Book Review: At Love’s Command

He’s fought through ruthless outlaws and injury. But with her, he’s tempted to surrender.

AUTHOR: Karen Witemeyer

Publisher: Bethany

Genre: Christian Historical Romance


He’s fought through ruthless outlaws and injury. But with her, he’s tempted to surrender.

Haunted by the horrors of war, ex-cavalry officer Matthew Hanger leads a band of mercenaries known as Hanger’s Horsemen who have become legends in 1890s Texas. They defend the innocent and obtain justice for the oppressed. But when a rustler’s bullet leaves one of them at death’s door, they’re the ones in need of saving.

Dr. Josephine Burkett is used to men taking one look at her skirts and discounting her medical skills. What she’s not used to is having a man change his mind in a heartbeat and offer to assist her in surgery. Matthew’s dedication to his friend during recovery earns Josephine’s respect, and when her brother is abducted, he becomes her only hope for rescue.

When plans go awry and Josephine is caught in the crossfire, Matthew may have to sacrifice everything–even his team–to save her.


5 Stars


This book is a doozy. A good doozy that didn’t deserve the lefitst nastiness (completely unfounded wokism) that’s been wrongfully bestowed upon it and the author.

I first heard about this book through an online conversation. The RWA (Romance Writes of America) initially gifted to Ms. Witemeyer the 2021 Vivian Award. But the left and those easily offended didn’t like that and raised a fuss about the author “glorifying” the battle at Wounded Knee, and the award was stripped away. Needless to say, my curiosity was piqued and I wasted no time ordering At Love’s Command. I’m fairly certain I’ll like a book that’s got the other side’s feathers ruffled and their tempers riled.

This is a wonderful book scorned by an utterly insipid, ridiculous, and not-so-wonderful organization.

Matthew Hangar is a wonderfully realistic character. Carrying shame, regret, and ghosts from his past, he strives to atone for what happened at Wounded Knee (does that sound like the author is glorifying it? Not to me). His loyalty to his men is endearing and his growing, strengthening faith is well-woven through the plot.

Josephine “Dr. Joe” Burkett is hilarious. With her sassy attitude, fancy vocabulary, strong faith, and love for medicine, she brings humor and a strong heroine to the story. I enjoyed how the author illustrated through Josie’s struggles that God is always with us no matter what we’re going through.

I never want to visit Texas. It holds no draw to me topographically-wise. But, with masterful descriptions and a clever plot, Ms. Witemeyer paints this state as a land filled with outlaws and danger, yet also thriving with the chance at discovering redemption and love.

I can’t see how this “glorifies” killing Indians. But maybe I just have a good dose of common sense, or maybe “glorifying” has a different definition in my dictionary. Matthew wants redemption and atonement for the massacre. He doesn’t look back and say, “Gee, I’m so happy I participated in that. It was something great”. No, it haunts him, which was why he began the Horsemen. Their reputation lands them in a pickle when Josie’s brother finds himself in a mess.

I originally marked this a four-star due to the issue below (marked with asterisks) but upon another rereading (was it my third rereading? Maybe.) I am marking this a five star.

I greatly enjoyed this book, which is why it’s unfortunate I can’t give it a five star. My reservations are it’s almost overboard on physical attraction part – too much, too soon. There’s nothing wrong with thinking the opposite sex is attractive, but Josie spent a decent portion of her time admiring Matthew’s physique. Again, there’s nothing wrong with doing that, and it didn’t become lustful, but too much, too soon. For that I’m going to drop the rating to four stars because I wouldn’t let my sister read this book until she’s older.

At Love’s Command is worth the read. I recommend it to anyone eighteen and older. Ms. Witemeyer wasn’t afraid to tackle the grittiness of war, something I admire in an author. I also admire that Ms. Witemeyer told history as it was (after all, history’s not there to make you feel warm and fuzzy–it’s there for you to learn from). I urge you to add this book to your TBR pile.


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