Christmas in Sugarcreek is an easily read, sweet Amish romance that is just right for a lazy afternoon by the fire with a warm beverage. In this story, the reader returns to the small town of Sugarcreek where Judith Graber might just receive a Christmas surprise she never expected.

Judith is the quintessential “good girl”. In her opinion, everyone in her family depends on her way too much and seem to take her for granted. But being the good girl that she is, she stuffs her dissatisfaction and continues to help where needed without complaint. Just when she thinks she cannot handle another extra responsibility, her father hires a temporary employee to help her in the family store. Unfortunately that helper turns out to be Ben Knox, the former “bad boy” of Sugarcreek before he left town. Although they have both matured, Judith is not sure she can trust Ben because of everything she has heard about him. But as the two are forced to spend many hours working together, Judith slowly begins to realize that Ben is not the person she thought he was.

Yes, this is one of those “good girl” falls in love with the “bad boy” romances but it is one with a difference. Christmas in Sugarcreek teaches a valuable lesson about judging people by appearances or actions without looking to see the true inner person. Although the outcome of the story is obvious from the beginning, it is a charming and delightful read.

This book was provided for review by the Amazon Vine™ Program.


Judith Graber has always been the obedient daughter. When her older brother Josh struggled with his love life, she offered wise counsel. When her younger brother Caleb flirted with the idea of leaving their order, she firmly told him he was wrong. Over the years, she’s watched her younger siblings, helped around the house, and worked in her family’s store during her spare time. Judith feels overworked, overlooked, and underappreciated this holiday season.

But everything changes when her father hires Ben Knox.

Ben Knox is the “bad boy” of Sugarcreek. Though he’s never considered jumping the fence, he’s certainly never tried to be anything close to dutiful. Two years ago he left Sugarcreek under a cloud of shame. Rumors circulated that his rumspringa had been filled with more than the usual harmless explorations.

Now he’s back and working side by side with Judith.

As the chaos of the holiday season threatens to sap all joy, sparks fly between Ben and Judith. But Judith steels herself to ignore her infatuation. The last thing she wants to be is just one more girl who falls under Ben’s spell. Ben, on the other hand, wants Judith to realize there’s more to him than his bad reputation. When he fled Sugarcreek, he was running from a disruptive home life. Now that he’s back, he wants a fresh beginning.

Could this Christmas season bring love and a new life for the unlikeliest pair in Sugarcreek?


Shelley Shepard Gray is the beloved author of the Sisters of the Heart series, including Hidden, Wanted, and Forgiven. Before writing, she was a teacher in both Texas and Colorado. She now writes full time and lives in southern Ohio with her husband and two children. When not writing, Shelley volunteers at church, reads, and enjoys walking her miniature dachshund on her town’s scenic bike trail.