In Honor’s Defense – Review

by Karen Witemeyer

Publisher : Bethany House Publishers (June 7, 2022)
Language : English
Paperback : 384 pages
ISBN-10 : 0764232096
ISBN-13 : 978-0764232091

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He’s Faced Countless Perils on the Battlefield, but Nothing so Dangerous as Falling in Love.

Luke Davenport has been fighting all his life–for respect, for country, and for those unable to fight for themselves. But now that his Horsemen brothers are domesticated, he’s left alone to battle the wildness within. When an opportunity arises to take a job on his own, tracking down a group of rustlers, he jumps at the chance.

Damaris Baxter has mastered the art of invisibility. Plain and quiet, she hides in books and needlework, content to be overlooked. Until her brother dies suddenly, leaving her custody of her nephew. She moves to Texas to care for Nathaniel, determined to create the family for herself that she never thought she’d have and to give him the family he desperately needs.

When Nate finds himself knee-deep in trouble, Luke’s attempt to protect him leaves Damaris feeling indebted to the Horseman. But suspicions grow regarding the mysterious death of Damaris’s brother. And the more questions they ask, the more danger appears, threatening the family Luke may be unable to live without.


Luke Davenport comes across as an adventurous rough and tumble warrior but at heart he is a protector looking for a place to call home. Who knew he would find it with a bookworm and a rebellious young boy?

I have been waiting for Preach’s story. He has lived such a hard life, and rebelled against it, but he shows just what can happen with repentance and God’s love.

There was a lot of action in this book, and it was nice to see the Hanger’s Horsemen again. I love the bond that the Horsemen have. If one of them has a need, the others will always be there for them.

Top 21 Books of 2021

This year has been filled with so many amazing books! Every single book on this list earns a 5 star rating and comes highly recommended. Some of them are now even some of my favorite reads of all time. Thank you so much to all these authors, and all the other authors out there, for everything that goes into their books; the worlds they create for us to escape into, the characters we come to care for, the research needed for all the rich history. There is so much that I am deeply appreciative of. Thanks for an incredible year of books!

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Under the Texas Mistletoe – Review

by Karen Witemeyer

Publisher : Bethany House Publishers (August 31, 2021)
Language : English
Paperback : 304 pages
ISBN-10 : 0764239317
ISBN-13 : 978-0764239311

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Purchase Special Edition from Christianbook

Three Charming and Festive Holiday Novellas Spiced with Humor, Frontier Action, and Sweet Romance

In this 3-in-1 novella collection, bestselling author Karen Witemeyer presents the new story “A Texas Christmas Carol,” in which a town’s wealthy, Scrooge-like bachelor finds his world invaded by a woman set on earning his donation for helping the local poor, and by the penetrating questions of three mysterious visitors.

It also includes, for the first time in print, “An Archer Family Christmas.” When the Archer clan gathers for the Christmas holiday, an unexpected request for help leaves Cassandra Archer directly in the path of a dangerous outlaw. Desperate to protect the woman he loves, Jim Archer races to the rescue, only to find that Cassie’s life is not the only one in peril. It will take a Christmas miracle–and the entire Archer clan–to keep a second Archer Christmas from ending in disaster.

In previously published “Gift of the Heart,” a widow and her young daughter move to Hope Springs for a fresh start. But with no money to secure a home, Ruth must convince a wealthy resort owner to accept her heirloom brooch as collateral. Will the pin that brought love to three generations soften the heart of a wounded recluse and give Ruth a second chance at love as the holidays draw near?

Sprinkled throughout the collection, you’ll find a hope-filled Christmas devotion, Witemeyer holiday recipes, and fun facts about nineteenth-century Christmas celebrations!


Under the Texas Mistletoe is a wonderful Christmas collection that contains 3 historical romance stories set in Texas. This book also includes a few recipes, a Christmas devotional, and some origins of Christmas traditions. This book will get you into the Christmas spirit no matter what time of year you read it.

A Texas Christmas Carol

This story gives a nod to the original Christmas Carol with little similarities I had fun picking up on, however, this is a unique story.

Felicity is always looking for the bright side of things, and this Christmas season she has decided that she wants the local miser to help her with the charity baskets.

Evan has had to work his way up from the bottom, and after being taken advantage of, he determines that it will never happen again. In the process, he has closed himself off from the world.

