Once again Mary Connealy has written an exciting yet endearing tale set in the west. Book one of The Lumber Baron’s Daughters series, The Element of Love was the first of a trilogy featuring the Stiles sisters who were forced to leave their beloved home to escape unwanted marriages arranged by their wicked stepfather. Their exciting escape set the pace for the rest of the series and left a lot to live up to. In my opinion, book two of the series Inventions of the Heart continues the standards set by the first.

In book one, most readers will suspect that there is an attraction between Zane the rancher and sister Michelle. Their story takes precedence in Inventions of the Heart as she continues to hide out from her stepfather at Two Harts Ranch. As expected, even more action, danger, and romance are in store along with glimpses into the lives of Michelle’s sisters and other characters introduced in the first book. A few surprises are in store as well as events that most readers expect.

Needless to say, Inventions of the Heart was a fun and satisfying read and I look forward to reading the final installment soon.

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


Her heart seeks safety. But will trouble find her even here?

After her sister’s marriage, Michelle Stiles is left hiding at Two Harts Ranch with the handsome but stubborn Zane Hart. She’s managed to stay one step ahead of her stepfather and his devious plans, but if he finds her, she will no longer be safe.

Zane has problems of his own. Having discovered a gold mine on his property, he must figure out how to harvest it without kicking off a gold rush. Michelle, educated and trained to run her father’s business, wants to manage all aspects of the mine, but Zane thinks for a person so smart she can have some misguided ideas. Running the mining operation will be a dangerous job, and he can’t risk putting her in harm’s way.

But danger finds Michelle anyway when she’s suddenly attacked. If they go to the sheriff, they’ll reveal her location, but if they do nothing . . . their troubles have only just begun.


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, 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.