Tuesday, June 7, 2022

IN HONOR'S DEFENSE by Karen Witemeyer, Reviewed by Winnie, Paula, and Rebecca #NewRelease

Karen Witemeyer has wrapped up another fantastic series with In Honor’s Defense, the third and last book in her Hanger’s Horsemen series. I’ve been eagerly anticipating Luke Davenport’s story, and what a great tale it is. I love a hero who has had trials and hardship in his life but overcomes them, heals, and grows stronger because of them.

Damaris Baxter feels like she’s invisible to others and is content to sit quietly by and let others shine--that is, until her brother dies and she is suddenly thrust into the role of guardian to her fourteen-year-old nephew Nathaniel. She moves to Texas to care for him and finds he’s turned into quite a handful.

When Luke takes a job at a nearby ranch tracking down some cattle rustlers, he meets Damaris and Nathaniel and lends his help. Luke is such a good role model for Nathaniel, helping him mature and become better. I loved the scriptures Luke could quote to help him in any given situation, therefore earning him the nickname, Preach.

I enjoyed seeing Damaris come out of her shell and develop some courage and confidence. She and Luke were good for each other, helping each other see their worth and goodness.

“I didn’t ask you to tell me who you were, Luke. I asked you to tell me who you are.”

With lots of action, adventure, a good dose of inspiration, and a dash of romance, this book has something for everyone, and it’s easy to see why Karen Witemeyer is one of my favorite historical fiction authors. Although it’s part of a series, it could be read alone, but the backstory in the first two books adds to the enjoyment of this book. This book is headed for my keeper shelf, and I’m looking forward to seeing what’s next for this author.
*I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy from Bethany House Publishers. All opinions are my own. 4.5 stars

"Preach" Luke Davenport, is hero material. He sees himself as “discontented, dangerous and a little bit deranged.” But Damaris sees him as “driven, devoted and dependable.” What I like about Luke is he has hidden the word of God in his heart and relies on it in every situation. He regrets the sins of his past but as a new creature in Christ, he and fellow Horsemen use their lives to help others. That is one lesson Luke learns when he comes upon Damaris and her orphaned nephew, Nate. Luke sees himself in the young teen and wants to help him overcome feelings of inadequacy and helplessness that are leading Nate into trouble. But when trouble comes calling, God answers in the person of Luke. 

 I love the way the author makes her heroes and heroines flawed and vulnerable but then uses those traits to show how God can work things for good. Damaris is shy and considers herself invisible but she lives up to the challenge of caring for her nephew and showing the fruits of the Spirit.This was a great ending to the series, but I hate to see the stories of the Horsemen end. Ms. Witemeyer always gives us totally believable characters, humor amid the danger and a swoony romance. This series will remain one of my favorites. 

* I received a complimentary copy of this book from Bethany House on behalf of the author. I was not required to give a favorable review. All opinions are my own.*

"Fear not, for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by name; thou art mine. . . When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee. . .  When thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned . . . "

Luke "Preach" Davenport knew his Scripture inside and out. But it was about to become his prayer, his life line, his everything, because the woman on the other side of that fire line . . .  whoa . . . let's slow down a minute and back up to the beginning of this story.

Leaving his fellow Horsemen behind in their various states of marital bliss, Luke answers a request from a Texas rancher who needs assistance ferreting out cattle rustlers. When Luke's investigation sends him out to the Baxter property, he discovers that the woman of the house has been trapped in her own cellar all day, the handiwork of a mischievous nephew whose bent for pranks was leading him towards some serious trouble.

Damaris Baxter had responded to a completely different kind of request for assistance. Her beloved brother; a widower, had unexpectedly and perhaps even mysteriously drowned, leaving his barely teen son on his own. Approaching spinster status, Damaris knew that she could offer Nathaniel the kind of stability that he needed, so she willingly left her comfortable, albeit boring life in St. Louis to face-off with bitterness, anger, and insolence.

As Luke's purpose and Damaris' circumstances begin to intertwine, a reconnaissance mission gone bad exposes a lot more than childish mischief, Luke nearly loses his life . . . and yet, in a way he actually begins to find it . . . something he never thought possible . . . home.

Fans of the regaled Hanger's Horsemen series will love seeing this deep dive into Luke's tender heart as he begins to release it into the loving care of another.

"You are a warrior, Luke Davenport. And warriors aren't formed by ease and tranquility. They are forged in battle. . . I will not judge you on the man you were. Only on the man you are."
*I received a copy of this book from the author and publisher. I also purchased a copy. The opinions stated above are entirely my own. 3.5 stars

BackCover Blurb:

He's Faced Countless Perils on the Battlefield, but Nothing so Dangerous as Falling in Love.

Luke Davenport has been fighting all his life--for respect, for country, and for those unable to fight for themselves. But now that his Horsemen brothers are domesticated, he's left alone to battle the wildness within. When an opportunity arises to take a job on his own, tracking down a group of rustlers, he jumps at the chance.

Damaris Baxter has mastered the art of invisibility. Plain and quiet, she hides in books and needlework, content to be overlooked. Until her brother dies suddenly, leaving her custody of her nephew. She moves to Texas to care for Nathaniel, determined to create the family for herself that she never thought she'd have and to give him the family he desperately needs.

When Nate finds himself knee-deep in trouble, Luke's attempt to protect him leaves Damaris feeling indebted to the Horseman. But suspicions grow regarding the mysterious death of Damaris's brother. And the more questions they ask, the more danger appears, threatening the family Luke may be unable to live without.
Bethany House Publishing, June 7, 2022
Available in digital ebook, paperback, hardcover, and audiobook:
Buy IN HONOR'S DEFENSE at Amazon, Christianbook .com, or Baker Book House 

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