A Worthy Pursuit

A Worthy Pursuit

by Karen Witemeyer

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Overview

A Worthy Pursuit by Karen Witemeyer

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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780764212802
Publisher: Baker Publishing Group
Publication date: 06/02/2015
Pages: 352
Sales rank: 234,822
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

Winner of the HOLT Medallion and multiple Carol Awards, and a finalist for the RITA and Christy Award, bestselling author Karen Witemeyer writes historical romance because she believes in giving the world more happily-ever-afters. Karen makes her home in Abilene, Texas, with her husband and three children. Learn more about Karen and her books at www.karenwitemeyer.com.

Read an Excerpt

A Worthy Pursuit


By Karen Witemeyer

Bethany House Publishers

Copyright © 2015 Karen Witemeyer
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-0-7642-1280-2


CHAPTER 1

April 1891 Madisonville, Texas


"Whoa." Stone Hammond tugged once on the reins, and his black immediately stopped. "I better climb the rest of the way alone, Goliath." He slid from the saddle, pushing the long length of his duster aside as he swung his leg over the horse's rump. "A behemoth like you is likely to block out the sun this time of day if you crest the hill, and after eight weeks of huntin' I ain't about to let you scare off my quarry."

The black turned his head and gave Stone a look that seemed to imply Stone wasn't exactly a dainty specimen himself then turned his attention to sampling the local prairie grass. Stone snorted. Crazy beast. Always so uppity. But he wouldn't trade him for the biggest bounty on the federal marshal's wall. No, the two of them had been through too many adventures to ever call it quits. They'd battled outlaws, renegades—shoot, even a pair of thievin' circus performers who'd turned out to be devilishly good with knives. He and Goliath bore the scars and carried the years of hard living upon their bodies, but their hearts beat as true today as they had when they'd started a decade ago.

They were retrievers. The best in the state. It was the one thing in life he was good at. Never once had he failed to bring in what he was sent after. And with what this job was paying him, he'd finally be able to buy himself that little place he'd had his eye on, the one far enough away from people and their problems that he and Goliath could retire in peace.

A place not too different from the log cabin he'd spied on the other side of this rise.

Pulling a pair of field glasses out of his saddle bag, he patted Goliath's neck then set out for the top of the hill. Knowing his six-foot-three-inch frame would block out the sun just as much as Goliath, Stone hunkered over as he climbed, going down to his belly for the last few yards. Bracing his weight on his elbows, he sighted the house then held the field glasses up to his eyes and focused in on the details that would tell him how best to approach.

His target had proven unusually cagey. And careful. No witnesses. No discernible trail. No demand for ransom. He'd been forced to do his tracking through society drawing rooms and county registries. Not exactly his areas of expertise. Folks tended to either cower or look down their noses at him in those kinds of places. But enduring the disdainful sniffs of a passel of pinkie-pointin', tea-sippin' ladies had eventually paid off, leading him to a bit of old gossip that gave him his first solid lead. And if he was right, he'd have his quarry rustled up before nightfall.

Stone rolled onto his back and pulled out the photograph he'd taken from the school wall. Three women and a man stood behind a group of two dozen kids spit-shined and dressed for the camera. Two black ink circles blazed up at him. One around a young girl sitting in the front row. Another around a tall woman standing ramrod straight on the far right.

Was the girl dead? Sold? The child was a pretty little thing. Blond hair, bright eyes. A gal like that would fetch a hefty price down in Mexico. But her grandfather didn't seem to believe any serious harm had befallen the girl. He'd simply hired Stone to find her and retrieve her. But what did a pampered rich man know about the seedy side of the world?

Stone had seen evil up close, had trailed men who'd slit a fellow's throat without a second thought, who'd rape a woman then trod on her face for the perverse pleasure of having her beneath his boot. But those who hurt children? Those were the worst of the lot. He prayed the old man was right. He'd never laid a hand on a woman, but God help him, if this Charlotte Atherton person had hurt the child or sold her into the hands of one who would, he didn't think he'd be able to stop himself.

