Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Fire & Ice by Mary Connealy

Fire and IceOverviewSaddle Up for a Wildly Fun Ride in Mary Connealy's Latest

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?

ISBN-13: 9780764211805 | Publisher: Baker Publishing Group
Publication date: 10/06/2015 | Series: Wild at Heart, #3
Buy It: B&N | Amazon | CBD

My Review: I love Mary Connealy. Her books never fail to inspire me, make me laugh, and keep me on the edge of my seat. Fire & Ice is no exception. It's always interesting to me to go back in time to homesteading and the hardships and challenges of it. Mary Connealy always does an excellent job of describing life on the range. You can tell she does an extreme amount of research for her stories. She also does an excellent job of keeping the story engaging and exciting.  From the very beginning, I was caught up in the story of Bailey and Gage.

Bailey is a tough woman who has endured unspeakable horrors of war and came out on top. In a way, I can relate to her fears and sorrows based on her experiences. Gage is your typical Western male, with the exception of his past. I loved that Mary Connealy gave each of these characters such a unique past. Their troubles and heartaches were different from anything I've read before, and I appreciated the story so much more for it. I always love how the author weaves the love story into her plots. She excels at making you aware of the main characters attraction, without detracting from the plot. It developed, almost, without the reader noticing. 

The message of the story centers on trust. I know, after you read the story you might think I'm crazy, but I have a reason for my choice. Bailey lived through unspeakable horrors. Understandably, her fears drive her to a life of isolation. When she decides to give up that isolation by agreeing to Gage's crazy proposal, she is terrified. Her fears drive her to the point where she doesn't trust anyone, including herself. Gage is just the person to help Bailey, in my opinion. His past allows him to reach out to her in a way no one else could. That's God. Near the end of the story, after Bailey opens up to Gage, he makes a bold statement that really struck me: "..What good does it do to torture yourself by wondering what you should have done? It's over. All that's left now is forgiveness. Have you asked God to forgive you?"
"Yes, a thousand times. But the weight is as bad as it ever was.."
"That's not God refusing to forgive you,'s you refusing to forgive yourself. God's done His part; now you have to do yours."

How many times do we withhold forgiveness from ourselves, even after we ask God to forgive us? Doesn't that drive our trust and fears? What a powerful message!

Overall, if you're looking for a "wild ride" of a story, this is the one for you.

*I received a complimentary copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers through the Bethany House blogging program in exchange for my honest review.*

About the AuthorMary Connealy is the bestselling author of romantic comedy with cowboys. She is a Carol Award winner and a Rita and Christy and IRCC Award Finalist.

Find Mary online at: Seekerville | Petticoats & Pistols | My Blog | My Website

1 comment:

  1. I loved this book too! Really, the whole series. There were so many facets to the story and characters, and the humor always makes me smile :) Great review!