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Arms of Love

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Overview

The year is 1777. America is in turmoil. And Amish life is far different than today.

Pennsylvania in the late 18th century, once called William Penn’s Woods, was an assortment of different faiths living together for the first time in American history. Included in this tapestry was a small and struggling population called Amish.

Surrounding this peaceful people were unavoidable threats: both Patriots and the Britishwere pillaging land and goods ...

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Overview

The year is 1777. America is in turmoil. And Amish life is far different than today.

Pennsylvania in the late 18th century, once called William Penn’s Woods, was an assortment of different faiths living together for the first time in American history. Included in this tapestry was a small and struggling population called Amish.

Surrounding this peaceful people were unavoidable threats: both Patriots and the Britishwere pillaging land and goods for the sake of the war, young Amishmen were leaving the faith to take up arms and defend freedom. A simple walk in the untamed forests could result in death, if not from bullet or arrow, then from an encounter with a wild animal.

Amid this time of tumult, Adam Wyse is fighting a personal battle. To possibly join the war efforts and leave his faith, which would mean walking away from the only woman he’s ever loved: Lena Yoder. But for that love he’s made a promise that may keep them apart permanently.

When Adam withdraws from Lena, she’s forced to turn to his brother, Isaac, for support. Must Lena deny her heart’s desire to save Adam’s soul? And will life in this feral and primitive New World be more than this peace-keeping people can withstand?

“There is a beautiful love story that unfolds within the pages . . . I was vested in the lives of these characters from the first page.” —BETH WISEMAN, best-selling author of The Wonder of Your Love and Plain Proposal

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781401684969
  • Publisher: Nelson, Thomas, Inc.
  • Publication date: 4/3/2012
  • Series: Amish Beginnings Novel Series
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 820,446
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.30 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Kelly Long is the author of the Patch of Heaven series and the historical Amish Arms of Love. She was born and raised in the mountains of Northern Pennsylvania. She’s been married for twenty-six years and enjoys life with her husband, children, and Bichon.

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Read an Excerpt

Arms of Love


By Kelly Long

Thomas Nelson

Copyright © 2012 Kelly Long
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-1-4016-8496-9


Chapter One

March 1777 Lancaster, Pennsylvania

I am going to die with the birth of this child, Adam."

Twenty-one-year-old Adam Wyse stared at the older woman, his mother's best friend and the mother of the girl he loved. He had little doings with the ways of women and understood the bearing of offspring better in terms of the horses he raised. But there was something calm and certain about the statement Mary Yoder had made, and he sought to turn her from such premonitions.

"You are anxious, 'tis all, as any ... woman would be near her time." He had almost said mare. He cast about the room in hopes that inspiration would come to him. Instead, the bright sun of spring beguiled through the windowpanes. He longed to be outside, holding hands with Lena.

"Adam. This is not the fancy of some nervous horse; I have given birth to three other kinner with no problem. But this time—well, the Lord has revealed it to my heart, and I must make preparations now, especially with Samuel absent."

The past three weeks had been a hard time for the Yoder family. Samuel Yoder had been hauled off to jail after refusing to give up his last cow to the Patriots' cause of revolution, and there was no telling when he would be released.

Adam chafed a bit under Mary's scrutiny and tried to look anywhere but at the mound of bedclothes covering her abdomen. "Would you like me to send Lena to you?"

"Nee. I would like you to make a dying woman a promise."

"Mary ..."

"A promise, Adam. But some questions first, if you will?"

He nodded, resigned. "Of course, but I—"

"Gut. Tell me, have you kissed my daughter?"

"What?"

"You heard me well."

"Nee ... Of course not."

Mary laughed. "But not for lack of wanting, eh?"

He felt himself flush like some green lad, knowing he had held himself off like a wolf on a leash for want of kissing Lena in the past, convicted by her youth and delicacy.

"I wanted," he said, unable to keep the roughness from his tone.

She reached to pat his hand. "As is normal. But I am glad that your relationship has not progressed that far—it will make things easier later."

"Later?" he asked, but she was on to another question.

"I know how your fater abuses you, Adam. I have seen the scars on your back. Why have you not left his home?"

"I—" He broke off in confusion. He'd never been confronted by the truth of his private life in so forceful a manner, even by Lena. It was not so simple a question to answer. His father did see fit to discipline him harshly, careful not to "spare the rod," but he hadn't actually beaten Adam in several years. It was more torturous games of the mind now.

