Monday, July 15, 2013

Review: Stealing the Preacher by Karen Witemeyer

Book Cover and Synopsis:
On his way to interview for a position at a church in the Piney Woods of Texas, Crockett Archer can scarcely believe it when he's forced off the train by a retired outlaw and presented to the man's daughter as the minister she requested for her birthday. Worried this unfortunate detour will ruin his chances of finally serving a congregation of his own, Crockett is determined to escape. But when he finally gets away, he's haunted by the memory of the young woman he left behind--a woman whose dreams now hinge on him.

For months, Joanna Robbins prayed for a preacher. 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. A man to help her discover answers to the questions that have been on her heart for so long. But just when it seems God has answered her prayers, 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 to stay in her little backwoods community? And does the attraction between them have any chance of blossoming when Joanna's outlaw father is dead set against his daughter courting a preacher?

My Thoughts:
From the very first page, my attention was hooked! Seriously, when a book starts out with a preacher being kidnapped as a birthday present for a young lady, you just know there's lots of fun in store! :)

I found the characters to be very likeable, so much so that I wish they could have another book. Crockett is quite charming and often seems close to the perfect man, yet his character also feels very "real" and human. He's probably my favorite portrayal of a preacher that I've come across. Joanna is also likeable, her strong faith is an inspiration and something we should all strive to match. I enjoyed watching her struggle to come to terms with her feelings for Crockett, especially considering that her father is dead set against preachers of any kind!

Something I liked was the pacing of the relationship between Joanna and Crockett. It's slow and steady, but the story moves along in such a way that they admit to their feelings well before the last page. I love when an author breaks out of the common "last page love confession" mold and gives the reader a real look at the couple together, instead of leaving it up to the imagination.

Though I didn't care for Holly, the young lady who tries to win Crockett's attention away from Joanna, I have to applaud how well she was written. Every time Holly came around and started up with her sly games and catty remarks, I just wanted to scream at her, but at the same time I also kept marveling at how expertly she was portrayed. So while I did dislike her, it was sort of a love-to-hate kind of thing....she was just so well written that she easily evoked real emotion from me as I sympathized with Joanna and Crockett for having to put up with her! :)

Karen Witemeyer has a writing style that I just love... With plots that are completely original and slightly eccentric, her books are a breath of fresh air in the crowded historical genre. I've enjoyed all of her previous books, but I have to admit, I think Stealing the Preacher is my new favorite. If you're a fan of historical novels, this is one you simply can't miss!

My Rating: 5 stars

Thanks to the publisher (Bethany House) for providing me with an e-arc for review via NetGalley.

1 comment:

  1. Not a favorite of mine, but I did appreciate all the good stuff and fun moments. :)