The Gift (Prairie State Friends Series #2)

The Gift (Prairie State Friends Series #2)

4.5 19
by Wanda E. Brunstetter
     
 

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Follow the heart-wrenching story of Adam Beachy, whose mother walked out on him and his family—and away from the Amish faith. Now he balks at the idea of ever marrying and having a family of his own. But when tragedy strikes, Adam is suddenly a father figure to his three nieces and finds himself needing a wife. Despite their differences over her practice of

Overview


Follow the heart-wrenching story of Adam Beachy, whose mother walked out on him and his family—and away from the Amish faith. Now he balks at the idea of ever marrying and having a family of his own. But when tragedy strikes, Adam is suddenly a father figure to his three nieces and finds himself needing a wife. Despite their differences over her practice of reflexology, Leah Mast seems the best option to fill that role. Can they make it work in a modern-day marriage of convenience? 

Editorial Reviews

SingleTitles.com - Donna

“Brunstetter’s soothing expressive style of writing is a balm to her readers as they seek an escape from their harried lives. The slower pace of the Amish provides this escape, even though the day to day problems remain the same in both worlds.”
RT Book Reviews - Patsy Glans

A beautifully written love story with more than just romance, The Gift has family secrets and tragedy, too. Hope rises out of the ashes with a second chance at happiness for characters who rely on their faith to see them through all they experience.
FreshFiction.com - Susan Dyer

A riveting plot that kept me glued to the pages, one minute THE GIFT would be going smoothly and then Ms. Brunstetter would throw in a twist that was sometimes gut wrenching. Each twist kept me wondering what might happen next. There were a few story lines going on within the story and Wanda Brunstetter blends them together perfectly, providing an ending that certainly leaves this reader longing for the next book in The Prairie State Friends series.
Readers' Favorite - Brenda Casto

A riveting plot kept me glued to the pages - one minute the story would be going smoothly and then bam, the author would throw in a twist that was sometimes gut wrenching and other times not, but each twist kept me wondering what might happen next. There were a few story lines going on within the main tale and Ms. Brunstetter blends them together perfectly, providing an ending that certainly leaves this reader longing for the next book in The Prairie State Friends series. Fans of Amish fiction will devour The Gift, but anyone dealing with love, loss, and family issues really should give this one a try. Wanda Brunstetter is one of my favorite authors in the Amish genre because her work always provides inspirational messages while also describing real life issues that happen to take place in an Amish setting!
Sharon's Garden of Books - Sharon Galligar-Chance

“I always highly recommend Wanda Brunstetter's books and "The Gift" is no exception. If you enjoy Amish-based stories, you'll love this one!”

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781616260828
Publisher:
Barbour Publishing, Incorporated
Publication date:
08/01/2015
Series:
Prairie State Friends Series , #2
Pages:
320
Sales rank:
112,869
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.30(h) x 0.90(d)

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Read an Excerpt

The Gift

Prairie State Friends Book Two


By Wanda E. Brunstetter

Barbour Publishing, Inc.

Copyright © 2015 Wanda E. Brunstetter
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-63409-561-7


CHAPTER 1

Arthur, Illinois


As clouds, black and boiling, filled the darkening sky, Leah Mast pedaled her bicycle harder, knowing that if she didn't get home soon, she'd be caught in a downpour. The muscles in her calves felt as if they could give out at any moment, but she ignored the pain, concentrating on just getting home. Leah had noticed the sky darkening before she left the house. So much for thinking she could outsmart the weather.

"Guess this is what I get for taking my bike instead of the horse and buggy," she muttered, moving to the shoulder of the road as a car sped past. Too bad I can't pedal as fast as that car.

Right after eating breakfast and helping her mother with the dishes, Leah had bicycled to Family Health Foods, a mile south of Arthur, to buy some massage lotion. She'd scheduled a few people for foot treatments this afternoon and needed to restock her supply.

With determination, Leah continued her trek toward home. Attempting to keep her mind off the leg cramps that threatened with each downward push, she thought about the special relationship she'd had with her maternal grandmother, who had taught her reflexology. During her lifetime, Grandma Yoder had helped a good many people with her gift of healing.

