She never wanted to marry. He hopes to make amends for past wrongs. Can love find a way to heal both of their hearts?
Sadie Schrock swore she would never marry. All of her other Amish friends could court and marry—she was content to manage the family business and eventually take it over when her parents are ready to retire. But all of that changes when a reckless driver kills both of her parents and seriously injures her younger sister. With mounting hospital bills adding to the pile of debt her parents left behind, Sadie is left with no choice: she must marry. And not just any man—the man who saw her at her weakest and walked away.
Aden knows what his brother did to Sadie years ago was inexcusable. And every day since that incident, Aden has lived with the guilt for not intervening sooner. When he is faced with the chance to protect Sadie once again, he can’t let her down—even if it means living with the scorn of the woman he loves for the rest of his life.
Working alongside Aden at the store, Sadie realizes he isn’t the same boy who once betrayed her. Just when Sadie starts to let her guard down and perhaps develop feelings for her new husband, dangerous secrets are revealed. Now everything Sadie has worked so hard to protect is threatened, and she must find a way to save her family—and herself.
About the Author
With over a million copies sold, Kathleen Fuller is the author of several bestselling novels, including the Hearts of Middlefield novels, the Middlefield Family novels, the Amish of Birch Creek series, and the Amish Letters series as well as a middle-grade Amish series, the Mysteries of Middlefield. Visit her online at KathleenFuller.com; Instagram: kfstoryteller; Facebook: WriterKathleenFuller; Twitter: @TheKatJam.
Read an Excerpt
A Reluctant Bride
By Kathleen Fuller
Thomas NelsonCopyright © 2015 Kathleen Fuller
All rights reserved.
Six years later
Sadie, hurry up! We're going to be late!"
Sadie lifted an eyebrow as the door to her room opened. Her sister Abigail huffed in frustration.
"You're not even ready." Abigail walked into the room, Joanna close on her heels.
Sadie returned her attention to the book spread out on her lap. "I'm not going." She crossed her ankles as she stretched out on her bed.
"But you promised you'd geh this time." Abigail looked down on Sadie, her forehead furrowing above her thick light brown eyebrows.
"I don't recall promising." Sadie turned a page, pretending to be absorbed in the book she was reading. "I recall saying maybe."
"Maybe is close enough."
"Maybe means maybe." Sadie glanced up at her youngest sister. Joanna stood a few steps behind Abigail, quiet as usual, her chestnut eyes wide and filled with innocent sweetness. Sadie peered at her around Abigail's shoulder. "You're not going to say anything in mei defense?"
"I'm a neutral observer."
Sadie chuckled. "Chicken." She looked at Abigail again. "Just so we're clear, I have no plans to geh to the singing tonight. I do have plans to spend the evening reading this fascinating book."
Abigail smirked as she peered down at the title at the top of one page. "The Basics of Accounting?"
"We all have to start somewhere." Sadie lifted the book in front of her, blocking her view of Abigail. She heard her sister blow out an exasperated breath.
"Sadie, please. You never geh to the Sunday singings anymore. Or to much of anything else, other than church. How are you going to get a mann if you don't make an effort?"
For the past two years her sister had been singularly focused on her own dating life. But that didn't mean she needed to extend that interest to Sadie's. "Who says I want a mann?"
"You need a mann."
Sadie set down the book, her mirth evaporating. "Mamm sent you up here, didn't she?"
Abigail shook her head, while Joanna nodded. Abigail turned around, glanced at Joanna, and rolled her eyes. "Fine. Mamm sent us. She said if you didn't geh tonight, we couldn't geh either."
Sadie sat up and dropped her book on top of the quilt. "That's not fair."
"That's what I said." Abigail put her hands on her slender waist. "But she was serious."
Sadie paused, stif ling a groan of frustration. For the last couple of years, the same two years Abigail had been so focused on her own prospects, their mother had been after Sadie to be more serious about finding a husband. Sadie wasn't interested in finding a husband, or even dating. Just the thought of being alone with a man, even a nice man, made her want to run in the opposite direction. But her mother had other ideas. Sadie swung her legs over the side of the bed and stood. "I'll geh talk to her."
"It would be easier if you'd just geh to the singing." Abigail dropped her arms. "C'mon, Sadie. It will be fun. You'll see yer friends."
