An Uncommon Protector by Shelley Shephard Gray is a 320 page novel in the Christian Historical genre and is published by Zondervan publishing. You can purchase your copy by clicking here.
About the Book
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 Two Cents
This was a story that was easy to get into. I was hooked from the very beginning. This book has all the elements of a great story. A good hook; characters you love, characters you hate, characters that drive you crazy; intrigue; and romance. It was balanced, the characters had depth, and it was well written.
I enjoyed the realism the Gray provided. The men in a war prison was real and well written. I will warn that some might find the verbiage edgy for Christian fiction.
The theme of friendship is strong and heart-warming. Laurel was a strong main character who was a hard worker and not afraid to stand up when she needed too. Thomas was also a strong character and I enjoyed how Gray showed how people can have a positive influence on ones life.
I give An Uncommon Protector 4 out of 5 stars. If you enjoy historical fiction, you will love this book. It is one not to miss!
About the Author
Shelley Shepard Gray lives in southern Ohio and writes full time. A busy wife and mother of two, she spends her days writing and keeping track of her two teenagers. Her two dogs keep her company when she writes in her basement.
Shelley enjoys writing about the Amish and visits Amish communities in Adams and Holmes counties several times a year. When not spending time with her family or writing, she serves on several committees in her church.
She also bakes a lot, loves coconut cream pie, and will hardly ever pull weeds, mow the yard, or drive in the snow.
Shelley also spends a lot of time on line! Please visit her website, http://www.shelleyshepardgray.com to find out her latest news…or become her friend on FaceBook.