Theme Layout

Boxed or Wide or Framed

[Wide]

Theme Translation

Display Featured Slider

Featured Slider Styles

Display Grid Slider

Grid Slider Styles

[style1][caption3]

Display Trending Posts

Display Author Bio

Display Instagram Footer

SLIDER

Stealing the Preacher by Karen Witemeyer


About the Book:
Author: Karen Witemeyer
Publisher: Bethany House
Publication Date: 2013
Genre: Fiction; Historical, Christian
Rating: 3 ½ out of 5

Giving readers a clever plot is half the battle in fiction. Veteran author, Karen Witemeyer does just that in her latest rip-roaring “western,” Stealing the Preacher. Narrating the story of yet another one of the popular, good-looking Archer brothers, Crockett is the man of the hour and the red-headed Texan Joanna Robbins is the girl who captures his fancy. The pair meet when he is literally trussed up like a calf at the fair, which begs the question, what could be cuter than that for a first meeting? It’s got some flair and makes us curious what will come of the relationship between Joanna and Crockett. Beyond that, I cannot say that this novel will be high on my favorites list – and at the risk of sounding cliché, allow me to clarify... this is me, not the author.  

Karen is practiced in her genre and she has a wonderful fan base. Personally, I’ve fallen away from “western fiction” and no matter how many times I convince myself to again try one, the result is always the same. Early on in the book, the lethargic pace did nothing to appeal to me and I felt as if I were forcing myself to turn each page, plodding along in the Texas town without being really excited about anything. There was too much said and not enough “action.” Because of Crockett’s vocation, there was a lot of sermonizing that didn’t ever seem to hit its mark or further the story which was ultimately to heal the broken spirit of Joanna’s father resulting from a reeling experience with a pious man, leaving any man who preaches in bad standing with Silas Robbins. What I did thoroughly enjoy about this book was that both protagonists were solid in their faith. This seems a given considering Crockett is a man of faith but it was far more than just that. He and Joanna both seemed to live their beliefs; it wasn’t just a way of life, it was the only way to live. That was a refreshing premise given that it’s normally one of the two (the leading couple) who is resisting any form of faith. Bookending that is a charming father-daughter relationship that made me smile, feeling comfortable warmth in their relationship that is not always so easily expressed.  
                        
Concluding on an exciting high is something stories almost always undertake however this one wasn’t well played. There were three events marking the end of ‘Preacher’ and instead of cumulating only to encourage the reader to turn page after page, it seemed to work against every play, creating friction instead of excitement and then that final “parade” to the swimming hole should have been omitted in my humble opinion. 

This is being nitpicky but Crockett winks… a lot. So much so that it ceased to be cute after a while.

Any reader who appreciates untamed frontiers in the “old west,” has previously enjoyed Karen’s writing and likes a hero with a twinkle in his eye who is willing to go the extra mile for the woman whom he cherishes won’t  be let down by Stealing the Preacher;  the protagonists have interesting passions (a pastor with a knowledge of medicine and a heroine who rides as well as she paints) and no matter how rushed their romance seemed, they were cute together. In the end, it has a premise that goes the extra mile and that’s important to any story.  

Synopsis: 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? - Goodreads

With thanks to Litfuse and the publisher for providing a complimentary copy of this book for reviewing purposes
QuickEdit
Rissi
28 Comments
Share :

28 comments:

  1. I cannot WAIT to read this book!! Great review!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You'll enjoy it, Maria! :) It's cute plus who could resist that cover? Happy reading - and I'll be on the look-out for your review.

      Delete
  2. Witemeyer is probably my least favourite writer in the CBA. I read three of her books, didn't like any of them and, alas, I cannot make myself read any more. I was glad that you were honest about the book's shortcomings

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'd have to see a list of names before I said that, Rachel but no matter how many times I try... I just cannot add her books to my favorites. (I'll probably read Travis' story yet.)

      This was cute but not great. Much as I adore the covers Karen gets or how fun the plots sound, in all likelihood I won't be rushing to read her future books.

      Thanks for stopping by and reading, Rachel!

      Delete
  3. I've loved all of Witemeyer's previous books, so I'll definitely read this one, too. :) The cover is cute (hers always are) and the premise sounds interesting.

