Thursday, February 23, 2017

An Uncommon Protector by Shelley Shepard Gray

Book review of An Uncommon Protector by Shelley Shepard Gray (Zondervan) by papertapepins

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.

After reading the Chicago World's Fair Series by Ms Gray I was looking forward to reading this book. I didn't realize I skipped the first book in the series, but that didn't make much difference, this one certainly stands alone. The plot is interesting, and the characters are fine, but this one did not seem up to par with that last series. Not that I expected it to be the same but it almost felt like another author altogether. It was somewhat awkward in the writing, and sometimes outright ridiculous - they are infatuated with each other right off the bat and fall in love super quick, for one. 

I can't say that I didn't enjoy reading this, but it certainly didn't live up to my expectations. She's way too trusting and some things happen far too quickly. The secondary story of the villian's henchman just sort of takes up space, and we find out who the antagonist is, again, very quickly. One more thing is that the lady on the cover is so far from the description in the book. Somewhat enjoyable because of the plot but not my favourite by this author, that's for sure.

I received this book from Zondervan, however my opinion is my own.

Author Bio

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,, on Facebook: ShelleyShepardGray, and on Twitter @ShelleySGray.

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