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Ties That Bind #1, in the Amish of Summer Grove series, by Cindy Woodsmall
Five years ago, Quill Schlabach persuaded Ariana’s friend to leave the Amish Community. He is back in Summer Grove and now has plans to lure another girl away. Ariana wants to put a stop to this. What is the hidden truth that Quill learns about Ariana and her family? Is he out to harm or help her?
Number of Pages: 352
Publication Date: 2015
|Dimensions: 8.25 X 5.50 (inches)|
Series: Amish of Summer Grove
Twenty-year-old Ariana Brenneman loves her family and the Old Ways. She has two aspirations: open a café in historic Summer Grove to help support her familys ever-expanding brood and to keep any other Amish from being lured into the Englisch life by Quill Schlabach.
Five years ago Quill, along with her dear friend Frieda, ran off together, and Ariana still carries the wounds of that betrayal. When she unexpectedly encounters him, she soon realizes he has plans to help someone else she loves leave the Amish.
Despite how things look, Quills goal has always been to protect Ariana from anything that may hurt her, including the reasons he left. After returning to Summer Grove on another matter, he unearths secrets about Ariana and her family that she is unaware of. His love and loyalty to her beckons him to try to win her trust and help her find a way to buy the cafébecause when she learns the truth that connects her and a stranger named Skylar Nash, Quill knows it may upend her life forever.
Ties That Bind is the first novel in the Amish of Summer Grove series.
GazpachoHarrison, MIAge: 55-65Gender: Female5 Stars Out Of 5Excellent character driven Amish fictionFebruary 2, 2018GazpachoHarrison, MIAge: 55-65Gender: FemaleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5On the surface, Ariana's Amish family was typical for their small community of Summer Grove. Many siblings, in their teens or older milled about the kitchen in the early mornings getting ready for a full day of activities either with small children in tow or assisting those families with small children. Some like Ariana were preparing breakfast and others were getting ready to do chores. A contentedness pervaded the atmosphere most of the time. They enjoyed each others' company. But under the many layers of familiarity lay some rumblings of discontent. No one spoke openly about these feelings, but they were there nonetheless. It was a vague awareness that something disruptive could dispel their peace at any moment and change the entire family dynamics. What would be the trigger?
This is the first of three parts in the series. It features an unexpected twist of fortune that seems plausible, and possibly even probable. There are many great and positive things in this family saga, such as relationship building that I absolutely love. However, it seems inevitable that tension builds and two worlds collide with Ariana's good friend caught up in the middle. Don't expect a major resolution of the primary tension by the end of this first book, because it builds and leads directly into the next book. You definitely need to prepare to read the second book right away because of the high amount of suspense and heart break. This was so well written, that I was feeling with the Brenneman family when circumstances broke wide open.
It's getting to the point where I will read any book by this author because they are that good. Ms. Woodsmall puts her entire heart into what she writes. What she creates is impactful, both heart warming and heart wrenching, view shifting, and absolutely real. She's a writer that knows how to pull heartstrings with what she writes. In this particular series, she plays on misunderstandings that come between close friends when one party must keep secrets for the sake of confidentiality. The secret he must keep makes Quill look bad in the eyes of the Amish. Such is the misunderstanding that it rocks Ariana's world because she has lost trust in her good friend. And other circumstances are wearing her trust in others very thin.
My favorite part of the book centers again around Ariana. She is stubborn and that persistence is what helps her family keep their heads above turbulent waters. She is determined to buy a cafe in downtown Summer Grove so that she can lift her family out of the poverty they have been in for years. She works hard and finally succeeds beyond even her expectations. I couldn't help but root for her efforts to do something so thoughtful for her family.
VeronicaAge: 25-34Gender: female5 Stars Out Of 5Fascinating!August 17, 2017VeronicaAge: 25-34Gender: femaleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5This was a wonderful, fascinating story! Twenty-year-old Ariana Brenneman loves to bake and wants to open a cafe to help her large family have a little more breathing room financially. She and her twin brother have been saving for years toward that goal. She's just started dating a man she could get serious about and her life starts to feel like it's all coming together. Suddenly, she runs into Quill, the man she loved as a teenager who had left the Amish community behind along with her good friend. It's been five long years and she finds out that he's been helping people leave the Amish and someone in her family is next.
