Monday, September 8, 2014

Tried and True by Mary Connealy
Kylie Wilde is the youngest sister--and the most civilized. Her older sisters might be happy dressing in trousers and posing as men, but Kylie has grown her hair long and wears skirts every chance she gets. It's a risk--they are homesteading using the special exemptions they earned serving in the Civil War as "boys"--but Kylie plans to make the most of the years before she can sell her property and return to the luxuries of life back East.
Local land agent Aaron Masterson is fascinated with Kylie from the moment her long hair falls from her cap. But now that he knows her secret, can he in good conscience defraud the U.S. government? And when someone tries to force Kylie off her land, does he have any hope of convincing her that marrying him and settling on the frontier is the better option for her future?
In a sin-plagued world, there's something comforting about letting your mind slip into one of Mary Connealy's novels. Her newest, Tried and True, captivated me from the very beginning.
The story starts with the heroine dangling from a roof in the first scene, and the action continues from that point. This novel also did an awesome job of whetting the reader's appetite for future books in the series.
First Lines:
"Kylie Wilde's right hand tightened on the hammer as she stared at her roof. A shingle flapped in the endless summer wind. A storm was blowing in over the Rocky Mountains, blast it. She was going to have to go up there and nail that board down or sleep under a downpour."
 I started reading this book while I was battling a stomach bug--so you know it had to be a strong story to keep my interest when all I wanted to do was shut my eyes and rest. Mary Connealy has a gift for telling stories. She incorporates humor and historical facts in a way that never bores. I'm not the kind of person who enjoys talking or reading about wars, but she handled those details in a way I could handle. Did you know some women disguised themselves as men and fought in the Civil War? I never imagined that until this story.
Kylie Wilde is the kind of heroine I can relate to. She's a bit confused on what her place is in the world, and she doesn't believe she's nearly as good at certain tasks as her sisters. She's into feminine things (tea parties, for example) but doesn't mind helping build a chicken coop.
Aaron Masterson is one hundred percent man. He isn't fooled by Kylie's disguise and quickly decides she's the prettiest woman he's ever seen. A great aspect of Connealy's novels is that her heroes act like real men. I caught myself feeling a tad more interested in the secondary characters (who will have their own books later), but Aaron certainly fit with Kylie.
One thing bothered me, but I can't mention it without spoiling the story. I will say that I believe this story is more suitable for adult readers, although it is clean.
The spiritual thread in this one didn't connect with me precisely. However, I did love the ending, the way God's saving grace is portrayed.
Tried and True is another fun one from this author. You can get it here.
*I received this book free from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.*

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