Too Far Down
Bethany House Publishers, 2017
Cole Boden is no stranger to trouble. A dangerous, unseen enemy has been attacking his family and their ranch for months, and now it seems the outlaws have extended their assault to include the mine Cole manages. Now six miners are dead and the mystery surrounding the Boden’s troubles is getting even more complicated. Every time they manage to subdue one threat another emerges, indicating a plot that is more intricate than they could have imagined. As if that wasn’t trouble enough, Cole isn’t even sure if he wants to stay in New Mexico or go back East, and that really complicates his feelings towards his tough, pretty neighbor.
Melanie Blake knows how she feels about Cole, but she also knows that there’s no way she could ever leave the ranch and family she loves to go east if that’s what he ultimately decides to do. But that’s a decision only he can make, and in the meantime they have plenty to do trying to get to the bottom of the trouble at the mine. Mel prides herself on being tough and would do almost anything to help the neighboring family she grew up with. As things get more and more dangerous Mel fights alongside the equally tough Boden women, trying to help them save their legacy and their very lives – which might be one and the same.
Too Far Down was provided to me in exchange for an honest review by Bethany House Publishers. This post contains affiliate links. Read more about that here.
I’ve been a fan of Mary Connealy for a long time, so I was excited to get my hands on a copy of this book. Too Far Down is the third book in the Cimarron Legacy Series, which chronicles a trio of siblings forced to defend their family ranch. The backbone of the story is that two of the three of them had moved away from the ranch, and their parents felt like their family was falling apart. So when Chance Boden gets seriously injured at the beginning of the first book he makes a last minute adjustment to his will before he gets shuttled off to a doctor that will hopefully be able to save his life. His will now states that if the three siblings do not immediately return to their family home and remain there for an entire year, the ranch will go to a distant relative in the event of his demise.
Each book in the series follows a different sibling, and the third one, Too Far Down, picks up with Cole Boden. He resents his father’s ultimatum more than his brother and sister, because he’s never been much of a rancher. The west has made him tough as the next man, but he has a head for business and prefers running the family’s mining interests. Cole even occasionally contemplates going back east where he worked for his grandfather after college, but he is torn between the excitement of his old life and the family he loves in New Mexico, not to mention his growing notice of Mel.
Too Far Down is the culmination of the underlying theme that threads through the series: family legacy. Is it people? Land? A family’s name and reputation? Cole struggles with this question and the question of priorities, faith, and courage as he fights alongside his siblings and close friends to protect his home and family.
The thing I love about the most Mary Connealy’s work is her humor. She writes about tough families, usually ranchers, and the struggles they face to survive and thrive. Her characters are loyal and courageous to a fault. Their dialogue with each other, along with her commentary through the story, is always light hearted and funny. No one writes strong female characters better than Mary Connealy. The women in her stories are pretty and compassionate, but they would rather die than swoon and that makes them a great match for the strong men they end up with. No damsels in distress here, or at least not without a begrudging attitude.
Too Far Down (and the rest of the Cimarron Legacy Series) was a pleasure to read, and if you like a light hearted story full of cowboys, romance, and adventure then this is the book for you! It can be read and enjoyed as a standalone novel, but I highly recommend starting at book one for maximum enjoyment. If you want to be a Mary Connealy super-fan you can also read the Kincaid Brides series, since one or two of those characters make an appearance in this series as well. Those little cameos are always fun.
What do you think of my recommendation? Does this sound like a book you would enjoy?