Stealing the Preacher

By Karen Witemyer
Published on June 1, 2013
 Published by Bethany House
Source: Publisher
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?
I got this book in the mail and I was honestly confused. I didn't remember requesting it and although it was about a preacher (which is usually an automatic yes for me) I wasn't so sure about the plot.  And then I started reading and I realized that this book is the second in the Archer Brothers series- I LOVED the first book!

Stealing the Preacher follows the relationship between Crockett Archer and Joanna Robbins.  The book started out a little rough - I honestly wasn't sure if I could get into it. I think probably the first 1/4 of the book, I contemplated DNF-ing it.  I am happy to say that it picked up after that and was quickly paced and as interesting as the first book.

The romance story between Joanna and Crockett wasn't sudden and intense.  It was a slow growing relationship (he actually was interested in a different girl at the beginning of the book!). I appreciated how they seemed to have a natural relationship grow through the story, instead of some insta-love that happened in the first few chapters.  

The main storyline didn't feel nearly as dramatic as Crockett's side story.  It was interesting to read how more dramatic that one was (and it was a little surprising.)  Stealing the Preacher was a solid sequel to Short Straw Bride.  I look forward to reading the next book in the series. It isn't a life-changing series, but it is entertaining.

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