Montana Rose – Mary Connealy’s newest adventure

by | Jul 28, 2009 | Fiction Book Reviews | 22 comments

With the hope of rescuing newly-widowed and pregnant Cassie Griffen from a fate worse than death, Red Dawson volunteers to marry the young woman and sweep her out of embittered Wade Sawyer’s harmful path. But Wade’s wrath may not be Red’s biggest concern. His obedient, demure little wife might accidentally kill him before Wade can ever get the chance.

Forced into subservient insecurity by her former husband, Cassie responds to Red’s gentleness with suspicion and surprise. The more she realizes his genuine goodness, the more she wants to give to him – but her former husband never taught her how to be a rancher’s wife, so her attempts nearly burn down the barn, knock off Red’s head, or drive him to such distraction he loses his herd.

Like a baby bird, Cassie finds freedom to fly in the security and encouragement of Red’s love. Whereas her thoughts, feelings, and personality were stifled by the tyrannical rule of her first husband, Red’s consistent coaxing (sometimes goading), quick forgiveness, and ready laugh bring out the Cassie who has been hiding underneath years of abuse.

If Red can survive the antics of his incompetent wife and Wade Sawyer’s schemes, will he find the love he’s been looking for?

With humor, gentleness, and poignant spiritual depth, Mary Connealy weaves a beautiful tale about the freedom found within true love. Mary opens the reader’s eyes to the transforming power of God’s love and how our security in Him helps us to become the people He’s called us to be. Never a slavemaster, but ever the gentle Lover, God pulls us from our preconceived hurts and notions to bring out the REAL us – and bloom the hidden talents he’s designed within us.

Red Dawson’s constant example of God’s love to Cassie gives her strength to become the woman God’s called her to be. Along the way there is laughter, heartbreak, and a breathtakingly beautiful bond which develops between the young couple. Mary’s description of the labor and delivery of Cassie’s baby was all the things that make up a good story: touching, hilarious, frightening- with enough reality to make it believable.

As with all of Mary’s books so far, I highly recommend Montana Rose. I’ve always said that Petticoat Ranch is my favorite novel she’s written, but Montana Rose is quickly vying for first place. I can’t repeat it enough. Get this book, sit back, enter a world of lassoes, spurs, strong women, vicious pigs, perfect scoundrels, gentle cowboys, and a God who can use them all for His glory.


  1. Mary Connealy

    This is sooooooooooooo nice. Thank you so much.

  2. Ruth Logan Herne

    Pepper!Yes. I'm in total agreement. I had the pleasure of reading Montana Rose years ago as a contest entry for the unpublished Mary Connealy.Loved it. Loved it. Loved it.Then the tweaked version as her buddy.Still loved it.And now, published? Your review says it all. Thanks for seeing what a great book this is and for feeding Mary's already over-zealous ego to the "Nth" degree.Oy vey, what will we do with her now?????Ruthy

  3. Pepper Basham

    Ruthy, Well, I don't know her as well as you do, so I must automatically be forgiven for ignorance – you know. I can't imagine her receiving any bad reviews for Montana Rose, but I hope the good will outweigh any negatives.I'm looking forward to reading what you put out too, Ruthy. Who knows, I might even write something sweet about your books too 😉 You know, I'm a hopeless optimist…with a little bit of sarcasm, so anything's possible

  4. Melanie Dickerson

    What a wonderful review, Pepper! And I totally agree! This is a wonderful book, one of Mary's best. And yes, we do need to start our own Unpubbed Island! You and me and some other really great writers destined for greatness! ;-)And yes, I let anyone read my books that asks. 🙂 I started that policy a couple of years ago when I figured if nobody was going to publish my books, I'd just let my friends could read them.

  5. Mary Connealy

    Pepper you don't have to worry about my ego. Keeping it in check is Ruthy's FIFTH part time job.