"The ones who haven't gotten married yet. I think that adds up to two."
"So? There are still a couple of guys who aren't dating anyone."
"For the last time, I'm not interested."
Joanna moved to stand beside Abigail. A few inches shorter and three years younger than Sadie, she'd always tried not to get involved in her sisters' arguments. "You don't have to be interested in the buwe that way." She smiled sweetly. "Just be nice."
"In other words, don't be yourself," Abigail added.
Joanna elbowed Abigail in the side. "You're not helping."
"I don't care." Abigail crossed her thin arms over her chest, acting more like a twelve-year-old than a twenty-year-old. "If we don't leave soon we're going to be late." She glared at Sadie.
Sadie ran her palms over the skirt of her old sage dress. She and Abigail were evenly matched in the stubbornness department. But so were Sadie and their mother, and Sadie knew even if she went downstairs and tried to convince Mamm to let her sisters go to the singing without her, Mamm wouldn't change her mind. Appealing to her father wouldn't work either. He would say, "That's between you maed," and then find a way to escape the room.
"Fine," Sadie said, a knot forming in her stomach. "I'll geh.
For a little while."
Abigail and Joanna both grinned. "Danki," Abigail said.
"Now, you two geh downstairs while I get ready." She started for her dresser. "Where's the singing again?"
"Sadie, don't you ever pay attention?" Abigail said. "It's at the Troyers'."
Sadie froze, and by the time she turned around to make an excuse — any excuse — for changing her mind, they had both left. Her hand curled over the edge of her dresser, and the knot that had started to form in her stomach transformed into a full-blown ache. Why was her mother choosing this singing to take a stand?
She willed her pulse to slow. When that didn't work, she silently asked God to do it. Sadie looked at her ref lection in the small oval mirror above her dresser. Her normally fair complexion was now paper white, and her stomach lurched at the thought of walking into Bishop Troyer's house.
When Abigail and Joanna were old enough to go to singings, she'd forced herself to go to the ones held at the Troyers' to ensure Sol stayed away from them, and she'd been relieved for the last year or two when he hadn't even made an appearance. To his credit — which he deserved very little, in her opinion — Sol had stayed away from her, and her sisters too, even at church services. Maybe he'd get married soon, since he was nearly twenty-five years old. Not that she'd wish Sol Troyer on anyone.
She knew why Abigail was so insistent on going tonight. It was no secret that she and Joel Zook were interested in each other. Joanna, as usual, just went along with whatever everyone else wanted. She was the most easygoing person Sadie knew.
She loved her sisters, and she didn't want to disappoint them. She didn't want to argue with her mother, either.
But the Troyers ...
If she protested too much, her family would be suspicious and would start asking questions she didn't want to answer. And she couldn't risk the chance that Sol would be there. He couldn't be trusted. Abigail had Joel, but what if Sol tried to talk to Joanna?
She had to do this. Sadie closed her eyes, then opened them again as she straightened her shoulders and lifted her chin.
She would get through it ... somehow.
Lord ... help me.
Sadie quickly slipped into a nicer dress, black stockings, and her black shoes. She checked the pins on her dress to make sure they were straight, ignored the trembling in her hands, then headed downstairs.
"I'm ready," she said, tamping down her anxiety as she entered the living room.
Her mother looked up from the cooking magazine she was reading and smiled. "I'm glad you changed yer mind, Sadie."
"I didn't have much choice," she muttered. Even if she was going now with a purpose of her own, she didn't like her mother's slightly underhanded methods, although she understood Mamm had the best of intentions.
Although Sadie was certain her mother had heard her, Mamm 's smile remained in place. "I'm sure you'll have a nice time, dochder. It will do you gut to get out of the haus and be among friends."
Sadie forced a smile and nodded. "We won't be gone long."
"Speak for yourself," Abigail huffed.
"I am," Sadie said, giving her a look.
"You maed take yer time." Mamm glanced at Daed, who was lying back in the hickory rocking chair, his eyes closed and his mouth partway open as he quietly snored. Mamm shrugged. "I'll say good-bye for him and let him sleep."