Leah had the gift, too. At least that's what Grandma had always told her. Many Amish people in Leah's community, as well as some Englishers, came to her for foot treatments. Of course she couldn't charge a set fee for her services, since she didn't have a license to practice reflexology. But the people who came to Leah always gave her a donation. She treated back and shoulder pain, sinus congestion, sore throats, headaches, and insomnia. She also used reflexology to help folks relax, balance their body, and increase blood circulation. When people came to her with more serious illnesses, she always suggested that they see a doctor, because some things she simply could not help.

A clap of thunder sounded, bringing Leah's thoughts to a halt. Big drops of rain pelted her body and stung her face. This was a cloudburst, not an ordinary gentle rainfall. If it kept up, she'd be drenched by the time she made it home — that is, if she could see well enough to get there. The rain came down sideways, and Leah could hardly keep her eyes open. She hoped this was just a freak storm that would move out as quickly as possible. Well, there was nothing she could do about the weather except keep pedaling as fast as she could.

The clip-clop of a horse's hooves caused Leah to look over her shoulder. She guided her bike farther off the road and was surprised when the horse and buggy stopped behind her. The driver's side door opened, and Adam Beachy called, "Do you need a ride?"

Astonished by his invitation, Leah quit pedaling. "What about my bike?" she asked as the rain dribbled over her face.

"Not a problem." Adam stuck his blond head out and pointed to the rear of his buggy. It was then that Leah realized he was driving his market buggy. Partially enclosed, it had an open wooden bed that extended from the back. If it was empty, there would be plenty of room for her bicycle in the bed.

Leah climbed off and was about to push the bike around back, when Adam shouted, "If you'll get in my buggy and hold the reins, I'll put your bicycle in and snug it in place."

Shivering from the drenching rain, Leah climbed into Adam's buggy and grabbed the reins, while Adam stepped out and picked up her bicycle.

Leah felt soaked clear through to her skin, and her muscles continued to cramp. It would be a miracle if she ever warmed up. Even though it was the middle of June, a storm like this could chill a person to the bone.

"Danki," Leah said when Adam climbed back into the buggy. Her breathing was getting back to normal, but her wet clothing clinging to her drenched skin made her feel icy cold.

Leah handed the reins back to Adam, and using the sleeve of her dress, she wiped rainwater from her face. "I appreciate you stopping, because I need to get home and change out of these wet clothes before Sara Miller comes for a reflexology treatment this afternoon."

With water dripping off his chin, Adam's brown eyes squinted as he wrinkled his nose like some foul odor had permeated the buggy. "So you're still foot doctoring, huh?" He reached behind his seat and handed Leah a small blanket.

She gave a quick nod, wrapping the cover around her shoulders. Even though the blanket pressed her soggy dress against her skin, Leah was grateful for its warmth.

"Humph! I can't believe there are still people who believe in all that hocus-pocus."

Gritting her teeth, Leah pulled the blanket tighter. "Reflexology is not hocus-pocus; it's a form of bodywork that focuses on the feet, and —"

"And nobody's ever been cured of anything by having their feet massaged." Adam snapped the reins and directed his horse onto the road. "You oughtta quit taking people's money for something that's fake and get a real job, Leah."

Fuming, Leah nearly had to bite her tongue to keep from shouting at him. In all her twenty-five years, she'd never met such an opinionated, rude man! Adam had only said a few words to her whenever she'd visited his hardware store, and he had never made eye contact until now. Leah had also observed how, after their biweekly church services, Adam often hurried off, sometimes not even staying for the meal that followed. She'd always thought it was strange that he didn't linger to visit with the men after church, like most others did. Apparently he wasn't much for socializing. No wonder he isn't married, she thought. No woman looking for a husband would put up with being talked to like that. And what does he know about reflexology, anyway?

Unable to hold her tongue, Leah snapped her head in Adam's direction. "For your information, Mr. Beachy, there are reflex areas on people's feet that correspond to specific organs, glands, and other parts of the body. Those who practice reflexology believe that applying pressure to these reflex areas can promote health in the corresponding organs through energetic pathways."

"Puh! Is that so? Just what illnesses have you helped cure, Leah?"

"Many, in fact." Leah held up one finger. "Some people who come to me get relief from headaches and stress."

Adam flapped his hand in her direction, which only fueled her irritation. "Any kind of massage can make a person relax and feel less tension. Besides, I wouldn't call stress an illness."

"Maybe not in itself, but stress can lead to many different ailments, including headaches." Leah held up a second finger. "Some folks who get reflexology treatments have found relief from back pain." Before Adam could respond, a third finger came up. "And some with digestive disorders or insomnia have felt better after I've worked on their feet. I believe my ability to help them is a gift."

