Shelley Shepard Gray in her new book, "Ray Of Light" Book Two in The Days of Redemption series published by Avon Inspire takes us into the lives of Roman Keim and Amanda Yoder.
From the back cover: When two hearts connect on a beach in Florida, is it a brief romance . . . or the start of a lasting love?
After family secrets come to light, causing an uproar, Roman Keim is taking a much-needed vacation to Pinecraft, the Amish snowbird community in Florida. The warm weather is a welcome break from the bleak Ohio winter, as is a week off from all his family's drama. But Roman's own drama begins when he meets his next-door neighbors: Amanda Yoder, a beautiful young widow, and her adorable daughter, Regina.
In the two years since her husband died, Amanda has never looked at another man. She certainly doesn't intend to get married again. But she can't deny that there's something special between her and Roman. As his week in Pinecraft comes to a close, Amanda knows that, in spite of her attempt to remain distant, she's given Roman a piece of her heart. And her daughter seems to have fallen in love, too.
Is there hope for a second chance at love for Amanda? Or will duty call Roman home first, far from the two women who have captured his heart?
I made a mistake. I did not read the first book in this series, "Daybreak". 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. Amanda is a widow of two years with a daughter, Regina. She is not looking for a new husband, though she did promise her late husband that she would move on with her life. Roman is on vacation for just one week, moves in next door to Amanda, and makes friends with Regina. This serves as the catalyst for the relationship between Roman and Amanda. Amanda lives in Florida, Roman lives in Ohio and he is only going to be there for one week. How is this relationship ever going to work out? Ms. Gray deals with issues of the death of a spouse and moving into a new relationship, how a child deals with the death of a parent and accepting a new one and creating a blended family. Not easy subjects. In the hands of a lesser author working with all these elements might not work but Ms. Gray is so skillful this story shines brightly. Ms. Gray makes you care for all the characters and their journey. And it is a romance. Roman and Amanda have to learn how to trust God and each other to deal with their issues so that they can let go and embrace their future. It is watching all of this happen that is just plain fun and exciting. Well done Ms. Gray.
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."
We are on a return visit with the Keim family. Viola is planning her wedding and has a trip planned to Belize to get to know where she will be living with Edward. There are also some secrets that have been hidden for years that are about to come out.
This story is focused a lot on Roman Keim. It begins with him in Pinecraft FL, and him having a well deserved, first time vacation. What a wonderful time for him, seeing the Ocean, and then seeing a beautiful Amish Woman and her delightful Daughter.
Amanda Yoder has been a widow for two years, and is still lost. She had promised her husband that she would start of live again, but she hasn't been able to take that step. Now Roman has entered her world. He takes a big shine to her two year old daughter Regina. You will love the sweet antics between Roman and Regina. Has Amanda found another man to love? Will things be able to work out for them...with her living in FL and he in Ohio?
There are some very serious decisions to be made, both in their private lives, and in their religious life.
Don't miss this continuing story, and if you haven't read the first book...do so you are in for a real treat.
I received this book through Litfuse Publicity Book Tours, and the Publisher Harper Collins, and was not required to give a positive review.
I realize this is the second book in a series and you are suppose to get the "whole story" after three books. But there were just too many unanswered questions when I closed this book. There was no definitive beginning-middle-end; something every writer must have to ensure that "take-away" value. Regina stole the story with her sweet, vulnerable nature. Elsie is the true woman of faith, though she is riding an out-of-control roller-coaster. Many real opportunities were missed in this book to give the reader some closure. One can only hope book three clarifies and rectifies these DANGLING lines.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. At first I was a little hesitant. I didn't read the first book and in the beginning it seemed like there were a lot of characters and I was having trouble following, but I didn't have to worry for long because I soon settled into a familiarity with all the characters. I loved that it was such a sweet story and not only was it a sweet story, but it was such a moving and touching tale of moving on past loss and grief. That was probably the best element of the story. We shroud grief so much in our culture that we don't always talk about how we move on, we just expect people to do it. But this story, this story was such a moving example of the conflicting emotions around moving on. It made me laugh, it made me cry, and it made me wonder about the people in my life who might still be grieving and how to help them, even though I'm sure that was not the intent, that it's not like a self-help book or non-fiction book. I also love how the title, Ray of Light, can apply to so many of the characters in the book. It's fun to make all those connections. I'd recommend this book to anyone who likes clean romance, as well as to anyone who enjoys Amish fiction.
Disclosure: I received a copy of this book for free in order to provide an honest review.
This story picks up where book one left off. All the family drama in the Keim familly has having proven to be more than Roman Keim wanted to deal with. He decided to take a well deserved vacation going from ice and snow of Ohio to the sunny beaches in Florida. His cousins have a condo right on the beach and they have invited him to come spend a week. It has been a healing experience for him. He is not a very outgoing person but since a lovely young woman, in the condo next door, caught his eye his world has become a whirlwind of emotions. Which is very good. The woman as well as her darling little four year old girl that have taken up a special spot in his heart.
Amanda Yoder is a widow of two years and she too is taking a well deserved vacation. The minute Roman Keim walk up to her on the beach he was like a ray of light. She could feel herself healing because of this handsome caring man. He was not only a healing balm for her but more so for her daughter, Regina. Regina did not trust anyone but to her surprise opened up like a flower to the sun. Amanda does not want to let go of her deceased husbands memory yet she is drawn to the possibility of a new love in her future.
The author writes of healing for so many of the characters in this book. Giving up the past to God and and going forward for the plans he has for them. Some of the characters cling to the pain of the past not so willing to give up what is eating them alive making them bitter and depressed. Why is it so hard to let go of the past? My heart ached for all the characters and was glad to see the healing process in all of them take place. My favorite characters in this book were Regina and Elsie they had more strength than all of them in the end.
I highly recommend this book.
Disclosure: I received a free copy of this book from Litfuse Publicity Group/Harper Collins for review. I was in no way compensated for this review. This review is my honest opinion.