Liza's Second Chance

Liza's Second Chance

by Molly Jebber

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Overview

Liza's Second Chance by Molly Jebber

The sweet welcome of straight-from-the-oven sugar cookies and hot cocoa. The warm invitation of apple pie and fresh cold milk. In 1912 Ohio, the Amish Charm Bakery is the heart of a close-knit, faith-nourished community, where people can find a refuge, a place to start again—and love that can make their lives new . . .
 
For Liza Schrock, the bakery her late husband bought was an unexpected haven from their unhappy arranged marriage. Now she's perfectly content to cook up mouth-watering delights for her hometown, give to those alone or in trouble—and remain happily unwed. And though she's willing to give handsome, newly-arrived widower Jacob Graber all the help he desperately needs, she is sure they can stay just friends . . .
 
But as Liza also tries to aid Jacob's troubled teenage daughter, she starts caring far too much for his gentle ways and steadfast hopes. And when a wrenching secret she must keep comes between them, can Liza find the faith to risk opening her heart again—and reach for one more chance at real love?
 
Praise for Molly Jebber’s Keepsake Pocket Quilt novels
 
“Endearing characters and a delightful story make this a keeper for fans of Amish romance.”
—Emma Miller
 
“Jebber is a talented author who always gives readers what they have come to expect from her books.”
– RT Book Reviews

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781420144833
Publisher: Kensington
Publication date: 01/30/2018
Series: Amish Charm Bakery Series , #1
Pages: 304
Sales rank: 557,109
Product dimensions: 6.70(w) x 4.10(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Molly Jebber’s award-winning books have been featured on Publishers Weekly’s Best Ten Recommended Reads, in USA Today’s HEA, RT Book Reviews and many other media sites. You’ll also find her on RWA’s Honor Roll. She tours and speaks about Amish history/traditions, writing, marketing, publishing, and about her books. She loves God, her family, friends. She enjoys swimming, golf, reading, and says yes to butterscotch pie and parasailing, but no to coconut and skydiving! Visit www.mollyjebber.com for a complete list of her books and speaking events.

Read an Excerpt

CHAPTER 1

Charm, Ohio, 1912

Liza Schrock clenched her teeth and dug her fingers in the fresh dough in her Amish bakery. The forced smiles, nods to her friends' compliments, and suppressing the truth about her husband had been difficult, but she'd managed to keep her miserable marriage a secret. She kneaded the dough harder. Yesterday at the after-church meal, Mrs. Hilty couldn't stop prattling on about how much she missed Paul. She'd moved away from the woman, giving her a polite smile, but Mrs. Hilty had followed her to get her point across. The woman set her teeth on edge. Mr. Hilty interrupted his fraa and insisted it was time for them to leave. She'd hurried to Esther before Mrs. Hilty had time to turn back around. Friends wouldn't stop mentioning Paul to her. The pretending didn't get any easier.

Esther lifted her rag off the white table in the corner. "The counter, stools, tables, and chairs are clean until customers dirty them again." Hand on her ample hip, she went to Liza behind the glass counter lined with desserts and fresh loaves of bread. "Sweet schweschder, you are quieter than usual. I overheard Mrs. Hilty talk on and on to you about Paul yesterday. Today's April eighth. It's been a year since he passed. Is the date of his funeral the reason?" Esther stood next to her.

"Jah, I'd prefer if townsfolk didn't mention him, but I understand they mean no harm." Liza sighed.

"They miss him. He was a good husband to buy this bakery and name it after you. You've made it quite a success with your talent for creating new recipes."

The bakery had become her peaceful place away from Paul before his passing, and she enjoyed kumming to work. Located next to the post office, she had the best spot on the street. She gazed out the window, giving her a full view of the busiest part of town, the general store, the apothecary, and the livery across the way. She had two wood-burning cook stoves and a big dry sink. A large, oblong, waist-high wooden counter held a bowl filled with flour. Her quiet hideaway to escape and experiment with new dessert recipes to sell to customers on the rare occasions when Esther and Hannah were absent. Cabinets and shelves provided easy access to her ingredients. Simple, plain, organized, and functional. "My favorite part is working with you and Hannah."

"Paul was a good man. If it wasn't for him, we wouldn't be working together doing what we love." Esther clicked her tongue. "He was generous to hire Abe as the manager of your large property and hired hands. Abe and I are very grateful to you and him."

Liza bit her tongue. No, he wasn't a good man. He provided a good living for them, but it didn't kumme without a price. Paul's big smile, generous donations to her family and other people in need, and supposed obedience to following the scriptures in the Bible had been to disguise his real nature. His shiny, thick dark hair, big brown eyes, broad shoulders, and strong arms had been attractive at first. Certain they'd fall in love given time, she'd been wrong.

These same features changed to ugliness in her eyes as he criticized the way she cooked his meals, cleaned their haus, did their laundry, and the list went on. He'd sent her to her room as if she were a child. She'd coveted the quiet. He yelled and screamed and banged his fist on the table if she didn't have meals ready at his designated times. She'd forced smiles and kept secret his mistreatment of her from her family and friends.

