Sally McClellan is on her way to visit her sister Mandy, who’s about to deliver her third child. It’s a long way from Texas to Montana in the 1800s, and there are plenty of ways for travel to go amiss. Indeed, Sally’s party is ambushed by dry gulchers, and Sally, dressed as a man, is shot from her horse and falls over a cliff.
She pretty much lands beside frontier artist Logan McKenzie, who had been painting down the slope, and who carts her back to his cabin and the Indian woman, Wise Sister, who lives next door since her trapper husband has died. Sally’s leg is broken and Wise Sister tends it.
Sally is a young woman who believes her worth to her Pa is as a wrangler and that she shouldn’t admit to having a soft, feminine side. Logan, on the other hand, does numerous sketches of Sally (at first without her knowledge) and revels in the complex person she is. However, he’s so enamored of his artist life (including winters in New York to sell the paintings he’s done all summer in and near Yellowstone) that he’s sure he’d be a poor husband. Sally can’t see what use a man who is an artist is in the frontier. To her, an elk is for meat, not for painting. Somehow the two manage to fall in love anyway.
Meanwhile the dry gulchers had searched the bodies and saddlebags, and realized one cowpoke was missing. They dare not leave a witness alive and begin to track Sally and Logan, but Wise Sister keeps them hidden. Soon two friends of sister Mandy are sent to search for the overdue Sally.
Wrangler in Petticoats is the second book in the Sophie’s Daughter series by Mary Connealy, and a fun addition to the series. (I reviewed Doctor in Petticoats earlier.) The series follows the McClellan sisters in the old west, and culminates with Sharpshooter in Petticoats, which I’ll be reviewing in a few weeks.
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.