Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Source: Review Copy from Publisher
The one thing Joanna Robbins truly desires for her twenty-first birthday is a preacher. For months and years Joanna has been praying for a preacher to come to her community. A preacher would be able to bring her father to Christ and help resurrect their now neglected and abandoned church – two missions very important to her. Joanna misses worshiping with her friends and neighbors; and without her mother around, she needs someone to help save her father’s soul.
By some underhand, dubious, (and illegal means) Joanna receives a preacher for her birthday – Crockett Archer, a young man on his way to interview for a much hoped for full-time preaching position in a nearby county. Even though Crockett admires Joanna’s passion and conviction, he firmly believes that he is not the answer to her prayers. Want to make God laugh, Crockett Archer…tell Him your plans!
Karen Witemeyer is a new author for me – I greatly enjoy novels by authors who write in the Historical Fiction/Christian Fiction genres, and after receiving some recommendations for Karen Witemeyer’s novels, I decided to give her a try! I’m so glad I did! Even though I dearly love my time in Regency England, spending a few days in the big, vast country and rustic atmosphere of Texas circa 1885 was a stimulating change!
My favorite aspect of this novel is the well-drawn and extremely likable characters and their heartwarming relationships with each other. I liked that each character had complexity, depth, and a unique blend of attributes and flaws. I loved seeing the father/daughter devotion and regard between Joanna and her father, witnessing the tender and faith-filled romance between Crockett and Joanna, and observing the mistrust and animosity between Crockett and Silas (Joanna’s father) turn into begrudging respect, and then admiration. Watching these characters interact and develop relationships with each other was an immense pleasure!
Another element I greatly enjoyed were all the meaningful and inspiring messages filtered throughout the pages of this novel. This is a Christian Fiction novel, but it is NOT preachy or filled with “sermonizing.” Through the events and exchanges in this novel, readers are reminded that all sinners can be forgiven, God cares about everyone, and that even though you may run from God, He does catch up with you eventually! I admire how many of the characters exhibited inspiring faith, strong work ethics, and fierce loyalty. And I especially appreciated how the author accentuated that Crockett fell in love with Joanna’s inner light, maturity, and heart – not her beauty and charm.
Do you fancy a visit to the great state of Texas during the late 1800s? Would you like to meet some ranchers, outlaws, and a cowboy preacher? Does a tale about relationships, God’s forgiveness, and finding love sound like a good read to you? If so, I recommend you try Karen Witemeyer’s Stealing the Preacher!