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The Reluctant Warrior

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Union army officer Cameron Scott is used to being obeyed, but nothing about this journey to Lake Tahoe has gone as expected. He's come to fetch his daughter and nephew, and seek revenge on the people who killed his brother. Instead he finds himself trapped by a blizzard with two children who are terrified of him and stubborn but beautiful Gwen Harkness, who he worries may Union army officer Cameron Scott is used to being obeyed, but nothing about this journey to Lake Tahoe has gone as expected. He's come to fetch his daughter and nephew, and seek revenge on the people who killed his brother. Instead he finds himself trapped by a blizzard with two children who are terrified of him and stubborn but beautiful Gwen Harkness, who he worries may be trying to keep the children. When danger descends on the cabin where they're huddled, Cam is hurt trying to protect everyone and now finds Gwen caring for him too. He soon realizes why the kids love her so much and wonders if it might be best for him to move on without them. When she sees his broken heart, Gwen decides to help him win back their affection--and in the process he might just win her heart as well.


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Union army officer Cameron Scott is used to being obeyed, but nothing about this journey to Lake Tahoe has gone as expected. He's come to fetch his daughter and nephew, and seek revenge on the people who killed his brother. Instead he finds himself trapped by a blizzard with two children who are terrified of him and stubborn but beautiful Gwen Harkness, who he worries may Union army officer Cameron Scott is used to being obeyed, but nothing about this journey to Lake Tahoe has gone as expected. He's come to fetch his daughter and nephew, and seek revenge on the people who killed his brother. Instead he finds himself trapped by a blizzard with two children who are terrified of him and stubborn but beautiful Gwen Harkness, who he worries may be trying to keep the children. When danger descends on the cabin where they're huddled, Cam is hurt trying to protect everyone and now finds Gwen caring for him too. He soon realizes why the kids love her so much and wonders if it might be best for him to move on without them. When she sees his broken heart, Gwen decides to help him win back their affection--and in the process he might just win her heart as well.

30 review for The Reluctant Warrior

  1. 4 out of 5

    Tricia Mingerink

    I finished listening to this in a little over a day. I think I liked this even better than the first book in the series. Like all of Mary Connealy's books, this is chock full of action and danger. It literally starts with the characters in immediate peril of death. That's just what I'm looking for in a book, lol. The characters were actually fairly toned down for this author's writing style, though they still have a tendency to be impulsive. I expect large, almost unrealistic personalities in t I finished listening to this in a little over a day. I think I liked this even better than the first book in the series. Like all of Mary Connealy's books, this is chock full of action and danger. It literally starts with the characters in immediate peril of death. That's just what I'm looking for in a book, lol. The characters were actually fairly toned down for this author's writing style, though they still have a tendency to be impulsive. I expect large, almost unrealistic personalities in this author's books. That's just how she writes, so it doesn't bother me. I know some people didn't like the first book so much because Trace's approach to Christianity is a little...different after so many years of living by himself. This book is a little more traditional in its approach, fitting with the main character's more traditional view on life. So if you had issues with the first book there, you won't have the same issue with this book. There is some depth to this book, more than the last one, but it's still a Mary Connealy book. It's meant to be a rip-roaring adventure and everything else takes a back seat to that. And this one certainly delivered on the adventure part!!! After reading this book, I can't wait for the third book in the series!

  2. 5 out of 5

    Tiffany Jones

    Union army Cameron Scott is used to being obeyed without question. But, nothing about his journey to Lake Tahoe has gone the way he planned it. He planned only to pick up his daughter and nephew and to get revenge on the ones who murdered his brother and sister-in-law. Instead, he's found himself stranded by blizzards in a cabin with two small children who have no memory of him and are absolutely terrified by him. There's also the stubborn, beautiful Gwen Harkness, who he fears has no intention Union army Cameron Scott is used to being obeyed without question. But, nothing about his journey to Lake Tahoe has gone the way he planned it. He planned only to pick up his daughter and nephew and to get revenge on the ones who murdered his brother and sister-in-law. Instead, he's found himself stranded by blizzards in a cabin with two small children who have no memory of him and are absolutely terrified by him. There's also the stubborn, beautiful Gwen Harkness, who he fears has no intention of releasing his children to him. Things change when danger descends on the cabin everyone is staying in and he's injured in trying to defend everyone. During his recovery time, he's stuck in the cabin, giving him a chance to get to know his daughter and nephew better...and to get to know Gwen better. He quickly finds himself starting to care deeply for her, and believes she feels the same way. It doesn't take him long to see why his children adore Gwen so much and he begins to wonder if it wouldn't be better for their sakes to leave them with her. Seeing Cam's broken heart over the children, Gwen decides to help him relate to and bond with the small children. And, as she helps him win the children's hearts, he also wins hers. I really enjoyed reading this second installment of the High Sierra Sweethearts series. The characters are all relatable and it was good to get a chance to visit with the characters that were introduced in the first book, as well as being introduced to Cameron and his sister. Mary Conneally has definitely done a lot of research into the time period and the area the series is set in and it absolutely shows. She also has a knack for description that comes out in the vivid scenery and in the way the storyline develops. I'm absolutely glad that this isn't the last book in the series because I'm enjoying the setting and the characters so much. I absolutely can't wait until book 3 comes out! I’d like to thank Mary Connealy, Bethany House Publishing, and Netgalley for providing me with an electronic copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I understand that receiving the book in this manner doesn’t obligate me to leave a positive review and all opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Sarah Ruut

