Monday, October 24, 2016

A Sister's Wish and An Amish Family Christmas

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Book info
About the book: 

A Sister's Wish (Avon Inspire, September 2016)

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.

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My thoughts: First, the disclaimer. "I was provided a free copy of this book. All opinions are my own." That done, A SISTER'S WISH is the third book in The Charmed Amish Life series, but it easily stands alone. Fans will want to read the first two books (A Son's Vow and A Daughter's Dream) to catch up on the first two romances in the series.

There are some inconsistencies in this book where things were contradicted, but I know sometimes authors and editors don't get everything right and sometimes things are changed by the editor and the author doesn't catch it, so I tried not to let the inconsistencies draw me out of the story. 

I enjoyed getting to know Amelia and Simon, but Lukas and Rebecca made me dislike them through much of this book. They were unkind to both Amelia and Simon, and if I were Simon I wouldn't call Lukas my best friend after the way he treated him. 

This was a quick read, easily read in an evening and hard to put down.  I enjoy Ms. Gray's books greatly and am looking forward to reading the one below (next so it will be in this blog post.) Recommended for fans of Amish fiction or sweet romances. This is next to no faith message, but Ms. Gray states why in her author letter at the end so those who shy away from Christian romances should have no issues with this book. 

About the book: 

An Amish Family Christmas (Avon Inspire, October 2016)

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.

My thoughts: First, the disclaimer. "I was provided a free copy of this book. All opinions are my own." That done, I'm not even really sure what to say about this one. Levi is about the sweetest male character, and Lukas and Rebecca were much nicer in this book. There are also other characters from the previous book (Tess and the police officer, among others) who make appearances. 

Julia was an abused girlfriend, I'm tempted to write wife, because she lied about being a widow in the book, so that is cemented in my mind. She had a child out of wedlock and in an effort to protect her child, she ran. Understandable. She was hesitant to trust anybody, also understandable, and as a result, kept me distant as a reader. Also as a result, I didn't enjoy this book as much as I have the others in this series. There really wasn't much in it Christmassy either, that was kind of tossed in there as an after thought. 

Not Ms. Gray's best book, but not bad either. This was the 4th book in The Charmed Amish Life series, but it does stand alone.  The other books are: A Son's Vow, A Daughter's Dream, A Daughter's Wish, and this one AN AMISH  FAMILY CHRISTMAS. 

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About the author:

Shelley Shepard Gray is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, 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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note: this is the landing page for both books.

1 comment:

Marilyn R. said...

I've read the first two in this series. Waiting for A Sister's Wish from our local library inter-loan services. Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

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