Adam shook his head. "I'm not interested in hearing a bunch of mumbo jumbo. If people are willing to pay whatever fee you're charging and believe they'll get well, that's up to them, but I'm not a believer in that sort of thing."

His tone cut like glass. Leah crossed her arms and glared at him. "The people who come to me for treatments believe in what I'm doing, and I don't have a set fee. I work on anyone's feet for a donation, which means whatever they can afford."

Adam glowered at her. At least Leah thought it was a glower. To give him the benefit of the doubt, she supposed he could have a case of indigestion. "Well," he said with a huff, "you'll never catch me taking off my shoes and socks so someone like you can press on my feet."

Someone like me? Leah's face burned. Oh, you don't have to worry about that, Adam Beachy. Even if you gave me a hundred-dollar donation, I would never touch your smelly feet!

"You have a right to your opinion," she muttered.

"That's right, I sure do."

"And I have a right to mine." Refusing to look at Adam, Leah focused on the road ahead. Her folks' house wasn't too far from here, so she should be able to make it that far without saying anything more. She would have liked to give Adam some specific details on reflexology, but what would be the point? He had obviously made up his mind, so she probably wouldn't get very far defending her skill.

I wish now I'd never accepted a ride from him, she fumed. I'd have been better off riding my bike the rest of the way home, even in the drenching rain.

"Where have you been that you got caught in this storm?" Adam's deep voice penetrated Leah's angry thoughts.

She looked down at the plastic sack in her hands, unwilling to tell him that she'd bought massage lotion to use on Sara's feet. He'd probably have something negative to say about that, too. "I just needed something at the health food store," she murmured, wiping a drop of water as it trickled down her nose.

Adam clucked to his horse to get him moving a bit faster. He was probably as anxious to drop Leah off at her house as she was to get there.

Leah watched Adam pull back on the reins, guiding his horse through a waterlogged area. The small creek, which normally flowed through a pipe under the road, now splashed across the asphalt pavement. As the horse walked slowly through the fast-flooding creek, she noticed the cause of the rising water. The pipe was clogged with debris that had washed down from farther up. Small branches and clumps of dead leaves had caused the creek to detour from its natural flow. The water was still shallow, but if the rain kept coming down like it was, the road might become impassable. Thankfully, they'd made it this far and would hopefully make it home before the storm got any worse.

They rode in silence the rest of the way, and Leah felt relief when Adam directed his horse and buggy up her folks' driveway. Except for that one small area of flooding, the drive had been without incident.

"I'll get your bicycle." Adam guided his horse up to the hitching rack. Before Leah could respond, he jumped out of the buggy, secured the animal, and went around back.

Leah climbed out, too. "Danki for the ride," she said when Adam pushed her bike around the side of the buggy. She noticed how the rain poured from the top of his hat.

"Sure, no problem." Adam speedily untied his horse, stepped back into the buggy, and as he backed the horse away from the wooden rail, he gave a quick wave.

Leah waved in response then, dodging puddles, made a dash for the house. If Adam hadn't acted so negatively toward her reflexology, in appreciation of him bringing her home, she might have invited him in for a cup of hot tea and the chance to dry off a little while waiting for the storm to subside. But after that conversation, Leah hoped she would never again be put in a position where she'd have to be alone with Adam Beachy. He might be the most attractive single Amish man in Arthur, but as far as she was concerned, he had the personality of a donkey!

CHAPTER 2

Leah Mast may be pretty, but she's sure opinionated," Adam muttered as he headed for home. "No wonder she's not married."

Adam had never met a woman as independently determined as Leah. Of course, he hadn't known that many women personally, since he kept to himself as much as possible when it came to socializing. At a young age, Adam had reached the conclusion that he would never marry. It wasn't that he had no interest in the opposite sex — he just didn't trust them.

Bringing his thoughts to a halt, lest he start feeling sorry for himself, Adam concentrated on the road ahead. It was still raining hard, making it difficult to see. If he didn't pay close attention, he could end up off the road. So far, his horse, Flash, was behaving himself and didn't seem to mind the driving rain. Unfortunately, Adam couldn't say the same about his own demeanor. Thanks to his generosity in giving Leah a ride home and then getting out in this horrible weather to transport her bike, he was wet and cold. Drips of rainwater still hung on the brim of his hat, and his shirt and trousers felt like a second skin. He couldn't wait to get home and out of the soaking wet clothes. First and most importantly, though, Adam knew he had to keep his mind on the road, or he might not make it home at all.

