This book should be a three and half overall. First of all, I found the Author’s note and dedication to the first book, Montana Rose, to be misleading as it was to Janette Oke. It has been awhile since I have read a Janette Oke but I do not recall the violence. In saying violence, it is not gory and I felt Ms. Connealy did a better job of describing the west more realistically than Janette Oke has done. Don’t expect the same tone even though Oke and Connealy are Christian authors.
Montana Rose, which is first in the trilogy, is about a naive, sheltered girl who was left bankrupt, pregnant and clueless to the harsh West. It is her story of learning to be herself after being beaten into a shell of a person by her much older controlling husband. The man who married her to save her from the fighting men, anxious to be her husband, is just what she needs.
The Husband Tree adds a dose of hilarity to the trio. A woman who buries three husbands will make anyone raise an eyebrow or two. Her gun-toting, spur jingling sass would make many an Eastern man run in the other direction. But a woman with a well ran ranch in unsettled Montana has the men flocking to her. When she decides to give up on the idea of even needing a husband, she finds a decent one in Silas. But he won’t put up with her sass and her daughters won’t put up with another husband. Makes for good banter between the two.
Finally, the last book is the tale of Wade, a wild admirer from the Montana Rose. He finds God at the end of the Montana Rose but has a strange desire to rescue a woman to fill needed. Instead, he finds himself in love with a woman raised among Flathead Indians. When her adopted family dies in a massacre, he is there to help but the little spitfire hardly needs rescuing. Their path to settlement life again is filled with cattle rustlers and the men who massacred her tribe. Both are out to kill them.
All of the books had entertaining qualities. However, there were times in the first two books that the plot dragged. The sassy heroine saved The Husband Tree. The third book, Wildflower Bride was much more action packed but it repeated parts from the first two stories that I did not think were necessary even if you read them individually. Nice weekend read, but one that could be put down after a while.