2012 – A Year in Review

fireworksAnd with it being  January 1st, 2013 we can officially end 2012 and all its reading goals.  I’m very happy to say that I have succeeded in reading my 110 books for the year and exceeded that goal by a whopping 74 books!  With the success of this year I’ll up my reading goal again for 2013.  Keep an eye out for my annual New Year, New Challenges post for a breakdown of what I’m looking to accomplish.

2012 has definitely been a year of eclectic reading for me.  It’s difficult to pick my favorite books of the year since I read so many, but here is my best go:

  1. The Girl on the Cliff by Lucinda Riley
  2. The Orchid House by Lucinda Riley
  3. Dangerous to Know by Tasha Alexander
  4. A Million Suns by Beth Revis
  5. The Apothecary’s Daughter by Julie Klassen
  6. When Beauty Tamed the Beast by Eloisa James
  7. The Siren by Tiffany Reisz
  8. Short Straw Bride by Karen Witemeyer
  9. In A Treacherous Court by Michelle Diener/The Greatest Knight by Elizabeth Chadwick
  10. Fever by Lauren DeStefano

Damn. That was difficult.

My reading challenges wrap up is as follows: I once again blew through the Historical Fiction challenge (woot woot!).  I also succeeded in my first year participating in the Around the Stack challenge!  Now for the bad parts. The TBR challenge and the Audio challenge both got only one completed review each out of me.  I know I failed the audio challenge because of 1Q84 (AH SO LONG), plus my addiction of reading newer books killed any hope I had of finishing the TBR challenge.  A 50% completion rate for the challenges isn’t terrible, but I’d still liked to have completed 100%.

Even though it’s 2013 I still have some books to review that I finished in 2012, so keep an eye out for them.  You can also see a listing of EVERYTHING I read this year, including review links, here.

Well, there you go folks.  My 2012 year in review.  Enjoy the rest of your New Year’s and join me again tomorrow as we kick off a new year and new challenges!

#77 A Review of Short-Straw Bride by Karen Witemeyer

Who doesn’t love a good love story?  All that I had to know about Karen Witemeyer’s Short-Straw Bride was that it contained a honest-to-goodness old-fashioned love story and I was sold (as you know, I’m quite the sucker for these types of things).  Anyway, without further pretense, I dove right in.

As far as the four Archer brothers are concerned, no one crosses their land without their express permission.  So, Meredith Hayes is rightly troubled when she overhears a man plotting to take their land.  What’s even more troubling to her is that one of the brothers, Travis, has a special connection to her.  Twelve years ago, she was rescued from the jaws of a steel trap by Travis, who has not let a day go by without forgetting the strong young girl he saved all those years ago.  When Meredith approaches the brothers to tell them about the plan to run them off of their land, she eventually ends up in a situation where the Archer brothers draw straws to see who will marry her!  Will this marriage of convenience eventually turn into something more?  What will happen to the Archer’s land?

OMG TRAVIS.  That is honestly all I have to say.  What a wonderful, beautiful, raw character. I love him!!  He is a man with the weight of the world on his shoulders and is living with the guilt of an event that happened years prior.  Deep down inside he’s a man who needs love and wants to give it, but has been hardened by extenuating circumstances.  When Meredith happened into his life the first time a small piece of that man inside was exposed.  Meredith holds on to the kindness he showed her and lives her whole life, loving him for it.  When the two are thrust into each other’s lives again, she vows to make sure that the man inside him is cared for and is able to break through the walls he’s put up around himself.  Theirs is truly a story about a giving love, full of hope, kindness, and selflessness.

I’m not a religious person by any means, but I do have to admit, the psalms and other biblical quotes did add to the story and character development.  Regardless of what religion you are, and how often you practice, you’ll still be able to enjoy the novel.  I still can’t get over how adorable this story was.  I’m adding the rest of Witemeyer’s novels to my to-read list for sure.  Her writing is crisp, sharp, and full of fun.  It has the perfect blend of humor and sincerity in it.  If you’re not already reading Witemeyer’s novels fix that ASAP.  Start with Short-Straw Bride, I can guarantee you won’t be disappointed.

5 out of 5 Stars

This is my thirty-fourth completed review for the Historical Fiction Challenge

Short-Straw Bride by Karen Witemeyer
Bethany House (2012)
Paperback: 368 pages
ISBN: 9780764209659

Special thanks to Bethany House for sending me my review copy!