Stealing the Preacher by Karen Witemeyer
Bethany House Publishers, June 1, 2013

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?

I always look forward to one of Karen Witemeyer’s books and this one was no exception. I read Short Straw Bride last year and was really happy to realize that I was hanging out with one of the Archer Boys from that book – Crockett Archer. Crockett is a rancher turned preacher and looking for his first church to pastor. It doesn’t go to plan when he is kidnapped off the train en route to a possible new job. His apparent new calling is to Joanna Robbin’s abandoned church and to help her ex-outlaw father find the light.

I liked the way the book was set up with Crockett’s being kidnapped and how everything in the book played together. What I really liked was the way the minor characters interacted with the main characters. I could see the character development of even the minor ones.

My one complaint and it will seem like a funny one: a little too much preaching – I know the main character is a preacher! For me personally, the sermons and God talk can get a little much. However, whilst it detracted from the book, it didn’t take away my overall enjoyment.

Thank you to NetGalley for a copy of this novel for review.  I was in no way obliged to give a positive