Texas My Texas is an authentic, true to the pre-civil war era story of life in what would become the Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas area. Depicting rugged folk who settled the frontier, it never soft pedals the dangers they faced from wildlife, highwaymen, and harsh weather. Indeed this book is no goody-two-shoes, glossed over account of area settlers. The characters are rugged, hard-nosed, out-spoken, and sometimes frayed around the edges. The hero, Thomas, is such a likable, long-suffering man, but when we meet the heroine, she’s an immature, self-centered, love sick girl who fantasizes way too much about her former boyfriend. Seeing how these two grow and mature keeps the reader engaged. Likewise, an atheistic character, Monroe refuses to believe in a good God and in Christ Jesus and thus acts as a foil to Corbin’s and Thomas’ faith—a faith that is presented with sensitivity and honesty. All things considered, Texas My Texas is a full length novel that’s not for the faint of heart, but it is one that is well worth savoring as it is read.
From the Amazon Website:
Union army officer Cameron Scott is used to being obeyed, but nothing about this journey to Lake Tahoe has gone as expected. He's come to fetch his daughter and nephew, and seek revenge on the people who killed his brother. Instead he finds himself trapped by a blizzard with two children who are terrified of him and stubborn but beautiful Gwen Harkness, who he worries may be trying to keep the children.
When danger descends on the cabin where they're huddled, Cam is hurt trying to protect everyone and now finds Gwen Harkness caring for him too. He soon realizes why the kids love her so much and wonders if it might be best for him to move on without them. When she sees his broken heart, Gwen decides to help him win their affection--and in the process he might just win her heart as well.
The author, Mary Connealy, builds the tension in this novel incrementally from start to finish. Her fabulous writing carries the reader along keeping us flipping pages.
In this story, two children, a boy Ronnie and a girl Maddie Sue, together with a group of committed Christian men and women, and the rugged setting of the high Sierra Nevada mountains come together to form a novel worth reading. The children star as totally authentic little ones. The manly men, especially the hero Cam, provide the perfect foil for the evil, yet cowardly desperado, Raddo. The utterly feminine women, especially the heroine Gwen, exhibit heroic traits of bravery as well as tenderness in caring for the children, the men, and each other. The dog, named Wolf for the wild half of his pedigree, figures into the action in a very real way. Dog lovers are going to cheer for him and love him by the end! Taken together, this is a not to be missed read. The end is absolutely riveting!
That's all the clues I'm leaving for the reader of this review. You'll just have to read the book for yourself to find out more. Happy reading!
From Amazon: When western Alaska erupts in a devastating fire, the elite firefighting crew of the Jude County Smokejumpers is called in to save the day. They’ll do anything to stop the fire, including fighting alongside a crew of local prisoners.
The last thing they expect is a jailbreak and when the prisoners disappear into the forest with one of their own, they’ll have to fight not only the fire, but for the freedom of their friends…during the Summer of the Burning Sky.
Amazon Book #3 Review:
Riley McCord is trouble, from his blue eyes to his renegade smile—a cover for the grief of losing his father three years ago in Afghanistan, a loss that is still top secret. Riley masks it all by living large—working hard and playing hard, and that includes romancing Larke Kingston, local wilderness medic. When he’s sidelined while working the forest fire, he’s determined to rejoin his team, but to do so, he'll have to accompany Larke into the wilderness when she is dispatched to a medical emergency. What he doesn’t realize is that trouble is waiting for him in the woods…
Medic Larke Kingston lost the man she loved during her service in Afghanistan and she’s not interested in a troublemaker, so Riley’s no threat to her heart. Just a short-term distraction. Until, that is, a wilderness medical mission puts her face-to-face with an escaped prisoner. Suddenly she needs Riley more than she wants to admit.
Riley is shocked when the escapee claims to have answers about his father’s death. However, before he can uncover them, the fire turns and is bearing down on Larke’s ranch, and his team. Now, only Riley and Larke stand between the flames and destruction of everything they both love. But will the price of saving the ranch—and the team—be greater than they both can bear?
