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An Uncommon Protector [PDF] ✪ An Uncommon Protector By Shelley Shepard Gray – 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 agre 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 postThe years following the An Uncommon PDF or 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 canWhen 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 debtFormer 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 tenderhearted, yet strong—he’s determined to remain detached, work hard on her behalf, and count the days until he’s free againBut when cattle start dying and the squatters damage a barn, Thomas realizes 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 than just a former soldier He’s a trustworthy hero who’s survived a terrible past He needs than just his freedom, he needs her love and care too.

10 thoughts on “An Uncommon Protector

  1. Sarah Grace Grzy Sarah Grace Grzy says:

    **As always, I hesitate to write one star reviews, but as numerous people asked me to, I will. Please note that these are all my own personal thoughts and opinions. Take them with a grain of salt. **

    Let's write a book with unrealistic characters who talk like they are from the twenty-first century and call it historical fiction. Let's write a book in which the main characters spend their days lusting after each other and send up a few prayers along the way, and call it Christian romance.

    Just . . . no.

    I grabbed this at a used bookstore because it was cheap, and by the synopsis, it sounded interesting. But from page one it was already heading downhill. I have to say, I have never read a book labeled Christian that disappointed me more, especially since it is published by Zondervan, a Christian publisher I think very highly of.

    I think story-wise, this book had a lot of potential. But it was how it was written that derailed it. Right away, I was disappointed in the modern-sounding dialogue and unrealistic situations the characters found themselves in. Add to that the fact that our MCs are literally lusting over each from page one, and it was destined to fail in my eyes.

    Because hey, the man is goodlooking! Marry him! Because good looks are everything, right? Wrong! It's undeniable that the first thing you notice about a person is their physical appearance. And we're all human. It's perfectly natural to think someone is good looking. But when it reaches the point of being unable to function normally because you are so affected by the mere presence of this good-looking guy or girl? We've got a problem. And then our MCs start thinking incredibly inappropriate thoughts about each other . . . (view spoiler)[such as thinking about the other character going through the bathing process . . . Eww. (hide spoiler)]

  2. Deanne Patterson Deanne Patterson says:

    An Uncommon Protector (Lone Star Hero, #2)

    I knew I enjoyed reading Shelley Shepard Gray's books but this one just blew me away. This is the best one I've read to date! Rich in historical detail and vivid descriptions you will feel as if you are there with Laurel Tracey and Sergeant Thomas Baker. Laurel has the hardship of trying to run a 100 acre ranch on her own. Knowing she is unable to do it she buys a prisoner for a years time to work her land and protect her from squatters on her land. Thomas Baker is what some would call a hard man, unflinching,uncaring. After all he has been through who could blame him. When he was just a child there was an Indian raid on his home. His father told him to go in the crawl space under his house and not come out no matter what he heard and he heard plenty. He heard the killing of his brother,mother and father. It turned him bitter. Having no one to care for him he wanders about until he is old enough to join up and fight. Taking risks no one else will because he has no one to care about him he advances fast and moves up the ranks. He lands in jail when he can't pay off a debt.
    On Laurel's ranch he swears to work it and protect her. There is danger around every corner there and it has Laurel scared. She is respectful and kind to him and he feels undeserving of it. He may be a hard man and have seen bloodshed in the war but he would never let any harm come to Laurel,he would lay down his life to protect her. Historical romance at it's best with a hint of danger in the suspense.
    The title is so perfect for this book, An Uncommon Protector, that is exactly what Thomas Baker is. He goes above and beyond.
    I hope this book is next on your to buy list as it's simply a do not miss book!
    Excellent,excellent book. I look forward to reading many more books by Shelley Shepard Gray.
    I highly recommend this to fans of Historical Romantic fiction.
    Pub Date 07 Feb 2017
    Thank you to NetGalley and Zondervan Fiction for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

  3. Marlene Marlene says:

    It seems like I don’t give many solid five-star ratings. This is largely because I don’t round my ratings up. I always round down, because I know I tend to be more generous than many other reviewers - and because I want to be able to see at a glance on Goodreads which books I have actually given five stars to! So I’m impressed that I’ve given both this book and the first in the series five stars. Good job, Shelley Shepard Gray!

    An Uncommon Protector (Zondervan, 2017), second in the Lone Star Hero series by Shelley Shepard Gray, is a Christian historical romantic suspense set in Texas in 1867 with occasional flashbacks to 1865 Johnson’s Island in Ohio. The novel is a standalone story, but I’d still recommend starting with book #1, A Loyal Heart . I chose An Uncommon Protector from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review, because I enjoyed the first book so much.

    Rating: 5 stars

    The hero: Sergeant Thomas Baker, is one of a close knit group of officers who were imprisoned together at a Confederate Officers POW Camp. These men were first introduced in A Loyal Heart: the highly respected Captain Monroe, Major Ethan Kelly, Lieutenant Robert Truax, and Lieutenant Phillip Markham. They were “some of the finest men he’d ever met.”

