Monday, August 6, 2012

Short-Straw Bride by Karen Witemeyer

Do you ever come back to a writer you’ve read before and relax, knowing you’re in for a great read? That’s what happened when I picked up Short-Straw Bride by Karen Witemeyer. Plus, what's not to love about that cover?

Let’s begin with the summary: 

No one steps on Archer land. Not if they value their life. But when Meredith Hayes overhears a lethal plot to burn the Archer brothers off their ranch, a twelve-year-old debt compels her to take the risk.

Fourteen years of constant vigilance hardens a man. Yet when Travis Archer confronts a female trespasser with the same vivid blue eyes as the courageous young girl he once aided, he can't bring himself to send her away. And when an act of sacrifice leaves her injured and her reputation in shreds, gratitude and guilt send him riding to her rescue once again.

Four brothers. Four straws. One bride. Despite the fact that Travis is no longer the gallant youth Meredith once dreamed about, she determines to stand by his side against the enemy that threatens them both. But will love ever be hers? Or will Travis always see her merely as a short-straw bride? 

And now, a little something extra. The book trailer:

(BTW, that vest-clad live-action guy in the video? Editor Dave Long at Bethany House Publishers. Probably not part of his job description. :)

And now, my review: 

Karen has such a way with words. I love reading her books! She excels at pacing too. Instinctively she kept things moving along very smoothly. And the romance? She excels at that too. 

There were two very strong themes: fear and trust. Travis had convinced himself that the outside world was too dangerous for him to even mix with his neighbors. He’d promised his father he’d raise his brothers and remain on the ranch. But now that his brothers are grown, he’s still a prisoner of the land. He fears something terrible will happen to them if they leave their land. Or if they let others in. (His father's fears passed down?) He trusts only in himself for his safety. His new bride will challenge those beliefs and help him learn to trust in God.

I liked the fact they'd known each other before and Travis had acted heroically on her behalf. The heroine’s actions were very brave. She inspired me. But she also infuriated me a couple of times. Still, I could forgive her because of her nobility. I read this novel in two days. It’s really good. Reads fast and is very enjoyable. 

Highly recommended. 

(print copy)     (eBook version for Kindle)

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