Monday, July 15, 2013

Stealing the Preacher - by Karen Witemeyer

Silas Robbins had given up his outlaw ways 16 years ago, for his wife and daughter; yet, for his daughter's birthday, he takes them up again to get her the one thing she wants most - a preacher for their abandoned church.  Little does Silas know that Joanna's reason for wanting a preacher is that she might have assistance in saving Silas's soul, a miracle for which Joanna has taken up the mantle of prayer from her mother who passed away several years ago.  An initially unwilling participant in this plan, Crockett Archer, the preacher whom Silas manages to kidnap, is drawn in by Joanna's gentle spirit and determination to demonstrate her faith to her father.  Can Crockett convince Silas that he's not the same as the preachers in Silas's past?  Can an old outlaw find his way to God when he's spent his whole life looking out for himself?

This book had much more heart than I initially expected.  If it weren't for the fact that I had accepted this book for review, I probably would have put it down after the first couple of chapters and not picked it up again.  However, I was glad that I persevered, because once I got past the awkward, cliched opening, the depth of the characters and meat of the plot made it worth the read.  Joanna's love for her father and desperation to see him become a believer was compelling; her depth of faith, yet need for a community of worshipers was thought provoking.  Crockett was a complicated character - a man of faith with the background of an orphaned cowboy, an oddity in his world, yet exactly what Silas needed.  If I could wish for one thing more from this book, I would have liked more depth to some of the side characters.  There were several characters with interesting stories or tidbits, but not enough information to make me invested in them.

I give this book 3.5 stars; it had more depth than your typical western romance, and I enjoyed it more than I expected.

You can find Stealing the Preacher HERE.
You can find the author's website HERE. (You can find a trailer for the book and read the first chapter there, as well)

I received a copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers, in exchange for my honest review.

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