    Cam just wants to take his kids. Gwen just wants to protect them. And yet the crazy man who’s after them doesn’t want either to happen… The Reluctant Warrior is an entertaining historical romance. If you’re looking for a deep story, this isn’t it. But if you’re looking for something lighthearted? Well, that’s what Mary Connealy is known for! Discover Nevada in its early days, laugh (or shake your head) at the missteps along the way, and keep flipping pages to see just how this story will end. The R Cam just wants to take his kids. Gwen just wants to protect them. And yet the crazy man who’s after them doesn’t want either to happen… The Reluctant Warrior is an entertaining historical romance. If you’re looking for a deep story, this isn’t it. But if you’re looking for something lighthearted? Well, that’s what Mary Connealy is known for! Discover Nevada in its early days, laugh (or shake your head) at the missteps along the way, and keep flipping pages to see just how this story will end. The Reluctant Warrior is book 2 in the High Sierra Sweethearts series. I did not read the first (The Accidental Guardian), but I was able to follow the story without difficulty. I suspect some things would have had more meaning if I’d read the first, and the loose threads will hopefully be tied up in book 3. Since the stories are chronological, you’ll want to read them in order if you plan to read the entire series. (This review was first published on my blog -- sarahruut.com. I received a complimentary copy of this novel. The thoughts expressed here are entirely my own.)

  4. 5 out of 5

    Madison

    The Reluctant Warrior returns readers to the story and characters first discovered in The Accidental Guardian. The Reluctant Warrior is the second book in the High Sierra Sweethearts series and it is a series I have come to really enjoy. With the harsh but glorious surrounds of the Sierra Nevada Mountains as backdrop, these stories combine sweet romance that develops out of the toughest situations and tense thrills and heart-pounding suspense as the characters fight for their lives and for justi The Reluctant Warrior returns readers to the story and characters first discovered in The Accidental Guardian. The Reluctant Warrior is the second book in the High Sierra Sweethearts series and it is a series I have come to really enjoy. With the harsh but glorious surrounds of the Sierra Nevada Mountains as backdrop, these stories combine sweet romance that develops out of the toughest situations and tense thrills and heart-pounding suspense as the characters fight for their lives and for justice. Cameron Scott, now retired from the Union army, only wishes to retrieve his daughter and nephew and take them to his new home - a parcel of land marked to become a thriving ranch. But the children are terrified of him and instead cling to the woman who has cared for them in the past months. When a determined killer once again trains his sights on the small group huddled together in the wild winter, Cam must extend his time with the annoying Gwen Harkness. Yet the threat of danger and the chance to get to know and love his children give him an opportunity to learn more about Gwen, and Cam finds she just might be the answer to his troubles. While I’ve never been a huge fan of Mary Connealy’s writing, (sorry, I think that’s totally on me and nothing wrong with the author herself), I love these stories of romance in the face of survival in harsh landscapes and troubled circumstances. While the writing is a little stilted - repetitive and simplistic - in places, it suits the ruggedness of the story and characters. In The Reluctant Warrior there is fabulous character development as Cameron - with Gwen’s help - learns to become softer, kinder and more considerate. While their story might start from feelings of dislike and irritation, Gwen and Cam share an undeniable spark, which helps as they turn an arrangement of sort-of convenience into one of mutual respect and love. Along with the romance and story of Gwen and Cam learning to get along, care for the children and starting their own family unit, which was my favourite sections of the book, there is plenty of tension and action as the killer from book one returns with revenge on his mind. I look forward to reading the third book in the series. The publishers provided an advanced readers copy of this book for reviewing purposes. All opinions are my own. Find more reviews, reading age guides, content advisory, and recommendations on my blog Madison's Library

  5. 4 out of 5

    Susan Snodgrass

    Mary Connealy continues her High Sierras Sweethearts series with this second offering and it's so good! Cameron Scott, former Union army officer, is used to barking out orders and having men obey his every word. But now he's come to the High Sierras to take his daughter and nephew home with him and the folks that have been caring for them don't want them to leave. And to make matters worse, both children are scared to death of him. He's been trapped by a blizzard all winter with these folks, cha Mary Connealy continues her High Sierras Sweethearts series with this second offering and it's so good! Cameron Scott, former Union army officer, is used to barking out orders and having men obey his every word. But now he's come to the High Sierras to take his daughter and nephew home with him and the folks that have been caring for them don't want them to leave. And to make matters worse, both children are scared to death of him. He's been trapped by a blizzard all winter with these folks, characters from the previous novel, and one of them, Gwen Harkness, is determined that he is not going to take the children away from her. Then danger arrives at the cabin where they are all huddled to wait out the winter. Cam is injured trying to protect them and now Gwen has to care for him. He's pretty sure she'd just as soon let him die as to save him, too. Then he begins to realize why these children love her so much. But the danger is not going away and they must all stay on high alert if they want to stay alive. Mary Connealy has once again brought her readers a book worthy to be placed on the keeper shelf! I know her books sit on mine. This one really touched me with its spiritual message, too. We don't have to fear when we know Christ as our Savior. She has also left enough intrigue to draw readers back for the third book in the series. I can't wait. *My thanks to Bethany House publishers for a preview copy of this book. The opinions stated here are entirely my own.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Rachael

