Monday, February 29, 2016

Reviewing: Amish Sweethearts!

Recently, I enjoyed reading Amish Sweethearts Book 2 in the Neighbors of Lancaster County Series. When Zane Beck moved to Lancaster County with his family as a boy he found a good friend in his new neighbor Lila Lehman.  They played together, laughed together and he shared his love of knowledge with her. Lila, an Amish girl, left school after eighth grade as was tradition, but continued her studies vicariously through discussions with Zane and borrowing his books.

AmishSweethearts_NewHer mother died young, leaving Lila as oldest daughter to help her strict step-father run the household and care for the rest of the family.  

As they grew older, Zane knew he had feelings for Lila and although Lila felt drawn toward Zane, she was determined not to marry an Englischer and leave her faith. She was courting the bishop's son and one day they would marry, a happy circumstance for Lila's step-father Tim.  Zane planned to go to college in the fall, leaving her behind, but after an argument on the matter, Zane surprised everyone by enlisting in the Army. He left without telling her goodbye and found it convenient to avoid coming home on his leaves. 

The story shares some of the conflicts between the modern world we live in and the Amish, who are pacifists, opposing all war.  Finally home on leave after his mother's pleas, he sees Lila by chance right before being shipped out to  Afghanistan.  She has not married yet, having put it off many times for many reasons. In the years that pass in their story, Zane and Lila discover time and distance do not change the way they feel about each other. 

Circumstances bring them together again and could change their paths forever.  Can she leave her faith and live in his world?  Can he leave behind his world to join hers?  The answer is in the story and it is a compelling one. I recommend this book for the joy of reading and also for the feelings you will have for this young couple who face seemingly insurmountable obstacles along their way through the pages.  Leslie Gould is a noted author who does her research and develops her characters well.  I have enjoyed 

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Always Watching Suspense At the Edge Of Your Seat!

Lynette Eason has done it again!  The moment I started reading Always Watching I was hooked.  A plan executed for over ten years finally peaks when Wade Savage's stalker closes in for the prize.  Olivia Edwards' company, Elite Bodyguards is hired for protective detail when Wade's father sees an all too familiar pattern of personal gifts appear for Wade. This stalker is sinister and relentless in pursuit.  Our first glimpse of this is when Wade is attacked and a member of Elite Bodyguards is nearly killed and left for dead. The bodyguard was a beautiful young woman who was mistaken by the stalker as competition for Wade.  With a team member down, Olivia puts herself in place to complete Wade's protection detail.

Wade is a noted psychiatrist and philanthropist and popular radio show host.  He is also a handsome widower, giving him an extra appeal to his audience. Could the stalker be a regular caller to his radio show?  As the stalker begins to unravel, Olivia and her team face danger at every turn.  Keeping Wade and his young daughter safe when he wants to retain his independence proves challenging, especially as the stalker seems to keep pace with all of the team's strategies.

Fast paced and full of surprises, Always Watching delivers five starts on the suspense chart.  A well-developed plot with strong characters I believe this book will appeal to mystery lovers who like a little romance along with their suspense. Many thanks to Revell for the advance copy of this book for review.  For more information on this and other books by Lynette Eason, check out her website where you will be Welcomed to the edge of your seat!

Monday, February 1, 2016

Hannah's Choice A Wonderful Story of Determination & Love

Hannah's Choice: A NovelA book can be focused on singular topics or have many and that is the case with Hannah's Choice by Jan Drexler.  Hannah Yoder, our heroine, is a young Amish woman deeply committed to her faith. She and her family live along the Conestoga Creek where her ancestors settled soon after their arrival in America.      

Her Amish community has been shrinking in recent years and there are only a few families left in their district.  Adam, her best friend since childhood is Mennonite. Her sister, Liesbet is tempted beyond her years to the English world outside the confines of her faith and family.  She longs to marry an Englisher and live in a fine house in Philadelphia.  Hannah's mother, Annalise, has been gripped by depression for many years after losing three small children to diphtheria. Hannah as the oldest daughter has taken on many responsibilities to keep the home running smoothly. 
Wise beyond her years, Hannah knows that marriage to a man who is not Amish would be unequally yoked. Her father is determined to move west to Indiana where a new community of Amish people will settle. His love for his family and desire to keep them protected from the outside world is stronger than his ties to his ancestral home in Pennsylvania.  As plans develop for the Yoder family to migrate to Indiana the group for the wagon train grew as others become determined to start anew in the Indiana wilderness.  Josef Bender a handsome Amish man from a neighboring community set on making the journey, takes more than a passing interest in Hannah. The more Hannah sees Josef, she is torn between him and Adam.  She is also determined not to go with the family to Indiana, hoping they will change their minds and remain where they belong at Conestoga Creek.

I like this story for the setting of 1842 in Lancaster County Pennsylvania.  The time is ripe for an important time in the Abolitionist Movement. While Pennsylvania is not a slave state, bounty hunters felt free to come searching for escaped slaves on their way to freedom in Canada.  Adam Metzler helped many slaves to freedom, all the while exposing himself, his family and  Hannah to danger.

Up until the end of the book I wasn't sure if Hannah would go to Indiana or stay in Pennsylvania. Would she marry Adam or Josef?  Would Liesbet marry and move to Philadelphia or remain with her Amish faith?  Many thanks to Revell for the opportunity to read Hannah's Choice and the introduction to Jan Drexler's writing. I plan to look for more of her work.