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A Reluctant Bride #1, in the Amish of Birch Creek series, by Kathleen Fuller
Sadie Schrock is about to break a promise to herself. She had never intended to marry. But when her parents are killed and her sister injured, with bills pilling higher and higher, Sadie has to be realistic. And humble…because the man who wants to help her now is brother to the man who’s hurt her most in this world. But their troubles aren’t over yet. Will they be strong enough to stay the course?
Number of Pages: 320
Vendor: Thomas Nelson
Publication Date: 2015
|Dimensions: 8.38 X 5.5 (inches)|
Series: Amish of Birch Creek
The Secrets Beneath, Mysteries of Middlefield Series #2Kathleen FullerTommy Nelson / 2010 / Trade Paperback$7.49 Retail:4.5 Stars Out Of 5 5 Reviews
$9.99Save 25% ($2.50)
Kathleen Fuller is the author of several bestselling novels, including the Hearts of Middlefield novels, the Middlefield Family novels, the Amish of Birch Creek series, and the Amish Letters series as well as a middle-grade Amish series, the Mysteries of Middlefield. Visit her online at KathleenFuller.com, Twitter: @TheKatJam, Facebook: Kathleen Fuller.
Fuller has an amazing capacity for creating damaged characters and giving insights into their brokenness. One of the better voices in the Amish fiction genre.
This promising series debut from Fuller (Middlefield Family series) is edgier than most Amish novels, dealing with difficult and dark issues and featuring well-drawn characters who are tougher than the usual gentle souls found in this genre. Recommended for Amish fiction fans who might like a different flavor.
Sadie and Adens love is both sweet and hard-won, and Adens patience is touching as he wrestles not only with Sadies dilemma, but his own abusive past. Birch Creek is weighed down by the Troyer familys dark secrets, and readers will be interested to see how secondary characters lives unfold as the series continues.' -4-star review
MariIllinoisAge: 55-65Gender: Female5 Stars Out Of 5Page Turner Story Filled with Family and FaithMarch 6, 2017MariIllinoisAge: 55-65Gender: FemaleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5A Reluctant Bride was an amazing story with characters that had suffered greatly in their young lives. Sadie Schrock was the oldest member of her family and was determined to remain single until tragedy struck. Bishop Emmanuel Troyer was determined to see Sadie married to his son Solomon, who Sadie could not stand looking at due to a trauma when they were younger. What is behind the bishop's insistence of a quick marriage when she is grieving for her parents and her sister Joanna is recovering from the accident? Who will rescue Sadie from marrying Solomon Troyer?
Readers of Amish genre will enjoy this page turner story with multiple twists and turns involving well developed and true to life issues. My emotions were all over the place with the losses and pain the characters were dealing with. A Reluctant Heart is filled with family, friends, determination, deceit, forgiveness, faith and God's amazing love and grace. I'm thankful I have the next two books in this series, An Unbroken Heart and A Love Made New, to see what is happening in the lives of these characters as I kept thinking of them after closing the book.
MagisterMichiganAge: 55-65Gender: female4 Stars Out Of 5Love covers allNovember 18, 2016MagisterMichiganAge: 55-65Gender: femaleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5Confession time - I read this first book of the Amish of Birch Creek series last. I enjoyed the second and third books as gifts, but wouldn't count them among my favorites . Then I found my local library had this volume, and WOW! I devoured it in less than 24 hours. It was by far my favorite of of the series, though it wasn't a "cheerful" read. It begins with an assault that would have been a rape, except for a quick knee to the groin. Then there's multiple acts of emotional and physical abuse within the family of the Amish bishop. Throw in a fatal buggy accident and stacks of unpayable bills, and you're probably wondering how anyone could recommend, much less enjoy, this novel.
Kathleen Fuller is at her best showing the transforming power of love and courage in these broken families of Birch Creek. Aden and Sadie are forced by unusual circumstances to enter into a platonic marriage, but God's grace intervenes to turn their pain into joy. As in the other books in this series, forgiveness is the key to this well-written metamorphosis. Years of guilt and shame and hatred no longer burden them when her characters face their future with faith instead of wallowing in memories of what might have been. The contrast between Sol and his father is most striking. One is troubled by outward sins of the flesh, but repents. The other is respected in the community, but hides a heart full of greed and cruelty until he is publicly exposed. One finds forgiveness and a new life, while the other cannot face the truth and abandons his church and family.
This book is more than an Amish romance. If you are looking for a love stronger than betrayal, welcome to Birch Creek.
