Adventure Between the Pages: Stealing the Preacher by Karen Witemeyer

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Age Appropriate For: 13 and up (romance, and some situations)
Best for Ages: 18 and up
Description: 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 person 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?

Karen Witemeyer has been my author find of the year. I have only read three of her books, but she has already proven she has an engaging style, faith-building messages, and godly characters. When I was offered a copy of her latest book to review, I jumped at the chance.

It was good to meet up with one of the Archer brothers again. You might remember Crockett from Short-Straw Bride. Throughout the book, you hear of what Travis is up to, and his younger brother comes for a visit. These brothers are making a great series.

I wasn’t sure any of the Archer brothers could compete with Travis, but Crockett did a good job. He allows the LORD to lead him on a very different path, and he reaches out to those who need him, not only the most likable characters.

This book kept me turning pages. From the intriguing beginning (Kidnapping a preacher for a birthday gift? Brilliant!) to the blissful, happy ending, I was hooked. Karen Witemeyer has an engaging style that I love. There is never a dull sentence.

Finally! A book set in Texas that actually sounds like Texas. So many books sound like Hollywood’s version of Texas, which, if you live here, is far from the truth. Witemeyer is a Texan, so that helps, but she did an excellent job of representing the state I call home.

*Spoiler alert*
The best part for me, however, was when Crockett confronts Holly, a girl who has been flirting with him. I wish more guys today had the guts to stand up for what is right rather than let their egos be stroked when a girl flirts. I wonder if more girls would value themselves if young men stood up and told them what was what.
*End spoiler*

I didn’t think I could love a Karen Witemeyer book more than Short-Straw Bride, but I did. This book takes the cake, it was that good. Perhaps it felt more real, or maybe it was the heroine with the hair that she couldn’t control, or just maybe it was the message that no life is beyond redemption. I loved this book.
I highly recommend this book for those who love romance, westerns, faith-building fiction, and swoon-worthy heroes that have godly character.

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I received this book from Bethany House in exchange for my honest review. I was under no obligation to write a positive review. The opinions in this review are entirely my own.

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  1. I've been hearing a lot of good things about this book, but I don't usually read books like it so I don't know if I'll read it...