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May 1, 2013

Swept Away (Trouble in Texas #1) by Mary Connealy

Wild West spitfire action
Swept Away by Mary Connealy
Bethany House March 1, 2013
Review copy provided by the publisher in exchange for this review
Burton Book Review Rating: 3.5 Stars

Laughter, Romance, and Action Abound in This New Series from Mary Connealy 

Swept away when her wagon train attempts a difficult river crossing, Ruthy MacNeil isn't all that upset at being separated from the family who raised her. All they've ever done is work her to the bone. She prayed for a chance to get away, and then came the raging flood. Alive but disoriented, she's rescued by Luke unfortunately, there are more chances to die in her immediate future.
Luke is heading home to reclaim the ranch stolen from his family. But the men who killed his father are working hard to ensure Luke doesn't make it alive. He has no choice but to keep moving. Still, he can't just abandon Ruthy, so she'll have to come along.
His friends--a ragtag group of former Civil War soldiers--take a fast interest in the pretty gal. Luke thinks that's rather rude--he's the one who found her. And the more time he spends around the hard-working young woman who is a mighty good cook, the more he finds himself thinking beyond revenge and toward a different future. For the first time in a long time, Luke is tempted to turn from his destructive path and be swept away by love.

Swept Away is a western romance complete with the wild west flair of gun fights and dirty sheriffs. The fast paced action centers around Luke and Ruthy as they meet up to regain Luke's land in Texas. But the story starts out with a splash as Ruthy is tossed from a flooding river and it's Luke who rescues her. The romance immediately kindles, and the evil posse who stole Luke's ranch has no idea what hit them once little Ruthy unleashes her skills.

These characters were fun to watch in action, although it was a bit of a predictable story, several of the side characters helped round out an intriguing plot line. Battered wife Glynna becomes someone that Luke and Ruthy have to save, and it turns out it is Glynna's story that we will see in the next installment in the Trouble in Texas series. What I found interesting about this Christian novel was there was not a ton of the faith element here at all, but actually a bit more of the witty remarks. So even though the situation was dire amongst gunfire and violence, the slant towards a romantic comedy was evident, making this a fun and light read, indicative of author Mary Connealy.