A Reluctant Bride - Book Review

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 Shrock 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 now 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 realizes 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 o hard to protect is threatened,
and she must find a way to save her family - and herself.

My Thoughts
A Reluctant Bride is book one in the Birch Creek Series.
My mind is running in several different directions right now 
as I write this review simply because I have lots to say.
Let's start with the characters. . .

I'm going to begin with my favorite character and that is Aden.
He is portrayed as a "weakling" during the first part of the book,
but later learns to take a stand for what he believes in and for those he loves.
His character is truly wonderful and he made his way into my heart in no time.
As he tries to make amends with Sadie for something that took place when they were teenagers
by showering her with love, kindness, gentleness, and goodness.
He sees only her and her needs and with God's help he tries to do all he can
to make her life more beautiful and special.
It was a delight to see Aden grow into a man of integrity
especially after everything he faced with his family-
a family that has many dark secrets.

As for Sadie, well, she was interesting.
Sol, Aden's older brother, did something to Sadie when she was sixteen,
something that left her scarred and bitter.
Aden was nearby and could have stopped his brother, or so she thought,
which caused her to hate him as much as Sol.
Years later Sadie still holds a grudge against the two brothers,
but when circumstances push Sadie and Aden together
she must learn to forgive and when she finds out why Aden didn't step in to "save" her
she is left with shock and a touch of tenderness and compassion towards him
that she strives to keep at bay.
I understand that Sadie was hurt and terrified by what took place,
but she holds onto bitterness during most of the book 
and at times she was quite frustrating to me.
I felt like she wasn't willing to see the good in Aden
simply because she was too caught up in herself and her pain.
She wasn't willing to go to the Lord with her concern or fear
and it ate her alive until she broke.

The characters are Amish and I always love a good Amish story,
but I felt the author made the characters too "worldly."
If you have read any Amish books than you will understand what I'm saying.
It just seemed like the characters in this book did and said some things
that a "typical" Amish character would not do or say.
It threw me off a little bit.

A Reluctant Bride is a touching story about hope and forgiveness.
I was reminded that no one's life is perfect,
but that God can make something beautiful out of the broken
if that person is willing to let go and let God.
There is also drama, romance, and mystery weaved throughout the pages of this novel.
I would give this book 3.5 stars.

 ** I was given a complimentary copy of this book from BookLook Bloggers
and the Fiction Guild Team for an honest review. 
All thoughts are my own and no other compensation was received. **


Denise said...

awesome review

Red Rose Alley said...

Stephanie, this book sounds like such a good one. There is a an Amish movie that I've watched and it is about forgiveness, and it makes me cry every time I see it. Thank you, thank you for your thoughts on my post today. I got some nice comments and then some detailed comments, and I just wanted to reveal some of the things that bother me a bit in blogging. You are a blessing in my life, and I have talked to God about you when I am telling Him things of my heart. You are a sweet sister of mine.

love, ~Sheri

hobbyloes said...

Nice review Stephanie, I love Amish stories.
You can explain it so clear.
I am reading an Amish book written by Beverly Lewis, its one of a series of 4 books about Hickory Hollow.
I'm curious to the next one.

Daniela said...

I'm so fascinated by the Amish world and culture, my darling Stephanie, and I've already read nice words about this novel just a few days ago.
Now, this so accurate and captivating review of yours comes in time to persuade me at all, I'm truly looking forward to read it !
Thank you so much, my sweet heart, have a blessed Lord's Day.
Love and hugs to you

Castles Crowns and Cottages said...

Good morning dearest Stephanie! I see you have been enjoying another good read! Are you well? Are you enjoying cooler weather? I find that this is the best season for a book....but then again, ANY season is great for reading! I hope you got a chance to see our creator's MOON last night! WOW, what a spectacular light....enjoy it tonight as we see a miraculous eclipse! LOVE, Anita

Linda said...

Thank you sweet friend for posting a review...do you know, I had such a growing reading list for this past summer and I never got around to it, sad to say. Just to busy with school...anyways, thank you. Blessings

Sola Scriptura said...

Stephanie, I haven't had much time for reading (more than the Bible) recently, but I do enjoy reading your book reviews. I hope you're having a lovely weekend.

Laura Lane said...

Very nice review!

Anonymous said...

You're super lucky to be sent books for review! Although it must keep you busy. Do you sign up with publishers to do so, or do they just gradually become aware that you're a book review blogger?

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