    P.S. I had to giggle at what you wrote about Crockett winking...I notice little repetitive stuff in books like that, too. :)

    ~Kristin

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You'll enjoy it then, Kristin - I'm under the impression it's more "spiritual" than her earlier works but with a preacher as the hero, that's understandable and certainly not a "bad" thing!

      Isn't the cover adorable!? As you say, hers always are; makes me smile. :)

      LOL! I've become much more critical since I've started reading more "seriously" (i.e. reviewing) and it's ironic how I notice "little things" now. Sometimes that's a good thing... sometimes not. ;)

      Delete
  4. I'm sorry westerns don't do much for you! I truthfully didn't think of Stealing like that. To me, it's simply another historical novel. Hehehe... I didn't notice Crockett's many winks, actually. Now that you point it out I remember and agree.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well... I do agree this wasn't a "western" in the traditional sense but... I put it there for it's setting (it didn't take place on the east coast or in the comfort of high society parlor rooms) and the era. No, it's not a "western" in comparison to some other books, although it "felt" like an okay comparison when I was writing the review. :)

      Glad you enjoyed it so much, Rosie.

      LOL! Yeah, those winks sort of grew tiresome after a while; it was just Crockett's "cuteness" coming through I guess.

      Delete
  5. Not too disappointed that I opted out of this one. Although I did break my new rule (yah, I know, right after I made it, haha) and request a different "western" one...but the cover was so pretty, I had to have it. ;) Thanks for the review, Rissi! You know I always love them. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Every time I learn of a new book by Karen I think I'll read it in spite of everything (we'll blame the cover candy and cute back cover synopsis') then each time I wonder why I am reading it! Much as I want to like the books (and I do!), they just aren't my "type" of historical. I never like writing a negative review but always strive to be honest in what I thought of something so... that always wins out.

      Hope you enjoy your other western, Kellie! I expect it'll show up on your blog in the near future. :)

      Delete
  6. I read the first one of these and was excited over some parts and utterly disappointed by the rest of the book that I am pretty sure that I won't be reading the next book.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. While the premise is really clever and the character's cute... I agree, Reader. Just couldn't get excited about the rest. That's no reflection on the author, I think it's just... me. My reading taste for historical novels is more in the "refined" eras (like the early 1900's).

      Thanks for stopping by! Really appreciate it. :)

      Delete
  7. A very good, honest review. :) I noticed that Short Straw Bride, Karen's last book, was a bit of a disappointment at the end, too...I loved most of it, but just didn't care for the ending so much.

    I normally hate westerns, but I do like Karen Witmeyer's books quite a bit. I'm expecting this one for review but it hasn't arrived yet...sigh. Can't wait to read it!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for stopping by and reading, Hayden!

      Haven't read Travis' story yet although I may at some point. The other book I read by Karen was Tailor-Made Bride and it was cute also. There the sparks were a bit more "fun" between the leading couple if memory serves me right. Either way, the setting just doesn't appeal anymore although I do get a kick out of Kathleen Y'Barbo's book. Have you read hers? They are HILARIOUS!

      Hope your copy arrives soon, Hayden! Sometimes the wait seems FOREVER.

      Delete
  8. Sad to hear that there isn't to much excitement in this book, that is something that always keeps me reading and interested! I've been really excited for Witemeyer's newest so I hope that it wasn't too bad! The cover is gorgeous and three previous books have been quite good. I still enjoy a good western if it is done the right way and I hope this one will be the right way :) Were the other Archer brothers a part of this book? Thanks for the review!
    P.S. Would you be willing to guest post for me sometime in the next three weeks?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It wasn't "too bad" at all, Sierra. Mostly my reservations are my own personal reading tastes not the author's style. If you liked Karen's prior books, you'll enjoy this one. It's cute and wholesome. :)

      Yes! Jim and Travis make an appearance (briefly) and Neill visits Crockett plus I felt like Karen was "setting it up" for a future book to tell his story - that'd be great!

      Hope you enjoy the book, Sierra - I have a feeling you will be happy with the story. :)

      What did you have in mind for a guest post? Depending on what you are looking for, I could probably on the latter half of those three weeks. Honored you asked - thank you! :)

      Delete
  9. Appreciate your honest review, Rissi! You have a way with words. :) This one wasn't my favorite of Karen's either, and I *am* a fan of Christian Westerns (Historical Romance), generally... It was good, certainly, but not as good as I had hoped.

