ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
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.
Cowboy Christmas—the 2010 Carol Award for Best Long Historical Romance, and an Inspirational Readers Choice Contest Finalist.
The Sophie's Daughters series. Doctor in Petticoats, Wrangler in Petticoats, Sharpshooter in Petticoats.
She is also the author of; Black Hills Blessing a 3-in-1 collection of sweet contemporary romances, Nosy in Nebraska, a 3-in-1 collection of cozy romantic mysteries and she's one of the three authors contributing to Alaska Brides with her Carol Award Winning historical romance Golden Days.
ABOUT THE BOOK
Swept away when her wagon train attempts a difficult river crossing, Ruthy MacNeil isn't terribly upset at being separated from the family who raised her. All they've ever done is work her to the bone. Alive but disoriented, she's rescued by Luke Stone...so unfortunately, there are more chances to die in her immediate future.
Luke is on a mission to reclaim the ranch stolen from his family. But the men currently on the property won't let it go without a fight. Luke plans to meet up with friends who will help him take back the land, and since he can't just leave Ruthy in the middle of nowhere, she's going to have to go with him.
But the more time Luke spends around the hardworking young woman, the more he finds himself thinking of things besides revenge. Will Ruthy convince him to give up his destructive path and be swept away by love?
If you would like to read the first chapter of Swept Away, go HERE.
Swept Away is the first book I've read by Mary Connealy-- and I don't think it'll be my last. Western Romance is one of my favorite genres and Connealy doesn't disappoint. In fact, she probably puts the western in Western Romance-- okay, maybe the romance too:-) (Not that I've read many western romances...;)
Luke and Ruthy are great main characters. They're both strong and hardworking and determined. Ruthy was an especially fun character-- her spunk and bravery are admirable. And, hey, it's hard not to envy a girl who can cook well, loves (or needs) to clean, can survive on her own in the wilderness if need be, and is a crack-shot with a gun. To be honest, she seemed a little too perfect, in spite of her hard years with the Reinhardts (her "adopted" family). But her perfectness didn't really hinder me from enjoying the story.
Luke and his friends were more believable characters-- all former Union soldiers who survived Andersonville. They gave an authentic western-feel to the book with their charm and skill with guns-- and their execution of their plan against Flint Greer. Glynna Greer, Flint's wife, added another dimension to the book and provided a second layer of suspense.
For me, the romance was hasty. I enjoyed it, but it felt shallow since Luke and Ruthy barely knew each other and love was not at the center of their emotions-- only outward attraction. As a result, the romance twist towards the middle of the book wasn't sigh-worthy. It was understandable and could be justified as necessary but it felt as if nothing had changed, which, in this case, is strange.
The action was high throughout the book. And Connealy did a great job at incorporating the western-feel by her scenery, imagery (metaphors, similes, etc), and dialogue. Complete with western villains. Overall, Swept Away was a great read that I enjoyed. You'd be a yellow-bellied sidewinder not to read it for your yourself:-) I give it 4 out of 5 stars. It can be bought at Amazon.