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Mary Connealy’s Tried and True

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?


I’ve read a lot of Mary Connealy novels and I really loved the first five or six novels she ever wrote. Then however, it seemed (to me anyway) that she was kind of rewriting the same story over and over. But this novel? This novel was different and I so enjoyed it! I’m really excited to read the rest of the series! My thoughts:

What I liked:

The characters. Like all of them. I loved Aaron’s pragmatic ways. He’s not fooled by much of anything, I love that Kylie is all girl and yet strong in ways you can’t even begin to comprehend. Bailey seems so complex and I can’t wait to read her story. I know Shannon’s got something up her sleeve and I wonder what that’s all about. Matthew Tucker? Gage Coulter? Yes, please.

The romance. One thing I really like about every Connealy novel I’ve ever read is her emphasis on marriage. I believe people got married in those days and not always for love. Survival was often key, and I love how she shows that. But I also think that she was able to show Kylie and Aaron fall in love with each other throughout the book so that it didn’t feel like they were each other’s only other options.

The history. I learned something about land-grabbing in those days.

The humor. Occasionally, Ms. Connealy’s books can be a bit over the top. Not this one. It was cute and funny and made sense to me.

Spiritually, there is this great theme on forgiveness and how if you let hatred fester, it will turn into bitterness and pretty much destroy your life.

What I didn’t like:

You know what? I liked everything about this book.

Romantic Scale: 8

**I received this novel from BethanyHouse. My opinion was not affected in anyway.**

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