Can you imagine dreaming about your childhood Prince Charming for years, and then marrying him as an adult?
When Meredith Hayes stepped onto the forbidden Archer land as a child, she was only trying to obtain her scattered lunch pail that had been hoisted by a town bully. Dared by other schoolmates, she bravely steps onto the land only to have her leg caught in a steel trap. When handsome Travis Archer comes to her rescue, she discovers that the reclusive Archer brother is not mean and evil as the townsfolk claim. He gets her out of the trap, setting her on her way home.
Now, several years later, Meredith is an adult and she suffers from a gimp leg as a result of the steel-trap accident. Over the years, she’s dreamed about Travis Archer as being her Prince Charming. She’s now devastated that her current guardians, her aunt and uncle, want her to marry terrible Roy Mitchell. Roy only wants to marry Meredith for her land – having control over her land could greatly increase Roy’s wealth. After overhearing Roy give orders to set fire to the Archer property, hoping to force them to sell their land, Meredith feels she can’t sit around and watch the Archers suffer. She sneaks onto the property to warn them of the attack, wanting to return the kindness that Travis showed her several years ago. However, the Archer brothers, especially Travis, are dumbstruck when a woman comes limping onto their property with her warning.
The Archers are recluses, hardly receiving any visitors as they ban others from their property. Meredith’s sudden presence throws a HUGE monkey-wrench into their lives. When she’s kicked by a mule and injured, she’s forced to spend the night on the Archer property. Staying overnight with a houseful of men ruin’s Meredith’s reputation and she’s forced to marry one of the Archer brothers – Travis, of course!
This book was a real treat for me to read and I loved how the story unfolded. Travis and his brothers have little contact with the outside world due to a promise Travis made to his dying father. Since they live as hermits, their lives are thrown into turmoil when Meredith arrives. Meredith’s kindness, thoughtfulness, and gentle nature reach out to Travis’s wounded spirit, making him see that shutting others out is not always the right thing to do. I also thought the marriage of convenience between Travis and Meredith was touching. I guess I felt that way because I know that Meredith has been dreaming about Travis for years, and Travis is smitten when Meredith shows up on his property again, years later.
The characters in this novel are so well-developed and the plot was excellent. The story moved forward and you were anxious to see what happened to Travis and Meredith once they tied the knot.
Many thanks to Bethany House for sending me a free review copy. I highly appreciated this wonderful novel!
Have you ever had a childhood crush that lasted for years? Leave a comment!