Author: Mary Connealy
Genre: Historical Romance
Series: Wyoming Sunrise #2
Release Date: June 20, 2023
Publisher: Bethany House
Can they risk giving in to the attraction between them while their lives are on the line?
If widowed seamstress Nell Armstrong has to make one more pair of boring chaps for the cowboys in her tiny Wyoming town, she might just quit the business altogether! So meeting Brand Nolte, a widower struggling to raise three girls on his own, seems like her dream come true. Brand has no idea how to dress the girls properly, and Nell finally has a chance to create beautiful outfits while also teaching the girls to sew.
But Nell is much more than a seamstress, and the investigative skills and knowledge she picked up alongside her late lawman husband soon become critical when a wounded stagecoach-robbery survivor is brought to town. As danger closes in from all sides, Nell and Brand must discover who has a target trained on them before it's too late.
Reviewer: Susan Poll
I loved getting the next installment of this town and its people. This time it was about Nell and Brand meeting and the mystery and suspense they stumbled into. The Deadeye Gang is back and causing murder and mayhem in and around town again. You don’t know who is bad or hiding something until the end!
The secondary characters all add to the story and surround Nell and Brand as they fight for their property, Brand’s girls’ safety, and their own lives. I quite enjoyed the addition of the puppies.
Thanks to Bethany House Publishers and Interviews & Reviews for the chance to read this story.
Reviewer: Lauren Nel
The Laws of Attraction is the second novel in the Wyoming Sunrise series by Mary Connealy. It follows Nell and her experiences living in Pine Valley, Wyoming. Nell is a seamstress who desires nothing more than to make dresses but has become wealthy by making chaps for cowboys. Her life seemed peaceful and mundane, but then Brand and his three beautiful girls entered her life like a whirlwind bringing much more joy into her life than she ever expected. On top of this, the Deadeye Gang have come to cause trouble in their peaceful land. How will Nell handle all that comes her way?
I liked that Nell was a strong woman. She was especially passionate about woman’s rights and the suffrage movement. It seemed that nothing could get in her way in the book. Though this was somewhat nice, it was a bit over the top. I would have liked to see Nell face situations that rattled her a bit and showed that she could be vulnerable. Another aspect that I liked was the romance between Nell and Brand. I was rooting for them from the beginning of the book. Unfortunately, the development of their relationship was incredibly rushed. I could not really see how they fell in love as the interaction between them wasn’t focused on much. The love that blossomed seemed to come out of nowhere.
I really enjoyed the complication added by the Deadeye Gang. That, to me, was the most interesting aspect of the book. I would have liked to see more action-based complications involving the gang in the book.
Overall, I was a bit underwhelmed by the book. I wouldn’t have minded the book being a bit longer in order to flesh out the relationship between Brand and Nell and see Nell grow more in her different roles in the book.
Perhaps I did not enjoy it that much, as I do not usually read this genre. This book is for you if you enjoy reading about strong women who can take on anything if you enjoy romance and a focus on family, and if you are looking for a touch of mystery and action.
I received a complimentary copy courtesy of Bethany House through NetGalley and Interviews & Reviews. All views and opinions are my own.
Reviewer: Holly Artis
Mary Connealy is one of my favorite authors, and I was thrilled to be able to review her latest book, The Laws of Attraction. As with Mary’s previous books, the cover design is beautiful and very eye-catching. This is the second book in the series, but it can be read as a stand-alone without any confusion.
What I loved about this book is that it has a great storyline/plot, just like all of her books. It kept me intrigued the entire book. However, there are a few things that were mildly “off” for me. The first is a lack of chemistry between the main characters. There was very little affection or emotion between them, just very matter-of-fact. Even in the end, there was no declaration of love. Also, there were a couple of instances where the main character was in two places at the same time, which led to some confusion while reading. And lastly, while I enjoy a strong female character that can do anything she sets her mind to, the feminist view in this book is a little off-putting.
