An Honest Loveby Kathleen Fuller
Anna must find the courage to tell Lukas the truth. Will he find the courage to forgive her?
Anna was once betrayed by someone she loved deeply. In an attempt to never be hurt again, she and her mother relocated to Middlefield, Ohio. It was the ideal place for Anna’s broken heart to mend. In Middlefield, Anna withdrew from risk, placing all/strong>
Anna must find the courage to tell Lukas the truth. Will he find the courage to forgive her?
Anna was once betrayed by someone she loved deeply. In an attempt to never be hurt again, she and her mother relocated to Middlefield, Ohio. It was the ideal place for Anna’s broken heart to mend. In Middlefield, Anna withdrew from risk, placing all her attention on managing the new gift shop she and her mom bought.
When Lukas introduces himself, Anna can’t resist her attraction to him. Though she finds herself falling in love, she’s hiding a piece of her past in fear that their future will be destroyed if she tells him the truth.
But love can’t be built on lies and the past comes rushing back to Anna in an irreversible way. Now Lukas must decide how he will react to Anna’s betrayal. As they cling to their belief in an honest love, they realize it’s a path they must walk together even as it leads to unexpected places.
Read an Excerpt
An Honest LoveA Hearts of Middlefield Novel
By KATHLEEN FULLER
Thomas NelsonCopyright © 2010 Kathleen Fuller
All right reserved.
Chapter OneElisabeth Byler cradled her nine-month-old niece in the crook of her arm while she fumbled with a baby bottle. Powdered formula was normally easy to prepare, but with Ester squalling and Velda-
"Velda?" Elisabeth glanced around the kitchen, then ran into the living room in search of her other niece. "Velda Anne! Where are you?" She looked behind the couch and one of the armchairs, gripping the baby to her side.
Elisabeth ran up the stairs to Velda's bedroom, shouting her name several times. She panicked, unable to find her little eighteen-month-old niece in any of the bedrooms. "This is the last time I'm babysitting for Moriah and Gabe!" Ester's cries grew louder.
A check of the bathroom proved fruitless, so she ran down the stairs to the back door, hoping, praying with all her might that Velda was outside and hadn't strayed too far from the house. She flung the door wide and took a step outside-
"Oof!" She'd run into a solid wall. Of muscle, she realized as she stared at the front of a light blue shirt and black suspenders. She looked up and saw the face of Aaron Detweiler. "Oh, thank God you're here. Velda Anne's missing! You've got to help me find her!"
Aaron's expression was inscrutable. She shoved the baby into his arms. "Watch her while I geh find Velda."
"You don't have to do that-"
"Are you crazy? Of course I do!" Elisabeth moved past him, wringing her hands together. "Velda! Velda Anne Miller, you come here right now!"
She spun and faced Aaron. "What!"
"She's right here." He shifted the baby to one arm, then pointed at the little girl clinging to one leg of his gray, broadfall trousers.
Elisabeth looked down at Velda, who stared back at her, sucking her thumb. Her black kapp was askew on her head, and strands of light brown hair rested against her plump cheeks.
Elisabeth rushed over and squatted down on the ground, clutching the child to her chest. "Where have you been?" She looked up at Aaron. "What are you doing with her?"
"She came out to the blacksmith shop."
"Da." Velda wiggled out of Elisabeth's grasp. She pointed at the shop behind Elisabeth. "Da."
"Guess she was looking for her daed." Aaron shifted Ester in his arms.
Elisabeth's panic subsided, replaced by anger. She met Velda's wide, innocent gaze. "Don't you ever, ever run off like that again!"
Ester, who had quieted down while Aaron held her, started howling again. At the same time Velda's bottom lip began to tremble. "Da!" She burst into tears.
Aaron turned and walked into the house. Elisabeth picked up Velda and followed, watching him as he calmly walked over to the sink, as if he dealt with screaming babies on a daily basis. Within a minute Aaron had not only made the bottle, he had gently nudged the nipple into Ester's mouth, silencing her cries. He held the baby in the crook of one arm as if she weighed no more than a football.
