My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Source: Netgalley/For Review
Genre: Christian Historical Fiction/Romance
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 the squatters damage a barn, 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 who’s survived a terrible past. He needs more than just his freedom, he needs her love and care too.
My thoughts: 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.
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