I've been a fan of Mary Connealy's since I first read Petticoat Ranch by her several years ago. I knew after reading that book that she was going to top my favorite author list and her books were going to be on my ever growing 'must-read' pile.
As an author Mary Connealy's name is synonymous with humor and cowboys.
Anytime I delve into a book by Ms. Connealy, I know that I'm in for an adventure, with lots of laugh-out-loud humor, feisty, sassy, heroines, and tough-as-nails, one-man-woman cowboys and heart-melting kisses. Tried and True (Book #1 in her Wild at Heart series) delivered!
Kylie Wilde, the youngest of the Wilde girls is the most 'civilized' of her sisters. She enjoys wearing dresses and growing her hair long. By contrast, Kylie's sisters have short haircuts and wear men's clothes. The Wilde women have all fought in the Civil War and claiming the special exemption they got serving as 'boys'.
Aaron Masterson, the local land agent, is intrigued by the beautiful Kylie. But when he discovers her secret; that she's a woman and she's using the special exemption she got while fighting in the war as a 'boy'...he's torn as to what he should do. He's an honest man and not about to defraud the U.S. government, but he can't help, but he drawn to Kylie.
When someone tries to scare Kylie off her homestead, Aaron feels the need to protect her.
Can he convince her to marry him and settle on the frontier with him and give up her dreams of civilization where she drinks tea and buys fancy, store-bought bonnets?
I loved Aaron and Kylie's chemistry and verbal sparring. For example, there's a part in the book where Aaron is trying to convince Kylie to go to one of her siblings homesteads for protection while he goes off and fights her battle for her This of course, did not set well with Kylie.
"You can leave me a Shannon's, but I'll just follow you. When you ride off, look behind. I'll be right there. I'm not letting you fight my battles."
"You"- Aaron jabbed his finger right in her face- "are not going!"
"Oh, yes I am!"
"If you say one more word about it, I'm going to arrest you for pure stupidity and haul you straight to the jailhouse." (Connealy, 98).
I also really liked the dynamic relationship between the sisters: Bailey, Shannon, and Kylie. Each sister had her own strengths and when they combined all of their strengths and talents they were able to accomplish a lot. They built nice cabins for one another and helped each other in the homesteading process. And even though they don't always get along they are always there for each other.
The ending although satisfactory left me wanting read the other two books in the series.
Ms. Connealy's books always make me want to lasso my own 'tired and true' cowboy!
Thank you Ms.Connealy for yet another fun and adventurous read. I really love your books. I always know that it's going to be fun and slightly 'Wilde' ride. Please, please write more.