No Other Will Do (Ladies of Harper's Station #1)
Author: Karen Witemeyer
Publisher: Bethany House (2016)
Genre: Historical Fiction/Romance
From the time she was a girl, Emma Chandler had a kind, caring spirit. She always put the needs of others before her own. That's not to say she didn't have moments of feistiness. She was raised by her unmarried aunts and has a little bit of the spunk her Aunt Henry possesses mixed with the gentle spirit of Aunt Bertie.
"They had been the ones to help her dream up the idea of a women's colony, a place run by women to benefit women. A sanctuary for those needing to escape, and a place of opportunity for those looking to better themselves."
When she grew up and came into her inheritance, she purchased a small town of abandoned buildings for pennies on the dollar. Harper's Station became the colony she dreamed of. Now someone is threatening the colony by leaving notes around town telling them to leave or he'll clear them out himself. How will she keep her ladies safe?
Malachi Shaw. When Emma was thirteen years old, she found a boy hiding in her aunts' barn. He had no where to go and was cold and hungry. Emma and the aunts adopted him. He lived with them for 2 years and grew to love them all. The first time he saw Emma he thought she was an angel. He has loved her since that moment. It has been ten years since they have seen one another. But Emma knows that if she needs him, he will come. Within minutes of receiving her telegram, he is on his way to her. Who is threatening the ladies of Harper's Station? Will Malachi arrive before someone gets hurt? What will Emma be like now?
This was the first book I have read by Karen Witemeyer. It was a lot of fun! Her writing is full of wit and had me laughing out loud a time or two. What was surprising to me was the mystery involved in the story. I expected historical fiction with some romance, but didn't expect the mystery. That was a welcome surprise! It kept me guessing until the end.
The characters are wonderful. Emma is a young women with a level head, a gift for leadership and a heart for others. Malachi is a man who is flawed, but desires to do what is right. He is not afraid to stand against evil and is not about to let someone hurt those he loves. You can't help but love the aunts. Henry with her feisty, matter-of-fact ways and
Bertie with her gentle, soothing ways. The faith of the characters comes into play in a realistic way.
This was an enjoyable read with a little romance, some history, a mystery and a good dose of justice. I look forward to reading the next book in the series.