by Sandra Ardoin
A teacher on the run. A bounty hunter in pursuit. Can two enemies learn to trust each other before they both lose what they hold most dear?
I’ve missed the past couple of books by Karen Witemeyer, so it was good to get back into one. A Worthy Pursuit was a nice choice to renew my enjoyment of her writing.
Charlotte Atherton was a teacher at a school for gifted children until the school closed and left her with two students with nowhere to go but a foundling home and another whose late mother gave her legal guardianship. When the grandfather of the latter demands the return of his granddaughter, Charlotte takes desperate measures—she runs off in the middle of the night with all three children.
Stone Hammond is a former Texas Ranger, now a self-proclaimed “retriever.” What he goes after, he gets, and a kidnapping schoolmarm isn’t going to stop him from retrieving Randolph Dorchester’s granddaughter.
Charlotte is a strong, caring, and resolute woman, damaged by her father’s adultery, her mother’s abandonment, and the betrayal of a former suitor. When it comes to relationships, she doesn’t trust easily.
She was supposed to be in charge—of the children, of her home, of her emotions. Order out of chaos. It was how she survived. Control meant safety, protection.
Stone secretly longs for home and family. He’s rough around the edges—big, tough, authoritative. (Just as an aside, as I read, I kept seeing a VERY young Brian Dennehy)
She was his target, an abductor of children, a destroyer of families, a villain of the worst order.
A villain with a very gentle touch.
Charlotte’s “daughter,” Lily, provides a sense of fun in this story. She’s addicted to the adventures in dime novels, particularly those of “Dead-eye Dan,” and Ms. Witemeyer uses this trait to demonstrate Lily’s unique gift.
In some parts, the story is a light-hearted romp. Other parts have serious undertones of learning to trust, forgive, and let go of the hurts of the past.
Filled with romance, action, and characters to cheer on, A Worthy Pursuit is worth your reading moments.
Do you prefer your novels light-hearted and entertaining or dramatic and heart-wrenching? Maybe somewhere in between? Maybe it depends on your mood?
Disclosure of Material Connection: This book came to me free from the publisher, Bethany House, with the hope that I would mention it on this blog. There was no requirement for me to write a positive review and the opinions I have expressed above are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.