Mandy’s scoundrel husband, Sidney Gray, has been dead for a year, but fear and three small children have kept Mandy barricaded on the Montana mountaintop where Sidney had built Gray Tower. The Cooter family has declared a feud against the Grays and, even though Mandy is the fastest and most accurate gunslinger in the west, she refuses to take her children into danger.
Until Tom Linscott, whom she’s known since arriving in Montana with Sidney, climbs the cliff one starlit night to claim Mandy as his bride. Sparks begin to fly immediately, as Mandy is no push-over. Neither is Tom, who takes Mandy’s rifle then casually bundles up the children and begins to ride away, knowing Mandy will follow. As they ride the several day journey to Tom’s ranch, he teaches the children to call him Pa, to Mandy’s disgust. She’s loved Tom much longer than she ought to have, but can’t bear to put him in danger from the Cooter feud.
For indeed, the Cooters are coming from all across the land to join up and kill off the Grays–and anyone who stands by them. Tom Linscott has bought himself a barrelful of trouble, but he wouldn’t have it any other way.
Not only the Cooters are coming, but so are Mandy’s family, the McLennans, in this final novel in the historical western series Sophie’s Daughters. Sharpshooter in Petticoats is not a stand-alone book and (apparently) not only the closing tale to Sophie’s Daughters but to two other series Lassoed in Texas and Montana Marriages which I haven’t read. As such, things got a bit confusing for me when characters old and new poured onto the stage in the final chapters. Still, Connealy’s witty writing style made this a book I thoroughly enjoyed.
Mary Connealy‘s style is 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.