Gingham Mountain

Written by Mary Connealy
Review by Cindy Vallar

Sour Springs, Texas. Last stop for the orphan train. Last hope for two orphans nobody wants. Nobody but Grant, that is. Once an orphan himself, he provides them with shelter, food, and clothes, but the most important thing he gives is love.

Hannah Cartwright assumes Grant is like other “fathers,” who just want children to work until they drop. When her attempt to keep Grant from adopting the children fails, she takes the job of schoolmarm to watch over the children. She has a knack for teaching, but not cooking or sewing, so Grant’s children concoct plans to help her and get her to like him. The only problem is that Shirt Lady, another newcomer, has designs on Grant herself, even though she hates children.

Set in 1870, this is a fast-paced, heartwarming story filled with humor and romance. There’s even a bit a mystery woven in, for Shirt Lady isn’t who or what she pretends to be. The only drawback is the occasional intrusion of characters from an earlier story in the “Lassoed in Texas” series, but Connealy eventually ties them into the main story. A delightful, entertaining book you’ll want to read again and again.