Stealing the Preacher, by Karen Witemeyer

Rating: ****– 4 Stars

GENRE: Historical Christian Romance

BOOK SUMMARY:  A cowboy who wants to be a preacher. An outlaw’s daughter who wants to change his mind.
On his way to interview for a position at a church in the Piney Woods of Texas, Crockett Archer can’t believe it when he’s forced off the train by an outlaw and presented to the man’s daughter as the preacher she requested for her birthday. He’s determined to escape–which would be much easier if he could stop thinking about Joanna Robbins and her unexpected request.
For months, Joanna had prayed for a minister. A man to breathe life back into the abandoned church at the heart of her community. A man to assist her in fulfilling a promise to her dying mother. But just when it seems her prayers have been answered, it turns out the parson is there against his will and has dreams of his own calling him elsewhere. Is there any way she can convince Crockett he ended up right where he was supposed to be?

REVIEWER COMMENTS:  While this novel stands on its own, it is a sequel to “Short Straw Bride”(which I absolutely loved!!) where the main character, Crockett Archer, is first introduced. It is set in late 1800s Texas, and Crockett is now a parson who gets kidnapped by former train robber Silas Robbins as a birthday present to his only daughter Joanna. After getting past the initial awkwardness of their encounter, Crockett and Joanna are immediately attracted to each other, and God’s hands are clearly at work when circumstances bring Crockett and Joanna’s paths to cross again. As Crockett dives into his new ministry, his feelings for Joanna grow and their friendship turns into something more.  Unlike other romance novels where the main characters often overcome situations throughout the book and come together at the very end, these two find themselves in each other’s arms about half-way through the book, and then the story focuses on the deepening of their love, Silas’ road to redemption, and a few obstacles that they face before they can be together. Witemeyer is able to provide a passionate romantic tale with a solid Christian message that will endear any fan of this genre. Add to that well-developed characters, interesting story with a pinch of action and humor, and a lovely ending, and you have a wonderful read. Do not miss this sweet novel that will make your hear flutter, and will cause your faith to deepen.

SEXUAL/ADULT CONTENT: A few passionate kisses and some fighting scenes 

*Conclusion: A wonderful and uplifting romantic novel with a  solid redemptive Christian message. I absolutely love this author’s writing style and I would read anything written by her. My thanks to Bethany House Publishers for providing a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.

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