An Uncommon Protector by Shelley Shepard Gray

An Uncommon Protector by Shelley Shephard Gray (available now)

 

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 thoughts

 

Let me start with the most important information. I loved this book!! I’ve only read a couple books written by Shelley Shephard Gray but after reading An Uncommon Protector, I’m a fan.

 

The development of both Thomas Baker and Laurel Tracey in this book were spot on. The author manages to introduce the reader to a man who has lived a hard life and is currently in prison in such a way that they sympathize with him instead of disliking him. Thomas Baker has a past but he also is a man you can respect. While readers get a glimpse of Laurel’s bravery from the first chapter, as the story continues, the layers of her character are revealed.

 

The attraction between these two is evident from the first time they see each other and only builds throughout the book. But that’s not what the book is really about. Both Thomas and Laurel are struggling to stand on their own two feet, to find their places in life. But maybe standing beside each other is better than standing on their own.

 

 

 

Disclosure 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 Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

Her Baby’s Protector: Saved by the SEAL by Susan Sleeman

Her Baby’s Protector: Saved by the Lawman/Saved by the Seal by Margaret Daley and Susan Sleeman

 

About the book

Saved by the Lawman by Margaret Daley

As an unknown assailant attempts to kidnap family-court judge Kate Forster’s infant son, police officer Chase Walker thwarts the attack—and vows to keep the pair safe. But who will protect the ex-marine’s heart when the widowed mother and her little boy make him long for a permanent spot in their family?

Saved by the SEAL by Susan Sleeman

The tragedy that killed Bree Hatfield’s best friends—and left her with custody of their young daughter—has been ruled an accident. But Bree knows it was murder. Scared and alone, she turns to her ex-boyfriend, navy SEAL Clint Reed, who’ll risk everything to protect baby Ella and the woman he never stopped loving.

 

 

My thoughts

Know what I love better than a good story? TWO good stories, and Her Baby’s Protector delivers. This book contains two novellas by two romantic suspense authors who kept be involved and turning the pages. As if an adorable baby in each story wasn’t enough to keep my interest, there’s also the rugged men whose hearts are melted by the children as they’re falling for the mothers.

 

My favorite of the two stories was Saved by the SEAL by Susan Sleeman. From the harrowing first line, I was drawn into this story and the lineup of suspects kept me guessing who was behind the crimes until the end of the book. While Bree and Clint investigate the murder of Bree’s friends, they must navigate the emotional mines of their past and their current feelings for each other. With a story that defines suspense until the very last chapter, Sleeman delivers another winner.

 

 

Disclosure 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 Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

Shine Like the Dawn by Carrie Turansky

Shine Like the Dawn by Carrie Turansky (available everywhere February 21, 2017)

About the Book

Separated by an inconceivable tragedy, can faith and love reunite childhood friends and light the way to a bright future?

In a quiet corner of northern Edwardian England, Margaret Lounsbury diligently works in her grandmother’s millinery shop, making hats and caring for her young sister. Several years earlier, a terrible event reshaped their family, shattering an idyllic life and their future prospects. Maggie is resilient and will do what she must to protect her sister Violet. Still, the loss of her parents weighs heavily on her heart because she wonders if what happened that day on the lake…might not have been an accident.

When wealthy inventor and industrialist William Harcourt dies, his son and Maggie’s estranged childhood friend, Nathaniel returns from his time in the Royal Navy and inherits his father’s vast estate, Morningside Manor. He also assumes partial control of his father’s engineering company and the duty of repaying an old debt to the Lounsbury family. But years of separation between Nate and Maggie have taken a toll and Maggie struggles to trust her old friend.

Can Maggie let go of the resentment that keeps her from forgiving Nate—and reconciling with God? Will the search for the truth about her parents’ death draw the two friends closer or leave them both with broken hearts?

 

My thoughts

As I’ve mentioned (a few times), I love stories where childhood friends or sweethearts are brought back together later in life. The characters have grown as individuals when they come back together and, while they have some hurts or grievances to overcome, they also have those shared memories and experiences.

