When it comes to books and movies, I’m not always that interested in the funny ones. I don’t mind them once in awhile, but once I’ve seen it or read it, that’s enough. The first time I picked up a novel by Mary Connealy, I don’t think I knew what I had gotten myself into. However, her light-hearted story-telling had me hooked. Her narratives are full of interesting word choices and fun characters, but her novels usually hit a certain depth at some point that resonates with truth. Her new series, Wild at Heart, intrigued me from the beginning, and I was excited to get to read the first book of the series. Of course, I also had to continue on with it and read the second when a chance to review came up.
**I received a copy of this book from Bethany House and NetGalley in exchange for my honest review. All opinions expressed are my own.**
Shannon Wilde is the middle sister–and the one who loves animals. She’s established her own homestead and is raising sheep for their wool. Things are going fine…until Shannon gets swept over a cliff by Matthew Tucker!
Tucker seizes every opportunity to get away from civilization, but one particular walk in the woods ends with him sprinting away from an angry grizzly and plunging into a raging river, accidentally taking Shannon Wilde with him. Their adventure in the wilderness results in the solitary mountain man finding himself hitched to a young woman with a passel of relatives, a homestead, and a flock of sheep to care for.
As Tucker and Shannon learn to live with each other, strange things begin to happen on Shannon’s land. Someone clearly wants to drive her off, but whoever it is apparently didn’t count on Tucker. Trying to scare Matthew Tucker just makes him mad–and trying to hurt the woman he’s falling in love with sets off something even he never expected.
Matt Tucker could take people for only so long and then he had to get up in the mountains, all the way up where he was more likely to run into a golden eagle than a man.
-First Line, Now & Forever by Mary Connealy
It’s hard to be disappointed in a book. That’s where I found myself for most of this one. I really wanted to like, really I did. Especially since the first book of this series was so amazing. I did start to enjoy it a bit more the further on it went, though. But the beginning was a struggle.
In many ways, the opening was a bit too action-packed. I found myself in this adrenaline filled rush for survival. It was well written, and dramatic, but I couldn’t get a handle on the characters. Or how they knew each other. Or how they got into the woods that they were in. It was just so much to take in and it made it hard to get connected to the story.
Later in the book, it felt like the story would start a storyline, resolve it, and move in a new direction. The final storyline was perhaps the largest, and I really enjoyed that one. The other ones were also good, it just would have been nice to see some overarching storyline cover the story. This was a wonderful set up for a marriage of convenience, but even that was resolved a bit too quickly in the story.
The book still featured all the humor and action that one can expect in one of Connealy’s novels. I have hope still for future books, but this one just didn’t quite do it for me.
About the Author:
Mary Connealy is an awardwinning, bestselling author known for her fun and lively historical romantic comedies. An author, teacher, and journalist, Mary lives on an eastern Nebraska ranch with her husband and enjoys spending time with her four daughters and two grandchildren.
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