Author: Karen Witemeyer
Rating: One cups of tea (three stars)
Sometimes you just want a fun read, a book that pure escapism reading. This is what I found Short Straw Bride to be. It was a cute book with a cute story line. I have enjoyed books from Karen Witemeyer before and this one was no different.
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?
Most romance novels about marriages of convenience require readers to suspend their disbelieve a little. Witemeyer makes it easy. Travis and Meredith are fun characters. I love the idea of the Archer brothers living on their own and taking care of themselves and their sibling interactions. I also love the idea of honorable men like Travis. I think that’s what draws me to western romance. Even though the theme of this book was weighty or heart-wrenching (and it didn't need to be, in my opinion), I enjoyed the lighthearted approach Witemeyer took on romance in marriage.
The plot flowed well but I did find myself skimming a bit out of eagerness to find out what happened next. I also enjoyed the secondary characters included in the book. Even though there weren’t a lot of them, they added a sense of fullness to the story. Although handled with a light hand, the themes of the book, martial romance and loyalty, were presented clearly.
This was a very enjoyable and easy read. A great beach book.