Return to Wells Landing, the close-knit Amish community in Oklahoma, where a hopeful young woman struggles to find true love while staying true to her faith. . .
Emily Ebersol is the bishop's daughter, and everyoneincluding Emilyassumes she'll marry a faithful Amish man and live out her days within the community. But her childhood sweetheart, Luke Lambright, fell in love with racing cars during his rumspringa and decided to leave Wells Landing. Emily prays for his return, but as the months go by, she begins spending time with another young mana man who may not be as exciting as Luke, but perhaps he's exactly what she needs. . .
Elam Rhiel knows that Emily has always been in love with Lukebut he is certain he could be the loyal, steady husband Emily deserves. Then, just as Emily begins to fall for him, Luke returns and complicates her feelings. Now, they all must learn that the greatest love requires the greatest sacrifice. . .
About the Author
Amy Lillard is an award-winning author of over forty novels and novellas ranging from Amish romance and mysteries to contemporary and historical romance. Since receiving a Carol Award for her debut novel, Saving Gideon (2012), she has become known for writing sweet stories filled with family values, honest characters, a hometown feel and close-knit communities. She is a member of RWA, ACFW, NINC, and the Author’s Guild. Born and bred in Mississippi, she now lives with her husband and son in Oklahoma. Please visit her online at www.AmyWritesRomance.com.
Read an Excerpt
By Amy Lillard
KENSINGTON PUBLISHING CORP.Copyright © 2015 Amy Lillard
All rights reserved.
"Emily? What are you doing out here all by yourself?"
Emily Ebersol jumped as the voice sounded behind her. She whirled away from the sight of the beautiful Thoroughbred horses that Abe Fitch and his nephew kept and turned to face Becky Riehl. "W-what? I mean, jah. I'm fine."
Becky's gaze followed the line of sight and watched as the horses frolicked and played. Twin dimples dented her cheeks as she turned her attention back to Emily. "I didn't ask how you were. I asked what you were doing out here alone. There is a wedding celebration going on at the house." She gestured behind her toward the rambling farmhouse Andrew Fitch shared with his onkle Abe.
"Jah. Right." Had she been so deep in thought that she hadn't even heard the teen's words correctly? "I just—" Needed a break? Had to get away? Wanted some time alone? She dipped her chin toward the pasture. "You know."
Becky stepped up to the fence and folded her arms across the top wooden slat. "They are schee."
Emily allowed her gaze to wander back to the beautiful horses dotting the lush green field. The scene was pastoral and peaceful yet it brought her no comfort. "Why aren't you with the others at the singing?"
Caroline and Andrew's wedding was over, but the celebration had just started. There would be a singing in the afternoon and another in the evening with more food and cake in between.
Becky made a face, somewhere between a smile and a grimace. "They're still getting everything ready, but I don't think I'm staying."
"Is Billy Beiler sitting with someone else?"
The young girl sighed. She'd had a crush on Billy as long as Emily could remember. Even when they were both in the schoolhouse and Emily was their teacher.
"You know tradition," Emily said. "He'll sit with a different girl at each singing. All the buwe will."
Becky sighed again. "That still doesn't mean he'll sit with me."
As true as the statement was, Emily could offer no rebuttal. What sort of advice could she give? The one man she wanted had left the Amish entirely. She hadn't heard from Luke in months, even with all of his promises to call. And she worried that by now he had forgotten all about her. She pushed the thought away and concentrated on the girl before her. "He surely can't sit with you if you are out here with me."
"Will you go in with me?"
"Of course." Despite the differences in their ages, Emily had always gotten along well with Becky. She supposed it was the other things they had in common that bonded them together. Like the fact that both of their families relied on dairy animals for their primary living and the number of girls in each house. Both Emily and Becky had four other sisters to share the burdens of cooking and cleaning.
Emily linked her arm with Becky's and turned them back toward the house where the wedding celebration was in a small lull. The first round of dinner had been served and the next wave was waiting.
The last thing Emily wanted was to go back into the house and watch her friend Caroline with all her weddingday happiness. It was petty of her, she knew, but seeing her friends and their pleasure together was almost more than she could take in such a large quantity. She'd have to pray about it tonight. Maybe again in the morning.
If only Luke hadn't left.
"The twins were sad when you didn't return to teaching this year," Becky said as they made their way up the drive toward the house. "Little Norma, too."