Elisabeth put her niece down and leaned against the kitchen table, letting her heart rate slow. She tried not to stare at Aaron, but he seemed completely unaffected by the commotion. And there was something mesmerizing about seeing such a large man feeding a little baby. The bottle looked like a toy in his hand. She tried to remember back two years ago when Aaron Detweiler had been a scrawny kid of seventeen who had just gotten out of jail after serving time for dealing drugs. So much had changed since then. Not only had he grown a couple inches taller, he'd also filled out, probably due to the physical exertion of being a blacksmith.
Pulling her gaze from Aaron and Ester, she glanced around the kitchen for Velda, who had disappeared again. Her sister's firstborn had been a complete angel until she'd turned fifteen months. Since then the child had become a complete terror, and Elisabeth could barely keep up with her. Elisabeth started for the living room again, her patience as thin as parchment paper. "Velda Anne, I'm warning you-"
"Down the hall." Aaron took a step forward, his boot thudding on the floor.
"What?" Elisabeth asked from the living room.
"Velda went down the hall."
She leaned back and poked her head back into the kitchen. "How do you know?"
"Watched her go." He looked down at Ester just as her little chubby arm slipped from the bottle and hung over his muscled forearm.
Elisabeth groaned and walked to the short hallway adjacent to the kitchen, just in time to see Velda duck into the bathroom a few feet away. By the time she reached her niece, Velda had already started pulling the toilet paper off the roll, letting it fall in airy, folded layers at her feet.
"Velda, nee!" Elisabeth rushed to her and snatched the paper out of her tiny hands. She quickly rolled it up. "That's naughty, Velda!"
"Da," Velda said, then dashed out of the bathroom.
Elisabeth raced after her, scooping her up in her arms as soon as they reached the kitchen. Aaron and Ester had disappeared, but she couldn't worry about them right now. She sat the child down in a chair and bent down in front of her.
"Now you listen here, Velda Anne Miller. No more disappearing. You march into the living room and play with your toys, and do not leave until I tell you to. Understand?"
Velda stared, and Elisabeth knew her niece didn't understand at all. She took her into the living room and put her inside a playpen next to the couch. She surrounded her with a stuffed bear and two board books. "Play with your toys."
Elisabeth turned around and took a step toward the stairs but stopped when she heard a book hitting the wood floor. She looked back at Velda who held the other book poised for flight.
"Da!" Velda said.
"Your daed's not here, remember? He and Mami went to visit your Aenti Rachel. She's in the hospital, and she just had a boppli." Elisabeth put the heel of her hand to her forehead. "Why am I explaining this to you? It's not like you understand what I'm saying."
Velda dropped the book and pointed to a wooden toy chest next to the playpen. "Na!"
With a sigh Elisabeth opened the lid of the chest and searched for a toy that might resemble a na, whatever that was. After three failed attempts, she held up a raggedy, faceless doll, the one she had given Velda shortly after she was born.
"Na! Na!" Velda waved her arms and jumped up and down in the pen. When Elisabeth handed her the doll, Velda held it close, plopped down in the pen, and put her thumb in her mouth.
"Finally." Elisabeth moved the playpen toward the center of the room, made sure Velda couldn't climb out of it, then went to search for Aaron and Ester. She hadn't heard a sound from the baby since Aaron had fed her. As she made her way to the bottom of the staircase, she heard the heavy tread of Aaron's boots as he came down.
"She's asleep." He walked past her toward the kitchen, holding an empty bottle. Elisabeth followed closely behind.
Aaron went to the sink and added the bottle to the dirty stack of cups and plates. She hadn't had a chance to wash the breakfast dishes and it was nearly noon.
"Want some help?"
She looked at Aaron, stunned by his offer, and more than a little embarrassed. First she couldn't handle the children, and now it looked like she couldn't even take care of a simple kitchen chore. He probably thought her completely incompetent. "Nee," she snapped, sounding harsher than she intended.
Something flickered in his blue eyes. Before she could figure out what it was, he stepped away from her, then turned and left without saying another word.
Elisabeth turned on the water and stared at it pouring out of the tap, regretting her sternness with Aaron. Squeezing a couple drops of dishwashing detergent into the hot water, she started washing the breakfast dishes. But as she wiped the first glass, she gazed out of the window for a long moment, letting the slight summer breeze cool her embarrassment. When she finished the dishes, she would go out to the shop and apologize to Aaron. He'd helped her out, and that certainly didn't deserve her rudeness, even if she was a bit jealous of how easily he handled the children.
