Belonging

( 13 )

Overview

I left everything I knew behind.
But it was worth it. He was worth it.
No one thought an ordinary girl like me would last two minutes living with the Amish, not even me. There are a lot more rules and a lot less freedom, and I miss my family and the life I once had. Worst of all, Noah and I aren't even allowed to see each other. Not until ...

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Belonging

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Overview

I left everything I knew behind.
But it was worth it. He was worth it.
No one thought an ordinary girl like me would last two minutes living with the Amish, not even me. There are a lot more rules and a lot less freedom, and I miss my family and the life I once had. Worst of all, Noah and I aren't even allowed to see each other. Not until I've proven myself.
If I can find a way to make it work, we'll be Noah & Rose together forever.
But not everybody believes this is where I belong.

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Editorial Reviews

VOYA - Kaitlin Connors
In the first title in the Temptation series, Hopkins introduces Rose, an English girl who falls in love with Noah, an Amish boy. The second title in the series, Belonging follows Rose as she attempts to join Noah's community and give up her lifestyle to be with Noah. Other members of the community, however, such as Ella, who is also madly in love with Noah, will do anything they can to ensure Rose does not succeed. Belonging provides a fairly detailed picture of Amish life for teen readers. Chapters alternate narration among Rose, Noah, and Rose's brother, Sam. Hopkins deftly navigates the varied perspectives and offers the pros and cons of the situation. The voice of Rose in particular is relatable and authentic as she tries to reconcile the loss of her worldly things and her deep love for Noah, fitting into a completely new world, and understanding what sacrifice truly means. Some may argue that Rose is too weak a feminine character for acquiescing to a boy, but Hopkins explains that Noah's community does not practice rumspringa, or the ability for Amish teenagers to explore the English world and choose which lifestyle they wish to lead. Further, Rose is a rich character who clearly demonstrates the struggle that is true teenage romance. The setting for the novel may not appeal to a wide audience, yet the love story definitely will. Discussion of sex, rape, and incest may make this title for older readers. Reviewer: Kaitlin Connors
Kirkus Reviews
This second installment in the Temptations trilogy deals with a girl who joins the Amish to be with the boy she loves. In the first book, 16-year-old Rose left home to live with an Amish family, determined to formally join the community so she could marry Noah. She copes well with the work demands put upon her, but she struggles with the ultraconservative rules that keep her from Noah, and she doesn't learn the German dialect spoken in the community. Worse, she and Noah have made serious enemies in the Amish community, especially "creepy" Levi. When she joins the church without her father's permission, he arranges to take her home with police intervention. Will Rose and Noah be able to keep their romance going even after they have been separated, or can they both find others to love instead? Hopkins divides the chapters among spunky Rose, solid Noah and Sam, Rose's overconfident brother, spending most of the time with Rose. Hopkins presents a mostly sympathetic view of the Amish, despite Rose's difficulty with their harsh rules. She never caricatures them, depicting them with as many virtues and flaws as her non-Amish characters. A vivid childbirth scene and depiction of an Amish wedding add impact. Nevertheless, the book's main focus remains on the romance plot rather than on the interesting portrait of the Amish culture. Routine stuff but for the intriguing setting. (Romance. 12 & up)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780373210817
  • Publisher: Harlequin
  • Publication date: 4/30/2013
  • Series: A Temptation Novel Series
  • Edition description: Original
  • Pages: 416
  • Sales rank: 446,930
  • Age range: 13 - 17 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.42 (w) x 8.23 (h) x 0.76 (d)

Meet the Author

A native of New York State, Karen Ann Hopkins now lives with her family on a farm in Northern Kentucky, where her neighbors in all directions are members of a strict Amish community. When she’s not homeschooling her kids, giving riding lessons, or tending to a menagerie of horses, goats, peacocks, chickens, ducks, rabbits, dogs, and cats, she is dreaming up her next romantic novel. Karen loves to hear from readers. You can find her on the Web at Facebook.com/KarenAnnHopkins.