I don’t think that Evan was ever as miserly as people thought. He just needed someone to care about him. He never smiled just to be polite, he only smiled when he meant it. I can personally understand that.

I really liked this story.

An Archer Family Christmas

Before you pick up this book, make sure you have plenty of time because you will not want to put it down. Also, be prepared for “all the feels”. This book will make you very emotional.

Those who have read others in the series will enjoy the return of their beloved Archer family and new readers will fall in love with Jim and Cassie.

There is such love and loyalty in the Archer family.

Gift of the Heart

Karen Witemeyer creates characters who are not perfect. She has the ability to make her characters strong while also being incredibly vulnerable.

I loved the Biblical connection to the Ruth and Boaz story. Besides the names, there were so many little connections as well.

Beauregard “Bo” Azlin was one of those characters you feel an instant connection to. The back story of Bo’s childhood where his mother considered him damaged goods is heart breaking. Bo tried to be fair to everyone and not give special treatment but he also helped protect those in need. I liked the scene where Bo is holding the heirloom and vowing to keep it safe for Ruth. It was also sweet how he liked to keep the heirloom near his heart.

Witemeyer’s books always contain some funny moments. When Bo calls the stray cat a miscreant, little Naomi mistakenly believes that the cat’s name is Miss Creant. Bo and Naomi have a number of sweet and funny conversations.

While this felt like a very complete story, I want it to continue. I’m not ready to leave these characters.

My True Love Gave To Me

My True Love Gave To Me is a fun little bonus short story you get if you order the special edition of this book from Christianbook. It is about a young man who sets out to prove his love using the 12 days of Christmas; but in a rather unusual way.

The Heart’s Charge – Review

by Karen Witemeyer

Publisher : Bethany House Publishers (June 1, 2021)
Language : English
Paperback : 384 pages
ISBN-10 : 0764232088
ISBN-13 : 978-0764232084

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Members of Hanger’s Horsemen, Mark Wallace and Jonah Brooks arrive in Llano County, Texas, to deliver a steed, never expecting they’d deliver a baby as well. Left with an infant to care for, they head to a nearby foundling home, where Mark encounters the woman he’d nearly married a decade ago.

After failing at love, Katherine Palmer dedicated her life to caring for children, teaming up with Eliza Southerland to start Harmony House. From mixed ancestry, illegitimate, and female, Eliza understands the pain of not fitting society’s mold. Yet those are the very attributes that lead her to minister to outcast children. The taciturn Jonah intrigues her with his courage and kindness, but there are secrets behind his eyes–ghosts from wars past and others still being waged.

However, when a handful of urchin children from the area go missing, a pair of Horsemen are exactly what the women need. Working together to find the children, will these two couples find love as well?


Karen Witemeyer is the reason I stepped outside my Historical Regency comfort zone and started reading Westerns. Books like this are exactly why I now love Westerns!

The theme of this story was very important to me. God has called us to help the orphans no matter who they are or where they are from. Stories like the one Abner shared are so heartbreaking. Eliza’s story was also heartbreaking, and far too common.

It’s often tough to have a book written with four lead characters who are equally important and fully developed. Witemeyer has accomplished this so well. There was also a mystery and some action in this book along with the romance of the two couples.

This book can be read as a standalone, but if you read the first book in the series (At Love’s Command) you can learn more about the history of the horsemen.

I loved the plot and the characters. I read through the book at a fast pace but then read the end slowly because I wanted to savor it. I can’t wait for Preach’s story!

Top 20 Books of 2020

Losing yourself in a good book was even more important this year than in previous years. I am so thankful for these amazing writers that share their work with us. Here are the Top 20 Books in 2020.

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The Kissing Tree – Review

by Karen Witemeyer, Regina Jennings, Amanda Dykes, Nicole Deese

Paperback : 400 pages
ISBN-10 : 0764236121
ISBN-13 : 978-0764236129
Publisher : Bethany House Publishers (October 13, 2020)

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Regina Jennings – “Broken Limbs, Mended Hearts”
When a young man from her past returns and upends their small town with a new invention, schoolteacher Bella Eden is reminded of the heartbreak she suffered years ago under the old oak tree. When her job is put on the line, can she trust the man who disrupted her life to help her fight for a brighter future?

Karen Witemeyer – “Inn for a Surprise”
Determined to keep love alive for others, Phoebe Woodward builds an inn that caters to couples. When her father sends a property manager to help make it a success, she finds her whimsical vision thwarted by his stodgy practicality. Finding the right blend of romance and reality is a challenge, and her spinster heart may be in for a surprise. 

