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?
The Wild West is looking to be forcibly reformed after preacher Crockett Archer is abducted by retired outlaws to fulfill the wish of a beloved daughter. In Jo’s conviction and commitment for her father and community, Crockett finds a new calling and mission field even if it is reluctant. Silas’ initiation of Crockett to the community is punitive and comedic–I wouldn’t expect less from a father dedicated wholeheartedly to his only daughter’s happiness and well being. With a work ethic, humbleness and gentle spirit that belies Silas’s prejudices against men of the clothe, Crockett slowly earns the respect and trust of the man and the heart of the daughter.
Built on the cornerstones of redemption and justice, Karen Witemeyer has penned a romantic entertaining story that is thematically poignant. With an endearing cast of characters and layered storyline, this book continues on the high established by Short Straw Bride. I find the Archer brothers endearing and can’t wait to see where Karen takes them next.