Sunday, October 8, 2017

Review: Her Brother's Keeper by Beth Wiseman


Book One in the Amish Secrets series

Heidi Reads... Her Brother's Keeper by Beth Wiseman

My rating: 5 stars / It was amazing

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Synopsis

Charlotte’s heart has been hardened by personal tragedy, but now she has the chance to find peace in a place she didn’t expect.

Charlotte Dolinsky arrives in Lancaster County with brand new Amish digs and a renewed purpose. It doesn’t take her long to fit into the close Amish community. She might not know how to cook, sew, tend a garden, or milk a cow, but she knows how to lie. And she is a woman on a mission—to wreak havoc on the Plain people and seek revenge for the death of her only brother. But a quiet stranger throws a kink in her plan not long after she arrives. As she delves deeper and deeper into what makes this handsome Amish man tick, she begins to wonder about her intentions and the direction her life is taking.

At twenty-four, Isaac Miller is still unmarried and doesn’t see his status changing anytime soon. The Lord has blessed him with above-average physical attributes, but his awkward shyness keeps him from pursuing a relationship with anyone. When Charlotte—or "Charlie" as she calls herself—arrives in Paradise, she steals his heart, and he longs to be a different man.

Can Charlie get past the resentment she feels and open her heart? What happens when Isaac comes out of his shell, drawing attention from all the available women in the area? Will Charlie be able to hold onto him? And will he still want her when he learns the truth?


My Review

This is not your average Amish romance. I was surprised by the serious issues tackled by the author and appreciated that it was done in an authentic way without shying away from the difficult emotions and providing insight into various perspectives. At the beginning Charlotte almost seems like the villain since she is deceptive and has an agenda. What she doesn't expect is the journey her heart will go on as she uncovers the truth behind her brother's relationships with members of the Amish community and how her own struggles with her dysfunctional past will surface and have to be dealt with. I grew to love the King family as she did with their sweetness and way of looking at situations that differed from how she was raised. The connection to God that she felt in their presence and the stirrings of faith began her long progress toward healing. I just have to point out that the book description is a bit misleading when it comes to the romantic connections that are and are not made, and I felt like the book went much deeper than I anticipated, with less focus on romance and more on the struggles Charlotte and her "cousin" Hannah are facing. An outstanding start to a series that is perfect for fans of Amish fiction and women's fiction.

(I received a complimentary copy of the book; all opinions in this review are my own)



Book Two in the Amish Secrets series

Heidi Reads... Love Bears All Things by Beth Wiseman


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Synopsis

Could God be o­ffering Charlotte a second chance at true love?

Charlo­tte Dolinsky needs time to recover after breaking up with her boyfriend, Ryan. But when a surprise visitor shows up on her doorstep in Texas, she’s forced to put aside her own worries to help her Amish friends in Lancaster County. Soon she is entangled in a web of deception—and this time, she isn’t the only one keeping secrets.

Daniel Byler struggles each day in his Amish community to heal from his fiancée’s betrayal. When he discovers that a member of his family is in danger of being shunned, his pain turns to fear. His only way to help is by partnering with Charlo­tte, a woman he barely knows who has already deceived them all before.

Charlo­tte begins building a friendship with Daniel that she’ll need to lean on when more surprises surface from her past and she once again finds herself torn between two worlds. Will Charlotte’s friends in the Amish community be able to show her the power of redemption and lead her home? And can she help young Jacob realize that God offers second chances at happiness when she isn’t even sure herself?


Book Three in the Amish Secrets series


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Synopsis

Charlotte has made a home for herself in Amish Country with Daniel. But unforeseen events rock their fragile world and may move them even further away from the life they long for.

Charlotte, an Englisher, is living in Amish Country, and she has formed strong and lasting bonds with the people in her new community. She has even fallen in love with an Amish man. But just when she is considering a permanent conversion to the Amish way of life, her world crashes around her. An unexpected death and a mysterious visitor unsettle Charlotte, and she begins to question her faith and her choices.

Daniel loves Charlotte and wants to share his life with her, even it if means leaving the only world he’s ever known. But as he walks alongside of her through her struggles, his own world is turned upside down when a loved one receives a grim medical diagnosis and a prodigal relative returns home. Will Charlotte and Daniel’s relationship succumb to the many pressures around them, or will their faith and the strong community around them allow them to weather the storms of their own lives in order to build a life together?

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