Thursday, September 05, 2013

Review: Stealing the Preacher

Stealing the Preacher 
By Karen Witemeyer
Bethany House, June 2013

About the Book

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 person 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 Review

I really enjoyed this book. It was a sweet and tender romance with a character I’d gotten to know previously in Short-Straw Bride. I’ll admit, I adore the Archer boys, so I was excited about reading this book. It wasn’t quite as enthralling as the last story, but it was spiritually deep and brought tears to my eyes toward the end. That mess with Holly had me holding my breath too.

The story was filled with themes of doing the right thing and the importance of being honest in every way. A little deception is still deception, and coming clean before God and man is good for the soul. I also liked the emphasis on the power of prayer and listening to God’s voice in your heart. Those are all decent lessons for any good story. The author just made them more fun because of her lovable characters.

Stealing the Preacher’s core themes were the importance of listening to God, being patient, and being willing to allow God to direct your steps. I appreciated the spiritual aspects of the story most of all. But I also adored Crockett as the hero and the love he felt for Joanna because of her caring heart and her desire to serve others. He treasured that more than just her pretty face. I thought that was a wonderful theme as well.

I believe this story illustrates very well how good men want someone who will be partner for life in all ways, and that woman needs to be someone they admire. That’s an admirable message for aspiring young single ladies who want to win a good man’s devotion. Flirtation and temptation are not the ways to accomplish that end. Very well done.

Michelle Sutton
Healing Hearts . . . fiction making an impact on real lives
New titles releasing in 2013: Collette’s Crusade, Learning to Trust, Somebody Help Me,
Her Innocence, and Serena’s Something

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