No Way Up

No Way Up is book one in Mary Connealy's new series, The Cimarron Legacy. This is the first book I've read by Mary Connealy so I wasn't sure what to expect. I was drawn in by the well-designed cover and the description, which reads:

"New Western Romance Series from Bestselling Author Mary Connealy

When Cimarron ranch patriarch Chance Boden is caught in an avalanche, the quick actions of hired hand Heath Kincaid save him. Badly injured, Chance demands that his will be read and its conditions be enforced immediately.

Without anyone else to serve as a witness, Heath is pressed into reading the will. If Justin, Sadie, and Cole Boden don't live and work at home for the entire year, the ranch will go to their low-down cousin Mike.

Then Heath discovers the avalanche was a murder attempt, and more danger might follow. Deeply involved with the family, Heath's desire to protect Sadie goes far beyond friendship. The danger keeps them close together, and their feelings grow until being apart is the last thing on their minds."

I really don't like writing negative reviews, so I'll start with the positives about this book first. Like I mentioned, the cover is very well designed and engaging. It's super cute and really makes you want to pick up the book and read it. I also like the Cimmaron Legacy premise. It sounded intriguing. Unfortunately, that's about where it ended for me. The story was extremely slow - it took me a week to slog through this book when I can normally read a book like this in a day. The characters were one-dimensional cardboard cutouts, and my main problem was that I felt like I couldn't connect with any of them. They all behaved ridiculously - the brothers were literally throwing punches at each other and brawling in every chapter. Sadie had no feelings, no emotions, nothing, other than to ogle Heath and kiss him whenever possible. The most interesting part of the book for me was the story line about Angie. I kept turning the pages wanting to get back to her story because those were the only parts that I found interesting. However, we are left with the thread of that story unfinished. I hope that she will pick up those threads in the next book, because that plot had some potential. Also, Sadie and her brothers are Protestant but she works in a Catholic orphanage with nuns. I found that a bit unrealistic and strange. Another thing that bothered me is that characters were referred to multiple times as "speaking Mexican". Mexican is not a language; Spanish is a language. It seemed a bit bigoted and rubbed me the wrong way. However, since this was my first exposure to Mary Connealy, and it seems her books generally get high reviews, I will give her another chance and read book two of The Cimarron Legacy when it comes out. I hope the story picks up more now that the foundation's been laid in No Way Up.

I received a copy of this book from Bethany House in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.


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