Short-Straw Bride

August 13, 2013

Title: Short-Straw Bride
Author: Karen Witemeyer
Publisher: Bethany House
Pages: 363
ISBN: 978-0-7642-0965-9

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?

I was thrilled to go and join the Archer family again! I read Stealing the Preacher a few weeks ago, and that story featured Crockett Archer, he is one of the four Archer brothers. In the Short-Straw Bride, I went back a little bit to the beginning. These books can either be read in order, or as a stand-a-lone, but if you want to read them in order, Short-Straw Bride comes first.

This story follows Travis Archer, the eldest of the four Archer brothers. He has helped take care of his family since his mother passed away many years ago in child-birth to his youngest brother. His roll of caretaker shot up to sole provider when his father passed away and entrusted the ranch in to his care, with the promise that all the brothers would stay together, and stay on the land. Travis has done his best to abide by that promise, except for one time, when he was seventeen, and had to help a young Meredith Hayes home, after being injured on his land.

Meredith Hayes, or Meri to her friends, has dealt with many obstacles in her life. When she was ten and injured on the Archer land, her injury stunted the growth of her leg, making her limp for the rest of her like. A few years later, Meri lost her parents to an illness that swept through the community. She was left into the care of her uncle and aunt. Her uncle is a kind man, who does his best to look after Meri and her cousin, her aunt on the other hand is a woman who is more concerned about her financial security and sees Meri as a way to keep her where she wants to be at, by marring her off. However, the suitor that her aunt has chosen, ends up not being the gentleman the town sees, but a backstabbing plotter who tries to gain what he wants by a force of hand.

Who Meredith is is seen right away. Her character is so strong. She believes in helping people to the best of her ability. She is opinionated, will stand her ground. Will give her word only if it is goes with her beliefs and if doesn't she will speak up for herself. She has a passion to teach and follows. She doesn't bend when she knows she is called to do something. I liked reading about Meredith, she is a strong female lead and a fun one.

Travis Archer is a leader. He leads his brothers with a strong, but caring hand. He will work as hard as he can and expects the same of those around him and takes full responsibility for the things that go on around him. However, he fights the past and has a hard time moving on, but Meri pushes him to work through what he needs to. He is not a guy who will blow off an idea, he will think and listen and he will also speak to those around him.

I liked reading Meri and Travis' story! The Archer's are a great family and so glad that there are now two books out featuring them!

Too Read!
5 out of 5

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