Meredith (Mere) Hayes gave her heart to Travis Archer when she was 10 years old, when he rescued her from an animal trap. Now that she is an orphan, Mere’s greedy aunt and uncle want her to marry someone she does not like. Travis Archer promised his dying father he would care for his three younger brothers and protect the land and stay away from strangers. Mere’s erstwhile fiancé plans to burn out the Archers, and she notifies them of the plot. But her kindness backfires when she spends the night at the Archer homestead without a chaperone. Her aunt and uncle insists Mere marry one of the Archer brothers. Drawing straws, Travis gets the short straw, and the bride.
The importance of family, the loyalty brought by friendship, and kindness to others play a big part in this story. Set in Texas after the Civil War, there is a subplot involving the schooling of freed slaves and the relationship with their white neighbors which is eye opening as well as entertaining. Humor, romance, history, interesting plot and great characters—Short-Straw Bride has it all. A lovely Christian romance. Recommended.