October 09, 2011

Sharpshooter in Petticoats by Mary Connealy

So I am all for the publisher putting a number on these books so I can read them in order for once. Thinking this was the first book because it was about the oldest daughter, I read it first. Now it probably didn't make too much of a difference, but it still annoyed me. And then I actually read the book and was annoyed further.

Mandy is a great shot, in fact, probably the finest sharpshooter around. But that doesn't keep her from hiding out in her mountain fortress until handsome Tom Linscott comes to her rescue. Mandy has been hiding out with her three small children ever since the Cooter clan declared a feud on her. With her previous husband dead from the feud, Mandy fears that its only a matter of time for Tom since he insists on marrying her. They have to find a way to keep their family safe or die trying. But there's a lot more of the Cooters than there are of them.

This book brings together all the characters of Connealy's Texas series and of her Montana series and kind of focuses on the next generation. If you haven't read these other series, things could probably get confusing pretty quick. I highly recommend not starting on this series first because of it. Having only seen Mandy as a somewhat confusing child in the Texas series, I was surprised at the woman she became. She just seemed a little harsh. Tom too wasn't that appealing (and I hadn't found him appealing in the other books either) so I guess in a way they fit together. The way Connealy brought in all the other characters was a bit too contrived as well.

I didn't like the plot much at all. While a blood feud may seem exciting there were just too many implausible aspects in this one. Not to mention the nice rumors that were generated about Mandy after so short a time. And I couldn't understand how Connealy could have such bloodthirsty scenes and then make the ending the way she did. I was just left scratching my head. Without giving too much away, it was very anticlimactic. The storyline also tends to bounce around from here to there while having way too much going on to make any one certain story important. Since Connealy is a Christian fiction writer I should touch on that; there actually wasn't a whole lot of religion mentioned in this book. Which is very different compared to her others.

Obviously I wasn't a big fan and while its not the worst of hers that I've read, it ranks pretty close to the worst. I can only hope the previous two books are better.

Sharpshooter in Petticoats
Copyright 2011
315 pages

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