June 2012, 365 pages. My Rating: *****--5 Stars.
Blurb: Short-Straw Bride is a Lighthearted Historical Romance From a Rising Star.
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?
My Review: I love a marriage of convenience story and this one was one of the best! I loved how brave young Meredith was and how she built up such a great hero of her dreams throughout her teen years. Meredith and Cassie (her cousin) had such a great relationship. I wondered how Cassie could be such a great friend and person with the kind of parents that she had.
Meredith's bravery came into play yet again 12 years later and she found herself in a dream situation--that of a wife. I loved the way that it was decided who would marry her.
Meri was full of love, passion for life, kindness, and fire and I loved watching her come to terms with her insecurities, all while putting on a brave front. Her excitement for life and teaching was contagious and I love watching these hermit brothers transform because of her. One of my favorite scenes was with Seth, the grumpy old (scary) neighbor. Of course, I loved the sparks between Meri and Travis. This little spitfire sure knew how to hold her ground and she did it with a sweet smile on her face.
I also enjoyed seeing them put God into their relationship and use that knowledge to make themselves better neighbors and to especially see Travis open his heart and life to those around him.
I was very excited to find out that there are stories about the other brothers. I really grew to like them. A lot.
Content: kissing; some mild violence. Christian elements, but not at all preachy. Clean.
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