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