"Bye, Mamm!" Abigail tugged on Sadie's sleeve as they walked out of the house. Joanna was standing by Sadie's buggy, the horse already hitched and ready to go. Sadie had bought both the buggy and the horse a year ago, after saving her money from working at the family store. Of course, her mother complained she worked too many hours, but Sadie loved to work. She enjoyed all aspects of the job — stocking shelves, ordering product, serving the customers. She'd started reading the accounting book and hoped she could convince her father to let her start managing the books, or at least help him with the store's accounts.
But most of all, and something she'd never admitted to anyone, was that the store was safe. When she was there, she didn't have to worry about Sol or Aden. By some miracle neither had stepped foot inside the store in years. Even if they had, between her family and the customers, she and her sisters were almost never alone. And when Bishop Troyer and his wife stopped by, she could always put on a smile and pretend she didn't resent their sons. She was happy with her life the way it was. She didn't want a man ... and she certainly didn't need one.
"Sadie, hurry up," Abigail said as she climbed into the buggy. Joanna scooted in next to her.
Sadie patted her horse's nose as she trudged by. Apple gave her a nudge and Sadie sighed. Even her horse was rushing her along. She got in the buggy and grabbed the reins, which nearly slipped from her slick hands. All she'd wanted was to spend the evening learning a little about accounting. Instead she'd be forced to dodge people she didn't want to see.
Abigail leaned forward, resting her chin on Sadie's shoulder as Sadie guided Apple out of the driveway. "Tonight will be fun," she said. "I promise."
Sadie clutched the reins and managed a nod. As her sisters started to talk about Joel and the other young men they'd see at the Troyers', Sadie tuned them out. Maybe she would be lucky tonight and Sol wouldn't be there. Maybe she'd be double lucky tonight and Aden wouldn't be around either. To her, one brother was as bad as the other.
* * *
Aden Troyer pushed the porch swing back and forth with the toe of his boot as he watched the buggies file one by one into the driveway. He didn't want to be here, but his father insisted — and he didn't dare refuse his father. He was past the age of attending these things, but his father persisted in having them, more for the youth of the community than for his own son. Yet every year Aden had to endure this mandatory attendance. He was getting sick of it.
The back-and-forth motion of the swing calmed his nerves a bit. If he had to be here, he didn't have to be inside. Not yet. At least Sol wouldn't be here. His father had stopped making his brother attend the past year or two. He thanked God for small favors.
He thought about Sol, about how the drinking was getting worse, along with his temper. He suspected his father knew about Sol's vices, although he never said anything about them in Aden's presence. Probably because he was too busy pointing out Aden's f laws. His many, many flaws.
He pushed the swing in motion again, lifting his head to see the latest person arrive to the singing. He watched as the buggy parked in front of the barn, neatly lining up with the rest of the buggies. The driver exited the vehicle.
Aden stopped the swing. What was Sadie Schrock doing here?
He leaned forward as Sadie's sisters, Abigail and Joanna, got out on the other side of the buggy. But Aden barely paid attention to them. Why would Sadie come here? This was the last place he'd expected her to show up.
But his surprise at seeing her wasn't the only reason he couldn't tear his gaze away. To him, not only was she the prettiest maedel in Birch Creek, she was also the most interesting. Sadie wasn't like other girls. He could always tell she was fiercely devoted to her family and to their business. She was serious minded, but there were also times he'd seen her lovely smile, heard her sweet laugh when he saw her talking with her sisters or her friends. He appreciated her. He admired her. He could easily see himself falling for her ... if things were different. If he hadn't run off and left her with Sol that time by the cornfield.
Maybe then she wouldn't hate him so much.
The front screen door opened with a squeak. "Aden."
Aden pulled his gaze away from Sadie at the sound of his father's voice. Daed was standing in the doorway, his face placid, nearly inscrutable. But Aden could see the glimmer of disappointment in his father's eyes, so small that Aden was sure only he could have detected it.
I've had enough practice.
"You need to be inside, sohn, to greet our guests."
He didn't look at his father. At twenty-two he shouldn't have to be talked to like he was a kid. "I'll be inside in a minute."
Daed paused. "I haven't received the money from this week's honey sales."
"I'll get it to you tomorrow."
"See that you do. And see that you come inside. Now."
Aden f linched as the screen door slammed shut. He kept watching Sadie as she lagged a few steps behind her sisters. From the pinched look on her face, he could see she didn't want to be here either. At least we have that in common.
