I can honestly say that any book that I see that is written from Shelley Shepard Gray will be one that will find a permanent home in my growing collection of her books. In her latest novel from the Return to Sugarcreek Series, Thankful compromises a couple of stories with being thankful as their central theme. My favorite is that of Christina Kempf and Aden Reese, who experienced a tragedy one day when ice skating, as Christina fell through the ice. Aden successfully saved her but would be the one link that keeps them from moving forward in life. Aden joined the Kempf family when he lost his parents as a child and has spent the last ten years growing up feeling like part of the family. Only the one thing that hasn't changed is his feelings for Christina go deeper than brotherly affection. But how can he find a way to court her while still living under the same roof where her family views him as more of a brother to Christina than a suitor?
Christina spends her time working as a server at the Sugarcreek Inn ran by Jana Kent. It's the promotion she's been waiting for and Jana is hoping to make some changes in her own life. Running the restaurant since her husband's death has left her with virtually no time for anything else except wondering how she will make ends meet. She doesn't even have time to visit her now grown children, since there is no one else to help her manage it. Her friend Pippa suggests that she might be ready to find a partner to share the burden of running the restaurant as well as give her some extra time for a life outside of her job. It seems like the ideal suggestion especially when she notices the attention of Ross Capshaw, the newest officer to join the police force in Sugarcreek and it seems he is just as interested in her as well.
Judith Knox has been dreaming of being a mother since she married Ben but it seems as it God has other plans. When she finally comes to terms with not being able to conceive, Ben suggests that they consider adoption. Just when she thinks all the pieces are going to fall into place and their social worker, Bernie finds them a child, she learns that he is only available to foster. The baby's mother is serving time in prison and she needs to find someone to care for him as soon as possible. Just as soon as Judith and Ben agree they are in for another surprise, the baby Bernie has in mind for foster is an African American baby named James. Judith had hoped she wouldn't have to answer any questions about her decision to foster over adopt and now it's going to be quite apparent that the baby isn't Judith and Ben's. But a mother's love shows that love goes beyond the color of our skin!
I received Thankful from Shelley Shepard Gray compliments of Avon Inspired Books, a division of Harper Collins Publishers and Litfuse Publicity for my honest review. I did not receive any monetary compensation for a favorable review and the opinions expressed here are strictly my own. I absolutely love the theme of thankfulness appearing in uniquely different ways through these three situations with the characters in Sugarcreek. It reminds us that we need to take time in our busy lives to be truly grateful for all our blessings, even the not so perfect ones as Shelley reminds us. Life is simply too short to think we will be granted with the possibility of a tomorrow and God reminds us that thankfulness is something that we should practice more often throughout our day. Shelley also includes a recipe for Peanut Butter Pie and a Reader Discussion guide at the conclusion as well as a sneak peek into book three coming soon. I easily give this one a 5 out of 5 stars and can't wait to go back to Sugarcreek again soon!
Thankful is the second story in the Return to Sugarcreek series. Just like all of the other books by Shelley, I loved reading it and was sad when it was finished.
Christina and Aden have known each other since they were young children. Aden was taken in by Christina's parents, and to everyone else they are just like brother and sister. If life was only that simple!! Christina and Aden have a beautiful connection that goes beyond just mere friendship, but even they can't seem to let each other know how they truly feel. Once again, Shelley Shepard Gray writes a beautiful love story that has you cheering for the victories and also sensing the frustration when life just doesn't go as you planned.
Even though this story belongs to Christina and Aden, you will become acquainted with Jana. She is the owner of the Sugarcreek Inn. She is working to keep her husband's dream alive, but now that her husband has passed, she is ready for what her life now has to offer. Enter the handsome policeman, Ross. Is he ready to make this journey with her? And, Judith and Ben, who are familiar faces with the Sugarcreek books. They have now come to terms with the fact that they might never have their own baby. With much love to offer, they decide it would be worth it to become foster parents to James.
Thankful is a story about God's timing and how important it is in our everyday life. When we leave our problems and circumstances in the hands of the One who is able to make everything work out we find that we have a lot to be thankful for. In the story of all the characters in Thankful, we see that this is case.
Don't hesitate to try all of Shelley's books. You will not be disappointed. :)
Thankful is the second book in the Return to Sugarcreek series. Once again Shelley Shepard Gray has written a story that will touch your heart, and pull you right into the lives of her characters right from the very first page when we meet Aden Reese and Christina Kempf.
From the moment Aden saves Christina's life she knows he is the one for her, but because her parents have taken Aden in and raised him as one of their own, they both struggle with their feelings for one another as they are raised as siblings.
We get to re-visit with Ben and Judith Knox and learn more about their struggles of not being able to have children and their decision to foster a child, and something a little surprising that I was not expecting was we get to learn more about Jana Kent who is the owner of Sugarcreek Inn and how certain events in her life have brought her to where she is today and some of the things she is struggling with.
Thankful is a story about facing fears and being able to push through them whether those fears are founded from heartache, pain, or fears that they face every day. Some of them are faced alone and some together, but once they have faced their fears they all find that they are "Thankful" for everything that God has blessed them with.
Thankful is a beautiful heartfelt book. I enjoyed getting lost in Sugarcreek again. This book definitely is worth the read.
I loved this book from the first page until the last.
It has been a long time since a story pulled on my heartstrings and this one captured me from page one.
Aden and Christina have loved each other since they were children, but an accident has placed a barrier between them. Will they learn to overcome the obstacles or will they continue through life without confessing their love?
Judith and Ben have wanted a child of their own for a long time, but circumstances have prevented it from becoming a reality. Can they learn to love a foster child and provide him a stable home even though they might lose him in the end? With the Lord's guidance they weather the storm and decide with His help, they can withstand anything.
Jana, the owner of Sugarcreek Inn, has been a widow for twelve years. Will she finally be able to find love?
Shelley Shepard Gray has written a moving story that will capture your heart. Once I started reading this book I couldn't put it down. I was sad when the story ended, because I wanted to remain immersed in the character's lives a little while longer.
I feel in love with some of these characters in the first book in this series Hopeful, and Thankful the second book, does not disappoint. We are reunited with Judith and Ben and their desire to have a child, and how their lives become full of joy.
The main characters in this book are Christina Kempf and Aden Reese; these two have been raised together as brother and sister. Now how can that go further and they fall in love? When you are raised as siblings and under strict religious circumstances, how can they come together in any other way?
I so enjoyed this return visit and the author has done a wonderful job making me feel like a part of the community. We also have a side story of Jan who is the owner of the Sugarcreek Inn, where Christina works. She is at a crossroads in her life, and we get to enjoy some the things that come wrapped in roses to her.
I never wanted this to end, but am so happy that the third book in this series, Joyful, which is scheduled for release in September. Don't miss this wonderful read, am so glad I was blessed to have read it!
I received this book through Edelwiss, and the publisher Avon Inspire, and was not required to give a positive review.