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Back Cover:

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’d determined to escape—which would be much easier if he could stop thinking about Joanna Robbins and her unexpected request.

For months, Joanna 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 had 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?

STEALING THE PREACHER

Stealing the Preacher is the second book in the series about the Archer brothers. The first is Short-Straw Bride. It’s advised, but not essential to read them in order.

“I’m losin’ patience, folks….If the preacher man don’t fess up, I’m liable to get a might upset. And my trigger finger tends to get twitchy when I’m upset.” Poor Crockett. He has his heart set on being the new pastor at a church in Brenham, Texas. But (sort of) reformed criminal, Silas Robbins, has other plans for the “preacher man” on the train. 

This is another winner for Karen Witemeyer. (Can she write anything but…?) The hero and heroine are right for each other without their story being sappy. The plot is appealing with a touch of humor, satisfying romance, and instances of life-threatening drama. 

Crockett might be a pastor by trade, but he’s not presented as unapproachable, or put on a pedestal, characteristics we sometimes apply to our own pastors. He’s down-to-earth, strong, and intelligent. 

Joanna is sweet with a backbone that hardens to iron when it comes to those she cares about. It’s easy to see why Crockett falls for her. From her concern over her father and others, we get the idea she’d be a wonderful preacher’s wife. 

But, for me, Joanna’s father (Silas) was the most interesting character. In many ways, this was his tale. Without him there would be little story, and several scenes are in his point of view. The spiritual component revolves around him, as does the climax. His character is a contradiction you want to root for.

Then there’s Jackson. Don’t even get me started on how much I’d like to see him as an adult. 

I figure there’s one more book in this series (one more brother left unmarried), and I’m anxious to see who the lucky heroine is for that story. I have a thought, but I’m not sure it’s the same as Ms. Witemeyer’s.

So, if you’re looking for a well-written, fast-paced, romantic read to fill the hours during this upcoming holiday or vacation, check out Stealing the Preacher.

Disclosure of Material Connection: This story came to me free from the publisher, Bethany House, with the hope that I would mention it on this blog. There was no requirement for me to write a positive review and the opinions I have expressed above are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

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