Amanda Dykes – “From Roots to Sky”
WWII airman Luke Hampstead found comfort in letters from the sister of a lost compatriot. When he visits Texas to thank her, he discovers her constructing a project with surprising ties to his letters . . . and that she herself is even more surprising. While a promising opportunity awaits him elsewhere, will what they’ve shared be enough to give their future flight?

Nicole Deese – “Heartwood”Abby Brookshire’s world is turned upside down when the historic tree she’s strived to preserve as the head groundskeeper at the Kissing Tree Inn is put in danger of removal. Making matters worse, the only way to protect its legacy is to partner with the man she’s been ignoring since he left town years ago. Will she have the courage to move on from the past and start a new beginning?


All of the stories in this collection take place in the same town which is centered around the kissing tree. I love how they can be read on their own, but they are all interconnected. The stories take place during different time periods, so we get to see future generations and how the town changes.

Broken Limbs, Mended Fences by Regina Jennings
Adam always pined for Bella, but she just saw him as the man who destroyed everything.

The intro to this story is perfection! I love the opening scene with the two main characters Adam and Bella, and the last scene in the story is so sweet. I love how everything came full circle. This was a cute story. I liked the storyline and the characters. The title is also cute.

Inn for a Surprise by Karen Witemeyer

Phoebe is a strong independent woman who dreams of running her own inn helping couples find and rekindle love using the town’s legendary kissing tree. Barnabas is tasked with helping his boss’s daughter Phoebe make the inn a success.

I love how this story is interconnected, and there is even an appearance of a character from the first story.

This was such a sweet story, and I loved it. Barnabas and Phoebe may be opposites, but they truly complete each other.

From Roots to Sky by Amanda Dykes
I know many years have gone by since the last story, but hearing about what happened to the future of the inn at the beginning of the story was sad.

I loved the idea of a home built from all the drawings and things Luke had seen that war tore apart. Hannah and Luke made an interesting couple, and I like how a lot of time went by in this story so they had a chance to really get to know each other. The epilogue was sweet.

Heartwood by Nicole Deese
Even though it is a shorter story, I liked that Abby and Griffin were able to grow. I love the little memorial gardens that Abby creates.

I don’t want to give away any spoilers, so I will try to be vague. The scene with the teenagers at the tree drove me nuts, especially comments about “rights” being taken away when it isn’t their right. People like to complain about things, but they don’t do anything to realistically help the cause and find a solution for a problem.

I also didn’t like the ending. If this had been a standalone book, that would be one thing. However, we just read all these sweet stories about things that happened, and then something in this story happens to ruin it all.

At Love’s Command – Review

48357284 by Karen Witemeyer

Series: Hanger’s Horsemen (Book 1)
Paperback: 384 pages
Publisher: Bethany House Publishers; 5/1 edition (June 2, 2020)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 076423207X
ISBN-13: 978-0764232077

Haunted by the horrors of war, ex-cavalry officer Matthew Hanger leads a band of mercenaries known as Hanger’s Horsemen who have become legends in 1890s Texas. They defend the innocent and obtain justice for the oppressed. But when a rustler’s bullet leaves one of them at death’s door, they’re the ones in need of saving.

Dr. Josephine Burkett is used to men taking one look at her skirts and discounting her medical skills. What she’s not used to is having a man change his mind in a heartbeat and offer to assist her in surgery. Matthew Hanger’s dedication to his friend during recovery earns Josephine’s respect, and when she hears of her brother’s abduction, he becomes her only hope for rescue.

Matt has stared down ruthless outlaws, betrayal, and injury, but when a bossy lady doctor crawls under his skin, his heart is tempted to surrender. And when she is caught in the crossfire, he may have to sacrifice everything–even his team–to save her.


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At Love’s Command is a combination of action, adventure, and romance. There was never a dull moment! I love that Karen Witemeyer’s stories are never predictable.

The first chapter is intense but it sets the stage for each of the Horsemen and shows you what made them who they are today.

Josie is a spitfire who makes sure her voice is heard. Matthew is closed off with everyone except his band of brothers after the massacre. Only after meeting Josie, Matthew is finally able to start healing.

The group of Horsemen are like brothers standing up for justice, and they have such a strong connection to each other. I look forward to reading each of their stories.