Short-Straw Bride – Karen Witemeyer

Baking Publishing House through Bethany House

ISBN 9781441271150

Short-Straw BrideNo 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?

I enjoy Karen Witemeyer stories, and this is another fantastic read.

Meredith Hayes is an independent young woman who lives with her Uncle and Aunt after the death of her own parents.  They are determined to see her marry in order to continue their business relationship with a prominent business man, but when Meredith learns of a plot to get some of her old neighbours off their land, she goes to warn them, but ends up in a predicament.  Her angry Uncle declares that she must marry one of the four Archer men.

Travis is moody, broody and very protective of his family after being charged by his dying father to care for them.  He has gone to the extreme though and has barred anyone from entering his property, so when Meredith Hayes turns up to tell him that someone is coming to burn down the barn, he isn’t sure whether to believe her or not.

When forced to marry, Travis takes the responsibility upon his own shoulders, but only after cheating in the straw draw.  All of the brothers want to marry the pretty young woman, but Travis wants her.  Unfortunately they seem unable to consummate the marriage, and Meredith wonders if she will ever find love.

This is a Christian romance, but a lovely gentle read, with plenty of action and a great story line.

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