My rating: 4 stars / I really liked it
Carolyn Lapp dreams of marrying for love. But will the errors of her past destroy this dream forever? Carolyn Lapp longs to have a traditional Amish family. But she lives on her brother's farm with her parents and her 15-year old son, Benjamin. Carolyn has never revealed the identity of Benjamin's father and lives daily with the guilt and shame of her youthful indiscretion. Her brother simply will not forgive her. His answer is to arrange a practical marriage for Carolyn to Saul, a widower with a little girl. But Carolyn isn't convinced that Saul really loves her and believes he is simply looking for someone to help raise his daughter. When Benjamin causes trouble at a local horse auction, horse breeder Joshua Glick decides that he must be taught a lesson. Carolyn and Joshua are unmistakably drawn to each other, but Joshua mistakenly assumes that Benjamin is Carolyn's brother. Carolyn fears that if he discovers the truth, her past will destroy their budding romance. After years of shame and loneliness, Carolyn suddenly has two men vying for her attention. But which of them will give her the family---and the unconditional love---she's longed for?
While the plot was fairly predictable, the details of the story made it a pleasure to read. Even though Carolyn lives under the thumb of her older brother, her vibrant personality peeks through in her loyalty to her son and her compassion for others. Even with a rocky meeting, Joshua soon sees past the walls she has erected and values her friendship. I liked that their relationship progressed slowly but steadily, and both perspectives were shared. One of my favorite characters was Carolyn's son Benjamin, who was victimized by his two bullying cousins, but rises above his situation to embrace new opportunities. The other family and community members served to move the story along, but came across two-dimensional. I appreciated the messages of forgiveness and acceptance and I would read this book again.
(ARC provided via Netgalley for unbiased review)Don't miss the newest offering in the Hearts of the Lancaster Grand Hotel series from Amy Clipston, A Mother's Secret. An unwed Amish woman yearns for real love and a family. The only thing in her way is the shame she’s been carrying for half of her life. The novel received 4-1/2 stars from Romantic Times and was chosen as a Top Pick.
Amy is celebrating with a Kindle Fire giveaway.
- A Kindle Fire
- Books 1 and 2 in the Hearts of the Lancaster Grand Hotel series, A Hopeful Heart and A Mother's Secret.