Thursday, September 11, 2014


Shelley Shepard Gray Joyful

Book info and review
About the book: A young Amish couple gets a second chance at love in New York Times bestselling author Shelley Shepard Gray's final book in her Return to Sugarcreek series.

Randall Beiler is doing his best to put his family and the farm's needs first, even forsaking love. But though he tries, Randall knows he needs help caring for his younger siblings and keeping the house together.

When his brother offers pretty Elizabeth Nolt a job taking care of the house and cooking for the family, Randall is furious---and guilty about the way he once broke Elizabeth's heart. But when he learns that Elizabeth and her grandmother are struggling to make ends meet, he knows the offer, no matter how painful, is the right thing for everyone.

Elizabeth wants to refuse---to stay far away from the man who hurt her---but she needs the money. Though she vows to protect her heart, spending time in the Beiler household makes Elizabeth realize that, while she's older and wiser, her love for Randall still burns strong.

Randal, too, seems to want something more. But does he want Elizabeth because he truly loves her---or because he needs a housekeeper? If Randall sincerely wants something more, he must find a way to show Elizabeth---or risk losing his chance at love forever.

My thoughts: JOYFUL is the third book in the Return to Sugarcreek series by Ms. Gray. Readers will want to read the first two books in the series: Hopeful and Thankful as these stories don't stand alone. There are three different stories included in this book, but the one between Randall and Elizabeth is the main story. 

I enjoyed reading the story, finding out what is happening at the restaurant that was key in previous series, as well as other characters such as Ben and Judith.  I also thought Elizabeth and her grandmother were very sweet, kind, and forgiving individuals. I loved Randal's sixteen year old brother, and his little sister, Kay. But Randall was a class A jerk. If I were Elizabeth I wouldn't have been quite so forgiving of his horrible treatment of her, and it certainly wouldn't have made me fall in love with him.  

Ms. Gray's Amish stories are sweet, enjoyable, though a little flat, and not three-dimensional. And as I said, I didn't care for Randall. Other than that, great story. 4 stars. 

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About the author: Shelley Shepard Gray is a two-time New York Timesbestseller, a two-time USA Todaybestseller, a finalist for the American Christian Fiction Writers prestigious Carol Award, and a two-time Holt Medallion winner. She lives in Southern Ohio, where she writes full-time, bakes too much, and can often be found walking her dachshunds on her town's bike trail.

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1 comment:

Judy said...

I am looking forward to reading this series and this book. Great review Laura. Now to make time to read the first two.

Judy G