Rolling back onto his stomach, he squinted through the field glasses and ordered his heart rate to calm. No use imagining the worst. Everyone he'd interviewed had given Miss Atherton a glowing character reference. Active in her church, charitable even on her small salary, dedicated to her students. Yet why would such a paragon steal a child? There must be something darker lurking beneath the surface. Something cunning and sly and perhaps a bit demented.

A high-pitched scream pierced the quiet afternoon air. A child's cry. Stone tensed. The toes of his boots dug into the earth, ready to spring him forward. He'd not stand by and do nothing while a child—

A tow-headed girl ran out of the cabin. Stone raised off his belly enough to grab the six-shooter from his right holster. The Colt wasn't the best for long-range shooting, but the sound would draw attention away from the girl. He held the field glasses steady, his gaze glued to the girl as he cocked the hammer.

She screamed again then turned to glance over her shoulder. Stone froze. The girl's face was aglow with ... laughter. She wasn't screaming. She was squealing. A boy, probably a couple years older than the girl, ran into the viewing area, a long-armed contraption of some sort in his hand. A loud pop echoed an instant before a rope shot out from the thing. The girl squealed again and dodged to the left. The rope flopped onto the ground. Admirably close to its target, though. If the boy rigged the rope with a barbed end, he'd have himself a harpoon. Rather impressive.

"You missed!" the girl crowed. She said something more, but her return to normal volume kept the words from carrying.

Exhaling a slow breath, Stone holstered his revolver and settled back in to observe. He tossed a quick prayer heavenward, thanking God that Lily Dorchester was alive and unharmed. For the girl was Lily. He'd recognized her features when she'd turned. Now she was dancing around the boy, as carefree as a tawny-haired kitten playing with a piece of string—a string the boy was wrapping up and reloading for another round of target practice.

The dancing halted with a skid. Lily ran up to the boy and cupped her hand between her mouth and his ear then pointed back toward the house. Stone scanned the yard in the direction she'd pointed. A statuesque woman with a laundry basket propped against one hip glided toward a line draped with sheets, towels, and a pair of aprons. Her back was to him, so he couldn't make out her features, but she moved with the refined grace of a society lady. No hurry to her step. Back straight as a board. Hair miraculously unaffected by the wind. At least she wore sensible clothes. Not exactly prairie calico, but her blue skirt was free of frills and she'd rolled the sleeves of her white shirtwaist to her elbows. Add a tailored jacket, and she'd look just like the woman in the picture. Charlotte Atherton.

His pulse sped up a notch at the sight of his quarry.

But he wasn't the only hunter about. Another had her in his sights as well. One with a giggly assistant who couldn't seem to stand still in her excitement. The boy crept closer to his target, took careful aim, and waited. Waited for her to drop the laundry basket and reach for the first sheet. Waited for her to fold. Waited until the precise moment she leaned over to lay the clean linen in the bottom of the basket.

A pop sounded, followed by a less-than-dignified screech as the rope's end slapped against Miss Atherton's ... end. The woman jerked upright, one hand moving to cover the offended area as she spun.

Now the truth would show itself. Stone waited for the explosion.

"Stephen Farley!"

And there it was. Would she fetch a switch? Perhaps a strop?

These tight-laced teacher types always had something around for maintaining discipline. Never a drop of humor in them, and blessed little compassion.

The two pranksters darted out of his vision, but Stone didn't move the glasses to follow them. His attention was locked on the face that had just turned his way.

The photograph hadn't done her justice. Stone's breath leaked out of him in a quiet whistle. Hair the color of sunlight shining through honey. Sun-kissed cheeks and snapping blue-green eyes. Why, if she softened that stern expression of hers, she'd be downright pretty.

"That's quite a clever contraption you've put together, Stephen," she called after the fleeing children. "But if you ever administer it in that fashion again, you'll be writing me an essay on the role of gentlemanly behavior in the advancement of civilization." She shouted the last, ensuring the boy heard her dire threat. If one could call that bit of pudding a threat. An essay? Really? That's what she used to keep the children in line?

