Saturday, September 13, 2014

“Tried and True” by Mary Connealy

About the Book
Saddle up for a wildly fun ride with the Wilde sisters! 

Kylie Wilde is the youngest sister--and the most civilized. Her older sisters might be happy dressing in trousers and posing as men, but Kylie has grown her hair long and wears skirts every chance she gets. It's a risk--they are homesteading using the special exemptions they earned serving in the Civil War as "boys"--but Kylie plans to make the most of the years before she can sell her property and return to the luxuries of life back East.

Local land agent Aaron Masterson is fascinated with Kylie from the moment her long hair falls from her cap. But now that he knows her secret, can he in good conscience defraud the U.S. government? And when someone tries to force Kylie off her land, does he have any hope of convincing her that marrying him and settling on the frontier is the better option for her future? 

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This book was released in September 2014.
This is a well love library book that was reviewed

My Review
“Tried and True” by Mary Connealy is the first book of her 'Wild at Heart' series, and what a kick start to a series, I might add. I had to wait a few weeks to be able to finally get my hands on this book, and I sure wasn't disappointed. I was captured by the story from the first chapter right up to the last chapter, to where it was nearly impossible to put the book down. 

This story was very predictable to Ms. Connealy's writing style, which frankly means there was no predictability what so ever, other than the hero and heroine were going to get together at some point in the story. The turns that were taken in this book were a complete shock for I didn't think of those possibilities happening. Just when I thought I had things figured out, bam, something else happened that showed that things were not as they seemed.  I couldn’t let me guard down at all while reading this book for things changed quickly but not to the point where things seemed as if they were being pulled out of the blue sky for no reason. 

We are introduced to Kylie Wilde first but slowly the rest of the Wilde family is introduced, each of them having their own distinct personality, to where a person either likes them or they don't. Once the family is fully understood, so to speak, it becomes clear the reason why some past choices were made. Each family member has their strength's pointed out as a way to help prepare, I am sure, for their own future books. 

Kylie is a woman who doesn't see herself as good as others, and frankly doesn't want to always be like others around her either. She has plans and is determined to see those plans come true. Kylie is a woman who is smart and knows how to get things done using her mind instead of skills she doesn't want. She is not a lazy heroine, not by a long shot, but she is certainly unique to this story. She is a woman who has learned a lot over the years and some of that is what helps her keep going when she just wants to throw her hands up in the air. 

Aaron Masterson is the local agent and not fooled by the Wilde family in the slightest, well maybe for a little bit but not for long. Aaron is a man who is trying to doing his best for everyone without actually lying, but there are some things he just has no choice to do. He is the typical hero of the west who is bound and determined to protect the woman or women he knows, while keeping to his honor.
There is this instant attraction between Aaron and Kylie, and that chemistry just seemed to ooze off the page surrounding the reader. This is not a sexual type of chemistry, but more of that falling in love chemistry. It takes a talented author to have that kind of chemistry ooze off the pages without it feeling sexual. Personally I felt like I was falling in love all over again, as they fell in love with each other. 

So many characters are introduced, some like the Wilde family, we will see again in future books, while some of the others, one has to wonder if we will see them again, and if so how. There is one character though that I hope really does show up again and things work out for this character. Each character as they were introduced, were given this personality that helped make them each seem like they were just jumping off the page. Each of them, good and bad, has something about them that I couldn't help but to care for most of them. There is just one character that I really didn't care for at all, but that was the characters personality not because  Ms. Connealy didn’t round out this character. 

The message of starting over is done in several different levels throughout the characters and story. No two characters seems to be at the same place of starting over after the war much as it is even in today's world. There is movement forward with several of the characters with them taking big and little steps to get to where they want to be. 

There is also a message of love and forgiveness which I found very poignant at the end of the book in the last big scene. Sometimes it is easier to continue to hate instead of remembering the good and moving past the hatred to find that place of forgiveness and love.   It is this last scene that reminds us that we need to love everyone even those who hate us, and that sometimes taking that first step in love instead of hate can be dangerous but yet so rewarding. 

Overall between the twists and turns of the story, the characters leaping off the page while dodging the oozing chemistry, I loved this book, and now going to wait as patiently as I can (not sure how well that will work) until the next book “Now and Forever” comes out next year. I really should know better than read Ms. Connealy's books one at a time like this for the wait until the next book is so hard, but I can't bear the idea of waiting for two years or so until the whole series comes out.
I hope all who read this book enjoy it as much as I did. 

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