Now and Forever by Mary Connealy

Now and Forever

I enjoyed this story for some lighter reading, historical fiction without the long history lessons. It had adventure, some unusual, yet entertaining characters and enough danger and suspense to keep me turning the pages into the early hours of the morning.  The bits of humor were an added bonus that’s not usually found in historical fiction.

Shannon Wilde has been pretending to be a man for years, starting back in the war between the states. She now wants to forget about the horrors of the past and just peacefully raise her sheep. Matthew Tucker is a rugged mountain man who likes his lifestyle and doesn’t see himself settling down in the valley.

When Tucker accidently runs into a bear cub, upsetting the mama bear, she attacks and leaves him running for his life. Shannon comes along and the only way to save Tucker is by first putting them in more danger. After a few harrowing days trapped by themselves, Tucker and Shannon finally escape the caves and are found. As word will quickly get out that Shannon is actually a woman, they’re faced with the choice to marry and save her reputation. Soon after, the couple faces more trouble as it becomes apparent that someone is determined to chase Shannon off her homestead.

I liked that the author shows the struggles Shannon has coming to terms with her duties during the war. She was strong enough to do what she had to do, but she also has a softer side, evidenced in her relationships with her sisters and her sheep. I also enjoyed getting to know some of the characters that will have more prominent roles in the next book. It makes me want to keep reading the series to find out what happens to everyone in the end.

I’d classify this book as clean reading more than inspirational, as there’s not a real strong thread of faith.   The story can appeal to a more general audience. I have read the previous book in this series, but Now and Forever can stand alone without the reader feeling like they’re missing anything.

Rating: 4/5 stars

I received a free copy of this book from Bethany House in exchange for my honest opinion.

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