Hidden (Sisters of the Heart Series #1)

Hidden (Sisters of the Heart Series #1)

by Shelley Shepard Gray

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Overview

When Anna decides it's time to leave her abusive boyfriend, she doesn't know where to turn. Rob has completely won over her parents, and the entire community, with his good looks and smooth charm. Only Anna has seen his dark side.

Desperate, she runs to the only place she's ever felt completely safe—the Amish Brenneman Bed and Breakfast, where Anna met life-long friend Katie Brenneman. The family welcomes her in, and with few questions asked allows her to stay, dressed in Plain clothing, and help around the inn.

Katie's older brother Henry is the only one who doesn't take too kindly to the intrusion. He tries to ignore Anna, knowing no good would ever come from caring for an Englisher like her. But as he gets to know Anna, he discovers her good heart and is surprised with her readiness to accept their lifestyle.

The more time Anna spends with the Amish, the more she feels she's found a true home. But how can she deny the life she left behind? And will her chance for happiness be stolen away by the man from her past?

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780061732683
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 07/01/2008
Series: Sisters of the Heart Series , #1
Sold by: HARPERCOLLINS
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 240
Sales rank: 97,487
File size: 472 KB

About the Author

Shelley Shepard Gray is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, a finalist for the American Christian Fiction Writers prestigious Carol Award, and a two-time HOLT Medallion winner. She lives in southern Ohio, where she writes full-time, bakes too much, and can often be found walking her dachshunds on her town’s bike trail.

Read an Excerpt

Hidden (Sisters of the Heart, Book 1)

Chapter One

"Anna! This is surely a gut—a good—surprise," Katie Brenneman said in her all-too-familiar lilt. "Come in out of the cold, wouldja?"

Anna breathed a sigh of relief. For a moment she hadn't been sure she'd be welcomed by her childhood friend. Hadn't been sure of anything anymore.

Katie clucked. "Anna, come in. You're lettin' in the cold."

Obediently, she stepped into the foyer of the Brenneman Bed and Breakfast and was immediately surrounded by the smell of beeswax, spiced oranges, and crisp cotton. Behind her stood a finely woven basket filled with beautifully hand-carved canes of different woods. To her left was an antique table and chairs, each piece finely crafted and shined to a polish. A simple staircase curved upward to her right. Rag rugs in twirls of blue, dark green, and blood red decorated the wide planks.

On those planks, she placed her small suitcase. Well, maybe it wasn't so small.

Katie noticed. "You here for a spell?"

"I hope so. If you don't mind."

"Why ever would I mind?" Katie, dressed in her simple cobalt blue dress, gathered her into a warm hug, the kind of acceptance that only a friend of ten years could offer. "You're as cold as I've ever seen," she said, looking Anna up and down with bright blue eyes. "But something's wrong, ain't it now?"

Anna knew there was no way to sidestep her problems. Something was, indeed, very wrong. "I need help, Katie." Did her voice sound as desperate as she felt?

Katie's cheeks brightened with color, and she was just about to speak when Anna heardanother voice, one that she'd tried hard to forget.

"Katie? Who's here?"

Anna turned to find Henry Brenneman filling the doorway, his expression guarded and full of distrust.

Katie stepped closer, as if her slight build could offer Anna protection from her brother's probing eyes. "It's Anna, my friend from Mamm's quilting class, Henry."

"I see."

Anna was sure he did. From the time they'd first met, he'd always seemed to find her lacking.

Gesturing to her bulging suitcase, he said, "You here for a visit?"

Anna flushed. Against her will, she felt her composure falter. But that was always how Henry made her feel, unworthy. So . . . English. "Not exactly. Actually, I'm not sure why I'm here. I was just going to speak to Katie—"

His suspicious gaze cut her off as sharply as his words. "Why?"

Piercing brown eyes scanned her without embarrassment, leaving Anna to feel like the interloper she was. "I need somewhere to stay for a bit."

Katie motioned her silent with a finger to her lips. "We're due for a visit. I, for one, am delighted you're here. We have two bedrooms open. You're welcome to one, if you'd like."

"They're paying rooms."

Katie playfully pushed her brother's shoulder. "Get along, now. We'd never charge my gut friend Anna here for her company."

Anna stepped forward. Though it was kind of Katie to attempt to smooth over her appearance, Anna was done speaking—or acting—in veiled ways. "There's a reason I need a room."

