Tuesday, April 6, 2021

Braced for Love Begins a New Family Saga

Mary Connealy's new Brothers in Arms series Braced for Love weaves a tale of family tree that'll make your head spin.
Kevin Hunt receives a life- altering telegram. He has inherited 1/3rd of a ranch in Wyoming and has not one, but two half brothers he didn't know about. His father (Clovis Hunt) was previously married before and after Kevin's mother. Talk about a shock to the system!
 With both of his parents now gone, Kevin chooses to travel to Wyoming along with his younger half siblings Molly and Andy (from his mother's 2nd marriage). Kevin find himself drawn to the kind schoolmarm Winona 'Win' Brewster. She is a family friend of Wyatt, one of his half-brothers and the best friend of Wyatt's sister Cheyenne. 

Not necessarily a criticism more like an observation. I've noticed that Ms. Connealy favors using nick names for her characters and I like that because it makes the characters more relatable and less formal. Although, I felt at times, she perhaps used her nickname for Winona a little too much. I would have preferred switching it up somewhat...meaning altering how much she was called Winona versus Win. I found it was a little distracting to the story if I'm being honest. 

One trait that I liked about Kevin from the start how protective he was of his family. He is kind, hardworking and level-headed. Even though he now owns 1/3rd of the Rolling Hills Ranch (RHR), he doesn't feel right about it about taking the land. His aspirations are simple. He wants to be allowed to farm a portion of the land, pay his half-brother for the land even though he owns it and build a log cabin for himself and his younger siblings. 

At the core of the Hunt men is family first. Despite the fact that Kevin is forced into a difficult situation, he's determined not to take advantage of the circumstances. This speaks volumes about his character. 
Will Kevin and his brothers figure out who is behind these attacks? Can they set aside their differences long enough to realize the blessings of family? 

Between the three Hunt brothers and the numerous half siblings, Ms. Connealy manages to keep their storylines separate, but also weaving them together so that the story flowed, but also kept you wondering what would happen next.

I would say that Ms. Connealy's stories are more plot driven then character driven. Because of this, sometimes it's hard as a reader reconcile a fast paced plot if you don't feel like the characters are changing as well. So if  you have been itching to read a fast paced mystery that keeps you guessing, this one is for you.

Braced for Love ends on a positive note leaving you excited for the future of the eclectic Hunt clan and also curious about the fate of the other two Hunt brothers.  

~~ Braced for Love was provided to me by the author and Bethany House in return for my honest review. I received a complimentary copy of the book. All opinions expressed are my own, I was not required to write a positive review. All viewpoints expressed are my own.~~