    This book picks up shortly after the first book leaves off--a couple months later, but everyone is still solidly snowed in for the winter, and the situation from the end of book one hasn't really changed. Thus I highly recommend starting with book 1, as they are quite interconnected. Some days one just needs a lighthearted story where the good guys are good (though definitely not perfect), the bad guys are bad (and through some soul-searching, this villain determines that yes, he just really like This book picks up shortly after the first book leaves off--a couple months later, but everyone is still solidly snowed in for the winter, and the situation from the end of book one hasn't really changed. Thus I highly recommend starting with book 1, as they are quite interconnected. Some days one just needs a lighthearted story where the good guys are good (though definitely not perfect), the bad guys are bad (and through some soul-searching, this villain determines that yes, he just really likes being bad [I rather liked that about him]), and there's just enough romance to sweeten the story. I rather liked Cameron and wanted to defend him, even when he wasn't right. He might be a bossy grouch, but there's no denying his love and heartbreak for his children, and that absolutely tilted the scales in his favor. I can understand Gwen's reluctance to give them to him; he really has no concept of how to deal with kids. But as they begin to work together to connect him and the kids, there are some really sweet moments. This book clearly sets up the next, and I look forward to Penny and John's story! It was fun getting to know them a bit in this book, and should be even more fun seeing what trouble they get into! Thank you Bethany House and NetGalley for the complimentary e-book. I was not required to write a positive review, and all opinions are my own.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Suzie

    Mary Connealy returns with her unique and thoroughly enjoyable cowboy historicals with plenty of humor and even more heart in The Reluctant Warrior (Book 2 in the High Sierra Sweethearts series). From the first pages, the action is intense with the group fighting to survive and the interactions between Came and Gwen rocky (and often funny). But those initial impressions turn to something entirely different when Cam gets injured and Gwen is tasked with caring for him. I also loved the interactions Mary Connealy returns with her unique and thoroughly enjoyable cowboy historicals with plenty of humor and even more heart in The Reluctant Warrior (Book 2 in the High Sierra Sweethearts series). From the first pages, the action is intense with the group fighting to survive and the interactions between Came and Gwen rocky (and often funny). But those initial impressions turn to something entirely different when Cam gets injured and Gwen is tasked with caring for him. I also loved the interactions with both of these characters with the children. Throughout the book, Connealy’s ability to place the reader in the setting and situation—from the heartwarming to the heart pounding—is first-rate. I look forward to each and every one of this author’s books, and that goes triple for the third and final book in this series since we are left with hints of what’s coming next). Disclosure statement: I receive complimentary books from publishers, publicists, and/or authors, including NetGalley. I am not required to write positive reviews. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Stacey

    I'm really enjoying this newest series (High Sierra Sweethearts) by Mary Connealy. This is the second book in the series, which could be read as a stand alone, but it picks up right after book one has ended. I would suggest starting with book one just because it's a great story and gives some background. Why is Mary Connealy one of my favorite Christian fiction authors? Several reasons, which also apply to this book. I love the humor she inserts in the dialogue and story line of her characters. I'm really enjoying this newest series (High Sierra Sweethearts) by Mary Connealy. This is the second book in the series, which could be read as a stand alone, but it picks up right after book one has ended. I would suggest starting with book one just because it's a great story and gives some background. Why is Mary Connealy one of my favorite Christian fiction authors? Several reasons, which also apply to this book. I love the humor she inserts in the dialogue and story line of her characters. A mix of sarcasm and wit makes for some fun and even laugh-out-loud moments. Strong male and female characters also draw me in. The men are manly, brave, strong, skilled at using guns and tracking (think wild west), but also have a desire to show sensitivity to their ladies and their children. Some of them are even skilled at sewing, like Cam was in this book. The strength that Connealy infuses into all of her female characters is fun to read. Some of them know how to track, handle a gun, build a house, and aren't afraid of much of anything. But there's an equal amount of strength shown by the women who protect their children, stand up to injustice, take care of the home, and are sensitive and feminine. Both the men and women have to work together to survive the wild land, especially when there's an evil, bloodthirsty villain trying to track them down. Connealy knows how to write some nasty baddies, and doesn't hold back in showing just how evil they can be. And let's not forget a little romance mixed in. Gotta love that ; ). All of these elements have come together in The Reluctant Warrior to make a great read. I would definitely recommend it...and I can't wait to read the next book in the series! **I received a free copy of this novel from the publisher via NetGalley in order to give an honest review, which I did. **

  9. 5 out of 5

    E

    First, of all, I love this cover. Just look at that scenery! I think I'm appreciating the snow covered mountains on the cover and in the story more right now than usual because while other parts of the country seem to be cooling a little, Florida is seeming to get even hotter and muggier than usual. This book picks up soon after the first book in the series, The Accidental Guardian, leaves off. Since that book left me hanging, I was delighted to continue the story. And I loved it! The characters First, of all, I love this cover. Just look at that scenery! I think I'm appreciating the snow covered mountains on the cover and in the story more right now than usual because while other parts of the country seem to be cooling a little, Florida is seeming to get even hotter and muggier than usual. This book picks up soon after the first book in the series, The Accidental Guardian, leaves off. Since that book left me hanging, I was delighted to continue the story. And I loved it! The characters were fascinating. Gwen was so sweet and gentle, yet she also had determination and courage and kept a good attitude through everything. She is a character who I would love to meet if she were a real person. I must be honest, that Cam annoyed me at first. He was too militaristic and demanding However, as the story progressed, I learned the reasons why he acted the way he did. And I was happy to see him grow and learn that while being a leader can be a good thing, leading gently is usually better than demanding control. The characters were just one of the reasons why I enjoyed this book and one of the reasons I think you would enjoy this book. Especially, if you need a snowy setting to take your mind off the heat! I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys historical fiction set in the west, humorous stories, or romance. I received a complimentary copy of this book from Bethany House through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Kim hansen

    Mary's books are one's you just can't put down. This book is no exception.