Maybe I should have kept going when I saw Leah riding her bike. She was already soaking wet by the time I came upon her. If I hadn't picked her up, we'd never have had that conversation about foot doctoring.

The more Adam thought about it, the more upset he became. Leah reminded him of someone he'd rather forget — not in looks, but in that sure-of-herself attitude. Well, the pretty woman with blue-green eyes and golden brown hair could practice reflexology all she wanted, but it wouldn't change the fact that it was a waste of time. If certain people thought otherwise and wanted to give her a donation, that was their business, but Adam would never let Leah touch his feet!


* * *

"Ach, my, you're sopping wet!" Mom exclaimed when Leah found her in the utility room, washing clothes.

"I got caught in the downpour," Leah replied.

"I wish you would have taken the buggy instead of your bike. I'm guessing by now you probably wish that, too."

Leah nodded. "Where's Sparky?"

"Last time I looked he was lying just inside the barn."

"Guess he doesn't want to get wet, either." Leah chuckled, wiping another drop of rainwater rolling down the middle of her forehead. "Schmaert dog."

"Until I closed the window, the rain was actually blowing into this room, even with the large overhang on the porch to protect it." Mom handed Leah a clean towel. "You'd better dry off some before you head to your room to change, or you'll be leaving a trail of water."

"Danki, Mom." Leah removed her saturated head covering and hung it on a wall peg; then she blotted her hair with the towel. "I'd probably look even worse if Adam Beachy hadn't come along and offered me a ride home."

A wide smile stretched across Mom's face, and her thinning eyelashes fluttered above her dark brown eyes. "That was sure nice of him. Did it give you a chance to get better acquainted?"

A jolt of heat traveled from Leah's neck to her face, despite the chill she felt on the rest of her body. "Oh, we got better acquainted, all right. I found out that Adam doesn't believe in reflexology, and he really didn't have much of anything nice to say."

Mom's lips compressed. "I'm sorry to hear that. I was hoping ..."

"What were you hoping ... that Adam might be interested in courting me?"

Mom pulled a towel free from the wringer washer and placed it in the wicker basket at her feet. "Now that you brought up the subject, it would be nice if you had a suitor, don't you think?"

Leah shook her head. "I don't need a man in my life right now. What I do need is to get out of these wet clothes so I'm ready when Sara Miller shows up for her reflexology appointment."

Mom glanced at the battery-operated clock on the wall to her left. "Oh that's right. You did mention before you left that you had a few appointments this afternoon."

Leah nodded and turned toward the stairs but paused when she smelled a delicious aroma coming from the kitchen. "Do you have something on the stove, Mom?"

"Jah. It may be the middle of summer, but on a rainy day such as this, I thought a pot of vegetable soup would taste good for our supper tonight. I also made a loaf of homemade bread." Mom gestured to the adjoining room. "Would you mind checking on the soup before you go upstairs?"

"Sure, Mom, no problem. Oh, and if Sara gets here before I've changed, please tell her to go on down to the basement, and that I'll meet her there."

"Okay, I'll let her know."

Leah blotted her arms and legs with the towel then went to the kitchen to check on the soup. Taking a sip of the broth, she smacked her lips. "Yum. I can't wait till suppertime." Turning the burner down so the soup could simmer, she left the room.


(Continues...)

Excerpted from The Gift by Wanda E. Brunstetter. Copyright © 2015 Wanda E. Brunstetter. Excerpted by permission of Barbour Publishing, Inc..
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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Meet the Author


New York Times, award-winning author, Wanda E. Brunstetter is one of the founders of the Amish fiction genre. Wanda’s ancestors were part of the Anabaptist faith, and her novels are based on personal research intended to accurately portray the Amish way of life. Her books are well-read and trusted by many Amish, who credit her for giving readers a deeper understanding of the people and their customs. When Wanda visits her Amish friends, she finds herself drawn to their peaceful lifestyle, sincerity, and close family ties.
Wanda enjoys photography, ventriloquism, gardening, bird-watching, beachcombing, and spending time with her family. She and her husband, Richard, have been blessed with two grown children, six grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.
To learn more about Wanda, visit her website at www.wandabrunstetter.com. 

