Mary Connealy. The Reluctant Warrior. Minneapolis, MN: Bethany House Publishers, 2018.
If anyone spent yesterday eagerly anticipating the Books and Biscuits Blog’s review being posted, I apologize for the delay. It ended up being a perfect storm of strange happenstances throughout the day, topped off by a just-shy-of-a-severe electrical storm that could have easily taken out my computer with one good zap. Needless to say, delaying seemed like the better option. Thanks to all of you for your understanding. :)
Following the events of The Accidental Guardian, Army officer Cameron Scott and his sister, Penny, arrive at Trace Riley’s ranch in search of his young daughter and nephew. As a winter blizzard hits the ranch, they find themselves trapped without a means to return home until spring arrives. Unfortunately, an enemy of Trace and his wife manages to find the family and threatens their survival on numerous occassions. When Cam becomes injured protecting the group and is forced to stay in the cabin for months on end, he turns to Gwen Harkness to learn how to interact with the children and discard his military gruffness for something more closely resembling a family man. With spring’s arrival, Cam must decide between returning to his homestead alone or taking a chance on winning Gwen over to become the children’s mother.
Ms. Connealy expertly manages to develop an entire novel around a situation that would sound like a glorified case of cabin fever in the hands of a less experienced writer. The Reluctant Warrior builds on the events and characters introduced in The Accidental Guardian, while encapsulating a story all of its own.
Overall, I quite enjoyed The Reluctant Warrior. Personally, I thought that The Accidental Guardian had a more gripping storyline, but this novel further develops the full set of characters introduced in the first book of the series. I was surprised that Ms. Connealy was able to do so much with her characters throughout the book, especially considering that most of them are snowed in during blizzards for much of the novel. The introduction of Pinkerton agent John McCall in this novel and his early interactions with Penny Scott promise great things for the events of the series third novel, The Unexpected Champion. These spirited characters became an unanticipated highlight of The Reluctant Warrior, so I’m really looking forward to the next book in the series.
Fans of Ms. Connealy’s work, especially The Accidental Guardian, will definitely want to read The Reluctant Warrior. Those who enjoy Christian historical fiction set in the American West will also find this novel to be well worth reading.
Ms. Connealy will be releasing the third book in her High Sierra Sweethearts series, The Unexpected Champion, in March 2019!
Special thanks to Bethany House Publishers and NetGalley for the complimentary copy of The Reluctant Warrior! Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
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