In book 3, the epic Summer of the Burning Sky series comes to a blazing, shocking finale.
The final book in the series, Summer of the Burning Sky, wrapped up the story line nicely and left me wanting to find another Susan May Warren book to read. This is such a good series. Buy or borrow it for hours of reading pleasure.
Amazon Review of Book 1: Light My Fire
Former bad-boy Tucker Newman has learned his lesson—as the temporary team leader of the Jude County Smokejumpers, he’s all about following the rules to keep his team safe. Especially when he has to partner with a group of local low-security prisoners to knock down the raging fire. But the prisoners are not who they seem, and when they stage a break, kidnapping one of his teammates, he’ll have to break every rule he knows to get her back.
US Marshal Stevie Mills knows that to get the job done, she must work alone. She simply can’t risk another person getting hurt because of her. When she discovers that a wanted fugitive accused of rape and murder has not only been set free to fight the fire—but is now on the lam with a hostage-- the last thing she needs is a zealous smokejumper getting in the way of her pursuit.
Whether they like it or not, Tucker and Stevie must join forces if they hope to save lives, and in the meantime, they just might discover a new definition for the word teamwork, in book 1 of the Summer of the Burning Sky.
Oh my, my heart leapt into my throat at the end of this book, but my brain found following the twists, turns, and backburns difficult to follow. Could barely keep the cast of characters straight. Too bad because "Light My Fire" by Susan May Warren lost one star due to that particular flaw. I still bought book #2 "The Heat Is On". Reading it next.
Book 2: The Heat is On
FBI Agent Rio Parker is tired of playing the bad guy, even if it is for a good reason. Undercover with a group of prisoners to babysit a federal informant, he can’t believe he’s been enlisted to fight a forest fire…or sucked into a prison break. Worse—a female smokejumper has been kidnapped. Now, he’ll have to protect her from a rapist, keep his informant from escaping, and stay out of the gunsights of the US Marshal hot on his trail.
Smokejumper Skye Doyle knew trouble was brewing when the group of prisoners joined the firefight. She never expected, however, to be kidnapped during their breakout. But can she trust a hardened felon to keep her safe? Except, Rio is not who he seems, and when his identity is uncovered, she must decide if she can trust a man who has been lying to her…
But staying alive on the run isn’t their only problem, they’ll have to learn to trust each other if they hope to survive in book 2 of the Summer of the Burning Sky.
My Thoughts: Okay heart you can drop from my throat back into my chest. It's just fiction even though it feels so real when I'm reading. Body you can stop producing fight or flight hormones. It's really only fiction, but it's so well written, such excellent fiction. The Heat really is on! Well done, Susan May Warren!
From Amazon Website:
Jacie Moreau is a tough-as-nails security specialist who works with the Long Pine Texas police. She takes care of herself and doesn’t ask for help from anyone.
Brett Garrison is an odd-man-out in the Garrison family. He’s a soft-hearted veterinarian from a family of daring Texas lawmen.
Jacie runs afoul of a hired killer and no one is there to step between her and danger but Brett.
Brett’s good-hearted plan to care for the most beautiful woman he’s ever seen draw an assassin’s attention.
Jacie never needs help, but Brett’s kindness when she is so vulnerable sneaks past all the emotional walls she’s built around her heart.
The killer keeps coming and their only hope is to run. And as they run they try and figure out who’s hired a killer, and why, and how to stop him.
If they hide well enough and live long enough, they might make it to the day they can fall in love.
My Thoughts: A Mad man threatens the lives of everyone connected to Brett and Jacie. Some have already fallen victim to the insanity of a serial killer. This high tension suspense novel flips between the sanity of law and order, and the insane processes of a warped mind. So well written, Mary Connealy grabs the reader and doesn't let go. What a riveting book! Five Stars!
