The Accidental Guardian

The Accidental Guardian

She's the only witness to a wagon train attack. Keeping her safe, though, means his world is about to be turned upside down.When Trace Riley finds the smoldering ruins of a small wagon train, he recognizes an attack by the same group who left him as sole survivor years ago. Living off the wilderness since then, he's finally carved out a home and started a herd--while servi...

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Title:The Accidental Guardian
Author:Mary Connealy
Rating:
Edition Language:English

The Accidental Guardian Reviews

  • Heidi Robbins (Heidi Reads...)

    I love Mary Connealy's writing style! I was immediately drawn into the story and it was nonstop from there. I loved the characters- strong Deb with her determination to take the burdens from others, motherly Gwen who nurtured everyone around her, Trace's protective nature and curiosity, and the cowhands at his ranch who would do anything for the ladies and children. The pace of the book was steady, with plenty of action and adventure as Trace and Deb race against a swiftly approaching winter to

    I love Mary Connealy's writing style! I was immediately drawn into the story and it was nonstop from there. I loved the characters- strong Deb with her determination to take the burdens from others, motherly Gwen who nurtured everyone around her, Trace's protective nature and curiosity, and the cowhands at his ranch who would do anything for the ladies and children. The pace of the book was steady, with plenty of action and adventure as Trace and Deb race against a swiftly approaching winter to track down the killers while preparing the ranch before getting snowed in. I loved their sincerity and gratitude for each other, and the way they so perfectly brought light and joy to each other's life. Their innocence with romance was endearing and made their special moments together sweeter. I'm so excited for this new series from one of my favorite authors!

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

  • Denise Hershberger (100 Pages per Hour)

    This book reminded me a little bit more of some of Connealy's older books as far as the storyline went but it also was very fresh and I loved it.

    One thing I've always loved about Connealy's books - and this one in particular - is that she doesn't waste any time getting into her story. I loved the action just a few pages in and even more that the action didn't stop! It didn't take me long to admire both Deb and Gwen. I found myself relating to Gwen as it came to the children in the book, but more

    This book reminded me a little bit more of some of Connealy's older books as far as the storyline went but it also was very fresh and I loved it.

    One thing I've always loved about Connealy's books - and this one in particular - is that she doesn't waste any time getting into her story. I loved the action just a few pages in and even more that the action didn't stop! It didn't take me long to admire both Deb and Gwen. I found myself relating to Gwen as it came to the children in the book, but more to Deb's stubborn nature. I loved their relationship. It was nice to see sisters complement each other rather than bicker as is found in some novels. I also loved Trace! He is an excellent and swoon-worthy hero. I was quite impressed with him from his first scene because he showed a kind-hearted and empathetic side and wasn't embarrassed by it. But I also loved his strength and protective side and especially his skills in almost everything.

    Deb spent most of this book with a chip on her shoulder from her growing up years. It was really neat to see that chip wear off throughout the book as she realized that her adult life didn't have to mirror her childhood and youth. Trace had his own faults too and it was amazing to see him work through some of his intrinsic nature to become an even better man. I especially loved that Trace was willing to admit his faults and also how many times he'd read the Bible.

    I loved the setting for this story. I don't recall having ever read a western novel set near Lake Tahoe and it was a lovely change of pace. I also loved reading descriptions of the Grand Canyon. These days we can google both and see quality pictures and it was neat to have them described the way ranchers and settlers would.

    I'm always amazed by the work ethic of the cowboys and farmers that settled the west. And for that matter also the women, because they worked just as hard but in different ways. I loved reading about characters who found value in the work they did and were happy to do it.

    I'm very excited to continue this new series from Connealy!

    I received an advanced copy of this book from the publisher. This is my honest review

  • Trisha

    What do you get when you have two children, two women, and three men? The Accidental Guaradian!

    Deborah and her sister join a wagon train headed West, which experiences trouble and only four survive. Trace, headed home from a cattle drive on his favorite horse, comes along at the right time to help the two women and two children. The closest shelter is Trace's home, also known as a one room cabin, where two other men work alongside him.

    How will Trace get them out of the cold and save them? Wher

    What do you get when you have two children, two women, and three men? The Accidental Guaradian!

    Deborah and her sister join a wagon train headed West, which experiences trouble and only four survive. Trace, headed home from a cattle drive on his favorite horse, comes along at the right time to help the two women and two children. The closest shelter is Trace's home, also known as a one room cabin, where two other men work alongside him.

    How will Trace get them out of the cold and save them? Where will they all stay once he gets them to his home? Will he be able to catch the bad men and warn other wagon trains before it is too late?

    Read the book "The Accidental Guardian" for a great story about Deborah and Trace. This is a really good story by Mary Connealy!

    I received a complimentary review copy by the publisher. This review is my honest opinion.