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Read an Excerpt

Peeking out the window, I watched Noah limp down the pathway behind his mom. The sunshine caught the golden highlights in his hair, making him look like a grungy angel fallen from the clouds—an injured one, that is, with the metal brace that was attached to his leg glinting in the sun.
Seeing the brace sent a chill down my back when I remembered the buggy wreck that had nearly killed Noah. A few weeks had passed, but my knees still felt like jelly when I pictured that rainy night on the road and the blur of the giant truck heading straight for Noah and his horse, Rumor.
I shivered, closing my eyes. If I'd lost Noah on that fateful night, a part of me would have died also. I couldn't even imagine a world without him—it would be as if the sun disappeared from the sky. My heart wouldn't have recovered, and that's why I had to be brave right now. I couldn't live without him, and somehow I had to make my decision to become Amish work—so that the two of us would never be torn apart again.
When I opened my eyes, Noah was gone, and I suddenly felt very alone in a foreign world. The murmurings of the strange language behind me didn't help the feeling of displacement I was experiencing, either. If my ears and eyes weren't deceiving me, I really was in some faraway land.
Dad's voice drifted into my mind, You know, Rose, no one is holding a gun to your head to do this. You can back out anytime.
My belly tightened at the remembrance of his words.
It still amazed me that my dad was allowing me to move into the Amish society to be with Noah. Of course, his reasons were less than honorable for sure. Tina, Dad's girlfriend, had talked him into believing that his baby girl would run home after a week or two of living the harsh and restrictive lifestyle of the Amish. They'd both be in for a big surprise, I inwardly vowed, despite my uneasy feelings.
Whenever the little doubts would eat away at me, I'd think about the first time that Noah had kissed me, and liquid warmth would coat my insides, giving me strength. Even now, with the heat of sunshine through the window warming my face, I could smell the leaves and the pine of the hidden forest clearing—and feel his lips moving on mine. Our secret rides into the trees, which I'd nicknamed the fairy wood, because of the hazy, magical feel of the place, were the most wonderful moments of my life. Knowing that there would be many more of those times waiting for us in the future made me smile. As long as Noah and I were together, everything else would be all right.
The sudden stillness in the air told me that they were all gathered, waiting for me to turn around.
Trying to be brave, I sucked in a quick breath, cleared my mind of anxiety and turned to face my audience. I was immediately met by six serious faces. Five men and one lone woman greeted me with what could only be described as wariness.
I recognized the bishop straight off with his Abraham Lincoln features and long, snowy beard. His eyebrows were as white as his beard and were bushy on his jutting brow. I'd hoped that the sight of him wouldn't instill as much fear in me as it had the first time I'd seen him, so long ago now. Unfortunately, he still gave me the jitters.
Really, this whole scene wouldn't have been as bad if I'd had some warning. I couldn't blame Noah. He had been taken by surprise as much as I had to learn that mere moments after I'd arrived at the Hershbergers, who, for lack of a better description, were my new Amish foster parents, I would be ambushed by a meeting with the bishop and ministers. I didn't even have time for a proper get-to-know-you before Ruth Hershberger, Noah and his mom were being hustled out the back door only a minute following the sight of the three black buggies making their way up the driveway.
I had no idea who the woman standing off to the side was, but she immediately struck me as a happy person. When my eyes met hers, she smiled warmly. The smile was genuine, if the deep wrinkles at the corners of her pretty brown eyes were any indication. Because of that smile I felt a bit more at ease.
And of course there was Noah's dad, Mr. Miller. He wasn't usually a scary guy, but seeing him standing there with his buddies, all grim and uptight, prickled the hair on my arms. The image flashed in my mind of Amos Miller astride his black horse in the rainstorm, fury distorting his features.
From firsthand experience, I knew Mr. Miller could be intimidating. Upon learning that his son was having a secret relationship with an English girl, he'd been incredibly angry. And he sure hadn't been shy expressing his displeasure at the discovery that stormy day, either.
