Tuesday, January 27, 2015

The Promise of Palm Grove (Amish Brides of Pinecraft, #1) by Shelley Shepard Gray

A young Amish woman finds herself torn between the man she’s pledged to wed and the man her heart desires in this heartwarming story of chance, duty, and choice in the face of love—the first volume in the beloved New York Times bestselling author’s new Amish Brides of Pinecraft series.
Amish bride-to-be Leona is thrilled to be in Florida, on a mini-vacation in the pretty town of Pinecraft. Her girlfriends think she’s happy because she’s away from the stress of wedding planning. They have no idea that Leona’s real joy is in being away from her fiancé.
Edmund is a good man, and will make a decent husband . . . just not for Leona. The more time she spends with him and his overbearing ways, the less she wants to be his wife. Her cousins are sure Edmund is the right man for her-and their certainty makes Leona begin to doubt herself. But when a chance encounter with a wayward cat brings her face-to-face with a handsome, fun-loving Amish man named Zachary Kauffman, Leona’s faced with two vastly different futures.
Leona must decide: Does she follow the path set out before her? Or take a chance with only the promise of what could be to guide her?

About The Author

I live in southern Ohio with my husband, two teenagers, and two dogs. My days are filled with busy activities like most any other mom and housewife. But I also love to write books.

Each morning, after my kids go off to school, I sit at my desk, look out my window, and dream of other places. The hours fly by as I make up people and places and drink way too much coffee.

Writing for Avon Inspire has truly been a dream come true. Being able to spend my days in my make-believe world of the Brenneman Bed and Breakfast is a true blessing. I have enjoyed getting to know more about the Amish culture and tapping into my faith as I show each character’s progression toward a personal relationship with our Lord.

Before becoming a full time writer, I taught elementary school in Texas, Arizona, and Colorado. A job transfer to Ohio led my husband to encourage me to finally give writing a try. After all, I had notebooks full of made up stories.

I’ll never forget that first book I typed in our unfinished basement. It was exciting to make up a story, but also very scary. I was also so embarrassed, sure someone would come out of the woodwork and point out that I wasn’t a ‘real’ writer. But I persevered, and sold my third manuscript.

Things have changed a bit. Now I have a real office of my own. (think old guest bedroom!) My walls are painted pink, and more than a couple of book covers decorate my walls. But my days are still the same. I wake up, dream about other people, and do my best to type out stories.
My Review
Travel along with some sweet young Amish women as they leave their cold winter homes in Ohio and experience Pinecraft Florida, the home to many Amish and Mennonite permanent residents.
I can appreciate their happiness at experiencing Florida for the first time, and the joy they felt just being free to do what they please, within reason. Leona is engaged to be married and is enjoying this last bit of freedom. The author now gives us a glimpse into her world, and her life as it is going to be with Edmund, her intended.
We also get a look how others of the same faith live under different set rules of faith for the Amish. Things are a bit more liberal, and more is accepted here. We also meet a young man Zachery who has made it his life work to take care of his family, especially his handicapped sister.
Sparks seem to fly on the first encounter of this couple, can these two from two different areas, miles apart, establish any kind of a relationship? Of course, Leona needs to come to terms with the relationship she in currently in. What a predicament for both of these young people, one you admire, but feel rather sorry for, and the other almost the same, doubts need to be answered.
This is a sweet and rather quick read, and I hope for more like this story in the future. I felt myself in the warm sunshine, and smelling the salt air, ah would love to be there right now.
I received this book through Edelwiss and the Publisher Avon Inspired, and was not required to give a positive review. 

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