I received this book for free from HarperCollins in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Joyfulby Shelley Shepard Gray
Series: Return to Sugar Creek #3
Published by HarperCollins on September 2, 2014
Genres: Adult, Amish Fiction, Christian, Clean Romance
Buy the Book • Goodreads
Return to Sugarcreek with bestselling author Shelley Shepard Gray for a heartwarming story of second chances with a young Amish couple
Randall Beiler will sacrifice anything to take care of his younger siblings and the family farm, even if it means forsaking love. But when his brother offers pretty Elizabeth Nolt a job cleaning and cooking for the family, Randall is furious—and feels guilty about the way he once broke Elizabeth's heart. Then he learns that Elizabeth and her grandmother are struggling to make ends meet and he knows the offer, no matter how painful, is the right thing for everyone.
Elizabeth wants to refuse but she needs the work. Though she vows to protect her heart, spending time in the Beiler household makes Elizabeth realize that her love for Randall still burns strong. And though Randall keeps his distance at first, time and teamwork reveal that something deeper still connects them.
Elizabeth isn't sure what to think: Does Randall want her because he truly loves her, or because he needs a housekeeper? And if his feelings have changed for sure, Randall must find a way to show Elizabeth what she really means to him or risk losing his partner in life and love forever.
It was a rainy day yesterday and I picked up three different books in hopes for an escape, and struck out. So I turned to Shelley Shepard Gray…bingo! Once again, her Return to Sugar Creek series was the ticket to a clean, sweet diversion. The third installment picks up three different story lines and follows the theme of second chances, tender mercies from a loving God. There’s the couple who has broken up, the young couple who has miscarried and is looking to adopt, and a divorced restaurant owner who is afraid to trust again. At firs, I was hesitant to have so much going on at one time and I found myself drawn to the story of Elizabeth and Randall. I wasn’t quite as engaged in the other two stories, until the very end, when I was surprised to find I was in tears at the sweet story of a foster baby finding a home.
Shelley Shepard Gray wraps things up in a neat tidy package. She writes feel good novels with faith intertwined. If you are looking for a simple plot with predictable resolution you will be pleased. One finds themselves transported to a community where horse drawn buggies are still used, homemade sugar cookies are cut out with the top of a glass. Yet, modernization is afoot and modern characters are woven in quite nicely. I love the Amish charm and the goodness that emanates from their lives. Recommend this series for a Fall rainy day read! There’s study questions in the book and a sneak peek to book four…going online to pre-order!
I grew up in Houston, Texas, went to Colorado for college, and after living in Arizona, Dallas, and Denver, we moved to southern Ohio about ten years ago.
I’ve always thought of myself as a very hard worker, but not ‘great’ at anything. I’ve obtained a bachelor’s and master’s degree…but I never was a gifted student. I took years of ballet and dance, but I never was anywhere near the star of any recital. I love to cook, but I’m certainly not close to being gourmet…and finally I love to write books, but I’ve certainly read far better authors.
Maybe you are a little bit like me. I’ve been married for almost twenty years and have raised two kids. I try to exercise but really should put on my tennis shoes a whole lot more. I’m not a great housekeeper, I hate to drive in the snow, and I don’t think I’ve ever won a Monopoly game. However, I am the best wife and mother I know how to be.
Isn’t it wonderful to know that in God’s eyes that is okay? That from His point of view, we are all exceptional? I treasure that knowledge and am always so thankful for my faith. His faith in me makes me stand a little straighter, smile a little bit more, and be so very grateful for every gift He’s given me.
I started writing about the Amish because their way of life appealed to me. I wanted to write stories about regular. likeable people in extraordinary situations-and who just happened to be Amish.
Getting the opportunity to write Inspirational novels is truly gratifying. With every book, I feel my faith grows stronger. And that makes me feel very special indeed.