"Jah. I miss teaching them and seeing them each day." She was sad as well, but her father had decided she needed to be at home helping with her mother's cheese-making business. Maybe one day she could convince Dat to let her go back to teaching. Until then, she was doing all she could to make the best of the situation.
Normally the singing would be held in the barn, but it was a beautiful, early fall day, and the benches had been set up around back. The weather in Oklahoma was typical: the sun shone bright and the wind ruffled the leaves in the trees. It was far too nice of a day to sit indoors.
"Dat thought it would be best for me to help with the girls and with Mamm's business."
Becky nodded as if she understood, but the young girl would never truly know how Emily felt. Teaching had been the one thing that had been hers and hers alone. To have to give that up mere weeks after Luke had left ... Well, she had prayed and prayed. Maybe she would understand one day herself.
They had just rounded the corner when Elam Riehl, Becky's older brother, approached, the brim of his hat pulled low over his eyes. "There you are, Becky. It's time to go."
Becky bit her lip and cast her glance to where the young people were starting to settle themselves in their seats. "Can't we stay just a little while longer? The singings are just about to begin."
Elam shook his head. "Ach, no. The cows have to be milked whether there are singings or not." Then he added, "Goedemiddag, Emily," as if he had only then realized his sister wasn't alone. He tipped his hat toward her, settling it a little higher up on his forehead.
"Goedemiddag," she returned.
Why had she never noticed before how big Elam was? Maybe she only noticed now because his bulk seemed to block the sun. Or perhaps that was the fault of his serious green eyes and stern mouth.
His demeanor brooked no argument and something in Emily hated the disappointment on Becky's sweet face. It wasn't her fault the cows needed to be milked. "If it's okay with your bruder, I can take you home if you want to stay for the singing."
"You will?" Becky gushed, then she sobered slightly as she turned back to Elam. "Is that allrecht?"
He seemed to weigh her words, against what Emily didn't know. Had he always been this serious? "Jah, fine. I suppose I can do without your help for a spell. But you can only stay for the first singing. After that Mamm will need help gathering eggs and such."
"Danki, Elam." Becky flashed her dimples in her brother's general direction, then looped her arm with Emily's once more. "Let's go, Em. Maybe we can still get a gut seat."
Emily allowed herself to be dragged across the yard. She only looked back once to see Elam staring after them, hands on his hips and a saddened look tainting his features.
Elam was careful not to let the screen door slam behind him as he entered the house. He kept his hat on as he made his way across the living room and into the kitchen. Just a quick glass of water, then it was on to milking. He stood at the sink and poured himself a drink, staring out the window at the backyard as he took a sip.
"Elam, is that you?"
He heard the bedroom door close behind her, then her soft footsteps as she came down the hall. He turned and waited for the woman he had called mudder since he was eight years old. After his own mamm had passed on, his father decided that two men had no business being without a nurturing hand. As far as Elam was concerned, it was the best decision James Riehl had ever made.
"Is he sleeping?" he asked as she appeared at the kitchen door. Her eyes were heavy and tired and deep lines bracketed her mouth.
"Jah." She shot him an encouraging smile as if to say everything was fine, but they both knew that wasn't the truth. Things hadn't been all right in a long time.
"Where's Becky?" she asked.
"I let her stay at the wedding. They were about to have a singing."
Mamm nodded. They both wanted Becky to have as normal a rumspringa as possible. Jah, she was needed at home, but there were other things important in life as well. Yet the attempt at normalcy was beginning to take its toll.
"Emily Ebersol offered to bring her home. Are the twins here to help?"
Mamm smiled, and this one almost reached her tired blue eyes. "They took the girls down to the pond to fish. I thought that would be gut for natchess, jah? Fresh katzfisch?"
"I can call them back if 'n you need their help." Elam shook his head. "I'll go fetch them." He needed them to sweep the floors, help with the milking machines, and tote the milk to the cooler. Even with them, there was still so much to do.
At the sound of Dat's call, Mamm turned. "I was so hoping he would sleep until supper." She sighed, the sound resigned and heavy.
Guilt stabbed at Elam. "I should hire you some help. Or at the very least make the girls help more." But neither choice sat well with him.
How much longer could they go on this way? How much longer before one of them broke?
Mamm turned back, patted him on the cheek, and attempted her smile once again. "I am all right, Elam. If any help gets hired, it would be for you. Now go get your milking done. There is nothing to worry about here."
She made her way down the hall, but Elam knew: there was plenty to worry about. Plenty more and then some.
