A Worthy Pursuit, by Karen Witemeyer lives up to its title. A tough Bounty Hunter who calls himself a Retriever, Stone Hammond has lived a hard life since being orphaned young. He has lived and survived on his own the best he's known how and his desires and dreams don't include a family. At 35 years he's on perhaps his life retrieval of an abducted child he intends to return to her grandfather.
Charlotte Atherton has also lived a hard life and lost both parents from an early age. She has sought redemption and survival through education for herself and then in turn providing education to other special children. After being informed that the school she works for will close, she finds she must take some drastic measures to insure the safety and continued thriving of the charges in her care. She leaves by dark of night with two boys and a girl.
When Stone finally catches up with his quarry, he finds that all is not as it seemed when he took the job. Whom should he believe, the grandfather who hired him or the beautiful and stoic school teacher whose integrity is hard to question? Should he change his direction and head in another more worthy pursuit?
Ms. Witemeyer's novel is thraught with mystery, mayhem, and romantic tension along with shots of humor. Both hero and heroine are stubborn but strong characters. Even the children and other supporting cast have much depth and believability in their characterizations . Her description of the emotional storm churning within Charlotte as she struggles with whether to trust Stone or not plays out through Charlotte's piano venting of "The Tempest" and "Moonlight Sonata" by Beethoven and should draw even those who have no understanding of music. For those who do, it is awe inspiring and well worth the read.
What I liked best was the resolution. Her story builds slowly and steadily with many nuances and reaches a thrilling climax; but she doesn't only give an epilogue. The finish gives us a look at the relationships between all her characters as if we haven't left them at an end but a continued life story as would be the case in real life.
I find Ms. Witemeyer's succeeding novels to be even better each time she releases a new one. She should be at the top of anyone's favorite author list.
I received this novel through Bethany House for an honest review.