Quill had his reasons for leaving, ones he still can't share with Ariana. He wants to protect her, though, and soon is asked by her parents to dig into the circumstances surrounding her birth. He wants Ariana to trust him again, but knows that when the truth comes out, he may lose it forever. As he digs for the truth, he also tries to help Ariana figure out a way to earn the rest of the money so she can close on the cafe. He knows she'll need that victory to deal with the truth that's coming to light about her connection to a girl named Skylar Nash.
There were a couple unique aspects that really made this book stand out. Most Amish books don't deal with the negative aspects of Amish life so to show a man who not only has left the Amish, but is also helping others leave was interesting. The situation with Ariana and Skylar was fascinating, too, but I won't reveal what that was about! I really liked Ariana and her twin, especially the situation with his unrequited love for a certain girl. Both Ariana and Quill had a strong faith. I liked the interesting conversations they would have. Quill was really an upstanding guy who put other people ahead of himself. There were some cute romantic moments. I'm excited to see where the series goes! There were so many fascinating situations to be resolved. Cindy Woodsmall is one of my favorite authors of Amish fiction. I highly recommend it!
I received this book free from Waterbrook Multnomah in exchange for an honest review.
LucyWVAge: 55-65Gender: female5 Stars Out Of 5Things Arent As They SeemJuly 28, 2017LucyWVAge: 55-65Gender: femaleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5Ties That Bind is book one in the Amish of Summer Grove series and I suggest you read them in order, as this is a story you don't want to miss. It grabs your attention from the first sentence of, " Gnarled fingers of smoke seeped under the closed door of the old house" and doesn't disappoint throughout. This is not just an Amish story, but a story with depth of characters and real emotional struggles. The characters continue to grow and change and some unexpected turns take place that engross the reader. This is a journey that I'm glad I have started. You won't be disappointed with Ms. Woodsmall's gifted way of capturing the word on paper. I highly recommend this.
I received a complimentary copy from the publisher. The honest review and opinions are my own and were not required.
Blooming with BooksBloomer, WIAge: 35-44Gender: female5 Stars Out Of 5An emotional journey of discovery and familyJuly 26, 2017Blooming with BooksBloomer, WIAge: 35-44Gender: femaleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5Ties That Bind
The Amish of Summer Grove #1
By Cindy Woodsmall
Ariana Brenneman loves Her Amish life and can't understand why anyone would ever want to leave it behind and face separation from friends and family left behind. And she's never been able to get over the fact that the man she had hoped to marry turned his back on his Amish roots five years ago.
But Quill Schlabach has made a reappearance in Summer Grove and Ariana fears that his presence means yet more Amish are about to slip away and be lost to her forever. But Ariana only knows the story that was told to her she doesn't know it all (and the reader is left to discover the truth as the story unfolds). But an even bigger secret is about to be revealed, one that could threaten everything Ariana has ever known and unfortunately for Quill he is about to find himself smack-dab in the center of everything.
Meanwhile living a life that is as unAmish as one could possibly get is Skylar Nash a young woman who is struggling with who she is and even her totally dysfunctional family. Skylar's passion is acting and the life of a performer. Unfortunately, she feels she plays the part of failure all too well when it comes to her day-to-day life. She is on a slow descent into a path she may never get out of. And Skylar's actions are about to set her on a path she doesn't want.
What are the ties that bind one together as a family? Is it blood? Is it the household in which one was raised? And what makes a community a community? This is a question that is woven throughout this story but don't expect an answer by the end as this is but the first in a three book series. (But don't fret book 2 is out and the conclusion will be available in August).
This is a story that will touch the heart of any reader. Secrets, betrayal, and family are the focus of this book and I for one can't wait to see where the second book Fraying at the Edge leads.
I was provided a review copy of this book by the publisher with no expectations of a positive review. All opinions expressed are my own.
BebeLee5 Stars Out Of 5Great start to a great seriesJuly 24, 2017BebeLeeQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5Ties That Bind is a captivating and at times, heartbreaking read that will draw you in from the beginning. This book is the first in The Amish of Summer Grove series. Readers will be transported into the lives of Ariana Brenneman and her family and their traditional Amish way of living. But just what is mysterious Quill Schlabach up to and what exactly is Ariana's connection with Englisch Skylar Nash?
I am honored to be chosen as one of the members of Cindy Woodsmall's book launch team for her new release. I really enjoyed this first book in The Amish of Summer Grove series and I look forward to reading the rest of the series.