No Other Will Do (A Ladies of Harper Station Novel) takes readers back to 1890's Texas.
Emma Chandler is bossy, independent, and headstrong. Beneath these strong characteristics, she has a heart for animals and people, particularly, women who are in troubled circumstances. Emma founded Harper's Station, a woman's colony dedicated to helping females in need to get a fresh start. Raised from a young age by her suffragette aunts, Henry and Bertie, Emma has always been independent and taught not to rely on men. When an unknown man begins threatening and terrorizing the small community of Harper's Station, Emma agrees that they need a man to help defend them.
Enter, Malachi Shaw, a man that Emma has known since childhood and the only man she trusts to protect them.
Malachi has had a tough life. Orphaned from a young age he is guarded and doesn't trust people. Until he meets Emma and her aunts. The Chandler ladies take him in and treat him like family. The time that Malachi spent with the Chandler family was a turning point in his life. It caused him to not view people through such a jaded lens. When you meet Malachi as an adult, he's now an explosives expert for the railroad and has the respect he's always longed for. Despite his success at his job, some traits from childhood still follow him into adulthood such as saving a portion of each meal he eats. I liked that Malachi didn't let his past define him.
The few flashbacks the author provides into Emma and Malachi's childhood relationship are key and gives the reader a deeper sense of why Emma see Mal as the only man she trusts and also why he is willing to swiftly come to her aid after receiving a simple telegram from her with a plea for help.
Ms. Witemeyer is known for her romantic tension between the hero and heroine. No Other Will Do is no exception. The romantic interactions were "sigh worthy" and sprinkled with humor.
"You're a good man, Malachi Shaw." Then before he could even think of dodging, Emma clasped his cheeks, raised up on tiptoes, and pressed her lips to his.
It only lasted a heartbeat-although, he was pretty sure his heart stopped beating in that moment, so that particular measurement was probably not very accurate. The only thing he knew for sure was that the kiss ended before his stupefied mind could respond.
Then she vanished. And all he could do was stand in the empty café and wish he's chosen kissing over talking when he'd had the chance." (Witemeyer, 257)
I will admit that Emma and Mal's story is somewhat predictable, but sometimes as a reader I want and enjoy reading a predictable story. I find with any of Ms. Witemeyer's books it's always a fun adventure getting to the end.
I can confidently say that Karen Witemeyer easily makes my 'top 5 favorite authors list.' If you haven't heard of her; you need to go to the nearest library or bookstore and read her books. You will not be disappointed. She's one of those authors that I find myelf in countdown mode till her next release which is set to be released January of 2017....only 5 more monthts to wait!
**I was extremely honored to receive a copy of No Other Will Do from the author herself and Bethany House Publishers in return for my honest review.