    They take their friendship with each other very seriously, keeping in touch with a strong commitment to be there for one another. While in the POW camp, Thomas tended to chafe against the Union guards. His “mouth always had gotten him into trouble,” ever since his family died. As a child, his father ordered him to hide during a Comanche attack, and Thomas’s family was wiped out. “Never again would he follow instructions he didn’t agree with.” Then as he grew up, he’d “constantly had to fight and scrape to survive.” However, Thomas “sure wasn’t the type to sit around and feel sorry for himself.”

    The heroine: Laurel Tracey is an orphan. Her father and brother died in the war, and her mother succumbed to influenza a few years later. Red Roan Ranch is now Laurel’s, and she is alone in the world except for two mooching step-siblings. She “was attempting to run what was left of a pitiful cattle operation with barely twenty head, little money for alfalfa for them to graze on, and far too many squatters in the area. She was exhausted and beginning to think she was never going to be able to keep the ranch going.” Laurel is in serious need of help. “She liked her ranch. She wanted to keep it, wanted to live there.”

    Laurel and Thomas cross paths when he is one of a group of prisoners “serving short jail terms for minor infractions,” assigned to fix her fence as a charitable deed. “There was something about the man that had caught her regard and held on tight.” In a brief conversation, she learns that that he is eligible for release the following day if someone hires him as an indentured servant for a year. And that’s just what she does, figuring it’s a good investment of her limited funds.

    Christian elements: I’ve listed just a few quotes. Faith is strong in the story but not flaunted. I didn’t see anything that concerned me.

    *Laurel: “Let’s believe him… It’s the Christian thing to do.”

    *Thomas: ”I am hard. But because of that, I’ve learned to reach out to our Lord. I’m a man who needs all the help he can get.”

    *Of Thomas: “He’d learned along time ago to stop feeling guilty about the past and concentrate on looking forward. That was his chief survival skill.”

    What I liked:

    *I like that Thomas is a flawed character, but the reader sees his heart and sees him grow, and it is so easy to root for him. Laurel is a lovely character inside and out and is very brave, but she is also vulnerable. I always enjoy a hero and heroine who so obviously fit each other so well. Also, they’re definitely drawn to each other, but the romance is not rushed, which makes sense for their positions as employer and indentured servant.

    *I enjoyed the following exchange, which simultaneously acknowledges that Thomas’s presence is outside of societal norms and provides a justification for it. And the comeuppance of an obnoxious character is fun, too.

    Laurel’s step-brother: “You being here is already ruining her reputation.”
    Thomas: “It very well might be. But she will be safe with me.”

    What I didn’t like: I could only find two very minor issues. An odd use of the word rectify (in my opinion) and a discrepancy about Thomas’s age. Thomas was 22 in 1865, he is still 22 in 1867, and it’s mentioned again later that he’s 22 in 1867. Oops! Perhaps that has been fixed, as I read an eARC. Not enough to bring this book down from five stars, though.

    If Shelley Shepard Gray writes any more books in this series, they will be auto-reads for me. (I am really hoping there will be a novel for each of the military friends.) As the rest of the author’s books under this pseudonym appear to be Amish stories (which I avoid), I plan to dip my toes into her Westerns under the pseudonym Shelley Gray. So I’ve put her Chicago World’s Fair Mystery series on my to-read list.

    I highly recommend this book to any fan of Christian historical romantic suspense. As I said earlier, the faith elements are not flaunted. They are so integrated into the characters that I think this book would also appeal to non-Christians.

  4. Staci Staci says:

    Shelley Shepard Gray knows how to weave a solid post Civil War love story.

    In An Uncommon Protector, Laurel is trying to save her ranch. Her parents and brother are deceased and she is determined to turn the ranch into a thriving one. Thomas is a former soldier serving time in prison for a gambling debt. On the surface, they seem an unlikely pair.

    While the romance was good, my favorite parts of the novel were the flashbacks to the POW camp and the bond of brotherhood among the soldiers detained there. As with A Loyal Heart, the main character is noble and admirable.

    While I enjoyed A Loyal Heart just a bit more, An Uncommon Protector was a good novel and I look forward to the next in the series.

  5. Beth Erin Beth Erin says:

    Full review on Faithfully Bookish

    Y’all, this series has something very special… man love. That’s right, I mean good old fashioned, band of brothers, solemn vow loyalty! Toss in a Texas damsel in distress, a dash of mystery, a splash of danger, and a healthy dose of romance and that, my friends, is a recipe for one delicious read!

    Laurel Tracey is just another rancher’s daughter-next-door until readers consider her resilience, determination, and tenacious work ethic. Thomas Baker is no stranger to hardship and that just seems like a huge understatement. His fierce drive to protect Laurel extends beyond repaying a debt, Thomas is determined to defend her honor, her livelihood, and her home.