He stood and went inside the house. He wasn't ready to face anyone, not yet. He snuck upstairs to his room and opened the bottom drawer of his small dresser. Beneath a layer of socks was the envelope that held the money. His money, despite his father's insistence that Aden give every penny to him as recompense for putting a roof over his head and meals in his stomach. But it wasn't his father who had built the beehives, or tended to them, or collected and packaged the honey, or read dozens of books from the library on pollination and gardening. His father was too busy. Too important.
Aden would never say such a thing to the man's face. He was the bishop, and he had been since his family and five others had moved to Birch Creek a little over twenty-five years ago. Aden was born here, but his parents were from Holmes County. Over the years their small community had grown to twenty families, all under Emmanuel Troyer's watchful, and outwardly caring, eye. Aden had a difficult time understanding how a man who was so revered and respected by the rest of the community could be so hard and unyielding to his own son.
He was old enough to leave. He could strike out on his own and make a decent living raising bees and selling honey and other hive by-products. But he wouldn't leave his mother here with his father and Sol. As long as Aden stayed, he would be the one to bear the burden of Sol's temper and his father's derision. Neither his father nor his brother had ever turned on Mamm, but Aden didn't want to risk the chance of that happening if he weren't here.
He sighed and opened the envelope that held almost three hundred dollars. He took out fifty, put the envelope back, and pulled out a small metal box from under his bed. He put the fifty dollars inside and shoved the box back until he heard it hit the wall. His father trusted Aden to be honest, and in almost every aspect of his life Aden was. But he had to have something for himself. He needed the security the money he set aside without his father's knowledge gave him. He couldn't convince himself that withholding some of the money he'd earned was a sin, not when his father demanded everything from Aden — even when Aden's everything wasn't close to good enough.
He stood, brushed off his black pants, took a deep breath, and went downstairs.
* * *
Sadie really didn't want to be here.
She stood in the corner of the Troyers' basement, which seemed so similar to her parents'— gray cement f loor, cinder block walls, and a small horizontal window at the top of the back wall to let in a bit of light. There were several gas lamps in the room, which gave adequate lighting. Sadie held a red plastic cup filled with apple cider and tried to be as inconspicuous as possible. She kept her eye out for Sol, who fortunately hadn't shown up. Still, she had to stay on guard.
"Sadie," Abigail muttered, "stop looking like you've got tacks in yer shoes."
Excerpted from A Reluctant Bride by Kathleen Fuller. Copyright © 2015 Kathleen Fuller. Excerpted by permission of Thomas Nelson.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I loved this book. I haven't ever read an amish book. Kept me guessing. My emotions was up one minute and down the next. But it left me with a cliff hanger at the end a little disappoint but hoping for a second part.
A Reluctant Bride, By: Kathleen Fuller A Reluctant Bride is book one in An Amish of Birch Creek series. What an amazing book. This is Kathleen Fuller’s best book yet! I was captured right from the start. I read the book cover to cover in less than a day. This is a story that will have you sitting on the edge of your seating wondering what in the world could possibly happen next! A story of faith, trust, love, heartache, forgiveness and of the past. This was a powerfully moving story for me. The issues in this story will surely tug on your heart. Be prepared for the ride of your life as you live the story right along with the wonderful characters. Be sure to grab your glass of sweet ice tea and some tissues as you kick back to enjoy this captivating story. I was definitely left with the yearning for the next book in this series. Be sure to get your copy of A Reluctant Bride today! 5 stars!
A Reluctant Bride was an amazing story with characters that had suffered greatly in their young lives. Sadie Schrock was the oldest member of her family and was determined to remain single until tragedy struck. Bishop Emmanuel Troyer was determined to see Sadie married to his son Solomon, who Sadie could not stand looking at due to a trauma when they were younger. What’s behind the bishop’s insistence of a quick marriage when she is grieving for her parents and her sister Joanna is recovering from the accident? Who will rescue Sadie from marrying Solomon Troyer? Readers of Amish genre will enjoy this page turner story with multiple twists and turns involving well developed and true to life issues. My emotions were all over the place with the losses and pain the characters were dealing with. A Reluctant Heart is filled with family, friends, determination, deceit, forgiveness, faith and God’s amazing love and grace. I’m thankful I have the next two books in this series, An Unbroken Heart and A Love Made New, to see what is happening in the lives of these characters as I kept thinking of them after closing the book. I borrowed this book thus a review was not required. All thoughts expressed are my own.