Taskmasters the world over were hanging their heads in shame. Wouldn't a kidnapper have to enlist bigger guns to keep her charges from escaping? Locked doors, perhaps. Chains. At least a few threats of bodily harm. A coil of unease tightened in his gut. Something about this situation didn't sit right.

Stone pushed up on his elbows and started to drop the field glasses, but Miss Atherton did something at just that moment that arrested him. She smiled. Small and sweet and oh-so-secret as she slowly turned back toward her laundry. A fondness for the troublesome boy had glowed from within its depths. Not the smile of a madwoman or an abductress tasting future payments, but the smile of a mother.

It must have been that smile that kept him from hearing the nearly silent footsteps creeping up behind him. When the muffled sound finally registered in his brain, his attacker was upon him.

Stone rolled to his back, his hands curving around the grips of both pistols. They never cleared leather. For the gray-haired gnome that had materialized out of the hillside slammed a rifle butt against the top of his head, and Stone's world went black.


(Continues...)

Excerpted from A Worthy Pursuit by Karen Witemeyer. Copyright © 2015 Karen Witemeyer. Excerpted by permission of Bethany House Publishers.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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A Worthy Pursuit 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 45 reviews.
artsybookworm More than 1 year ago
A Worthy Pursuit by Karen Witemeyer is the perfect read when you want something light and fun. As soon as I started reading, I was like oh, no! It's one of those. I'll never be able to stop reading now. haha Even though some parts were unbelievable it was still a good read. Sometimes you just need something lighthearted! Her characters did have depth, and I loved how God was in the story so naturally. Charlotte Atherton loves her job at the Sullivan's Academy for Exceptional Youths, but when the head of the school decides to abruptly close down in the middle of the school year, Charlotte is sure something is very wrong. Miss Atherton is also the legal guardian of Lily, one of the children boarding there, and Charlotte has the sinking feeling that Lily's grandfather paid the headmaster handsomely to have the school closed so suddenly. Determined to keep her promise to Lily's mother, Charlotte leaves the school in the middle of the night with Lily and two boys in tow and makes her way to a secluded ranch. Stone Hammond was hired by Lily's grandfather to find out where Miss Atherton hid his granddaughter. Working on the case for a couple months, Stone finally tracks Charlotte down, but what he finds is completely different from what he was told. Working to protect Charlotte and Lily from her scheming grandfather, Stone comes up with a risky plan. Can he save Lily and win the heart of Charlotte at the same time? Like I said this is a fun book with never a dull moment. I really liked how unique Charlotte's backstory was, and I loved that she was an accomplished pianist. I honestly don't see a lot of books where the woman is a musician or anything in the arts really. I guess because everyone wants to write women accomplishing things men normally do, but I love music and am an artist so it was wonderful to read of a heroine like that. I felt swept away in the music just by how the author described a particular scene. Such depth of emotion and so well written I was almost certain I felt and heard it. Hands down the best scene in the book.  If you are looking for a lively, engrossing book, try this one. It's good enough to ignore the implausible parts. ;-) I was given this book free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Amigagal More than 1 year ago
I absolutely adored this book! I was not ready for it to end! I read all of Karen's books and hesitate to choose a favorite because I love all of them for different reasons but so far this one IS my favorite! Each character was fantastic for different reasons. I especially love books with children and this book has plenty of them! Young Lily is the main focus of the book and she is such a firecracker! I enjoyed everything about her, especially her youthful exuberance! She was delightful! The main character, Charlotte, was the headmistress of a private school that got closed and I loved how she snuck 3 kids out of the school in the dead of night to "rescue" them from fates that would be detrimental to each one. That took a lot of guts and she continued to stand up for them and fight for them through all of their adventures in the book. We discover in the book that she had a childhood which caused her to want to stand up for children and be their advocate. She'd been terribly hurt by those close to her so she wanted to be there for those children. When Stone Hammond, a bounty hunter/retriever, comes along to take Lily from her to return her to her unscrupulous grandfather, Charlotte will not let that happen! Stone is world-weary and a loner but he can immediately see how much the children love Charlotte. After he discovers the truth about Lily, he doesn't waver in his allegiance to Charlotte & the children! I loved the relationship between Charlotte and Stone. Stone was so up front about his feeling for her and she didn't know what to do about that! It was great! There was great action & adventures to keep the story flowing and the pages turning. I didn't get a lot of sleep or a lot done at my house while I was reading this book! The ending was very satisfying and enjoyable. *** I received this book from the publisher for an honest review.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Love this historical love story
