Friday, November 4, 2016

Book Review: A Sister's Wish and An Amish Family Christmas

A Sister's Wish
In Shelley Shepard Gray's third book in her Charmed Amish Life series, a respectable young woman finds herself falling for an Amish man from the wrong side of the tracks.

Amelia Kinsinger is the perfect Amish woman---at least according to her neighbors. And while Amelia takes pride in her role as homemaker, she's also harboring a secret: She's been in love with bad boy Simon Hochstetler for as long as she can remember. Too bad he's about as far from "perfect" as an Amish man could get . . . but that's exactly why she's so drawn to him.

Life hasn't been kind to Simon. He ran away from an abusive home at fifteen and things went downhill from there. Eventually, Simon landed in prison. But the experience changed him. Now back in Charm as a grown man, he's determined to make a new life for himself and not think too much about his wild past . . . unless it pertains to Amelia.

He's loved Amelia for years. To him, she represents everything good and kind in the world. When he realizes that she returns his affections, he starts calling on her in secret, even though her older brother Lukas---who just happens to be Simon's best friend---has made it perfectly clear that Amelia deserves better. Simon disagrees and believes he's the only one who can truly make her happy. 

But when Amelia gets hurt, it sets off a chain of events that forces them to consider their future together---and face their past mistakes. There's a chance for love . . . but only if Simon dares to trust Amelia with the secrets of his past.

We all know people who are sheltered, people who have been hurt, and in this story Amelia is that person.  She has a sweet disposition which is quite good because she needs it with her family!  Simon, a good family friend, but is he good enough?  Everything comes to a halt, or maybe a whirlwind is a better way to describe it when Amelia has an unfortunate accident.  Enough fun, romance and every day drama to keep your interest, a fun read!


An Amish Family Christmas
In Shelley Shepard Gray's fourth book in her Charmed Amish Life series, an unlikely Amish romance reveals that Christmas is a time for family, miracles---and love

Ever since his father died in a tragic fire, Levi Kinsinger has felt adrift. Newly returned to Charm, Ohio, Levi is trying to fit into his old life, only to discover he seems to have outgrown it.
But when Julia, his young widowed neighbor, asks for his help with a Christmas project, Levi finds a sense of purpose for the first time in months. She and her daughter are new to Charm and could use a friend, a job Levi takes personally. Soon enough, friendship grows into attraction, but Levi can't help having doubts. There's something about Julia that doesn't ring quite true . . .
Like Levi, Julia Kemps has survived her fair share of hardships----but only by hiding the truth of her past. Being an unmarried mother in an Amish community was unthinkable. Feeling hopeless, Julia did the only thing she could do: she moved to a new town and pretended to be a widow. But meeting Levi, she's hopeful for the first time. Little by little, she begins to imagine telling him her darkest secret, and eventually . . . perhaps even sharing her life with him.
Christmas is a time for family, and as the holiday draws closer, Julia and Levi will have to face their pasts together . . . in order to find the healing, support and love they so desperately desire.

This book was a bit different, 'fresh' compared to many of the Amish stories I have read, I enjoyed that!  Full of plenty of excitement and adventure to keep the pages turning.  Levi, he's a bit of a curiosity, people like to talk about him, every one knows him.  The opposite can be said about Julia, some wonder about her, if she's telling the truth and there are some fun turn of events that bring mystery to the story!

*I received both books from Litfuse Publicity in exchange for an honest review 

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Thursday, November 3, 2016

Christian's Hope

Christian’s HopeChristian’s Hope (Herald Press, October 2016)

When Christian Hochstetler returns to the Amish after seven years in captivity, he finds that many things have shifted.

Captured as a child during the French and Indian War, Christian has spent much of his life among Native Americans, who cared for him and taught him their ways. Now that Christian is home, his father wants him to settle back into their predictable Amish life of farming, and Christian’s budding friendship with Orpha Rupp beckons him to stay as well.

 Yet Christian feels restless, and he misses his adoptive Native American family—who raised him as their own son. When faced with a life-altering decision, will Christian choose the Amish identity that his father desires for him? Or will he depart from his family and faith community yet again?

Christian’s Hope tells the story of the younger brother of Joseph and son of Jacob, whom readers have come to love in the first two books in the Return to Northkill series. Based on actual events and written by a descendant of the Hochstetler family, Christian’s Hope brings the sweeping epic of the Return to Northkill series to a soul-stirring end.

This is the 3rd book in this series, for once I'm going to recommend reading the entire series, you will enjoy the book much more. This story is based on a historical truth, and it is an Amish story unlike any I have ever read before.

When reading about Amish, you don't generally think of Amish and Native American's in the same book, this is an entirely new aspect to the Amish, and I really enjoyed this book.  I have not read the first two books, and I was able to enjoy this story, but like I mentioned, it would have been much more enjoyable had I read the previous books.

Kudos to Ervin R. Stutzman for bringing up an entirely new Amish story line!

*I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for review.