1. No Other Will Do #1
    No Other Will Do #1
    Karen Witemeyer
    Bethany House / 2016 / Trade Paperback
    $14.06 Retail: $15.00 Save 6% ($0.94)
    4.5 Stars Out Of 5 64 Reviews
    Availability: In Stock
    Stock No: WW212812
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  1. Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Definitely a favorite!
    July 17, 2016
    BookLover
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    Ive been so excited to read this book by Karen Witemeyer, mainly because shes one of my very favorite historical fiction authors, but also because Id heard so many wonderful things about it! I have to say that it definitely lived up to the sterling reviews shared with me and exceeded every expectation I may have had. The characters are fantastic (Ill gush over Malachi shortly) and I always love how unique Ms. Witemeyers books are - plus, this one features a mystery, which just added another level of enjoyment to it for me. Im also super excited, because it sounds like this book might be the first in a series (Im hoping)!

    Im a big fan of historical fiction and Karens books are always by far some of my favorites. Im always so excited to read one of her books, even without knowing a single thing about the storyline. I love her way with words and her attention to the smallest detail. I had no idea what was involved to be in demolition in the 1800s, or how a womens colony could possibly work, but she brings both of these unique things to life between the covers of this book. I fall in love with her characters and I so enjoy how they break away from the norm of what I might expect in a western novel. Even when her books do edge a little more toward the traditional, theres still a distinctive something that sets her books apart from the rest. Oh, and I have to brag on the mystery at least a little bit! I very much enjoyed having a mystery in the forefront of this story - it kept me on my toes, what with guessing who the culprit might be and wondering what might happen next. It played perfectly into the storyline and she set it wonderfully, leaving little clues and keeping the pacing just right to keep the story moving, without rushing or dragging it out.

    Now, for my favorite part: the characters! I adore the opportunity to gush about the heroes (and there will be gushing!) and brag on the great heroines that round them out. In this case, Emma Chandler is the heroine and I did adore her! She was raised primarily by spinster aunts who taught her that women can do or be anything, and they dont necessarily need a man to be happy. Which was scandalous at the time, and Emma soon found that not many shared their opinions. I loved her stubbornness and her determination to protect her ladies, even when that meant making hard decisions. Despite being self-assured, she struggles with knowing what the right choice is and doubts whether shes the best person to be in charge. The doubts and fears are what make her so realistic that she climbed right off the page and into my heart. I loved the realism and seeing the softer side of her character: the one what wants to make the best choice possible, but doesnt always hear Gods voice on what that is, or the one that treads ahead, rather than waiting for an answer.

    Malachi Shaw is the hero in this tale, and what a great hero he makes! From meeting him the first time as a thirteen-year-old boy staring down a bossy angel, to getting to know him a decade later as a man responsible for blowing things up and in desperate need of a shave, he definitely makes the list of my favorite heroes! Malachi has spent his life just surviving, and trying to earn the respect of those around him. He lives with his heart stowed safely behind his walls and if his life seems a little empty, at least hes not getting hurt. I loved watching Emma slowly pull him from his shell and the interactions between them alternated between making me laugh and sigh. Malachi is just as stubborn and strong willed as Emma, as well as being protective and rather cynical. He also has a streak of kindness toward the Aunts, Emma, and her ladies. I so enjoyed seeing this big man showing kindness to ladies who had had so little of it in their lives.

    As aforementioned, I loved the relationship between Emma and Malachi! It started off a little slowly at first, but then slowly built throughout. I enjoyed the fact that they knew one another before, which added another layer to their getting to know each other as adults. Their history also kept the romance from being too fast or unbelievable, what with the somewhat short timeline of this story. Theres also a side romance going on, which Im really hoping will be part of another book, because I really want to know what happens between the characters!

    Overall, I give this book probably closer to 10 stars, rather than just 5, but websites are contrary things and dont allow for the extra ratings for super amazing books.

    I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys historical romance with a side of mystery!

    I received a 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.
  2. TN
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: female
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    Fun!
    July 17, 2016
    tmurrell
    TN
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: female
    Quality: 4
    Value: 0
    Meets Expectations: 4
    Emma and her aunts purchased a ghost town called Harper's Station. They designed the town to be a woman's colony for women who need a fresh start away from poverty or abuse. Everyone works to support the town and share their resources. Emma, who owns the bank, provides loans to aid the women in becoming independent. Now an anonymous person is targeting their town with death threats, fire, and bullets. Emma calls the only person she knows who can help. Malachi left years ago, but told his friend Emma to call if she ever needed help. Now Emma and Harper's Station need him to come track down a dangerous man.

    This book is one of those books that's just fun. The characters were all entertaining. The romance, while a bit steamy for a Christian fiction, was sweet. The setting and concept for the story was different and I enjoyed seeing how it played out. There is some suspense in the plot due to the person targeting the town. I am looking forward to the next books in the series.

