Sergeant Rowdy Slater is the most skilled-and most incorrigible-soldier in Dog Company, 506th PIR, 101st Airborne, an elite group of paratroopers fighting for the world’s freedom in World War II.
Through a bizarre set of circumstances, Rowdy returns to the States after the war, turns his life around, and falls into the only job he can find-preacher at the sparsely populated community church in Cut Eye, Texas, a dusty highway town situated at the midpoint of nowhere and emptiness.
The town’s lawman, suspicious that Rowdy has changed his ways only as a cover up, gives an ultimatum: Rowdy must survive one complete year as Cut Eye’s new minister or end up in jail.
At first Rowdy thinks the job will be easy, particularly because he’s taking over for a young female missionary who’s held the church together while the men were at war. But when a dark-hearted acquaintance from Rowdy’s past shows up with a plan to make some quick cash, Rowdy becomes ensnared due to an irrevocable favor, and life turns decidedly difficult.
Rowdy’s a man used to solving problems one of two ways: with his rifle or with his fists. Will he be able to thwart his old friend’s evil schemes while remaining true to his new higher calling?
This is a wild ride of a book bursting with a bank robbery, kidnapping, desperate prayers, and barroom brawls. Before the smoke clears, all sides just might end up getting exactly what they want.
Anyone who reads my blog knows that I’m generally a romance reader, but I decided to step out of my comfort zone and read Feast For Thieves because a) I had heard good things about it and b) I’m a bit partial to the 101st Airborne (Easy Company anybody?). My thoughts:
What I liked:
The writing. I sat down to read a couple of chapters and read 90% of the book in one setting. It was thoroughly engaging. The novel has that nice southern storytelling that’s done along the same vein as To Kill a Mockingbird (in no way the same book, but that same rhythmic cadence).
It was not formulaic. I’ve read books where people with pasts suddenly become preachers and there’s kind of a very familiar structure to those stories. Not so with this one. I’m glad to say I was never certain of what was going to happen next. There was no great deception here, but an openness about Rowdy that I just loved.
Rowdy. I liked Rowdy from the first page. Being in his head was a joy and if there are ever anymore novels with Rowdy as the narrator, I will be reading them. He’s got this very down to earth vibe and yet you know you that he’s been through some things and can be trusted.
The romance. Yes, there is some. The novel doesn’t focus on it, but it’s there and it’s really cute.
The town of Cut-Eye. They are some interesting people, but I found myself invested in all of the secondary characters.
Spiritually, the novel focuses on how getting to know Jesus can change your life from one direction to another.
What I didn’t like:
There were a few moments where I had to suspend my disbelief. I didn’t mind doing it, but they were there.
The pacing. Sometimes it felt like time went by too quickly.
Romantic Scale: 7
Overall, I really really really enjoyed this book. I think even if you’re a diehard romance reader like me you will enjoy this book and more importantly, fall in love with Rowdy.
**I received a copy of this novel from the author’s publicist. My opinion was not affected in anyway.**
If this book has captured your fancy (and I hope it does!), there’s an opportunity for you to win your own copy! *Note you must be a US or Canadian address. All you need to do is leave a comment below with your email address. The giveaway ends three weeks from now on October 29! The winner will be randomly selected. If you win, you have 48 hours to respond to the notification before I will choose another winner. Happy Reading!