Mary Connealy is an author I follow on Seekerville. I was delighted at the offer to review her latest book as I had never read any. The rave reviews she receives on her previous books sweetened the deal further. I was eager to begin.
In 1866 Colorado, Ethan Kincaid agrees to a marriage of convenience with the same casual disregard he gives every decision. Audra Gilliland, young mother of two, accepts his proposal because she wants to stop being a burden to her newly married stepdaughter.
And suddenly both of them are in far deeper than they'd planned.
Ethan doesn't expect Audra to affect him so profoundly, and when she begins to, he's terrified of the pain he's felt before when someone he loved was seriously injured on his watch. He's determined that his new wife will do as he says so he can keep her safe from the dangers that lurk on their ranch.
Audra has been cared for all her life by one man or another--and they've done a poor job of it. Now she's planning to stand up for herself. And her new husband had better agree or get out of her way!
What will it take to transform two wayward hearts fearful of getting in too deep into two trusting hearts ready to risk falling deeply in love?
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Connealy makes it effortless to read straight through. Her story is compelling and entertaining. The story tells the relationship between Audra and Ethan as they find themselves shoved into a marriage of convenience. Neither one is looking for love or expecting to find it. The story follows the relationship between the three brothers, Rafe, Seth and Ethan as they try to run family land in an unforgiving wilderness. The interactions between the brothers were a joy to read.
In Too Deep is book two in the Kincaid Brides series. I have not read book one yet and that may be the cause of the areas I did not like in the book. For starters, I had a little trouble getting into the characters - especially Ethan and Seth. They seemed a little flat at times. Also the relationship between Audra and Seth seemed pre-existing but with little or no explanation of that. However, based on the quality of the rest of the book I am certain that IF I HAD READ book one I would have felt more comfortable with those characters and their development. Mary did a great job of creating the other characters to feel so real.
Another area of struggle was the 'head' antagonist. Jasper felt outside of the story to me. He was the one calling the shots perhaps but not the bad guys whom Audra and Ethan had to face. Chapter after chapter seemed to dive further into his life and I could not make the connection. AGAIN, I apologize if his part is explained more in book one and I missed it. I found myself skipping some of those pages. Sorry Mary :(
Overall I recommend this book to all my book lover friends. It is a delightful and fun read. I am looking forward to the release of book three in August of this year.
I received a free copy from Bethany House for the purpose of giving a review. My opinions are my own and I am not required to give a positive review.
In case you are wondering, the first book is Out of Control. The third book is titled Over the Edge and is due out in August.
Now, on a more personal note ... as a follower of Seekerville, where Mary posts regularly, I won a draw. In April I am able to send 15 pages of my own writing in to Mary for a critique. I was so excited when I heard that, then to have her book arrive in the mail two days later was surreal. I will let you all know the outcome of that in the future. Wish me luck!