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The Gift 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 19 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Is this just a previw of the book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Left me wanting the rest of the book
Anonymous 10 months ago
wait for someone to come.
strgth4yu More than 1 year ago
Truly a great book from Wanda Brunstetter! Leah, a reflexology, and Adam who was a bachelor who owned a Hardware store get together for the sake of helping Adam with his 3 nieces after his sister, Mary dies. Leah loves doing what she does. She feels it is a gift from God. Adam carries his past with him and does not like Leah practicing reflexology. It reminds him of his mother who wanted more and left him and his sister to pursue her dream. When you read this book you will be filled with many different emotions. Birth, death, sadness, anger, and hope will fill your senses throughout the book! Though, I wanted to know more at the end of the book, I believe sequels are to follow!
Virginiaw More than 1 year ago
Fantastic! This is the second book in the Prairie State Friends series. This seemed to stand alone but I recommend reading the first in the series because Wanda E. Brunstetter books are always wonderful. I have never read one of hers that I didn't like. This one has Leah Mast who has a gift of healing using reflexology and Adam Beachy who wants nothing to do with reflexology because of something that happened in his childhood. They meet because Adam has a tragedy and his sister and husband die and he is left to raise their children. Leah helps him to care for them. This book has a great bit of romance and just a hint of what will happen next. I really recommend this series. I received a copy of this book from the author for a fair and honest opinion.
Librarycataloger More than 1 year ago
Leah Mast has an ability to help her neighbors and heal their ailments by practicing reflexology and she is thankful that God has given her this talent. Adam Beachy has total disdain for anyone who believes in this practice and he is very vocal about his aversion. Readers meet both of these characters in the first few pages of The Gift, the second book of the Prairie State Friends series, and we are immediately given a glimpse of how complicated a relationship between the two of them would be. Soon, Adam is faced with the prospect of raising his three orphaned nieces and who does he seek for help? Yes, it is Leah but it is only because he is desperate! A proposal of marriage follows but no love is involved; this will be a marriage for his convenience only. As I read this, I found myself wondering if Leah is making a mistake because Adam is very judgemental and very unforgiving but Brunstetter has a talent for developing characters that are flawed people but ultimately, redeemable human beings. This book also gives us an update on characters we met in The Decision, the first book in the Prairie State Friends series. It is nice to revisit them but their new situations and added conflicts leave us with questions that I hope will be answered in book three. Wanda Brunstetter is famous for her Amish themed books and her fans will not be disappointed. I was provided a copy of this book by the publisher in exchange for my honest and unbiased opinion
Penmouse More than 1 year ago
Author Wanda Brunstetter has written one of the better Amish stories I've read recently. Brunstetter creates memorable characters as you have Leah, who practices reflexology and is an older single Amish woman; and Adam who fears getting to know people let alone get married. Circumstances throw the couple together and from their the magic happens. At the end of her book you'll find two recipes for you to try. Recommend. Review written after downloading a galley from NetGalley.
arlenadean More than 1 year ago
Title: The Gift Author: Wanda E. Brunstetter Publisher: Shiloh Run Press Series: Prairie State Friends #2 Reviewed By: Arlena Dean Rating: Five Review: "The Gift" by Wanda Brunstetter My Thoughts.... I found 'The Gift' a second in this series was a good read as we get a well written story that will keep your attention as you will be kept turning the pages. We are presented with a Amish story where we find Adam Beachy needing help after a tragedy not that he hadn't already had one with the way his mom had left his family. What happens as he becomes caretaker of his three nieces will really be some read. And the fact that he needs a wife to help him...a marriage of convenience...well this is where Leah Mast comes into the picture as she cared for Adams' nieces during the day and did her reflexology in the evening until she decided to marry Adam for the sake of the children. Now, what will come of this...was there any love? What was up with Adam not believing in reflexology? I liked the way this author was able to present these characters life's to the reader where we find hope, love, disappointments, tragedy, struggles as well as longing through all the emotional parts of this storyline that flowed very well to even bringing in the hummingbirds and the other animals were a perfect fit into this story. Also the topic of reflexology was a great interesting part of this wonderful story as the reader will see Adam's past as well as Leah's. Be ready for many twist that you keep you alert because the author seems to do this so often in this novels. You will be definitely be kept wondering what will be coming next as the reader sees how well this author will bring it all out ...'love, loss and family