Katie gripped her hand and pulled her into the kitchen, finally pressing Anna down into a wooden ladder-back chair. To Anna's dismay, Henry followed, though neither she nor Katie had invited him.

"I'm in trouble. I've been in trouble." Picking up the linen napkin on the table, Anna gently rubbed it against her cheek, doing her best not to wince as she did so. Little by little, the thick makeup she'd put on just a few hours ago came off, revealing her bruise.

Katie's eyes widened appreciatively. Henry, too, must have been struck by the discoloration under her cheek, because he sat down as well. Then, as was their way, neither said a word.

Anna remembered the wonderful sense of privacy that seemed to surround the Brennemans and their Amish relatives. Though part of the New Order, so not quite as strict in the ways of the Old, where electricity and modern conveniences were always forbidden, the Brenneman family adhered to many of the tenets of the Amish way of life–and that included an extreme respect for the privacy of others.

That respect made what had happened even more uncomfortable. "I . . . I should begin by letting you know that I've been dating Rob Peterson. For six months."

Blank expressions met the news.

They had to be the only people she knew who weren't fazed in the slightest about that. "He's kind of a famous man in Cincinnati. He's a former lawyer. Now he's running for the open spot in the House of Representatives." When still neither said anything, she added quietly, "He has a lot of influence. Money."

"And this matters to you, Anna?" Katie said.

Anna knew it didn't matter near as much as it used to. "Rob and I had already gotten serious when I started to notice how controlling he was. Prone to bursts of temper. The first time he hit me, he swore it was an accident."

"And that?" Henry asked.

She gingerly fingered her swollen cheek. Swallowed. "This happened late last night."

If anything, Henry's gaze hardened. "That there was no accident."

Henry was right. "No, no it wasn't. He, uh, now seems to think of me as a possession. He's taken to following me, or to having someone who works for him do that."

"Have you gotten the law involved?"

Anna almost smiled. Katie's knowledge of the outside world was sketchy at best. "I've contacted the police, but they seem to think I'm just clumsy. No one wants to go against him."

"Not even your family?" Katie's voice was full of wonder.

For the moment, Anna had forgotten that her mother and Katie had formed a relationship. They'd gotten along very well, especially when Katie revealed that her cousins owned a dairy one hour north. Her mother claimed that the Amish products were the finest she'd ever had.

Hidden (Sisters of the Heart, Book 1). Copyright © by Shelley Shepard Gray. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.\

