An Uncommon Protector by Shelley Shepard GrayAn Uncommon Protector by Shelley Shepard Gray

An Uncommon Protector

byShelley Shepard Gray

Paperback | February 7, 2017

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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.

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.  ...
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Title:An Uncommon ProtectorFormat:PaperbackDimensions:320 pages, 8.4 × 5.5 × 0.88 inPublished:February 7, 2017Publisher:ZondervanLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0310345421

ISBN - 13:9780310345428

Reviews

Rated 5 out of 5 by from An engrossing tale of honor When Laurel Tracey inherits her father's ranch, she also inherits her step sister and step brother. Having lost their own inheritance, they now set their sites on Laurel's. Instead of helping her, they are leeches and are pushing her to sell. But Lauren is determined to hold on to her legacy. Even worse, squatters have set up their shacks, threatening to claim the land for themselves. She soon learns that she can acquire a convict to work on her land for one year. Although wary, she knows this is her only choice to run her ranch profitably. The convict she chooses Sergeant Thomas Baker. Thomas had a rough life, but had a penchant for doing the right thing. One mistake, a gambling debt, landed him in jail. When he learned he could work off his jail sentence by helping Laurel, he jumped at the chance. Soon after he takes on his duties, Laurel's cattle begins to mysteriously turn up dead - a definite threat. He calls on the aid of a group of long lost military friends who come from various distances to aid him in helping save Laurel's ranch. I loved this story because of the strong upstanding hero and the good men who are loyal to him. Laurel is a strong, determined heroine who did not hesitate to take a risk to save her legacy. An excellent romance that is not to sweet, but inspirational and filled with real creative characters! This book kept me reading at a furious pace. A true secret pleasure.
Date published: 2017-04-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Superb action and adventure with sublime romance Three words have the power to send me racing to my nearest bookstore or online vendor. Shelley. Shepard. Gray. There is something so special about her stories and I just can't resist living through every emotionally charged moment right along with her characters. I inhaled An Uncommon Protector. Couldn't get through it fast enough and now I feel mighty disgruntled because it's all over until the next book in A Lone Star Hero's Love Story series releases. I love the background for this series -- a self-made band of brothers who survive being prisoners of war together vow to continue to support one another even after the war is over. As the men settle in various parts of Texas they each come upon a time when they need to call on that brotherhood.. Thomas Baker has run into some complications on that front. His smart mouth and quick temper have the potential to trip him up and he finds himself in a sorry mess. Until Laurel Tracey breezes into his life and tilts his world upside down. She has need of a protector. He needs a get-out-of-jail-free card. The perfect partnership. The romance is achingly tender and and oh so tenuous. Honestly, I was swoony through most of their story. Thomas and Laurel have so much potential -- they just have to find the courage to acknowledge that. But they are so good together and Thomas is a hero to crush on. Be still my heart. There are some truly delicious romantical scenes. And then there are the villains. Devious. Sneaky. Relentless. When the danger escalates, Thomas knows he needs to bring in help. Cue every rousing Western movie/TV series theme song as the brotherhood rides in. I actually squealed my way through this part I was so excited. Superb action and adventure paired with sublime romance and a whole lot of heart for God. Sweet perfection to the very end.
Date published: 2017-03-21
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Second book in series! An Uncommon Protector by Shelley Shephard Gray is the second book in A Lone Star Hero’s Love Story. It is July 1867 in Sweetwater, Texas. Laurel Tracey has a hard time running the Red Roan Ranch. Laurel has seen squatters on her land, and she needs someone who is strong and forceful (and a little scary) to assist her with the running of the ranch. Laurel gets an idea when she overhears the prisoners, who have been working on her ranch, talking about when one of them is eligible for release. A convict can get early release at a type of sale. A person can “buy” the prisoner for one year. They are provided lodging and food while they work the next year to pay off their debt. Laurel decides that Thomas Baker (a former Sergeant) would be the perfect person to assist her. Thomas is glad for the chance to get out of jail especially after the whipping he received from guard, Foster Howell. Laurel purchases Baker despite opposition. Laurel’s stepsiblings object to Baker’s presence at the house (the moochers), and they are backed by neighbor, Landon Marshall. Laurel refuses to back down and her stepsiblings immediately depart (for which Laurel is very grateful). Baker’s presence proves valuable when a dead calf is left on Laurel’s doorstep. Someone poisoned the poor animal. This is just the beginning of troubles for Laurel. Someone is trying to drive her out, and they will do whatever it takes to achieve their goal. Baker is not going to let someone drive Laurel off her land. He telegrams his old unit for assistance in fighting these bandits. But who is behind these attacks? As time passes, Laurel sees the good man behind the rough exterior and starts to fall for him. Baker admires Laurel and cannot help falling her for her. But he does not feel worthy of such a lady. To find out what happens, you will need to read An Uncommon Protector. An Uncommon Protector is the second book in the series, but it can be read alone. The author does provide updates on the characters from The Loyal Heart (first book in series). I found An Uncommon Protector to be well-written and it has good characters. It has a nice, light Christian theme (it was just right). I did find that the romance was predictable (you knew they would end up together in the end). I give An Uncommon Protector 3 out of 5 stars. I could identify the party behind the attacks very early in the book (it was very obvious). The take down of the bad guys was a little rushed and a bit of a letdown. The pace of the book is a little slow especially during the “thinking” sections. There are many areas of the book where the two main characters are thinking (mostly about each other). I did not enjoy the flashbacks into Baker’s time in the POW camp during the Civil War. These sections provide insight into Thomas Baker’s character, but there were too many of them. I felt they took away from the book (the reader just gets into the story and then we go back in time). Please be aware that there is violence against animals that is very disturbing (and upsetting). I am not the right audience for An Uncommon Protector. I do, though, look forward to reading other novels from Shelley Shepard Gray in the future (I love her Amish novels).
Date published: 2017-02-14

Editorial Reviews

'This inspiring story about realizing one's own worth in the Lord should be recommended to fans of Deanne Gist.'