Friday, July 18, 2014

Book Review of Stuck Together by Mary Connealy

When a lawman who values order gets stuck with a feisty crusader who likes to stir things up, there's going to be trouble in Texas! 

Cover ArtStuck Together is the third book in Mary Connealy's Trouble in Texas series. Book one was Swept Away and book two was Fired Up. The trilogy follows the lives and troubles of a group of men who met in the war and have bonded closer than brothers. They now all live in the same small town in Texas called Broken Wheel.

Publisher's Blurb:
Now that she's settled in town, Tina Cahill is determined to get Broken Wheel's saloon closed for good. To that end, she pickets outside the place every afternoon. Unfortunately, so far no one has paid any attention.

Vince Yates earned the nickname "Invincible Vince" because of his reputation for letting absolutely nothing stop him. But Vince is about to face his biggest challenge yet: his past has just caught up with him. His father, mother, and the sister he didn't know he had show up in Broken Wheel without warning. His father is still a schemer. His mother is showing signs of dementia. And his surprise sister quickly falls for one of Vince's best friends. Vince suddenly has a lot of people depending on him, and Tina doesn't approve of how he's handling any of them.

With nearly every other man in town married off, Vince finds himself stuck with strong-willed Tina over and over again. Of course, Tina is the prettiest woman he's ever seen, so if he could just get her to give up her crazy causes, he might go ahead and propose. But he's got one more surprise coming his way: Tina's picketing at the saloon has revealed a dark secret that could put everyone Vince loves in danger.

What I liked: Stuck Together is another notch in Mary Connealy's belt in telling entertaining, romantic comedy. This story is a lighthearted read filled with fun and adventure.

The heroine, Tina Cahill was fun. Her natural penchant for trouble combined with her fragile self-esteem made for a character you could root for. Vince seemed like an appropriate match for her. He's smitten with her from the first moment he saw her, but restrains due to his own hurts and fears of every having a family. His restraint only feeds her inner turmoil that she is unlovable. The cat-chasing-his-tail conundrum created by these two makes the pages easy to turn to find their resolution.

The mystery side of the plot was engaging as I couldn't guess the trouble maker until the characters started to figure it out. Also the tension that Connealy added in page after page pushing "Invincible" Vince to the edge was enjoyable to read.

What I didn't like: Jonas' story. I was very disappointed with this part. If you've read along with the series so far you will understand what I'm talking about. If you are just joining with the Trouble in Texas Series now, you may not find anything out of joint at all.

Jonas is the last leg of The Regulators group to fall in love. Instead of giving him his own book like the others, he is given a few chapters throughout this one. It is a whirlwind romance ending in a proposal after a couple days. Then the rest of the book the two lovebirds sneak off constantly, returning with messed hair and disheveled clothing. He is the town Parson! I absolutely did not like this part of the book.

I also found the writing disjointed. It felt "narrated" most of the time. It made the reading choppy for me. This series has not been as good as her earlier one The Kincaid Brides.

I would recommend this book to others who are familiar with Mary Connealy and like romantic cowboy comedy. However this is not a good one to start out with if you've never read her before. She has a new book coming out in September titled Tried and True, book one in the Wild at Heart series.

Thanks to Bethany House and the author for giving me a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. I was not expected to review it positively.

Friday, July 11, 2014

I dare to believe in incredible things!

A group from our youth are in Mexico on a missions trip to offer help to an orphanage and assist with running a summer VBS.

The day they left our little town and headed off into the somewhat "unknown" I heard a song on the radio. It was such a powerful message I had to check it out further. So at home I investigated (er, uh I mean "googled").

Here is the video (AWESOME VIDEO) I found.

On a blog our Youth Pastor is using to keep us in the loop, he talks about an experience that hopefully taught those young men and women about being a part of the impossible. I will recap his thoughts here but please feel free to visit and read for yourself. MCYGMissions

Before leaving on the missions trip the youth group studied the life and thoughts of George Mueller. The Youth learned

Monday, July 7, 2014

Book Review of Silenced by Dani Pettrey

A fantastic read! Dani Pettrey's fourth installment in the Alaskan Courage Series is out and she hasn't missed a beat yet!

Cover ArtJake Knew Something Was Wrong. 
But He Never Guessed 
How Wrong. 

A relaxing day of rock climbing takes a disturbing turn when Kayden McKenna's route brings her face-to-face with a dead climber. Is it a terrible accident or something darker? When the case is handed to overburdened sheriff Landon Grainger, he turns to Jake Westin for help. With Jake's past now revealed, he's ready to use his talent for investigation again--but he could never prepare for where the mystery will take him.

Kayden's climbing expertise soon leads her and Jake to the realization that the death was no accident. And worse, it seems the killer is onto them. When strange things begin happening in Yancey, Jake is terrified that once again his world may put someone he loves in danger. But the truth is far worse than he could ever imagine. 

Silenced was an exciting read filled with an amazing cast of characters. Most of them are all familiar to readers who have been following the series all along. I read this book from that perspective, having started with Dani and the McKenna clan in book #1 Submerged. I am not a good person to ask how the story holds its own to a reader just joining the fun. However, each of the past characters plays a supporting role in the book, continuing on with their story lines slightly. This makes the characters more fleshed out then just names and casual mentions. 

I have been looking forward to this story line since the middle of book #3 Stranded. Kayden always drew my curiosity in the ways she poked and prodded at Jake, hoping to prove him a fraud. In book #3 we all got a glimpse into his secretive past making us all, Kayden included, like him a little bit more.

Now in Silenced we have the full growth of that change into a budding romance. And a sweet one at that. Jake is