Saturday, June 13, 2015

My Review: A Worthy Pursuit

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 little girl entrusted to her care after her mother's death. 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 the teacher he's after produces documentation that shows she's the little girl's legal guardian, Stone must reevaluate everything he's been led to believe. Is Miss Atherton villain or victim? She acts more like a loving mother than an abductress, and the children in her care clearly adore her.

Then a new danger threatens, and Charlotte is forced to trust the man sent to destroy her. Stone becomes determined to protect what he once sought to tear apart. Besides, he's ready to start a new pursuit: winning Charlotte's heart.

About the Author:
Christy Award finalist and winner of both the ACFW Carol Award and HOLT Medallion, CBA bestselling author Karen Witemeyer writes Christian historical romance for Bethany House, believing the world needs more happily-ever-afters. She is an avid cross-stitcher and makes her home in Abilene, TX with her husband and three children.

My Review: 5 stars
Another for the keeper shelf!
Amazing. Superb. Fantastic. Fabulous. Her best yet. I would (and probably will) use all of these to describe Karen Witemeyer’s, A Worthy Pursuit! I had high expectations for this story, after having loved her previous books, and I can happily say that it surpassed every one of them!

A Worthy Pursuit grabbed my attention from the very first page and never let go! Even when I had to put it down for work and to sleep, the characters and story stayed in the front of my mind, prodding me back to find out what would happen next. The suspense was awesome, though it didn’t overpower the story. I loved the chase and the moments where I was on the edge of my seat, but I also loved the slower moments, where I got to meet the characters and have them scramble off the page and into my heart and mind. I was trying to read slowly, so that I would have more time with them, then I’d look up and realize I’d been reading for two hours straight and was almost late for work! 

Karen does a fantastic job with the details and bringing each setting to life. Her descriptions are almost poetic at times and paint a broad, sweeping picture, filled with bright colors and little details. Before you start to picture a copy of War and Peace, this isn’t like that. The awesome part is, she manages to do that in just a few lines, not multiple pages. So this story is much shorter than a tome and is never bogged down by the details or descriptions. The story never lagged for me and I never wanted it to hurry up. In fact, I was mourning the fact that it wasn’t longer - I didn’t want to say good-bye at the end! I need at least another book, maybe two, before I would be even close to that point.

May I also say how much I loved the characters?! I’ll try not to be too long, but they are awesome! Stone Hammond and Charlotte Atherton are such vivid, realistic characters that they immediately felt like lifetime friends. Both are flawed, but strong. They butt heads more than once, but also try to compromise and do what’s best for the children. I loved getting to know them! Stone’s strong faith is something of a counterbalance to Charlotte’s shaky trust. She’s been hurt before, so she masks everything behind a calm fa├žade. I enjoyed following her as she learned to let down her guard and be honest with others.

Stone is just like his name - strong, stubborn, steady, but with a gentleness that touched my heart. It’s a wonderful author that can create a character so real that you fall in love with them, and I did with him. I confess to being slightly jealous of Charlotte and I may need therapy now, after having to let him go. His faith is what sets him apart. He strives to live a godly life, even in the midst of the worst the world has to offer. He has a moral code that stops him from following greed or chasing after what he thought he wanted. I loved watching him put Charlotte and the kids first, even when he barely knew them.

And the romance! Whew! There are a few steamy moments, typical of Karen’s books, but as always, they are respectful and don’t cross a line. I think what I loved most about it, is how Stone loves Charlotte. He keeps chasing after her, winning her trust, and just loving her, until she had no choice but to love him back. He’s just so honorable, but is also realistic in his struggles, but respects her too much to hurt her. I loved watching her slowly come to trust him, then figure out what it meant to love him in return.

The spiritual aspect of the story was extremely well done, as well. It focuses a lot on forgiveness, trusting God in the hard times, and giving control to Him. Or maybe that’s just what I got out of it. I’m always a little curious about that. Maybe that’s what I saw, because that’s what I needed to hear. Either way, I loved how it was woven throughout the story. Even though God isn’t mentioned on every page, I could still see Him there, in the words and expressions. Karen handled things with such finesse. It never overwhelms the story, but is constant throughout. There are a few discussions about faith and the characters seriously consider it. My biggest cheering moment is when they cross the line to fully believing. There is a difference in the characters by the end of the book - for me, that is what makes a book great: characters that grow and change throughout. They aren’t the same from beginning to end.

As the five star rating probably already informed you, I had absolutely no complaints about this book - it is definitely one of my all-time favorites, and it will definitely be staying on my “keeper” shelf to be read again and again!

I highly recommend this book to anyone who loves historical romance with fantastic characters, great suspense, and a romance that will make you sigh.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher for my honest review, which I have given. I was not required to write a positive review and have not been compensated for it in any way. All opinions expressed are my own.

Thank you so much for taking the time to read my review!  I hope you enjoyed it!  (and yes, I know it's too long - I couldn't resist)  :)


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