Saturday, May 7, 2011

The Protector by Shelley Shepard Gray ~ review

The Protector: Families of Honor, Book Two
Product Description from

Everyone needs a safe place to call home
When her mother passes away, Ella's forced to auction off her family's farm. Her father died years ago, and she could never manage the fifty acres on her own. But after she moves to town, she can't deny the pain she feels watching the new owner, Loyal Weaver, repairing her family's old farmhouse—everything Ella had once dreamed of doing.
What Ella doesn't know is that Loyal secretly hopes she will occupy this house again . . . as his wife. He begins inviting her over, to ask her opinion on changes he wants to make. As their friendship blooms, Ella starts to wonder about Loyal's intentions, especially when her best friend, Dorothy, hints that Loyal is not who he seems. There's no way the golden boy of their close-knit Amish community could be interested in Ella, long the wallflower, hidden away caring for her ailing parents.
Should she trust the man she's always yearned for, or the friend who's always been by her side? When one of them threatens to disrupt the independence she's finally achieved, Ella is faced with a choice. She can protect her heart and keep things the way they've always been. Or she can come out of her shell, risk everything for the love she's always wanted, and finally have a place to call home.

My take on this book:
Ella Hostetler was always enamored with Loyal Weaver, all through school she always dreamed of him, but he never noticed her, actually she felt as if no one really paid much attention to her. She wore glasses and always felt tall and gangly. After the death of her father, her mother became ill, and because Ella was an only child the responsibility of caring for her mother and taking care of the farm was sometimes overwhelming. The one person who checked on her regularly was Dorothy. So when Ella's mother dies, she decides to auction off the family farm. Her friend Dorothy helps her get a job at the library and rents her an apt. Turns out Loyal purchased the farm and is soon inviting Ella out to see the changes he has made. Could it be that after all these years Loyal is finally noticing Ella? As Ella's self confidence starts to bloom, Dorothy tries to put doubts in her mind. Will Ella finally have a chance at love?

This is the second book in the Family of Honor Series, and I must say I really enjoyed continuing to read about the characters from the first book. Ella really dealt with self esteem issues,but it was so nice to see her come out of her shell. The character of Dorothy was quite interesting. I think bitterness over what had happened to her when she was younger really warped her mind. I really don't think that I have ever read another Amish character quite like her.
I also enjoyed reading a bit more about Calvin and Lucy, and I love seeing things through young Katie's eyes.Her determination to get to the library and sign up for the summer reading program was so cute. The scenes that take place in the Kaffi Haus really had me wanting a donut!
I also like the continuing story of Maddie and her health issues. I really want her to find someone special of her own, although I feel as if she already has.
At the end of this book we get a brief teaser for "The Survivor," the next book in the series which is due out in August 2011, and I for one can't wait!
If your a fan of Amish fiction that isn't quite so predictable then you should definitely pick up this book. While it is the second book in the series it can easily be read as a stand alone work, but because the stories are so good I would suggest reading the first book in the series as well titled  The Caregiver.

Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for providing me an e-copy of this book for review.

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