Friday, October 18, 2013

Stealing the Preacher by Karen Witemeyer - a book review

Her father is a reformed outlaw, her mother was a talented artist and she is looking for a preacher.  Her heart's desire is to find a preacher so the local church can be reopened.  Joanna's widowed father just wants his daughter to be happy, so he and his 'gang' decide to take matters into their own hands.  They come out of retirement and rob the local train, only they don't take money of jewels or valuables...they take a preacher.  Crockett Archer is on his way to interview for a job as a minister, something he's been dreaming of for many years. Joanna is shocked to find out what her father has done but secretly hopes that Crockett will stay.  He doesn't.  He continues on to his interview only to find that his kidnapping has delayed him too long,  They hired another man.  He returns to Joanna's farm and asks to reopen her church.  In the meantime, he needs to find a job until the church is up and running.. Her father hires him to help on the farm.  Of course, this leads to all kinds of interesting situations involving an overprotective band of former thieves, a conniving young church member and her father's arrest. 

This story is about submission to God's will and keeping faith when hope seems gone.  It is told with humor and sensitivity.  The author concentrates on the characters more than she does on the surroundings  but there is no doubt that this is an historically accurate depiction of the old west.

The publisher says this:
"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?

With her signature blend of humor, history, and lively western romance, two-time RITA Award finalist and bestselling author Karen Witemeyer delivers a Texas love story sure to steal your heart."

I really enjoyed this book.  You can go here to read an excerpt and learn more about the author.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Baker Publishing Group and BethanyHouse through their book review program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions expressed above are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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