With the tips of her damp fingers, she rubbed her forehead. This was the third time she had babysat Moriah's daughters, and each time she felt more inept. If she couldn't handle her nieces for a few hours at a time, what kind of mother would she be? A terrible one. And her failure to keep Velda under control and Ester fed and content today made that clear. It wasn't the first time she worried about having children ... or wondered if she even wanted any. Not that she would ever tell anybody that. That would be akin to heresy, an Amish woman announcing that she wasn't sure she wanted children.
She thought about Aaron and how he had made it look so easy. How'd he get to be so good with children? She would have never expected it of him. Of course, Aaron had been around Velda and Ester before. Aaron's older sister was married to Elisabeth's older brother, so Aaron had been to at least one of the Byler family gatherings. But he hadn't interacted with the children much-or with many of the adults for that matter. She didn't know what to expect when it came to Aaron Detweiler. But she had to admit she was grateful he'd been there to lend a hand.
As she finished the last plate, her sister Moriah came in the door, followed by Gabriel. Gabe set a few plastic bags filled with groceries on the table, then kissed Moriah on the cheek. "I have to geh back to work," he said, staring into her eyes.
"I know. Danki for coming with me to see Tobias' boppli."
"I wouldn't have missed it." Gabe smiled. He leaned down and kissed her lips.
Elisabeth reddened and averted her gaze. She cleared her throat. "I'm standing right here," she said, lifting her voice an octave.
Gabe moved away from his wife, his face turning the same shade as the tomatoes in their garden. "Sorry. I didn't realize you were here."
"You asked me to babysit."
"I meant in this room." He looked at Moriah and gave her a tight smile. "See you later."
Moriah nodded. "Ya. I'll have supper ready when you come in."
Gabe gave another slightly embarrassed look at Elisabeth, then disappeared out the door. Moriah looked at her sister, clearly not as self-conscious as Gabe had been. Which wasn't surprising, considering Moriah had grown up with five brothers and sisters, while Gabe had grown up with only one brother, an identical twin who had died in a car accident only three years ago.
"Where are the maed?" Moriah asked, removing her black bonnet and revealing her starched white prayer kapp.
"Ester is upstairs taking a nap, and Velda is in the living room, playing in her playpen."
"I'll geh check on them."
"Okay. I just have a couple more dishes to dry."
Moriah went into the living room as Elisabeth finished wiping the damp dishes with a clean kitchen towel. A few moments later her sister reappeared. "Velda's asleep too." Moriah smiled. "You must have worn them both out."
"I think it was the other way around."
"Kinner can be exhausting, can't they? But they are such blessings." Moriah walked over to Elisabeth, beaming.
Elisabeth tilted her head. "Okay, I know that look. Spill it."
Moriah giggled. "I haven't told Gabe yet, but I can't keep the news a secret any longer."
Her mouth dropped open. She could tell by the bright glow on Moriah's face and the excited tone of her voice what the news was. Good grief, her sister was a baby-making machine.
"I'm pregnant!" Moriah clasped her hands together. "Isn't that wonderful? Gabe will be thrilled. He wanted a large family, and we're well on our way."
"Congratulations," Elisabeth said, mustering a smile. "That's ... wunderbaar news."
"Danki, Lis." She hugged her sister. "Danki for being happy for me. But don't tell anyone about it yet. I want to let Gabriel know first."
"My lips are sealed." She smiled, trying to elevate her mood to mirror some of Moriah's excitement. But the thought of babysitting three of their kinner made it near impossible.
Moriah picked up a couple of freshly dried plates and put them in the cabinet. "You should see Rachel and Tobias' boppli. He looks just like his mami."
Elisabeth smiled. "Uh oh." she said, rolling her eyes, "I'm sure Tobias had something to say about that."
"Ya, he promised their next boppli would look like him." Both Moriah and Elisabeth laughed, both knowing that the spark in Tobias and Rachel's marriage came from their competitive natures.
Elisabeth handed Moriah a glass. "Have they decided on a name?"
"Finally. It took them the whole day. It's not like they didn't have months to think of one."
"I'm guessing they probably spent all that time arguing over who got to choose the name."
"I'm sure you're right. But whoever did, they picked a gut one." She looked at Elisabeth. "Josiah Andrew."
"That is a nice name. I'll have to go over and see them once Rachel comes home." Just as long as they don't ask me to babysit. She gave Moriah the last of the dishes. Once they were put away, Elisabeth asked, "Do you need help with anything else?"
