Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Book Review and Giveaway: Shelley Shepard Gray's Charmed Amish Life Series (Books 3 and 4)

About the books:

A Sister's Wish

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.


An Amish Family Christmas

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.

My thoughts:
I really enjoyed Books 1 and 2 (A Son's Vow and A Daughter's Dream) in Shelley Shepard Gray's Charmed Amish Life series, so I was thrilled to have the opportunity to read the next two books.

A Sister's Wish is a very sweet love story between two young people who have had eyes for each other since childhood. Unfortunately, Simon's turbulent home life caused him to flee his Amish community and the girl he loved. This is a story about growing up, forgiveness, and finding that a family is simply being with the people who love and understand you. The past may shape us, but it doesn't have to define the people we become.

Like A Sister's Wish, An Amish Family Christmas breaks open the perception that all Amish have perfectly godly lives. It shows that they are ordinary people who are just as capable of making mistakes as the rest of society. And Julia made a huge one at young age, which cost her the future she'd always envisioned. But I loved Julia's determination to create a new reality. She took responsibility for her actions and moved forward. Although she made further mistakes along the way, she came to realize that she couldn't hide from the past forever and courageously confronted it.


About the author:
Shelley Shepard Gray is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, a finalist for the American Christian Fiction Writers prestigious Carol Award, and a two-time HOLT Medallion winner. She lives in Loveland, Ohio, where she writes full-time, bakes too much, and can often be found walking her dachshunds on her town's bike trail. Visit her at www.shelleyshepardgray.com, or on Facebook or Twitter.





GIVEAWAY

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!


Disclosure: I received this book free of charge from Litfuse. This post contains my Amazon affiliate link, and I will receive a small commission on purchases made through my link.


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