    I received this book free of charge from Bethany House in exchange for my honest review.
  3. Age: 35-44
    Gender: Female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    An Intriguing Premise
    July 14, 2016
    eLynda
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: Female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    I love book coversIm not sure if that counts as a vice or not, given the admonition to not judge a book by its cover. Once the artwork has captured my attention, the back cover has to promise more exists than just a gorgeous display piece. This one does. And it isnt an empty promise, eitherthis book delivers!

    An intriguing premise immediately pulled me in: where do women look for protection against men? How can they defend themselves against an unseen adversary who has them beaten in terms of physical strength and power? The action quickly ramps up from the prologue to an explosives detonation and right into the threat presented against the womens colony. The pacing is rapid, but I never felt lost, only eager to turn the page.

    The characters are loveable if rather thickheaded at times. Occupations and plans threaten a happy ending, which had me wanting to knock some sense into both Emma and Mal at times. But part of what makes these characters so wonderful is that they are constantly looking at what is best for the loved one rather than the outcome they want. Neither one is perfect, but both grow through the novel and even help me, as the reader, to see ways I can depend on God and His plans more fully instead of trying to bring my own plans into being despite what He is trying to achieve in my life.

    There is a danger in a book about a womens colony that men will be vilified or parodied for the sake of storytelling; that never happens in this book. Yes, it is a town populated by women to protect women from bad situations but it never becomes a book about hating men or how all men are horrible. The author does an outstanding job of painting her characters with individuality, each responsible for his or her own choices, regardless of gender.

    Its hard to say exactly what I loved about this book without going into spoilers, but I can say that it engaged my emotions on many levels: I laughed, gasped aloud, smiled, and even shed some tears while reading. Every piece of this well-plotted novel comes together to create a satisfying conclusion at the same time it prepares us to begin the wait for the next book in the series. Karen Witemeyer is now on my list of authors that I will read simply because her name is on the cover. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and highly recommend it for fans of historical romance.

    I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author in exchange for this honest review. All of the opinions expressed are my own.
  4. Coral Springs, FL
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: female
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    Friendship and love
    July 13, 2016
    Marilyn
    Coral Springs, FL
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    Karen Witemeyer has a fun writing style. She brings her people to life and gives them real feelings and good dialogue. She has a feisty writing style in which she puts into her characters.

    Emma Chandler is a determined, loyal, soft hearted, independent woman. When she is facing an unknown enemy she must rely on the only man she can ever remember trusting. When Malachi returns to help her will she be able to say goodbye again? Will they ever find who is targeting her town or must they leave.

    Malachi Shaw comes from a rough lifestyle. The only family he has ever really had is now being threatened. Will he be able to find the problems before more people get hurt. Will he be able to tell Emma goodbye or will he save her in time.

    I was given a copy of this novel from net galley for my honest opinion.
  5. Age: 18-24
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Entertaining and Enjoyable!
    July 13, 2016
    Faye
    Age: 18-24
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    Emma Chandler is an enterprising young woman, a banker who has created a safe space for women where they can receive a hand up and not a hand out in Harper's Station, Texas, where any woman is welcome...but most men are not.

    When her town is threatened, by an unknown foe, seeming to want to drive them out, Emma knows just the man for the job. Malachi Shaw, is Emma's childhood friend. He is a hardworking, intelligent, and capable man, who respects what Emma and her aunts have built.

    As sparks fly between the reunited friends, will they be able to find who is behind the threats in Harper's Station?

    I loved Emma's aunts, Henry and Bertie. Henry is a straight-talking woman, who says it like it is, and wears bloomers. While Bertie is soft spoken and tenderhearted. They both raised Emma after her parents died, and they support Emma's big dreams.

    Emma is a natural leader, and has a compassionate heart, she knows all the ladies in town and is more concerned for their safety than for her pocketbook. I admired her strength and determination to not go down without a fight.

    I loved the camaraderie between the women, and how they band together to uplift and support each other, with resilience.

    I really liked the relationship between Malachi and Emma, they were childhood friends, and haven't seen each other for 10 years, until Emma brings him to Harper's Station. Malachi and Emma work together well, and are both inspired by the other to be a better person.

    Overall, this is a fat paced read filled with action, mystery, colorful characters, faith, and humor. Malachi is a gallant hero, and Emma is a brave heroine with a plan, who won't let the cowboy ride away. There was so much to love about this book from the wonderful sense of community and fantastic women that made up Harper's Station, to the splendid chemistry between Mal and Emma. This was a read that I couldn't out down, riveting from the first, and even more so after Malachi stepped onto the scene. A thoroughly enjoyable read.

    Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and testimonials in Advertising."
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