"Nee. I appreciate you watching the maed. Hope they weren't too much trouble."
"They were ... lively." She wasn't about to admit she'd nearly been bested by an infant and a toddler. Her family thought her flighty enough as it was. Sure, she was often late getting ready for church, and sometimes she forgot things, like leaving the cap off the ketchup or not adding baking powder to a cake. Still, she was getting better about that-or at least she was trying to.
Taking one last look at Moriah, who had started putting the groceries away, Elisabeth thought about her sister's news. First Moriah had her two children, with a third on the way, and now her brother Tobias just had his first child with his wife Rachel, Aaron Detweiler's sister. It wouldn't be long before the next Byler, Lukas, would start thinking about marriage and a family. Unlike her, Lukas was great with his nieces. Fortunately, her youngest two siblings, Stephen and Ruth, were too young to think about all that. At least she wasn't the only one in her family who didn't have babies on the brain.
As she left the house, she saw Aaron exiting the Miller's blacksmith shop with a large wooden crate, a few horseshoes visible on top. He moved slowly, forearms and biceps straining, as he walked behind the shop. At the same time she heard the creak of the shop door open. She turned to see Gabe walk outside.
"Glad I caught you before you left," he said, walking toward her. Any embarrassment at getting caught kissing his wife earlier had disappeared. Instead, he had a serious look on his face. "I want to talk to you about something."
"Ya?" The summer sunlight beat down on them. She shaded her eyes with her hand as she regarded her brother-in-law. "What about?"
"I wondered if you'd be interested in a job. God has seen fit to bless our small business, and with daed officially retired, I need someone to help out part-time." As Aaron approached the front of the shop, Gabe motioned for him to join them.
Elisabeth watched Aaron remove his straw hat and wipe the perspiration from his forehead, revealing a mop of dark blond hair. She looked back at her brother-in-law as Aaron neared. "Gabe, I have no idea how to make horseshoes."
Gabe laughed. "Nee, Elisabeth. Not with the blacksmithing. I need someone to do the books and help with ordering. Also taking orders from customers, keeping the paperwork straight-office details. Moriah said you're gut with numbers."
Elisabeth lifted a brow, surprised that Moriah had mentioned that to Gabe. She'd been bored out of her mind in school, and no one had ever been happier to graduate after her eighth grade year than she was. But math had been her best subject and the only one that hadn't put her to sleep.
"It's part-time, only three days a week," Gabe continued. "But you can pick your days and set your own hours. Are you interested?"
"I'm definitely interested!" She had spent a good part of the last two years since graduation working with her mother at home, helping with the gardening and canning, and keeping the household running smoothly. Unfortunately, those tasks didn't give her much satisfaction. During the past year she had decided to go out and find a job, a quest that had been more difficult than she'd thought, as opportunities were scarce. "Did Moriah tell you I was looking for work?"
Excerpted from An Honest Love by KATHLEEN FULLER Copyright © 2010 by Kathleen Fuller. Excerpted by permission.
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.
Meet the Author
Kathleen Fuller is the author of several bestselling novels, including A Man of His Word and Treasuring Emma, as well as a middle-grade Amish series, the Mysteries of Middlefield. Visit her online at www.kathleenfuller.com, Twitter: @TheKatJam, and Facebook: Kathleen Fuller.
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Enjoyed reading this book.
I read the sample then paid over $10 and it charged me but never loaded more than the sample. Sadden i can't read it and was charged for entire book :(
can't download would not recommend to any one
Love the way the author draws u into the story right away. Fuller is definetly my new favorite amish writer.
Anna must find the courage to tell Lukas the truth. Will he find the courage to forgive her? Anna was one betrayed by someone she loved deeply. In an attempt to never be hurt again, she and her mother relocated to Middlefield, Ohio. It was the ideal place for Anna's broken heart to mend. In Middlefield, Anna withdrew from risk, placing all her attention on managing the new gift shop she and her mom bought. When Lukas introduces himself, Anna can't resist her attraction to him. Though she finds herself falling in love, she's hiding a piece of her past in fear that their future will be destroyed if she tells him the truth. But love can't be built on lies and the past comes rushing back to Anna in an irreversible way. Now Lukas must decide how he will react to Anna's betrayal. As they cling to their belief in an honest love, they realize it's a path they must walk together even as it leads to unexpected places. This is one of my favorite books of this year. Although it is the second in Karen Fuller's "A Hearts Of Middlefield" series, it felt to me as though it was a singular title. Over all it was a powerful romance story that touches your heart.
