I have been a long-time fan of Mary Connealy’s books and her unique sense of humor. Although I have always loved her books I have noticed that each new series has lost a bit more of the slapstick humor and moved toward even greater character and plot development. I honestly appreciate the direction she has taken. There is still plenty of humor yet greater depth to her stories.

Braced For Love is the first book in the author’s latest series Brothers in Arms. Kansas farmer Kevin Hunt has left his struggling farm to take over his share of an inherited ranch in Wyoming. Turns out he has a brother he never knew existed and he also learns a few choice facts about his late father that he has believed dead for years. It is also evident that someone is determined to keep him from reaching the ranch.

There is more than enough drama, conflict, action, and danger to go around in Braced For Love, A hearty dose of romance is thrown in for good measure along with several surprises. It took me a few chapters to get all the characters straight in my mind but each of them has unique traits that quickly set them apart. Knowing that the novel is the first of a trilogy, I soon found myself pairing each of the Hunt brothers with one of the young women. Only time will tell if I am correct. I eagerly wait for book two.

I voluntarily reviewed a copy of this book provided by the author and Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group. A favorable review was not required. All views expressed are my own.


When entering the rough new land, does he go to meet his greatest enemy, or his greatest ally?

Kevin Hunt was at peace with the grueling but honest labor of Kansas farm life, until he received the news that he had inherited part of a successful Wyoming ranch. The only catch is it’s to be shared with a half brother he never knew existed. Turns out, Kevin’s supposedly dead father led a secret and scandalous life, and the townsfolk are quick to spurn Kevin and his siblings for it.

But trouble seems to follow Kevin on the way, and he wonders if his half brother Wyatt is behind the attacks. Once at the ranch, everyone is at each other’s throats, and the only person willing to stand in between is Winona Hawkins, the local schoolmarm and a wealthy rancher’s daughter.

Despite being a longtime friend to Wyatt, Winona can’t help but be drawn to the earnest, kind Kevin, and that puts her in the cross hairs of somebody’s dangerous plot. With every reason to despise each other, can the Hunt brothers put aside their differences long enough to protect the ones they love?


Mary Connealy ( writes “romantic comedies with cowboys” and is celebrated for her fun, zany, action-packed style. She has sold more than half a million books. She is the author of the popular series Brides of Hope Mountain, High Sierra Sweethearts, 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.