Thursday, February 23, 2017

An Uncommon Protector by Shelley Shepard Gray

Book review of An Uncommon Protector by Shelley Shepard Gray (Zondervan) by papertapepins

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.

After reading the Chicago World's Fair Series by Ms Gray I was looking forward to reading this book. I didn't realize I skipped the first book in the series, but that didn't make much difference, this one certainly stands alone. The plot is interesting, and the characters are fine, but this one did not seem up to par with that last series. Not that I expected it to be the same but it almost felt like another author altogether. It was somewhat awkward in the writing, and sometimes outright ridiculous - they are infatuated with each other right off the bat and fall in love super quick, for one. 

I can't say that I didn't enjoy reading this, but it certainly didn't live up to my expectations. She's way too trusting and some things happen far too quickly. The secondary story of the villian's henchman just sort of takes up space, and we find out who the antagonist is, again, very quickly. One more thing is that the lady on the cover is so far from the description in the book. Somewhat enjoyable because of the plot but not my favourite by this author, that's for sure.

I received this book from Zondervan.

Author Bio

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.  Find Shelley on her website,, on Facebook: ShelleyShepardGray, and on Twitter @ShelleySGray.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

A Moonbow Night by Laura Frantz

Book review of A Moonbow Night by Laura Frantz (Revell) by papertapepins

Her wilderness survival skills are without rival. 
But her greatest talent is keeping other people's secrets.

After fleeing Virginia, Temperance Tucker and her family established an inn along the Shawnee River. It's a welcome way station for settlers and frontiersmen traveling through the wild Cumberland region of Kentucke--men like Sion Morgan, a Virginia surveyor who arrives at the inn with his crew, looking for an experienced guide. 

Though he balks when Tempe is appointed to lead his team through the wilderness, it isn't long before Sion must admit that her abilities may outmatch his own. But can the tenuous tie they are forming survive the dangers waiting just around the bend?

With her signature sweeping style and ability to bring the distant past to vivid life, Laura Frantz beckons you to join her in a land of Indian ambushes, conflicting loyalties, and a tentative love that meanders like a cool mountain stream.

I loved reading about this place and time, the mostly untamed wilderness of 1777 Kentucke. I loved the characters that Mz Frantz wrote about; Tempe Tucker, Sion Morgan, Nate, Aylee, Paige, Russell, all come to life beautifully. The part I like best truly, though, is the descriptions of the setting. The flora and fauna, the sights and smells, all bring this story vibrantly to life.

There are several historical people, such as Daniel Boone, and places mentioned in this historical fiction and that combined with the rich descriptions of setting really bring to life a time and place that I am not very familiar with. I love learning as I read a story! The one thing that bothered me somewhat was the high number of words that I am totally unfamiliar with and made me stop and look them up. Too many. A glossary would have helped, or just a little bit more help with what is that? while the story is told.

This book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. Available at your favourite bookseller from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group.


  1. Laura Frantz

    Laura Frantz

    Laura Frantz is a Christy Award finalist and the author of several books, including The Frontiersman's DaughterCourting Morrow LittleThe Colonel's LadyThe Mistress of Tall Acre, and The Ballantyne Legacy series. She lives and...
    Continue reading about Laura Frantz

Saturday, February 18, 2017

In The Shadow Of Denali by Tracie Peterson and Kimberley Woodhouse

Their Future Depends on Unlocking the Secrets the Mountain Holds From the Past

Cassidy Ivanoff and her father, John, work at the new and prestigious Curry Hotel near the foot of Mount McKinley--Denali as it's still called by the natives. John is the wilderness and exploration guide for the wealthy tourists while Cassidy works in the kitchen as Cook's assistant. The entire staff buzzes with excitement during the busy days preparing for the President's imminent visit. His historic trip to dedicate the new national park on his way to driving in the golden spike to officially complete the Alaska Railroad will be the beginning of a new era for all of them and place The Curry at the heart of Alaska. 

Allan Brennan travels to the Curry Hotel to be an apprentice to the seasoned Alaska mountain guide, with hopes of discovering the truth about his father's death on the mountain years earlier. His father's business partner blames the guide for Henry Brennan's untimely death, but Allan cannot be at peace until he knows for sure. He finds an unlikely ally in Cassidy, and as the two begin to look into the mystery, they suddenly find that things are much less clear, and much more dangerous, than either could ever imagine.

I find I am drawn to stories about the wild and beautiful Alaska but sadly I found this book was less than exceptional. It was a solid OK but nothing beyond that. I liked the character of Cassidy, but I didn't find most of the other characters to be very developed. The story and its characters felt quite flat, like they went there and did this and then they said that and then ... to me it didn't have a real flow to it. It was also very much lacking in excitement. The prologue and the write up on the back are the best parts. 

Allan Brennan's character could have been great but really isn't developed into anything of substance, and in fact sometimes I felt that what he was feeling wasn't really the correct emotion for the scene, ie. feeling angry when it probably should have said frustrated. This happened more than once, where I did a double take and thought to myself that's not the right emotion. 

I like the cover, I like the write up, I love the plot idea, but unfortunately what's in the pages here didn't excite me at all. On the plus side, it's completely clean and nice. And it's set in Alaska! I wanted to like this one!

This book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. Available at your favourite bookseller from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group.


  1. Tracie Peterson
    ©Lissa Barber Photography

    Tracie Peterson

    Tracie Peterson is the bestselling, award-winning author of more than 100 novels. Tracie also teaches writing workshops at a variety of conferences on subjects such as inspirational romance and historical research. She and her family live in Montana. Learn...
    Continue reading about Tracie Peterson
  2. Kimberley Woodhouse
    © Pauline Fortuna

    Kimberley Woodhouse

    Kimberley Woodhouse is a multipublished author of fiction and nonfiction. A popular speaker/teacher, she's shared her theme of Joy Through Trials with over 150,000 people at more than a thousand venues across the country. She lives, writes, and...
    Continue reading about Kimberley Woodhouse

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