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Hidden (Sisters of the Heart Series #1) 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 73 reviews.
Transcriptionist More than 1 year ago
I thoroughly enjoyed this book, and would highly recommend it to anyone who is at all curious about the Amish lifestyle. Even if you aren't, it is very interesting to see how an English girl who is in a very troubled relationship escapes and finds safety and protection. I would like to see books by Shelley Shepard Gray, Beverly Lewis, Jeanette Oke, T. Davis Bunn, Karen Kingsbury, Lauraine Snelling, and others that are similar writers become available on the free list. They are all very fascinating writers.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Short but worth the read! Can get lost in the characters in the short time it takes to read. I already have the 2nd book....also worth the time!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed this book. It was a quick read and not your typical Christian book. If you like fiction books about the Amish you will like this one.
MichelleSutton More than 1 year ago
Hidden was an adventure that went beyond it's pretty cover. A cross between a movie like Sleeping with the Enemy, and a novel like Deb Raney's Remember to Forget, Hidden is somewhere in the middle in regards to tension, but with a bit of the Amish culture mixed in. I enjoyed this story and read it in just two days. I loved the premise of hiding out in the Amish community. And the hero was incredibly heroic even though he wasn't all that likeable at first. Then again, neither was the heroine. However, she changed through the course of the story and I couldn't help feeling connected to her. While my parents didn't smother and baby me like hers did, I could certainly relate to her feeling like she had to fight for her independence. The coolest part of the story was experiencing with Anna the drastic change in her life from our modern culture with all of its hassles and conveniences to the Amish life, which in many ways seemed so much better despite all she had to give up in the process of fitting in. This story almost makes you want to convert and become one of the Plain people. After all, they seemed more spiritual because they didn't have the insane busyness that we've grown accustomed to. Plus, they worked hard and labored physically, so they were strong and not soft or weak. In short, Hidden never bored me and the plot never dragged, so it was worth my while. I can't wait for the sequel.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Fabulous, that's the first thing I must say about this book, but I'll come back to that. I do not know the correct terminology, yet I will try. There is just something about the covers of Avon Inpire books, I have loved every one that I have seen and this is my favorite so far. There is just something about the flat finish, instead of a glossy print that I just adore. Not to mention the road with the Amish sky ahead and the image of the blonde girl with green eyes. (A little curious as to why she did not have the curly hair of our character though...) Now, about the actual story. Anna's live is an interesting one. A girl searching to belong and often as most looking in the wrong places for excitement and affection. (The evil in the book reminds me of the evil in that movie Enough. But this is not a story of how to beat up your evil counterpart. This is a story about strength and growth.)This book is a story about the heart, and about doing things that are right. It brings in the idea of political evil and abuse, but everything bad brought in by the author is handled tactfully and revealed in a respectable manner. This is a fabulous book, and a wonderful romance. I think that one of the things that I like best about this book is that it is a romantic historical Christian fiction about Amish characters, but it is unlike any that I have ever read before.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A good read for anyone who likes amish fiction.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I finished reading this book in 2 days and I absolutely loved it. I am axniously awaiting 'Wanted' which is her next book in the series 'Sisters of the Heart'.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A+very+touching+story+of+love++%26+changes.++Truly++another+page+turner%21
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
mrsjason on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I love reading stories about the Amish lifestyle. I especially love the storis where the Amish and English worlds collide. This story clearly showed the differences between the two cultures but also how they could blend together. Rob is a really bad guy who wants to control everything possible. Yet I can totally see why it took so long for Anna to get away from him. With his smooth talk, he's a wolf in sheep's clothing. It's a completely realistic portrayal of an abusive relationship and why it's so tough for women to get help. Even when they do cry out for help, if someone doesn't want to see the wrong in someone they will turn a blind eye. I really didn't understand why the Brenneman's turned a cold shoulder to Anna's problems. Yes she did bring her issues and situation to their peaceful community the way Henry and his parents were acting seemed like she was in the wrong for running away and trying to get help. Did they want her to stay in the relationship and get hurt even more? I hope not, but that was the reaction that I got from them. The only complaint I had about this book was that it was a little short. I felt like there could have been more told about Anna and Henry's growing relationship plus expounding on how she was going to switch over to the Amish lifestyle. I am looking very forward to reading the next book in the series. If you love stories about the Amish lifestyle, be sure to pick up this outstanding debut.
delphimo on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Gray explores the Amish way of life in her many of her books, such as theses series: Sisters of the Heart, Seasons of Sugarcreek, and Families of Honor. I have enjoyed exploring her writing in two of the series. Both series present a simple formula for the story with mild characters and simplistic setting. The main emphasis in each book is family and the power of God. In this story, Anna runs away from her "English" life of modern day comforts and possessions to hide from a cruel boyfriend. Anna runs to the Brenneman Amish Bed and Breakfast and adopts the Amish way of life while hiding. Anna also falls in love with Henry, the son of the inn's owners. In the conclusion of the story, Anna must choose her path, but with God's guidance.
