Forged in Love by Mary Connealy (Review & #Giveaway) #booktwitter #newbooks #christianromance #christfic #romancebooks #bhpfiction @bethany_house @celebrate_lit

Welcome to my tour stop with Celebrate Lit! Check out my review and the giveaway below...

Forged in Love
(Wyoming Sunrise #1)
By Mary Connealy
Christian Historical Romance
Hardcover, Paperback Audiobook & eBook, 297 Pages
February 28, 2023 by Bethany House Publishers


When sparks begin to fly, can a friendship cast in iron be shaped into something more?

Mariah Stover is left for dead and with no memory when the Deadeye Gang robs the stagecoach she’s riding in, killing both her father and brother. As she takes over her father’s blacksmith shop and tries to move forward, she soon finds herself in jeopardy and wondering–does someone know she witnessed the robbery and is still alive?

Handsome and polished Clint Roberts escaped to western Wyoming, leaving his painful memories behind. Hoping for a fresh start, he opens a diner where he creates fine dishes, but is met with harsh resistance from the townsfolk, who prefer to stick to their old ways.

Clint and Mariah are drawn together by the trials they face in town, and Clint is determined to protect Mariah at all costs when danger descends upon her home. As threats pursue them from every side, will they survive to build a life forged in love?

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My Review

FORGED IN LOVE is a story about an independent woman who tries to find her place and safety after losing her family in a stage coach robbery and a man who wants to love and protect her. Set in a small town with some memorable friends, humorous moments and suspense. An overall enjoyable read.

I've read almost all of this author's books and have come to expect unique characters and situations as well as sparks of the romantic and dangerous variety. This story wasn't quite as humorous or as snappy in the dialogue as I'm used to, making it a bit of a slower read for me. The characters were great although I wanted them a bit more fleshed out. The romance quickly developed while also being very sweet while the heroine tried to stay safe and true to herself. There were three very strong women who were best friends in this story with an aspect of this story talking about changing women's rights. The inspirational aspect was weaved through well, making these characters' faith feel natural and genuine. The feeling of danger subtly grew towards the end. 

In the end, was it what I wished for? This was an enjoyable, steadily-paced read with likeable characters, sweet romance, inspirational moments and suspense. There were plenty of openings for further books in the series and I'm looking forward to reading the next story.

Content: Clean
Source: I received a complimentary copy from the publisher through Celebrate Lit/NetGalley, which did not require a positive review. All opinions are my own.

About the Author

Mary Connealy ( writes “romantic comedies with cowboys” and is celebrated for her fun, zany, action-packed style. She has sold more than one and a half million books. She is the author of the popular series Brothers in Arms, Brides of Hope Mountain, High Sierra Sweethearts, The Kincaid Brides, Trouble in Texas, Lassoed in Texas, Sophie’s Daughters, and many other books. Mary lives on a ranch in eastern Nebraska with her very own romantic cowboy hero.

More from Mary

The Inspiration

I started plotting this novel when I found out that Wyoming was the first state (then a territory) in the Union to grant women the right to vote. Then I discovered it wasn’t just the right to vote; all sorts of other rights were given to women as well, like the right to run for elected office or be appointed to office. In fact, the first woman justice of the peace in the U.S. was from Wyoming. This inspired me to have one of my heroines be the second justice of the peace in the country.

As I continued my research, reading about all that went on in Wyoming was fascinating. They became a territory in 1868—with women voting—and yet they weren’t allowed statehood for another thirty years. With other states being granted statehood in only a few years, why was this? Because the U.S. government refused to let Wyoming in unless they took the vote away from women.

Because Wyoming adamantly refused to strip the vote from women, year after year they were denied statehood. When they finally did get it, the state’s women maintained their right to vote because Wyoming would not budge on the issue. The whole history of this was great reading.

So I wrote a three-book series called Wyoming Sunrise in which all my heroines play against the normal, conventional female roles of the day.

Now, what job could I possibly think of that wasn’t traditionally for women? How about Mariah who happens to be a blacksmith? And while I’m writing against stereotypes, I created a man named Clint who runs a diner. That wasn’t too unusual, for lots of diners were run by men back in the day. Yet not many of them were talented chefs trained in high-class restaurants in New York City. Clint is an excellent chef. Of course, an excellent chef in a small Wyoming town is kind of wasted on folks who prefer fried chicken and beef stew.

Clint makes chicken and beef, but he calls his dishes weird names and makes them unusually delicious. Meanwhile, Mariah is working over a hot forge for long hours every day. When her father and brother are killed in a stagecoach holdup, she becomes the only blacksmith in town.

There’s some resistance to her doing such a masculine job, but even among those who disapprove, well, they’ve got a broken wagon wheel or a hole in their kettle and it’s either let Mariah fix it or go without. Mariah is allowed to be a blacksmith out of pure necessity.

My second book, The Laws of Attraction, has a female justice of the peace, while the third, Marshaling Her Heart, features a tough lady rancher. I write westerns, and honestly, writing about tough, feisty lady ranchers like Becky the Rancher comes naturally to me. Writing about a blacksmith and a judge, however, presents more of a challenge.

Mariah, who survived the stagecoach holdup, learns that the robbers believe she might know something that will reveal their identity, and she needs to be silenced. Clint tries to protect her and finds himself stepping between her and a murderous gang of outlaws.

Through it all, love finds them, and they begin to forge a life together.

Tour Schedule

Bigreadersite, March 18

Stories By Gina, March 20 (Author Interview)

Lighthouse Academy, March 22 (Guest Review from Marilyn Ridgway)

Remembrancy, March 23

Betti Mace, March 24

Pause for Tales, March 26

SodbusterLiving, March 28

Splashes of Joy, March 29

Wishful Endings, March 30

HookMeInABook, March 30

EmpowerMoms, March 31

Mary Hake, March 31

Tour-Wide Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Mary is giving away the grand prize package of a $15 Amazon gift card and a paperback copy of the book Forged in Love!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

Are you a fan of this author or western romances? Will you be reading this one?

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