That said, the book is very well written, and I look forward to reading the final book in this series. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a good, clean Christian mystery with a touch of romance added in.
I received a complimentary copy from Bethany House through NetGalley and Interviews & Reviews in exchange for my honest review. All opinions stated are directly my own.
Reviewer: Rebecca Maney
"If I have to make one more pair of chaps" . . . ."Would it kill someone in this town to want a few yards of lace?"
No sooner had those thoughts escaped dressmaker (relegated to chaps making) Nell Armstrong's lips (for yes, she had been muttering to herself) than a whirlwind of small humanity ran through her front door and proceeded to hide behind the shop counter . . . . after which a loud male voice proceeded to say, "Sam, you get back here!" And that is precisely how widowed Nell Armstrong met widower Brandon Nolte, discovering Sam (who in reality was Samantha) hiding in her overalls because she really wanted to be dressed in . . . . . of all things, a dress.
This story is so much more than that scene, but its sweet, clever beginnings introduced a convenient arrangement for Brand's three daughters to gain proper clothing while learning to sew for themselves. And, of course, there was more to Nell Armstrong than her skill with a needle and thread. Her dead husband had been a lawman, and the Wyoming town of Pine Valley would need Nell's investigative skills. The notorious, leave no witnesses behind Deadeye Gang had struck again. And then, there's also the "law of attraction" . . . . . what will that verdict be?
Utterly enjoyable read!
I received a copy of this book from Baker Publishing through Interviews and Reviews. The opinions stated above are entirely my own.
Reviewer: Laura J. Davis
Mary Connealy delivers another epic tale of life on the frontier that will keep you engaged from the first page to the last!
In the second book in her Wyoming Sunrise series, we meet the town seamstress Nell Armstrong again. She hates making chaps and longs to sew dresses. Fortunately for her, Brand Nolte is a widower with three daughters who desperately need dresses, bonnets and, more importantly, a woman to guide them.
Unfortunately, the Dead Eye Gang is still causing trouble. Nell's investigative skills will cause her and the Nolte's more trouble than they bargained for.
I suspected who the bad guys were in the first book, Forged in Love. So it was nice to have my suspicions confirmed in this one. And even though I knew who they were, it didn't detract from the book. It was still an action-packed adventure with a sweet romance that I thoroughly enjoyed.
If you like historical romances with vibrant characters, detailed settings and non-stop adventure, you will probably enjoy The Laws of Attraction.
I received a complimentary copy courtesy of Bethany House through NetGalley for my honest review.
Reviewer: Billi Varela
I love Mary Connealy’s form of writing. You are guaranteed a good romance plus a good mystery. She never disappoints. I have only read a few of her books, but there is a marriage of convenience in every single one. This one falls into that category.
Nell Armstrong captured my attention in Forged in Love, the first book in the series. She was for women’s suffrage, which was allowed in the Wyoming Territory. Her character really evoked her belief that women should vote and hold office. There is a nice plot twist in this book for her, which I really liked. Aside from the women suffrage theme part of the story, there is the stagecoach robbery, which really adds to the story.
Brand Nolte is a father of three girls who is struggling to raise them. Nell just happens to be the perfect person to help him through it. His character is so different from Nell’s late husband, so he is different from what she was used to.
Let me just say the side romance was the cutest thing ever. I won’t say anything about it because it is a spoiler, but their story made me want to know more. FYI their romance is towards the end, but it is still so good and worth the read!
I also loved seeing the characters from Forged in Love. It is the sweetest thing when everyone rallies to help each other. I absolutely adore that.
This is a clean novel, aside from a few sweet kisses.
I requested and received an ARC of this book from Bethany House Publishers through NetGalley and Interviews & Reviews in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to give a positive review.
Reviewer: Nikita Wells
I loved this Western tale!
First of all, this book has such a gorgeous cover! This drew my attention instantly. The art suits the main character, Nell, perfectly. I loved that we got to see more of her leatherworking that she does for a living and a good bit of regular sewing as well.
