Fired Up, by Mary Connealy

book coverThis is posted today as part of a book tour. Be sure to check out what others are saying about this book, and don’t forget to check out the contest at the end of the review!

When a doctor who attracts danger falls for a cook determined to make it on her own, there’s going to be trouble in Texas!

Glynna Greer came west as a mail-order bride and ended up in a bad situation. Now her husband, Flint, is dead, and she’s determined to make a go of it on her own. In a town full of men, Glynna decides she can support her two children by opening a diner–never mind that cooking is not her greatest talent.

Dare Riker is a doctor who saves lives, but someone seems determined to end his. It may have something to do with the traitors he dealt with during the Civil War, or it might be related to the recent incident with Flint Greer and the ranch. Whoever the culprit is, he or she seems really fired up, and Dare can’t let his guard down for a moment–which is a challenge, since right now he’s trying to win the heart of the recently widowed Glynna.

Though his doctoring business is booming due to Glynna’s questionable cooking, Dare seems to encounter unexpected dangers wherever he goes. There’s the avalanche. And the fire. And then the shadowy figure with a knife. Can Dare survive it all long enough to convince Glynna to take another chance on love?

Fired Up is the second novel in Mary Connealy’s Trouble in Texas series. In my review for the first title, Swept Away, I made a comment about the heroine believing she can do anything the men can do. How refreshing, therefore, to come across Glynna. Yes, she’s a woman with a troubled past looking to start over, but she has a weakness. She can’t cook! Furthermore, everyone knows it! She’s taken over an abandoned diner in the town, which gives her and her children a place to live, and opens a restaurant. The men are that desperate for a home-cooked meal that they’ll visit in droves. They treat her well, and willingly pay for their meals. Unfortunately, Glynna’s son isn’t happy with the attention she’s receiving. After everything the small family has been through, Paul doesn’t think his mom needs another man in her life. As far as he’s concerned, he’s more than capable of being the head of the family even if he’s not yet sixteen. Unfortunately, that also makes him one of the prime suspects when it becomes apparent someone wants his mother’s would-be suitor dead.

In my opinion, Fired Up is better than Swept Away, but I also believe it shouldn’t be read without having read Swept Away first. The majority of characters are established, and there are references in Fired Up to earlier events. Flint Greer is also a pivotal character and in reading Swept Away, you get to know what he was like and why Paul is so against his mother marrying again. There are also new characters such as Tina, who moves to the town to live with her brother. Her fancy clothing immediately makes her stand out in the frontier town, but her strong talk of temperance may just alienate some of the locals. If there are weaknesses to be found, they’re few. I did feel Vince’s pursuit of Tina at times overshadowed the development of the relationship between Dare and Glynna, even though it makes the reader wonder about Vince and his life before the Civil War. I also felt that Paul came around to everyone’s preferred way of thinking too easily, and that the message he received in order for that to happen was a little too preachy. Overall, however, this is a cute romance with plenty of action and humor mixed within its pages. If you want some light reading – and have read Swept Away – I can recommend Fired Up.

Thank you to Bethany House and Litfuse for my free copy of Fired Up, which I received in exchange for an honest review.

Read the first two chapters of Fired Up

Author Q and A

Publisher: Bethany House

Publication Date: 15 September 2013

Page Count: 336

Read more on:   Mary Connealy’s Website   Bethany House’s Website

Purchase on:   Amazon   Barnes & Noble

Enter Today – 9/17 – 10/8!

Mary Connealy Fired Up

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