Sunday, August 3, 2014

Reviewer's Bookshelf: Tried and True by Mary Connealy

Book Summary: 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? (from Amazon)

My Thoughts: First of all, the cover really drew my attention.  Love it!  I've read several of Mary Connealy's I wondered how this new series was going to compare to some of my old favorites.  As I read, I found that Connealy included some of my favorite traits in these new characters....and a few new ones that I haven't seen before.  It definitely made for a fun read!

Let's begin with the ladies.  Well, actually...these ladies like to act like they're men.  The Wilde sisters...Kylie, Bailey, and Shannon....were guilted into dressing and acting like boys, and even convinced to join up to fight in the Civil War, by their selfish father.  Their only brother had died on the battlefield and their father pushed the girls to honor him by practically turning into boys themselves.  Their father wanted to use their war experience to help them get land out west and settle there.  But Kylie Wilde doesn't have a masculine bone in her body.  She wants to be pampered (but not in an annoying way) and get past the horrors of fighting in the Civil War.  I really loved Kylie's character.  She wanted to be girly and feminine, but she had a tough side that helped her fend for herself.  There were several times when Kylie had to give up her dreams to meet the needs of others.  Even though she thought she could take care of herself, when she gave up her independence, she experienced love and protection like never before.  I liked that aspect of the story.  Kylie was truly able to see her value as a woman when she came under Aaron's protection.  She tried to explain that to her sisters, but they weren't quite as ready as Kylie was to give up the position they had as being men.  I loved getting to know all of these sisters, but I think beginning the series with Kylie's story was just right.

Aaron Masterson is a great all-around guy.  He's also dealing with the ghosts from his past that came as a result of the Civil War.  He has allowed fear to lead him out west and doesn't want to face ever going back to his beloved home.  Kylie allows Aaron to be himself, and the fact that they both share the experience of fighting in the Civil War builds a connection.  And boy, do they have the sparks!  From the beginning, you see the attraction between the two of them.  I love that Connealy is able to write some fantastic romantic scenes between her characters that'll make your pulse speed up, and yet still keep it clean.  It's definitely one of my favorite aspects of her books!  : )

Tried and True has all the things you want in a great book!  Set in the west, you have the ruggedness of life there, but you also have the sense of community and how everyone had to help one another and pull together, even if they don't necessarily like each other.  We've got tough males and females, but also Kylie's sweet femininity.  Romance, plot twists, suspense, and reconciliation round out book one of Wild at Heart series.  You should definitely check it out!

I give this book:
5 stars!  Loved it!

**I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an unbiased review**


Mary Connealy said...

Stacey, I'm so glad you enjoyed Tried and True!
thanks for the great review!

Dixie n Dottie said...

I love Mary Connealy's books! This sounds really good! Can't wait to read it! Great review!

The Great Adventure said...

Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting! your books! Dixie n Dottie...I think you'll really love this one! I'm already getting excited about the next books in the series! : )