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Short-Straw Bride Paperback – 2012
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From the Back Cover
Four brothers. Four straws. One bride.
No one steps on Archer land. Not if they value their life. But when Meredith Hayes overhears a plot to burn the Archer brothers off their ranch, a long-standing debt compels her to take the risk.
Years of constant vigilance hardens a man. Yet when Travis Archer comes across 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 prompt him to attempt to rescue her once again.
Despite the fact that Travis is no longer the gallant youth Meredith once dreamed about, she vows to stand by his side. But will love ever be hers? Or will Travis always see her as merely a short-straw bride?
"Humor, romance, history, interesting plot and great characters--Short-Straw Bride has it all. A lovely Christian romance." --Historical Novels Review
"If you want a hard-to-put-down, fast read, then Short-Straw Bride is the next book you should read. Set in the1880's in Texas, the characters are as real as any in life today. There is loyalty, gentleness, humor, love, anger, greediness and stubbornness yet this story is inspirational and fun to enjoy. With the full flavor of the West and the oftentimes deceitful actions of others, this heartwarming love story adds so much to the rich, engaging plot" --Portland Book Reviews --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
About the Author
Two-time RITA® Finalist, Carol Award Finalist, and winner of the coveted HOLT Medallion, CBA bestselling author, Karen Witemeyer, writes Christian historical romance for Bethany House, believing that the world needs more happily-ever-afters. Karen holds a master's degree in Psychology from Abilene Christian University. She is an avid cross-stitcher, shower singer, and bakes a mean apple cobbler. Karen makes her home in Abilene, TX with her husband and three children. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
Top customer reviews
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Meredith Hayes is an independent soul with a sense of humor, she knows all the domestic arts for the time and how to tame an angry soul. She had been teaching school for the freeman's children in the area and really enjoyed it. But when her beloved father passed away, she had to move in with her uncle, aunt and her best friend, Cassandra her cousin. Her uncle and aunt forbade her to teach anymore.
Before her father died, a bully threw her lunch pail over to the Archer ranch. There were many rumors about what could happen if you step on their land. But spunky Meredith went after her lunch pail. She finds out that Archers were not what they seemed to be.
I loved all the characters and Meredith's cooking made me hungry while reading! I highly recommend this sweet tale.
Meredith and Travis are wonderful characters. Meredith especially captured my interest as an intelligent, freethinking woman who maintains propriety in her time period but expects to be treated like she has a brain in her head. She's an orphan with a permanent limp, so she could have easily let herself become a victim. Instead, she stands up for herself and others, asks God to guide her decisions, and consistently puts others' needs ahead of her own, even when that might place her in danger.
For his part, Travis is a delicious hero but refreshingly human. He's physically and mentally strong, loyal almost to a fault, and fiercely protective of both Meredith and his three brothers. Yet guilt and fear drive him to be overprotective and shoulder burdens God never meant him to carry. His spiritual arc is possibly one of the best parts of Short Straw Bride.
The plot itself is consistently engaging, made so mainly because of great secondary characters. The other Archer brothers were a pleasure to get to know, Crockett in particular. Their interactions with Meredith made me smile and occasionally think of a western version of Snow White and the Seven Dwarves. Um, Snow White and four ornery ranchers, rather. Karen also pulls off an unexpected yet believable plot twist when Meredith does not turn out to be the damsel in distress of the final few chapters.
I highly recommend this and Karen Witemeyer's other books. Now, off to locate Stealing the Preacher.
The four Archer sons have been sequestered on their land since their father died. No one is invited to visit or even welcomed. There's a lock on their gate and people must shoot two shots to get an Archer to come to the gate to find out what they want.
Meredith overhears a plot to burn out the Archers and she goes to warn them. She has a history with the eldest Archer (Travis) because she trespassed once and was hurt on their land.
It is hard to believe that all four Archers were willing to marry Meredith. However, it made for a catchy title.