group is set upon by robbers, who kill everyone in the party. Sally only escapes with her life by falling off a cliff (yes, you read that right) and is very badly injured. As she fell, she was spotted by Logan, who was in the process of sketching for a new painting. He carries her back to his cabin where his Shoshone housekeeper, Wise Sister, helps to nurse her back to health. In the meantime, Sally’s sister Mandy comes closer and closer to the birth of her third child in as many years, and her wealthy yet obnoxious and inattentive husband does nothing to provide for her or her children, or to protect her from some of the scoundrels that he’s hired to protect him. As the story progresses, we not only follow Sally and Logan, but also Mandy and her family, as well as several side characters that you can’t help but care for even if you’ve never read any of the other stories in the series.
What worked for me:
- I really enjoyed how Sally was the “practical” one and Logan was the more “romantic” one in the relationship. She actually thought he was pretty worthless when she first met him, because he left all the every day chores to Wise Sister — things like cooking, cleaning, hunting, and so forth — while he sat around and painted all day. To be honest, in the beginning, despite his income from his paintings, he was rather worthless when it came to those things.
- I loved watching Logan grow as a person. Sally made a great point about how G-d gives people gifts, but they choose how to use them, and that just because he had a real talent and passion for art didn’t give him leave to be rude and completely ignore the needs of others.
- I don’t usually enjoy stories where so much of the narrative focuses on other couples, but I admit that reading about Mandy and her husband, and even Wise Sister and her story really added a lot to the story, and helped distract me from the fact that I think Sally needed a good shaking for being so stubborn all the time.
What didn’t work for me:
- As I mentioned, “Inspirational” novels aren’t really my cuppa. While there were many instances of praying, and quite a few references to G-d’s plan and sinning and things like that, they really didn’t bother me. When the main characters are devout in their faith, it fits well for them to be focused on G-d and to pray and to want to live a certain way. However, there were a few times where I felt like I was being beaten over the head by the religious aspect in ways that distracted from the story. For example, at one point rather early on, Logan thinks to himself that he hopes that in the mountains they were closer to G-d, and how that was foolish because G-d was in his heart no matter where he was. There’s just something about that turn of phrase that felt more preachy than the other references, and pulled me out of the story rather than enhanced it.
- There were times when the POV change got a bit distracting.
I was rather surprised by how much I liked this book. The plot was fantastic, the characters were both interesting and well-developed, and the setup for the next book was lovely without banging you over the head with it’s obviousness. The romance was sweet and believable, and the action was exciting with some very close calls.
So in the end, I surprise myself by saying, 4/5 Stars, and I’m actually going to pick up the next book in the series, Sharpshooter in Petticoats.