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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.'
'This inspiring story about realizing ones own worth in the Lord should be recommended to fans of Deanne Gist.'
Joyfuliz3 Stars Out Of 5Not as good as her othersJanuary 5, 2018JoyfulizQuality: 0Value: 0Meets Expectations: 0Not as good as her other books. I chose this book because I've enjoyed her Chicago Fair series. This one let me down. Good idea for a story line. Character development fell short and was somewhat predictable. Would not recommend this. Sorry to say.
ShaiNorfolk, NEAge: 35-44Gender: female4 Stars Out Of 5Beautiful example of loyaltyDecember 2, 2017ShaiNorfolk, NEAge: 35-44Gender: femaleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5The Loyal Heart is book one in the Lone Star Hero's Love Story Series. It is a powerfully written story of love that extends beyond distance and time. Phillip Markham's concern for his wife, Miranda and the loyalty of friendship between Phillip and Robert Truax are portrayed in a way that draws the reader into the world. Shelley Shepard Gray always does a great job of incorporating suspense into her stories and The Loyal Heart definitely had intrigue. The Calvary men exemplify loyalty even when it means public humiliation. Ms. Gray does a great job of transporting us back in time and making her characters relatable as well as engaging. I highly recommend The Loyal Heart and cannot wait to read the second book, An Uncommon Protector.
Melissa4 Stars Out Of 5Something on every pageMay 22, 2017MelissaQuality: 4Value: 4Meets Expectations: 4What an intriguing story. The tension between the two characters is tight. There is an initial attraction that they both try to fight but you know they will give in eventually. The question is when and how will it happen?
This is the second book in this series but you will be able to read this as a stand-alone if you choose and not feel lost at all.
It was great to meet with Thomas and be reminded of characters from the previous book. I couldn't help but wonder whose story we would get to hear next.
I loved the romance, the post-war ear and the mystery surrounding this book. There is something on every page that will keep you turning until the end.
A copy of this book was given to me through Netgalley.com. All opinions are my own.
tickmenotKansas CityGender: female4 Stars Out Of 5Desperate Times Call for Desperate Actions?May 17, 2017tickmenotKansas CityGender: femaleQuality: 4Value: 4Meets Expectations: 4Laurel Tracey has survived the Civil War, but she has lost everything except her Texas ranch. Now someone seems to be trying to take that from her. With a situation like that going on what is a girl to do? Laurel decides to march into town and use the last of her meager funds to buy a prisoner to work for her for a year. That action gets the local tongues wagging in gossip about her. Laurel herself wonders how she could pick out a complete stranger, and sign a contract to have him live on her ranch with herall because he has an honest way about him. Has she made a huge mistake?
Her prisoner, Thomas Baker, is a large tough man who had been in jail for not paying debts. Laurel learns he served as a Sergeant in the Civil War, so decides Sergeant will be the name she calls him. Even though Sergeant has an intimidating size and manner, attacks at the ranch continue, and get so much bolder, that Thomas feels he must enlist more help to protect both Laurel and the ranch.
An Uncommon Protector is a story that is easy to grab the readers attention, especially since there is a bit of a mystery about who is behind the ranch attacks. Thomas, along with his Civil War friends, have very interesting backgrounds. I enjoyed them so much I would have liked to have seen the time with Sergeants friends extended instead of having them leave so quickly.
This is book two in A Lone Star Heros Love Story Series, but this story stands alone without the need to read the first book. The attraction between Laurel and Thomas starts right away, but is written in a clean way with nothing offensive. I recommend this 4-star book to anyone who enjoys romances, or are fans of historical fiction written from a Christian point of view.
Zondervan Publishing has provided bookreadingtic with a complimentary copy of An Uncommon Protector, for the purpose of review. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commissions 16 CFR, Part 255.
SavannaAge: 18-24Gender: female5 Stars Out Of 5Another great story in a great series!May 16, 2017SavannaAge: 18-24Gender: femaleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5This book delivered everything I hope for in historical fiction. Our wounded hero is admirable and likeable even though he's a bit rough around the edges and our heroine is strong and lovely and in need of a friend. The unlikely pair finds themselves thrown in the middle of a mystery and threatened by an unknown enemy. This Post-Civil War tale had me glued to the page.
I've really enjoyed this entire series. I've liked getting to know these ex-Confederate brothers-in-arms and the women they fall in love with. Thomas made friends for life with his fellow-prison mates following the war. Their bond and friendship really blesses the story with a sense of family and healing for these men who've suffered a great deal. Watching his friends come to his rescue was endearing and comforting. They're true friends and each of them added to the story.
I also enjoyed watching the attraction between Laurel and Thomas spark to life quickly. The dilemma of their circumstances made for a unique storytelling twist. I loved how their weaknesses and strengths complimented each other and how they were willing to sacrifice for love. Their story really has it all - charm, humor, adventure. I have no doubt my fellow historical fiction readers will love this book.
I received a free copy from the publisher. No review, positive or otherwise, was required - all opinions are my own.