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A cowboy who wants to be a preacher. An outlaw's daughter who wants to change his mind.
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?
Stealing the Preacher by Karen Witemeyer was an entertaining and sweet Western style novel that I heartily enjoyed. The novel was set in the late 1800's in the beautiful wilderness of Texas and revolved around (almost) reformed rustlers, a rustic preacher, and a dedicated, godly young woman. The plot line was a bundle of surprises, adorable interactions, heart wrenching transformations, and, of course, romance. The themes of Stealing the Preacher include learning to trust and have faith in God, being honest with others, and both sharing one's faith with others as well as persevering in witnessing and praying even when your loved one does not appear to listen. The narration style of this novel is third person, but the chapters alternate being from Joanna and Crockett's perspectives.
The characters in Stealing the Preacher were charming and well developed. Joanna was a delightful character who had a convicting, strong faith, a sweet personality, and relatable flaws. Crockett was an interesting and steadfast character who had a wonderful trust in God, was a strong and persistent witness, and both a confident yet vulnerable spirit. The other minor characters, such as Silas, Jackson, the Marshall, and Holly added great depth to the novel and contributed to many of the struggles that both Joanna and Crockett faced throughout the story.
Overall, I heartily enjoyed this tale of love and forgiveness, and I would highly recommend Stealing the Preacher by Karen Witemeyer to anyone looking for a wonderful summer read.
I received this novel for free from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for an honest review.