Emily bumped shoulders with Becky as the horse cantered along. The singing had gone almost according to plan. Billy Beiler hadn't sat with Becky, but he had talked to her a bit afterward.
Yet Emily had to cut their chat short, haunted by the somber look in Elam's eyes as he told his sister to come home right after the singing. It wasn't just his eyes though. His whole demeanor was chock-full of seriousness and woe, as if he carried a burden too big for even his broad shoulders to manage and too precious to share with others.
"Is Elam always that ... stern?" She tried to pick a word that didn't sound so negative.
"I prefer to think of it as thoughtful," Becky chirped. It was amazing to Emily that Becky was so bubbly while Elam was not.
"Thoughtful then," Emily amended.
Becky shook her head. "Only since the accident."
How had she forgotten the terrible accident that had rendered James Riehl practically helpless? Or maybe she had thought in the year since he had been kicked in the head by a cantankerous milk cow that he had somehow become whole again.
"How is your dat?"
"The same." Becky shrugged, though her dancing blue eyes dimmed just a bit. Was her perpetual joy just a front to hide the stresses at home?
Regret swamped Emily. She had been so caught up in her own problems that she hadn't given the trials of others a second thought. Her father would be so disappointed if he knew. Just one more thing she needed to pray about. The Amish always cared for their neighbors, always looked after the community. That philosophy went double for a bishop's daughter. She had fallen down on both accounts.
Emily bit back a sigh as she turned the buggy into the packed dirt drive that led to the Riehls' dairy farm. She didn't know how many cows they kept, but she knew their property stretched almost into the next county. Was Elam taking care of business by himself ? There were no other Riehl sons, but surely a cousin or two came around to help from time to time.
She pulled the horse to a stop. Surely ...
"Danki for the ride, Emily. That was sure gut of you."
"Gern gschehne," she replied though her attention was centered on the rambling farmhouse and its peeling paint.
She hadn't realized the Riehls had fallen on to such hard times. Did anyone in the district know? She'd have to ask her father about it the minute she got home.
"Becky," she started. "Can I stay and help you gather the eggs?" She wasn't sure where the words came from, but once they were said, she was thankful for them. She had been wallowing in her own problems for far too long.
"You'd do that?" Becky's eyes sparkled, then her smile faded. She shook her head. "Danki, Emily. That is a kind offer to be sure, but the chickens are my responsibility."
As if they had tarried too long, Elam emerged from the milking barn, a scowl marring his handsome features.
The thought drew Emily back. Elam was a handsome man, or at least he would be if he didn't look like he'd taken a big bite from a green persimmon.
"Becky, time to work."
The young girl gave a quick nod, then turned her gaze back to Emily. "Thank you again."
"Becky." Elam propped his hands onto his hips, his impatience evident. "Mamm needs you inside."
"Jah, bruder." She turned as if to go into the house, but not before Emily saw the shine of tears in her blue eyes.
"Some potatoes for you?"
"Huh?" Emily turned as her sister Mary nudged her shoulder to get her attention. "Oh, jah. Danki." She took the bowl from her sister though her thoughts were still on Elam's stern frown and the glitter of tears in Becky's eyes.
"Have you heard from Luke?" Mary leaned close as she handed off the bowl full of mashed potatoes, her voice so soft only Emily could hear. "Jonah Miller said he called his uncle yesterday."
At the mention of his name, thoughts of all others fled from her mind. "He did?" It was hard to temper her response to a whisper when she really wanted to shout with glee. Luke had called!
Her heart thumped hard in her chest. "Who told you that? Aaron?"
"Girls." Their father glared at them from the head of the table.
"Jah, Dat," Emily murmured, passing the potatoes on to her sister Susannah. She'd have to talk with Mary later, after supper, maybe during chore time.
As the oldest, Emily was expected to oversee her sisters, but surely she and Mary could sneak a minute or two to talk. She had three more sisters, after all.
Rose was perhaps the most demure and motherlike one of them all, even though at eighteen Mary was two years older. At twelve years old and the baby, Bea hadn't quite figured out where she fit into the family. Not as gingery as middle child Susannah nor as retiring as Rose and Mary. She was more like Emily than any of the others.
Excitement filled Emily as she thought of news from Luke. It had been months since he'd left, nearly four to be exact, but this was the first she had heard from him.
