Petticoat Ranch, by Mary Connealy

plettr's review

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This is the first book I've read by Mary Connealy, and this will not be the last one. It was a light read and fairly predicatable, but I really enjoyed the sense of humor.

kairosdreaming's review

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Oh goodness, I'm not sure what Connealy was thinking with this one. Needless to say I found myself shaking my head a couple times while trying to read this first book in the Lassoed in Texas series. As a note I actually read the last book in this series first and it didn't really make a difference.

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 excitment. 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.

Petticoat Ranch
Copyright 2007
285 pages

Review by M. Reynard 2011

More of my reviews can be found at .

jazzyjan94's review

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This review appears on my blog:

Mary Connealy is one of those authors whose works I’ve come across often (and I think I might’ve read a couple of her short stories) and I’ve been meaning to pick up but just never got a chance to until one day I was volunteering at my church library and one of my fellow volunteers recommended her books to me, especially the Lassoed in Texas series, so that very day I checked out Petticoat Ranch and started it a few days later…and let’s just say I think I might have found another author that I really like, but I think I will wait until I’ve read a few more of her books before I declare her to be my favorite, but she is well on her way to making the list!

Petticoat Ranch follows Sophie Edwards who is raising her four daughters in the Texas wilderness after the death of her husband two years ago. Trying to protect her family keeps her busy, but every so often she lets out a cry for help to God, and one night he answers her prayers by sending an injured man to her property. As she tries to nurse him back to help she sees that there is something familiar about this man, he looks oddly like her late husband who she knows for certain is dead and buried. This stranger turns out to be her late husband’s long-lost twin brother, Clay McClellan, who has been searching for his brother only to discover that he was killed by a group of vigilantes and now he wants to exact vengeance on them. However, when he discovers that his brother left behind a family, he feels that it is his duty to marry his sister-in-law and take care of his brother’s family, but he discovers that life with five women is a lot more challenging than he thought, especially since they are not the typical women that he was expecting.

I’ll admit, it took me a little bit to get into this book, but I really enjoyed it, especially since it was a Western and it was kind of slow burn romance, even though the couple is already married. I loved how this was the perfect blend of romantic comedy with the action of a Western, it definitely lead to it being an interesting read because of that. A great cast of characters also made up this novel, I especially loved Sophie’s daughters and some of the quips they made, I remember one of the younger daughters who makes a comment about how she misses the good old days, meanwhile she is only about five or six, it was really cute and funny considering how young she is. I found Sophie to be very stubborn, but then so was Clay, however it was good to see how different he was from his late brother. It was also interesting to see how he has to learn how to be around women, since he hasn’t lived with any his whole life. I loved the dynamic he had with his nieces, and it was sad to see based on their experiences with their father how they thought that every time he was upset with them they had to keep asking whether he still loved them or not. I felt like he did a great job to show them that love is unconditional, even if we get angry or upset with something that the other person does, it doesn’t mean that our love for them disappears. Another thing I really liked about this book is how it was ultimately about trusting God, and how He hears us even if we can’t always articulate what our needs are, He is still faithful to intercede for us in His own way and in His own time. 3.5/5 Stars.

emlickliter's review

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I have no idea how Mary Connealy can make one disaster after another hilarious, moving, and convicting all at the same time, but she managed! She has a knack for writing spunky little girls, so she must have either been one, raised some, or been surrounded by them. Never sugar coating the hardships of life in frontier Texas, this book still manages to wrestle with themes that never go out of style. I thoroughly enjoyed it! Happy Reading!

catlovr's review

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Read 2013

takethyme's review

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Others have reviewed it so I'll just tell you why I didn't care for this book. I hate to be the negative one here but I found it hard to believe that the strong widow and mother Sophie, who has managed on her own for several years can meet, marry, start a sexual relationship, and not communicate well with her new husband.... and this all happens in a span of a few days. And if Clay was as bad off from his injuries, how did he manage to suddenly ride into town when 48 hours before he was near death?

I really wanted to like this book. If you are looking for an appealing, old-fashioned love story try COURTING EMMA HOWE, a book that is more realistic of the times. Since it is out-of-print, try your local library first.

bookworm_mommy's review

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Actually very entertaining.\nAbout a woman and her four daughter surviving on a ranch and having a man think they need 'rescuing.'

rachelm31f6b's review

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Just bought this book so I had to pick it up and read it again. Still just as good!

First time read 4 August 2013
I loved this book! It was hilarious. 'Rule number one: no crying.' so says tough Western Cowboy Clay after he marries his brother's widow who has four daughters. Having been raised by his father in the west Clay has no idea how to deal with women and he ends up having five of them under the same roof! A fun story of how this cowboy learns to love and live with these ladies and how they learn how to live with him. Learning to get along as a family and divide the chores, learning about give and take. A really heart warming story.