I had seen promotions for Short-Straw Bride on Facebook and was intrigued. I saw the trailer and it whetted my appetite, which is unusual. I went to Amazon to put the book on my wish list. Then the opportunity came up with Bethany House to review it and I leapt at the chance. When I found out I would be mailed a copy I waited impatiently for it to come. I hesitated to read other things because I was so eager to read this story.
Short-Straw Bride is a historical romance written by author Karen Witemeyer. Karen has a gift for making fictional characters come alive. This story, set in Texas, introduces a young girl, Meredith Hayes with a childhood incident with Travis Archer that spurs myriad dreams of love. All grown up and on the verge of a possible marriage, Meridith hears of a plot against the Archers and in desperation flees to their ranch to warn them of the impending danger. Trouble does come and Meredith’s reputation ends up in shreds. Four Archer men need to determine which one will wed her. After drawing straws, Meredith finds herself wed to the man of her childhood dreams, Travis, but wonders if he will ever come to really love her as she loves him.
The book goes beyond this initial development in their relationship to follow the rocky course of love and misunderstandings and is filled with adventure, hope and yes, romance. All the characters are well-developed and believable. Headstrong, feisty Meredith struggles to comply with a man who is used to being entirely in charge of everyone and everything around him, supplanting God in the process. A woman on Archer land changes everything for this solitary band of brothers and all of it for the better.
I look forward to reading more from this author. I loved Short-Straw Bride and had to re-read the last chapter again so I could sigh once more at the beautifully written ending. It was a book I had a hard time putting down and I enjoyed every minute spent in its pages. Beautifully done, Karen. Ms. Witemeyer and Bethany House get two thumbs up for not only creating in me an appetite to read this book and by not disappointing me when I finally did.