Trying to get on with her life after the man she loved betrayed her, Anna and her mother moved to Middlefield where she can protect her heart and keep from ever being hurt again. Time and a new place seem just the things she needed to mend her broken heart. She put all her efforts and thoughts into the new gift shop she and her mother purchased. And then she meets Lukas. She can't resist the attraction between them, and find herself falling in love. Her fear of losing Lukas forces her to keep a secret that she fears will destroy their future. Her decision to not trust him with her secret changes their lives forever. How will Lukas react when he finds out her secret? Will the path she chose keep them from an honest love? Woven into the book is a second story of Elizabeth and Aaron that I found delightful. Elizabeth is not your typical young Amish woman and Aaron has a past that makes it difficult for him to forgive himself. Will Elizabeth's outspoken ways which often have her regretting her words allow her to break through Aaron's protective shell that keeps him quiet and standing on the outside of everything? Although the two tales in this book are different, they blend together beautifully and both share heart-felt stories that keep you enthralled until the very end. Once again, Kathleen Fuller has captivated and transported me back to Middlefield, Ohio to the quaint and slower-paced Amish community in this second of her A Hearts of Middlefield Series. The first book in this series had me totally absorbed in the story from the very first page. AN HONEST LOVE captivated me from the beginning as well. I can't wait to read the next in her series. To say that my 14-year-old daughter enjoyed the book as well would be an understatement. When I asked her if she could describe the book in only one word - what would it be..she easily answered, "Awesome!" Enough said.
A great story intertwines the lives of two young couples as their romance blossoms, but secrets from their past threaten their future happiness. Before they can move on ... they need to trust each other enough to be honest. The refreshing simplicity of this Amish community and these young people as they fall in love will draw you in and make you wish your own life could be like this too. I have read several books lately about the Amish community, and this book was no disappointment. It is a very enjoyable read! (I am a member of Thomas Nelson's Book Sneeze Book Bloggers program at www.booksneeze.com)
Kathleen Fuller's second Hearts of Middlefield novel, An Honest Love, is another winner-a heart-tugging tale that focuses on two young Amish couples. This book can certainly stand alone, but it does continue the stories of some of the characters introduced in her earlier book, A Man of His Word. Readers can easily identify with the problems and emotions experienced by these realistic characters. Anna Esh has moved Middlefield, Ohio, with her widowed mother to help care for her bachelor uncle Zeb. They open Esh's Amish Goods. Anna soon meets Lukas Byler, who takes an interest in her, even though she's several years older. Anna doubts whether such a relationship could work, plus she's still hurting from rejection by a previous suitor. Added to the emotional turmoil is a physical condition that causes Anna extreme pain and could possibly lead to infertility. She tries to keep this a secret, especially from Lukas. Elizabeth Byler, Lukas' younger sister, begins doing office work at the blacksmith shop where Aaron Detweiler is employed. Aaron had previously spent time in jail and now wonders if the Amish community really accepts him back. He and Elizabeth are drawn together despite their differences. Their adventures and struggles are woven together with Lukas' and Anna's. A reader's group guide with questions is included in the back of the book and an online book club discusses the novel at http://www.amishliving.com/group/bookclub/forum. These discussions will help the reader explore the topics in a deeper way. An Honest Love is a great read for teens to seniors-love is a topic to which everyone can relate.