Enjoyed this book very much. However, thus says series #1, is there a #2 yet?
This book reminded me of God's grace and mercy but mostly his love. You will be glad you read it.
This is an excellent marriage of convenience story! The circumstances leading to Sadie and Aden's union are tragic, and the author did a wonderful job endearing the characters to us in the beginning so that when the shift occurred, I was completely immersed and connected to the high emotion. The complexities of Sadie and Aden's personalities are understandable after what they have gone through in the past and present, and the way Aden dedicates himself to Sadie's happiness is healing for both of them. I loved the slow progression of their relationship with all its nuances. There is some suspense with the pressure the bishop is putting on Aden and his brother, and the resolution was one I didn't see coming but brought a satisfying conclusion. I'm so glad there are two more books in the series from Sadie's sisters' points of view, and can't wait to read them! (Thank you to Thomas Nelson Publishing for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review)
Your heart will be bleeding for Sadie and Aden! Oh my, oh my, oh my! ! ! If you don't find your heart bleeding for both Sadie and Aden, you don't have a heart! This story is just one huge tragedy in both of their lives. Kathleen, thank you so much for making me lose some sleep. I had a terrible time trying to put this book down. Let me just say that this is a definite winner in my mind and it comes highly recommended as a MUST read. I have had this book in my TBR pile for quite some time when I saw that I could request the third book in the series, "An Unbroken Heart" coming out on March 16th, in exchange for an honest review. Boy am I glad I finally read it and I am purchasing the second book, "A Love Made New", which I thought I had but don't, as soon as I get done here.
I went into this pretty much expecting your typical Amish romance but was pleasantly surprised at how much deeper it turned out to be. This story tackles such topics as the power a sincere apology can have; finding strength to go against what you've been taught your entire life when you realize those teachings are actually based in ignorance or prejudice; struggles with alcoholism and why some people are driven to self medicate emotional wounds; and allowing people who have wronged you the opportunity to change (in turn allowing yourself to let go of the hateful feelings towards them). The story also looks at suspicious behavior among church officials, which brings up the topic of what do we do when the people we put on pedestals let us down? The romance unfolds pretty much the way you would expect, it was more the other themes that led me to give this one a four star rating. I'd say if you've liked this type of story in the past and would like to try them again, but have maybe become burnt out by the same ol' plots being churned out in recent years, this might be a good one to try out as a refresher.
Stories written from an Amish point of view will always capture my attention. It’s my natural curiosity for another culture and Ms. Fuller’s book does not disappoint. Full of cultural references as well as suspense and romance, A RELUCTANT BRIDE will leave readers eagerly turning the next page to see if this reluctant bride stays reluctant for long. A good addition to any library.
Things are not always as we perceive and at first look the Amish Community of Birch Creek, looks and acts just like most others. As we delve into the character’s lives here, one family is not like most of the others, and this family is at the forefront of all of the families. This is the Bishops family, and there are a lot of deep dark secrets here. Beginning with just about the first page we see that one of the Bishops sons is a drunkard. He attacks of one his own, Sadie Schrock, and life then throws funny punches at her by placing him in her life forever. I was shocked at some of the revelations that happened in this story, and yet they happen in all cultures, and unfortunately they seem to repeat themselves. We can only hope that it stops at this generation and does not move forward. It is a compelling page-turner, and yes you will shed tears, and hope for the best. Will life turn around for Sadie and her sisters? I received this book through Net Galley and the Publisher Thomas Nelson, and was not required to give a positive review
A Reluctant Bride is an emotionally charged story! Heart-wrenching and dramatic, it beautifully illustrates the power of forgiveness. When Sadie Schrock’s life is turned upside down, she finds herself in a situation she never expected. Determined to make this best of the situation, for herself and her sisters, Sadie slowly lowers her defense and allows a relationship to develop. Sadie and Aden’s story is compelling, and I’m excited to know more books will follow in the Amish of Birch Creek series. A Reluctant Bride is a gripping tale and a highly recommended read for fans of Amish fiction! I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an unbiased review. All thoughts expressed are my own.
