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Marrying the Preacher’s Daughter–June Cleaver’s Got Nothing on Her

Just read my first “e-book.” No, I don’t own a kindle or a Nook. I read straight from my laptop. Since I spend more time with it than my own children, it seems a waist to add yet another gadget into my life. So when I had a few minutes, I indulged in a light story called Marrying the Preacher’s Daughter by Cheryl St. John. Yeah, kind of cute and fluffy, but still an engaging story. Sort of like a potato chip, it didn’t offer a lot of substance. However, like a good, salty chip, it left me wanting more.

Marrying the Preacher’s Daughter revolves around head-strong Elizabeth Hart who doesn’t think she can love a man who isn’t just like her father, a minister and Father of the Year nominee. Gabe Taggart has left his life of bounty hunting behind to settle down and make a home for him and his little sister Irene. Elizabeth fights the attraction tooth and nail, convinced any man who lives by the gun has got to be a shady character. Never mind the fact that Gabe is a decent, honorable man who never let his profession dictate his morals. Quite the contrary. This pleasant little read is full of likable characters, happy families, good neighbors, small town morals, and bad guys who get their come-uppance asap. It’s the sort of book June Cleaver would write—and that’s a good thing.

I suppose if I had one complaint, it’s the way the attraction between Gabe and Elizabeth is handled. We’re led to believe that Gabe has never been with another woman, of questionable virtue or otherwise. Elizabeth is a virtuous, virginal twenty-something. When their lips first meet, Elizabeth finds herself thinking of her father’s admonition that kissing is a prelude to marriage. I found myself thinking, Really? That’s what you’re thinking now? We women all know that when you get a kiss that steels your breath, you’re not hearing your dad’s voice in your head. Your heart is pounding; your senses come alive; your brain stops; you feel sinew and muscles beneath your fingers, etc., etc. All the intimate moments in the book lack this vivid blitz on the senses—you know, the sublime descriptions that pull you into the experience.

Cheryl St. John is a great writer, but I felt that the passion between the two main characters was handled with kid gloves. Consequently, it fizzled a bit. All in all, though, I heartily recommend Marrying the Preacher’s Daughter if you’re looking for a fun, quick, wholesome summer read. Grab a bag of chips, load up the book on your Kindle (or laptop) and settle in.