  11. 4 out of 5

    The Books and Biscuits Blog

    The Reluctant Warrior – Mary Connealy (4.5 Stars) 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 protecti The Reluctant Warrior – Mary Connealy (4.5 Stars) 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. Special thanks to Bethany House and NetGalley for the complimentary copy of The Reluctant Warrior! Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own. Thanks! Brittany at the Books and Biscuits Blog PS. To see the full review, please visit http://booksandbiscuits.com/blog/2018.... Thanks!

  12. 5 out of 5

    BlueJeansAndTeacups

    ***Just Ok*** Sierra Nevada Mountains – Apr 1868 Cameron Scott has recently returned from the war but can’t seem to give up barking orders as if everyone is a soldier. Cam and his sister Penny have come to the home of Trace and Deb Riley to claim his daughter Maddie Sue and nephew Ronnie. He had only planned to be gone from his new homestead a day or two. But, the weather takes a terrible turn and an interfering woman named Gwen Harkness seems determined to keep him from children. In addition to th ***Just Ok*** Sierra Nevada Mountains – Apr 1868 Cameron Scott has recently returned from the war but can’t seem to give up barking orders as if everyone is a soldier. Cam and his sister Penny have come to the home of Trace and Deb Riley to claim his daughter Maddie Sue and nephew Ronnie. He had only planned to be gone from his new homestead a day or two. But, the weather takes a terrible turn and an interfering woman named Gwen Harkness seems determined to keep him from children. In addition to that, Raddo Landauer, the vile outlaw who led the massacre on the wagon train that killed everyone but Gwen, Deb and the children (book one) seems determined to leave no witness behind. Gwen is trying to figure out her place in a new world but has become bonded to the children she helped save and will do anything to protect them. Cam is not the only one with a claim on the children. Some not-so-nice grandparents also have an interest and hire a Pinkerton Agent to fetch him. This story is fast paced as pioneer life was hard and dangerous. I found some details overly long for inconsequential scenes. It was also a bit odd to have the story switch to the outlaw’s point of view, particularly when he is quite evil. It’s natural for people to become drawn together in snowed in with cramped quarters over a long winter and the romance was sweet as each person fumbled through the practicality of a future together. The book was not my favorite, and I certainly enjoyed the first one more. I would recommend it for someone wanting to know what happens next in the series. Positive Faith Quote: "Think about it, Cam. Whatever happens, God promises to be with us. So, Be not afraid. He goes before us in this life and the next. I'd say that sounds exactly right." Copy provided by Bethany House Publishing via NetGalley with no other compensation. I am not required to provide a favorable review and my opinion is my own. It is not my intent to color your opinion about the story or author so please read other reviews for a more well-rounded purchasing decision. High Sierra Sweethearts Series 1 – The Accidental Guardian – April 2018 2 – The Reluctant Warrior – October 2018 3 – The Unexpected Champion – coming in 2019

  13. 5 out of 5

    Phyllis

    Adventure in the High Sierras The saga of the Sierras continues with all my favorite characters from The Accidental Guardian. Battling not only the blizzard that cocooned the cabin and bunkhouse but also the man who attempted to burn them alive and the woman who turned his children against him, Cam realizes that he needs to change and he can’t do it by himself. I liked Cam and thought it was amazing that he loved his daughter enough to be willing to humble himself for her sake. With his gruff mann Adventure in the High Sierras The saga of the Sierras continues with all my favorite characters from The Accidental Guardian. Battling not only the blizzard that cocooned the cabin and bunkhouse but also the man who attempted to burn them alive and the woman who turned his children against him, Cam realizes that he needs to change and he can’t do it by himself. I liked Cam and thought it was amazing that he loved his daughter enough to be willing to humble himself for her sake. With his gruff manner and the way he barked orders at everyone as he had been accustomed and even expected to do in the army, the children were terrified of him. He had to learn to be gentle and Gwen was the perfect person to teach him. As the children needed to learn to trust Cam, he and Gwen needed to learn to trust in the Lord and in His strength. I loved that the message to not be afraid was not because God will rescue us from any type of harm but that we can trust Him to keep our souls safe no matter what happens and that we have eternal security in Him. A new plot twist surfaces as new antagonists make cameo appearances. It appears they will be playing a much larger role in The Unexpected Champion, (which releases in March and is available for pre-order now), I won’t give you too many details, but suffice it to say that Cam’s sister Penny will get her own story. This series is designed with each book containing information that will be referenced in the following stories. Though the story comes to a satisfying conclusion, there are cliff-hangers to set things up for the next one. This review was originally posted on Among the Reads I was given a free copy of this item. This gift did not influence my opinion or review.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Mary

