In Honor's Defense (Book 3 in the Hanger's Horsemen series) is here and I'm ecstatic! Luke Davenport aka "Preach" finally gets his own story. Readers, myself included have been clamoring for his tale since encountering him in At Love's Command. There was something infinitely intriguing about Luke and you want to know more about him as a person and what has made him who he is today.
In Honor's Defense, Luke isn't quite ready to hang up his spurs or his gun. He takes a lone job tracking cattle rustlers for a rancher and from there the adventure takes off, running him right into the life of Damaris Baxter.
Damaris Baxter was a heroine I felt an immediate kinship and relatability to. The youngest of eight she was accustomed to being invisible. "Being invisible had its uses, however. Forgettable girls rarely got called on to recite lessons in front of the class. Or asked to dance when one had a perfectly good book to read...Not only was Damaris on the shelf, she was in the back corner behind the knickknacks, collecting dust." (Witemeyer, 8). At times, I think we can all connect with Damaris' feeling of being invisible. Becoming a guardian to her teenaged orphaned nephew takes her out of her comfort zone and when she rose to the challenge with bravery and determination it made me love her character even more.
Luke Davenport is a man whose compass for right always pointed due North. He's a man that knows his limits and "he knew his God- the source of all strength. He'd keep going until the Lord stopped him." (Witemeyer, 299). One character trait I appreciated about Luke was his ability to memorize scripture and recall it to memory when needed was impressive and earned him his nickname "Preach". This character trait made me want to be more intentional in memorizing scripture. There is a pivotal scene In Honor's Defense when Luke is telling Damaris of his past and how ashamed he is. Damaris' response was perfect. "...I do know the man standing before me today is a man to admire. One who places the well-being of others before himself. One who loves God's Word and inspires loyalty in his friends. One who forgives the faults in others faster than he forgives his own. You're a good man, Luke, and I thank God for bringing you in our lives." (Witemeyer, 147).
The incomparable Karen Witemeyer further endeared herself to her readers and fans when she once again dedicated her newest release In Honor's Defense to her Posse Facebook group. "To my Posse. I couldn't ask for better barnstormers, more dedicated readers, dearer friends. Thank you for blessing my writing journey and my life. (Quoting dedication from In Honor's Defense.) Dear readers if this heartfelt dedication doesn't affect you you may need to get your pulse checked! (Gift of the Heart part of the Christmas Heirloom collection was the first book Ms. Witemeyer dedicated to her Posse.) Karen, Thank YOU for blessing our lives with your gift of writing and your books.
It's a struggle for me to be unbiased about Ms. Witemeyer's books because as a reader her books are always consistently rock-solid and check a lot boxes for me. I tend to gravitate towards books where the characters are multidimensional, where you see how the characters change and grow; when there's quick-witted banter between the hero and heroine and a plot that keeps you turning pages. Ms. Witemeyer excels at building up the climax till the end. Sometimes it feels like you're about to have a slight panic attack hoping everything turns out ok in the end.In Honor's Defense is the third in a three-book series. It can be read as a standalone although if you read the series in order you'll revel more in the experience and saga of the Horseman. If you enjoy action-packed romances mixed with a little bit of mystery, you need to add In Honor's Defense to your TBR pile. You won't regret it.