Review: Stealing the Preacher

Stealing the Preacher
(Archer Brothers #2)
by Karen Witemeyer
Christian Romance
June 1st 2013 by Bethany House Publishers
Source: NetGalley

Goodreads summary:
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

What I thought:
I have read all of Witemeyer's books so far. I really loved A Tailor-Made Bride, Short-Straw Bride, and To Win Her Heart. This one is the second book about the Archer brothers from Short-Straw Bride. I had fairly high expectations going in and it met those at the beginning, but not in the end.

The first few chapters completely had me hooked. Crockett getting kidnapped off of a train because he's the preacher was fabulous! I loved the internal dialogue and interaction between the characters - had me cracking up quite a bit. I also really liked the characters: Joanna, Crockett, Joanna's dad, and the young man who has a crush on Joanna. Each one of them were written really well and I could relate to each in some way. I completely loved this book until about half way through or so.

Then comes a lot of things that were thrown in. I felt a lot of it was unnecessary or just made things overly complicated. There were too many sub-plots and character stories. There was also a lot of religious content. Definitely the most I've ever seen in her books, and a lot of it didn't feel realistic enough to me. I think if she would have just stuck with what she had begun with, with less religious content, and maybe had one catastrophe then that would have worked just fine. Instead there were basically four major things going on not including Joanna and Crockett's relationship. Everything was also all worked out and tied up nicely in the end. Most Christian Romance, and Romance in general, do tie up nicely, but this was a little too over the top for me.

I can't really say that I felt it was a waist of time because I did really enjoy the first half of the book and I loved the characters. It was just disappointing. I'm hoping that I'll like Witemeyer's next book a lot more.

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Disclosure: This review is of a book I was given for free by an author, tour host, or publisher, or through NetGalley or Edelweiss. This in no way influences the opinions shared in my review. You may see my complete policy on the sidebar and on my policies page. This post also contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase of any type using these links, I receive a small kickback.This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase of any type using these links, I receive a small kickback.

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