Sunday, March 24, 2013
Petticoat Ranch - Mary Connealy
Sophie Edwards is doing just fine alone, until a strange-yet oddly familiar-man rides into her life, insisting on rescuing her and her four daughters. Can she find a way to love a headstrong mountain man? When Clay McClellen discovers his brother has been murdered, he's bent on finding the killers and seeing them properly hung. But first his Christian duty demands that he marry his sister-in-law. After all, Sophie needs someone to protect her - right? Faith and love help unruly wed newlyweds find common ground and a chance at love on the Texas frontier.
About The Author:
Mary Connealy writes romantic comedy with cowboys. She is a Christy Award Finalist, a Carol Award Finalist and an IRCC Award finalist.
The Lassoed in Texas Series, Petticoat Ranch, Calico Canyon and Gingham Mountain. Petticoat Ranch was a Carol Award Finalist. Calico Canyon was a Christy Award Finalist and a Carol Award Finalist. These three books are now contained in one large volume called Lassoed in Texas Trilogy.
The Montana Marriages Series, Montana Rose, The Husband Tree and Wildflower Bride. Montana Rose was a Carol Award Finalist.
I have to say I loved Sophie's character! She's tough and has a lot of spunk! I've noticed I like the strong, tough leading ladies. Maybe because I know I could be never be like that. I mean I'm tough in a different sort of way. But not like Sophie.
I liked reading Clays point of view on women. It was pretty funny. He stated that women are either crying or giggling. Which is pretty accurate. Except sometimes, we're doing both! Because we cry when we're sad, happy, angry, scared, etc. Any emotion really. :P Then he decided he was going to make some rules. Rule number #1: No crying. Really? A house with five girls. Four of them being under the age of ten. And you're going to make a rule of no crying? Insane!
Clay was constantly telling Sophie to stop doing "Mans work" and stay in the house with the girls and let him do the work outside. But she was use to having to do everything. Because her first husband Cliff was, pretty much useless. Except for bringing the girls into the world. Then he was quite helpful! ;)
Here is a scene that I found quite funny.
"Let's get this marriage over and done, Sophie," Clay said as he removed his stetson to whack some trail dust of f his pants. "Parson if you don't want to climb down, you can just do the pronouncing from where you're at."
"Clay!" Sophie hadn't really meant to yell, but her ears hurt just a little from the single word, so she supposed she had. The girls all froze and looked at her.
"I need to talk to you." Sophie started marching toward the house, but she didn't go in. She went around the side of the house and was almost out of sight when Clay grabbed her arm.
"We can talk later, Sophie. The parson needs to get home. Let's get this out of the way."
Sophie wrenched her arm loose and whirled to face him. "We will talk now, Clay McClellen."
"Sophie, there's nothing-"
"Not here," Sophie snapped. "In private!"
Clay narrowed his eyes. They were cold, blue, gunslinger eyes, and if she hadn't been so furious, she might have backed down and married him just to get him to quit looking at her so angrily. But she was furious, and it gave her the courage of a west Texas cougar.
"Back of the house. Now!" she roared. She jerked her arm, and he must have been agreeable to letting her talk, because she got loose, and she knew she never would have if he wasn't willing.
She marched around the house. He was right behind her. When she thought she was out of earshot of the girls, unless she started ranting of course, she turned. "Where did you get the outlandish notion that we were getting married?"
"Outlandish notion?" Clay's brows shot up. "We talked about it. You said yes. What do you think I went to town for?"
"The parson?" Sophie screeched.
"Yes," Clay answered in a sarcastic drawl. "The parson!"
"We have not talked about getting married." Sophie jabbed Clay in the chest with her index finger. "I think I would have remembered a proposal!"
"I asked you if you knew what we had to do."
"Yes, but I can't imagine how you got, 'Yes I'll marry you,' out of that brief exchange."
"I asked you if you were a God-fearing woman."
"And I am one." Sophie crossed her arms.
"Well, we have to get married!" Clay said tersely. "So that's what I meant when I asked you if you knew what we had to do. What did you think I meant?"
"I had not idea!
"Then why did you say you knew what we had to do?"
"I guess I thought you were telling me we had the usual chores to do around the place." She snapped her fingers and said, "That's right. I said, 'Of course I know!"
"And you said you were willing."
"'Of course I'm willing,'" Sophie said with vicious sarcasm, "to do the chores. I thought you had a lot of nerve telling me that since I've been doing all the chores for two years now!"
"Why would I try to tell you to do the chores you'd been doing alone for so long? That would be stupid!" Clay bellowed. "Do I strike you as a stupid man?"
Clay's gunslinger eyes got even more narrower. "We talked about having the same faith."
"Okay, I guess you asked me that."
"And we talked about raising the girls. I know I said something about it being best if we raised the girls in a church-going household."
"Yes you said all of that. But I never imagined you were talking about..."
"It doesn't matter anyway, whether you've been asked proper or not. I guess I've heard of women who want fancy sweet talk and even rings and such, but I didn't take you for a woman who'd need that nonsense."
"Why doesn't it matter?"
Clay shrugged. "'Cuz we're getting married right now, whether you understood what I wanted or not."
Sophie opened her mouth to tell Clay to go try to talk a Texas sidewinder into marrying him, but her throat seemed to swell shut, and she thought for a humiliating moment that she might break down and cry. With a sudden rush of weakness, she wondered what difference it made. Why not marry him?
She shrugged. "All right. Let's get it over and done."
He took her arm and led her back around the house.
"So, what's the verdict?" the parson asked.
Sophie thought "verdict" was right. This was a life sentence. Clay looked to be a man who wouldn't die easily, unlike Cliff, so she was probably stuck with him.
Clay led her up onto the porch and said to the group waiting there, "We're getting married."
In her mind, Sophie heard a prison door slamming shut.
My next book will be Agent Undercover by: Lynette Eason. I decided to take a quick break from historical and go for modern suspense.