THE PROTECTOR Shelley Shepard Gray
Families of Honor , Book 2
Avon Inspire
ISBN: 978-0-06-202062-8
August 2011
Inspirational Amish Romance

Jacob's Crossing, Ohio - Present Day

Ella Hostetler has always been interested in Loyal Weaver, but growing up, they really never connected.  And while all of Ella's friends were attending group singings and other teenage events, Ella was at home by herself, caring for her sick mother.

Ella has been shy since forever, mostly due to her doubts about her own physical attributes. She thinks she's too tall, too blind with out glasses, and always too something, she isn't like the other dainty girls who are her friends.  And the popular Loyal Weaver never even noticed her; she was always in the background.  She tried to draw his attention once, but became embarrassed for one thing or the other, and ran home from the church.  Ella always gave up before giving Loyal a chance to see her, let alone speak to her.  Self consciousness was, and still is, her own undoing.

But now Loyal just purchased her family farm.  Ella's happy he's the one who bid and won it.  She was forced to auction off her family's belongings in order to survive, and she could not have hand picked a better, more deserving person than Loyal to get the farm.  Now that her mother is gone, Ella rents the empty half of the duplex next door to Dorothy Zook.  Ella is grateful for Dorothy, who helped her get hired at the library where Dorothy also works.  Ella is quite happy to be reading to the children and working around the books she loves.

Loyal Weaver has never really looked at Ella Hostetler.  She didn't hang out with the other kids, and frankly, Loyal never gave her much thought.  He was aware that she stayed at home taking care of her mother, but out of sight is out of mind.  And when her farm went up for sale, Loyal was the first one in line to buy it.  He'd been hoping to buy such a farm for his own.  He never once considered how Ella might feel having to sell it, until the day he runs into her outside the donut shop.  As he walks her to work and watches her eyes dance as she tells him about her new job at the library, he realizes how beautiful Ella really is.  From that moment on, Loyal makes up his mind to get to know Ella, and he finds ways to meet her daily, which is usually walking her to work after stopping by his Uncle John's donut shop.

Loyal Weaver becomes THE PROTECTOR when evil lurks in the wings waiting to separate Ella from her new-found love.  As they begin a gentle courtship, Ella and Loyal anger her friend Dorothy, who sets out to punish Ella for finding love.

Dynamic characters are on board in THE PROTECTOR, the second novel in the Families of Honor series.  We meet Dorothy Zook, Ella's friend, and her best friend Corinne.  All of the Weaver family is back:  little Katie, and Loyal's brothers, Graham and Calvin.  Mattie Lapp is here, too, along with many other secondary characters who sparkle and help the story shine, but the bright light is from Ella and Loyal as they explore their growing love for each other.

THE PROTECTOR is a tender love story and a great book!

Diana Risso