    “If it isn’t outlaws, then it’s wolves or green-broke horses, stampeding cattle or wild, unpredictable weather. Being on guard constantly is just the way of life in the West for those who want to survive.” --Cameron Scott Once again we meet up with the Harkness sisters, Deborah and Gwen; however, Deborah is no longer a Harkness having married the cowboy of her dreams, Trace Riley, in the first novel in the High Sierra Sweethearts series. The story sets us down once again in the Sierra Nevada Moun “If it isn’t outlaws, then it’s wolves or green-broke horses, stampeding cattle or wild, unpredictable weather. Being on guard constantly is just the way of life in the West for those who want to survive.” --Cameron Scott Once again we meet up with the Harkness sisters, Deborah and Gwen; however, Deborah is no longer a Harkness having married the cowboy of her dreams, Trace Riley, in the first novel in the High Sierra Sweethearts series. The story sets us down once again in the Sierra Nevada Mountain area outside Lake Tahoe a few months later in the spring of 1868. Trace, Deb, and Gwen work to do their best for the two young children, Maddie Sue and Ronnie, from the wagon train attack when Cameron Scott, Maddie’s father and Ronnie’s uncle, arrives at the Riley Ranch along with his sister, Penny to claim the kids. Given the difficult situation, Cam and Penny decide to stay awhile to give the children time to get acquainted with them, and they wind up stranded for the winter. And what a winter it becomes! As Cam basically said in the quote above, if it isn’t one thing in the west trying to get you, it is something else. The winter spins into an adventure of its own as a blizzard and their old enemy, Raddo Landauer, show up at the same time. Another unlikely romance peeks from between the pages of this story as well as adventure and action! An enticing story packed with frontier action and filled with themes of family, friendship, faith, and good versus evil. A fine read for lovers of inspirational historical fiction and western fiction! Enjoy book two in the series! I’m impatiently waiting on book three. This ARC copy was received from Bethany House Publishers and Netgalley.com in exchange for an honest review. The above thoughts and opinions are wholly my own.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Prairie Sky Book Reviews

    I have long been waiting for the second installment in Mary Connealy’s “High Sierra Sweethearts” series from Bethany House, ever since the first story released earlier this year. “The Reluctant Warrior” picks up right where “The Accidental Guardian” leaves off, and reveals the stories of two characters who we’ve already become acquainted with. “The Reluctant Warrior” continues the saga of two sisters and two young children who survive a wagon train massacre near the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Olde I have long been waiting for the second installment in Mary Connealy’s “High Sierra Sweethearts” series from Bethany House, ever since the first story released earlier this year. “The Reluctant Warrior” picks up right where “The Accidental Guardian” leaves off, and reveals the stories of two characters who we’ve already become acquainted with. “The Reluctant Warrior” continues the saga of two sisters and two young children who survive a wagon train massacre near the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Older sister Deb’s story is revealed in “The Accidental Guardian”, and this time it is younger sister Gwen’s turn. Gwen has become like a mother to the two children who survived the wagon attack, and when their guardian arrives to take them home (and the remaining murderer of the wagon train attack returns in seek of vengeance), well, things take an unexpected turn... I greatly enjoyed the two stories I’ve read of the “High Sierra Sweethearts” series, and found them to be clean, entertaining, humorous, and compelling novels. While some readers may find the stories a little slow-paced and overly wordy, I found the intricate details really helped the stories come to life in the my imagination. Yes, a lot of the novel takes place inside a snowbound cabin, but that is the perfect opportunity for character growth! If you enjoy Christian Historical Fiction, especially with a western setting, I definitely recommend “The Reluctant Warrior”. With two installments so far and another one on the way, the “High Sierra Sweethearts” series promises both heartwarming and heart-pounding moments, a realistic setting, and compelling characters. So step back in time, to a ranch high in the Sierra Nevada Mountains with a deep blanket of snow covering the ground... All seems to be peaceful as the world sleeps - but looks can be deceiving! “Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.”

  16. 5 out of 5

    Kathryn at Book Ink Reivews

    A copy of this review can be found at Book Ink Reviews. Thank you to NetGalley, Mary Connealy, and Bethany House for this free ARC in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed herein are my own. I am so thankful to be able to step back into the High Sierra Sweethearts series. Ironically, I didn't realize this book was connected to The Accidental Guardian until about halfway through when Gwen's thoughts of her childhood sounded so familiar. The Reluctant Warrior is a much longer book. Th A copy of this review can be found at Book Ink Reviews. Thank you to NetGalley, Mary Connealy, and Bethany House for this free ARC in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed herein are my own. I am so thankful to be able to step back into the High Sierra Sweethearts series. Ironically, I didn't realize this book was connected to The Accidental Guardian until about halfway through when Gwen's thoughts of her childhood sounded so familiar. The Reluctant Warrior is a much longer book. The romance, while clean, is anything but instant and actually takes a back-back seat to the incredible story of a frontier family fighting Nevada winters and a rabid outlaw bent on destroying all witnesses to his crimes in the last book. It also gave us a great insight into who would play pivotal roles in the next romance. I'm a sucker for historical fiction series that are either generational or stick to the current clan. This was the perfect addition to the series and does not suffer from middle book syndrome. You can read it alone, and you can read the story out of order, but I wouldn't recommend either because you'd miss out on some sweet western romance. The baddie in this book was more impressive than in Guardian. He wasn't as predictable and the few times we were given a glimpse into his POV it was truly chilling. Pick it up! It's the perfect fall and winter read--especially now that my state is already looking at receiving snow.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Brenda

