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The Accidental Guardian

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The Accidental Guardian
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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.

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.
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Product Details
Sales Rank:
81,503
Pages:
304
Publication Date:
04/03/2018
Series:
High Sierra Sweethearts Series , #1
ISBN13:
9780764219290
Product Dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.50(h)
Publisher:
Baker Publishing Group
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About the Author

Mary Connealy writes "romantic comedies with cowboys" and is celebrated for her fun, zany, action-packed style. She has more than half a million books in print. She is the author of the popular series Wild at Heart, Kincaid Brides, Trouble in Texas, Lassoed in Texas, Sophie's Daughters, and many other books. Mary lives on a ranch in eastern Nebraska with her very own romantic cowboy hero. Learn more at www.maryconnealy.com.

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Customer Reviews (37)
ometimes, I wish I could use emojis in my reviews. If so, this one ...
ometimes, I wish I could use emojis in my reviews. If so, this one would start out something like Trace heart heart heart heart, because I loved him. He just might make the book boyfriend list for this year. Trace is awkwardly wonderful. He's a powerful man, doesn't know what to do with diapers, and thinks women are strange, but he's endearing while doing it. Some of his thought processes definitely made me laugh. My favorite thing about Deb is her smarts. She's not one of those helpless damsels in distress who runs into situations where you as a reader are yelling "Don't do that!!!!!!!!!!!" But, while being strong and able to take care of herself, she also acknowledges her limits and knows when to depend on Trace and the other men. I think she's a great balance of independence and dependence. She's also very practical. She knows what she wants and isn't one to hold out to wait for just the right circumstance of sweet words to happen to give into that. (Which might not make a lot of sense, but I'm trying not to give away spoilers!) Sometimes we ladies, myself included, want the menfolk to break into sweet nothings but forget to look at all of their actions and how those tell us they care for us. Deb reminds us of that. (But I can always use more sweet whispers.) I also really liked all of the sub-characters; Adam, Utah, Gwen. I am very much looking forward to Gwen's story next and I'm hoping we'll get Adam's as well. Utah appears to be an older character, but I sense love and loss in his past and would like to see him with a happily ever after as well.  I received a complimentary copy of this book. I was not required to post a positive review and all opinions are my own!
- KatsCorner
May 14, 2018
A Western Superhero Trace Riley couldn't believe it. He had just ...
A Western Superhero Trace Riley couldn't believe it. He had just found two young women along with a couple of children. They had been wandering alone in the Wild West. Sisters Deb and Gwen Harkness along with their small charges, amazingly had escaped the attack on their covered wagon train. Because they were away from the camp during the raid, their lives were spared while everyone else was massacred. Since their story is so much like his, Trace is immediately overwhelmed with memories. When Trace was a young teenager, he was horrified to return to his wagon train and find everyone had been killed, including his dad. Orphaned and alone, he had been left to fend for himself in the wilderness. It was because of God’s mercy he survived the harsh winter that soon hit. However, being alone for months at a time was almost more than he could handle. He had vowed that he would make sure no other travelers were put through the horror he barely lived through. In the years that follow, a mysterious person had appeared on the trails helping wagon trains that were under attack. He disappears as inexplicably as he had arrived, with some saying that he vanished. No one had stepped forward and admitted to doing these good deeds. Because of that, a legend had sprang up and he was referred to as The Guardian. Trace, The Guardian, realizes that the survivors are still in danger. He thus decides to take them to his ramshackle home to protect them, without revealing his alter ego. He plans for them to leave in the spring. This tale will make you laugh at the uncomfortable situations Trace and his ranch hands face having women and children suddenly intrude into their lives. The cat and mouse game that Trace and the desperadoes play will keep readers on the edge of their seats. Many can identify with Deb who was mistreated by her irresponsible father. Now she has trouble believing any men could be trusted or nice. Add to the mix a bit of romance along with life in the old west, and this 5-star book is a real page turner—and a clean one, too. I recommend this to anyone who enjoys well-written fiction. Bethany House Publishing has provided bookreadingtic with a complimentary copy of The Accidental Guardian, for the purpose of review. I have not been compensated in any other manner. All opinions expressed are my own, and I was not required, or influenced, to give anything but an honest appraisal. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.
- Pooke
June 23, 2018
Oh my, what a wonderful story! Mary Connealy has released the firs ...
Oh my, what a wonderful story! Mary Connealy has released the first book, Accidental Guardian, in her new High Sierra Sweethearts series. I was immediately drawn into the story from the first page. The author weaves words together that bring both the characters and setting to life for me. Deb Harkness and her sister are traveling to Sacramento by wagon train accompanying Mr. & Mrs. Scott and caring for the children. While stopped in the Sierra Nevada Mountains the wagon train is attacked leaving Deb, her sister and the children alone without not only protection, but also provisions. Trace Riley is 20 miles from home when he happens upon the burned out wagon train. Memories resurface from a similar scenario from 10 years ago in Trace's mind. He spies 2 women running towards him with two children in tow and knows life as he has known it is about to end. Utah Smith and Adam Thayne work for Trace and the only people he's really been around for years. Trace's workers are waiting for him at his homestead, but to get the women and children there means traveling 20 more miles with only one horse and a few provisions. Deb is a take charge kind of person, but she has a soft heart and loads of hurt. She saw the attackers which puts her in a dangerous position of being able to identify them, but she puts her own safety at risk to do the right thing. Trace was just a young man when he and his father joined a wagon train headed west, but while away hunting his wagon train was also attacked leaving him virtually alone in the wilderness. Both are strong characters, but each have complex backgrounds which add to the person they are. The plot flows effortlessly and immediately pulled me in. It's full of twists and turns that kept me completely engaged. This was a one setting read for me. When I started it I just couldn't put it down. Yes, this is a book I would recommend to anyone who loves historical or just a clean romance. This book has elements of suspense, history, romance, faith and trust. *I received this book from the publisher via NetGalley. I was not expected to write a positive review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
- KatrinaEpperson
April 30, 2018
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The Accidental Guardian
Hardcover (2)
The Accidental Guardian
Pub. Date: 04/04/2018
Publisher: Gale Group
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Accidental Guardian
Pub. Date: 04/03/2018
Publisher: Baker Publishing Group
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Paperback (1)
The Accidental Guardian
Pub. Date: 04/03/2018
Publisher: Baker Publishing Group
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NOOK Book (1)
The Accidental Guardian (High Sierra Sweethearts Book #1)
Pub. Date: 04/03/2018
Publisher: Baker Publishing Group
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