Fire and Ice (Wild at Heart #3)
by Mary Connealy (Goodreads Author)Bailey Wilde is one of the best new ranchers in the West. She's been living disguised as a man for a while, but when Gage Coulter comes to drive her off her homestead, he quickly realizes he's dealing with a woman--a very tough, very intriguing woman at that.
Gage is an honest man, but he didn't make his fortune being weak. He won't break the law, but he'll push as hard as he can within it. Five thousand acres of his best range land is lost to him because Bailey's homestead is located right across the only suitable entrance to a canyon full of lush grass. Gage has to regain access to his land--and he's got to go through Bailey to do it.
Spending a winter alone has a way of making a person crave some human contact. In a moment of weakness, Bailey agrees to a wild plan Gage concocts. Can these two independent, life-toughened homesteaders loosen up enough to earn each other's respect--and maybe find love in
My Review: 7/10
I was pleasantly surprised by this book. I didn't read any of the others in the series, so I can say it works well as a stand alone novel. I've only read one other book by this author before and it was years ago. I didn't like it because the humor and tone was way too outlandish for my taste. Maybe that was just the one book, or her writing style has evolved, but this book's humor was much more tongue in cheek, and a little more subtle, leaving me frequently laughing out loud.
I loved that the catalyst to the relationship (and openly admitted at that) was an overbearing mother.
I didn't think regularly attempted murder was necessary as a plotline. I think a live in mother in law during an arranged marriage of less than 24 hours would have been enough drama on its own.
And I didn't understand why Bailey, who seemed to hold herself to some moral standards, thought she was in the right to steal someone else's land? Yes she was clever to buy up the only access to the canyon, but that didn't make the canyon hers. And he was there first! How did she have a leg to stand on, shooting at and threatening Gage when he tried to talk to her about it? If I were him, I would have had the sherriff charge her/arrest her for trespassing on MY land.
If you're already a fan of this author, you'll love this book. If her former work wasn't your cup of tea, this might be the book to change your mind.