I really enjoyed book 1 in this series, A Man of His Word and was excited to read An Honest Love. I really enjoyed the story of Anna and Lukas as well as Lukas's sister, Elisabeth and would recommend it to anyone who is a fan of Amish fiction, however those who are avid fans may have some issues with dialogue between the characters and the plum colored dress worn by one of the characters. Would an Amishwoman wear a purple dress or say a person was a "pistol?" I don't know a lot about the Amish but I thought some of those details may have been more "Englisch" than Amish. As far as the pace of the book went I also felt that it moved a little fast for me and the fact that the author included 2 romances in the story didn't leave a whole lot of room for as much interaction and detail between both couples as I would have liked. I almost wish Elisabeth and Aaron were given their own story. That said I still really enjoyed the book. An Honest Love had themes of learning to trust those who love us, letting go of past hurts and also dealt with teens and peer pressure; not something you always come across when reading Amish fiction. Because of her ability to include real-life situations that allows me to relate to a different culture while at the same time keeping me entertained, Kathleen Fuller is one of my favorite Amish fiction authors and I am really looking forward to reading book 3, A Hand to Hold. I highly recommend that you read A Man of His Word as it was my favorite of the series so far. *I received this book free through Thomas Nelson Publishers and their Booksneeze review program.*
An Honest Love by Kathleen Fuller was a fantastic read! I love her writing style and the plot was amazing. Delving into the world of the Amish Community, this book tells the tale of two couples finding and learning to love. Anna Esh has been deeply hurt by her previous finacee'. She moves to a new community hoping to find a new start. Her mother Edna and her open an Amish store in Middlefield, Ohio. With many renovations needing to be done, she is introduced to Lukas Byler. Lukas is a very talented carpentry worker, that has an eye for more than just woodwork. Lukas' patience is never ending as he patiently breaks through the walls Anna has built around herself. As Anna finds herself falling in love, she also develops a serious illness that could separate her and Lukas forever. Aaron Detweiler has recently been released from jail after a drug related arrest. Finding his way back into the community, he commits to the church and God. Feeling like an outcast, thinking the entire community is looking down on him for his past mistakes, he finds Elisabeth Byler. She is the one person that doesn't seem to judge him. Elisabeth is persistent in developing their friendship. As they become closer, Aaron is finding himself wanting to be more than just friends, with feelings developing that he was sure Elisabeth would not reciprocate. While at church, Aaron finds himself inches from Elisabeth when he jumps in the pond to save her, thinking she could not swim. Overcome by desire, he lays the gentlest of kisses upon her lips. Elisabeth is overwhelmed and runs away. Sure he has ruined everything between them, Aaron questions his actions and his feelings. When Elisabeth leaves town to visit her friend, Aaron is sure it is due to his kiss. Upon the return of Elisabeth, Aaron finds more than just relief of the guilt of his actions. I highly recommend An Honest Love. This title is a gripping tale of love and emotion. Definite page turner, as you feel the emotions felt by the characters and will leave you wanting more. Fuller did a phenomenal job writing this tale, educating you on the Amish Community as well as opening with a magnificent plot. I give An Honest Love *****(5) Stars; BK Walker, Author of Near Suicide and Dares And Dreams. http://bkwalkerbooks.weebly.com
Once again we are in Middlefield Ohio, where we will find a beautiful young woman. An Amish woman, who has been hurt badly by a man she deeply loved and was engaged to be married to. He basically left her at the altar so to speak. Three days before her wedding Anna Hesh found out her fiance of three years did not want to marry her, and was beyond crushed to learn that he soon married a young woman in another church district. But life must go on, and a new start should help the hurt ease. She and her mother move to Middlefield to help her Onkel Zeb, her deceased father's older brother, who fell off a ladder. Buying a gift store and running it, is her dream job, and she dives into her new job with all she has. Unfortunately for Anna, who is not looking for love, she catches the eye of Lukas Byler who is. A beautiful story of love, deception, betrayal and redemption. Anna and Lukas trod a path that is often trod by many young loves, but the way they deal with their hurts and deception will be the difference. Will Anna and Lukas overcome their troubles and have a happy ever after life? This book has several side stories of interest also, a frank look into some of the happenings of a young Amish teen during rumspringa. Definitely a story that you will not want to put down! Kathleen Fuller has once again shown her wonderful talents in writing this book. A definite keeper for your permanent home library. 296 pages $14.99 US 5 stars. This book was provided for review purposes only no payment was received for this review
Thanks to my daughter, I am a HUGE Amish fiction fan. I'm from Pennsylvania and so I had the pleasure of getting to go to Lancaster County quite often. Reading about many new Amish areas (even if the stories themselves are fiction) is a reminiscent time for me. An Honest Love is a wonderful new book by a very talented author! I have never had the pleasure of reading Kathleen's books before, so I was pleased to have the opportunity to try this book. It is book 2 in a series, and I wish now that I had read the first one. But, I enjoyed reading this wonderful and warm story about the Amish and would highly recommend it to everyone. ~A Copy of this book was provided for review by Thomas Nelson Publishers.
