cover image If the Boot Fits

If the Boot Fits

Karen Witemeyer. Bethany House, $17.99 trade paper (368p) ISBN 978-0-76424-042-3

Witemeyer continues her Texas Ever After series (after Fairest of Heart) with a spunky, Cinderella-inspired tale of unexpected love and intrigue set in the late 19th century. Samantha Dearing, the daughter of Palo Pinto County’s “cattle king,” is unamused by her father’s efforts to marry her off, trusting God to bring her the perfect man. So when a mysterious stranger breaks into the Dearing household and, while being chased off the premises, saves Samantha’s younger brother from drowning, she’s intrigued. The only clue to the intruder’s identity is the boot he left behind; unbeknownst to Samantha, it belongs to Asher Ellis, who seeks revenge on Mr. Dearing for evicting his family from their land. As Samantha, who’s eager to make a difference in the community, begins to tutor Asher’s younger brother in their rundown new home, an attraction blooms and Asher fights to keep from falling for her. Bigger problems arise, however, as mysterious threats are made on Samantha’s life, including an attempted arson. To help keep her safe, Asher and Mr. Dearing must find a way to work together. With a plot full of masked cowboys, family intrigue, and ranch politics, there’s ample suspense to keep readers turning pages, and the romance between Asher and Samantha offers just enough sweetness to balance things out. Witemeyer’s fans will be on the edge of their seats all the way through to the satisfying conclusion. (Mar.)