  • Hannah

    4.5 stars

    While this story is a bit different from a normal Mary Connealy book—less humor, more reflective hero—I really enjoyed it. Trace's hesitation with women was endearing and it was cute to see him decide pretty fast that being around Deb was something he needed to keep in his future. There are a number of threads left hanging for the next book in the series, so I'm now eagerly awaiting book two!

  • Yvette

    What a great start to what promises to be another enjoyable series from Mary Connealy! Within the first pages, we are knee deep in danger as the heroine of the story, Deborah Harkness, is introduced. As she and her sister Gwen hide out with two young children, the only survivors of an attack on their small group of wagons that had splintered off from the main wagon train, the former Guardian of the trail is not far off.

    Deb is a strong, independent woman whose father took all of the credit, and p

    What a great start to what promises to be another enjoyable series from Mary Connealy! Within the first pages, we are knee deep in danger as the heroine of the story, Deborah Harkness, is introduced. As she and her sister Gwen hide out with two young children, the only survivors of an attack on their small group of wagons that had splintered off from the main wagon train, the former Guardian of the trail is not far off.

    Deb is a strong, independent woman whose father took all of the credit, and profit, from her hard work on the family newspaper, but is now determined that she and her sister will make it on their own. After delivering the children to their nearest relative, she intends to find work on a newspaper in San Francisco, putting to good use the skills she was forced to hone. But when Trace Riley comes to their rescue, and is determined to bring the attackers to justice, her heart is slowly helping her see another possible future.

    Having spent most of the last ten years alone with his horse, his wolf-dog, and a Bible and other books he salvaged from the wreckage of his father's wagon train, Trace is a bit at a loss when it comes to dealing with these women and children. Even with the help of his two ranch hands.

    And it is his innocence and sincerity, along with the way he often puts his foot in his mouth around Deb, that make him such an unwittingly charming character. That, and his instinctive abhorrence of diapers. As for Deb, it is her strength of will and also her willingness to change that endear her to the reader.

    But it isn't all barn-raisings and romance as the subjects of Trace's tracking efforts learn that Deb was a witness and turn their malice towards her while plotting to attack another group of travelers.

    Recommended if you enjoy Western historicals with action, adventure, romance, heroic cowboys and women with gumption, with a good bit of faith and humor mixed in…or if you just like the pretty cover because, if you haven't tried Mary Connealy yet, this is a fine novel to start with.

    This review refers to a finished copy I received through Bethany House's Blogger program. A positive review was not required and all opinions expressed are my own.

  • Dawn

    This was good. It didn't have me giggling like some of her others. And I didn't quite connect with the characters the way that I did in some of her previous books, but I still enjoyed it. It was a pretty quick read overall.

  • Juli

    Deborah Harkness and her younger sister, Gwen join a wagon train going west. They are caregivers for two small children whose family is travelling to California to join relatives. Unfortunately, the wagon train is attacked by ruthless criminals. Deborah, Gwen and the children are the only survivors. Rancher Trace Riley happens upon the burning wagons and takes the women and children to his ranch. He's determined to find the men who murdered all those people and protect the survivors. Little does

    Deborah Harkness and her younger sister, Gwen join a wagon train going west. They are caregivers for two small children whose family is travelling to California to join relatives. Unfortunately, the wagon train is attacked by ruthless criminals. Deborah, Gwen and the children are the only survivors. Rancher Trace Riley happens upon the burning wagons and takes the women and children to his ranch. He's determined to find the men who murdered all those people and protect the survivors. Little does he know that he will also find love along the way.

    I love stories about the old west and those who braved the trail to head west, so I knew I would like this book. I don't usually read romance novels, but this story has more than enough action in it to make it more of an adventure than a romance story. Trace is conflicted. He has done some violent things to keep innocent travelers safe and is afraid that it makes him a bad man. Deborah knows that he saved their lives and many others....and does everything she can to make him realize that. The criminals who have been murdering many along the trail for years are dangerous, and Trace knows they have to be stopped. Plenty of action, suspense and danger along with love and faith in this story!

    I enjoyed this story. The characters all grow and learn much about relationships, faith and love along the way. There is violence, but it's not graphic or overdone. This is Christian fiction...so there is no bad language or graphic sex. There are murders, violence and other criminal actions, but no graphic descriptions of bodies, gore, etc. Some of the events central to the story would lead me to say this is a PG-13 sort of story -- multiple murders, dangerous criminals, etc....not really a story for kids under 13. Very enjoyable western without the racist, sexual or more gritty themes you might find in non-Christian stories. The Christian theme is not over-done.....the characters are Christian and there is talk about God, prayer and their beliefs, but it isn't so strong that it detracts from the main story.