I only had a few seconds to register the faces of the other three men in attendance before Mr. Bishop broke the silence. One was old Mr. Hershberger, who, up until that point, I'd only had a chance to say hi to. Rebecca Miller had informed me upon arrival that he wasn't really an active minister any longer, being in the process of transitioning away from the duties of the job. But I guess, since I was his new daughter, he wasn't going to miss the excitement.
The other two were middle-aged guys with no gray showing in their lengthy beards, beards which, despite their length, didn't hold a candle to the bishop's Gandalf-inspired do. The tall guy put me in mind of Ichabod Crane with his skinny face and large nose. His blue eyes were friendly enough, though.
"Miss Cameron, I'm Abram Lambright, the bishop here in the Meadowview community." He looked me straight in the eye. Although I wanted to turn away, I managed to keep my gaze locked with his. I definitely didn't want to give him the idea that I could be bullied.
Funny that he didn't offer his hand for a shake, though. That would have been the polite thing to do. Taking charge of the situation, I stepped forward, thrusting my hand out.
"Hey there, Mr. Lambright, you can call me Rose."
Bishop Lambright's mouth twitched at the one corner, maybe in amusement or perhaps he wanted to ring my neck. No telling, but he humored me by shaking my hand firmly. Then he did spread his mouth in an attempt at friendliness. Seeing the almost-smile made me relax a little more, pushing more of the tension out of me.
"I've heard much about you, Rose." He paused as if trying to pick his words carefully. "And to put it frankly, the other ministers and I would like to talk to you personally about your presence here in our community. We don't often find ourselves in the situation of taking stray English children into our lives."
My hackles were up, but before I said something unpleasant to the charming Bishop Lambright, the woman made her presence known. "My dear, I'm Martha Lambright, Abram's wife. You can address me by Martha, though." She flowed across the floor smoothly, and before I knew what was happening she had me locked in a hug, tight against her slender body. "We are so pleased to have you with us."
Seeing Martha up close I was shocked that she was the bishop's wife. She must have been twenty years younger than him, showing just a few gray hairs at her temples and flecking through her root line. Her round face and wide-spaced eyes hinted at the beautiful girl she must have been in her youth.
"Glad to meet you," I murmured, startled by her swift dousing of the flames.
She went on to introduce Mr. Marcus Bontrager, the Sleepy Hollow guy, who nodded several times in my direction and smiled awkwardly.
Then she said Mervin Weaver's name and I felt a tickling of recognition before realization dawned on me, hitting me like a brick. Ella's father—-there was no mistaking the family resemblance now that I gave him a longer appraisal. He'd passed on his large eyes to his daughter—the girl who was supposed to be courting Noah, instead of me.
Besides his attractive eyes, Mr. Weaver was completely ordinary in height, stature and coloring. But those eyes were bright with thought, and my mind quickly processed that I'd have to tread carefully around him.
"Rose, why don't you have a seat here at the table, my dear?" Martha ushered me to a chair, and although she didn't really shove me into it, somehow her hovering presence got my butt seated in a hurry. She pulled a chair out beside me and made herself comfortable. Maybe I was wrong, but Martha Lam-bright appeared to be highly entertained by my situation. Of course, who could blame her? Without TV or the internet to occupy a person's time, community gossip would be the next best thing. I was the show.
While the five guys were arranging themselves across the table from Martha and me, I resisted the urge to scratch at my bun, which felt itchy under the cap. Sitting there all dressed up Amish was quite strange. I felt as if I had a Halloween costume on.
"I'll not beat around the bush on this matter, even though my wife would like to coddle you like a weanling." Bishop Lambright eyed Martha with distaste before focusing on me again. "There is much more to being one of us than just wearing the dress and covering your hair. Our way is the old way. The traditional way. The difficult way."
My mouth began to form words, but the bishop raised his hand, cutting me off before I even got started. He leaned in a bit closer and said darkly, "This is no trifling matter that you've gotten yourself into, young lady. I've only consented to you being allowed to live among us under the pressure of Amos Miller, here, who has vouched for your honest intentions and good behavior."
