Thursday, February 9, 2017

"An Uncommon Protector"

Book Description from the publisher:
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.

My Review:
Shelley Shepard Gray has written another amazing historical romance as the setting really came alive as did the characters.  Laurel and Thomas both need something, and really someone to help them and they find that help in each other.  Laurel is trying to run the family ranch by herself as she is the only one left to do so, but it is too much for her to handle alone.  Thomas needs money but more than that he needs and wants his freedom, and he is determined to fulfill his end of the deal in exchange for his freedom.  As the two strive to protect and run the ranch it is not as smooth as it should be and they realize they have a fight on their hands, but also feelings are growing that they are torn between fighting or accepting. 
This is such a sweet story that is rich with historical detail and vivid imagery that transported me back in time to time when the country was trying to recover from a devastating war and yet it is also a time of growth and hope.  Laurel and Thomas were both so easy to empathize with and love; they are excellent main characters. 
I highly recommend this book to historical fiction fans!

*Thanks to the BookLook Bloggers Program for the complimentary copy of this book.* 

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