I’ve become a fan of Mary Connealy‘s writing through her posts and comments at Seekerville blog. Her posts are always interesting and amusing, so I was hoping her novels would be the same. No disappointment here!
Doctor in Petticoats is the first of her books I’ve read, and it won’t be the last. It is the first in a historical series called Sophie’s Daughters, in which we meet Beth just returning from four long years back east learning how to be a doctor. Or, as her Pa–who is certain a woman can’t be a real doctor–says, a nurse. Beth has been trying to get home before her sister Mandy’s wedding. Here’s how the story opens:
Beth McClellen would die before she missed Mandy’s wedding.
That wasn’t some cute expression. It was a plain, bald fact.
The stagecoach, in its four-day-long quest to hit every bump and rock in northwest Texas, lurched into the air then slammed back onto its wheels. She’d planned to take the train all the way to Mosqueros, but a cyclone had ripped out a bridge somewhere and the trains weren’t running. So Beth had no choice but to take the much slower stagecoach.
She’d still hoped to make the wedding. But it was cutting things really close. Even with the irritating delay, the stage had appealed to her. Horses, fresh air, Texas scenery–after four years in the teeming city of Boston, she thought the stage was brilliant.
She was an idiot.
Also on this coach is a man whom Beth believes to be a drunk, though she hasn’t seen him imbibe. But when the coach comes to a terrible accident blocking the trail, the drunk turns out to be a lunatic doctor. We soon learn that Alex Buchanan is a deserter from the army, running when he couldn’t face the horrors any more. He’s been running for four years, staying ahead of bounty hunters.
Meeting Beth is the first ray of light in Alex’s life, and once she gets done flailing him with his own Stetson to make him help with the injured travellers, he realizes he can’t let her out of his life. And thus follows the most unlikely romance. Even with the seriousness of much of the story line, I couldn’t help but laugh on many pages at Beth’s fiestiness (or spitfire, as Alex calls her).
Mary Connealy writes romantic comedy with cowboys. She wrote for ten years, with a total of twenty completed books, before she got published. She had just enough encouragement through those ten long years to keep her going. Since 2007, she’s had more than ten novels published as well as a handful of novellas. She lives in Nebraska, where she teaches GED.
I received an ebook version of this novel for review from the publisher via NetGalley. As always, the opinions are mine alone.