    Readers become acquainted with the heroes of this series through flashbacks to their time in the POW camp and each reunion after the war’s end is both challenging and heartwarming. I can’t wait to see which officer will find love next!

    I requested the opportunity to read and review this title through BookLook Bloggers and NetGalley. The opinions expressed are my own.

  6. Lisa (Bookworm Lisa) Lisa (Bookworm Lisa) says:

    This book is a second in a series, but can be read as a stand alone. I have not read the first, and completely enjoyed and understood this one. Now that I know some of the backstory and characters, I really want to read the first book.

    This book takes place in Texas after the Civil War. Many women are widows and fatherless, Laurel falls into this category. She is trying to keep her family ranch up and running while finding a lot of opposition. Her step-siblings are leeches and want her to sell so they can have fund, there are other ranchers trying to get hold of the property. She is a strong and determined young lady who sees an opportunity to hire and ex-convict to help her run off the unsavory characters around her.

    Fortunately for her, the ex-convict is a man of integrity. He hasn't lived a perfect life and has emotional as well as physical scars. From the moment they meet, there is a spark that neither is willing to act upon. Both care more about the other than they do themselves.

    This book has some violence, and kissing.

    Source: I received a review copy from Negalley. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.

  7. Beth Beth says:

    Chivalry and loyalty are two words that describe this series and the characters perfectly. Thomas Baker, while a bit rough around the edges, is loyal to the core, and when his new boss Laurel Tracey needs his help, he freely gives it. Moreover, he realizes they will need more help than just the two of them can give, so he calls upon his friends - also former soldiers, who are willing to help at almost a moments notice.

    Laurel, though still a woman of her time, is determined to keep her ranch and her family legacy intact. Others seek to use the fact that she is a woman alone to their advantage. Though she finds it uncomfortable to go against what society dictates, she is willing to do it for her ranch and for her very life.

    An Uncommon Protector is a good story. Not great for me, but good. The plot is engaging, and the characters are the best part, in my opinion. The romance is where things fell a bit flat. It moves way too fast for my preference in a story and lacks any build-up whatsoever. Other readers may not mind this as much, but it's usually a sticking point with me. I also like more historical details in a story, and this one is very light in that regard.

    Still, it's a sweet romance, and while they weren't my new favorite couple, I did still like Laurel and Thomas together. I do want to read book three at some point, to finally get a story that focuses on Major Kelly because he's still my favorite out of the four friends.

    Thank you to the publisher for a complimentary copy of this novel. I chose to read and review it, and the opinions expressed here are my own.

  8. Heidi Robbins (Heidi Reads...) Heidi Robbins (Heidi Reads...) says:

    I really enjoyed Thomas and Laurel's perspective in this book. There are some flashbacks to times when Thomas was in the POW camp with the other officers that became his brothers, which I appreciated as it solidified their bond and provided insight into Thomas' past and how he has changed over time. He's pretty matter of fact about the trials of his life and how they served him well by preparing him for the war. I was impressed by the way he turned to faith for a source of comfort in his turbulent life. Laurel is so sweet and a bit naive, but she also has grit and determination. I enjoyed reading as the two of them fight to save her ranch from the vandals. The villain was predictable and two-dimensional, and the climax with the take down was rather anti-climactic. The development of the story focused more on the relationship and chemistry between Thomas and Laurel, and I was just fine with that ;)

    (I received a complimentary copy of the book; all opinions in this review are my own)

  9. Pamela Pamela says:

    This is the second book in a series, but it can be read as a stand alone (insert wildly appreciative applause) I have an immense dislike for books that forced you to buy the next in a series to just find out what happens, readers should want to buy the next in a series, not have to. That said, I plan on buying the first one because I really enjoyed this one!

    Set just after the Civil War in Fort Worth, Texas this is a well written story of love, loss, vulnerably, loyalty, the human spirit and faith with just the right amount of historical detail to transport you back in time. The wonderful chemistry between the characters mixed with a bit of mystery and suspense keeps you turning to the next page and makes this a don't miss read.

  10. Dana Michael Dana Michael says:

    An Uncommon Protector is the second book in A Lone Star Hero Series. I absolutely loved it. The uncommon protector was a civil war veteran named Thomas who was plucked from jail to help save Laurel Tracey's ranch. This book includes a band of brothers who swore a promise to each other in a prisoner of war camp to come to each other's aid should the need arise. The hero was a tough guy who was so tender and protective of Laurel. She was a sweet but determined heroine who trusted a convict and prisoner of war to help her save her ranch and keep her safe. This was a very good book and I never got bored and I looked forward to each new page I turned.
    I am committed to this series and I cannot wait for the next one to be published.
    *I was given a copy of this book from Thomas Nelson Publishers and was under no obligation to leave a review.

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