I really enjoyed Thankful, the second book in the Return to Sugarcreek series. If you have not read the first, don't worry, Thankful can stand alone.
This was such a sweet story. Christina and Aden are both really likeable characters. Right from the beginning I felt connected to them and really wanted everything to work out for them. The chemistry was very strong between them in the story and watching Aden attempt to pull away from that attraction made for a very interesting book. I loved the way Aden and Christina's relationship played out and was so happy with how they ended up coming together.
A side-story that is a continuing thread from the first book of the series, Hopeful, follows Ben and Judith into unknown territory as they begin their journey into adoption and foster care. I was a little nervous as I read about Judith's emotional state through part of the story. I wasn't sure how things would play out for them, but the author did a great job of showing God's grace and allowing Judith to see that He had a plan for their family that was bigger than just Judith's wants or needs. It was a very touching addition to the book.
I loved this book from start to finish and recommend it to fans of Amish fiction.
Shelley Shepard Gray in her new book, "Thankful" Book Two in the Return to Sugarcreek series published by Avon Inspire takes us into the lives of Christina Kempf and Aden Reese.
From the back cover: From bestselling author Shelley Shepard Gray comes a tender story of faith, family, and finding love with the Amish of Sugarcreek
Christina Kempf has always felt that God chose Aden Reese to be her husband. When they were children, Aden was there to save her when she fell through a patch of thin ice, and he's been by her side ever since. After his parents died in a car accident ten years ago, the Kempfs raised Aden as one of their own, and everyone sees Aden and Christina as brother and sister. But Christina has never given up hope that Aden will one day see her as the perfect woman for him . . . and ask her to be his wife.
Despite what his heart wants, Aden can't find it in himself to repay the Kempfs' kindness with an admission that his feelings for Christina have only ever been romantic. But when she's pressured by her parents to court more broadly, Christina begins to accept the attentions of Sugarcreek's young men.
Now Aden must make a choice. Will he stand by and watch the love of his life slip away? Or will he risk losing the love and trust of the family he holds dear to tell Christina how he truly feels?
I made a mistake. I did not read the first book in this series, "Hopeful". But that is okay as Ms. Gray did a wonderful job in keeping this a stand alone within the series. It helps if you know what happened in the first book however it does not detract from the current goings on. I do not believe that I have ever read a plot like this one. Aden is in love with Christina and she in love with him. Due to tragedy Aden moves in with the Kempfs and is seen as part of the family. Now Aden is torn as Christina is forced to court but he doesn't want to seem disloyal to the family. This is an exceptional story with exceptional characters that you care for and so want them to get together. I liked it a lot and am so looking forward to the next book in this series.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Litfuse Publicity Group. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
The second book in the "Return to Sugarcreek" series. It was good to catch up with some old friends. Judith and Ben Knox are considering adopting and becoming foster parents to a child whose mom is in prison. And Christina Kempf has lived with Aden Reese since his parents were killed in an accident. She has more than brotherly feelings for him. Does he feel the same? Also, Christina had a near drowning in a local pond when she was younger. Can she overcome her paralyzing fear? The character really change and grow throughout the story as they step out of their comfort zones. Their actions seem very realistic and the growth and increasing faith in the characters is a pleasure to watch. I'm part of Shelley Shepard Gray's group "The Buggy Bunch." I received a free copy but I also purchased a second copy.
I have thoroughly enjoyed EVERY book written by Shelley Shepard Gray, and this book was no exception. Upon picking it up from my mailbox, I had this compelling urge to read it immediately!! However, that was not to be, as we were preparing for a vacation in Lancaster County, PA. BUT, I did read the novel, while in Amish country. How appropriate to hear the horses and buggies travelling down the road, as I read this Amish tale.
Right from the first chapter, I was intrigued with the main characters. They had very real problems that presented challenges that seemed to be insurmountable in the Amish faith. Christina became a friend who I wanted to enfold in my arms and assure that everything would work out just fine, if she waited for God to work on His plan for her life. Aden proves to be an honest, caring individual who any girl would love to have for her partner in life. But was that to ever to be possible??? Would he wait for that still, quiet voice? This couple had a very different and yes, difficult relationship. Could they overcome the odds?
The plot was well developed and had just the right amount of suspense alongside the growing romance to keep the reader interested. The topic of adoption and caring for an orphan was dealt with in a sensitive, realistic manner. Being thankful for what you have and are given is the theme throughout the book. Also addressed, is the topic of fostering a child of a different race. These twists and turns in the plot really made me think of all I have and should be thankful for. We all need to stop and think of how blessed we really are!!
Definitely a five star book!! Book Two of the "Return to Sugarcreek" Series is one that you do not want to miss. Totally different slant on events in the Amish community!
This book was supplied by Litfuse in exchange for a fair and honest review.