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Wednesday, July 6, 2022
In Honor’s Defense Kick-Off Package
About the Book
Book: In Honor’s Defense
Author: Karen Witemeyer
Genre: Historical Romance
Release date: June 7, 2022
Luke Davenport has been fighting all his life–for respect, for country, and for those unable to fight for themselves. But now that his Horsemen brothers are domesticated, he’s left alone to battle the wildness within. When an opportunity arises to take a job on his own, tracking down a group of rustlers, he jumps at the chance.
Damaris Baxter has mastered the art of invisibility. Plain and quiet, she hides in books and needlework, content to be overlooked. Until her brother dies suddenly, leaving her custody of her nephew. She moves to Texas to care for Nathaniel, determined to create the family for herself that she never thought she’d have and to give him the family he desperately needs.
When Nate finds himself knee-deep in trouble, Luke’s attempt to protect him leaves Damaris feeling indebted to the Horseman. But suspicions grow regarding the mysterious death of Damaris’s brother. And the more questions they ask, the more danger appears, threatening the family Luke may be unable to live without.
For those who love to smile as they read, bestselling author Karen Witemeyer offers warmhearted historical romance with a flair for humor, feisty heroines, and swoon-worthy Texas heroes. Voted #1 Readers’ Favorite Christian Romance Author in 2019 by Family Fiction Magazine, Karen is a multiple award-winning author and a firm believer in the power of happy endings. She is an avid cross-stitcher, tea drinker, and gospel hymn singer who makes her home in Abilene, TX with her heroic husband who vanquishes laundry dragons and dirty dish villains whenever she’s on deadline.
More from Karen
Meet Luke and Damaris
As the Hanger’s Horsemen series comes to a close, I’m thrilled to introduce you to Luke Davenport and Damaris Baxter. If you haven’t read the other books in this series, don’t worry. This one stands on its own just fine.
Luke Davenport is a former cavalry officer who is part of an elite squad of men known as Hanger’s Horsemen. Haunted by the horrors of war, this group of Texas legends has spent the last few years fighting for justice on behalf of those who cannot fight for themselves. Luke is Matthew Hanger’s right-hand man, but when Matt retires the Horsemen in favor of a more settled life with his new wife, Luke is left feeling adrift. So when a solo job comes his way to track down rustled cattle, he jumps at the opportunity.
Known for his strength, his size, and his skill with his fists, I modeled Luke after a pair of football players, Howie Long and JJ Watt. He’s a man of action with a bit of wildness inside, yet his ability to memorize Scripture earned him the nickname Preach. He’s a godly man with scars, seeking to find his place as his Horsemen brothers move on to new phases of life.
Damaris Baxter has been invisible her entire life. Plain of face and quiet of manner, she it’s the epitome of unremarkable. While she dares heroic feats and grand adventures between the covers of her favorite books, life outside the pages consists of little more than needlework and dull conversation with her great aunt. Until her brother dies under suspicious circumstances and she travels to Texas to care for her nephew. Determined that the “Texas Damaris” will be bolder and braver than her former self, she sets out to win the heart of a grieving boy and ends up mixed up in a dangerous murder plot with a handsome cowboy who actually seesher.
When creating Damaris’s character, I gave her two of my favorite hobbies—reading and cross-stitching. She shares other similarities with me as well. She’s a quiet person who dislikes making waves, but when family needs her, there’s nothing she won’t do to help. Her questionable baking skills might also have found some inspiration in my personal experience. Just ask my husband about my famous transparent chocolate chip cookies.
I love to explore what brings people together, and while it’s a common idea that opposites attract, I’ve always believed that there must be some core commonalities beneath the differences to bind a couple together for a lifetime. So, while Luke and Damaris seem to be stark opposites—he an adventure-seeking soldier used to solving problems with guns and fists; she a quiet, proper lady used to escaping problems with books and needlework—they actually have several core commonalities. They both crave belonging and family, they both value God’s Word, and they both have a strong, protective instinct toward those they care about. This core common ground is what serves as the foundation for their relationship.
Now that you’ve been introduced to Luke and Damaris, I hope you’ll join them on the adventure that leads them to love.
There is nothing better than feeling like you are part of a story. The author grabbed my attention and took me along on a journey where there are cattle rustlers, a teenage boy who has lost both parents, one single aunt and a man who will do everything he can to protect the innocent. This is a western themed story that deals with flawed characters that tug on your heart strings.
Damaris has a big task ahead of her when she moves to Texas to take care of her nephew. I liked her calm and patient demeanor which helped her cope with his attitude. She isn’t very welcomed by her nephew but perhaps she can win him over. She just lost her brother but Nathaniel has lost his mother and now his father. Can she unlock his heart that is broken and bitter?
Luke is a character that you want on your side. He is strong, determined, faith filled and honest. When he is hired to find out who is stealing cattle from a ranch, he investigates with determination. It was a bit unsettling for the owner of the ranch to suspect that Nathaniel may be involved . When something happens late one night, Luke puts his life on the line to save someone. Yes I would call him a hero because he stood up to four men in order to keep a certain person safe. His injuries were hard to read about but I loved how he was rescued by an unlikely person.
The author uses these three characters to illustrate hurt, loneliness and acceptance. Damaris has always been like a wall flower. She never thought anyone noticed her and accepted that she would never get married. You can feel her pain of wanting someone to need her and love her. Nathaniel grieves for his parents and doesn’t feel like he has a family anymore. He may act out but it is only because he is lost and needs direction. Luke had a painful past and it has affected him all these years later. I couldn’t wait to see how the author would bring these characters together using faith. The scriptures in the story are perfectly placed and help readers understand what emotions the characters are experiencing.
The story has a few surprises with added danger to keep readers focused on what was going on. The author reminds us that even when we are at our lowest we can still find blessings. I think Nathaniel really needed to remember that along with all of us. Anger fuels us to be greedy, mean and not care. We need to look around us and see how blessed we are.
The ending is one that will have you on the edge of your seat. I didn’t expect what was coming and the author delivers one powerful scene that captures the true meaning of “laying your life down for a friend.” It has been a real joy to read this book and I’m sad to see the series come to an end. I will be anxiously waiting for a new book written by this gifted author.
I received a copy of this book from Celebrate Lit. The review is my own opinion.