He had promised to call, but she knew how difficult that would be. It wasn't like he could call the shanty out in front of their house. Her father was as sure to get that message as any one of the Ebersol family. Nor was Luke big on writing letters. He was more into action, living, breathing, having fun.
But he had called. Emily ducked her head and smiled down at her plate lest her father see the joy she could not contain. Luke had called. He had gotten a message to Jonah Miller. He hadn't forgotten about her after all.CHAPTER 2
After supper, it was Mary's turn to help with the dishes and their mother's cheese making, while Emily and their other sisters headed out to the barn to help their father.
The goats they used for their mother's business had been milked at four-thirty as was their usual custom, but now the horses had to be fed, the stalls mucked out, the few cows they kept for personal use needed to be milked.
Yet all Emily could think about was Luke.
"You are very quiet tonight, dochder." Her father didn't look up from his milking, but Emily was the only one around.
Susannah and Rose had gone to see to the stables, while Bea had stayed in with Mary to help their mother. Dat was talking to her.
"Oh, jah?" She tried her best to sound offhanded and casual, like she wasn't exploding inside from the gut news about Luke.
"Not so much at supper though." Again he didn't look at her, just kept his head down close to Sadie's belly.
His tone made Emily's heart stop in her throat. She knew she wasn't going to like what he had to say next. The fact was further confirmed as he grabbed the milk pail and stood. He handed it to Emily and slapped the cow on the rump to send her back to the pasture. Then he replaced his brimless "milking" hat with his regular one and leveled his serious blue gaze to hers. "It does not look good for the bishop's daughter to be pining after someone who has left our faith."
She opened her mouth to protest, but her vatter continued. "Luke Lambright has brought shame onto his family. Onto his community. It's time to move forward."
"But he'll return." Even as she said the words, she doubted them. She wanted to believe them. After all, so many who left the Amish quickly came back. It was just a matter of time, was all. Soon Luke would tire of the competition in the Englisch world, the strange customs, and unfamiliar faces. When that happened he would come running back, and she would be there waiting for him.
Her father's mouth twisted into a frown above his dark beard. "You don't know that he will."
Excerpted from Courting Emily by Amy Lillard. Copyright © 2015 Amy Lillard. Excerpted by permission of KENSINGTON PUBLISHING CORP..
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
Amazing romance and inspiring book. Can't wait for her other book to come out!!!!
Courting Emily is such a great book. I love, love, love Emily as a character. I found the book to be unpredictable and I was quite surprised with the ending. A great light read. I look forward to more about this author. Five stars.
Courting Emily is a nice, light read that is cute and unpredictable. All of the characters are very positive, the story is entertaining, and definitely not too heavy. A nice, light read. Great book!
More great reading from Amy Lillard! Another wonderful Amish novel from Amy Lillard! I've come to really enjoy Amy Lillard's Amish stories, eagerly awaiting each new one. Sometimes it seems like if you've read one Amish story you've read them all, but Amy's are different, fresh, and interesting. I liked the first book in the Wells Landing Series but I think I liked Courting Emily even better. Emily has a lot to live up to, her family's expectations, and since her Dat is the bishop those of her community. But navigating life can sometimes get a little tricky and it's hard to know what the right choice is. I think one of my favorite parts of the story was the sweet and touching interactions between Emily, Elam's father James, and Elam's sister Johanna. Emily is determined to help James and the rest of the Riehl family whether Elam is quite ready for her or not. A sweet story of growing up a little, finding out what true love is, sacrifice, and family. Courting Emily is a must read for any fan of Amish fiction! (I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for my review. All opinions are my own.)