"Well?"

He swallowed hard. "I stay because ... because I am bound there. I cannot easily go out into the world without my father's blessing, and— well, perhaps I deserve what I get from him."

Mary snorted. "You deserve to be hurt, Adam? And your mamm standing by, helplessly? She can do nothing. She is a victim too, as is Isaac." She covered his hand with her own.

He thumbed the contours of her fingers and shook his head, thinking of his older brother. "Not Isaac ... He gets away from it somehow. He has escaped."

"Nee, 'tis not true. He's lost himself in his own world, in his books and studies and animals, but he won't walk away free. No one who lives in that house will ever be free."

Adam felt unexpected tears burn at the back of his eyes. He swallowed hard. "Ya, there's truth in that."

"I believe that no one should have to live under such oppression of the spirit."

He smiled then. "You sound like a Patriot."

He was surprised when a thoughtful look crossed her face. "Well, maybe I am."

"What?" No Amish person would ever admit to supporting the cause of the Revolution—except for a few men, mostly young, who had done so outright by enlisting ... as Adam himself had secretly considered. But to hear a woman, a neighbor he had known all his life, speak in such a way was confusing, especially with her husband jailed.

"Ach, do not worry, Adam. I am not being unfaithful about Samuel's plight. But there is in me something that believes there are things worth fighting for. Do you agree?"

He thought about the bondage his mother was in to his father. "Ya, some things."

"Is my dochder one of those things, Adam?"

He met her eyes, confused. "Lena? I know 'twill sound forthright, but she loves me true, and I her."

"Ya ... this is so."

"Then why would I have to fight for her?"

Mary withdrew her hand from his to rub absently at her belly. "Because of the promise I mentioned before."

"I will do whatever you ask."

She looked at him, her eyes the bright turquoise blue of Lena's own. "Will you, Adam?"

"If it is within my power, and with the Lord's grace, ya."

She smiled faintly. "Grace? Ya, that you will need ... for I ask you to promise, Adam Wyse, to give up Lena's love, to give her up, until you are free from your fater's rule and are ready to build a new and free life for the two of you. I cannot die knowing that you would take her to your home as our custom decrees."

"Of course I would take her to my home; it is our way. But Fater would never harm her."

"And what of your kinner, Adam? Can you be so sure? What of your sons? And, Adam, it hurts me to speak thus, but do you trust yourself? What if you gave into a rage like your father's?"

"Mary, I would never—"

"Perhaps I overstep ... but I would still have your promise."

Inwardly Adam reeled as though he had been struck; he could not fathom the request. "I can build a new home—away from my father's house—farther out into the community."

"If this were your intent, you would have done so by now."

He bowed his head and felt a thickness in his throat. "You ask too much."

"With the Lord's grace, Adam ... remember? You said that."

"But I ..." He stopped. He would not give in to the sob that beckoned from the depths of his heart. Give up Lena? How would he even go about it? He could not imagine breathing without her, let alone living out a life until he could do what Mary asked.

"My time is short, Adam. Do you promise?"

He stared at her. Was she mad? He was a man of his word, but Mary was near her time and probably not thinking clearly. He could promise and give her the comfort she wanted, and then they could resolve things later.

He took her hand. "I do so promise, Mary Yoder."

She sighed, a restless, broken sound. "Gut. Danki, Adam. You will see ... Your arms will be full of love again before long."

He nodded, watched as she drifted off to sleep, and then left the quiet room, deep in thought.

* * *

"What did Mamm want?"

Lena Yoder looked up into the face of her beloved and couldn't help but think how beautiful he was. His dark hair hung heavy to his shoulders, and the strong bones of his face were the perfect frame for his strange golden eyes.

He looked down at her now as they stood in the early garden and gently ran the back of his hand across her cheek. She shivered in delight, longing to lean into his touch.

"She wanted to talk, 'tis all."

Lena ignored the prick of conscience that saw something hesitant in those golden depths. "She loves you, Adam."

"And I her ... and her kinner."

"I am sure that John and Abby will be glad to know that," she teased, giving him a bright smile.

But he didn't smile in return. Instead he drew close to her, bending so that his breath brushed her ear. Her heart stopped when she thought he might kiss her ... but he merely stood close, tantalizingly close, and then drew away.

