Monday, April 26, 2010

REVIEW: Black Hills Blessing by Mary Connealy

“Black Hills Blessing” is a three-novel anthology by Mary Connealy that is a must read for every Mary Connealy fan! These three beautifully crafted romances all take place in the breathtaking setting of South Dakota. With strong leading women and rugged leading men to capture their hearts, these three short novels will make you laugh and tear up and thoroughly enjoy a few afternoons with one of the best western romance writers of our time!

*****“Buffalo Gal” tells the tale of Allison “Buffy” Lange, who has come to Buffalo Commons to work and do research while she writes her doctoral dissertation. She is working toward a promised position at Yellowstone National Park and eventually a full-time position with buffalo. But her goals are interrupted by an irresponsible sister and a costly mishap that finds her buffalo destroying the neighbors’ ranches. One such neighbor is Wyatt Shaw, a widower who’s not looking for a new wife while he raises his young – and very energetic – twin boys. Buffy’s animals may have destroyed his home, but he can’t get over the fact that she can tell his boys apart when no one else can. Will these two stop fighting and apologizing long enough to realize they are meant for each other? There are some very sweet moments in this story.

*****In “The Clueless Cowboy”, Emily Johannson meets her match in her new neighbor, Joe “Jake” Hanson. Jake is running from his old life – and directly into Emily. When they meet over Jake chopping down a tree, sparks (and woodchips) fly. Jake learns about the country way of life and that he can trust, again. But will he stick around to win the heart of a beautiful lady rancher? This story had me giggling constantly – from Johannson meets Joe Hanson, to visuals of a man faking an injury to get sympathy and finally learning how to ranch from a capable woman. This story had a solid, suspenseful plot that added to my enjoyment.

*****“The Bossy Bridegroom” is the story of Buffy’s sister, Jeanie Davidson, and her estranged husband, Michael. Since the ending of “Buffalo Gal,” Jeanie has entered into a relationship with Christ, but she isn’t strong enough to stand up to her bully of a husband. So, when Michael shows up on Jeanie’s doorstep declaring that he is changed and wants to reconcile, many challenges surface. Will Jeanie be able to maintain her individual identity or will she fall back into the bad habit of living in Michael’s shadow? Will Michael sign the paperwork allowing Buffy and Wyatt to adopt his daughter, Sally? Will he help Jeanie to be a strong woman? Even though frustrating at times, this turned out to be a terrific read.

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