From Amazon Website:
Garrison's Law begins. A family of alpha Texas lawmen (and women) bring their own brand of justice to law and order in Texas.
Trudy Jennings is a college professor with a string of bestselling pop psychology books about answering all of life's troubles with love.
Ben Garrison is her student. He's a hardened cop who needs this class to get his degree, but he can't keep a straight face. He tells her she's right, as long as she lives in her cushioned, safe life. But for him, using her philosophy, he'll be dead by the weekend.
A stalker is coming after kindhearted Trudy, and Ben is there to protect her. Trudy faces her first true challenge to turning the other cheek. Her stalker keeps coming despite her kindness and she feels like a failure that she can't help the confused and frightening man.
Ben has to keep Trudy safe until the escalating stalker can be stopped. As Ben gets to know Trudy better, he recognizes his own callus behavior at the same time he finds out everyone in Trudy's life takes advantage of her.
She's got to get tough.
He's got to find a kinder way.
Together they have to take down a wealthy, obsessed man who knows how to play the system, because he's done all this before.
My Thoughts: For romantic suspense, Loving the Texas Lawman by Mary Connealy, is one of the funniest this reviewer has ever read. What a hoot!
Set in an affluent area in Texas, a very rich villain stalks a very rich victim who happens to be a writer of self-help books that promote "turn the other cheek" and "a soft answer turns away wrath". Trudy Jennings totally practices what she teaches.
Hard nosed cop, Ben Garrison, needs her class to get his degree, but he's not buying what she's selling. Stalker Ralph Watson has more than a few screws loose and he's fixated on Trudy.
Oh my! Will Trudy stick to her beliefs and risk becoming a victim or will she abandon them to save her skin? I'll never tell. You'll have to buy the book to find out.
All Rachel wanted was to learn and broaden her horizons. Intelligent, curious, yet committed to her Amish community and especially her family, she was torn between her need to learn and them. She needed to learn as much as she needed to breathe. Amish restrictions upon her chafe so she decides to secretly take a college course...with totally unexpected consequences when she meets Rob. Meanwhile her brother runs afoul of some nasty characters further complicating her life. Faced with challenges, Rachel must decide whether she will remain Amish or follow her heart.
This reviewer enjoyed An Unexpected Match and can recommend it as a good read. The one caution, earned it the four stars instead of five. The Amish community of this book doesn't accurately reflect all Amish communities everywhere. In my area, they're so much more conservative and strict than those described in this story that much of what occurs in the book wouldn't occur around here. For example, dress code is stricter and where the members may work is also more restricted. Our Amish are very strict Old Order Amish.
From the Amazon website:
In a time of grief and heartache, an unlikely friendship provides strength and solace.
After leaving her son’s grave behind in Montgomery, Alabama, Delilah Evans has little faith that moving to her husband’s hometown in Pennsylvania will bring a fresh start. Enveloped by grief and doubt, the last thing Delilah imagines is becoming friends with her reclusive Amish neighbor, Emma Mullet—yet the secrets that keep Emma isolated from her own community bond her to Delilah in delicate and unexpected ways.
Delilah’s eldest daughter, Sparrow, bears the brunt of her mother’s pain, never allowed for a moment to forget she is responsible for her brother’s death. When tensions at home become unbearable for her, she seeks peace at Emma’s house and becomes the daughter Emma has always wanted. Sparrow, however, is hiding secrets of her own—secrets that could devastate them all.
With the white, black, and Amish communities of Sinking Creek at their most divided, there seems to be little hope for reconciliation. But long-buried hurts have their way of surfacing, and Delilah and Emma find themselves facing their own self-deceptions. Together they must learn how to face the future through the healing power of forgiveness.
Eminently relevant to the beauty and struggle in America today, The Solace of Water offers a glimpse into the turbulent 1950s and reminds us that friendship rises above religion, race, and custom—and has the power to transform a broken heart.
My Thoughts: What an amazing book! Loved it. Well written, poetic prose. This book is incredible. Five Stars!