She felt heat rise into her cheeks and looked up at him, but he was gazing at the afternoon sun, now dipping behind the endless rows of ancient trees.

"It grows late. I had best start for home."

Lena felt a pang of disappointment, but she knew he had work to attend to. She slipped her hand into his as they walked toward Tim, his big dappled horse.

"I'll come tomorrow, Lena ... to make sure that all is secure."

She nodded as he mounted. Then he stared down at her, his eyes intent. "Be safe, my love," he said.

"Of course." She smiled. But something cold and unfamiliar, like a splinter of ice, pierced through her as she watched him ride away, and she shivered despite herself.

Chapter Two

Adam tossed restlessly against the coarse linens of his wide bed and flung his arm up to shield his face.

It was the same engulfing blackness as always, as if he were wombed in the dark, unable to breathe. And then the red haze came, like some eerie dawn breaking over shrouded and jagged edges, until he gasped with the burn of the bloodlike sun and its shadow. He tried to beat against it, through it, flailing his fists in useless movement that only seemed to elongate the shine of the hazy red. And then it was winter and all snow, but for the sun, which still burned, turning his hands and arms and neck crimson as he tried to swipe himself clean with strokes of his shaking hands. But his efforts were futile, and then he was falling into nothingness, his soul left somewhere behind with a child's cry. His face stung; his fingers were numb; and then, strangely, he was in Lena's arms, pressed secure against her shoulder, sobbing for want of something and nothing and everything ...

Adam woke with a strangled cry and tried to gain control of his racing heart and raw breathing. He stared around the shadows of his room and shivered in a cold sweat. Then he lay back down, searching the recesses of his mind for the nameless fear. But nothing came save the familiar feeling that he had been ravaged, his spirit burdened with a load he could not name. And then, as he always did, he began to pray.

* * *

Lena pushed the spade into the damp earth and found the ground still frozen beneath its surface. She took a deep breath and piled her slight weight on the edge of the tool; her rough-soled shoe slipped and she fell. Facedown. For a long while, and despite the chill, she lay there breathing in the comforting smells of mud, melting snow, and the slightest promise of new grass. She only lifted her dirt-stained face when the feeble cry of an infant lingered in the early morning air, and she knew that she must rise. I must rise. I promised.

She placed her palms flat against the earth and was pushing up when the reverberation of hoofbeats shook the ground. She jumped up then, scraping at her face with the hem of her apron, the better to see. She abandoned the spade in an attempt to cross the slippery dirt to the house, but the horse and rider were upon her before she'd gone three steps. She stared up at Adam and worked to blink back tears.

He slid down and looped Tim's reins over the wood post before gently catching her close in his arms.

"What are you about?" he asked softly as he lifted a hand to skim some of the mud from her cheek.

"Ach, Adam ... I dig my mamm's grave. She died this morning giving birth. There was so much blood ... I didn't know what to do." Lena sobbed and moved toward him, expecting to find refuge in his arms, but he stared at the farmhouse, his body tense. "Adam? I am sorry ... I know you loved her too."

* * *

Adam bit back the words of comfort that came to his lips and brushed past Lena to retrieve the spade. He struck the ground with force.

"Adam ... what ... you don't have to do that," she said, scrambling to reach him.

"I know. Is it a boy or a girl?"

A lesser man might have felt disarmed by the pain that darkened her already shadowed eyes, but Adam steeled himself. He longed to hold her to him, to feel her delicate frame yield to his willing strength. But he had made a promise before Gott and Lena's mother, and he had no choice but to keep it. His world felt as though it had slid from him, and he tried to concentrate on the dirt before him.

"It is a girl," Lena said, breaking into his thoughts.

He looked at her, gripping the handle of the spade with all his strength to keep from taking her in his arms.

"Go and tend the babe, and send John to me."

She swiped at her splattered face with a shaking hand. "I don't think that a ten-year-old boy should dig his mother's grave, Adam, do you?"

Her question, protecting her brother from the duty of death, edged at something in his mind, but he couldn't capture the thought. He rested his foot on the spade. "Yet you would do it yourself." He paused, then spoke in a soothing tone, deciding he could at least comfort her with his voice. "I mean no harm to the boy; I thought to send him to the woods for firewood. It would be better if he were not about."

