October 09, 2011
Petticoat Ranch by Mary Connealy
Sophie is a widowed women with four young daughters. She's been hiding out in the bush after her husband's lynching to protect herself and her daughters from the townspeople out to marry her off over the freshly dug grave. But then, on a stormy night, a man who looks just like her husband ends up in her care after a fall. Its his long lost twin brother Clay and he decides to do right by the family and marry Sophie. He buys back his brother's old ranch and that's when the problem starts. A band of vigilantes who have been up to no good killing people and now they want the ranch one way or the other.
The characters were pretty awful in this book. I might give a way a little bit but some of this stuff just made me so incredulous. For one, the daughters are a whiny crying mess all the time, yet when its just their mother with them they are capable and cool headed. While I realize different people react differently around certain people, it was just too much of a difference to be believable. Then there was Clay. He was a complete idiot when it came to all aspects of life and marriage and considering the way he traveled around, it just didn't seem like he would be that naive about everything that came to women and their feelings or even interacting with people in general. Sophie was ok. She bounced back and forth between being dependent and independent and I was never quite sure where the motivations for her actions came from.
The plot was actually decent; had the characters been able to pull it off. There was a lot of intrigue and excitement. But then there came the "call" that was put out by Sophie for help that men hundreds of miles off were supposed to be able to hear. I know this is Christian fiction but really? It just seemed pretty far-fetched. The Christianity in this book was also very preachy, down to the fire and brimstone preacher sermons they all attended. Some of her other books do a much better job at showing rather than telling the message she's trying to get across.
Not a very good book by Connealy. I hope the next in the series improves a bit.