Long Time Gone by Mary Connealy

Long Time Gone (Cimarron Legacy Series)

Mary Connealy

Available now

About the Book

The Boden clan thought their problems had ended with the death of a dangerous enemy, but have they truly uncovered the real plot to take their New Mexico ranch? Rancher Justin Boden is now in charge. He is normally an unshakable and rugged man, but with his brother, Cole, shot and in mortal danger, even a tough man faces doubts. And it doesn’t help that Angie DuPree, the assistant to the doctor trying to save Cole, is as distracting a woman as Justin ever laid eyes on.

With her and the doc’s timely skills, Cole looks to be on the mend, and Justin and the rest of the Bodens can turn their attention back to the dangers facing them. It’s clear now that everything that’s occurred is part of a much bigger plot that could date back to a decades-old secret. Can they uncover all the pieces before danger closes in on them, or is the threat to the ranch even bigger than any of the Bodens could imagine?

 

My Review

The Boden Siblings are back. Readers may remember that Connealy left us hanging a bit at the end of the first Cimarron Legacy book. If you don’t remember what happened at the end of No Way Up, don’t worry, you get a good refresher in the first few chapters of this one.

A couple of those cliffhangers are wrapped up within the first few chapters of Long Time Gone. But some remain because, let’s face it, that’s what keeps us reading to the last page.

Justin Boden and Angie Dupree are a good match. The problem is they don’t want to admit it. Angie’s determination to stand on her own and Justin’s determination to continue with a rancher’s life—a life he’s certain Angie’s both not strong enough and too good for—keep them apart. At first.

Connealy weaves the intricacies of a blooming romance, the nuances of siblings, and a mystery through her tale set on the Cimarron Ranch in the desert of New Mexico. Each thread is given the exact amount of attention it needed to pull me through the story. With a touch of humor in the midst of the chaos the Boden family is facing, Long Time Gone was a fun and fast read that left me itching for a little more.

Good thing there’s one more book coming. And I can’t wait to read about Cole and…. Well, I think I know who that might be, but you’ll have to read the first two books in the series in order to find out for yourself.

 

Disclosure statement:

I receive complimentary books for review from publishers, publicists, and/or authors, including Netgalley. I am not required to write positive reviews. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

The Illusionist’s Apprentice by Kristy Cambron

The Illusionists Apprentice

by Kristy Cambron

(Available everywhere March 7, 2017)

About the Book

Not all illusions happen on the stage.

Wren Lockhart, apprentice to master illusionist Harry Houdini, uses life on a vaudeville stage to escape the pain of her past. She continues her career of illusion after her mentor’s death, intent on burying her true identity.

But when a rival performer’s act goes tragically wrong, the newly formed FBI calls on Wren to speak the truth—and reveal her real name to the world. She transfers her skills for misdirection from the stage to the back halls of vaudeville, as she finds herself the unlikely partner in the FBI’s investigation. All the while Houdini’s words echo in her mind: Whatever occurs, the crowd must believe it’s what you meant to happen. She knows that if anyone digs too deep, secrets long kept hidden may find their way to the surface—and shatter her carefully controlled world.

Set during one of the richest, most vibrant eras in American history, this Jazz Age novel of illusion, suspense, and forgotten pasts is perfect for fans of The Magician’s Lie, challenging all to find the underpinnings of faith on their own life’s stage.

 

My thoughts

One of my favorite things about Kristy Cambron’s books is they make me look at history and historical figures in a way I never have before. Sure I’ve heard the names John Ringling and Harry Houdini but other than a general knowledge of what they did to make a living, I’ve not thought about them too much more.

The Illusionist’s Apprentice made me take notice. In fact, it drove me to look him up online and learn a little more about his life, especially the part Cambron focuses on—his effort to reveal fraudsters.

 

 

But this book was about so much more than Houdini’s life. In fact, while he’s mentioned and has impact on some of the characters, he is not one in the book. This story is really about Wren Lockhart, Houdini’s apprentice and perhaps the only person who knows his secrets. A woman whose life has become an illusion in itself. While she puts on the trousers, stage makeup, demeanor, and confidence of Wren, she has another life she keeps well-hidden from the public.

Yet when FBI agent Elliott Matthews enters her carefully constructed life, he sees beyond the facade and desires to learn more about this intriguing woman. As the two work together to solve a mysterious death that occurred during another entertainer’s planned spectacular.

Cambron paints a vivid picture of the vaudeville life from the costumes to the stage, the acts to the competitiveness to be known as the best, and the convoluted relationships. While there, readers also get a glimpse into the newly formed FBI, the prohibition era, and Boston.

 

Disclosure statement:

I receive complimentary books for review from publishers, publicists, and/or authors, including Netgalley. I am not required to write positive reviews. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

 

An Uncommon Protector by Shelley Shepard Gray

An Uncommon Protector by Shelley Shephard Gray (available now)

 

About the book

 

Overwhelmed by the responsibilities of running a ranch on her own, Laurel Tracey decides to hire a convict—a man who’s just scary enough to take care of squatters and just desperate enough to agree to a one-year post.