    The Reluctant Warrior by Mary Connealy – 4 Stars! I liked this one by Mary Connealy. I got a little slowed on the story while she told the back story that was from her previous book. For me it didn’t flow as well as her previous books in those sections…..but she got into the story eventually without having to tell any more backstory. I like her writing and I do love reading about the old west and how the people who traveled into Indian country in covered wagons managed with very little to prove c The Reluctant Warrior by Mary Connealy – 4 Stars! I liked this one by Mary Connealy. I got a little slowed on the story while she told the back story that was from her previous book. For me it didn’t flow as well as her previous books in those sections…..but she got into the story eventually without having to tell any more backstory. I like her writing and I do love reading about the old west and how the people who traveled into Indian country in covered wagons managed with very little to prove claims and live with very little and build homes with even less. The story line picked up and I finished the book in very little time. I did enjoy the book and there was a bit of suspense throughout the book, a romance, etc. I received this book from the publisher as part of their book launch program, the review is entirely my own. I’m a member of NetGalley. #TheReluctantWarrior #NetGalley Description as found on NetGalley.com Union army officer Cameron Scott is used to being obeyed, but nothing about this journey to Lake Tahoe has gone as expected. He's come to fetch his daughter and nephew, and seek revenge on the people who killed his brother. Instead he finds himself trapped by a blizzard with two children who are terrified of him and stubborn but beautiful Gwen Harkness, who he worries may be trying to keep the children. When danger descends on the cabin where they're huddled, Cam is hurt trying to protect everyone and now finds Gwen caring for him too. He soon realizes why the kids love her so much and wonders if it might be best for him to move on without them. When she sees his broken heart, Gwen decides to help him win back their affection--and in the process he might just win her heart as well.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Leona Atkinson

    Review of "The Reluctant Warrior" "High Sierra Sweethearts--Book Two" by Mary Connealy I did not read "The Accidental Guardian" which was book one in this series, but I could see from reading "The Reluctant Warrior" that it must have set the stage for this book two. And even though I did not read book one, I still enjoyed book two immensely and did not have any problem making sense of the story. The "Reluctant Warrior" was a title that peaked my curiousity. Who was this "Reluctant Warrior" and why Review of "The Reluctant Warrior" "High Sierra Sweethearts--Book Two" by Mary Connealy I did not read "The Accidental Guardian" which was book one in this series, but I could see from reading "The Reluctant Warrior" that it must have set the stage for this book two. And even though I did not read book one, I still enjoyed book two immensely and did not have any problem making sense of the story. The "Reluctant Warrior" was a title that peaked my curiousity. Who was this "Reluctant Warrior" and why would a warrior be reluctant I wondered. The storyline was not obvious. It took me until the books final pages to find out, which is good wriing that keeps one glued to the story to the end. The story is set in the Sierra Nevada Mountains in April 1868. Even though the calendar may say Spring, in the mountains it was still bitterly winter and the characters had to not only fight to survive the natural elements, they also had to fight to survive a human enemy who was a cold blooded killer. If you like reading historical romance set in the West with adventure and drama included, then you will most surely enjoy reading this book. I know I did, and I look forward to reading the next book in this series as I am expecting from the way it ended that there will be a book three. I received this book free as I was chosen as a winner in an online book giveaway on Facebook presented by Mary Connealy and Bethany House Publishers. I was not required to give a favorable review, but chose to do so, and all comments are my own. --Leona J. Atkinson

  19. 4 out of 5

    Judy

    The is the second book in the High Sierra Sweethearts series and all of the characters that were introduced in Book 1 are back again. While it can be read as a standalone, I liked having the background from the first book. This book focuses on Union army officer Cameron Scott who has come to the High Sierras to retrieve his young daughter, Maddie Sue, and his nephew, Ronnie, whose parents were killed in a wagon train massacre. Sisters Gwen and Deb Harkness were charged with caring for the young The is the second book in the High Sierra Sweethearts series and all of the characters that were introduced in Book 1 are back again. While it can be read as a standalone, I liked having the background from the first book. This book focuses on Union army officer Cameron Scott who has come to the High Sierras to retrieve his young daughter, Maddie Sue, and his nephew, Ronnie, whose parents were killed in a wagon train massacre. Sisters Gwen and Deb Harkness were charged with caring for the young children as the wagon train led by Ronnie's parents traveled west. Gwen, Deb and the two children were the only survivors of the massacre. They were rescued by Trace Riley and taken to his ranch. Cameron and his sister, Penny, arrived in October to pick up the children and then got snowed in at the ranch for the winter. The abrasive Cameron can't seem to get close to the children as they have come to think of Gwen as their primary caregiver. Because of this, the relationship between Cam and Gwen is contentious to say the least. Raddo, the criminal behind the massacre, has learned there were survivors who can identify him and he is determined to eliminate them. There is much adventure and suspense in the story and the historical aspect of life in the High Sierras in the winter in the 1860's is very interesting. Thanks to Goodreads and Bethany House Publishers for the gift of this book that I received in a giveaway. These are the first books that I have read by Mary Connealy, but I will be looking for more by her.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Sally

    Mary Connealy's books start with a bang and don't let up. This one starts with the characters from book one in the High Sierra Sweethearts series snowed in and their bunkhouse full of smoke. Cam can't get the others to wake up. He can't get the door open. Once they get outside, they realize the other cabin is snowed in and full of smoke as well. Trace, from the first book, knows who is behind this. Can they stop him before he kills them? Cam wants to take his daughter but he will wait until the Mary Connealy's books start with a bang and don't let up. This one starts with the characters from book one in the High Sierra Sweethearts series snowed in and their bunkhouse full of smoke. Cam can't get the others to wake up. He can't get the door open. Once they get outside, they realize the other cabin is snowed in and full of smoke as well. Trace, from the first book, knows who is behind this. Can they stop him before he kills them? Cam wants to take his daughter but he will wait until the cabins are rebuilt. Gwen has been taking care of his daughter and his nephew since the wagon train was ambushed. They look up to her like a mother. Gwen opens her heart and helps the children get to know Cam. Can Cam take them away from her when he leaves? Or will Cam and Gwen find the love they have been searching for and make a home for the children? This story is filled with hope, love, humor, and faith and will engage your heart as you turn the pages. If you enjoy inspirational western romances, you'll love The Reluctant Warrior. I received a free copy from Net Galley in the hope that I would mention/review it on my blog. I was not required to give a positive review, only my honest opinion - which I've done. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own and I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Trisha Robertson (Joy of Reading)

