Rachel's Secret, Riverhaven Years Series #1   -     By: B.J. Hoff
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Rachel's Secret, Riverhaven Years Series #1

Harvest House Publishers / 2008 / Paperback

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When the wounded Irish American riverboat captain, Jeremiah Gant, bursts into the rural Amish setting of Riverhaven, he brings chaos and conflict to the community, especially for young widow, Rachel Brenneman. The unwelcome "outsider" needs a safe place to recuperate before continuing his secret role as an Underground Railroad conductor. Neither he nor Rachel is prepared for the forbidden love that threatens to endanger a man's mission, a woman's heart, and a way of life for an entire people.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 325
Vendor: Harvest House Publishers
Publication Date: 2008
Dimensions: 8.50 X 5.50 (inches)
ISBN: 0736924183
ISBN-13: 9780736924184
Availability: In Stock
Series: Riverhaven Years

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Publisher's Description

Bestselling author BJ Hoff promises to delight her many faithful readers with her compelling new series, The Riverhaven Years. With the first book, Rachel's Secret, Hoff introduces a new community of unforgettable characters and adds the elements readers have come to expect from her novels: a tender love story, the faith journeys of people we grow to know and love, and enough suspense to keep the pages turning quickly.

When the wounded Irish American riverboat captain, Jeremiah Gant, bursts into the rural Amish setting of Riverhaven, he brings chaos and conflict to the community--especially for young widow, Rachel Brenneman. The unwelcome "outsider" needs a safe place to recuperate before continuing his secret role as an Underground Railroad conductor. Neither he nor Rachel is prepared for the forbidden love that threatens to endanger a man's mission, a woman's heart, and a way of life for an entire people.

Author Bio

BJ Hoff's bestselling historical novels continue to cross the boundaries of religion, language, and culture to capture a worldwide reading audience. Her books include Song of Erin and American Anthem and such popular series as The Riverhaven Years, The Mountain Song Legacy, and The Emerald Ballad. Hoff's stories, although set in the past, are always relevant to the present. Whether her characters move about in small country towns or metropolitan areas, reside in Amish settlements or in coal company houses, she creates communities where people can form relationships, raise families, pursue their faith, and experience the mountains and valleys of life. BJ and her husband make their home in Ohio.

Editorial Reviews

"I enjoyed this thoroughly."
--Delores Payne, librarian, Fifth Avenue Church

Product Reviews

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Displaying items 1-5 of 31
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  1. Age: 45-54
    Gender: female
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    September 28, 2013
    Army Mom
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: female
    Quality: 4
    Value: 4
    Meets Expectations: 4
    Rachel's Secret

    The Riverhaven series: Book 1

    By B.J. Hoff

    When Amish widow, Rachel Brenneman open's her back door on that dark stormy night, she has no idea how much that single action will change the course of her life.

    Jeremiah Gant has been badly injured and needs a safe place to recover. When he and his friend Asa, accidently knock on the wrong door they are brought into a world that is vastly different from anything they have ever experienced.

    This book is more than just a love story, or a story about the Amish. It is the story of human struggle and finding God's real will for our lives rather than what we want His will for us to be.

    While the story was supposed to be Rachel and Jeremiah's, I found myself more interested in Susan and David's story. Susan, Rachel's mother and David, the English doctor, have been secretly in love with each other for years, but both know that any feeling they have for each other is forbidden by Susan's church. David, however refuses to give up and searches for a way for the two of them to be together.

    Rachel and Jeremiah relationship seemed to flounder in many ways. Several times I couldn't make up my mind if I really wanted them to be together or not. There didn't seem to be much to their relationship other than confusion. Although I do have to admit that we did get a better sense of Jeremiah's emotions than we did Rachel's.

    I did like the way that David, being from England and Jeremiah, being from Ireland found common ground despite their countries long time animosity for each other. It was fun to read about their interactions with each other.

    Asa was my favorite character in this book. He is a strong Christian, Jeremiah's longtime friend as well as a runaway slave. I love the way that he was written, so full of courage and willing to take risks that most people would not dare to take. I was so inspired by him and I can't wait to find out the rest of his story.

    I have to admit that the first third of the book was really hard for me to get into. It seemed stuck and the plot just didn't move along. However the last two-thirds seemed to flow better. I enjoyed the parts about the under-ground railroad and I wished that the author had spent more time there. This is the first book in the series and all in all is was a fairly decent book. If you like books that are more relationship oriented then you will like this one. I will be looking forward to reading the rest of the series.
  2. Spring, Tx
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Family Christian Values
    March 4, 2013
    Elizabeth
    Spring, Tx
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    I enjoyed reading this series for several reasons. Listed below are a few.

    Christian values

    Family importance

    Moral content

    Exciting theme

    Lolatiy to God and Family

    Good descriptive writing
  3. Glendale AZ
    Age: Over 65
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    This helps to understand the ways of the Amish
    December 28, 2012
    Carol Walczak
    Glendale AZ
    Age: Over 65
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    I'm just finishing book 1 and had decided early on to also order books 2 and 3 as I have a few friends who grew up Amish and are now Mennonite...precious people! This book helps anyone understand the trials and misunderstandings between the Amish and the 'English'. I thoroughly enjoyed this 1st book, and am on the last chapter and would advise readers to keep ordering BJ Hoff books. She's a favorite author for myself and my friends.
  4. Statesboro, GA
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Wonderfully Romantic!
    October 19, 2012
    Jeannie Donaldson
    Statesboro, GA
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    This is the first book I have ever read by BJ Hoff, so I came to this book with no expectations. I am well pleased with her style of writing. It is at a very good price right now, so I feel I got a real deal! The cover is nice an sturdy as are the pages. The print is very easy to read.

    Now, to the story... I happen to have several Old Order Amish friends, so I am pretty certain that some of the events depicted in this story are very unlikely to have occurred. This should not be understood to be an actual way that the Amish live, though much of the details are correct. But, then it's fiction, so it's OK, and I enjoyed it immensely. It has good Christian content, and it's always a blessing to read a sweet love story that doesn't include sex and bad language. There are two sets of "sweethearts" in this, which is evident almost from the first few chapters (Not a lot of surprises). However, it was a good story, I really liked the characters, and I am looking forward to Book 2 in this trilogy.

    I recommend it for adult readers.
  5. Ohio
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Great Story of the early Amish in Ohio
    July 10, 2012
    Levana
    Ohio
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    I love B.J. Hoff's books. You are softly drawn in to the story, and are thinking of the characters as family by the end of the book! I recommend her books to everyone.
Displaying items 1-5 of 31
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Ask Christianbook

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Q: when will the 3rd book in the riverhavens series be released called Gideon's Hope

A:

BJ Hoff is expecting to finish "River of Mercy" (the third book in "The Riverhaven Years"), in the Spring of 2011. When an exact release date becomes available we will update our information. Hoff has currently released no information regarding a book entitled "Gideon's Hope".

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