No Other Will Do
About This Book
Men are optional. That’s the credo Emma Chandler’s suffragette aunts preached and why she started a successful women’s colony in Harper’s Station, Texas. But when an unknown assailant tries repeatedly to drive them out, Emma admits they might need a man after all. A man who can fight–and she knows just the one.
Malachi Shaw finally earned the respect he craved by becoming an explosives expert for the railroad. Yet when Emma’s plea arrives, he bolts to Harper’s Station to repay the girl who once saved his life. Only she’s not a girl any longer. She’s a woman with a mind of her own and a smile that makes a man imagine a future he doesn’t deserve.
As the danger intensifies, old feelings grow and deepen, but Emma and Mal will need more than love to survive.
I have many favorite authors, but only a small few that make me drop everything—absolutely everything—to read in one sitting the moment I get their newest release in my hands. Karen Witemeyer is one of those few. And No Other Will Do was one of those books. From the second the download appeared on my Kindle, I could NOT put it down! Witemeyer’s newest romance blends a hearty dose of suspense into her trademark sizzling chemistry to create a heart-pounding page turner.
The reunion of childhood friends Malachi and Emma was both touching and electric. Malachi, in particular, was a heartbreaking character I immediately found myself rooting for. His striving for respect, and his contradictory desire for belonging and fear of being truly known, made for a fascinating and complex hero. And Emma, with her merciful leadership of her women’s colony, was a delightfully strong-willed heroine. Together, they made an electric combination I couldn’t wait to see fall in love. Through their development as characters, plus their interactions with a host of delightful secondary characters, especially Aunts Henry and Bertie (yes, two aunts with men’s names!), Witemeyer weaves very strong spiritual threads about the importance of community and the ultimate source of one’s self-worth that will resonate with readers of all ages.
But more than the romance and spiritual themes, what drew me into this story was the mystery. Witemeyer’s novels have always had strong dramatic content and plenty of hair-raising action, but this was the first book where the plot was truly based on a whodunit suspense that the hero and heroine have to solve in order to literally survive. Whether or not this is a permanent shift in Witemeyer’s writing remains to be seen, but for this book at least, I absolutely loved it!
The only teeny, tiny thing I didn’t love about this book, and the reason I’m not giving it five stars, was the pace of the opening chapters. After getting off to a shooting start—literally!—in the opening scenes, the next couple chapters were filled with long reminiscences about Malachi’s and Emma’s childhood that dragged down that initial energy. But that’s something only a nitpicky writer and editor like me would even notice, and it certainly didn’t affect my enjoyment of the story! And by chapter five, everything was back on track and steamrolled to a pulse-pounding finale.
This is Karen Witemeyer’s eighth full-length novel, and the eighth one that’s given me a delicious “book hangover.” Yet another masterful, nerve-tingling, swoon-worthy romance I highly recommend and will be adding to my keeper shelf!
Available June 7, 2016 from Bethany House Publishers