Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Wild at Heart #3

Fire & Ice
 Bailey Wilde is one of the best new ranchers in the West. She's been living disguised as a man for a while, but when Gage Coulter comes to drive her off her homestead, he quickly realizes he's dealing with a woman--a very tough, very intriguing woman at that.

Gage is an honest man, but he didn't make his fortune being weak. He won't break the law, but he'll push as hard as he can within it. Five thousand acres of his best range land is lost to him because Bailey's homestead is located right across the only suitable entrance to a canyon full of lush grass. Gage has to regain access to his land--and he's got to go through Bailey to do it.

Spending a winter alone has a way of making a person crave some human contact. In a moment of weakness, Bailey agrees to a wild plan Gage concocts. Can these two independent, life-toughened homesteaders loosen up enough to earn each other's respect--and maybe find love in
the process?

Fire and Ice (Wild at Heart, #3)
Published October 6th 2015
 by Bethany House

Mary Connealy takes us back to 1866 in the Dakota/Idaho Territories for the conclusion of the Wild at Heart series.  A wonderful way to end a series with the oldest Wilde daughter, Bailey.  She lost her mother at an early age and has been raised by her father.  To say Cudgels Wilde is a hard man would be an understatement.  He raised his daughters with the same expectations as his son, Jimmy.  Bailey being the oldest had tried to take care of everything.  Cudgels pushed all three daughters to join the fight during the Civil War when his son Jimmy was killed and now he's taken them out west to start a dynasty in Jimmy's honor. 
Upon arriving each picked an area to homestead, Bailey picked one high in the mountains that butted up against a canyon with a beautiful valley.  Of course someone had already claimed the valley, but Bailey situated her cabin at the mouth so the only way to reach it was through her land and she wasn't giving anyone permission.  She would have use of the valley and be able to amass her herd with ease.  
Of course there's always a glitch in everything.  And Bailey's glitch comes in the form of a tough ranch owner, Gage Coulter, who just happens to own the canyon.  Gage sees Bailey as a worthy adversary, but plans to use the valley to winter his cattle one way or other.  Bailey has come up against hard men in the past, shoot she even lived with one, so she feels she can handle anything he throws at her.  
I truly liked both these characters.  Both are highly independent with their own stubborn flaws, but when things become even more complicated than they ever imagined Bailey and Gage form a bond that's unbreakable.  This story is one of Bailey actually finding her true self and learning that there's more to herself than she ever imagined.  She has seen the worst side of man and expects it, but finds out that sometimes things aren't always as they appear. Gage is a complex character and has some real issues, but through it all he proves what an honorable man  he truly is.     
The one going theme of this story is one of trust.  Trusting the Lord to see you through both the mountains and the valleys of life and learning to praise him through both.  Trusting that if you lean on God he will lead you on the path you should go.  Of course with trust also comes forgiveness.  You must learn to let the past go and move on with the future.  
This story has intrigue, suspense and romance interwoven with humor.  
I would recommend it to anyone who loves history, romance or just a good, clean read. 
**I was provided this book by the publisher for a honest opinion without bias or outside influence as stated above. **

Photo of Mary
 I wrote my first book when I was about twelve. A romance novel. I shudder to think what a twelve year old could know about romance. I have no idea what happened to the manuscript. I suppose my mother found it, and burned it while screaming in horror, but I’ve always been afraid to ask. Was it a hundred pages? Two? I have no idea, but I seem to remember just writing FOREVER! So I’m guessing two pages long at least.
As a new bride I marched straight out of journalism school and into the kitchen, I did a lot of scribbling. I still have those heartbreaking works of staggering genius, Ode to Roast Beef, things like that, all born out of the ‘Write What You Know’ school of literature.I began writing more seriously when my baby went to kindergarten. Not writing well of course, but just putting words on paper. No one does anything well the first time. I’m sure Babe Ruth missed the first ball pitched to him. I’m sure Picasso smeared pages with paint-y fingers when he was a kid—as I remember he went back to that later in life. I’m sure Beethoven played the eighteenth century version of Chopsticks before went for the sonatas.

My writing journey is similar to a lot of others. Boil it down to persistence, oh, go ahead and call it stubbornness. I just kept typing away. I think the reason I did it was because I’m more or less a dunce around people—prone to sit silently when I really ought to speak up(or far worse, speak up when I ought to sit silently).

So, I have all these things, I want to say, in my head; the perfect zinger to the rude cashier, which you think of an hour after you’ve left the store, the perfect bit of wisdom when someone needs help, which doesn’t occur to you until they solve their problems themselves, the perfect guilt trip for the kids, which you don’t say because you’re not an idiot. I keep all this wit to myself, much to the relief of all who know me, and then I write all my great ideas into books. It’s therapeutic if nothing else, and more affordable than a psychiatrist.

So then a very nice, oh so nice publishing company like Barbour Heartsong comes along and says, “Hey, we’ll pay you money for this 45,000 word therapy session.” That’s as sweet as it gets.

My journey to publication is the same as everyone’s except for a few geniuses out there who make it hard for all of us. And even they probably have an Ode to Roast Beef or two in their past.

Find Mary Online:
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Petticoats & Pistols:

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