By Karen Witemeyer
Bethany House, $14.99, 368 pages

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.

The four Archer brothers are working the family ranch – “No Trespassers Allowed!” the sign on the gate says. But Meredith has to warn the oldest brother, Travis of a conversation she overheard that a timber man wants the Archers’ land and is determined to get it by burning the down their barn. Meredith’s trip to warn the brothers is more than she bargained for. She ends up injured and her reputation is ruined. Each of the four brothers is willing to marry her, hence, the short-straw bride. Travis rescued Meredith once before when they were younger and she was in trouble, so he feels responsible for her. As a bride, Meredith finds it hard to get to know her new husband, let alone obey him. As husband and wife, their love story begins to an unexpected happily ever after. 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.

Reviewed by Mary Church