    From the very first page, I was involved in this story and the lives of these characters. I found myself thrown into the action and holding my breath to find out what would happen next. Gwen is spunky and not afraid to say what’s on her mind and tell things like they are. She doesn’t hold back, and you know where you stand with her. She loves the children and comes to realize that by helping them get to know their father, it will make their lives easier. Little does she realize that her heart may From the very first page, I was involved in this story and the lives of these characters. I found myself thrown into the action and holding my breath to find out what would happen next. Gwen is spunky and not afraid to say what’s on her mind and tell things like they are. She doesn’t hold back, and you know where you stand with her. She loves the children and comes to realize that by helping them get to know their father, it will make their lives easier. Little does she realize that her heart may be changed in the process. Cam is battle-hardened. He is used to giving orders and having them followed without question. But he quickly comes to realize that what has served him well thus far, is now the very thing that is causing him problems. Will he be able to admit his short-comings and ask for help? Survival is difficult enough on its own in the high Sierra's, but with a murderer lurking, things have only gotten more difficult. It is only by working together as a team that they can all survive. But will their own personalities get in the way? I enjoyed my time spent reading this newest book by Mary Connealy. These characters are full of personality and I couldn’t help but feel like I was part of the story right along with them. I would recommend reading the first book, before this one as you would miss out on some back-story. I give this book 4.5 stars and look forward to reading more from Mary Connealy in the near future! (I receive complimentary books for review from publishers, publicists, and/or authors, including Netgalley. I am not required to write positive reviews. The opinions I have expressed are my own.)

  22. 5 out of 5

    Pam

    This book opens approximately six months after the end of the first, The Accidental Guardian. As is typical of Mary Connealy's books, the characters immediately face a challenge, in this case a fire. Former Army officer Cameron Scott is the first to discover it. He and his sister Penny have been snowed in all winter on Trace and Deb Riley's High Sierra ranch, along with his daughter, Maddie Sue, nephew, Ronnie, Deb's sister, Gwen, and the hired men, Utah and Adam. Cam and Penny had come to take This book opens approximately six months after the end of the first, The Accidental Guardian. As is typical of Mary Connealy's books, the characters immediately face a challenge, in this case a fire. Former Army officer Cameron Scott is the first to discover it. He and his sister Penny have been snowed in all winter on Trace and Deb Riley's High Sierra ranch, along with his daughter, Maddie Sue, nephew, Ronnie, Deb's sister, Gwen, and the hired men, Utah and Adam. Cam and Penny had come to take the children home with them after they received word Ronnie's parents had been killed in a wagon train massacre and the children were being cared for by Deb and Gwen. The murdering outlaw, Raddo Landauer, who caused so much trouble in the first book, is still up to his tricks, trying to kill Trace and Deb (since they have seen his face), but happy to kill anyone else as well. A secondary story line features Pinkerton agent John McCall who was hired by Ronnie's maternal grandparents to bring him back east to them so they can claim his trust fund. There is plenty of action, plus some humor and romance in this very entertaining book. Some of the issues are resolved, others not, so I am really looking forward to the release of the third novel in this series.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Marilyn Johnson

    I love the writing style of Mary Connealy, She keeps you interested with plenty of action, laughter, sparks and so much more. This is book two in the High Sierra Sweethearts series. I would recommend you reading book one, Accidental Guardian, first just to get an understanding of what is happening in this book. This novel also will leave you waiting for book three (which I can't wait to read). I fell in love with many of the characters in book one and was excited to see them stay involved in book I love the writing style of Mary Connealy, She keeps you interested with plenty of action, laughter, sparks and so much more. This is book two in the High Sierra Sweethearts series. I would recommend you reading book one, Accidental Guardian, first just to get an understanding of what is happening in this book. This novel also will leave you waiting for book three (which I can't wait to read). I fell in love with many of the characters in book one and was excited to see them stay involved in book two. This novel focus is on former Union army officer Cameron Scott. He must learn to soften up to gain the love of his daughter and nephew and perhaps a beautiful woman in the process. Gwen Harkness, is a beautiful, stubborn woman who has fallen in love with the kids, and they her. Will she be able to put aside her fears and help Cameron or is he just to mean. There is lots of action, drama, love and more in this book. I look forward to book three.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Jaquelyn Scroggie

    This book was an absolute joy to read. While danger was lurking around almost every corner, I totally enjoyed the ride. The Reluctant Warrior kept my interest the entire time. I was hooked and turning pages late Into the night. If you've read The Accidental Guardian you know how great these characters are. I love their endurance, passion to keep going, and their love for each other. Connealy had me chuckling at their interactions and loving every minute of it. There were times I was almost bitin This book was an absolute joy to read. While danger was lurking around almost every corner, I totally enjoyed the ride. The Reluctant Warrior kept my interest the entire time. I was hooked and turning pages late Into the night. If you've read The Accidental Guardian you know how great these characters are. I love their endurance, passion to keep going, and their love for each other. Connealy had me chuckling at their interactions and loving every minute of it. There were times I was almost biting my nails not knowing what would happen next. I can't wait to see what happens in book three of this series. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys historical romance. Connealy is one of the best and she doesn't disappoint. I received a copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers and was in no way forced to post a review. All opinions expressed are my own.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Barbara Warren