Lena nodded and walked up the steps to the front door of the farmhouse. Her small back was straight, her kerchief still white in places over the fall of her shoulders, where the golden mass of her hair had worked loose from beneath her head covering and straw hat. Adam tore his gaze away and stared at the ground, feeling an eerie sense of being outside of himself before he snapped back to the moment. He would do better with a pickax.

He heard Lena's melodic voice echo from within and then the sounds of the infant's cries diminish. The door opened with a creak, and he looked up to see ten-year-old John, pale and thin, edging out onto the porch, his fingers pressed into a crevice of the limestone wall. The boy appeared to be of a sober and studious bent of mind, but there were times when Adam wondered what really went on behind those intense blue eyes.

"Take the horse, sohn, and go fetch some wood for the fire. Ride into the forest on this side of the river. Neither British nor Patriots camp there."

"You would trust me with the horse?"

Adam smiled, trying to remember what it was to be ten and failing entirely. "Ya—you have tended him while I have visited, haven't you? It's a sad morning today. Some time alone in Gott's woods would help you, I think."

"They took our horse, Benjamin, when they came for Fater."

Adam nodded. "I have heard. General Washington's army must have need."

"You still have your horse." There was a slight irony in the boy's statement.

"So I do."

John wet his lips and looked with longing at the steed. "I would like to ride."

"Then ride."

The boy stared at Adam and straightened his back, so that for a second he seemed remarkably like his sister and older than his years. "I will walk."

Adam shrugged, tossing a spade full of dirt. "As you wish."

John lifted a birch basket from a corner and unlooped a small hatchet from a peg in the stone wall. He walked off in the direction Adam had indicated without another word.

* * *

Adam smiled to himself. They were a strong family, the whole lot of them. Then the renewed cry of the infant reminded him that it was a parentless family for now, and that Lena would have a far greater load than she could possibly carry. Although he regretted her loss, he allowed himself to imagine the privilege of helping with her burdens. Then he shook his head. That was impossible now; he had given his word. And he turned his attention back to the ever-deepening grave.

* * *

Lena fancied she could hear the earth turning over from Adam's digging outside, then realized it was only the beating of her heart. Abigail, her eight-year-old sister, was still in her nightgown, blond hair hanging to her waist in a tangled mass. Mamm would have seen to it by now ...

Lena rubbed her fingers against her temple as she tried to think where to begin. Her spontaneous rocking from foot to foot would not soothe the new babe for long, but she had no idea where a wet nurse might be found. She could give the infant goat's milk, of course, but her mamm had asked specifically for a wet nurse before she died, murmuring about too many infants not surviving without the touch of a woman.

And then there was the body to be washed, but no one to bless the burial. She could send for Deacon Wyse, Adam's father, but what she knew about the man made her reluctant to ask. She suppressed a sob. This wasn't the time to mourn. And ach, how to break the news to her father ... His health hung in the balance as it was; to carry news to him in jail of the loss of his beloved wife might be more than he could bear. In truth she had not been to see him in the three weeks since he had been taken because her mother had seemed to weaken each day after he was gone, finally becoming bedridden with the pregnancy. Lena told herself that she should have known things would go badly for the delivery; she should have tried to send for a midwife. But she hadn't been sure when the baby would come ...

(Continues...)



Excerpted from Arms of Love by Kelly Long Copyright © 2012 by Kelly Long. Excerpted by permission of Thomas Nelson. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 14 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 14 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 21, 2012

    The year is 1777. A sad beginning. A hopeful surprise of a stran

    The year is 1777. A sad beginning. A hopeful surprise of a stranger. A love that can’t be returned only because her father has something against the man she loves. The man she loves mixed in his own feelings. A father, returned from being a prisoner only to find the love of his life buried. 




    I love the relationships between Lena and Adam (and Isaac), Lena’s father and Ruth. There is so much hope in these stories. For when all things seem wrong, things seem to go right.




    I love period pieces and I had to remind myself that I was stepping back in time to the Revolutionary Era. And it’s also not like any other Amish Romance Novel I have read before. The story seems to have more “life like” personal conflicts that someone in modern ages could deal with. It was also still easy to open my heart to these characters. 

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 23, 2012

    "Arms of Love" by Kelly Long is really different than

    "Arms of Love" by Kelly Long is really different than any other Amish story that I have read. First of all it takes place back in 1777, and secondly it deals with abuse. The time setting was unique, and the topic of abuse was one I don't think I had encountered before in Amish fiction.