The years following the war have been hard on Laurel Tracey. Both her brother and her father died in battle, and her mother passed away shortly after receiving word of their demise. Laurel has been trying to run her two-hundred-acre ranch as best she can.

When she discovers that squatters have settled in her north pasture and have no intention of leaving, Laurel decides to use the last of her money to free a prisoner from the local jail. If she agrees to offer him room and board for one year, he will have to work for her to pay off his debt.

Former soldier Thomas Baker knows he’s in trouble when he finds himself jailed because he couldn’t pay a few fines. Laurel’s offer might be his only ticket out. Though she’s everything he ever dreamed of in a woman—sweet and tender-hearted, yet strong—he’s determined to remain detached, work hard on her behalf, and count the days until he’s free again.

But when cattle start dying and Laurel’s life is threatened, Thomas realizes more than just his freedom is on the line. Laurel needs someone to believe in her and protect her property. And it isn’t long before Laurel realizes that Thomas Baker is far more than just a former soldier. He’s a trustworthy hero, and he needs more than just his freedom—he needs her love and care too.

 

 

My thoughts

 

Let me start with the most important information. I loved this book!! I’ve only read a couple books written by Shelley Shephard Gray but after reading An Uncommon Protector, I’m a fan.

 

The development of both Thomas Baker and Laurel Tracey in this book were spot on. The author manages to introduce the reader to a man who has lived a hard life and is currently in prison in such a way that they sympathize with him instead of disliking him. Thomas Baker has a past but he also is a man you can respect. While readers get a glimpse of Laurel’s bravery from the first chapter, as the story continues, the layers of her character are revealed.

 

The attraction between these two is evident from the first time they see each other and only builds throughout the book. But that’s not what the book is really about. Both Thomas and Laurel are struggling to stand on their own two feet, to find their places in life. But maybe standing beside each other is better than standing on their own.

 

 

 

Disclosure statement:

 

I receive complimentary books for review from publishers, publicists, and/or authors, including Netgalley. I am not required to write positive reviews. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

An Uncommon Courtship by Kristi Ann Hunter

An Uncommon Courtship by Kristi Ann Hunter

 

About the Book

Life for Lady Adelaide Bell was easier if she hid in her older sister’s shadow–which worked until her sister got married. Even with the pressure of her socially ambitious mother, the last thing she expected was a marriage of convenience to save her previously spotless reputation.

Lord Trent Hawthorne couldn’t be happier that he is not the duke in the family. He’s free to manage his small estate and take his time discovering the life he wants to lead, which includes grand plans of wooing and falling in love with the woman of his choice. When he finds himself honor bound to marry a woman he doesn’t know, his dream of a marriage like his parents’ seems lost forever.

Already starting their marriage on shaky ground, can Adelaide and Trent’s relationship survive the pressures of London society?

 

 

 

My thoughts:

How have I not read anything by this author before? I loved, loved, loved this book. In fact, I enjoyed An Uncommon Courtship so much, I immediately ordered the first two books in the series once I’d reached the end.

Adelaide, with her penchant for clumsiness, is likable from the get-go despite her annoying mother, and I couldn’t help but feel for her situation. It took me a little longer to warm up to Trent Hawthorne (and if I’d read the previous books in this series, I may have had a different opinion of him at the beginning of the book).

The tension between two strangers who now found themselves married was palpable, neither one knowing how to interact with the other, afraid of doing something wrong. Their friends and family added to the stress of the marriage (both those who supported them and those who were a sore spot).

And I have to say it was nice to read a book set in the Regency period that focused on the day-to-day interaction instead of someone trying to steal, overthrow, or besmirch another member of the ton (there was the smallest hint of that last one, but it wasn’t the main plot of the book).

 

 

 

Disclosure statement:
I receive complimentary books for review from publishers, publicists, and/or authors, including Netgalley. I am not required to write positive reviews. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

For the Record by Regina Jennings

Fans of Regina Jennings may remember the inquisitive (aka nosy) young reporter from her previous book, At Love’s Bidding. In For the Record, Betsy Huckabee is all grown up and determined to make it on her own. Even if that means trading in hard-hitting news for ladies’ serials. At least she’ll still be in the paper.

for-the-record-cover

And when the new deputy comes to town to restore justice and put an end to the vigilante group that has taken the law into their own hands, she discovers her inspiration. Deputy Joel Puckett isn’t exactly the perfect hero, though, so some fictionalization is in order. As Betsy spends more time with the handsome deputy, she comes to appreciate the flaws in the man and begins to uncover what truly makes a hero. But what will her stories cost them now that she’s gotten to know him?

for-the-record-quote

Jennings once again delivers a fun romp through the hills of Missouri in For the Record. With lines like, “If only she’d get her hands free, she’d slap the handsome clean off his face,” readers will find some laughs amidst the more serious topics in the book. As Betsy looks to her future and Joel puts his past behind him, these two characters take readers through the highs and lows of learning to trust someone new.

****I receive complimentary books for review from publishers, publicists, and/or authors, including Netgalley. I am not required to write positive reviews. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.