|Photo from bethanyhouse.com|
This past weekend I had an early birthday celebration, and one of the ways that I treated myself was time off. Time off from writing, cooking, doing chores. The usual. In that free time, I indulged with Mary Connealy's latest in The Kincaid Brides series Over The Edge.
The third novel in this western romantic comedy focuses on the youngest brother Seth Kincaid as he adjusts to life in Colorado with his two brothers and their families. Dealing with scars both physical and emotional from his childhood and from fighting in the Civil War, Seth is keen about putting his past behind him. Imagine his surprise when a dark-haired spitfire by the name of Callie comes roaring into town, toting a shotgun with his name on it. What's even more shocking, she's claiming to be his wife!
Seth doesn't remember getting married, but being a man of God (and being completely head over heels for the pretty Callie), he wants to do right by his wife. However, Callie has been abandoned by too many men in her life. First her brother and father, and now her husband, whom everyone thinks went crazy after the war. Until she can be certain that he won't run off again, she has no intention of letting Seth back into her heart.
It's going to take more than a little faith to wrangle these two strong-willed people together.
Upon finishing this book, I was pleased with the story. Connealy stays true to her signature humor and in-depth characterization. The tone takes a lighthearted stance, but she deftly weaves in real issues like abandonment and having to deal with trauma. I look at the hero Seth and can't help but compare his combat experiences and recurring nightmares to what many of our servicemen and women go through today with post traumatic stress. Seth's determination to fight his demons and overcome his past is very moving.
As for Callie, how can you not love a strong heroine? From the first sentence in the book, this girl is something fierce, but she also has a tender side that comes out when she's around Seth, despite her best efforts to hide it. Readers will empathize with her hesitation to trust and will enjoy journeying with her as she rediscovers why she fell in love with her long-lost husband in the first place.
My verdict? If you like your cowboys to have a sense of humor and your heroines to hold their own in a gunfight as much as in a battle of words, then you'll enjoy this book. Even though it can be read as stand alone, I would recommend checking out the first two installments in the series as well. The family dynamics of the Kincaid clan will make more sense and you'll understand why the antagonists in the story are so intent upon coming onto their land.
I received this book courtesy of the publisher.
Do you like to read romantic comedies?