    Adam Wyse is in love with Lena Yoder, but he is also grappling with a dark secret,his father is abusive toward him but Lena's mother Mary knows the truth, and makes Adam make a death bed promise to her to back away from Lena until he can break free of his father's rule. Lena doesn't know about the promise and doesn't understand what is going on and finds herself turning to Adam's brother Isaac. Which brother will ultimately win Lena's heart? Will Adam ever be able to understand why his father is so cruel? Read this interesting story and find out!

    I really loved the time period in which this story takes place, and while Adam and Lena are the primary characters in the story, there are several secondary ones to keep the plot moving at a pretty brisk pace. Adam was such a wonderful person, but honestly for most of the book I really didn't like his brother Isaac, it galled me that he could stand by and see his brother's maltreatment. I really thought it was clever how the character of Ruth, the Englisher wet nurse that came to help out after Lena's mother died during childbirth. I really hope to read more about her in a future novel. While I found this story an interesting read,I found parts of it repetitive. A good story but I actually enjoyed her "Patch of Heaven" series much more. Overall, I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys the genre of Amish fiction.

    A complimentary copy of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 31, 2013

    Not decided

    The start of this book was kinda slow. However when the book got about halfway it took a turn for the better. During th last 100 pages I hated to put it down for the night. I will give it a 3 1/2 star rating.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 12, 2012

    I am a huge fan of Amish fiction and this book was different tha

    I am a huge fan of Amish fiction and this book was different than any other amish book I have read.What makes it different is that it takes place around the revolutionary time period. another thing that was interesting
    about the story was one brother wanted to be a preacher but the other brother was more suitable.Also with any Amish fiction i have read they always choose their spiritual leader by lot. I would recommend this book for any who enjoys reading about this time period, because it was easy to see the Author had researched the period in which she was writing about.

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  • Posted June 1, 2012

    I picked up this book to read because we are currently studying

    I picked up this book to read because we are currently studying the American Revolution. This book takes place during that time period. It depicts the difficulty the Quakers and Amish trying to remain neutral. Some ended up going against their beliefs and joining the fight. Those that remained true to their faith and remained neutral were often criticized by others in the area. Sometimes they were harassed and sometimes they were jailed. They came to America for freedom to worship God as they believed. The War for Independence would ultimately secure that freedom - yet they couldn't fight to help further those ends. I enjoyed reading and learning more about the Amish - and noting how their practices have changed over the centuries. This book was good but at the end it did get to be a bit much. Most times a book with end with the marriage occurring - and it seemed this one should have also. Yet, this one went on - and the Bride gets bit by a snake and nearly dies. I just think that could have been left out of the book. It seemed to be out of place with the entire rest of the plot line. Interesting time period to study though. A complimentary book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 26, 2012

    To thoroughly enjoy a novel, there are only a few things I requi

    To thoroughly enjoy a novel, there are only a few things I require: good writing (more active voice than passive), an interesting storyline with characters I can connect with, and at least one unexpected turn of events. Kelly Long delivers all this in "Arms of Love." Adam struggles with something from his past, though he isn't even sure what it is. He also struggles with honoring the wishes of Lena's mother, who asks him not to marry her daughter until he deals with his "darkness." Lena must deal with her strained, and at one point broken, relationship with Adam while keeping her family together after her mother dies in childbirth. Ruth, an Englishwoman, finds herself with Lena's family as a wet nurse and must come to turns with her own trials and tribulations. This all occurs in Lancaster in 1777, as the Revolutionary War rages and Adam wonders whether he should give up his Amish ways to join the Patriots' cause and start a new life beyond his darkness. If you enjoy stories involving the Amish or are just looking for a good read, "Arms of Love" will satisfy both. My hats off to Kelly Long for crafting such a good work.

    Note: I receive a review copy of this book from the publisher, Thomas Nelson.

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  • Posted May 19, 2012

    Arms of Love by Kelly Long is one of the best Christian Romance

    Arms of Love by Kelly Long is one of the best Christian Romance novels I have read in a long time and I read a lot of them! I am not usually a fan of books written about the Amish, but this one focuses not so much on the Amish way of life that seems to prevail in other books in this genre. Instead it focuses on what it means to be obedient to God and allowing Him to fight your battles for you. Lena, a young Amish woman loses her mother and is left to care for her siblings. Adam, the man she loves has made a promise that could part them forever. He considers enlisting in the military to get away from the temptation of being with Lena. Through this story Lena learns how to truly hear God’s voice and obey. Adam learns to let God fight his inner battles to give true freedom. They both learn that God is revolutionary.

