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The first novel in the Lone Star Hero's Love Story Series....Post Civil War, Laurel Tracey had lost her family and was left with a two hundred acre ranch to run on her own. Thomas Baker was a former soldier who was unable to pay off a few of his fines, and ended up in jail because of it. Since she needed help on the ranch, she paid off his debt, got him released and hired him for one year to work her ranch. When Laurel’s life is threatened, her trustworthy hired hand turns out to be just the hero she needs.
Number of Pages: 320
Publication Date: 2017
|Dimensions: 8.4 X 5.5 (inches)|
Series: Lone Star Hero's Love Story
Overwhelmed by the responsibilities of running a ranch on her own, Laurel Tracey decides to hire a convicta man whos 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 hes in trouble when he finds himself jailed because he couldnt pay a few fines. Laurels offer might be his only ticket out. Though shes everything he ever dreamed of in a womansweet and tender-hearted, yet stronghes determined to remain detached, work hard on her behalf, and count the days until hes free again.
But when cattle start dying and Laurels 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 isnt long before Laurel realizes that Thomas Baker is far more than just a former soldier. Hes a trustworthy hero, and he needs more than just his freedomhe needs her love and care too.
Shelley Shepard Gray is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, a finalist for the American Christian Fiction Writers prestigious Carol Award, and a two-time HOLT Medallion winner. She lives in southern Ohio, where she writes full-time, bakes too much, and can often be found walking her dachshunds on her town's bike trail. Find Shelley on her website, www.shelleyshepardgray.com, on Facebook: ShelleyShepardGray, and on Twitter @ShelleySGray.
'A sweet historical romance with charming, caring characters with an interesting story. The female lead, Laurel, is a breath of fresh air. She isn't the typical woman of the 1860s; she is gutsy and tough. The storyline is fast-paced and believable with memorable scenes. Gray brings the past alive with her novels. This one is a keeper.'
lcjohnson1988IndianaAge: 45-54Gender: female5 Stars Out Of 5another enjoyable tale!February 21, 2017lcjohnson1988IndianaAge: 45-54Gender: femaleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5Thomas Baker has really done it this time. He was caught in a poker game with men much more experienced than himself. As a result, he owed them a lot of money that he didnt have; therefore, he was put in jail. He now faces more jail time unless someone is willing to buy him for one year to work as an employee. He has no hope for that, but understands he got himself in this situation.
Laurel Tracey is a lone female trying to hold on to the family ranch after the deaths of her father and brother in the Civil War and her mothers death as well. She has two ungrateful stepsiblings who are living with her and taking her for every dime she has without doing any work around the ranch. She desperately needs some help or she will be forced to sell the ranch, which is just what her stepsiblings want. Her neighbor also wants her to sell and has offered to buy the ranch or he could marry her to help her out. Laurel is determined to keep her ranch and thus determines to hire an employee, who just happens to be a former prisoner. Thomas comes to work at the ranch and immediately he and Laurel sense an attraction to each other. That very day, however, trouble starts on the ranch. After a few days, Thomas realizes he is in over his head and calls for help from his former Confederate soldier comrades.
I really liked how Thomas leaned on the Lord throughout his whole life, even when he admittedly made some very poor choices. He still considered himself a Christian and didnt falter in his belief in God. I also liked the interaction between Laurel and Thomas. They always tried to do what was best for the other and also what was best in Gods eyes. Thomas definitely showed his protectiveness for Laurel as she was protective of him. They both were protective of the ranch and also recognized they were protected by the Lord. I cant wait for the third book in this wonderful series!
Luv2read1 Stars Out Of 5Another unfinished book...February 18, 2017Luv2readQuality: 0Value: 0Meets Expectations: 0It is so frustrating and discouraging to find God's name used in vain showing up more and more frequently in books by (formerly) favorite authors who used to be trustworthy regarding content. I was just starting to get involved in this story when, on page 36, the male lead character says "Lord almighty" not sincerely addressing the Lord, but just as an exclamation. After really feeling convicted about accepting this sort of misuse of the Lord's name in the books I read for entertainment, I have begun to immediately stop reading, and either toss them in the trash or return them to the library. I used to purchase books frequently as well as suggesting books for purchase by our library system- which often buys three or four copies. Now I rarely make purchases and don't request books for the library at all.
Enchanting RoseColoradoAge: 25-34Gender: Female4 Stars Out Of 5A very enjoyable readFebruary 18, 2017Enchanting RoseColoradoAge: 25-34Gender: FemaleQuality: 4Value: 4Meets Expectations: 4An Uncommon Protector is one of those books that is just plain and simple enjoyable. The author brings in just the right amount of romance, suspense, and humor to make it a book that the reader looks forward to picking up.
I thought Laurel was simply lovely both inside and out. Her kindness, generosity, and desire to work hard for her beloved ranch shines through and you can't help but appreciate her selfless character. The same could be said about Thomas. While he has lived on the streets and had a rough life he has a heart of gold. He is a man that is willing to go the extra mile to make sure those around him are protected and taken care of. Laurel and Thomas fit perfectly together and while the romance was a tad predictable it was still heartwarming and ever so sweet.
I must say the suspense lacked a little since I was able to identify the men behind the attacks early on in the book. Yes, there was a time or two that I wondered what would happen and who might possibly get caught in the cross hairs, but there definitely could have been a little more "umph" to the suspense.
As for the Christian aspect in the book I found it to be light. I enjoyed the fact that the characters gave thanks to God for all things even during times of difficulty and hardship.
An Uncommon Protector is the second book in the series and can easily be read alone. The author does bring in a few characters from the first book A Loyal Heart, but it's not difficult to follow along.
Like I said in the beginning, An Uncommon Protector is an enjoyable read- it's not too deep and it's not shallow. I am happily giving this book 4 stars.
** I was given a complimentary copy of this book from BookLook Bloggers. All thoughts are my own and no other compensation was received. **
Awesome Read3 Stars Out Of 53 1/2 stars, but Good bookFebruary 17, 2017Awesome ReadQuality: 5Value: 4Meets Expectations: 3This was a nice love story but could have been a lot better. It also dragged on, I must have skipped about 25 pages. ive read two of her books and both have the same thing in common; the author has a ton of dialect of back and forth talking constantly between her characters, which can be redundant and annoying. this was a great story but the "love story" part could have been a lot better, more intense and more passionate. However I did get the sense of reading a nice, comforting story.
SuzieNashville, TNAge: 35-44Gender: female5 Stars Out Of 5A Beautiful Love StoryFebruary 17, 2017SuzieNashville, TNAge: 35-44Gender: femaleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5Disclosure statement:
I receive complimentary books for review from publishers, publicists, and/or authors, including Netgalley. I am not required to write positive reviews. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commissions 16 CFR, Part 255.