The Reluctant Warrior (High Sierra Sweethearts Book #2)

Written by Mary Connealy
Review by B. J. Sedlock

The story begins in medias res in 1868 when Cam Scott wakes in a smoke-filled bunkhouse in dead-of-winter high country near Lake Tahoe.  Bad guy Raddo has blocked its chimney as well as the cabin where the women are sleeping, along with Cam’s small daughter and nephew.  Cam and the other men manage to get everyone out, but after the cabin burns to the ground, all must share the bunkhouse until the spring thaw.

Cam resents Gwen Harkness, the children’s carer in his recent absence; he is sure that Gwen is making the children afraid of him, so she can keep them with her.  He doesn’t stop to think that his military habits like abruptly-barked orders are the cause of their fear.   But after Cam’s leg is caught in a bear trap and Gwen must care for his wound, he begins to realize he might be his own worst enemy.

With cliffhangers at both ends of the story, Christian romance fans will get the most out of the High Sierra Sweethearts series by reading them in order, rather than starting with this one.  But because I prefer villains more rounded than the one-dimensional dastard Raddo, I can’t recommend this volume.