Barbour Publishing (February 1, 2007)
I am just starting Calico Canyon (the sequel) but I flew through this book and expect to do the same with Calico Canyon. These are chick lit/romance hybrids with a handful or more of adventure blended in all topped off with a generous dose of humor that not just women will get. Oh yes and we can’t forget that these are also historical fiction since they take place in the days of one room school houses and before motorcars existed.
Petticoat Ranch introduces us to the McClellen and Reeves clans. The McClellens include Sophie Edwards whose brother-in-law Clay McClellen marries into a gaggle of women when he finds her struggling to manage a shack in the midst of a thicket and raise her four girls after his twin’s death at the hands of vigilantes. While she has been a widow for a couple years, she’s been running the homestead for much longer than that when Clay happens upon their little hideaway. The ranch she and Cliff had purchased as newlyweds was also deeply mortgaged by her deceased husband and she was forced to leave after his death when there weren’t funds to pay off his loans. In the meantime the subsequent owners mysteriously disappeared and the ranch goes up for sale once again. How will a bachelor manage amongst five screaming, crying, giggling females including a toddler not yet out of diapers? Oh and don’t forget these gals are independent and used to not relying on men since there wasn’t anyone to rely on for so many years. How will they handle this new man who wants to take care of them and expects them to let him be a man? Later in the book we meet the Reeves clan which is very much an opposite group to the McClellens. Daniel Reeves has attempted to raise his five sons, 10yr old twins and 5yr old triplets, on his own since his wife’s death after birthing the triplets. We don’t see much of these males in Petticoat Ranch but we do learn that the boys are the terrors of the town likely partly due to a lack of discipline and of course no mother to teach them proper manners. However stay alert to what you do learn about this family because you’ll be seeing much more of them in Calico Canyon. (ISBN#9781597896474, 288 pp, $9.97)
Read an excerpt from Calico Canyon on Sunday and my review next week. Use the bookcover to purchase a copy of Petticoat Ranch and to find more information about the book. Don’t forget to drop by Mary’s Website as well.