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Grace and the Guiltless

Review

Grace and the Guiltless

Grace Milton and her family were happy until one day notorious thief and murderer, Elijah Hale, and his crew, the Guiltless Gang, come to take their land.  After steadily refusing to give up what was rightfully theirs, Grace’s family is mercilessly slaughtered by the gang.  Only Grace is spared.  After the corrupt Sheriff Behan refuses to offer any help with capturing her family’s killers, Grace decides to go after them herself.  Revenge begins to consume her and cloud her judgment as she heads into the Dragoon Mountains.  Grace is completely unprepared for the harsh wilderness and finds herself in dangerous situations ranging from wild animals to poisonous plants.

Thankfully, Grace receives support from some unlikely allies --- a tribe of Ndeh Native Americans and a handsome young man named Joe.  Grace becomes fast friends with Joe, who she soon learns was also left orphaned and who also once harbored his own thoughts of revenge.  After living with the tribe for many years, Joe finally let his anger go, and he and others in the tribe urge her to do the same.  Despite their wishes, Grace is as determined as ever to get her vengeance with the Guiltless Gang --- especially once she learns that a new deputy might be more willing to aid her in her quest for justice. However, as events drive Grace closer to Joe and the whole Ndeh tribe, she begins to question whether it is more important to seek revenge for those she loved and lost or to allow herself to love again.

Erin Johnson certainly achieved her goal of creating an exciting Western novel for young adults and hopefully the next books in the series will be even better.

GRACE AND THE GUILTLESS is the first book in the Wanted series by Erin Johnson.  Packed with action, drama, and, yes, a little romance, this book is sure to draw in readers from the first sentence and hold them there until the last.  Johnson does a great job of creating interesting characters and setting up thrilling situations that will have the audience on the edge of their seats.  One can’t help but cheer Grace on, even when her intentions aren’t the best.  Perhaps a little cheesy in parts, the overall story was well done.  The sub-plots were also interesting without taking away from the overall story.

Fans will be begging for the next book in the series once they finish GRACE AND THE GUILTLESS; it ends on a perfect cliff-hanger.  What Grace does in the sequel will undoubtedly change her and Joe’s lives forever, and other subplots need to be tied up in the next book as well, such as a marriage proposal to one of Grace’s new friends in the tribe.  Not to mention, the reader grows the love these characters so much that they will be excited to see them again. Erin Johnson certainly achieved her goal of creating an exciting Western novel for young adults and hopefully the next books in the series will be even better.

Reviewed by Cheyenne C., Teen Board Member on August 5, 2014

Grace and the Guiltless
by Erin Johnson

  • Publication Date: July 1, 2014
  • Genres: Fiction, Historical Fiction, Western
  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Switch Press
  • ISBN-10: 163079001X
  • ISBN-13: 9781630790011