Calico Canyon by Mary Connealy
Let yourself be swept away by this fast-paced romance, featuring Grace Calhoun, an instructor of reading, writing, and arithmetic, who, in an attempt to escape the clutchs of a relentless pursuer, runs smack dab into even more trouble with the 6R’s – widower Daniel Reeves, along with his five rowdy sons. When a marriage is forced upon this hapless pair – two people who couldn’t dislike each other more – an avalanche isn’t the only potential danger lurking amid the shadows of Calico Canyon. Will they make it out alive? Or end up killing each other in the process?
Schoolteacher Grace Calhoun loves all of her students, but the Reeves boys cause more trouble than most and continue to disrupt her classes. Their behavior has led to many arguments with their father Daniel Reeves, who sees no problem with his 5 sons’ rambunctious behavior.
When one of their disagreements leads to trouble for both of them, Grace returns to her room heartbroken. Saddened by the events, Grace is shocked when her past finally catches up to her. As she runs and hides from her pursuer, she takes refuge in the wagon of Daniel Reeves.
Daniel is shocked to find the schoolteacher half-frozen and hiding in his wagon when he reaches his home. While fielding questions from his boys about why he brought home a new Ma along with their supplies, Daniel realizes the teacher needs help. And as soon as she is able, he plans on returning her to town.
But the next day, when Grace and Daniel find themselves hitched thanks to their actions, they both must learn to live with each other…for good. Grace’s new family isn’t going to make things easy on her, but with them she feels safe. And Daniel never wanted another wife and fears that he won’t be able to resist the temptation that having one provides.
Both Grace and Daniel are haunted by their past and only together and with God’s help can they overcome it.
Calico Canyon is an entertaining story laced with humor and a touching romance. Watching Grace handle living with her new family provided several laugh-out-loud moments as well as some heartwarming ones. Grace was a wonderful heroine who survived all life had in store for her and is determined to make the best of her new situation. I loved reading as Daniel and Grace became closer despite their differences. However, Daniel has not quite forgiven himself for the death of his first wife and watching as he struggles with his guilt and grief made me feel for him. Both Daniel and Grace help each other heal in a realistic manner.
The secondary characters also add to the enjoyment of the story. The Reeves boys are a handful and provide some of the funniest moments of the story. And it was nice to revisit characters from the first book in the series, Petticoat Ranch, as well as meet a few new characters.
I love a book that can make me laugh as well as cry. Calico Canyon pulls at all of the emotions…joy, sadness, anger…it is a wonderful story that left me wanting more. I can hardly wait for the next book by this talented author.
You can learn more about this book and author here: http://www.maryconnealy.com/