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
wfnren More than 1 year ago
I loved this story! Yes, I really like Karen's books and I really like this one as well. When she writes a story she just pulls you right in and doesn't let you go, you don't want to put the book down. This comes highly recommended from me.
Jaquelyn More than 1 year ago
Whenever I pick up a book by Karen Witemeyer I know I am in for a treat. A Worthy Pursuit easily falls into that category. Witemeyer has a way of making you love her characters. She is great at throwing in twists and turns. And she is always making me long for more. I couldn’t put the book down. And yet I wasn’t ready to say good-bye to these amazing characters. I’m really hoping that this isn’t all we’ve seen of them. Charlotte Atherton’s life is about to be totally different then she imagined. She went from being headmistress to being on the run. Being on the run wasn’t in her plans, but she will do anything to protect Lily. Lily’s mom trusted Charlotte to protect her daughter, and Charlotte will do anything necessary to keep her promise. Life finally seems to be getting back to normal when Stone shows up. Stone is on a mission, and he won’t let a pretty woman keep him from completing it. Stone is the best retriever around these parts and has a reputation to keep. When Charlotte appeals to him, he agrees to hear her side of the story. Stone can see she loves the kids, and is finding it hard to believe she would hurt them. He was told one thing, but is seeing a totally different story. Can Stone find out the truth before it’s too late? I couldn’t help but fall in love with Stone right away. He is swoon-worthy in every way possible. Can Charlotte resist such perfection? I was taken on an adventure and loved every minute of it. There was suspense, and romance mixed together for the perfect recipe. You won’t regret taking the time to read this book. And I have a feeling it will be as hard for you to put down as it was for me. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys Historical fiction. I received a copy of this book from Bethany House and Netgalley in exchange for my honest opinion. All opinions expressed are my own.
BookJunkie15 More than 1 year ago
"A Worthy Pursuit" starts out with a bang from the very beginning, the prologue pulls you in & keeps you wanting to read the next chapter & the one after that & the one after that. I've never been disappointed by Ms. Witemeyer's books & had high expectations for this one, I'm happy to say that I was not disappointed. The heroine of this book, Charlotte Atherton, was a relatable character for me personally. She's terrified of losing control & still feels the pain of the past oh so clearly, she has a hard time letting go & trusting, the journey of her faith was well written & I felt that it stayed in a very good progression of the book, not too quick and not too slow. The hero of this book, Stone Hammond, is a strong, unyielding character in his looks and in the way he acts too based on first impression, until he really gets to know Charlotte and the children. Then you know he has a heart just as big as he is in physical size. The suspense was really great, just when you think things are settling down the plot gets stirred once again. It had its slower moments but they were good ones. It was a well paced read all around. All in all I give this book a big five stars & recommend it to anyone who loves a great historical romance with suspense, fantastic characters and a sigh worthy romance. I received a complimentary 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.
StaceyZink More than 1 year ago
One of the many things I loved about the characters in this books was how strong Charlotte was when placed in a difficult situation. She didn’t seek a man to help her, instead she found a way to solve the problem. Charlotte’s back story is vital to understanding her motives. She comes from a broken home where she saw her father break his vows, a mother who abandoned her, and she’s betrayed by a man she loves. When she becomes the legal guardian of Lily, nothing is going to stop her from keeping the child safe. I love how Charlotte’s control issues are balanced with her mothering side. She’s a mother to each of the children in her care at the school. She loves these children and they adore her. I think the children add a fun element to book. Their personalities made me laugh several times, especially Lily. The hero is your typical historical lead, he’s rough around the edges, but under that gruff he’s looking for someone to love him. He wants a home and children. As a reader you see the match and know it’s a good one, but the characters fight it which makes this book a good read. I was provided with a copy of this book by the publisher in exchange for my honest review.