I have read other Amish books by other authors and A Reluctant Bride was quite a surprise. What an amazing book. I was captured right from the start. This story is one that will have you sitting on the edge of your seat pondering what in the world could possibly happen next! It is a story of faith, trust, love, heartache, forgiveness and of the past.The issues in this story will surely tug on your heart.
I've never read an Amish romance before, so when I saw this story, I thought it would be nice. I know Amish have their own language and when using English, they sound Danish. I love accents, but I'm gonna tell you now, reading it is another story, especially the way it's used in this book. This is in no way an insult to anyone, especially Kathleen Fuller, the author, but I didn't see the use for the Amish colloquialism. There were sentences where they said mann instead of man, geh instead of go and several others. I love the way the Amish sound but there was no need to throw a word in periodically. It was extraneous. Other than that, I loved the book cover. It's beautiful and looks exactly as I pictured. Granted, I've been in Amish country before. I have no complaints there. As for the story, it's about a young lady, strong willed and intelligent, who wants nothing to do with men. She was accosted when she was younger and from then on, kept to herself. It's not until she's placed in a bind and needs to get married that she has to settle on a husband. Sadly, it's the brother of the man who'd attacked her years ago. She'd kept away from him as a friend, seeing him as a coward, but then she has to accept him as her husband! This story is written well, other than the throw-in expressions. I enjoyed the story. It deals with issues like alcoholism, sexual abuse, mental and physical abuse and biblical chauvinism. Sadly, the death of Sadie's parents placed her in a position to marry a person who'd left her to an awful fate years ago. The book raises emotions and is an excellent read for anyone who loves this genre. I'm on to the next book. http://tinyurl.com/pc59ldk
I was instantly drawn to this book from the moment I read the back cover. I was hoping the inside of the book was just as good as the description on the back. Did the book live up to my expectations? Yes!! In fact, it surpassed them! The characters in this book were well developed. There are ones you will immediately like and ones you will hate. The author did a wonderful job of creating these characters and making them feel so real that I forgot they were fictional. The story is told at just the right pace. The story has a very real and natural progression that lent to the believability of the story. I didn't feel like anything was rushed and the Sadie and Aden's story was told to perfection. A Reluctant Bride is a wonderfully told story of love, loss, and second chances. It is definitely one for the keeper shelf. A second or third reading of this book will be just as good as the first. A must read for fans of love stories, Amish or not. I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest opinion, which I have given.
Sadie's strength is found in her honor. She is a hard worker, she is resourceful, she is loyal and kind. Her love is harbored deep within her soul. Her challenge will be tapping into the overflow of love from those she can trust. Trusting others can be a shattering experience, Sadie must find a path into the blessings of love. Her path will begin with the needs of survival for her sisters and for her self. Her heart will be renewed by a choice in which Sadie will learn that love is a gentle gift. Aden is a man whom thanks God for small favors. Although he has always admired and appreciated Sadie, his shame has kept him from "striking out" on his own. That is until that moment in the Schrock Grocery and Tool store. That decisive moment of Sadie's need when he had to right the past. His love will be the refreshing gift that will lead Sadie beyond what life has dealt her. Sadie's sister Abigail will be the one who will help their little sister, Joanna, heal from the devastating accident. While Sadie steps into the role of provider, store keeper, finance manager, and bride. Together, Sadie and Aden will discover truths, strengths, weaknesses, deceptions, and faith. Together they have an opportunity to discover a precious gift of hope in a love that will last a life time. Sometimes a quiet read is the most deserving moments of gentleness, MrsK
This was a good book, it's not a happy everything is perfect kind of book there's a good bit of sadness but I'm happy with the way it all worked out...I think ink this is the first book I've read by kathleen, and I can't wait to see what else she does with this series and to check out her other work I received this book free from the publisher in exchange for my honest review