Courting Emily****, Advanced Reader Copy by Amy Lillard Emily Ebersol loves Luke Lambright and hopes for them to marry one day. However, Luke breaks her heart when he leaves the Amish community of Wells Landing. He wants to race cars, something he cannot do in his Amish community. It has been months since Luke left, but Emily continues to pray he will return and join their Amish community. Elam Riehl is hopeful to win Emily's heart now that Luke is out of the picture. Emily and Elam start courting and it appears that he may be winning her heart. When Luke returns to their community, it causes Emily to search her confused heart and seek God's guidance. Will she accept Luke's return with open arms or has Elam finally captured her heart? Luke's conflict over staying in his Amish community or leaving to race cars in the “Englisher” world is clearly shown. But Luke's decision affects Emily as well. Emily is not happy with his decision but must continue on. Her heartbreak is obvious but there is another Amish man who has loved her for a long time, giving Emily another chance of love, marriage and family. There is not easy answer when Luke returns. Has he returned for good? Who does she choose? Hard decisions, misunderstandings, forgiveness, struggles/challenges, restoration, love and faith are woven throughout the story. ~I received an advanced copy of this book from the author for my honest review~
Can you imagine being Amish but loving an Amish man who wants nothing more than to race cars? in the Englisch world? Can you imagine having loved a boy since you were both little and now having to plan to give him up? We think we have it hard in the Englisch world and yet, these problems seem to be very very worrisome. Luke and Emily are faced with this difficult situation even though they both care very much for each other, will it ever work out? And to top it all off, Emily's father is the Amish bishop! While Luke is away racing cars and learning to love the Englisch world, Emily befriends Elam Rhiel's entire family and helps the family out of a tough medical situation with Elam's father. She falls in love with Elam's father and the whole family in the process, and will she fall in love with Elam as well? Will they be able to make a relationship where Emily can remain among the Amish she dearly loves? or will Luke come back to stay and change everything? I loved this book and have to admit that I fell in love with the entire Rhiel family as well. I rate this book 5 stars and highly recommend it to readers. I received a free pdf version of this book from netgalley in exchange for my honest review.
Courting Emily is book #2 in Amy Lillard’s Wells Landing series. I could not put this book down. The writing is top notch, but what sets Amy Lillard’s books apart from other Amish books is the romance and the unique situations her characters face. I have read so much Amish fiction that I feel like I am reading about the same thing over and over- the Amish do not read their Bibles all day, cook, clean, do chores etc. constantly. They are just like us with feelings and relationships and obstacles. Sometimes when I read other Amish stories, I have no idea when or how the characters fell in love. The romance that Amy Lillard creates with small touches and gestures is amazing. The Amish details are accurate and I felt like I was right there with the characters, but I was not bombarded with Dutch words. I found myself talking to Emily while reading, and thinking about her dilemma when I was not reading. I highly recommend this book- you will not be disappointed.
What an awesome book! I love and enjoyed reading Courting Emily. The author is excellent with her style of writing that I became involved in the story and it totally captured my attention. The book is well-written with great details and wonderful characters. There is so much more to this storyline than a love triangle between Emily, Elam and Luke. I highly recommend reading Courting Emily by Amy Lillard. I believe you will enjoy reading this book. I received a complimentary copy from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for my honest review. This review is one hundred percent my opinion.
I just enjoyed my second visit in Wells Landing, and can’t wait and hope for another visit here. This story could be in any culture, where your love of many years decides to leave and find himself, this just happens to be an Amish community. Emily Ebersol has been love with Luke Lambright for as long as she can remember, when he decided he needed to go English, she is devastated, and although she cannot leave her life and family, keeps hoping that Luke will return. We then meet an Amish man a few years older than Emily that has been in love with her for as long as he can remember. Is this the chance that he has been hoping for? Emily’s father is the Bishop and doesn’t approve of Luke, even more so now, and he likes Elam Rhiel. As we live among the Amish in this community I loved the interactions between Emily and Elam’s father James. Such caring and love here, and they sure loved the color purple, and the purple party, so very sweet. In the end will Emily agree to leave with Luke who has come back to get her, or will her faith be strong enough, and she be mature enough to stay and maybe find a new love? You won’t regret reading this one, as it is awesome. I received this book through Net Galley and the Publisher Kensington, and was not required to give a positive review.
I am so happy to return to Wells Landing! Courting Emily is book two in the series, but if you have not read book one, don’t worry. This book is a great stand-alone book, as well. But I am glad to have read book one, Caroline’s Secret, because the main characters from that book do make a few appearances and I am thrilled to have gotten another peak into their lives. This is such a great book! Emily is a girl with two men who love her. But there is only one man that Emily has loved for as long as she can remember. His name is Luke and he has left the Amish community of Wells Landing. Now Emily is left to go on without him. I really felt for Emily. Luke tells her he loves her and that she is important to him, but then takes off to follow his dreams, leaving Emily behind. Elam is the other man who loves Emily. He is a young man with a whole lot of burdens and responsibilities weighing him down. His father is no longer capable of running the family farm and Elam has taken on all of the duties as head of his family. He appears stern and solemn to Emily, very unlike Luke. When it becomes clear that Elam has adored for Emily for years, will she be able to let the idea of one man’s love go, in exchange for the love of a man who is still a part of her community? Who does God truly intend for her? I loved these characters! A great theme ran through this book. If the love is true, it can be expressed by that person being willing to do what is best for the one they love. This is shown in actions by all three of the characters of Luke, Elam, and Emily, as well as in the treatment of Elam’s father. What is the family willing to do to help him and how can they express their love in his care? Emily does a lot to open their eyes to what he needs. The characters feel very real in Courting Emily. There are not quick and easy solutions to situations. There are misunderstandings and sometimes it takes awhile for true feelings to make themselves known. I loved this book from start to finish and read it every chance I got! I definitely recommend this story and the Wells Landing series to fans of Amish fiction. I would like to express my thanks to the author for the complimentary ARC copy of this book that I received. The opinions expressed in this review are my own.