EmilyAnneK17 More than 1 year ago
To keep her beloved students safe from the circumstances following their boarding school closing, Charlotte sneaks three of them away in the dead of night to give them a better life. However, one of the children’s grandfather hires a tracker named Stone to bring his granddaughter back. After reading Short Straw Bride, I fell in love with Karen Witemeyer’s writing. I was quite excited to read A Worthy Pursuit, and the book definitely did not disappoint. There were bounty hunters and kidnappings, touching moments and hilarious instances. I enjoyed this book from start to finish. Charlotte loved those children and would do anything for them. Her care and teaching skills were amazing, making me wonder if a real person could actually be that good at it. The way she interacted with each of the students, understanding and teaching them in the best ways for each, showed how much she cared for them. The action part of this book was pretty awesome too. Despite his status as a bounty hunter seeking Lily, he would not allow the children or their teacher to come to harm. His plan was to rescue her from her “evil” kidnapper, after all. His care for the children pushed him to take dangerous chances and defeat enemies no matter the odds. I absolutely adored the way that one of the characters was written into a dime novel! The girl Lily loved those dime novels and when she discovered that one of the men she knew was one of them—it was priceless! And the pains those men took to forget about those books too! The humor of it was perhaps my favorite part of the book. Overall, the book is filled with strong characters, daring fights, funny instances, and sweet moments. I look forward to reading the next book from Karen Witemeyer and would highly recommend this one to others. I received a free copy of this book from NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Heidi_Reads More than 1 year ago
Boy, does Karen Witemeyer know how to write her heroes! I loved the strength, honor, humor, and hint of vulnerability that made Stone a man that Charlotte could finally count on. He has a soft spot for kids and the truth of the situation along with Lily's safety quickly becomes more important than his tracking record. The story is one of adventure, with some twists and plenty of action. What endeared this story to me though are the small details that subtly deepen the reader's understanding of each character and make them unique. Charlotte playing passionately on the piano to express her anxiety. Lily's obsession with dime novels of frontier heroes. The way that touch affects Stone at a deep level. The relationship between Stone and Charlotte builds steadily as they learn to trust each other and overcome their own hesitations. Their romantic moments are heightened by the emotion of the desperate circumstances, but prove to be based on a love that each is yearning for. There are also two other couples that have roles in the mission to protect Lily who totally need novellas written about them (hint, hint Karen...) (Thank you to the author for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review)
TheArtistLibrarian More than 1 year ago
With humor, romance, and a bit of action, Karen Witemeyer fans old and new are sure to enjoy "A Worthy Pursuit." I've loved reading Karen Witemeyer's books ever since I discovered her work about four years ago. While I normally shy away from western/prairie settings now (due to reading almost nothing but fiction in those settings in high school), Witemeyer is one of the few prairie/western authors I'll make an exception for. Her books are lighthearted and sprinkled with humor that makes you smile. While the story moved a teensy bit slower than I'm used to seeing from her, it was understandable. Due to the plot, much of the time Charlotte and company are either in hiding or waiting for information, documents, or other messages (this is 19th century Texas, after all). However, despite this, I'd say this is one of her most action-packed novels to date! There are others after Lily and the bounty placed on her and Charlotte's heads, which lend to several dramatic scenes. Trusting in God through or despite fear was one of the main themes of the novel and while I enjoyed Stone and Charlotte's stories, I was constantly captivated by Charlotte's young wards: Lily, the main impetus of the story, who has a photographic memory; Stephen, a child inventor and another of Charlotte's students, left in her care since his parents are traveling abroad; and John, an orphaned piano prodigy in the making. I admit, I may have "squeed" a bit when I saw that John was Chinese --I rarely seen Asian characters in the fiction I read, so I have to give credit to Witemeyer for her historically believable inclusion. I'd be thrilled to see their stories continue as young adults --perhaps through novellas? With humor, romance, and a bit of action, Karen Witemeyer fans old and new are sure to enjoy "A Worthy Pursuit." 4 & 1/2 stars compared to her other titles. [Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this novel from the publisher for review purposes]