A Reluctant Bride shares the story of two Amish families whose lives have collided through tragedy. This book is a romance with lots of secrets and mystery throughout, while the characters struggle with their faith and their need for revenge. The main character, Sadie Schrock, told everyone that she would never get married as she was happy to manage the family store, Schrock Grocery and Tools. She even looked forward of taking over the family store when her parents were to retire. In an instant, however, everything in Sadie's life changed when her parents were taken from her as a result of a reckless driver. Her parents were killed and her younger sister was left with serious injuries. Sadie was then faced with piles of debt that her parents left behind, along with the ever-growing mound of bills for her medical sister’s care. Sadly, Sadie realized then that she had no choice - that she must marry to save her family. Bishop Troyer chose his son Aden Troyer for Sadie's husband and even planned her wedding. Aden knows what his brother, Solomon, did to Sadie years ago, and has lived with guilt every day since that incident for not intervening sooner. (No spoiler here.) Their marriage began with many challenges added to the fact that Sadie did not love Aden. Their future dealt with guilt, lies, secrets, hidden mystery and financial problems. In time Sadie realized Aden isn’t the same boy who had betrayed her in the past and she began to develop feelings for her new husband, while at the same time dangerous secrets are revealed. Sadie is threatened and she must find a way to protect her family including herself. This story is about pain, loss, faith, trust, love, and finally, through God, complete forgiveness. This story will touch you very deeply. Perhaps, it will even soften your heart or even convict you of something you need to make right, or someone you need to go to and ask for forgiveness. Another thing I got out of this book was, the importance of accountability. We should not only be accountable to the community/church that we serve but to God. I highly recommend this book. I warn you though, once you start reading it, you will want to continue reading until the last page is read.
I have to say I'm not usually a fan of romance and at first I thought this might be the typical romance: girl doesn't like guy, girl grows to like guy then love and happily ever after. I was so WRONG. Kathleen Fuller has an exceptional story here. The Reluctant Bride encompasses disenchantment, abuse, broken people, hope, love and strong faith. Sadie Schrock and Aden Troyer were thrown into marriage by a tragedy and the Bishop (Aden's father) of their Amish community. Sadie doesn't trust Aden because of an incident in their past. The Bishop has his reasons for wanting them to marry. He has ruled his 2 sons' lives with abuse and negativity and plans to rule Aiden and Sadie's marriage the same way. Bishop Troyer has an agenda of his own and he does not tolerate disobedience. Kathleen Fuller has developed awesome characters and the story draws the reader into their lives. I felt this was an remarkable read and I highly recommend it. I received this book free from the publisher for review purposes. If you want to learn more about Kathleen Fuller at http://kathleenfuller.com/home
The Book Sadie Schlock has lived in partial fear of men due to an incident many years ago. Because of this moment in her life she has vowed to never marry. But circumstances abruptly change when her parents are killed in a horrible crash and one of her sisters is seriously injured. As hospital bills rapidly accumulate and discovering that her parents were in deep debt Sadie realizes that the only way out is to marry. And marry the one man that left her alone in one of her weakest moments; one she can never forgive. Aden Troyer knows that leaving Sadie alone all of those years ago has caused an enormous riff between them. He wishes that he could just ask her forgiveness and tell her how he truly feels about her, but he cannot overcome his shyness to do so. Then things change as he finally has the opportunity to save Sadie and try his best to make up for past mistakes. Even if he has to live the rest of his life with a woman that despises him, he believes that it is the right thing to do, especially for the woman he loves. As Aden and Sadie work at restoring the Family Store, Sadie comes to the point where she realizes that Aden isn't the same as the boy that he was many years ago. But is this change in him enough to safeguard her future? And will she finally start to fall in love with her husband only to be betrayed at the last moment? There are too many secrets from the past that are coming to haunt Sadie and risking her family and her future. My Thoughts This is a wonderful story of forgiveness and hope for the future. That there is a God that loves us enough that we can overcome any adversity that we may have in our lives. As life becomes unbalanced for Sadie she has to learn to let go and offer up forgiveness even though she would rather not. She makes marked improvements in many areas of her life, tough moments that makes you wonder how she was able to thrive instead of fall completely apart. Then we are blessed to see that through all of her misadventures she has held onto the steady rock that his her God. Watching Aden learn to stand up to some of the bullies in his life says much about what too much pain and condemnation can do for some men. He relies heavily on God and that allows him to ultimately become a true and good man. Kathleen Fuller writes a compelling story that is fraught full of moments of fear and desperation that are flipped into moments of trust and obedience to God. A wonderfully good read and one that is filled with sweet moments of a growing love between two good people. It is sweet and lovely to watch their love bloom. I absolutely loved this story and look forward to reading more from this series. I recommend this book to you if you are looking for a bit of intrigue and are a fan of the Amish and their lives. * I received a free copy of this book from Thomas Nelson Zondervan Publishers in exchange for my honest opinion and review. No other compensation was given. *
