Petticoat Ranch is a historical novel by Mary Connealy, whose main characters deal with their desire to exact retribution on the men who have killed their loved ones. The message, summed up by Parson Roscoe, “Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves. Leave room for God’s wrath. For it is written, ‘Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.’”
The time is 1867. The place is Mosqueros, Texas. Determination and strength exude from the pores of young mother, Sophie Edwards. Sophie is positive God has given her the strength to keep herself and family alive in the harsh environment of the West. She is also confident that He has given her the determination to find and kill the man who has murdered her husband Cliff.
Enter Clay McClellen. Clay has come in search of his long-lost twin brother, Cliff. Instead of his brother, Clay discovers a sister-in-law and four nieces. Knowing his Christian duty, he marries Sophie, buys the family’s ranch and becomes “Pa” to four little girls, ages two to ten. His early life as a cowhand, a soldier, and a Texas Ranger have prepared him to tackle the ranch, protect his new family, and search for the vigilantes that are terrorizing the area. But those experiences have not prepared him for life with five females.
Petticoat Ranch is a well-written, humorous romance story. Connealy’s characters are true to life. Several times I chuckled as I pictured the scenes that she painted: the squabbles and whines of little girls trying to get their way; the beleaguered, confused expressions of Clay as he attempts to convince his new wife to stay in the house and “do women’s work”; and the often frustrated antics of Sophie as she tries to protect her family.
Although preaching is done by Parson Roscoe, the book does not come across as preachy. Biblical truths are gently sprinkled through the book. Whether you are young or old, sit down, prop your feet up, and get to know the McClellen family. I am sure you will enjoy it. – Victoria H. Borgman, Christian Book Previews.com
Sophie Edwards is doing just fine, until a strange-yet oddly familiar-man rides into her life, insisting on rescuing her and her four daughters. Can she find a way to love a headstrong mountain man? When Clay McClellan discovers his brother has been murdered, he's bent on finding the killers and seeing them properly hung. But first his Christian duty demands that he marry his sister-in-law. After all, Sophie needs someone to protect her - right? Faith and love help unruly wed newlyweds find common ground and a chance at love on the Texas frontier.