DKStevens119 More than 1 year ago
When Sullivan's Academy for Exceptional Youths closes, Charlotte Atherton, the former headmistress will do anything to keep her special charges safe. Especially the orphaned girl entrusted to her care. Charlotte calmly takes on the handsome bounty hunter who finds them. When she shows him proof of her guardianship of the girl he has hired on to retrieve he finds this lovely lady grabbing a piece of his heart. Stone Hammond now vows to protect and keep Charlotte and the children safe. There was the hunt for Miss Atherton and the children, kidnapping, action with the dime novel real life characters to the rescue and romance. A nice pace, a fun story, interesting characters with a thread of faith throughout. I'd recommend this, it was a fun, clean western romance.This story kept you guessing what adventure was coming next. Thank you Bethany House publishers and Net Galley for providing me with a copy of this book to read and review with my honest opinion.
angelmom1165 More than 1 year ago
What a fun book. It had adventure, romance and even a bit of mystery. The book was full of surprises. I loved how Stone didn't jump to conclusions but watched and made his decisions based on facts. Charlotte was much the same. She acted properly while being careful and still putting the protection of her child above all else. The children were a great addition to the book. I loved what made each one special. The characters were very well developed. I had a hard time putting the book down. I was adopted so these kinds of stories grab me. I wanted to find out what happened next and how things were going to go when the real "bad guy" showed up, because there always has to be one, right? Actually, there are a few of them, but two main ones. I recommend this to anyone who loves an adventure and sweet romance.
mackenzie_carol More than 1 year ago
A Worthy Pursuit was one of the few books by Karen Witemeyer that I had not read, until now of course. She has been one of my favorite authors ever since I read Stealing the Preacher a few years ago, and I have been unable to put any of her novels down after picking them up. With her witty dialogue and swoon-worthy heroes, Karen crafts historical stories that will draw you in and leave you melting in a little puddle, and A Worthy Pursuit is no exception. Let me introduce you to Stone Hammond. A former Texas Ranger turned successful tracker (though I like to say retriever, you’ll know why if you read the book), Stone appears at first to Charlotte as the strong, burly, intimidating—albeit handsome—man that he is. On the inside though, is another story. Filled with the Holy Spirit, Stone is a good, Christian man with a soft heart that quickly grows to love Charlotte’s charges who vows to protect them, and their teacher, with everything in him. How can you not fall for a hero like that? Now, Charlotte may not be a dashing Texas cowboy, but she is important too. Still reeling from the rejection of her father and a former suitor, she hides herself behind a mask she has let no one—not even her young charges—penetrate. When Stone comes looking for Lily, she coolly proves to him she’s Lily’s legal guardian, despite the fear that rages inside. Slowly, though, she begins to trust their rugged hero, especially as he proves he would do anything for her and her students. But, there is a big difference between trusting him with their lives and giving him her heart. Will she ever surrender to his very worthy pursuit? If you are not jumping out of your seat determined to pick up A Worthy Pursuit this very minute—or at least very soon—then I have done a sorry job describing it. Believe me, this novel deserves double the five bookshelves I am giving it, but my scale doesn’t go that high. I cannot describe to you in words how amazing this novel was, not just because of its melted-me-into-a-puddle love story. Although that (obviously) played a really big part. The suspense playing into Lily’s situation gave this book exactly what it needed, and the little details made it all the more enjoyable. A Worthy Pursuit is a novel fully worthy (see what I did there?) of all the praise I could ever give it, and the assurance that I know I will read it again and again. If you pick up this book, I promise you won’t be disappointed. (This review is from my blog, spreadinghisgrace.blogspot.com)
Espan_Rose More than 1 year ago