Now that I have read A Reluctant Bride, I am so excited that this is only the first book in the Amish of Birch Creek series. I can look ahead and anticipate returning to these great characters in future novels! This story was so good! The set up was ripe for tension, with Sadie and Aden ending up in a “marriage of necessity”. But, A Reluctant Bride takes it a step further. Sadie deeply resents Aden for a situation that occurred in the past when he failed her. Now, his actions are protecting her, while at the same time forcing her to look deeper at this man and his family history. A Reluctant Bride has very complex characters, some you will love and others that are downright scary. Power, control, and abuse are driving factors that shape the lives of some key members of the story. There is loss and sadness, but also a great story of forgiveness and the chance at a deep and abiding love. A Reluctant Bride was so interesting and I am anxiously awaiting the next book in the series. I received a complimentary copy of this book, through BookLook Bloggers, in exchange for an honest review.
I loved this book BUT there is a few characters really got my blood boiling on how they was treating others. I loved Sadie and I just wanted to become her best friend and take all her hurt away. This is one of those book I wanted to pick up and read and if someone bothered me I would go find a quiet place because I just couldn't get enough of this book. I am looking forward to reading the next book in the series. I highly recommend it to anyone that loves Amish books. I received a copy of this book for my honest review from Thomas Nelson Fiction Guild.
It has been a long time since an Amish based book has raised such raw emotion in me. But The Reluctant Bride has done the trick. Bishop Troyer has succeeded in making my blood boil! This first book in Kathleen Fuller's newest series isn't your average Amish novel. She chooses a more edgy path for her characters and delves into abuse including physical, mental and spiritual. While she allows the dark side of a tight knit community to be revealed this isn't just a novel filled with tragedy, far from it. It is also a story of healing, hope, and the beginning of a lifelong love. I enjoyed following along while Sadie and Aden navigated the treacherous path set before them. The strength of character that developed in each of them was inspiring and their developing love for each other was moving. We expect to be able to trust and rely on our spiritual leaders but sometimes those leaders shouldn't be trusted. This book reminds us that we are all fallible and God should be the only One that we ultimately rely on. If you enjoy a story with depth that will surely evoke strong emotions then I encourage you to pick this novel up. Because of the subject matter I think it would make a particularly good choice for a featured read for your book club. To get the ball rolling there are discussion questions at the back of the book. I received a copy of this book to facilitate my review.
OH MY GOODNESS!!!! I LOVED this book! I read it in two days and that is only because I felt I should at least sleep an hour or two the night I started it. I could not put this book down. From page one I was hooked I just kept turning and turning the pages. I couldn't believe how many different things were involved in this book. Love, suspense, a little bit of mystery, forgiveness and reconciliation! That is just naming the highlights. Kathleen is an amazing author. I have always loved Amish fiction and now I know I will always choose anything she writes when I'm looking for a book. I so much enjoyed how mysterious some parts of the story were! Sometimes when you get a romance it's sloppy and sappy and sticky sweet. This book was anything but that! The romance aspect of it was actually an underlying part in my opinion. The characters are well developed and you most certainly love who you should love and totally dislike whom you should dislike. I can't say too many things about the book and its characters without spoiling the book, but honestly I can't say enough good things! I have already told every person I know it seems like about how awesome this book is. So there you go, suspense, a little mystery and romance all in one book. You won't be disappointed! Grab your copy today, but make sure you have a day or two to do nothing but read because you won't want to stop! I received this book through the Fiction Guild in exchange for my review.
I have never read a book by Kathleen Fuller until I read this book. I am now a huge fan. This book grabbed me from the beginning and I literally read it in two days. This book shows a darker side of Amish life. It deals with childhood abuse, alcoholism, and bullying. It deals with death and heartache. It also shows the beauty of forgiveness and unconditional love. I can't wait for the next book in the series.