Jack of all trades and homesteader Brand Nolte's daughters were sweet and yet tough as all western ladies had to be, but no less feminine. He showed great character, chivalry, and depth of heart.
I enjoyed this tale immensely and was glad to see Nell's crime-solving mind showcased in this book. She had great skills but didn't flaunt them and was a smart but humble woman with plenty of grit and grace.
I'm happy to report this book is squeaky clean. The romance is sweet and tastefully written. It's simply perfect.
I look forward to reading the next book, "Marshalling Her Heart," which is Becky's story- she is an interesting character and a good friend.
Thanks to Revell for the complimentary paperback I received through Interviews and Reviews and Netgalley. I was not required to write a positive review, although I was very glad to, and the thoughts above are my own.
Reviewer: Linda Klager
The main female character in this book was widowed. She had a loveless marriage. She traveled with her brother, and he wanted to go further west, but she settled in a small town in Wyoming. She opened up a dress shop. The year was 1871, and Wyoming was way ahead of other states in letting women have rights. Nell tried to get ladies to buy dresses from her, but the main interest in this area was for chaps. She did not enjoy making chaps, but they were a good money maker for Nell.
One day a young girl burst into her shop asking Nell to hide her. I wondered if this girl suffered abuse, but thankfully this was not the case. She just did not like wearing men's clothing. She and her two younger sisters helped their widower father run a ranch, and the father did not realize that the girls wanted to wear dresses. This allowed Nell to make these girls some pretty frocks. Nell needed to ensure the father did not feel like she was offering charity, so she said the girls could come after school and work for these dresses. The father reluctantly agreed.
A lot happened in this town. There was danger lurking around the corner, and Nell, the girls, and Brand, the father, were threatened. Tragedy struck big time.
This was a fascinating historical romance and very easy to read. I enjoyed hearing more about the town and the state of Wyoming.
I received a complimentary copy courtesy of Bethany House through Interviews & Reviews for my honest opinion.
Reviewer: Katelyn Sponaugle
The Laws of Attraction is done in classic Mary Connealy style. Returning readers to the series will enjoy spending time with the characters they met in book one, but it can easily be read as a stand-alone. The book is clean and wholesome, though God and the character’s faith are mentioned little. There is a sweet little side romance. All the loose ends tie up tidily, with just the right ones left undone to interest you in returning for the next installment to find out who the remaining members of the gang are.
Nell’s internal commentary on chaps and hats made me smile more than once. Brand’s girls were sweet and charming, and I hope Cassie’s calm and cool in a crisis tendency is fleshed out in the next volume.
Women’s rights and suffrage are frequently mentioned in the book. I truly enjoyed some details that seemed they may have been historical. However, it wasn’t noted in my ARC copy whether these were factual or fabricated, such as Wyoming having women’s voting rights earlier than some surrounding states and thus being the deciding factor in our heroine deciding to stay and Wyoming having the first female justice of the peace. However, the message that women can do everything men can do was either voiced or portrayed so often that it was somewhat exasperating. I did, however, really appreciate that she still painted the men as strong too and not just the women, and the fact that Mariah enjoyed adding fancy scrollwork to her blacksmithing, highlighting that she was still innately feminine despite her job and that it’s not only ok but good.
Sadly, I found Nell and Brand’s relationship underwhelming. It just didn’t seem to develop, and I never felt myself rooting for them. I was also a little disappointed that the bad guy was evident to me from his very first mention early in the book, with no suspicion ever clouding the assumption. The remaining members of the gang are still very much a secret to the readers, however, so don’t fear.
In summary, this book is a 3-star for me, but I feel it’s mainly due to personal preference on writing styles. I have no doubt loyal fans of Mary Connealy’s books and return readers from this series’ first installment will be entertained by this light, easy read.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Bethany House through Interviews & Reviews in exchange for my honest opinion.
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