Stealing the Preacher by Karen Witemeyer ~ Sharing My Review

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 parson 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?

Sharing My Humble Opinion~
I first met the Archer clan when I read Short Straw Bride. (See my review here.) I loved Short Straw Bride and the author’s unique writing style, so I could hardly wait to get my hands on another one of her books.

Stealing the Preacher picks up with Crock on his way to interview for a preaching position. Certain that God’s will is for him to begin his career ministering to that particular congregation, he’s surprised when a band of outlaws drag him off the train. Not as surprised, or as horrified as Joanna Robbins is when…oops, I don’t want to give away any spoilers. With so many delightful goodies in this book, it’s hard to share a review without giving them away.  

Oh, how I identify with Crock in that sometimes I think I know His will. He’s given me the go-ahead with my plans, wrapped them up all neat and nice and tied with a perfect bow, and then surprises me with a different outcome altogether. This is that kind of story. Does God’s will for Crock entail preaching to the large congregation or ministering to one hurting soul? I enjoyed how this story played out from the first page to the last.  

What an emotionally-charged, fully-developed romance with just the right blend of fun and playful, yet packing a strong and powerful message without “sermonizing.” You never know quite what to expect. On one page I found myself chuckling, and the next, reaching for the tissues. It had everything I hope for when I pick up a book. Karen Witemeyer definitely made the top of my “must read” list with Stealing the Preacher

Stealing the Preacher releases on 6/1 with Bethany House Publishers, but you can preorder it here.

Disclaimer: Sending a huge thanks to Bethany House Publishers and NetGalley for providing me with an advance review copy. The opinions expressed in this review are my own, and I received no monetary compensation.

What about you? 
Have your God-inspired plans ever gone astray?
Did His plan unravel differently than you anticipated?
Care to share your story?

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