issues.' Will Adams find forgiveness and peace that he needs in his life? Will he ever be able to 'trust, obey, love and forgive? There will be a lots going on in "The Gift" that will tie together toward the end, so you will have to keep up with this story [that is presented to the reader in third person point of view]. Even though this novel is a standalone read ... to understand a little more about some of the characters from the pass, I would suggest you read the first series...'The Decision' first. And as always...the author gives us a recipes ...this time from Leah...'a chocolate chip cheeseball.' My final thoughts.... By the end of this story the reader will be left only wanting more of this inspirational read as we wait for the next series as we will be left with a cliffhanger with many unanswered questions as the reader will be left wondering .... will Adam be able to put aside the pass? I guess we will have to wait for this answer and more when the next series...'The Revelation' is ready to read. I received a copy through NOR in exchange for an honest review.
Bookworm_Debbie More than 1 year ago
This is a wonderful Amish story. I had not read book #1 in this series before reading this one. There were enough references to it and things from that story that it probably would have been better to do so. At the same time I was able to fully follow everything that happened in this novel without having done so. Therefore it isn’t exactly necessary to read it first. I loved Leah Mast and I’m guessing that she is probably one of the secondary characters in the previous book. She is comfortable with the life that she has living with her parents and giving reflexology treatments to help others. That is her whole focus in life living the way God wants her to and helping others. I was able to really connect with her on both of those points and that added to my enjoyment of the story. I wanted her to add a loving, romantic relationship to that so that her life could be even more fulfilling. When introduced to Adam Beachy and the story of his childhood started to come out my heart ached for all that he had been through. I can’t imagine the feelings of rejection that he and his sister would have had to deal with. I really enjoyed reading his journey as he tried to work through some of the past and the heartache with God’s help. I hope that we get to see more of Adam and Leah in future books so that we can see how they are getting along. I received a free eBook copy of this novel through NetGalley in exchange for my honest opinion.
NanceeMarchinowski More than 1 year ago
Adam Beachy's past haunts him, with abandonment always lurking beneath the surface of his thoughts. Upon the sudden deaths of his sister and her husband Adam is faced with the responsibilities of raising his three nieces. Leah Mast has reached a time in her life that marriage seems only a distant dream. Her gift of reflexology is one of her joys in life, as she helps members of her community find relief from their ailments. Adam sees her gift as hocus pocus, creating a bone of contention between them. In spite of their differences Leah agrees to care for Adam's nieces while he tends to his hardware business. The second in The Prairie State Friends series, The Gift captured my attention with its detailed and heart-wrenching events. Developments throughout this poignant story evoke emotions of considerable proportions. Credible events create a realistic portrayal of humanity. I was captivated and impassioned throughout this impressive novel of overcoming significant obstacles in life's pathways. The author possesses a wealth of knowledge of the Amish community, and is a master at creating inspiring plots and engaging characters. The Gift is a impressive depiction of life and the impact that profound circumstances places on those illustrated throughout this remarkable story of tolerance, forgiveness and faith. I highly recommend The Gift and its prequel, The Decision. This series is an unforgettable testament to the author's expertise. Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review. All expressed opinions are my own, and no monetary compensation was received for this review.
RHall2015 More than 1 year ago
Leah has a gift from God that she takes great pleasure in using to help others in the community. But her neighbor who is now her new employer does not approve of it or believe in its effectiveness. Leah works for Adam as she cares for the three nieces he is now raising alone. She and Adam become quite close but will the differences from his past create problems for their future? He is looking for a mother for the three precious nieces and he needs a mother for them now! The girls have grown attached to Leah. Will she agree to marry a man without love? Will love grow between them? The secrets from Adam's past come to haunt them as Leah finds a special patient for her reflexology. But will this secret come between Adam and Leah? Or will this newfound secret bring them together? This book is definitely filled with surprises. I had read book one so it was really wonderful to see the story continue. The characters are lovable and real. They could be my own next door neighbors and in fact, I would quite enjoy it if they were my own neighbors. I rated this book 5 stars and highly recommend it to readers. Wanda Brunstetter's followers will be certain to fall in love with this book. I received a print copy of this book from the publisher and a pdf version of this book from netgalley in exchange for my honest review.
GailHollingsworth More than 1 year ago
The Gift is book two in the Prairie State Friends series by Wanda Brunstetter. Although it can be read and enjoyed without having read book one, it was enjoyable for me to be able to follow up on some of the characters introduced in that first book. Leah has been given a gift of healing by God. She uses reflexology by massaging the feet of those with ailments. Many come to her for help but one man in the community, Adam, thinks it's hocus pocus. His reasoning comes from events that happened to him in his past. When his sister and brother-in-law are killed in an accident they leave behind three young girls that are left in his care. Being a long time bachelor, he enlists Leah to help with their care. Eventually he proposes a marriage of convenience to Leah, so that the girls have care 24/7. Leah's two closest friends are against this arrangement, and so are her parents when they find out. Wanda herself has a special gift of writing, making her characters so real. You feel their emotions. You can easily place yourself in their shoes. She brings the English world into the Amish world and vice versa. I enjoyed the chance to catch up with the friends I'd "made" in book one and look forward to continuing that friendship in book three. I was given this book by the author for my honest opinion, which I have given.
Baranski1987 More than 1 year ago
Absolutely fabulous! The Gift, By: Wanda E. Brunstetter This is book two in The Prairie State Friends series. This book was absolutely amazing from the very beginning right to the very end. There is always something happening in the story. You will laugh, cry all the way through this book. I so love the characters and their personalities. This is such an amazing story line that will make it so that you won’t want to put the book down. I read this book in a day it was that wonderful. The story is so gripping and so real. I felt as though I was living the story right along with the characters. It takes a truly talented writer to grab a hold of you and not let go of you with one of their stories. I am so looking forward to reading the next book in the series! Be sure to pick up your copy of the book today! Remember it makes a great gift also! 5 star!
KGervais More than 1 year ago
I absolutely loved this book. Wanda Brunstetter did an excellent job. Her books never disappoint me and I just started reading her books like two years ago. The Gift (book two of the Prairie State Friend series) is about Adam and Leah. Adam ends up having to take in his sister’s young children after she and her husband were killed in an accident. Leah who does reflexology juggles between caring for Adam's nieces during the day and reflexology in the evening decides to marry Adam for the stake of the children. Neither are in love with each other. Adam does not believe in reflexology because his mother used to do it before she left the Amish and Adam wants nothing to do with her or what she did. After so many years of being away and remarrying but now divorced again and with another son, Cora moves in the same town as Adam when she accepted a job as a nurse at the clinic. Both Cora and Adam do not know they are only within miles of each other. The book had its shared of tragedy, struggles, disappointments and love. I felt like the characters were real and I was right there with them. The ending ends in a cliff hanger wondering if Adam and Cora ever put aside the past, will Adam forgive Cora and let her back into his life, will Adam and Leah profess their love to each other and will Elaine and Jonah get back together again after Jonah becomes a widower or will she marry Ben? I highly recommend reading this book to all and if you haven't read The Decision (book one of the Prairie State Friend series) you should read that first. Some of the characters continue on the second book. After you read the first two books in the series book three, The Revelation, will be published in February 2016. I received a copy of this book from the publisher/author in exchange for my honest review.
Soupersally More than 1 year ago
I just finished reading The Gift by Wanda Brunstetter and after putting the book down, I realized how much I learned about "The Gift". The story about Adam and his fears were so well described which helps me understand why he was like he was. And Leah had such a sweet spirit she reminded me of some of friend of ours who are Amish. She was always willing to help others, that she put others first. I truly appreciated that. Her gift of reflexology is what helped me understand how it works. I enjoyed reading this book which is book 2 of the Prairie State Friends Series. I want to read book 3 badly now!
KyKim More than 1 year ago
An Awesome Story With Love, Forgiveness, acceptance, and tolerance for others. The Gift by Wanda F. Brunstetter is the second book in the Prairie State Friend series, (The Decision is #1) , but is also a great stand-alone book. I didn't read the first book in the series and had no problem with following along in this one. Although now I want to go back and read The Decision. I learned a few things about Leah's passions, hummingbirds and reflexology. Was interesting to read and learn about. Leah decides to take Adam up on his proposal of marriage to help him raise his 3 nieces, even though it will be a marriage in name only or will it? The Gift is an awesome story with love, forgiveness,acceptance, and tolerance for others. The end of the book left me wanting more! Will Adam forgive Cora? Or will Cora and Jared move back to Chicago? Will Adam and Leah have a baby of their own to add to their family? I'm looking forward to reading the next book in this series to see how these characters stories play out. I received an ARC from Barbour Publishing and NetGallery in exchange for my honest review
KrisAnderson_TAR More than 1 year ago
The Gift by Wanda E. Brunstetter is the second book in Prairie State Friends series. Leah Mast learned reflexology from her Grandmother Yoder as a teenager and she uses those skills to help those in her community. Since she is not licensed, she only accepts donations for her services. Adam Beachy is really against reflexology (there has to be a story behind his attitude) and makes it a point to tell Leah about his feelings when he gives her a lift home during the rain (she was riding her bike). Adam is on his front porch waiting for the arrival of his sister, Mary and her family when police officers arrive. They were in an auto accident. Mary and her husband, Amos were severely injured and did not make it. Adam is left with taking care of their three girls (Amy-10, Linda-7, and Carrie-4). Adam is used to living alone and running his hardware store. Adam does not have a clue how to raise three girls. Leah’s mother until she has to go take care of her sister who is pregnant and bedridden. Leah takes over the care of the girls during the day. She schedules her reflexology appointments for evenings when she is at home (she feels that her talents for healing are a gift from God). When Leah tries to take care of Amy’s headache one day with reflexology, Adam is very upset. He insists that Leah not use it on any of his children. What does Adam have against reflexology? Adam is grateful for Leah’s help with the children, but he needs a wife. The children care for Leah and respond to her. Adam proposes a marriage of convenience. Will it work out between Adam and Leah? Cora Finley is a nurse in Chicago, Illinois. She is divorced and has a teenage son named Jared. Jared has been getting into trouble since the divorce. He has been hanging around with the wrong crowd. Cora has decided to move to a more rural area and get her son away from the bad influences. Cora gets a job in Arthur, Illinois at a clinic. Cora’s past, though, is about to catch up with her. Jonah Miller and Sara have married and are expecting their first child. Jonah was courting Elaine Schrock until her grandmother became ill. Elaine had to take care of her grandmother, Edna so she told Jonah a little lie (that she did not care for him). Elaine was hoping that Jonah would still be available after her grandmother passed away and that he would understand her reasoning. Unfortunately, Jonah married Sara within a few months. Elaine has started the dinners again at her farm (English visitors get a traditional Amish dinner and can ask questions about their life and culture) trying to move forward, but she misses Jonah. The Gift was a typical Wanda E. Brunstetter novel. It is well-written and enjoyable to read. There is a lot going on in the novel, but it all ties together. I give The Gift 4 out of 5 stars (which means I liked it, but I did not love it). This is the second book in the series, but it can be read without reading the previous book (but it really helps to have read The Decision). I received a complimentary copy of The Gift in exchange for an honest review. The review and opinions expressed are my own.
sunshineJB More than 1 year ago
The Gift, is the second book in the Prairie State Friends series. Once again author Wanda Brunstetter did not disappoint. This book kept me turning pages just as fast as my eyes could read. I was several chapters into the story when a couple of new characters entered the picture. I was a bit stumped to how they fit in. Patience soon made everything crystal clear. It was a light bulb moment for me. I should have figured it out sooner but I didn’t! I enjoyed that this book was not cut and dried. Issues, problems, and concerns, that cropped up in this story, would easily fit in with today’s world. Without God in our lives can we learn to trust, obey, love, and forgive? Sometimes it is easy to trust, obey, love, but forgive? That can be a hard one. When I got to the end of this book I was disappointed that it ended. I wanted the story to continue on and on. I can’t wait for book three to be released to find out what happens to all my favorite characters in this book. I highly recommend this book to all who read this review. If you haven’t read book one, The Decision, do so.
MaureenST More than 1 year ago
The Gift is the second book in this series at Arthur IL Amish Community, and reunite with our old friends, and especially the bond of friends Leah, Priscilla and Elaine. We ended the first book on a cliff- hanger and expect the same with this read. We get caught up with all of our friends and begin new relationships, with the focus on our friends and their trip to matrimony. There are some real chuckles here, and some very sad happenings. With the introduction of the Englisher from Chicago into the story, my mind was trying to figure out how she fit, and yes I did guess it. We all make some choices that we regret later, and this story has several story points of this nature, and we get an in-depth look into their lives. When the story ended Adam seemed to be on the road towards forgiveness, he has a lot of bitterness left, and we can only home he finds peace. I am looking forward to the next book and answers to the many facets of the lives in this small community. I received this book through Net Galley and the Publisher Barbour, Inc., and was not required to give a positive review.