KavRCanadaGender: female5 Stars Out Of 5Faith, forgiveness and the healing power of loveJune 2, 2016KavRCanadaGender: femaleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5An Amish marriage of convenience story is a rare thing -- and oh so compelling when it comes within the pages of a book like A Reluctant Bride. Rife with emotion, this novel deals with difficult subject matters -- abuse, greed, misuse of power. I couldn't help but think about 'the sins of the fathers' as I read about Aden's family life. He appears weak at times, but there is an inner core of strength that comes to light as the story progresses.
And poor Sadie -- reeling with grief and worry only to find herself faced with an impossible choice that will alter her life, and the lives of her sisters, forever. She doesn't trust her new husband and he doesn't blame her. They establish a wary truce that is tested time and time again. And just when the first stirrings of fledgling trust begin to surface, evil secrets stir up even more trouble. A stirring story of faith and forgiveness and the healing power of love.
ADFehlArden, NCAge: 25-34Gender: female4 Stars Out Of 5Deeper, Darker Themes Than I Was ExpectingDecember 8, 2015ADFehlArden, NCAge: 25-34Gender: femaleQuality: 0Value: 0Meets Expectations: 0Not your average Amish life novel! Not that I've read a ton of them. In fact, most I've read have been those I've been sent for review from publishers or ones my mother requested I read. But yeah, of the small stack I've covered, this one has one of the more unique plots I've come across, and incorporates some darker themes not typically addressed in this type of novel.
Let me start off by warning sensitive readers that this book does open with a scene of sexual assault. Not full-on rape, but there is extremely aggressive kissing from a guy that won't take no for an answer.
Sadie Schrock is an Amish teen running an errand for her parents (who own the local general store) one day when she is accosted by Bishop Emmanuel Troyer's eldest son, Sol. Sol is clearly drunk and keeps trying to make advances toward Sadie, which understandably makes her extremely uncomfortable. Sol's younger brother Adan walks up on the scene, senses Sol is up to something bad, but quickly becomes too frightened to fight off his older brother, Instead he chooses to run off, leaving Sadie to fend for herself. Sadie gets yanked into a nearby cornfield where Sol tries to carry out a forceful gropefest, until Sadie finds opportunity to bite & kick her way to being free of him.
Six years later, everyone is in their 20s now. Sol is still a hot-tempered, sexually frustrated alcoholic, Adan's still guilt ridden over his cowardice, and Sadie is still struggling with emotional scars from the attack. Her parents want her to marry but Sadie cannot bring herself to be at ease around any men. Her mother basically forces her into attending a party but Sadie is floored when she finds out the party is being held at the Troyer home. Sadie manages to make a brief appearance before the anxiety gets to be too much and she has to go home. Shortly after the night of the party, Sadie's parents are killed in a traffic accident. Sadie, being the eldest, is left to take over the running of the store and family finances, which she comes to discover are waaaay in the red. When she goes to the bishop to ask for financial help from the community funds, his bright idea is for her to marry Sol, but the reader comes to find out that the bishop has his own less than honorable intentions for wanting the marriage. Seeing this as his moment to remedy past wrongs, Adan steps up and says Sadie already promised herself to him. Sadie obviously has her reasons to hate either match, but with limited choices, agrees to marry Adan. But how does one make it work with someone who so painfully wronged her when she most needed help?
I went into this pretty much expecting your typical Amish romance but was pleasantly surprised at how much deeper it turned out to be. This story tackles such topics as the power a sincere apology can have; finding strength to go against what you've been taught your entire life when you realize those teachings are actually based in ignorance or prejudice; struggles with alcoholism and why some people are driven to self medicate emotional wounds; and allowing people who have wronged you the opportunity to change (in turn allowing yourself to let go of the hateful feelings towards them). The story also looks at suspicious behavior among church officials, which brings up the topic of what do we do when the people we put on pedestals let us down?
The romance unfolds pretty much the way you would expect, it was more the other themes that led me to give this one a four star rating. I'd say if you've liked this type of story in the past and would like to try them again, but have maybe become burnt out by the same ol' plots being churned out in recent years, this might be a good one to try out as a refresher.
POTENTIAL TRIGGER WARNING: As I mentioned above, this book does open with a scene of sexual assault. Also, two of the characters later on in the story reveal that they were victims of child abuse.
FTC DISCLAIMER: TNZ Fiction Guild provided me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. The opinions above are entirely my own.
Donna L Martin4 Stars Out Of 5A Reluctant Bride, but for how long?December 6, 2015Donna L MartinQuality: 4Value: 3Meets Expectations: 3Stories written from an Amish point of view will always capture my attention. It is my natural curiosity for another culture and Ms. Fuller's book does not disappoint. Full of cultural references as well as suspense and romance, A RELUCTANT BRIDE will leave readers eagerly turning the next page to see if this reluctant bride stays reluctant for long. A good addition to any library.