Book Description: 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: It's been awhile since I've read a book by Shelley Shepard Gray. So, I was quite excited to receive this new book and it's about Texans!
Poor Laurel Tracey. . . both her brother and her father have died in battle and then her mother dies soon after. Laurel is left trying to hold on to the family ranch. And it's not a small ranch...two hundred acres! But Laurel is tough and no one is going to take what is hers. She's gutsy too!
Then to top it all off she discovers that squatters are living in the north pasture and are not leaving! (shame on them!)
Laurel doesn't have much cash but by "accident" she learns of a former soldier, Thomas Baker, sho has landed himself in a heap o' trouble. Laurel decides to use the last of her cash to get him out of jail.
Thomas thinks Laurel is so pretty and strong. Anyway, he owes her so he has decided not to get attached to her but to work hard and pay her back for helping him.
But then Laurel's cattle begin to die and her life is threatened. So, together Laurel and Thomas work hard to save the ranch and Thomas looks after Laurel.
I loved this historical novel, the second one in the Lone Star Hero's series. And you don't have to live in Texas to love this story!
*This book was provided for review by The Fiction Guild*