- Title: The Maverick Preacher
- Author: Victoria Bylin
- Series/Category: The Women of Swan’s Nest, Book 1 (Love Inspired Historical)
- Genre(s): Historical (Western), Inspirational
- Publisher: Harlequin, January 2009
- Source: Amazon ($3.79 ebook)
- Length: 288 pages
- Trope(s): Heroine with Big Secret, Beta Hero with Tragic Past, Evil Banker, Soiled Doves
- Quick blurb: When a troubled preacher shows up at her door, a boardinghouse owner must choose between keeping her secrets and trusting her heart.
- Quick review: The best Harlequin Love Inspired I’ve read so far.
- Grade: B
Did he answer as a minister or a man? The minister had words for her. The man wanted to draw her into his arms.
While Maverick Preacher has many of the same basic elements as Lady Outlaw, this book offers more complexity in both characterization and spirituality. The primary faith message is “casting stones,” and — believe it or not — the central theme is the hypocrisy and double-standard of slut-shaming.
The only issues keeping this from an A grade were the rather predictable and lackluster Evil Banker Villain, some repetition in the internal monologing, and the author’s confusing and contradictory choice of relating the hero to the Apostle Paul, whose writings are the gospel of Bible-thumping misogynists.
ALSO: The dude on the cover reminds me of an actor, but I cannot think of who, and it’s driving me crazy.