I miss the fact that westerns aren’t so popular today as they once were. I grew up watching some of my parents favorite reruns of Bonanza and Gunsmoke and I adored them. There was something wonderful about the adventure of it all and seeing the good guys win (even if you did doubt that things could work out sometimes). The few westerns that have come out in previous years seem to be missing something–and I’m not sure what. But this novel, captured something that brought those old westerns to mind.
**I received a copy of this book from Bethany House and NetGalley in exchange for my honest review. All opinions expressed are my own.**
Stone Hammond is the best tracker in Texas. He never comes home empty-handed. So when a wealthy railroad investor hires him to find his abducted granddaughter, Stone eagerly accepts.
Charlotte Atherton, former headmistress of Sullivan’s Academy for Exceptional Youths, will do anything to keep her charges safe, especially the orphaned girl entrusted to her care. Charlotte promised Lily’s mother she’d keep the girl away from her unscrupulous grandfather, and nothing will stop Charlotte from fulfilling that pledge. Not even the handsome bounty hunter with surprisingly honest eyes who comes looking for them.
When Miss Atherton produces documentation that shows her to be Lily’s legal guardian, Stone must reevaluate everything he’s been led to believe. Is she villain or victim?
Then a new danger forces Charlotte to trust the man sent to destroy her. Stone vows to protect what he once sought to tear apart. Besides, he’s ready to start a new pursuit: winning Charlotte’s heart.
“It’s as if boys never grow up. No matter how old they get, they’re still determined to prove themselves the toughest, fastest, smartest, whaver-else-they-can-think-of-to-compete-about-est.”
-Charlotte Atherton, A Worthy Pursuit
I can’t help but gush about how much I love Karen Witemeyer’s books. And this one was fantastic! Parts of the story read a lot like how I would imagine the dime novels that Lily (the girl Stone is sent to retrieve) is so fond of. But despite the heroic actions of Stone and the action packed scenes sprinkled throughout, this novel has a lot of heart to it.
The relationship that grows between Stone and Charlotte is sweet and filled with lessons on patience, healing, and trust. The two characters are quite opposite of one another, but it’s that difference that makes them such a wondeful pairing. It’s clear that Charlotte has a number of things in her past that makes her hesitate to trust Stone, but watching her learn and heal from those things adds depth to the story.
Also, sprinkled throughout is humour and little kid antics. I often found myself smiling while reading or my heart pounding just a bit faster as I feared for the characters I adored. This was a wonderful novel that I can’t recommend enough.
About the Author:
After growing up in California, Karen moved to Texas to attend Abilene Christian University where she earned bachelor and master’s degrees in Psychology. It was also there that she met and married her own Texas hero. He roped her in good, for she has lived in Texas ever since. In fact, she fell so in love with this rugged land of sweeping sunsets and enduring pioneer spirit, that she incorporates it into the pages of her novels, setting her stories in the small towns of a state that burgeoned into greatness in the mid- to late1800s.
A life-long bookworm, Karen is living her dream by writing novels. Her books have consistently hit bestseller lists and have garnered awards such as the ACFW Carol Award, the Holt Medallion, and the Christian Manifesto’s Lime Award for Excellence in Fiction. In addition, she is a multiple RITA and National Reader’s Choice finalist. Karen is also a sought-after speaker for national writing conferences and regional workshops.
Karen’s favorite aspect of her writing life is hearing from readers. Nothing encourages her heart more. She’d love to hear from you