Book Cover and Synopsis:
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
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?
This one's a winner! I really liked how a great deal of the feelings between Meredith and Travis stemmed from their short encounter in the woods when they were young. Travis has a mysterious air about him, which Meredith romanticized all through her teen years, regardless of the fact that their single encounter was short and rather tragic. Twelve years later Meredith still thinks fondly of him, and it's her dreamy ideas that get them both stuck in an awkward spot... very innocent, but with scandalous appearances.
Though thrust into a wedding just shy of shot-gun style, they still manage to quickly develop feelings for each other...but neither knows the feelings are reciprocated, so they both try to woo the other, all the while attempting to keep a safe distance and not come on too strong. This is quite sweet to watch, and rather amusing at times.
Parts of the story have a slight edgier tone than the average Christian historical; certainly not extreme by any means, but the fact that they are married without really knowing each other comes into play. Travis sleeps in a separate room, and Meredith wonders if that will ever change, and what she can do to change it. There's nothing inappropriate and it's very tactfully done, the content is just slightly different from the more common novels that end with a wedding and go no further.
Karen Witemeyer has a talent for writing captivating historicals, and this is no exception! A while back I read a couple of her other works, but I had forgotten just how entertaining and engrossing a tale she weaves. I'm definitely going to be looking up the rest of her titles to see what I've previously missed!
My Rating: 5 stars