I glanced at Mr. Miller, who, catching my gaze, nodded his head reassuringly. His smile was controlled, though. The poor guy was my bond man, and if I screwed things up, he'd be the one paying for it—and me, of course. I didn't even try to say anything this time. Bishop Lambright obviously had a bunch of things he wanted to get off his chest, so I slouched back in the chair, preparing myself for the long haul.
The bishop let out an annoyed huff, and after looking briefly at his comrades and then his wife, he fixed on me, saying, "I can't teach you all you need to know in the brief amount of time we have this afternoon. Obviously, this will be an ongoing learning experience for you, but there are a couple of issues that you must be fully aware of now." After a more agitated breath, he went on. "Like all the other young people in our community, you will not be allowed to begin courting Noah Miller until you have become a member of our church."
At this point Bishop Lambright's eyes narrowed, and again, he leaned across the table.
Yep, he was scary. I resisted pushing still farther back into the chair.
"And I will not have you joining the church until you have had ample time to acquaint yourself with our rules and customs."
It suddenly occurred to me that I might be waiting years before I could even date Noah and I blurted out, "Excuse me, sir, but…ah…how long will that be?"
"Ach, you are an impetuous child, aren't you? You can't even hold your tongue for a moment while you're being spoken to." The bishop's eyes sparked while his mouth tightened.
Somewhere deep in my mind was the feeling of utter confidence as I looked back at Bishop Lambright. After all, my Dad—or even Sam—would get me out of here in a heartbeat if I called. Still, I would not let this puffed-up old guy get the better of me. And he was not going to keep me and Noah apart. I would do what I had to do to gain the bishop's trust.
I'd walk the line—and I would not fall.
"I'm sorry, Bishop Lambright," I said meekly, lowering my eyes. Yes, I could play the part when needed.
"There, child, it's all right. We understand that it will take a bit of time for you to know how to behave properly," Martha said, squeezing my shoulder for good measure.
"First things first, Martha—Rose, you are a young woman, and you will act accordingly with our customs. As spoken in first Timothy, 'A woman should learn in quietness and full submission.' Therefore you will not be interrupting me again, and you will always show respect to the men in this community. The womenfolk will fill you in on all the details about following our customs and being obedient in time. Do you understand?"
His words made my feminist side dizzy with anger, but I was up to the challenge.
Peeking my eyes for an instant, then dropping them again, I answered, "Yes, sir."
"All right, then." The bishop leaned back and breathed evenly, seeming satisfied with my response. I hardly even noticed the other men, the bishop's type-A personality was so blasting.
"To answer your question, I do believe a few months of living our ways will be sufficient for you to join with us. That is, if you obey our rules and don't cause any trouble." The tone of his voice deepened. He took advantage of my full attention, and strengthening his voice, he said, "And be advised, young woman, that I will be watching you…we all will be watching you."
The warm air in the kitchen seemed to tingle with his words. I looked away from the bishop, staring at the burgundy-colored curtain swaying above the sink from the breeze.
The desperate need to be with Noah had been at the forefront of my brain since the accident. I hadn't seriously considered all the other stuff that came with him—like a pack of grumpy old men telling me what to do.
My tummy felt rocky again. I summoned a picture of Noah before me, and seeing his handsome face drove the fear and anxiety back. Reaffirming my decision, I knew in that instant that I'd do anything to be with Noah.
"I will be good, I promise," I said, hardly above a whisper.
"Our idea of good and your view are probably entirely different." His voice oozed sarcasm, causing me to raise my head and meet his gaze again. He held my eyes for several uncomfortable seconds before he seemed to crack. Or maybe he was simply growing bored with me.
He said resignedly, "Fair enough—for now, anyway." The bishop stood abruptly, inciting the others to rise quickly from their chairs also. "We all have work to get back to, so let us end this meeting."

