Hi Readers, I’m back!!
It’s been a long time (several months!) since I have posted on here because my reviews mostly have been on Social media, Goodreads and retail sites, but I am going to be more diligent about posting them here too. So to start off my return to blogging, I am thrilled to share with you Forged in Love by Mary Connealy!!
The Bookish Details
Book: Forged in Love
Author: Mary Connealy
Genre: Historical Romance
Release date: February 28, 2023
When sparks begin to fly, can a friendship cast in iron be shaped into something more?
Mariah Stover is left for dead and with no memory when the Deadeye Gang robs the stagecoach she’s riding in, killing both her father and brother. As she takes over her father’s blacksmith shop and tries to move forward, she soon finds herself in jeopardy and wondering–does someone know she witnessed the robbery and is still alive?
Handsome and polished Clint Roberts escaped to western Wyoming, leaving his painful memories behind. Hoping for a fresh start, he opens a diner where he creates fine dishes, but is met with harsh resistance from the townsfolk, who prefer to stick to their old ways.
Clint and Mariah are drawn together by the trials they face in town, and Clint is determined to protect Mariah at all costs when danger descends upon her home. As threats pursue them from every side, will they survive to build a life forged in love?
Click here to get your copy!
My Thoughts on the Book
First, I LOVE the cover! It is absolutely gorgeous. I love how strong and confident Mariah (the main character) looks. Second, Mary Connealy is a go-to author for me because I love the humor she adds to her books and how most of the time, there is even a dash of suspense and this book didn’t disappoint me. From the moment you start the story, you are thrown into a stagecoach robbery and you can feel the despair Mariah felt during the robbery and the anguish and then joy that Clint felt when he found Mariah still alive. From there, you walk with these characters as they try to get on with life after tragedy, being drawn together by these events that have plagued the town – all while dodging the ever growing danger for Mariah, because the DeadEye Gang never leaves a witness alive.
This is definitely one of the best books she’s written and that is hard to say, because I LOVE all of her books, but I really liked the characters in this story – how strong Mariah was, even when life was hard for her(especially being a blacksmith when it was a man’s profession) and how Clint was a French Chief in the middle of a western town (which is hilarious reading about how he works so hard on a dish called Soupe De Poulet and the town’s people are like… why can’t you just call it chicken soup??) . Overall, I rate it 5 stars and I want to stress that this is one adventure you aren’t going to want to miss! Can’t wait for book two in the series!!
About the Author
Mary Connealy (www.maryconnealy.com) writes “romantic comedies with cowboys” and is celebrated for her fun, zany, action-packed style. She has sold more than one and a half million books. She is the author of the popular series Brothers in Arms, Brides of Hope Mountain, High Sierra Sweethearts, The Kincaid Brides, Trouble in Texas, Lassoed in Texas, Sophie’s Daughters, and many other books. Mary lives on a ranch in eastern Nebraska with her very own romantic cowboy hero.
More from Mary
I started plotting this novel when I found out that Wyoming was the first state (then a territory) in the Union to grant women the right to vote. Then I discovered it wasn’t just the right to vote; all sorts of other rights were given to women as well, like the right to run for elected office or be appointed to office. In fact, the first woman justice of the peace in the U.S. was from Wyoming. This inspired me to have one of my heroines be the second justice of the peace in the country.
As I continued my research, reading about all that went on in Wyoming was fascinating. They became a territory in 1868—with women voting—and yet they weren’t allowed statehood for another thirty years. With other states being granted statehood in only a few years, why was this? Because the U.S. government refused to let Wyoming in unless they took the vote away from women.
Because Wyoming adamantly refused to strip the vote from women, year after year they were denied statehood. When they finally did get it, the state’s women maintained their right to vote because Wyoming would not budge on the issue. The whole history of this was great reading.
So I wrote a three-book series called Wyoming Sunrise in which all my heroines play against the normal, conventional female roles of the day.
Now, what job could I possibly think of that wasn’t traditionally for women? How about Mariah who happens to be a blacksmith? And while I’m writing against stereotypes, I created a man named Clint who runs a diner. That wasn’t too unusual, for lots of diners were run by men back in the day. Yet not many of them were talented chefs trained in high-class restaurants in New York City. Clint is an excellent chef. Of course, an excellent chef in a small Wyoming town is kind of wasted on folks who prefer fried chicken and beef stew.
Clint makes chicken and beef, but he calls his dishes weird names and makes them unusually delicious. Meanwhile, Mariah is working over a hot forge for long hours every day. When her father and brother are killed in a stagecoach holdup, she becomes the only blacksmith in town.
There’s some resistance to her doing such a masculine job, but even among those who disapprove, well, they’ve got a broken wagon wheel or a hole in their kettle and it’s either let Mariah fix it or go without. Mariah is allowed to be a blacksmith out of pure necessity.
My second book, The Laws of Attraction, has a female justice of the peace, while the third, Marshaling Her Heart, features a tough lady rancher. I write westerns, and honestly, writing about tough, feisty lady ranchers like Becky the Rancher comes naturally to me. Writing about a blacksmith and a judge, however, presents more of a challenge.
Mariah, who survived the stagecoach holdup, learns that the robbers believe she might know something that will reveal their identity, and she needs to be silenced. Clint tries to protect her and finds himself stepping between her and a murderous gang of outlaws.
Through it all, love finds them, and they begin to forge a life together.
Blog Tour Stops
Bigreadersite, March 18
Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, March 18
Texas Book-aholic, March 19
Through the Fire Blogs, March 19
Happily Managing a Household of Boys, March 19
Stories By Gina, March 20 (Author Interview)
deb’s Book Review, March 20
Books You Can Feel Good About, March 20
Connie’s History Classroom, March 21
For Him and My Family, March 21
Labor Not in Vain, March 21
Cover Lover Book Review, March 22
Lighthouse Academy, March 22 (Guest Review from Marilyn Ridgway)
Remembrancy, March 23
Locks, Hooks and Books, March 23
Betti Mace, March 24
Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, March 24
She Lives to Read, March 25
Tell Tale Book Reviews, March 25
Pause for Tales, March 26
Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, March 26
Holly’s Book Corner, March 26
Book Looks by Lisa, March 27
Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, March 27
SodbusterLiving, March 28
Jeanette’s Thoughts, March 28
Splashes of Joy, March 29
Jodie Wolfe – Stories Where Hope and Quirky Meet, March 29
Wishful Endings, March 30
HookMeInABook, March 30
lakesidelivingsite, March 31
EmpowerMoms, March 31
Mary Hake, March 31
To celebrate her tour, Mary is giving away the grand prize package of a $15 Amazon gift card and a paperback copy of the book Forged in Love!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.
Thanks for stopping by! Hope you check out the book and if you do, let me know what you think!
Happy Reading! 🙂
>>Special thanks to Mary Connealy, Celebrate Lit, Net Galley and Bethany House Publishers for allowing me to read and review this book – all opinions are my own.