picklechic on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Hidden by Shelley Shepard Gray is the inspiring story of a young woman, Anna, on the run from an abusive relationship and a life she is not proud of. She seeks refuge with an old friend who is Amish and hides out at her friend's family's bed and breakfast. While there, she adapts easily to their simple ways and their work ethic. Anna falls in love with the Amish way of life and ultimately decides to alter her life's journey and become Amish. There is a touch of G rated romance as Anna also finds love with her friend's brother. The book is a very sweet, simple story and a quick, easy read. While I would consider the book religious fiction, the references to God and praying are relatively few and not overpowering. Reading the book sparked in me an interest in learning more about the Amish and their customs. I look forward to reading more about Anna and the rest of the Brenneman family in the continuation of the series. 4 stars.
wearylibrarian on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Anna has left Rob, her abusive boyfriend. She cannot ask her parents for help because Rob has convinced them he is a sweet and loving man. She knows her parents will call Rob and tell him where she is hiding. Anna turns to her Amish friend, Katie and her family for help. She shows up on the door of the Brenneman Bead and Breakfast, suitcase in hand and asks for refuge. She knows Rob will stop at nothing to find her so, to blend in, she begins dressing in Amish clothing, and helping around the inn.Katie's family welcomes Anna, except for Katie's older borhter, Henry. He says that Anna has put his family in danger by coming to the inn.Anna soon realizes she has falling in love with Henry and Henry soon admits he has fallen for the beautiful Englisher.When Rob discovers where Anna is hiding he shows up at the inn, intent on bringing her home where she belongs. Anna is willing to go with Rob in order to protect her family and friends but Henry has other ideas.This is a great read. I could barely put it down.
judyg54 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This was an enjoyable story. Anna finds herself fleeing her abusive but influential boyfriend Rob. She can't turn to her parents because they don't believe Rob is as bad as Anna makes him out to be. So Anna flees to where no one would look for her - her Amish friend, Katie, who helps her family run the Brenneman Bed and Breakfast. Anna is welcomed by the whole family, except for Katie's oldest brother Henry, who doesn't take kindly to her intruding upon them and possibly putting them in danger. Anna adopts the Plain clothing and lifestyle around her as she "hides out" and begins to feel she has truly found a true home. Can Henry trust his heart to her, or will she grow tired of the Amish way and leave? And will Anna's chance for true happiness be taken away when the man she is running from catches up with her.Although there weren't alot of surprises to this story, I still enjoyed it. I enjoyed the Brenneman family and how the took in and helped out someone who was not Amish. You usually read how an Amish person leaves to become "worldly", but in this story someone sees how much they enjoy the slower pace and the fewer "things" they truly need to be content and happy and want to join the Amish community.I am looking forward to reading the other books in this series.
ReviewsbyMolly on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Why have I NOT read this series yet?! I can't believe there is an Amish series out there that I have NOT read! Somebody yell at me please! Oh my goodness! I LOVE Shelley's work with her Seasons of Sugarcreek series but man oh man....her first book, Hidden, in her first series, Sisters of the Heart,was phenomenal. Utterly phenomenal. She captured me from the first page of the prologue and held me until the final sentence of the last page. In Hidden, Ms. Gray takes so many emotions, from hurt and abuse, to hope and understanding, and combines them into one fabulous book. Anna was a wonderful character. She was instantly a part of me and I felt her struggles like my own. And sweet, sweet Henry, bless his heart, he was a wonderfully amazing character,too. The secondary characters of this novel really added flavor to the story but not overbearingly so. This book was wonderful! I can't say that enough! Through a touchy subject of abuse, and the incredible love of the Amish, Ms. Gray weaves her story of Anna and Henry with vivid detail and care. She mixes Gods redeeming love and mercy through out making this a fantabulous 5 star novel (though I would give it a thousand more!) that NO ONE should miss! If you aren't already a fan of Shelley Shepard Gray, then please, don't hesitate to start with this book in her first series....if you are a fan of Shelley Shepard Gray and haven't read Hidden yet, then I must HIGHLY recommend that you do! I can't wait to dive into book 2 in this beautiful series, Wanted.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I greatly enjoyed this book. The story was well thought out and the characters were fully developed. A very nice story that is clean and a sweet read. esk 07/2016
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Always enjoyed reading stories about Amish. This was a Iittle different storyline. Will read more by this author.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Story is 155pgs, book is 182 pgs ( includes chapter list, authors note, copyright, teaser for another book by this author, etc.) This is the 1st of a series. I have the first 3 books and enjoyed each of them. The 4th book is titled GRACE, and apparently was written after the series was finnished ( I say this because some places say this is a 3 book series. Where I buy e-books GRACE is called book 4 in the series.) Good clean easy read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
There is no sex or crude talk in this book. It gave me some things to think about with my own mother who is a lot like Anna's mother. Forgiveness but also openness about my hurt feelings. This book came at just the right time in my life. Thank you Shelly.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A lovely story. A Free Friday selection that I would recommend for a sweet romance. A peek into the Amish way of life. The right amount of strife, suspence and compassion. Being from Ohio and having visited the Amish areas of mid to southern Ohio made it enjoyable also.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very fast read due to limited plot.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
160 pages. I enjoyed the story. The best thing was that the Amish people seemed normal and the differences between the English world and Amish was not the focus. Instead, it was a nice background as the heroine matures and falls in love. I felt the villan was real and the heroine was truly in danger. A good story
Dizneyfreek More than 1 year ago
Highly recommended! I really liked this book! Good plot and not heavy in the Pennsylvania Dutch language that books in this category tend to be. The characters were good, except for Anna's HORRIBLE mother. She was nasty, mean and a disgusting individual. Because she was so bad, she wasn't believable.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago