Monday, October 28, 2013

Review on Stealing the Preacher by Karen Witemeyer

I would think that the last thing in the world that you would for-see happening when you feel a calling from God to be a preacher is to get highjacked off of a train because you are a preacher, but that is exactly what happens to Crockett Archer in the opening of the novel Stealing the Preacher, the latest novel in the Archer Brother’s series by Karen Witemeyer. Sweet , yet Spunky Joanna Robbins has been praying for a preacher for her small hometown in Burleson County Texas  for a long time, ever since the death of her dear mother who raised who her to love and worship God. However the church has long been abandoned and Joanna longs for the church to have a wonderful preacher which will help bring the word of God to her community and especially to her father whose heart is completely hardened to anything at all to do with God. However his heart is not hardened to his daughter, not by a long shot, so that is how poor Crockett gets hijacked on the way to his job interview to be a preacher in Brenham, because a Father’s love is all about getting what his daughter most wants, which is a preacher!

For those of us that fell in love with the Archer brothers in Karen Witemeyer’s Short Straw Bride, I just can’t imagine readers not enjoying reading Crockett’s story here as he meets the spunky and fun Joanna. She is a woman with a mission and so is he- although his changes a bit from what he thought. But being a man of faith, he accepts that while he thought that God wanted him in Brenham- God had a different plan, to help get the church up and running again in the little chapel where Joanna had prayed for a preacher to come!  In order to get thing up and running Crockett needs to find work for a bit so that he can pay for his expenses. The main work to be had was at Joanna’s father’s ranch. Her father (and ex-outlaw) isn’t so sure about a preacher working for him- not man enough, etc. But Crockett is no regular preacher, he knows his way around a ranch and how to work hard and he’s not a bad shot either which earns the respect of the townfolk.

As the story progresses Crockett earns the right to be heard as the preacher and captures more than a few hearts of the female persuasion which adds to the conflict in the story with the very headstrong and persistent character of Holly Brewster who stirs up all sorts of trouble for poor Crockett. But hang in there, as things come together all right in the end.

This was a nice follow up sequel to a Short Straw Bride and in the usual Karen Witemeyer way things end just as you would want them too.

4 stars

I was given a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.  All opinions expressed are my own.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Review on Made to last by Melissa Tagg

Have you ever gotten yourself into such a pickle that you just have no way of figuring out how to get out of it?  I would say that is the general feeling of Miranda Woodruff, the heroine of the debut author Melissa Tagg’s book Made to last.  But it’s not just Miranda who feels that way, I would venture to say the male lead Matthew Knox feels the exact same way. And so how do two people that find themselves in a pickle  with insurmountable obstacles come together? Well it isn’t easy, that’s for sure. We have Miranda Woodruff who is the star of a homebuilding television show called From the Ground up, who has been pretending to be a happily married woman and quoting on her show all the tips and tricks her dream husband has passed onto her regarding home building projects. But here’s the problem, the shows ratings are sinking and the show is in danger of being pulled and so, a pretend husband is introduced to the public. And where does Matthew Knox fit it? Well he is a down and out reporter looking to make a comeback in his career and has been assigned the job of digging up dirt on Miranda Woodruff- America’s favorite tomboy. The problem? He’s a good reporter and actually does discover all of her little secrets. And so how can he possibly print all that he knows when he is falling for her...

   This is one of those books where you are reading the storyline, fall in love with the characters and are rooting for them to get out of their messes, get over their insecurities and mis-understandings and just figure it out already!  I can’t help but hear those sage words of wisdom in my head- “ Patience, Grasshopper! “ I did enjoy the fact that  there are a lot of subplots going on here which really made sense to me with regards to the decisions the characters were making. For instance, the basic identity question- who am I? We all have to answer that and if a vocation was taken away or if you fail big at something where does that leave you- are you completely defined by your mistakes? Do you end up lost or do you trust that God has a plan in all of it, even if a dream changes to something different than what you thought. Could the new dream be even better? Lot’s of interesting thought to ponder.

  This was a great contemporary novel and wonderful first run for Melissa Tagg, I think that she will definitely have a nice niche in this genre. I found her character’s engaging, real ,and very relatable and a storyline that played out well in the end. 

4 stars

I was given a complimentary copy of this book through the publisher in exchange for an honest review.  All opinions expressed are my own.