Tuesday, August 1, 2023

The Heart's Bidding (Amish Calling #1) by Kelly Irvin

 

Together, schoolteacher Rachelle Lapp and auctioneer Toby Miller must face their hardest battle yet: trusting God’s plan for their uncertain future.

At twenty-nine, auctioneer Toby Miller is a notorious bachelor. But his job keeps him on the road for months out of the year, and he knows no Plain woman could want a marriage that would force her to live and raise children alone. Thankfully, Toby’s content to dedicate his life to the family business, especially now that his grandfather is retiring. So why does his heart keep longing for something—or more specifically, someone—he can’t have?

Rachelle Lapp has already turned down two marriage proposals. Neither promised a future that would bring her more joy than her job as a teacher to Amish children with developmental disabilities, including her brother, Jonah, and Toby’s sister, Sadie. But when the parents’ committee votes to send her students to the English schools, where they will have access to many more resources, Rachelle finds herself out of a job. She’s forced to decide between pursuing her calling far from home and staying near to the man she can’t get off her mind.

As their families matchmake, Toby and Rachelle realize their jobs may not be all that’s holding them back from a future together. They both must learn not only to trust each other, but also trust God’s plans for them. But do those plans involve a lifetime together or them going their separate ways?

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About The Author


 

Best-selling novelist Kelly Irvin's latest Amish romance, Every Good Gift, debuted in February 2023. The third novel in the Amish Blessings series takes place in Yoder and Haven, Kansas. The series takes a look at adoption in Amish communities. The first book, Love's Dwelling, won second place in the Selah Awards contest in the long contemporary romance category. The series follows the Amish of Sky Country series, which featured Amish communities in Northwest Montana affected by wildfires that destroyed thousands of acres in the state in recent years. The first book, Mountains of Grace, debuted in August 2019, and delves into the impact on not only an Amish man and woman, but also a smoke jumper, a sheriff's deputy, and a young English woman forced to confront her past because of the fires.

Kelly also writes romantic suspense novels. Her most recent forays into this genre include Trust Me, Her Every Move and Closer Than She Knows, all set in San Antonio and South Texas. Publishers Weekly says of Closer Than She Knows, "this brisk, smoothly written thriller from Irvin pits court reporter Teagan O’Rourke, a murder mystery lover, against a cunning and vicious serial killer. Fans of serial killer fiction with a Christian slant will be satisfied."

Of Tell Her No Lies, The Library Journal says, "Irvin creates a complex web with enough twists and turns to keep even the most savvy romantic suspense readers guessing until the end. Known for her Amish novels, this two-time Carol Award finalist shows that her talents span subgenres from tranquil Amish stories to rapidly paced breathless suspense.”

Kelly is also the author of the Every Amish Season series, which included four books that chronicle the lives of Amish widows who are in different seasons in their lives. These women are linked by life altering experiences that bring them together as wives, mothers, and grandmothers in the small town of Jamesport, Mo. The first book, Upon a Spring Breeze, received critical acclaim from the Library Journal: "A moving and compelling tale about the power of grace and forgiveness that reminds us how we become strongest in our most broken moments."

Kelly Irvin is also the author of The Amish of Bee County series, which includes the critically acclaimed The Beekeeper's Son. Publishers Weekly called the first book in the series a beautifully woven masterpiece and Romantic Times Magazine called Kelly a storyteller extraordinaire. It was followed by The Bishop's Son and The Saddle Maker's Son, which is an ECPA bestseller.

A two-time ACFW Carol finalist, Kelly's novellas have been included in numerous anthologies, including An Amish Summer, The Amish Christmas Gift, An Amish Market, an Amish Christmas Love, and Amish Quilt, An Amish Reunion, An Amish Picnic, and An Amish Christmas Bakery.

She also penned the Bliss Creek Amish series and the New Hope Amish series, both published by Harvest House Publishers. Love Still Stands, the first book in the New Hope series, debuted in September 2012, and the follow-up, Love Redeemed, released March 1, 2014. The final book in the series, set in Branson, MO., was A Plain Love Song, released in July 2014.

The Bliss Creek Amish series, set in Kansas, includes To Love and to Cherish, A Heart Made New, and Love's Journey Home.

In the New Hope series, familiar characters from Bliss Creek move to Missouri to start a new district and a new life.

The Kansas native is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and the ACFW San Antonio local chapter Alamo City Christian Fiction Writers, as well as Sisters in Crime and Women's Fiction Writers Association.

A graduate of the University of Kansas William Allen White School of Journalism, Kelly wrote nonfiction professionally for thirty years. She studied for three semesters at the University of Costa Rica, learning the Spanish language. As a journalist, she worked six years in the border towns of Laredo and El Paso, where she was exposed to culture and language that serves as fodder for her fiction writing. She has written hard news, features, entertainment pieces, restaurant critiques, editorials, and weekly columns. Writing awards include the Silver Star Award from the Texas Mental Health Association for articles pertaining to mental health and numerous awards in news, feature, and editorial writing from the Texas Press Association and Texas Press Women.

Kelly retired in 2016 from her position of 22 years as public relations manager for the San Antonio Parks and Recreation Department, where her duties included writing and designing an employee newsletter, writing news releases, collaborating on marketing campaigns, coordinating ribbon-cuttings and groundbreakings, coordinating press conferences, updating the web site, and acting as a media spokesperson.

Kelly has been married to photographer Tim Irvin for 35 years. They have two children and four grandchildren. In her spare time, she likes to write short stories and poetry, read books by her favorite authors, and visit the babies.

For more information, visit http://www.kellyirvin.com

 

My Review


 This is a love story, but not what you think, it's the love and acceptance of everyone.

We are given a girl whose heart loves teaching, and her job is teaching the children with special needs. Rachelle Lapp is a young Amish woman, and is one of 13 children, with a brother being special. She has a gift, and we watch her students bloom under her guidance.

We also meet Toby, a traveling auctioneer, he also has a special needs sister, and these two, Rachelle and Toby and thrown together by matchmaking parents, siblings, and community.

This is a page turner, and a heart warming read, yes, there are ups and downs, but this is a Faith based story, and I loved it!

Now I can't wait for the next book in this series!

I received this book through Net Galley and the Publisher Zondervan, and was not required to give a positive review.

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