Recently, I got this book from Book Sneeze, the Thomas Nelson publishers blogger book review program. To be quite honest, I chose this book for one reason alone. I've never read any Christian fiction novels set in an Amish community. I've seen quite a few on the market, but I've never chosen them because I've felt like I wouldn't enjoy them. This one was free (to me) so I figured if I didn't like it, I hadn't lost anything. Boy am I glad I chose it! An Honest Love is a great book! I was touched by 2 sweet love stories that include honesty & virtue and integrity without anyone having to rip their clothes off to get their point across. Kathleen Fuller is a fabulous writer. I have no ideas if the story in this book is true as far as the Amish traditions & language & such, but if it's not Ms. Fuller did a great job of convincing me. There are two stories running side by side throughout the book. A quick synopsis of the two: 1. Anna has been heartbroken by the man she was engaged to marry. After a failed wedding, she & her mother move to town to escape it all & start fresh. Her uncle's recent back injury gives them a good reason to move in with him & care for him while opening an Amish goods store in town. Anna feels like she can hide all her problems, including her physical ones, from the world in her new hometown, but when Lukas enters the store, and her life, her heart changes. In an effort to keep from having her heartbroken again, she puts off Lukas's attempts to court her for a long time, but eventually falls in love and they are married. Anna's physical problems include those of the feminine nature, which will render her infertile. Will Lukas still love her when he realizes she can't have children? Read the story to find out.... 2. Elisabeth realizes she is not much of a woman that any man would want. She can't figure out what to do with children, she's not much of a cook, she's outspoken & loud and not exactly graceful. As she stumbles through early adulthood, feeling insecure & uncertain of herself, her brother Gabe offers her a job in his blacksmith shop as the bookkeeper. But Elisabeth finds herself more interested in one of the blacksmiths than the books. Aaron Detweiler has his own insecurities, though. Having strayed from the church and sewn his wild oats, so to speak, he got into drugs & landed himself in jail before realizing the wrong of his ways. He moves back home, gets back in church & starts working for Gabe at the blacksmith shop before Elisabeth shows up in his life. Initially quite annoyed by her, Aaron finds himself falling for her as she befriends him and shows him that she cares & can see past his past if he'll just open his heart & let her in. While the storylines seem a bit like one of the quirky, romantic comedies that I love to watch in a movie so much, the truth is that they're very different. After all, when is the last time you saw a CLEAN, sweet love story in a movie? With a horse & buggy and prayer coverings involved? I enjoyed this story so much that I've already found the book that came before this one in the series online & bought it. I can't wait for it to arrive! Thank you, Book Sneeze, for offering this book! I loved it!
Description (from BookSneeze): Anna must find the courage to tell Lukas the truth. Will he find the courage to forgive her? Anna was one betrayed by someone she loved deeply. In an attempt to never be hurt again, she and her mother relocated to Middlefield, Ohio. It was the ideal place for Anna's broken heart to mend. In Middlefield, Anna withdrew from risk, placing all her attention on managing the new gift shop she and her mom bought. When Lukas introuces himself, Anna can't resist her attraction to him. Though she finds herself falling in love, she's hiding a piece of her past in fear that their future will be destroyed if she tells him the truth. But love can't be built on lies and the past comes rushing back to Anna in an irreversible way. Now Lukas must decide how he will react to Anna's betrayal. As they cling to their belief in an honest love, they realize it's a path they must walk together even as it leads to unexpected places. My thoughts: This book was something really different I've read before. I got the book through BookSneeze which mostly offers religious books for review. As I have mentioned before, I myself am not religious but since I am new for open experiences, I wanted to give this book a change. This is a second book for Fuller's series called Hearts of Middlefield. I haven't read the first book so it is hard to compare this one to it. An Honest Love tells a story of two couples and how their friendships grow into something more. Elizabeth is at the age where she should get more serious and think about family and finding a husband. She spends a lot of time with Aaron who feels like he is not good enough for a amish woman. Anna is new to the area and trying to survive from her heart ache which was left from the last relationship. She is not open to new men until she meets Lukas. Slowly Anna starts to warm up for Lukas but is not ready to tell him all her secrets. Will Anna's secrets destroy their relationship or will it survive and come back to what it was at the beginning?