Stuck Together, by Mary Connealy

book coverPublisher’s Summary:

When a lawman who values order gets stuck with a feisty crusader who likes to stir things up, there’s going to be trouble in Texas! 

Now that she’s settled in town, Tina Cahill is determined to get Broken Wheel’s saloon closed for good. To that end, she pickets outside the place every afternoon. Unfortunately, so far no one has paid any attention.

Vince Yates earned the nickname “Invincible Vince” because of his reputation for letting absolutely nothing stop him. But Vince is about to face his biggest challenge yet: his past has just caught up with him. His father, mother, and the sister he didn’t know he had show up in Broken Wheel without warning. His father is still a schemer. His mother is showing signs of dementia. And his surprise sister quickly falls for one of Vince’s best friends. Vince suddenly has a lot of people depending on him, and Tina doesn’t approve of how he’s handling any of them.

With nearly every other man in town married off, Vince finds himself stuck with strong-willed Tina over and over again. Of course, Tina is the prettiest woman he’s ever seen, so if he could just get her to give up her crazy causes, he might go ahead and propose. But he’s got one more surprise coming his way: Tina’s picketing at the saloon has revealed a dark secret that could put everyone Vince loves in danger.

My Take:

The third book in the Trouble in Texas series opens with a comedic scene involving a brawl outside the town saloon. It all begins with Tina picketing the place with wooden signs. It develops with certain men of the town using any excuse for a fight, and it ends with Tina in a horse trough that happens to be filled with muddy water. It’s fairly slapstick stuff, but it’s probably the most humorous section of the entire book as it takes a somber turn just a couple of pages later and continues in that vein.

One of the major plot lines in the book concerns Mrs. Yates’ mental health and how others respond to it. Mental health treatment was in its infancy during this time and much about it was unknown or misunderstood. The Yates family and friends react differently to her condition, but I was able to connect with Vince’s thoughts and feelings given some personal experiences with mental illness and dementia. I also connected with Tina’s anxiety. Despite her brashness in picketing the saloon, deep down she’s an insecure woman still wondering where she fits in life. Although it isn’t mentioned in the book, I believe this is also a mental health issue: a person may often put on a bold front to mask any fears, anxieties and insecurities they might have.

Stuck Together is about two people forced to spend time with each other because their friends are getting together. Vince and Tina make a volatile pairing and it’s hard to tell if they’d get together if not for their other relationships. One downside of the book is that their romance has to share space with one that unexpectedly appears between her brother and his sister. I felt this second romance was out of place and might have been better having its own book where it could have been properly explored. The epilogue, however, makes it clear that Trouble in Texas is a three book series and Stuck Together is the last book in that series.

One last note: my favorite character in this story was not one of the main characters, but a minor one named Livvy. I think you’ll understand why after you read it.

Thank you to Bethany House for my complimentary electronic copy of Stuck Together, which I downloaded from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Have you read Stuck Together? Do you plan to read it? Let me know your thoughts.

Read an excerpt from Stuck Together

Publisher: Bethany House

Publication Date: 03 June 2014

Page Count: 320

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

Purchase on:   Amazon   Barnes & Noble   Christianbook.com

 

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