Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Mary Connealy: The Accidental Guardian

By Kelly Bridgewater

When Trace Riley finds the smoldering ruins of a small wagon train, he recognizes the hand behind the attack as the same group who left him as sole survivor years ago. Living off the wilderness since then, he'd finally carved out a home and started a herd--while serving as a self-appointed guardian of the trail, driving off dangerous men. He'd
hoped those days were over, but the latest attack shows he was wrong.

Deborah Harkness saved her younger sister and two toddlers during the attack, and now finds herself at the mercy of her rescuer. Trace offers the only shelter for miles around, and agrees to take them in until she can safely continue. His simple bachelor existence never anticipated kids and women in the picture and their arrival is unsettling--yet enticing.

Working to survive the winter and finally bring justice to the trail, Trace and Deborah find themselves drawn together--yet every day approaches the moment she'll leave forever. 

Image result for the accidental guardian by mary connealy

My Thoughts:

I have only read two of Mary Connealy's previous novels, but The Accidental Guardian appeared to be a decent novel by its synopsis, so I signed up for a chance to read one of her novels. Being a historical western, I knew there would be cowboys and women trying to survive in the wild west of early America with plenty of conflict and unrest. Connealy does exactly that.

Her writing takes you into the untamed wilderness and allowed me to struggle with the characters. Her point of view is third person, and she does a great job at staying in a single person's point of view when she is in that section of the novel.

The plot is different. I honestly don't know much about the Wagon Trains that have moved west. I have heard about them and even played the green and black version of Oregon Trail as a child, but other than that, I really had no interest in learning more. But Connealy does create a captivating story with wonderful characters who shine and prove their worth on the page. Also, another thing that bothered me was making the second house for the just arrived girls. It would NOT take five days to cut down the logs and build a house. It would take ALL summer and tons of work. Very unrealistic.

The romance appeared really rushed just like building the cabins. Deb and Trace meet and start to feel emotions right away and take action on those feelings not long into the story. I shook my head in disbelief. Why so quickly? Yes, they have to survive a winter together in the middle of nowhere, but did they really have to rush through their emotions? Couldn't they have gotten to know each other better?

Overall, The Accidental Guardian by Mary Connealy shows why she is a popular writer when it comes to historical westerns. I had no problem visualizing the wild west and the non-modern world. The characters struggle with challenges I don't face with today. I believe fans of Karen Witemeyer, Regina Jennings, and Melissa Jagears might enjoy another historical western novel.

I received a complimentary copy of The Accidental Guardian by Mary Connealy from Bethany House Publishers, but the opinions stated are all my own.

My Rating: 3.5  out of 5 stars

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