The past couple of months have been a bit busy, and I’m afraid I have become a little behind in my book reviews! (ok, a *lot* behind!) I have a bunch of the books read, but haven’t written up my reviews, or posted them to my blog. With that being said, be prepared; many book reviews coming to you over the next couple of weeks. Shall we get started?
An Uncommon Protector – Summary:
Overwhelmed by the responsibilities of running a ranch on her own, Laurel Tracey decides to hire a convict—a man who’s just scary enough to take care of squatters and just desperate enough to agree to a one year post.
The years following the war have been hard on Laurel Tracey. Both her brother and her father died in battle, and her mother passed away shortly after receiving word of their demise. Laurel has been trying to run her two hundred acre ranch as best she can.
When she discovers that squatters have settled in her north pasture and have no intention of leaving, Laurel decides to use the last of her money to free a prisoner from the local jail. If she agrees to offer him room and board for one year, he will have to work for her to pay off his debt.
Former soldier Thomas Baker knows he’s in trouble when he finds himself jailed because he couldn’t pay a few fines. Laurel’s offer might be his only ticket out. Though she’s everything he ever dreamed of in a woman—sweet and tender-hearted, yet strong—he’s determined to remain detached, work hard on her behalf, and count the days until he’s free again.
But when cattle start dying and Laurel’s life is threatened, Thomas realizes more than just his freedom is on the line. Laurel needs someone to believe in her and protect her property. And it isn’t long before Laurel realizes that Thomas Baker is far more than just a former soldier. He’s a trustworthy hero, and he needs more than just his freedom—he needs her love and care too.
While I didn’t care for this second installment in the series as much as the first, I still enjoyed it. It was nice to revisit some of the characters from the first book, while digging deeper into the lives of these Civil War POW survivors and what makes them tick as men. I like how we are seeing different men highlighted in each book, and while it is definitely a series, each book stands alone, with no cliffhangers. I love that! Of course it is best to read them in order if you can, but it is not a necessity.
I enjoy the way that Shelley Shepard Gray writes her characters – they feel real, they feel human. You could picture yourself getting to know them, and sitting down to have a chat. Sometimes it is hard to connect with characters in a book, but not in this series … at least not for me.
See you soon,
Sincere thanks to Thomas Nelson Publishers and the TNZ Fiction Guild for providing me with a complimentary copy to read and review. Opinions and thoughts are 100% my own, and are in no way influenced by the author or publisher.