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  • Posted May 18, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Different Amish Story

    A very different type of Amish Story, with a lot of Historical reference. It takes place in Lancaster PA, but not the current Amish population. The Bishop doesn't come around all that often, and the district sounds huge, but a small number of Amish. Weddings can only happen when he comes, and it could be many months in between.
    There are a lot of sad happenings in this story, death in childbirth, loss of a spouse in war, and home burning down, murder, imprisonment, and horrible child abuse. Not really happy topics.
    The story did keep me turning the page, and kept my interest. It takes awhile for all of this to work out, and some of the happenings are so different that what we are used to with Amish stories.

    I received this book from the Publisher Thomas Nelson, and Netgalley, and was not required to give a positive review.

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  • Posted May 16, 2012

    Although the Patriots and British are still at odds, Lena Yoder


    Although the Patriots and British are still at odds, Lena Yoder believes that she will marry soon, perhaps even before the year 1777 comes to a close. Lena's father Samuel is imprisoned, but she is hopeful he'll be released soon and things on their Amish farm near Lancaster, PA can return to normal.

    The recipient of Lena's affections, Adam Wyse, has entertained thoughts of joining the war efforts despite his Amish upbringing. He is willing to settle down, though, and marry Lena, whom he has loved for as long as he can remember. Everything changes, however, when Adam makes an unusual promise to Lena's mother.

    Lena struggles to regain her equilibrium as Adam withdraws from their relationship. Isaac, Adam's brother, desires to become an Amish bishop someday, and expresses interest in Lena. Hurt and confused, Lena reluctantly accepts Isaac's marriage proposal to please her father.

    Meanwhile, Adam again considers enlisting while wrestling with dark memories from his past. He befriends a prisoner of war, a British soldier who is detained in Lancaster. The unlikely pair forge an interesting bond that brings comfort and light in unexpected ways.

    This book illuminates an aspect of the Revolutionary War period that isn't often discussed. The Amish, as a peace seeking community, sought to stay out of the fray, desiring instead to foster harmony between men. The Patriots viewed them as cowards, unwilling to fight for freedom. Both sides were in need of able bodied men, and the competition for soldiers, Amish or not, was fierce. Even John, Lena's preteen brother, entertained thoughts of joining up. This book shares a glimpse of how hearts and convictions were sorely tested during this epic time in American history.

    Kelly Long brings an interesting tale of heartbreak and loyalty to life. Her characters' situations show us that, whether from the past or present, we must seek honor and truth. This book provided a wonderful introduction to Kelly Long's skill and storytelling ability. I look forward to reading more of her books.

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  • Posted May 14, 2012

    Arms of Love by Kelly Long is not your typical Amish Story. It d

    Arms of Love by Kelly Long is not your typical Amish Story. It dealt with a lot of hardship and trials that were unexpected from traditional Amish stories you read. This made it more enjoyable, because sometimes I find that I read an Amish story and it is written the same way every time even when the author is different. However, this was not the case.

    The story begins with Lena, who is taking care of her mom who is pregnant, her younger brother and younger sister. Her father is in prison for not being willing to join the army, as this is not the Amish way of life. Her mother gives birth and passes away shortly after. Her friend, and “soon-to-be-betrothed”, Adam, tries to help in whatever way he can, but Lena’s mom made him promise to leave Lena alone until he finds freedom. This truly did not make sense to me. It only added more hardship and frustration as I was reading. Adam also helped to bring a wet nurse for the new babe and he helped to bring Lena’s father back. Adam has his own inner struggles that we do not find out about until the end of the book.

    For the most part this was an enjoyable read, however, I had a difficult time really getting into the book. I did “enjoy” reading about the struggles, because it seemed like one thing after another and I was able to relate to this in my own life. I feel I have had one struggle after another. So it is nice to be able to read a book that you can relate to.

    I received a copy of Arms of Love from Booksneeze for my thoughts.

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  • Posted May 10, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    A great historical Amish story This takes place in Pennsylvania

    A great historical Amish story

    This takes place in Pennsylvania in 1777, what was once called William Penn's Woods. The area is populated with several different faiths, including a small and struggling Amish group, living together for the first time in American history. The British and Patriots are pillaging land and goods for the war, so the Amish are not safe.