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 13 )
Rating Distribution

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(7)

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Sort by: Showing all of 13 Customer Reviews
  • Posted April 24, 2013

    I really enjoy this Amish world that Karen Ann Hopkins has creat

    I really enjoy this Amish world that Karen Ann Hopkins has created. And I love Noah and Rose's love that is a true teenage-first love type of love. It makes me smile just thinking about it :) I can't wait for the next book in the series! *Fan girl squeal*

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 16, 2014

    This is the second book in the Temptation series by Karen Ann Ho

    This is the second book in the Temptation series by Karen Ann Hopkins. I was intrigued by the first book, because the idea of an English teenager considering giving up everything she knows for the Amish boy she loves was something I hadn't yet read. I am a big fan of Beverly Lewis, in particular, but lots of Amish books. I couldn't decide which way I wanted their relationship to go and was conflicted in my opinions about so much of the book. Yet, I felt compelled to finish the series as soon as I could.

    In this second book, Rose has decided to give up her English life and has joined the Amish community. She is living with a local family and must try to prove herself before she and Noah will be permitted to spend time together. She quickly learns that it isn't as easy as she had thought it would be. It's difficult to function without those modern conveniences to which she is accustomed. Long, three-hour church services, sitting on a hard wooden bench, mostly being conducted in a language that she doesn't even know, yet, can make her feel even more like an outcast. Her own family still doesn't approve. I admire her determination and don't think I would be able to do it.

    Noah's struggle is in constantly having to defend the love of his life to everyone else and resisting the temptation to be with her. The two of them have such a strong pull to each other that it is difficult to not be together as much as possible. They continue to sneak around, which eventually leads to some serious complications in their relationship. Some conniving by friends and family doesn't help matters, either.

    Rose and Noah take turns telling their story. Sometimes Rose's brother Sam takes a turn. This helps to really get inside their heads and provides a perspective of the outsiders, as well as the couple in love.

    I still have a hard time wrapping my head around the modern language that they use, because I am used to the traditional speech sprinkled with Pennsylvania Dutch. Some of the behaviors of the characters seem somewhat shocking, as well, considering the stereotypes we all know. That isn't to say that some of this language and these activities do not occur in an Amish community, especially if there is a teen who is feeling particularly rebellious. I think we are less prone to hear about it.

    I'm still not sure which way I want the characters to go in this. I don't see how they are going to make it work in either world, because their backgrounds are so different. They are so young to be having such intense feelings. Yes, in Noah's world, people tend to mature faster as a part of societal expectations. I think that the forbidden aspect of their relationship definitely adds to the intrigue and temptation that draws them together. We shall see!

    I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 6, 2014

    NOTHING

    THATS WHAT THE POEM MEANS!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 11, 2014

    Deimos' Biography

    &starf &star Deimos' Biography &star &starf<p>
    Deimos' Biography is under construxion, but will be posted soon. To find it, remembre the following:<br>"I make up all literature, but I'm often sealed."<p>Figure out the following riddle to find locations of where to find me:<br>"It is hate and has hate in it, but it isn't hate."<p>Best of wishes,<br>&Delta&epsilon&iota<_>m&theta<_>s

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  • Posted January 16, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    **Warning: this review will be a little spoilerish for anyone wh

    **Warning: this review will be a little spoilerish for anyone who hasn’t yet read Temptation.**

    I can’t think of a more perfect title for this book. Where Temptation was about the forbidden love shared by Rose and Noah, this Belonging really was much more about Rose finding her place. After joining the Amish community, not everything goes as she expected. Forces were still conspiring to keep her and Noah apart, though she had made the sacrifice to try to be with him. It was a bit frustrating to me at times, but nothing can ever truly be easy, right?

    I won’t say too much about the plot of this book because I don’t want to give anything away. What I will say is that I found a lot about the goings on of this book to be rather unexpected… and sometimes very frustrating. Where most of the first book revolved around Rose and Noah’s budding relationship, this book more deeply explored other characters. The introduction of characters like Summer, Suzanna and Miranda was welcomed by me. Rose’s brother Sam and his friend Hunter also appear quite frequently in this book. There was a lot happening this time around and I couldn’t put the book down. I also wanted to shake the characters for their lack of communication! It’s hard to watch characters you love make bad decisions.

    But, all in all, this book did just what I wanted it to: made me fall more in love with Rose and Noah and their relationship. It was nice to witness Rose’s maturity level growth as she spent more time in the Amish community, learning about their customs and behaviors. Noah was just as adorable as he was in the first book, but with a bit more of an edge. After the way Belonging ended, I can’t wait to see what happens next in Forever.

