Rachel Yoder's aunt has died and her home has been sold. Now orphaned and alone she has two choices: move to Ohio with a distant cousin who has eleven childrenwhich also means she has to sell her goats and loose her organic goat cheese business; or a marriage of convenience to unfriendly and stern Gabriel Fisher, a widower with six children. If she marries Gabriel, she can keep her goats and her cheese business as well as having a home and family.
Everything does not go as smoothly as Rachel and Gabriel had hoped. For one thing his two middle sons are not happy with their dad's new wife. Those two mischievous sons hatch a plan to sabotage everything Rachel does in hopes to drive her away. However, Rachel takes in strideas she does everythingand continues to make Gabriel's home and family her own. The youngest son, six year old Samuel, captures Rachel's heart and he loves her.
Gabriel is hopeful that his life will be much easier and uneventful with Rachel here to do the indoor chores, cook and mind his sons. But it appears that she can't keep the house clean for long and burns almost everything she cooks. However, her goat cheese is delicious!
Samuel captured my heart as he did Rachel's. I like the way Rachel kept going even with all that she had endured in her young life. Loved the antics the two middle boys pulled on Rachel and had to chuckle when she pulled one on them. Gabriel seemed blind to what they were up to and I wanted to go out to the barn and tell him. I enjoyed watching Gabriel and Rachel as they adjusted to their new lives together and the way love sneaks up on them. Faith and family are a very important part of their lives; add to that romance, some danger, joy as well as sadness, drama, heartbreak and humor. I could picture their farm, surrounding farms and community from the clear descriptions Amy Lillard painted.
~~I won a copy of this book from the author on Goodreads Bingo, this is my honest review~~
As a reader that only enjoys SOME Amish fiction I usually try a new author with some trepidation. I quickly lost that with Gabriel's Bride. The book was new, different, and not the usual hackneyed storyline. I was pulled in with chapter one and it kept me hooked all the way through to the last page.
I really liked both Rachel and Gabriel. Rachel is sweet and genuinely tries to fit in and help her new family. Gabriel is a bit gruff and doesn't always know what to say but he loves his family very much. It was neat watching the two grow, change, and get used to each other. I really enjoyed how Amy Lillard made her characters flawed and make mistakes but still doing their best and trying to do what is right for their family.
As with most Amish stories faith and family are foremost. I love the wholesome but also realistic life stages and predicaments that the characters find themselves in. There is romance, danger, drama, and humor all rolled into 300 pages of good book. Some of the best humor comes when Gabriel's boys decide they don't want a new mother and the tricks they pull on her, and how she good-naturedly gets back at them.
Gabriel's Bride was an enjoyable story that I would recommend to any lover of Amish fiction!
(I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for my review. All opinions are my own.)
If you read the intro to Gabriel's Bride, you'll see right away that it was written at a particularly difficult time for Amy Lillard.
Instead of letting the events she was dealing with at the time deter her, she made the brave decision to forge ahead and, while she did not allow the sadness to make this book depressing, she did allow her feelings to fuel a deeply emotional story that is the best of this series - at least in my humble opinion.
Amy Lillard is a truly gifted author.
This is a book that everyone should read, whether they enjoy Amish fiction or not.
It is a story of loss, yes - but it is also a story about redemption and the amazing wonder of life and love.
I don't know what Amy has planned for her next book but I really hope she plans to write more about this series, these people.
And I know her website says this book is the last in the Clover Ridge series but Clover Ridge has become a favorite place of mine and I hope Amy finds a way to share more with us in some way or another about the wonderful community of Clover Ridge.
I received this book free in exchange for an honest review.
Gabriel Fisher has been widowed for six years, and has his hands full with five sons and a large farm to manage. His daughter recently left home during her rumspringa in order to continue her education, and his sister is planning for her upcoming wedding. With no alternative, his only option was to hire someone to manage his household and monitor the children.
Sadly, Rachel Yoder's aunt passed away leaving her homeless and alone, aside from distant cousins in Ohio. In order to remain in her Amish community in Oklahoma she takes the job as housekeeper for Gabriel in lieu of moving to Ohio to live with relative strangers. Gabriel agreed to allow her to bring her goats to his farm, an option that she was not allowed if she were to move to Ohio. Not considering the repercussions involved in the Amish community, Gabriel agreed for Rachel to live in his daughter's vacant room at the farm. The bishop of their district has other ideas when he discovers that Gabriel has an unmarried housekeeper living in his home.
A quick marriage arrangement takes place out of convenience for both Gabriel and Rachel. Gabriel's children don't take kindly to the idea as they still hold their mother close in their hearts, and the new housekeeper turned wife becomes easily distracted from her chores and has a penchant for burning nearly everything she cooks! Six-year-old Samuel is the exception to the rule. A Down syndrome child with learning disabilities, Samuel loves everything about Rachel, and becomes very attached to her. Rachel loves his sweet and affectionate nature and can't imagine her life without him. So begins a journey of joy and sadness, fun and games, mishaps and adventures, disappointment and desolation.
Returning to Clover Ridge, Oklahoma in the third installment of this series is pure delight, with moments of hilarity and occasions of emotional upheaval and heartbreak. Amy Lillard has written another wonderful Amish novel of love, tenderness, humor and despair, all rolled into a wonderful and emotional read. Amy is very talented in painting a pictorial representation of the locale, the Amish farms and surrounding area. I was impressed by that quality from "Saving Gideon" as well, the first book in this series. The characters throughout this book are very personalized and colorful, with traits that make you love them, and in some cases, dislike them, but in getting to know them personally this is a very enjoyable part of the story. I highly recommend Gabriel's Bride. This is a far different viewpoint from many Amish fiction stories, one that I particularly enjoyed. The books in this series can also be read as stand alone stories, but I recommend the entire series for your reading pleasure!
Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from B&H Publishing Groups in exchange for my honest review. All opinions expressed are my own, and no monetary compensation was received for this review.
There's something about reading a book that you have been anticipating for so long that is extra special. That is how I feel about Gabriel's Bride. From the moment I "met" Gabriel in the first book of this series, Saving Gideon, I wanted to find out how his story would turn out. I wasn't disappointed. In fact, I will go on to say that it was even better than I could have imagined. I have enjoyed every book in the Clover Ridge series and if you are a fan of Amish fiction, this is a series that you should consider reading.
The premise of the book is that Rachel Yoder and Gabriel Fisher choose to enter into a marriage of convenience. For Rachel, it is an opportunity to stay in the Clover Ridge community. For Gabriel, it means that he will have the housekeeper that he needs. Both, of course, feel that they will be able to honor the agreement, but we, the readers, know that there will be so much more to the story than just that.
All of the characters in this book are so well-written. Even the side characters and the children have distinct personalities and make for a well-rounded story. Rachel is so sweet and the trouble she has running the household makes her dear to my heart. She is kind and loving to all and just trying to make things work in her new role of "wife" while managing her changing feelings. Gabriel is such a solid, good man. He loves his children, he loves his late wife, and he is working hard to honor God with his position in the community. What Gabriel is not good at is expressing his true feelings. Fear of how the other will react greatly influences many decisions made by Gabriel and Rachel and makes for a truly satisfying read.
The author has done a lovely job with the whole series and this book is a wonderful addition. I hope to someday read the stories of some of the other characters from Clover Ridge, such as John Paul or Mary Elizabeth. If ever these stories are written, I know they will be well worth the wait.
I received a complimentary copy of Gabriel's Bride from the author in exchange for an honest review, which I have given. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.