Title: Short-Straw Bride by Karen Witemeyer
Publisher: Bethany House Publishers
Genre: Historical, Inspirational, Romance
Length: 365 pages
Book Rating: B
Review Copy Obtained from Publisher
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?
Short-Straw Bride by Karen Witemeyer is an absolutely delightful historical romance with a charming cast of characters. Meredith Hayes’ long time crush on Travis Archer turns to love when he marries her to salvage her ruined reputation. With a bit of determination and a lot of faith in God, Meredith is determined to capture her husband’s heart.
Meredith Hayes is headstrong, stubborn and feisty. She is also quite loyal, loving and kind-hearted. While she sometimes acts impetuously, her heart is always in the right place. When faced with uncertainty, she relies on her faith in God to guide her.
Travis Archer is a man of his word. Keeping his promise to his dying father to protect the Archer land, he and his brothers have isolated themselves from their neighbors. But their seclusion is a double-edged sword. While they have protected themselves from their enemies, they have also avoided any possible friendships as well. With Meredith’s insight, a helping hand from an unexpected source and trust in God, Travis slowly begins to tear down his both his physical and emotional barriers.
The romance between Travis and Meredith is beautifully written. Their courtship is sweet and slow, which adds depth and authenticity to their growing feelings. Meredith’s hero worship of Travis quickly turns to a deeper and more mature love. While Travis is a little slower to realize what his feelings are, it is always apparent to the reader he harbors strong emotions for Meredith.
I absolutely loved the relationship between Travis and his brothers Crockett, Neill and Jim. They are well drawn characters that I greatly enjoyed getting to know. Their scenes together are laugh out loud funny and their unshakeable devotion to one another is quite touching.
Short-Straw Bride by Karen Witemeyer is a wonderful novel that will resonate with anyone who enjoys a sweet romance. The spiritual aspect of the story is subtle but integral to the plot and the growth of the characters. Plenty of action and a suspenseful storyline keep the novel flowing at a brisk pace.
All in all, a heartwarming and emotionally satisfying story that I highly recommend.