Stuck Together by Mary Connealy
Bethany House Publishers, 3rd June, 2014

Bestselling Author Mary Connealy Delivers Laughs, Romance, and Western Adventure

Tina Cahill, newly arrived from the East, is determined to get the saloon in Broken Wheel, Texas, 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. Not his tyrant of a father. Nor the injuries he suffered in the Civil War. Nor the fact that he is Broken Wheel’s only attorney and sheriff yet has no law degree.

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 suffering signs of dementia. And his surprise sister immediately falls for one of Vince’s best friends. Vince has a lot of people to take care of, and Tina doesn’t approve of how he’s handling any of them. But with almost all the other men in town married off, Vince finds himself stuck with feisty 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 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.

Mary’s books always turn up just when I’m needing something light and funny after having read something brain heavy – it’s always the right medicine. I loved what I saw from Vince and Tina in the previous book in the series Fired Up and in Stuck Together their chemistry jumped off the page.

Essentially both Vince and Tina use other people’s perceptions of them to hide who they really are. They like people to view them a certain way, so that no one sees the hurts they carry deep down. Unfortunately Vince’s estranged father, mentally ill mother and the sister he didn’t know existed turn up in Broken Wheel and throw his life into a tail spin. Throw in his and Tina’s constant bickering and we’ve got one confused hero.

Tina feels rejected her whole life and when Vince appears to reject her, her brother decides he’s in love – the rejection hurts all the more. So she clings to her causes and being a woman who can look after herself. She learns that like Vince, she’s been hiding too, longing for love and acceptance. Both characters find it in God and each other by the end of the book.

For me Stuck Together wasn’t quite as funny as the previous two books in the series, but still offered a lovely and amusing diversion. I did feel that Tina’s insecurities around her brother could have been alleviated if he’d only explained to her why he didn’t stop by and see her when she was growing up – that didn’t happen, so Tina was left in the dark there.

Overall, I enjoyed this book. It made me smile and chuckle here and there.

Looking forward to another one Mary!

Thank you to NetGalley for a copy of this novel for review.  I was in no way obliged to give a positive review.