Friday, 27 June 2014

Short Straw Bride by Karen Witemeyer

Yee Ha cowboys & cowgirls this book was recommended to me by Ceri at Babblings of a bookworm so I knew it would be good, however I have never read anything in this genre before western/Christian.
The story gets straight into the action from page one and that is a clear winner with me. We meet 10 year old Meredith (I could not help but think of Meredith at Austenesque reviews as she is the only Meredith I know) who is involved in an altercation with a local bully. He ends up tossing her lunch box onto nearby private property. The private property of the Archer brothers, no one trespasses on their land unless they have a death wish, but after being taunted, Meredith is determined not to back down. Meredith needs to prove just how brave she is, not to mention that meeting her mother ire is a deciding motivational factor in getting it back. Retrieving said lunch box goes awry and Meredith ends up with her leg caught in a hunting trap, Meredith's handsome rescuer is none other than Travis Archer, he should be shooting her for trespassing on his land, not rescuing her!

The author once again does not dally about and we fast forward 12 years later when Meredith is being made to marry a man, who only wants her deceased father's property. Overhearing that he is planning on attacking the Archer's land to further his expansion in the logging business, Meredith must decide what to do. She has been in love with Travis Archer since the day he rescued her and although she has not seen him since that fateful day she feels compelled to warn him. Will she brave trespassing on their land once again? Her last venture left her with a limp and a slight disability, is she willing to risk her life and even her reputation to warn the elusive Archer brothers. Closed off from society, the Archer brothers take none to kindly to any outside interference. I fear the brave young girl who retrieved her lunch box is still alive and kicking and an unescorted and un-chaperoned woman in the presence of four brothers can lead to only one thing, you guessed it, a demand of marriage to keep the young woman's virtue in-tact. Are the four Archer brothers about to draw straws on who will marry Meredith, I believe they are!!!

It was silly, really. What girl would dream about a young man whose hunting trap had nearly taken off her leg? Yet something about Travis Archer had left a permanent impression upon her heart. -Karen Witemeyer

This book is set in the 1870's so rules of propriety in regards to women are still present, meaning the manners and customs I like from the Regency era are similar. I really enjoyed this book, the author keeps things moving at a great pace, no point in observing the sky, the flowers, the birds and the bees, there's a story to be told and I for one wanted to hear it!! The Archer brothers are self sufficient cowboys who are ruff and ready just how I like them. But under that rough exterior are four honourable men, who you are sure to fall in love with, I certainly did. The author incorporates the sensitive subject of discrimination which was prevalent at the time with an ease and a sense of what is right. The references to the bible were great and although I am not overly religious I enjoyed the self reflection and looking for signs of  guidance in how to go forward, were great. This book had it's fare share of witty humour and I was chuckling often. The story is full of action and every inch, wild west believable.

“You’re not to tarry. You hear me? Straight there and straight home. And you’ll take a rifle. Prayer is all well and good, and I imagine I’ll be sending a constant litany heavenward while you’re gone, but I doubt a little earthly defense will offend our Maker. - Karen Witemeyer

Meredith is a lovely girl with a feisty determination that I was endeared to. The Moments and interactions between Meredith and Travis are so simple, yet so sweet. There are plenty of intense passionate moments, which the author seems to create out of thin air and spun out of everyday mundane matters. Although Travis is the central unassuming heartthrob, I was pleased to find that there are more books that make up a series which expand on the other Archer brothers. This book was too short by my "I want more" standard, so I feel a re-read coming on! Not to mention I have purchased the whole series already!

This book is worthy of 4 and a half hearts - Mr Bingley & Mr Darcy

As Always I love to hear your thoughts!


  1. I'm so glad you enjoyed it Tamara. I loved this one. Both Meredith and Travis were great protagonists. Before I read the book I was a little dubious about the short straw thing, it seemed so humiliating, but actually that was probably my favourite scene of the book because it's not what you think.

    1. Ha Ha yes Ceri I totally agree it certainly isn't what you think, I love Travis and I loved the part when his brother Crockett says he just wanted to make sure it was the right brother that won :) I cannot wait to read the others, thanks for the recommend!

  2. I definitely need to read this!! LOL! I've never read a book where the heroine (or any female character) has the same name as me! ;) I read the second book Stealing the Preacher, but at the time I didn't know it was the second book! *face palm* ;) I'd definitely recommend that to you, Tamara! I think you will like it! Crockett Archer is lovely, and Joanna is a very admirable heroine!

    1. Meredith this book will not disappoint, I only hope Mr Bingley doesn't get too jealous of Travis ;) I have the other books and cannot wait to read them, especially Stealing the preacher as I really liked Crockett in this story. Although he had a smaller role he still made an impression on me, as did they all :) I hope you get to read this story very soon!


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