    When Cameron Scott rode to Lake Tahoe to get his young daughter and small nephew he didn't plan on being trapped in a blizzard. He'd been an officer in the army and hadn't seen the children in a long time. As an officer, he's used to snapping out orders, a hard habit to break, and the kids are afraid of him. Nor did he plan on meeting beautiful Gwen Harkness, who isn't afraid to stand up to him. A killer is trying to eliminate the people who can identify him, kill them all. Cam is determined to When Cameron Scott rode to Lake Tahoe to get his young daughter and small nephew he didn't plan on being trapped in a blizzard. He'd been an officer in the army and hadn't seen the children in a long time. As an officer, he's used to snapping out orders, a hard habit to break, and the kids are afraid of him. Nor did he plan on meeting beautiful Gwen Harkness, who isn't afraid to stand up to him. A killer is trying to eliminate the people who can identify him, kill them all. Cam is determined to protect Gwen, to whom he is strongly attracted, the children, and the others, but he's up against a smart, determined man who intends to destroy everyone. Mary Connealy writes intriguing stories about characters who are so real they captivate the reader. The Reluctant Warrior is a story full of suspense, romance, and humor. I strongly recommend it.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Denise Hershberger

    This story wasn't quite as light-hearted as the first in the series, but it still had plenty of fun moments. I really liked the interactions between Cam and Gwen both when they were at odds with each other and when they worked together. But I'll admit I still found myself more drawn to the couple from the first book. I really loved them. I found this story to be a little more over the top than I expected. And I felt like the ending was a cliffhanger. Hopefully, book three wraps up all the loose e This story wasn't quite as light-hearted as the first in the series, but it still had plenty of fun moments. I really liked the interactions between Cam and Gwen both when they were at odds with each other and when they worked together. But I'll admit I still found myself more drawn to the couple from the first book. I really loved them. I found this story to be a little more over the top than I expected. And I felt like the ending was a cliffhanger. Hopefully, book three wraps up all the loose ends for us. Overall I liked this story, and I'm curious what will happen next to these families. I received an advanced copy of this book through NetGalley. All opinions are my own.

  27. 5 out of 5

    kate

    Silly me! After I bought this I realized I read the first one in this series and didn't like it. But I have read books by this author that I liked so I plunged ahead. That's ten dollars wasted. I did like it better then the first but not by much. There were to many shallow goody two shoes people. To much time spent on quoting and then dissecting bible verse. The story itself was meh which was amazing considering they spent the entire story being stalked by a killer. I'm going to approach Mary Con Silly me! After I bought this I realized I read the first one in this series and didn't like it. But I have read books by this author that I liked so I plunged ahead. That's ten dollars wasted. I did like it better then the first but not by much. There were to many shallow goody two shoes people. To much time spent on quoting and then dissecting bible verse. The story itself was meh which was amazing considering they spent the entire story being stalked by a killer. I'm going to approach Mary Connealy books with caution in the future. They're an expensive mistake.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Amy

    The Reluctant Warrior is the second installment from Mary Connealy’s High Sierra Sweethearts series. I have loved every one of her books that I have read and this one is no exception. I give The Reluctant Warrior four and a half stars. I can not wait to get my hands on the next book from the High Sierra Sweethearts series. This is a great read! I highly recommend it for readers who love a good, sweet and clean western. I received this book from the publisher. This review is 100% my own honest op The Reluctant Warrior is the second installment from Mary Connealy’s High Sierra Sweethearts series. I have loved every one of her books that I have read and this one is no exception. I give The Reluctant Warrior four and a half stars. I can not wait to get my hands on the next book from the High Sierra Sweethearts series. This is a great read! I highly recommend it for readers who love a good, sweet and clean western. I received this book from the publisher. This review is 100% my own honest opinion.

  29. 4 out of 5

    K P

    The Reluctant Warrior is the latest tale from Mary Connealy. You will meet Cameron Scott on the opening pages. He has come to the Sierra Nevada mountains to claim his young daughter and nephew. Cameron soon will find he has a fight on his hands. Gwen Harkness has been caring for these young lives and is not ready to give them up very easily! You will soon find both Gwen and Cameron fighting against the elements, in the dangerous world of the snowy west in the year 1868! Hold on to see how God will The Reluctant Warrior is the latest tale from Mary Connealy. You will meet Cameron Scott on the opening pages. He has come to the Sierra Nevada mountains to claim his young daughter and nephew. Cameron soon will find he has a fight on his hands. Gwen Harkness has been caring for these young lives and is not ready to give them up very easily! You will soon find both Gwen and Cameron fighting against the elements, in the dangerous world of the snowy west in the year 1868! Hold on to see how God will bring Gwen and Cameron through all of the circumstances they encounter along the way!

  30. 5 out of 5

    Lisa

    I received this book as an ARC. I did not realize when I requested this book that it was a number two. So when I started the book I was utterly confused. No fault of the book, but I felt like I was not getting the whole story. When I looked into it that is when i realized that I really wasn't getting the whole story. This may have colored my view of the book. In this case one really does have to follow the order or they won't get it. I tried to enjoy it, I tried to get into it but I just could n I received this book as an ARC. I did not realize when I requested this book that it was a number two. So when I started the book I was utterly confused. No fault of the book, but I felt like I was not getting the whole story. When I looked into it that is when i realized that I really wasn't getting the whole story. This may have colored my view of the book. In this case one really does have to follow the order or they won't get it. I tried to enjoy it, I tried to get into it but I just could not. So essentially this book was not for me, nothing negative, just not for me.

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