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An Uncommon Protector ~ Review

An Uncommon Protector
A Lone Star Hero's Love Story #2
By Shelley Shepard Gray

Laurel Tracey has inherited her family's ranch and she is carrying the burden alone. But several 100 acres would be daunting to manage even if she were a man with no other problems. But she's dealing with squatters, 2 useless, opinionated step-siblings, unwanted marriage proposals, purchase offers, and normal day-to-day upkeep. All Laurel wants to do is run her family's ranch, carrying on the dream she shared with her late parents and brother.

When the opportunity to acquire the services of a convict for one year presents itself Laurel is desperate enough to do so. But is this truly the wisest choice - after all the man was in jail? This decision is about to make her the fodder of the newest Sweetwater gossip, but Laurel needs the help if she hopes to keep her ranch and make it in any way profitable.

But just who is Sergeant Thomas Baker?

Thomas has once again made a decision that has cost him. He never claimed to be a good man, just a man who tried to do the right thing when it mattered. And gambling wasn't one of his finest moments and the debts he accrued landed him in jail. When presented with an opportunity to work off the rest of his sentence by working for one year, Thomas accepts. But the job that he agreed to is about to because much harder when someone starts targeting Laurel's cattle. Can Thomas keep the woman needs him safe? Or will they both become the next targets of whoever wants Laurel gone?

If it becomes more than he can handle on his own will Thomas reach out to the men who were there for him during his imprisonment on Johnson's Island? And if he does will they keep the promise they made to one another? And will they get to Thomas's side in time to save Laurel and her ranch?

This book flashes back to 1865 and Thomas's time on Johnson's Island in Ohio as a Confederate prisoner of war. The present story is set in 1867 Texas and surprising covers just a few days time. (I personally thought the romance moved a little too quick.) There is a whole lot of story packed in between these covers. Fans of post-Civil War historical romance fiction will enjoy this book.

This is the second book in A Lone Star Hero's Love Story series and I have not read the first book. But that didn't keep me from easily following this book from the opening page. I'm interested in reading about the others that Thomas served with.

I was provided a copy of this book by the publisher through the Fiction Guild with no expectation of a positive review. All expressed opinions are my own.

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.