Don’t miss books three (A Sister’s Wish) and four (An Amish Family Christmas) in Shelley Shepard Gray’s Charmed Amish Life series. In A Sister’s Wish, when Amelia gets hurt, it sets off a chain of events that forces Amelia and Simon 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. In An Amish Family Christmas, 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.
Enter to win a book pack (a copy of A Sister’s Wish and a copy of An Amish Family Christmas) from Shelley. Five winners will be chosen! Click the image below to enter to win. The winners will be announced November 7th on Shelley’s blog!
It is not often that I have the chance to read two new books from a series back-to-back so it was fun to do so with “A Sister’s Wish” and “An Amish Family Christmas”. I enjoyed both of them and will review each of them separately below.
A free copy of this book was provided for review by Litfuse Publicity. A favorable review was not required and all views expressed are my own.
ABOUT A SISTER’S WISH:
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.
Once again I found myself visiting Charm, Ohio and renewing my acquaintance with its residents, especially the members of the Kinsinger family. Brother Lukas and sister Rebecca are happily married and stay busy at the family mill while younger sister Amelia stays home and takes care of the farm and household chores by herself which makes her feel somewhat abandoned. Amelia has loved Simon Hochstetler since she was a child and they have met secretly since he returned to Charm because they know Lukas in particular would not approve of their relationship. An accident brings everything out into the open and things get pretty tense.
I often find it quite interesting that characters that I liked in previous novels sometimes are not quite as likeable in a sequel. Lukas was one of those, in fact he was pretty disagreeable for several chapters. Even though Simon had served prison time, he had repented and changed his ways. But his best friend (did you understand -best friend?) still didn’t think Simon was good enough for his little sister. Talk about a hypocrite! Well, as can be expected, it all works out by the end of the story but not without some difficulties along the way. And that’s what makes Shelley Shepard Gray’s books so good -realistic characters dealing with real life situations and a hearty dose of practical faith.
I enjoyed “A Sister’s Wish” and recommend it to all lovers of Amish fiction.
ABOUT AN AMISH FAMILY CHRISTMAS:
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.
I loved reading “An Amish Family Christmas” immediately after “A Sister’s Wish”. This one is Kinsinger brother Levi’s story which takes place shortly after he returns to Charm from working construction in Florida. Levi is still struggling with his father’s accidental death and feels like the rest of the family has moved on with their lives. Although back at work at the family mill, Levi is not comfortable in the family home and rents a little house in town. When he meets Julia Kemps, he has no intention of pursuing a relationship but finds himself strangely drawn to her and her young daughter. Julia is barely making ends meet and is thrilled when she has a chance to make a little extra Christmas money cleaning Levi’s house. But Julia has some dark secrets that she fears will change people’s feelings toward her. Will Levi and Julia find happiness for Christmas?
“An Amish Family Christmas” is another warm yet realistic story from Shelley Shepard Gray. Although not quite as much a Christmas tale as some, it still exudes the spirit of Christmas in its illustration of how one person can be blessed by helping others. I thought this was a fitting conclusion for the Charmed Amish Life series and also recommend it.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: