Short Straw Bride

Short Straw Bride
By Karen Witemyer
Published by Bethany House
Published on June 1, 2012
Source: Finished copy from Publisher

Summary taken from Goodreads:

No 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?

The idea of this book was intriguing to me.  I always find stories about two people forced to be together (although they are hiding feelings of attraction) to be entertaining and this one did not let me down.  Meri's character was entertaining, and she absolutely has spunk to her.  I appreciated that she wasn't a character that was too good and never did wrong.  She was impulsive and not afraid to share her opinions.  I did have a tough time figuring out how old  they were- I believe that Meri is 26 when the bulk of the story takes place, but I am not completely sure because that seems old for a historical story to be talking about marriage.

This was a highly entertaining story- there was a constant flow of action throughout the book.  The villains were clearly defined to the reader, and there was no redemption offered for the villains.  I have to say, the best part of the book was the Archer family.  I really enjoyed reading about a group of bachelor brothers, all trying to survive together.  Each brother had a defined personality and was given a chance to be developed throughout the story.  This was a fun read for me, and fans of historical fiction would be a fan of this one!

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