While trouble has been following the Boden family and their ranch for years, their powerful and well-connected enemies seem to have begun targeting the profitable CR Mining Company too. When someone purposely detonates dynamite at the entrance of several mines and kills five men, and the life of patriarch Chance Boden is threatened again in far-away Denver, the Boden children decide to find and eliminate their elusive enemy once and for all.
Having served as the mine's manager ever since he returned from Harvard, the destruction at the mines hits Cole Boden particularly hard. Will the love of his family and his confusing feelings for his neighbor-- Melanie Blake-- be able to keep Cole in the New Mexico territory, or will the rugged danger send him back to the intriguing world of business he left behind back East? Melanie Blake grew up with the Boden children, and has been a friend to Justin and Sadie for years. More interested in horses and guns than silk dresses, Mel has never quite understood her infatuation with Cole. When Cole begins to show an interest in her, will she have the strength to protect her heart from a man who hasn't truly decided what he wants in life?
Mary Coneally brings her Cimarron Legacy trilogy to an exciting and satisfying conclusion in Too Far Down. Much like the second installment, this novel takes place just weeks after Long Time Gone, and the plots of all three novels are intricately intertwined. Readers should view The Cimarron Legacy as a three-part story, rather than a series of three individual novels. Having made the mistake of not re-reading No Way Up when Conneally released her second installment, I brushed up on the Boden family before starting this newest addition. I'm certainly glad I did. In re-reading the first two installments, I also decided that the first and last novels are superior to the middle one. Cole's struggle to find his identity and reconcile his two lives is compelling, Melanie's need to protect herself from Cole's indecision shows wisdom and strength, Chance and Veronica's mistake in making unfair demands on their grown children is (finally) addressed, the chance to see Sadie, Heath, Justin and Angie in their first weeks of marriage is enjoyable, and solving the mysteries surrounding the CR's enemies was sufficiently satisfying. As a resident of New Mexico these days, I particularly enjoyed this glimpse into American history.
I received a free copy from the publisher. No review, positive or otherwise, was required—all opinions are my own.