Let me start by saying that I’m not a fan of Westerns, and I absolutely LOVE Karen Witemeyer’s books. She never fails to bring a cool twist to the genre, and her newest book doesn’t disappoint. This book was an absolutely wonderful read. I love her setting of the secluded west, but adding a bit of class. I absolutely love these characters! Charlotte is probably one of the strongest female protagonists I’ve read, but has such a gentle and caring heart. Then there’s Stone, “the best tracker in Texas”. He’s intelligent, finding even the most elusive, but has a real heart of gold. When they’re thrown together to protect a little girl, they have to learn how to trust each other, something that’s especially hard for Charlotte, who doesn’t trust men. Throw in bandits, a bounty hunter with a grudge, and a straight from a dime-novel Western Hero and this book is page after page of adventure. Add three bright, and slightly mischievous, children and let the fun begin! This is a great read for anyone looking for a fun adventure, a sweet romance, and a message about having faith and trusting God even when things are looking bad.
Pitkinchick More than 1 year ago
I love to read novels by Karen Witemeyer so when Revell Books offered A Worthy Pursuit for me to review I jumped at the chance. I love the honest characters and simple settings Mrs. Witemeyer portrays in her novels. This book does not disappoint. In this book, Charlotte is the headmistress of the Sullivan's Academy for Exceptional Youths until the school closes. She promised Lily's mother to keep her safe and that is what she means to do, even from Stone Hammond who was hired by her grandfather find her and bring her back. This book has comedy, suspense, romance, and a touch of surprise all rolled up into one. You just can't put it down.
coramdeo540 More than 1 year ago
A Worthy Pursuit Karen Witemeyer Book Summary: Historical Romance to Fall in Love With 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 little girl entrusted to her care after her mother's death. 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 the teacher he's after produces documentation that shows she's the little girl's legal guardian, Stone must reevaluate everything he's been led to believe. Is Miss Atherton villain or victim? She acts more like a loving mother than an abductress, and the children in her care clearly adore her. Should Stone break his perfect record? Then a new danger threatens, and Charlotte is forced to trust the man sent to destroy her. Stone becomes determined to protect what he once sought to tear apart. Besides, he's ready to start a new pursuit: winning Charlotte's heart. Review: I really liked the story overall. There were some slow parts where I wanted to stop reading, but didn't because I really wanted to know all the details. The characters were interesting and complex. I liked Stone the most because he was a good solid and loyal man despite the odds ahead of him. Charlotte was good and likable although did not see the things in front of her sometimes. She was honest and caring. I loved Dobson, the Ashes, Lily, Stephen & John, Marietta and Dan. They contributed to much to the story - humor, balance, security and loyalty. It really helps a story along when the secondary characters are so well written. The mystery was mostly how would things be resolved and the secret Lily had about her grandfather. The villains were shifty and shady - perfect for creating a fear that they will do anything it takes to win. This is the first book I have read by Karen and I am certain it will not be my last.  I would like to thank Net Galley and Bethany House Publishers for allowing me to read and review this book in return for a free copy and I was never asked to write a favorable review by anyone. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
SeasonsofGrace More than 1 year ago
I think Karen is amazing! I love her writing and her humor. A bounty hunter, a spinster school marm, a relentless grandfather and several exceptionally gifted children make this book hard to put down. But the credit really goes to the author, Karen, who has a gift herself with words and plots. Once again she has outdone herself in a humorous, adventurous, and sweetly romantic novel. I have loved every book I have read by this author. One of the things I suppose I love the most is her sense of humor. One minute you will be getting out your tissue, and the next you will be laughing your head off.  Charlotte, promised Lily's mother she would keep her safe from her grandfather, and she is determined to do so. When the school she is teaching at, and Lily is a student at closes, Charlotte must make some tough choices.  Pursued by bounty hunter Stone Hammond, she must decide whether to trust herself, God, or Stone. Each has their own defense mechanisms. Charlotte has a keen distrust for men in general; will she be able to trust this bounty hunter? Stone always retrieves what he goes after, but in this case - he must decide whether retrieval is the best option for the child. His kind, sensitive heart, as well as faith in God must help him determine his next move.  You will enjoy this quick read, and be longing for more when the story ends. There are a few unexpected twists and turns that add a little mystery to the story. I was blessed with this book courtesy of the Bethany House Blogger Program in exchange for providing my honest opinion.