  6. Pepper Basham

    Melanie,Let me know if you'd like a 'new' friend to read some of your stuff. I'd love a 'novel-exchange program' 🙂 It's nice to be an encouragement to each other as we hope for publication.Mary,I'll keep saying nice things, because you've been such an encouragement to me…so sweet to take a look at my stuff. I know your life is BUSY, but you have been so gracious. My proposal goes out next week (okay, my stomach just dropped to my feet)In Ruthy's defense, it is ALWAYS nice to have a voice of reason, no matter how unreasonable they may seem 🙂

  7. Mary Connealy

    I'll be praying for you proposal, Pepper. And you're one of my regular prayers for publication, Melanie. It's going to happen soon. I just know it.

  8. Ruth Logan Herne

    Okay.Just sayin':Mary is NOT all that gracious and I'M NOT UNREASONABLE!!!!!!!!111EVER!!!!!!!!!Remember that line from Steel Magnolias????"There's nothin' WRONG with me, Melyn!!!! I've just been in a BAD MOOD for forty years!!!!" (Weeza)I think there is some line from Steel Magnoilas that fits almost every God-given situation.And I'm trying to gain sensitivity and niceness as I mature. By age eighty I might be considered amiable.Ruthy

  9. Pepper Basham

    Ruthy,I realize even more why I like you so much. I adore grumpy people. Story: (of course) In high school the Physics teacher struck fear in the hearts of every senior in the school – even the football players and some of the other teachers. Known for speaking her mind in direct and…sometimes rude ways, no one wanted to suffer her wrath. I LOVED her. I remember one time she said, "Sometimes I really want to hit you for being so happy, but about the time I consider it- you make me laugh." Good thing for me, huh? Death from a Physics teacher couldn't be a good end.Death by chocolate, however…And – having a Dad who is a rough and tumble, wrestle bears, bite-the-top-off-a-pop-bottle-with-your-teeth kind of guy (and is mush in the middle), I'm not at all fooled by you. :-)The only thing that might initimidate me about you, Ruthy, is your cooking.

  10. sherrinda

    Oh my goodness, I'm enjoying the comments as much as the review! You ladies are so much fun, and ever so nice with your quirky humor! So Montana Rose is not "new"!!! So how long ago did you write it, Mary? Do you have alot of manuscripts scheduled for release, now that you have found success? How very exciting!

  11. Pepper Basham

    Uh oh, Sherrinda! Did you just call Ruthy 'nice'? Maybe I should delete your post before she reads it 😉

  12. sherrinda

    Ssshhh, don't tell the Seekerville ladies this, but they are like my heroes! I've been trying to figure out how to add more snarkiness to my personality and some of the verbal exchanges on Seekerville are giving me great instruction! I love the camaraderie. 🙂

  13. Pepper Basham

    They are pretty great, aren't they? I'm in the same boat with you. The Seekers are my heroes too and SUCH inspiration (but I won't mention that too loudly either, or Ruthy will get a big head) ;-)I've told Melanie we should start a Seekervilles 2 with our own little island – UNLESS the current island has space. Looks like they are acquiring a lot of vacant huts. 🙂 Praise God for their great news!I'd say if you hang out with these great ladies long enough, it will rub off. I'm hoping it will for me (and their talent too 🙂

  14. Mary Connealy

    You know I feel a lot like Ruthy on this reputation of me being testy.I am one of the nicest people you'll ever meet. And I'll slap anybody who says I'm not.How long ago did I write Montana Rose?Well, it came in third in the ACFW Genesis Contest in 2004. And it wasn't new then. And Petticoat Ranch won and sold first.Hmmmmmmmmmm And I wrote Petticoat Ranch after Montana Rose.HmmmmmmmmmmmmmLost in the mists of time.

  15. sherrinda

    So Mary, do you have like a stack of manuscripts just waiting to throw at your publisher when he/she wants a new one? How awesome is that?!