    Adam Wyse, fighting a personal battle and in love with Lena Yoder, is thinking about leaving the Amish faith and enlisting. He has had a harsh life, his father has been beating him since he was nine years old, although his older brother Isaac never got beat. Isaac loved books and spent his time studying the Bible and making plans to become a Bishop while Adam worked with his father, Joseph.

    Lena's father, Samuel, is in prison because he refused to turn over his last milk cow to the Patriots. He refused because his wife was pregnant and not doing well, he needed the milk for her. Even though Samuel doesn't like Adam, Adam would still go to the Yoder's to help them out, he would even take food and coin to the prison so Samuel would get extra food. Adam was there when Mary Yoder gave birth to Faith. Mary knew she wasn't going to live long so she asked him to promise her that he'd give up Lena's love, to give her up, until he was free from his father's rule and ready to build a new and free life for the two of them away from his father, which he did. She feared for Lena because she thought Adam would turn out like his father, a mean person.

    Adam helps Lena get through the next few days, gets a wet nurse for baby Faith, sends his family over to do services for Mary and when these things are taken care of, he breaks things off with Lena, not telling her about the promise to her Mother. When Adam hears that Samuel is about to be tried, he gets Lena and takes her to town, he even trades his horse for Samuel's freedom, these things still don't bring Samuel around to liking Adam. Soon Lena and Isaac are pushed to marry, even though they are not in love. With Joseph and Samuel pushing them, they agree to marry when the Bishop comes around.

    Throughout the story you know that something happened in the past, but just can't figure it out, what is it and is that what's causing Adam to think about going to war? Will Lena be able to follow through with the wedding plans to marry Isaac? Where does Adam end up?

    I thought the book started out kind of slow, but as I read, I was anxious to see how things worked out for everyone. It was an interesting time period to be reading about and the additional struggle the Amish had during that period. I would recommend this book to anyone that likes historical Amish stories.

    Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze® book review bloggers program. 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.”

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  • Posted May 9, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    An absolutely great read. Very different from the average Amish

    An absolutely great read. Very different from the average Amish romance story. In this one we see some of the abusive parenting, conflicting emotions with spiritual beliefs, and the normal "I'll try it my way rather than wait for God" human emotions that we all encounter in our lives including the Amish. Just before she dies, Adam makes a promise to his intended's mother not believing that she will really die. Can he keep his promise? Is it necessary to keep a promise to someone who is dead? This is the story of how Adam manages to come to grips with his emotional terrors, his father's abuse, his brother's indifference, and his love for Lena even though her family doesn't approve. Can he solve his problems without running away to war? The book was easy to read, the story gripping and suspenseful. I read it in one long night and was most impressed. I will definitely be looking for more books by Kelly Long. The back of the book contains a four week bible study on the novel which would be wonderful for a group study. Not only do the questions pertain to the story but ask the reader to really delve into her beliefs and practices.

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  • Posted May 6, 2012

    I just read another awesome novel by Kelly Long. As the bo







    I just read another awesome novel by Kelly Long. As the book description says, it takes place in 1777 which was during a time of upheaval in Pennsylvania. The understanding Kelly brings to this novel is phenomenal, and I loved learning more about the early days of the Amish.
    During this time, the faith of many of the characters are tested...Adam and Lena in particular, but also their families. Sadness is predominant at the beginning of the novel, but gives way to happiness at the end. It deleves deaply into the subject of a person acts the way they do, and how past decisions, situations and happenings can determine the way we look at things, or react to circumstances in the presence.
    I dreaded coming to the end of the novel, because I did not want to leave the characters. They grow on you as they grow in their Christian lives, and I loved them.
    I believe that that is where the saying of my dad comes from – Believe only half of what you see, and nothing of what you hear.
    In the back of the book, Kelly has included a reading group guide as well as a four week Bible Study that can be done individually or as a group, based on the novel. Reading trhough both sets of questions, I feel they are valuable in learning to apply what you have read to your own life.
    I would recommend this novel to my friends, and feel they could come away with a satifaction of having read it.

    I received this novel from ThomasNelson through their Booksneeze program free in exchange for an honest review. The opinions stated are my own! Thank you ThomasNelson for your great program.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 7, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

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