Wednesday, December 21, 2016

A Sister's Wish/An Amish Family Christmas


For something a little new and different, I recently had the opportunity to read and review books three and four of Shelley Shepard Gray's The Charmed Amish Life series, so this post is a double header. Both books are set in the charming (hehe) Amish community of Charm, Ohio. Book 3, A Sister's Wish, focuses on Amelia Kisinger and her secret love for Amish bad boy Simon Hochstetler:

"New York Times Bestselling Author

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."

In book 4, An Amish Family Christmas, the conclusion to the Charmed Amish Life series, Shelley brings us a heartwarming Christmas tale:

"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."

I have to say that I haven't read the first two books (A Son's Vow and A Daughter's Dream) in Shelley's Charmed Amish Life series yet, however I was still able to read and enjoy these two books without any trouble. While I enjoyed both books, I especially enjoyed An Amish Family Christmas. Tis the season for everything Christmas, and cuddling up under a blanket with a cup of coffee and this book was just what the doctor ordered! The cover is so pretty and festive, and I loved how sweet the little community of Charm was, and how even though everyone had their own secrets and troubles, they were able to overcome their pasts and find happiness and forgiveness. I highly recommend both of these books to anyone who enjoys Amish fiction, and I'm looking forward to reading the first two books in the series to catch up. I'm looking forward to Shelley's next offering as well, coming out in March 2017.

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