ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
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ABOUT THE BOOK
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.
If you would like to read an excerpt from The Protector, go HERE.
The Protector by Shelley Shepard Gray is the second book in the Families of Honor series. Ella earned the nickname of "Plain Ella" in school. She was known for being so quiet as to be almost forgotten, as opposed to popular Loyal Weaver who was friends with everyone and the object of girls' interest for his smile and shiny blond hair. Now life seems to be passing Ella by; she has spent the last several years caring for her ill mother after the death of her father, and now the family farm is being sold at auction: to Loyal! Ella is determined to make the best of this tragic situation, taking her dream job at the library and living in Dorothy Zook's, a single older woman, duplex. Loyal has wanted to get out from elder brother Calvin's shadow for years, and Ella's farm has given him the perfect opportunity to do so, despite Calvin's doubts. Loyal's guilt over buying Ella's home encourages him to seek her out and ask her opinion on his updates to the place, but he soon finds himself drawn to Ella's gentle, loving nature and radiant smile that transforms her from plain into the most beautiful woman he's ever seen. Meanwhile, Mattie is still struggling with breast cancer and all that it has robbed her of: courting, dreams of a family, a normal life; and her best friend Graham is now dating a new girl that has Mattie re-evaluating her feelings for him. There are a plethora of Amish series on the market today, but Gray is one of the few authors I follow. Her characters are always very real and the stories compelling. The Fatal Attraction twist in this one was a bit over the top, but Gray carries it well. I enjoy the interplay between the many subplots in this series, and I look forward to the resolution of Mattie's story in the next book. Gray is one of the best writers doing bonnet fiction today.