    I received a copy of this book from the publisher, via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 14, 2014

    OMG

    That book is so amazing i love it i want to have a boyfriend that care about me that much but english life

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 18, 2014

    loved it!

    Great book! loved all Three! (Forever is the last one,so far.) Check out the author on Facebook! She does free giveaways for her books!

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  • Posted October 9, 2013

    (Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a r

    (Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to
    This is book 2 in the ‘Temptation’ series, and kicks off where book 1 ‘Temptation’ ended.
    **Warning – some unavoidable spoilers for book 1 ‘Temptation’ (ie: like the fact that Rose and Noah are still together)**
    Having made the decision to join the Amish community in order to be with her Amish boyfriend, Rose now has to get used to her new plain life, and all the new rules and laws that come with it. The Amish aren’t exactly making this easy for her, but thankfully a few key people are supporting her which she desperately needs.

    Just because Rose and Noah are trying to build a relationship, doesn’t mean that everyone else is helping too. Rose’s father and brothers are still expecting her to come home, and are unhappy when it seems that she’s not budging, and there are several members of the Amish community who are trying to put a spanner in the works too.
    Can Rose and Noah really be together? Will Rose take the next step and become fully Amish for him? And how long can a relationship work, when people are trying to tear it apart?



    Beautiful and un-put-down-able, this story is one hell of a rollercoaster ride through Amish customs, and one girl’s undying love for her Amish boyfriend.

    I was really excited when I saw this book on Netgalley because I was so interested to find out what would become of Noah and Rose, and how Rose would manage living an Amish life. Book 1 raised some serious questions for me about Rose and Noah’s relationship, and by half-way through this instalment, these same questions were raised again. How could Noah seriously expect Rose to give up everything to become Amish to be with him, when he was willing to give up… nothing? Even after Rose has made such huge sacrifices; given up her family, her friends, her home, her way of life, and even her clothes, watch, and shoes, Noah seems unwilling to give up anything, which gives me serious worries over the longevity of their relationship – how long will it be before Rose resents the fact that she is the only one to have made sacrifices for this relationship?

    Anyway, there isn’t really a lot of romance in this instalment, as most of the time Rose and Noah are kept separated for some reason or another. When they are together things are emotionally heated though, and it is obvious that they feel real passion for each other. It’s this passion and longing that keep the tension in the story, and keep you desperately reading to find out what will happen next!
    Rose and Noah both seem to love each other, and it seems to be constantly other people’s interfering that messes with their relationship, it’s good to see how difficult it is for people to keep them apart though, and good to see what happens after the ‘love at first sight’. Even against the odds I kept routing for Rose and Noah to somehow find a way to make their relationship work, as it seemed unfair how difficult it was for them to be together.

    We got a bit more of an insight into the Amish way of life in this instalment which was interesting, and it was easy to see where Rose might have difficulties with the lifestyle, and difficulties realising that her own wedding would be a sullen and dull affair – something difficult for any girl to accept. Again though, it seemed that Noah thought that Rose would become Amish and love it, and it was a little difficult to accept that he thought that this was easy for Rose.

    I really liked the storyline in this book, and I thought that the whole Amish thing was dealt with really well. The problems between Noah and Rose were not going to be easily solved, but I really hope that the possible light at the end of the tunnel comes through for them.
    The ending of this book was pretty messed up, with Rose regretting some decisions that she made, and a massive cliff-hanger for us to think over until the next book comes out! (I want it now!)
    Overall; a beautiful and compelling tale of a young couple in love, and the people that are trying to tear them apart. Highly recommended.
    8.5 out of 10.
    2 likes · flag

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  • Posted August 31, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    'Belonging' is the second book in a young adult contemporary rom

    'Belonging' is the second book in a young adult contemporary romance series that continues to focus on our main characters - Rose and Noah. They have done the unthinkable - fallen in love. Noah is Amish and forbidden to speak to an English girl, let alone be with one. Rose knows that Noah is the one for her and she won't let anything keep them apart - not even his strict religion. So Rose left everything behind - her friends, her life, everything - to join the Amish community so she and Noah could be together. Now that Rose has transitioned into the Amish way of life, she must prove herself worthy of Noah and his love as well as showing that she belongs among them.

