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Fizzy Pop4 Stars Out Of 5Irene and Alice have the ability to see people for their worth, not their deeds.October 12, 2018Fizzy PopQuality: 4Value: 4Meets Expectations: 4Working my way through the Amish of Hart County series has been interesting. I mean that in a totally good way! These books were released over a period of time that I am spanning in a matter of weeks. That gives a different perspective on the books, inconsistencies I pick up on that other's may not due to the span of time between books, the ease of falling back in with the communities and characters, and of course the fact that it's a subset (of sorts) of a favorite genre so it's easy reading. I mean, let's face it, Shelley Shepard Gray takes Amish fiction to a different level with layers of gritty reality and not all sunshine and roses lives for her characters. Life isn't always idealistic and simple, even for the Amish and I appreciate that she can weave touches of real 'Englisher' life as it impacts the Amish communities into her books. I was super excited to get back with Mark and Calvin from 'His Guilt' in this book. Calvin deserves his story, even if he is no longer Amish. It was interesting as well since I have read the 'An Amish Homecoming' (releasing 10/16!) novella collection before reading this so I sorta knew what happened and got a glimpse into the future of Irene as well.
There are a couple of little things I need to address first. And apologies now as there will most likely be a spoiler or twenty while doing so. First, as I've mentioned in previous reviews of this series, there's a disconnect about what has happened and which community of the county they happened in. This book starts in February, not long after the Christmas adventures that were in 'The Gift' yet nothing is mentioned of those events. Nothing. I'm totally OK with that on one level but on another I feel like it would still be a concern for this small community. Secondly, I feel like the DEA/gang angle that Calvin was in was overly simplified and a bit rushed. I mean, who goes around talking about being in a gang? It feels a bit outdated. And it also feels a bit, OK a LOT, simplified. However, I get it. It's a book about the Amish and less about surviving in and spying on a gang. Lastly, I really really struggled with wrapping my head around the idea that a super sheltered, overly coddled, Amish girl would have the backing of her family to pursue a non-Amish future. I mean, Alice was so very sheltered and almost smothered by her parents yet her family comes together and makes way for her to travel to Calvin, a known bad guy, former Amish man, with no intentions of returning to the faith. Really? It felt backward. Awkward. And just, I mean it's amazing they love their daughter so much they are willing to pave the way toward happiness but on the other hand you NEVER see the Amish open to the idea of their children leaving their faith. They are usually trying to pull them back.
I said finally but there's one more thing I need to address, actually two. First the suspense in this book came out of no where, felt twinged with desperation, and didn't fit to the rest of the story. I totally saw things coming for a different direction (you know. . .the gang angle). With that said the gang angle was weird too. I mean, here is Irene trusting a stranger, an Englisher, almost from the git go. And he's not a good person! And she's just sure I'll get in your truck. Sure I'll go to a trail that will be pretty empty and isolated this time of year but it's public so why not. For a girl who didn't trust the hairs on her own head she fell into whatever it was with West pretty tootin' fast. All that said I feel like you are shaking your head how I can love this book when I have just went on a rant of negativity. Here's the thing. The bad guys don't always lose. The good guys don't always win. Sometimes it's hard to tell them apart. The bad guys aren't all bad, every person on the planet has redeeming qualities that are separate from their choices in life. Everyone has the ability to find redemption and I think West found that at the end. Perhaps not how he saw it coming but still. But wait, guess what, the good guys aren't always all good, they have also made poor choices and regrets, every person on the planet has sinned. Even the good guys mess up. I think that Irene and Alice have the ability to see people for their worth, not their deeds. And that benefited to guys who were seen as 'bad'. Yutzey was a story-line that I didn't even need but you have that as well. It fits with the good guy/bad guy theme. Just cuz you're Amish doesn't make you pure. Just cuz you're English doesn't make you evil. It's there in all of us. There's a scene in the book, where they are first dealing with the vandalism at the school that embodies this for me. Calvin reminds Alice that we can't do everything but we can do some things. We have to prioritize. Good and bad, we can't do it all. Which way that goes it all based on how we prioritize our lives. Ya'll that right there is why I love this book.
RyleighsMomIndianapolis, IndianaAge: 35-44Gender: female5 Stars Out Of 5Loved itSeptember 30, 2018RyleighsMomIndianapolis, IndianaAge: 35-44Gender: femaleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5As everyone else has pointed out, the books in this series by Gray are stand-alone novels. While I'm ok with that approach at times, I've found that I'd much rather it not be the case with this series. I *need* to know more about each cast of characters in these books! Lol
I loved the suspense in His Risk. I loved the characters. I loved the range of emotions this story evoked. My only wish is that there is closure to each story line in one of the remainder-to-come books in this series. I can't wait for the next title to arrive!
Yvette K.4 Stars Out Of 5Amish Romantic Suspense, 4th in seriesSeptember 8, 2018Yvette K.Quality: 5Value: 5This unlikely romance brings Calvin Fisher, younger brother of Mark Fisher from His Guilt (book 2 in the series, so better read in order but not strictly necessary), back to Hart County where he soon becomes acquainted with the Amish woman housesitting across the street from Mark and Neeta's home, Alice Yoder. Suspicion and danger follow both Calvin and Alice, as he attempts to navigate his status as a gang member while an undercover DEA agent and the growing pull of his Amish roots and her mundane life as a primary school teacher is threatened by her new association with Calvin as well as escalating personal attacks.
In keeping with the series, this is not your usual Amish fiction story, and the subplot with gang leader West adds unexpected depth and nuance to his character and the novel as a whole. While not necessarily the most engaging of the novels in this series, it is still an interesting and entertaining work by one of the best writers of Amish fiction.
Recommended for those who enjoy suspense with sweet romance and Amish fiction with a bit of an edge.
ibjoy1953VirginiaAge: 55-65Gender: female4 Stars Out Of 5My Favorite of the SeriesMay 24, 2018ibjoy1953VirginiaAge: 55-65Gender: femaleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 4MY THOUGHTS ON THIS BOOK
His Risk is another enjoyable read in The Amish of Hart County series by Shelley Shepard Gray. This is Calvin story. Calvin Fisher has been away from the Amish community for 14 years, only returning because his brother is ill and needs him. But then he meets Alice, and his life now has meaning, like never before. But will his dangerous past keep Calvin from ever having someone in his life like Alice?
I think His Risk is my favorite of this series so far. I liked Calvin from the start, because even though he had this bad-boy attitude, you can still see his deep down roots of being raised in an Amish home. As Calvins life begins to unfold, it seems he so far in over his head that there is no hope for him. And I kept thinking, how will Ms. Gray unwind this story and come to a likeable ending. But as always, this author keeps you on the edge of your seat, makes you think you know where the story is going, and then throws a few major twists and turns to the story and comes up with and ending that really Wows you!
I encourage you to pick up a copy of His Risk to read for your enjoyment! I received this book from Litfuse to read and review. 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 Commissions 16 CFR, Part 55.
chubbs99Age: 55-65Gender: female5 Stars Out Of 5His RiskMay 4, 2018chubbs99Age: 55-65Gender: femaleQuality: 0Value: 0Meets Expectations: 0This was a great series, great author