May 2015/352 pages/$14.99
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?
Stone Hammond is the best tracker in Texas. He never comes home empty-handed. So when a wealthy railroad investor hires him to find his abducted granddaughter, Stone eagerly accepts.
Charlotte Atherton, former headmistress of Sullivan's Academy for Exceptional Youths, will do anything to keep her charges safe, especially the orphaned girl entrusted to her care. Charlotte promised Lily's mother she'd keep the girl away from her unscrupulous grandfather, and nothing will stop Charlotte from fulfilling that pledge. Not even the handsome bounty hunter with surprisingly honest eyes who comes looking for them.
When Miss Atherton produces documentation that shows her to be Lily's legal guardian, Stone must reevaluate everything he's been led to believe. Is she villain or victim?
Then a new danger forces Charlotte to trust the man sent to destroy her. Stone vows to protect what he once sought to tear apart. Besides, he's ready to start a new pursuit: winning Charlotte's heart.
Read an excerpt.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
I love Karen Witemeyer's historical romances, and A Worthy Pursuit is one of her best yet. Once again she has crafted an engaging tale that made me smile and sigh and forget everything around me as I read. Charlotte is a likeable and complex character, demonstrating fierce love and protection for the three young children she has in her care, yet not so easily swayed in matters of the heart where men are concerned. Stone is a noble hero, strong and dependable with a tender heart hidden beneath his tough bounty hunter persona. And the three children with their special gifts steal the hearts of any who meet them! Perfectly paced and with danger threatening, this book will keep you reading "just one more chapter" until you've reached the end. Pack this one in your summer tote; it's A Worthy Pursuit for your reading list!
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Bethany House Publishers for a blog tour. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. 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.”
A Q&A with KAREN WITEMEYER
1. What inspired this story?
For me, there is usually a single spark that gets a book idea started. For A Worthy Pursuit, that spark was the idea of incorporating gifted children—child prodigies, each having a gift in a different field. And the one who doesn’t consider himself gifted ends up being the one who saves the day, proving he is, in fact, remarkable.
I also wanted to play with the idea of opposites attracting. So I chose a refined, educated headmistress who doesn’t trust men and paired her with a man of action and intrigue who practically walks off the pages of a dime novel. Charlotte has to learn to trust the man who was sent to destroy her in order to protect the children in her care, and Stone must dig deep to unearth the patience it will take to win the heart of the plucky woman he comes to admire.
2. What were your favorite parts to write?
In this story, Lily (the little girl Charlotte is trying to protect) is an avid reader of dime novels, and in several places, she shares the dime-novel stories with the other characters in the book. I had so much fun writing those over-the-top western scenes. It was a blast! In fact, I loved it so much that when I wrote the follow-up novella (The Husband Maneuver) that will release as part of a collection in early 2016, I started every chapter with a short scene from a Dead-Eye Dan dime novel. So in the end, you actually get two stories in one, the dime novel and the novella. Super fun!
3. Which character in your book turned out to be your favorite?
All right. I admit it. The heroes in my books are always my favorites. I suppose it’s because I’m a romance reader first and foremost, so when I write, I create heroes that I, myself, would fall in love with if I was the reader. My philosophy is to write heroines that I wish I could be and write heroes that make me fall in love with them.
So, in A Worthy Pursuit, Stone is my favorite. He was orphaned at a young age and forced to toughen up in order to survive. He found a career that suited his skills and became the best in the business. However, he’s not a shoot-first-ask-questions-later type of bounty hunter. In fact, he leaves the outlaw-chasing business and hires himself out as a retriever in order to use his brain more than his gun. He’s intelligent enough to piece together clues to find things/people nobody else can find. And he’s a man of honor. That’s why when he finds Charlotte and the kids he’s open to hearing her side of the story instead of focusing solely on the paycheck at the end of the job.
He also woos Charlotte with a patience and gentleness that goes completely against his action-oriented nature. There is a scene where he takes her on a walk to watch the sun set, and the triumph he experiences when she finally relaxes enough against him to lay her head on his shoulder always makes me melt. His relentless yet patient pursuit wins not only Charlotte’s heart but mine as well.
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