    ~Amber

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey, Amber! Always delighted to see you stop by. :)

      Don't quote me on this but... I think I liked Tailor-Made Bride better of these two. I think the only author whom I still love in the "western" genre (generally speaking) is Kathleen Y'Barbo. Her books always make me laugh though I read her latest isn't up to par with her older books. Ah, well.

      I am delighted you enjoyed the book, Amber. It was cute - plus oh-my that cover! Cuteness personified.

      Delete
  10. Great review, Rissi! I'm still excited about this one. Even if it wasn't your favorite. (Didn't we already have this kind of conversation recently? ;) Seriously though, even if it's not as great as her others, I still can't wait for my turn to experience it. So far Ms. Witemeyer's brand of humor has worked for me. So we'll see what I think! Who knows? I may just end up agreeing with you in the end. :D

    ReplyDelete
  11. Thank you for reading, Kara. :)

    I am glad you are excited about this one - if you like Karen's novels, you will in all likelihood enjoy this one! Personally I liked her first one better but this one is quite similar (the elements) and has a cute premise of how boy-and-girl-meet.

    Hope you enjoy! :)

    ReplyDelete
  12. Great review! I love an honest opinion and I'm happy I stumbled upon your blog to get one. :) I love Karen Witemeyer and will read Stealing the Preacher, but it's good to know what the highs and lows are of the book. Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello, Gabrielle! Thank you for your comment and for reading this review - I appreciate it. Welcome to Dreaming Under the Same Moon; delighted you stumbled across it and that you introduced yourself - hope you enjoyed the visit. :)

      The concept of this book was really clever - just wish it had been in a different setting or something since I am not the biggest fan of "less cultured" eras for my personal appreciation of historical fiction. Wishing you happy reading when you get this book. :)

      Visit again anytime.

      Delete
  13. I read one book by Karen (A tailor made bride) and I didn't like it very much. The romance was rushed and too 'physical' if you get what I mean and there was not that much character development. So I think I'll let this author be for a while.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, I am not especially fond of Karen as a writer - or I should say, my preferences don't lean towards her books. Her plots are adorable though and I did enjoy A Tailor Made Bride. Most of that is on me though since I am not fond of "western" fiction in general - Janette Oke will always be "special" since her books are probably my first intro into Christian novels. :)

      Delete
    2. Yes, I read and enjoyed a lot of Janette Oke novels in my time. Sometimes I wonder though, if I would still like the novels so much upon reread, now that I'm over 10 years older.

      Delete
    3. I would still like them but don't want to read them because I know the prose would grate on my nerves. All that misspelled English and such - I liked that the movie classed Marty up - after all, she was supposed to be from the East and educated!

      I'll still always enjoy the stories and Janette Oke. Without her 'Love Comes Softly' novels, who knows what my reading tastes would be! :)

      Delete
  14. I adore Karen Witemeyer's book Short Straw Bride but I do agree with you assessment of this one. (Not to mention I love that you pointed out the winking. I hate it when people wink solo creepy.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey, Kaylee! Glad you stopped by. :)

      Yeah, as I remember, this wasn't a favorite though it had its strong points. I'm curious about Karen's new novel though don't know if I'll read it anytime soon - hope you enjoy it if you will be reading Full Steam Ahead; Short Straw Bride is not one I've read although I remember the book cover being adorable. :)

      LOL, yeah, that winking was a tiny bit overdone.

      Delete

Have a thought? Don't be shy, go ahead and leave one... or two... or three! I reply to every comment. If you're new to the blog, please don't hesitate to introduce yourself and your blog - we love chatting around here!

Feedback and every comment is appreciated and read - I always leave a response; your opinions are respected and I ask that you show mine the same courtesy.

(If you post under “anonymous,” please leave a name. If you don't have a Google account, you can type your name into the Name/URL and if you have no site, just leave "URL" blank.)

If you are still reading my ramblings, thank you for following this little blog and for being one of its supporters. I’ve enjoyed getting to know each of you, friends!

Follow @rissi006