    This continued to be an interesting contemporary romance novel that continues right where the first book left off, with Rose joining the Amish community to be with Noah. I continued to enjoy learning more about the Amish culture and their lives along with their strict rules and religious beliefs. As I mentioned in my review of the first book in the series, I live in rural Pennsylvania, so I'm no stranger to the Amish people and their ways, so I was already familiar with most of what the novel spoke of. The characters continued to be well written, especially the main characters of Rose and Noah. I enjoyed watching their relationship grow and overcome the obstacles that were put in their way. Rose continues to be an independent and opinionated girl, but now she has to learn to tamp down her sarcasm and sharp humor if she wants to fit into the Amish community. Noah continued to be the quiet, obedient, and sweet guy who is loyal, loving, and devoted to his faith and his family. I continued to love the romantic aspects of their relationship and I was definitely still rooting for them to be together despite all the obstacles in front of them. The book is told from alternating points of view - Rose and Noah. I liked that the story is told this way because the reader gets and inside view into each of the character's thoughts and feelings along with how they each view the same occurrences. The writing was incredibly well done with a natural flow and an easy but quick pace that had me quickly picking up where the first book left off and jumping right into this book. I enjoyed the ending and I'm definitely intrigued at what the next book will bring. I would definitely recommend this book and the series to fans of YA contemporary romance, especially those who like something original and different from everything else out there.

    Disclosure: I received a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 6, 2013

    Rollercoaster ride of strong emotions and opinions. Definitely a good read

    I really like this series so far. Noah and Rose have an amazing powerful true love for one another.
    I was finding myself upset when rose was living the amish lifestyle. How easily she was able to give up her family and everything in her old life for a guy just seemed very selfish and especially considering the type of life she was living while in the Amish community. Even though I like noah and rose together I was really rooting for their lives after they moved on. Hunter seems like he truely loves Rose and hes able to give her what she needs. i am excited to see what the next book has to offer.

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  • Posted May 9, 2013

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    Belonging picks up the theme of the intense and all encompassing

    Belonging picks up the theme of the intense and all encompassing love between Noah and Rose. I loved being in their heads, and how much they care for one another. Besides their dual perspectives, we also get to hear from Sam in this one. I didn't think I would like his point of view as much as the others, but I ended up really appreciating what he had to bring to the story. Even when he did stupid stuff. But seeing him fall for Summer, and the things that he realizes about himself, and how much he grows, the the very adult choice he makes in the end really impressed me. 
    This is not to say that I didn't have any issues with the books. Noah and Rose both are so mature and immature all at the same time. They make sacrifices for one another and in order to be together, and that proves that their feelings are real, but then the selfish side of each of them rears its head. Especially when there are misunderstandings and things trying to tear them apart. At times, their love seems more like an obsession, but then there are healthy things that seem to negate it. I was just so back and forth, but the one thing that kept drawing me in was their character growth. What they learn about each other, the respect they gain for their elders and others in the community, and how much they start to grow up really impressed me. Besides being caught up in their epic romance and the forbidden love element that I really loved. 
    I wanted them to be happy, and for them to work out if their love is true and they were making decisions for the right reasons. But when things threaten to tear them apart, and both Noah and Rose are under assumption of things that are not true, they make some really bad choices. It added a lot to their character development, but I was almost disgusted at the lengths they would go through to make themselves forget and try to move on from what happens. I just wanted their love to have a full chance or to fall apart without outside and dishonest things working against them.
    The story ended at a good point for wrapping up the second book, but at such an important moment, that as a reader I was left wanting to do almost anything to stay in this world and find out what happens next. 
    Belonging is incredibly fast paced, I never wanted to put it down, and I didn't want to blink in fear of missing a steamy moment between the two. I was swept up in their love and in their story. There is a lot of drama, secrets, misconceptions, and games that go on, so if you didn't like Temptation or thought the lengths they would go to for love is extreme, then you probably won't like Belonging, but if you can roll that way with your love story, like I can, then you will probably love it too. 
    The Amish culture and what Rose had to endure converting to the religion and way of life all seems very well researched. I can't imagine living that way, even for a boy, but I loved experiencing it through Rose.
    There were some pretty intense scenes and themes dealt with in here. While I agreed with Rose's heart in how she responded to of the issues (trying to free a friend from abuse and her terror over this person) I didn't agree with how she went about it. Other than the abuse aforementioned, there was also talk of and committing intercourse, violence, and near rapes. None of them were gone into detail, and they were handled well by the author. 
    I will definitely be picking up the next book. I can't wait to find out what happens with Noah and Rose next, as well as getting into Sarah's (Noah's sister--we get a preview of the 3rd book featuring her pov at the end) head. I am eager for more character development and to see if love can conquer all for Noah and Rose. 