  16. Pepper Basham

    Mary, You wrote Petticoat Ranch AFTER Montana Rose. Wow! I have a feeling the historical I've been working on for about 7 years might be my ONE to finally make it into print, but I've gotten distracted by the fun I'm having with my contemporary novels.Do you ever get distracted by other ideas or are you a really focused sort of person?

  17. Mary Connealy

    I had twenty finished books on my computer when I sold my first one.Barbour then asked to see what I had and has since bought seven of them. Thirteen remain in waiting. I can't figure out if they're vultures, circling above, or are they the corpse.Sorry about that analogy, totally got out of control.I wrote Petticoat Ranch later and it was a much, much better book. But then I went back and reworked Montana Rose, applied all I knew, all I'd learned and brought it up to speed.Same with The Husband Tree. Older than Petticoat Ranch. I should be able to find a 'creation' date of them but my old computer died and with it those original files.I still love those stories I told in those unsold thirteen books. But I know I've gotten better and I can tell those stories better now.Just give me a chance.Right now the main thing (okay ONE of the things) stoppin their publication is that they're not historical westerns. And Barbour is branding me as a historical western author. I agreed to it before I knew they'd lasso me and use a real red-hot iron. OUCH!!!But I actually really understand and respect the whole 'Branding' thing and am loving what I'm writing now.So, Montana Rose is older as is The Husband Tree but Wildflower Bride is new as is Cowboy Christmas. It'll be interesting to see if people think they're an improvement or not. But like I said, I worked hard to revise and polish the older books so I think they're good.It is amazing though to look back on older work and see how fuzzy I was on 'Showing vs Telling' and POV and scene setting.

  18. Mary Connealy

    I write one book at a time, beginning to end. I do step out of the WIP and do revisions if I'd got line edits, that's part of the business of writing and I make those my priority, and of course to write blog posts and do marketing and interviews.But I always (almost always) try to advance my wip by 1000 words a day five days a week. That's my goal.I do have other ideas in my head. I try to take a few minutes and write them up and save them, store them for later. And sometimes I muse on them. I'm an insomniac and it gives me something to think about at night as I lay awake.Honestly I usually think about my wip, though. What's the next scene, what do I need to do to make a secondary character come alive. Is my heroine solving her problems too fast. I flip ideas over and over in my head until I fall asleep.No, that doesnt' mean my books put people to sleep. Shut Up!

  19. Pepper Basham

    Okay, I'm only tempted to stray from my WIP whenever I've written it from beginning to end and I want to find out what's going to happen in the consecutive book. OR and idea has been teasing me for months WHILE I've been working on my wIP. Then I'm sorely tempted to stray to the new idea because I've found closure in the first one.Discipline for me is going back to the completed work and editing – but once I start editing I'm like a madwoman. Never perfect…never perfect, until I just have to stop, step away, and come back to it after a few weeks. Does that sound weird?Btw, Mary – my babysitter (who is 20) picked up Montana Rose today (from MY bookshelf) and read the book in 5 hours. Who knows what my kids were doing during that time, but they were alive when I got home AND my babysitter LOVED your book. Just thought you'd like to know the reason why two of my children have black eyes and one had the dirty diaper from the pit of despair. – Montana Rose's fault, of course 😉

  20. Mary Connealy

    Pepper, sorry about the child abuse but it sounds like your babysitter had her priorities straight so we have to let this one go and keep hiring her.When I finish a book I like to set it aside a while. A month or two. Often I'll start a new book, even write the whole thing, then go back to that earlier book. After I've forgotten what I MEANT to say and can only see what I actually said, and revise.My books always get much, much, much better on revision. Most of the comedy and action comes on revision. Or rather comes alive. It takes a lot of work (at least for me) to get that right.

  21. britney

    After going through this aurtical i have decided to bookmark this site found this really interesting & thanks a lot for keeping the blog Lively with such interesting blogs.___________________BritneyOnline Marketing of your brand


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