Sunday, 3 June 2007

Petticoat Ranch by Mary Connealy

Hector, a recalcitrant and odourous donkey is the only male allowed near the hidden cabin of widowed Sophie Edwards and her four young daughters until Clay McClellan literally tumbles into their lives, wounded and unconscious.

Once revived, Clay reveals he is the twin brother of Sophie's murdered husband, follows through with his intention to marry Sophie and gives his protection to her and the girls. While pleased to have a man about to ward off inappropriate suitors, Sophie and her daughters find their hard fought independence and well honed farming skills constantly stifled by the well meaning but clueless Clay, at least when it comes to the fairer sex!

Clay himself is captivated and frustrated by the influx of femininity into his male dominated life and fears the adjustment may just be beyond him!

Mary Connealy has infused the familiar tale of a marriage of convenience in the Wild West with genuine humour, entertaining characters and the right balance of danger, attraction and really nasty bad guys! While Sophie's immediate acceptance of Clay into her home and bedroom was a little disconcerting, the verbal interplay between the newly married couple and that between Clay and his "daughters" is delightful. Mary has added a fresh vibrancy to the historical romance genre with Petticoat Ranch and I look forward to more of her entertaining storytelling in the future.


Mary Connealy said...

Hi, Rel. Thanks for the review. You're not the first person to be disconcerted by Sophie 'accepting' Clay so fast, so I'll tell you why I did that.
My grandparents had a --for real-- marriage of convenience. They married, without even meeting, except through letters, when his first wife died giving birth to his second child. He needed a mother for his child, my grandmother was nearly 30, an old maid in 1910 and that meant she was a failure.
They were stranger.
They had their first child 14 months after the wedding.
It's a really popular plot device to have the couple marry, but not have the marriage be 'real' and those are fun books. But the truth is, married means married and men and their wives know what that means. And a woman from that generation would have accepted that a husband had his 'rights'. It wouldn't be a traumatic thing, and it wasn't for my grandparents, I assume, since they had four children in the next ten years and were married for fifty years.
So I just decided to go that direction with the story. Make the marriage 'real' and also make absolutely no big deal out of that.
In the sequel to Petticoat Ranch, which is scheduled for release next summer, Calico Canyon, the hero and heroine have a 'forced' marriage and making the marriage 'real' becomes a huge deal and id quite delayed. :)

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