Lassoed in Texas by Mary Connealy

9781620294628_p0_v1_s260x420Cafe Rio and Mary Connealy are two of my favorite nouns.

Cafe Rio – as you may know – creates amazing taco salads. I would do just about anything for their grub.

Mary Connealy is an amazing author. I had the opportunity to read the first two books of her Lassoed in Texas series – Petticoat Ranch and Calico Canyon – over the holidays. Squeal. These books have permanently plastered a smile on my face.

The parenting/child relationships in these two books are incredible. Petticoat Ranch welcomes a step-father into an all-girl-household while Calico Canyon introduces an uptight school marm into an all-boy-household. Holy crap it was fun. Mary did a fabulous job at detailing what it is like to raise boys. I found myself wanting to shout “hallelujah!” because someone out there understands what my life is like. I found myself sticking post-it notes to all the “good parts” so that I could share them with my husband. A lot of post-it notes were used in the process and date night (thanks to these books) was *amazing*! We both have a deep appreciation for Adam’s number one rule.

I love a good clean romance that increases my gratitude for my husband and my family and these books fit the bill. The romance is sweet and clean and inspirational. And Texas fiction – I love you.

Santa made a surprise visit tonight when I discovered the Lassoed in Texas Trilogy on my kindle for $2.99! And if life couldn’t get any better than that, I learned that salad dressing at Cafe Rio can be purchased by the pint. The pint! Heaven has arrived.

With the Lassoed in Texas Trilogy on my kindle and an entire PINT of dressing in my refrigerator – my weekend is calling.

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“Made to Last” by Melissa Tagg

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Miranda Woodruff is a skilled carpenter and host to the popular TV sitcom From the Ground Up. When her TV show teeters on rejection, her husband is the needed ticket to save the show.

Only problem?

Her should-be-husband left her before their vows were shared.

When a handsome reporter begins following her every move, will she be able to maintain her on-screen persona? Will Miranda find the courage to set the record straight?

“Made to Last,” by Melissa Tagg, was amazing. Cute, fun, and inspiring – just the way I like it! This book quickly climbed its way into my top ten. To avoid spoiling this amazing book, I will stop my review right here.

I walked away from this book with a renewed sense of what it means to be “made to last” in the eyes of God. It is easy to believe that our sins and failures make us less worthy in His eyes when in actuality, He loves us for who we are. God always understands the beauty of our souls because He is the creator of all. Melissa nails this belief perfectly throughout the book, gently teaching that honest living with our fellow men and God is liberating and powerful. We don’t need a persona to be worthy in the eyes of God.

“He said, ‘Pastor, you were ready to get rid of this old pulpit because all you saw was that ugly stain. But all along, underneath was a sturdy, strong wood. The kind of wood that’s made to last. Just took a little stripping away for you to see it…. Here’s the thing, {he} saw the beauty all along, even when the curve of the wood’s grain was hidden behind a stain…. And it makes me think, what does God see in us that we don’t? That matters. Because when all the stuff we’re hiding behind is stripped away, it’s what He sees that’s left. So what does He see?”

-Melissa Tagg, “Made to Last”