Shine Like the Dawn is the perfect example of this. Maggie is hurt four years after the death of her parents. The one person she believed would stand up for her hadn’t, so when he enters her life again, she’d rather avoid him. Nate’s memories of his friend Maggie are something that has helped him through difficult and dark times in his life. He has no clue why she’s so upset with him, especially since he’s offering her help.

Carrie Turanksy transported me to the English countryside and the lives of the residents of Heatherton village during the Edwardian age. She aptly portrays the unrest of the working man, the dangers and difficulties in the day-to-day lives of each of the classes, and the beauty of the gardens Maggie’s dad created at Nate’s home.

I started reading Shine Like the Dawn one evening in the middle of the week when my internet went down and the next day at work, I couldn’t stop thinking about what was going to happen with Maggie and Nate. The mystery of what really happened to Maggie’s family, the tension between Nate and Maggie, and the strange responses of Nate’s stepmother kept me intrigued until the end of the story.

 

 

Here’s a deal for you. Right now, if you pre-order Shine Like the Dawn, you can get one of Carrie’s other books for free!! Don’t miss this deal!!

 

About the Author

Bestselling Inspirational Romance Author Carrie Turansky writes heartwarming historical and contemporary novels and novellas. She has won the ACFW Carol Award, the Crystal Globe Award, and the International Digital Award; and has been a finalist for the Inspirational Reader’s Choice Award, Gayle Wilson Award, Maggie Award, and the ACFW Genesis Award. Readers say her stories are: “Heartwarming and inspiring! I couldn’t put it down! . . . Touching love story. It captured me from the first page! . . . Rich characters, beautifully written . . . my new favorite author.”

 

 

 

Disclosure 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 Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

When We Last Spoke by Marci Henna

When We Last Spoke by Marci Henna

 

 

About the book

“Humor, heartbreak, and triumph are served with whipped cream and lots of local nuts in this heartwarming tale of family, friendship, and forgiveness in Fireside, Texas.

Meet Juliet Cranbourne, local radio personality and owner of a whimsical kitchen gadget store, and her sister Evangeline, a fruit tree geneticist who works for Oregon State University.

When a rift due to their orphaned past affects their sisterhood, Juliet convinces Evangeline to come home for Christmas and choose headstones to honor grandparents Walt (a tenderhearted, good-looking rancher) and Ruby (a blue-ribbon fiddler, fabulous cook, and expert in the loving he).

As they cruise through Fireside in Ruby’s Thunderbird, Juliet hopes that healing memories will somehow smooth rough roads ahead.

Does the tremendous love that marked Walt and Ruby’s lives still have the power to renew their sisterhood and help them find their place in the world?”

 

 

My thoughts

The description is a little misleading (and I kept mixing up the title. I wanted to call it “When Last We Spoke”). Everything listed in the book description happens but the bulk of the book is a throwback to when Juliet and Evangeline are just girls, coming to terms with being left by their mother and father.

I expected a few more quirky town characters—there are really only two who get a good amount of mention, but they are both memorable in their own way. There was not a good development of the rift between the sisters. You know there is one because the adult Juliet talks about it.

But what the heart of this book is about—family—is handled with love and finesse. Sometimes our family is not the one we are born into, it is made of those people who step in and love us no matter what. As Juliet and Evangeline fight, make bad choices or disrespect their elders, they are disciplined. But Walt and Ruby love them through everything.

I did struggle a little getting into this book but about a third of the way through, my interested in these two girls’ lives picked up. Even when the book switches back to present-day and adult Juliet and Evangeline, I wanted them to find happiness during a difficult time.

 

This story is currently in development for a film. I can definitely see some of those scenes on the big screen. You can check out the trailer

 

 

 

About the author

 

Marci Henna was born in Austin, Texas and lived as a child in Kenya, East Africa with the Wakamba tribe where her parents managed a medical research station. She later moved to the Hill Country ranch which has been in the family since the 1800’s and currently lives in Austin.

 

 

Connect with her

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FiresideTexas.com

 

 

Disclosure statement:
I receive complimentary books for review from publishers, publicists, and/or authors, including Propeller/FlyBy. 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 Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.