    This isn't the usual sort of western that I normally read. It's a bit more simple and light, given the fact that the violence and description are somewhat downplayed to fit the Christian theme. That was sort of a refreshing change. This book focuses on the characters and events, rather than the violent aspects of the "bad guys'' and the romance portion was not just centered on sex. Nice change from what I usually read. I enjoyed the story, and will definitely be reading more of the same from Bethany House. The front cover is perfect....adorable, and fits the story.

    The Accidental Guardian is the first book in a series, High Sierra Sweethearts. A second book, The Reluctant Warrior, will be released in October 2018. I normally avoid romance stories, but the western background theme will be enough to keep me reading. Sometimes a break from the thrillers and more gritty stories I usually read is nice.....a bit of Christian romance as a palate cleanser. :) This story was well-written and enjoyable. I will definitely be reading more from Mary Connealy.

    **I voluntarily read an advance readers copy of this book from Bethany House via NetGalley. All opinions expressed are entirely my own.**

  • Tiffany Jones

    **FTC DISCLAIMER: I RECEIVED AN E-ARC FROM NETGALLEY IN EXCHANGE FOR AN HONEST REVIEW. RECEIPT OF THIS BOOK IN THIS MANNER DOES NOT AFFECT MY OPINION OF THE BOOK OR THE CONTENT OF MY REVIEW**

    When Trace Riley finds the smoldering remains of a small wagon train, he quickly recognizes the signs that show that the group responsible for the attack is the same group that left him the sole survivor of a similar attack years ago. Fueled by his anger towards the attackers and a strong desire to see them

    **FTC DISCLAIMER: I RECEIVED AN E-ARC FROM NETGALLEY IN EXCHANGE FOR AN HONEST REVIEW. RECEIPT OF THIS BOOK IN THIS MANNER DOES NOT AFFECT MY OPINION OF THE BOOK OR THE CONTENT OF MY REVIEW**

    When Trace Riley finds the smoldering remains of a small wagon train, he quickly recognizes the signs that show that the group responsible for the attack is the same group that left him the sole survivor of a similar attack years ago. Fueled by his anger towards the attackers and a strong desire to see them brought to justice, served as a self appointed guardian of the trail and thought that he had driven these dangerous men off. He’s lived off of the wilderness since then and has finally managed to create a home and started a herd of cattle. He’d hoped his days of guarding the trail and chasing down dangerous criminals was over but the attack on the wagon train shows that he was sadly mistaken. Deborah Harkness, her younger sister, and two small children managed to survive the attack and now find themselves at the mercy of their rescuer. Trace has the only shelter for miles and offers to take them in through the winter, until they can continue to their destination in spring. It’s obvious from his simple bachelor life and rustic homestead that he never anticipated women and small children being in the picture, but it doesn’t take long before he starts adjusting to having them around. As they work together to survive the winter and to find the men who attacked the wagon train so they can be brought to justice, Trace and Deb find themselves drawn to each other even as each day brings them closer to the day she leaves for good.

    I really enjoyed reading this sweet story. I thought it was sweet the way Trace was so uncomfortable around Deb and her sister and the kids because he’d never really been around women or children but he was still so dedicated to making sure that they were completely comfortable. I liked that Deb and Trace weren’t instantly comfortable with each other because it’s more realistic. They actually had to put effort into getting to know each other and because they did were able to understand each other’s insecurities. In future books, I’d really like to get to know more of Utah’s and Adam’s backstories because they seemed to be interesting. I am looking forward to reading book 2 and seeing Gwen’s character be more developed as I genuinely liked her, she just wasn’t as well developed as Deb was since it wasn’t really her story. Mary Connealy really has a knack of playing out the story so well that you can picture the way things happen. I love when a book is descriptive enough that you can see it perfectly. And, this is definitely the case here. And I also enjoyed that the author took the time to research the area and time period she was writing about. All of this added together made an excellent beginning to the series.

  • Brittany

    I enjoyed this first novel in the beginning of a new series. The characters were likable and I appreciated their honesty toward each other. Deb and Trace opened up about themselves and their backgrounds as they got to know each other. I enjoyed their interactions and the sweet nature of their growing attraction and relationship.

    This book very definitely sets the reader up to jump right into the next book in the series by the events that occur at the end of the book. It was not a cliffhanger. It

    I enjoyed this first novel in the beginning of a new series. The characters were likable and I appreciated their honesty toward each other. Deb and Trace opened up about themselves and their backgrounds as they got to know each other. I enjoyed their interactions and the sweet nature of their growing attraction and relationship.

    This book very definitely sets the reader up to jump right into the next book in the series by the events that occur at the end of the book. It was not a cliffhanger. It simply made me look forward to seeing how future relationships could develop. I am definitely anticipating the next story!

    I received a complimentary copy of this book. All opinions are my own.

    You can read this review on my blog:

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