Courting Emily ( Wells Landing Book 2 ) By: Amy Lillard Courting Emily is the second book in the Wells Landing series . Amy Lillard has did it again. I thought after Caroline's Secret, the first book in the series, that Courting Emily could not be better. Well, I was wrong, the series keeps getting better with each book. Amy Lillard has got herself a winner. I loved it and when I started reading it , I did not want to put it down till the last page. As we return to Wells Landing in Oklahoma, Emily Ebersol is an Amish woman who has loved Luke Lambright as long as she can remember. Luke decides to leave the Amish life. Emily don't know what to think or do. She loves Luke and wants to be with him, but she loves her family and the Amish life. Emily hopes Luke will return , but while she is waiting another Amish man , Elam Rhiel, catches Emily attention. He has always loved Emily, but she has always loved Luke. Will Luke come back for Emily, if he does who will she choose? Can Elam love Emily knowing she still loves Luke? I really loved this book and at times I was laughing and at times I was saying NO don't do that. I can't wait to read the next book in Wells Landing series. I was given a copy of this book through NetGalley and the author for my honest review, which I have given.
She Loves Me, She Loves Me Not! I love author Amy Lillard’s Amish Fiction Books. Her books have a way to capture my interest from the first couple of pages. I haven’t read a single book of hers that I have not enjoyed. In the story of Courting Emily I thoroughly enjoyed the banter between Emily Ebersol and James Riehl. It made me feel good that Emily was able to help James have a life again. Luke Lambright has been the love of Emily’s life since childhood. Elam Riehl has been in love with Emily for a very long time. Elam has never shared these feelings with anyone. Emily is easy to love. She has a lot going for her but doesn’t realize it. Is love enough? Is it enough to change a person? Does she realize that sometimes we just have to let go of a dream? Luke and Elam, are different as night and day. Makes for an interesting story. Author Amy Lillard once again gives us the spiritual aspect that I as a follower of Christ loves to read in Christian fiction. Prayer, forgiveness, love, and trust are a must have for me. This book has it all. Author Amy Lillard’s Amish fiction stories keep getting better and better. I was given an ARC of this book from the author for my honest review. The opinions expressed are mine alone.
Beautiful Story! Emily Ebersol had a plan. She and Luke Lambright, her childhood sweetheart, would be married and live out their days in the close knit Amish community of Wells Landing, Oklahoma. At least, those were her plans before Luke decided that racing cars was more important than living out his days as Emily's husband in Wells Landing. And yet Emily still believes Luke will return. But, she soon discovers that the longer he stays away, the less likely it is that he'll return. The fact of the matter is that the only one who is unhappy about Luke's decision to stay away is Emily. Her father, the Bishop, is not the least bit sad about Luke's choice, and he suggests to Emily that she move on. He even suggests a probable candidate: Elam Rhiel. Elam, isn't the least bit sad that Luke is gone either, but at the same time, he knows Emily still loves Luke, which will make it difficult for her to see him, Elam, in a different light. And thus begins the friendship between Emily and Elam, except that it doesn't begin in a way that one would expect. I really enjoyed how the author went about developing the relationship between Emily and Elam. She introduced some interesting secondary characters that contributed much to the story without taking away from the main characters. Amy Lillard has woven a story that is just beautiful. It's funny, sweet and romantic, but still has enough angst that will keep you on the edge of your seat wondering how it will all turn out. It's also a story of how having a servant's heart impacts others and the importance of seeking God's will. I love a book that makes me fall in love with the characters and makes me feel what the character's are feeling. Courting Emily did just that. It truly is a beautiful story! ***I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions and view points are my own.