04 July 2024

toward the dawn | book review + giveaway

justread publicity tours

about the book

Despite trials that threaten their path forward, hope dawns for a future filled with love.

Kat Wadsworth and Sebastian Jones never imagined their lives would entwine so closely. Forced to flee on a wagon train from a vengeful uncle and an unknown gunman, they live in a hidden canyon with the family that rescued them. But as the days turn into months, they each have separate reasons for wanting to move back to society, and the best way to the independence they desperately crave might be through a marriage of convenience.

However, settling into their homestead in Cheyenne, Wyoming, reveals a different reality for Kat. Her new husband becomes consumed by his inventions, leaving her feeling lonely and isolated. And just when they think they've left the danger behind, a mysterious attacker lurks in the shadows, threatening the new life they've built. Together, they must confront the perils from their pasts to forge a future with hope and the prospect of love.

publisher: bethany house publishers
release date: june 18, 2024

other books in the series


all the drama of chasing the horizon continues in toward the dawn!

in this second book of a western light series, kat and sebastian become the focus. while they were introduced in the first book, they held a lot back on the wagon-train crossing. now, their histories and secrets come out, and as danger follows them (seb was shot and kat escaped an asylum, after all), they must figure out how best to move forward together.

toward the dawn is a solid historical romance from mary connealy. at first, i thought the relationship between kat and seb felt a little too easy-breezy, and i worried their romance wouldn't be all that interesting. they met in the prior book, spent time together over the winter (between the two books), and quickly agreed to marry. kat and seb are easy characters to root for, of course, so i wanted them to be happy—but i was quite glad when they had some relationship dynamics to work out (amidst the more life-threatening issues).

connealy blends their romance and danger with interesting bits of history and faith for a good historical read. i did reach the end, however, and wish it had been a little more fun, like some of her older books. everything in toward the dawn just feels so serious for these characters, and i wanted a little humor. still, for the right historical reader, this is sure to be a good book. 

(but beware: this book sets up the next book in the series with plenty of intrigue—now, i have to know how it will all turn out!)

i received a complimentary copy from the publisher. i was not required to write a positive review, and all the opinions i have expressed are my own.

about the author

Mary Connealy writes "romantic comedies with cowboys" and is celebrated for her fun, zany, action-packed style. She has sold more than 1.5 million books and is the author of the popular series Wyoming Sunrise and The Lumber Baron's Daughters and many other books. Mary lives on a ranch in eastern Nebraska with her very own romantic cowboy hero.

Connect with Mary by visiting MaryConnealy.com to follow her on social media or subscribe to email newsletter updates.


(1) winner will receive a print copy of Toward the Dawn and a $20 Amazon gift card!

Be sure to check out each stop on the tour for more chances to win. Full tour schedule linked below. Giveaway began at midnight July 3, 2024 and lasts through 11:59 PM EST on July 10, 2024. Winner will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or risk forfeiture of prize. US only. Void where prohibited by law or logistics.

Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.

tour schedule


  1. ahhh i know - i can't wait to see how it all turns out!

  2. I can't wait to give this a read! Thanks so much for sharing it.

  3. Mary Connealy's books always keep my attention. Looking to reading this.

  4. This sounds like a great book lovely cover!