In Fire and Ice, Bailey Wilde, the oldest sister gets her own story. Bailey has always been the one to take care of her sisters, but now that her sisters are both married and moved away; Bailey finds taking care of her spread lonely. After a long, hard winter she agrees to a crazy plan by her neighbor Gage Coulter. Coulter needs a wife. He wrote his mother that he had a wife in an effort to keep her from worrying about him. This plan backfired on him as his mother wrote Gage that she was coming for a visit. Desperate Gage proposes to Bailey. She agrees to marry him with some conditions. The first being if she doesn't like being married to Coulter she can leave and the second is that he sign over the deed to the canyon on her land that he owns. Because he's in a bind he agrees to her conditions.
I feel that I need to preface this book review a bit. Anytime I read a Mary Connealy book I know I'm in for a fun, crazy, adventure filled with strong, sassy, women and no nonsense cowboys and I've loved all of Ms. Connealy's books I can get my hands on. But in Fire and Ice I felt it took a bit longer to pick up speed. Once Bailey agrees to marry Coulter then the story picked up pace and I rapidly turned pages to the end.
One of the characteristics I liked about Bailey is that she was an extremely hard worker. I also enjoyed seeing Bailey's transformation from 'tomboy' to a more feminine woman. She's still tough, but over the course of the book she softens considerably.
Similarly, Gage is also a hard worker like Bailey. They are alike in this trait. Another way that Gage and Bailey are similar is the way they react to their parents. The juxtaposition of Gage's controlling mother and Bailey's father's relentless effort to build a shrine in the form of a large spread of land to his dead son Jimmy and his stubbornness at not recognizing Bailey as a women affect both Gage and Bailey in different ways.
The ending to this series is fitting and bittersweet.
Humor and cowboys are Ms. Connealy's niche. If you enjoy this type of novel I highly recommend you check out her new Wild at Heart Series...it'll be one wild and fun ride.