Emma Chandler, raised by an aunt to believe that men are unnecessary, starts up a women's colony as a safe haven for abused women. However, when someone starts trying to drive the women out, there's only one man she knows she can call on: a childhood friend, Malachi Shaw, an explosives expert working for the railroad. As the trouble escalates, the ladies of Harper's Station have to make a decision: risk safety to stay and fight, or leave the only safe haven some of them have ever known.
I always love a Karen Witemeyer novel. Adventure, humor, and heart can be found in each story, and this is no exception. But added to it, we have a touch of mystery and suspense as they try to figure out who's behind the threats and who might be an accomplice. The story flew by!
This story reminded me of the good old movie Westerns, but turned on its head with women being the bulk of the cast. In fact, the beginning reminded me a little of The Magnificent Seven, though Malachi is only one man, not seven. And in the good, Old West tradition, you'll find some spectacular fist-fighting and gunfights.
It isn't a heavy-handed feminist piece, though some characters certainly have no need for men. Rather, it's a celebration of what women can do together, and knowing their personal limitations--knowing when a task is beyond them and that it's okay to ask for help. I look forward to continuing stories of the other ladies of Harper's Station!
Thank you Bethany House for providing a free book to review; I was not required to make the review positive, and all opinions are my own.
Ladies of Harper's Station
1. No Other Will Do
1.5: Worth the Wait
2. Heart on the Line
2.5 "The Love Knot" - found in the Hearts Entwined novella collection (January 2018)