    Bottom Line: Encompassing love story with character development.

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  • Posted May 1, 2013

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    The story of Belonging picks up almost directly after the first

    The story of Belonging picks up almost directly after the first book, Temptation ended. If you have not read Temptation yet this review may have a few subtle spoilers so please be aware of that before you continue on. 




    Rose and Noah are hopeless in love. From the moment they meet they somehow knew they were made for each other. Two half's of a perfect whole. There is just one problem that seems to always test their love..... He's Amish and she's not. Rose makes the difficult decision to leave her family and start a new life with Noah living...happily ever after. Eeh, not so much. Although Rose is desperate to see her way in living this new Amish lifestyle, there are so many different thing standing in her way. Her Father does not approve of his only daughter leaving the family to run off and live in this world he just does not understand or that fact that she is only 16 years old minor. The main challenge Rose faces is being accepted my Noah's family and the Amish community alike. She must gain the approval of the elders but most importantly the Bishop himself. 




    Throughout all of these hardships, Rose still tries her very best to fit in as a Amish and live in this primitive life. But will her love for Noah and his love for her be enough to change the minds of everyone who counts? Will their LOVE stand the true test of time....?  I guess you'll have to read Belonging to find out. 




    After reading Temptation last year and really falling in love with the book, I could not wait to find out what happens next. Throughout Belonging I keep trying to put myself in Rose's place, seeing through eyes why she choose to change her entire life for the boy she so desperately loves. I so admired Rose for all the hard work she did, and how accepting she was to Noah, his family and the Amish community. There were times I would ask myself.... &quot;If I was Rose would I give up everything for someone I so deeply loved?&quot; I think the readers of this book will end up questioning that very idea as well. The author, Karen Ann Hopkins knows first hand about Amish community living so close to one herself.  I really feel this gives her book such a realism that other Contemporary novels sometimes lack. Also, her writing style is very breezy and easy to read. Now although in the first book I had some minor problems with Noah (found here), and Temptation was a little to insta-love for me. Belonging seems dives deeper into Noah and Rose's relationship and how much they truly do love each other and the lengths they go to be together.




    Belonging was as good as I expected it to be, maybe even better and even though I did have a couple things &quot;problems&quot; with the book (slow area's, and how Rose pretty much abandon her family), I feel the readers will fall in love with Noah and Rose all over again. 

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  • Posted May 1, 2013

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    The Amish Romeo and Juliet saga continues. What I liked: The co

    The Amish Romeo and Juliet saga continues.

    What I liked: The cover is what piqued my interest followed closely by the plot, like an Amish Romeo and Juliet. It's well written with a clear distinction between the dialect of the Amish verses the English (anyone who isn't Amish) and of course, there's plenty of romantic tension.

    BELONGING provides more of an inside look into the world of the Amish as Rose adjusts to her new life. Everyone expects her to fail and even Noah begins to have his doubts but her willingness to prove herself is admirable. Rose and Noah have their issues but I found them enjoyable and their struggle to balance the Amish old-fashioned ways with their desires was entertaining.

    What left me wanting: I wanted to love this, I really did, but the insta-love that happened in Temptation, bordered on obsession and the drama wore on me after a while. I know the Amish have their issues but I was hoping for more HEA and less, &quot;Dateline Special&quot;. The ending didn't surprise me at all which was a bit of a letdown.

    Final verdict: If you loved Temptation, you 'll no doubt enjoy this sequel.

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