Wednesday, April 25, 2018

THE ACCIDENTAL GUARDIAN by Mary Connealy, reviewed by Trixi Oberembt

Take a man who survived to make his living on the Sierra Nevada range, two women and two small children who escaped a wagon train massacre, mix them up and you have an adventurous tale of epic proportions! Connealy’s imagination runs as wild as the mountainous terrain that Trace has made his home in this story.

“I’m going to change, Gwen. I am. The West is different than where we came from. It’s a land that demands strength of people. A land that tests courage."

One would think after the many years Trace lived here that he was a rugged, rough mountain man with ill manners, but just the opposite is true.  Once he encounters Deb and her sister Gwen and the two children after the massacre, he sets out to do what’s right by them. Pushing for home and shelter, he’s made it a lifelong vow to bring the men responsible to justice. A true hero in every sense of the word. Protective, defender of the weak, tender when needed but just as tough when situation calls for it, and he don’t take no guff.  Deb was one character that surprised me! She was tough and had what it takes to survive with plenty of backbone and hard-working attitude to get by; she bucked up and did what had doing. These two definitely had plenty of sparks and banter between them! Fun to watch from the sidelines.  

“And…well, I can’t be kissing a man. That’s a good way to get tangled up….in forever.”

Deb: “But men and women not understanding each other is a mighty common thing I’d say.”
Trace: “It’s a wonder they don’t do a better job of avoiding each other.”

One word description: Un-putdownable (if only real life didn’t interrupt)! I can’t say I’ve never met a book I didn’t like, nor a hero I didn’t fall in love with written by this author. Western adventure stories are her specialty!  I know I’ll find a laugh or three, strong characters, a little faith mixed in, and romance brewing. This one also had a few heart-in-my-throat scenes when danger edged a little too close for comfort, and plenty of action to keep it going. She had me wanting more; but that’s just a common thing with a Connealy tale! I’m already anticipating the next novel, it can come soon enough for me.

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. 

*I received a complimentary copy from Bethany House via Netgalley and was under no obligation to leave a favorable review. All opinions are my own. *

:Available in paperback, hardcover, digital e book and audiobook.
BUY The Accidental Guardian at Amazon
BUY The Accidental Guardian at


  1. This looks wonderful. Thanks so much Trixi!

  2. Thanks Trixi. I read and enjoyed this one very much! Trace and his hired men are what I think cowboys should be! I liked that Trace read books, too. Multiple times through. Especially the Bible!


Share This Post

How Our Giveaways Work: The Official Rules

We, the ladies of Inkwell Inspirations, would love to give free stuff to everybody. Since we can't, we will often have a giveaway in conjunction with a specific post. Unless otherwise stated, one winner will be drawn from comments left on that post between the date it was published and the end of the giveaway as determined in the post. Entries must be accompanied by a valid email address. This address is used only to contact the commenter in the event that he/she is the winner, and will not be sold, distributed, or used in any other fashion. The odds of winning depend on the number of entrants. NO PURCHASE, PLEDGE, OR DONATION NECESSARY TO ENTER OR TO WIN. ALL FEDERAL, STATE, LOCAL AND MUNICIPAL LAWS AND REGULATIONS APPLY. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED.