She never wanted to marry. He hopes to make amends for past wrongs. Can love find a way to heal both of their hearts?
Sadie Schrock swore she would never marry. All of her other Amish friends could court and marry she was content to manage the family business and eventually take it over when her parents are ready to retire. But all of that changes when a reckless driver kills both of her parents and seriously injures her younger sister. With mounting hospital bills adding to the pile of debt her parents left behind, Sadie is left with no choice: she must marry. And not just any man the man who saw her at her weakest and walked away.
Aden knows what his brother did to Sadie years ago was inexcusable. And every day since that incident, Aden has lived with the guilt for not intervening sooner. When he is faced with the chance to protect Sadie once again, he can t let her down even if it means living with the scorn of the woman he loves for the rest of his life.
Working alongside Aden at the store, Sadie realises he isn’t the same boy who once betrayed her. Just when Sadie starts to let her guard down and perhaps develop feelings for her new husband, dangerous secrets are revealed. Now everything Sadie has worked so hard to protect is threatened, and she must find a way to save her family and herself.
A Reluctant Bride (Amish of Birch Creek #1) by Kathleen Fuller
This was an interesting enough read that I’ll be looking out for the rest of the books in the series. It was maybe a little jumpy and disjointed in places, but the storyline was complex and engrossing, and I loved the relationship at the centre. Hero and heroine are forced to marry with no warning or preparation, and it was nice watching their relationship grow.
I will never really understand the appeal of the Amish lifestyle, but when an author – like this one – makes you believe it’s right for the characters, then it’s easy to get invested in their world.
The things I like about this book are things that authors are unlikely to get away with in more mainstream romance. The shy, awkward, shortish and reddish-haired hero, for example. The poor guy was abused by his father and older brother and then years back, when the heroine needed his help, he didn’t give it.
This makes for an interesting story and an interesting conflict in the relationship, and I’m glad to see more complex characters.
I must say that I kept trying to give the heroine the benefit of the doubt, as she has been to hell and back, has lost her parents and now been forced to marry all in the space of a fortnight, but it was hard. I didn’t necessarily dislike her, but I didn’t find her particularly appealing either. She was a bit of an empty, but angry, shell, and I didn’t really get why the hero had loved her pretty much his whole life.
My biggest issue was her huge grudge she held. Sexual harassment or assault – no matter how minor – is NOT ON, but I couldn’t help but feel her reaction to something six years earlier was a colossal overreaction. If I or most women I know reacted like that to similar things we’ve experienced (usually more than time), we’d be locked up in padded rooms now!
It is always funny when you read Christian romances, to see how many hoops the author can jump through to have her married characters not have sex! At least in this one the forced marriage was a legitimate excuse for them to take their time!
This book used more Amish words than any other Amish book I’ve read (but as I’ve only read Harlequin line books before, maybe that publisher has a policy this one doesn’t). My high school German helped, but there is also a glossary at the start. It’s not overwhelming.
I didn’t find A Reluctant Bride especially preachy, but of course the Amish are very religious people, so there’s some God-talk here.
I was growing a little tired of some of the themes used in historical romances recently, and it might seem a bit odd, but I’m finding Amish books have been filling a gap in my reading. There’s the comfort of the modern world, but also a feel of the past to the stories. It’s not exactly a sexy world(!) but then I don’t need that in my romances.
Not all Amish books I’ve read are of the same standard, but in this one, I think I’ve found a series to invest in.
Review copy provided by NetGalley.