Resentment riveted through her as she jerked her eyes from Esther back to the window. A young woman shared a laugh with the man beside her. She had golden hair cascading halfway down her back. Her pale yellow fitted dress showcased her perfect frame and matched the stylish straw hat with white ribbon and rose flowers. He smiled back at her with his perfect teeth. The man was handsome in every way. The spark between them showed in his gaze of admiration at her and his playful nudge and wink, as if she were the only woman for him. He opened the door for her before taking his seat in a no-frills Ford motorcar.

Her marriage to Paul hadn't mimicked this couple in the slightest. It had been the most miserable ten years of her life. She'd expected a happy future with a soul mate, someone she could love and respect. She dropped her gaze from the couple. Not telling her schweschder about Paul had been the hardest part.

"I'm grateful our needs have been met." She bent and set a fresh apple pie in the glass case to avoid Esther's questioning gaze. A forced smile would be difficult to muster at the moment.

"Several Amish men have sat next to you on Sundays at after-service meals and you've hastened to excuse yourself and move to another seat to avoid having conversations with them. Why? You're young. You should consider them." Esther wiped off the top of the glass dome over the plate on top of the counter showcasing a shoofly pie.

Esther scrutinized Liza. "Don't you want to remarry someday? You cared for our sick parents and declined men's offers to marry you until Paul came along. I was worried you were never going to become a fraa." Esther gave her a lopsided grin. "You're not getting any younger."

Her schweschder was pushing her hard for answers. More persistent than ever. Should she tell Esther the truth about Paul? It would be selfish on her part. No good would kumme from it. The only reason to tell her would be to keep Esther from prodding her to consider the available Amish men in town for marriage. Her schweschder enjoyed matching couples, and she had instigated a couple of men to speak to Liza at social gatherings. The interested men had told her this, hoping Esther's approval would enhance their chances with her. Liza swallowed the sour taste in her mouth. She'd never trust another man. Once was enough.

The door opened. She wilkomed the interruption. A tall and lanky Amish man with kind, deep brown eyes stepped into the bakery with a young woman. The petite girl had pale, flawless skin and perfect, high cheekbones. She was strikingly beautiful.

Her heart leaped at the sight of this gentleman. Liza didn't understand. Why this man? She grinned at them through the open doorway leading to the front room. "Wilkom. I'll be with you in a minute." She dipped her hands in a bowl of clean water on a side table, grabbed a towel, and dried them, then followed behind Esther to greet them. She met his deep brown gaze and blushed. He was of average height with square shoulders and long arms. "I'm Liza Schrock and this is my schweschder, Esther Lapp. How may we help you?"

He removed his faded straw hat and unveiled a head of attractive, thick brown hair. "I'm Jacob Graber and this is my dochder, Ellie. We're new in town. Moved to Charm from Nappanee, Indiana. We walked past the bakery and the enticing aroma of fresh bread and cinnamon sugar lured us in. We had to stop in and have a gander." He ogled the pies, tarts, cookies, and bread in the glass cabinet. "I can't go home without a dozen butter cookies and a sugar cream pie."

Esther passed Jacob and Ellie each an oatmeal cookie. "Nibble on these while you shop for more delicious treats. I'll leave you with Liza. Sit on a stool at the counter or a chair at one of the tables and make yourselves comfortable." She patted Liza on the shoulder. "I'll bake the bread you were working on." She raised her eyebrows and gave Liza an impish grin.

Her schweschder didn't miss an opportunity to play matchmaker whenever it arose. She ignored Esther's obvious approval of Jacob. Esther would hound her about the man if she hinted she found him eye-catching. She studied him. He had been the first man to capture her attention since her husband's funeral. Jacob's cheerfulness and kind demeanor added to his appeal. She cleared her throat.

"Danki for the treat and nice meeting you, Mrs. Lapp."

"No formalities needed. Call me Esther, and my schweschder, Liza."

"Only if you both call me Jacob."

"I'd be glad to." Esther grinned and padded to the kitchen.

Liza bit her tongue for a moment. Her schweschder had wasted no time putting her on a first-name basis with Jacob. She pushed Esther's well-meaning intentions out of her mind. She darted her eyes toward the young woman. Ellie's age must be around Hannah's at seventeen. Sandy blond curls escaped the pinned bun under her kapp and her light blue eyes resembled a cloudless sky. The scowl on the young woman's face did nothing to diminish her beauty.

Ellie brushed crumbs from her lips. She lifted her shoulder in a discourteous shrug. "Danki for the cookie." She opened the door. "Daed, I'm going to the general store to buy lemon drops."

"Don't take too long. I'll meet you at the wagon."

Ellie rolled her eyes. "Don't be in such a hurry, Daed."

Jacob gave her a hard stare. "Watch your tone, young lady."

Ellie ignored Liza and left.

Jacob raked a hand through his thick brown hair and put his hat back on. "I'm sorry for Ellie's rude behavior. She's been short-tempered and a handful since her mamm passed three years ago. Maybe our move to Charm, a new haus, and new friends will change her attitude for the better."

His sincere, sad eyes and honest confession warmed her heart. "I have a niece, Hannah. She's Esther's dochder. She'll be arriving any minute. Ellie and she should meet. Do you have time to wait?"

He shook his head. "I wish we did, but I've spent too long in town already. I have a tight schedule for chores at home. Do you mind if I bring her to the bakery another day?"

Liza snapped her fingers. "I have an idea. I'm having a social in the bakery for Hannah and some of her friends on April seventeenth at three. I'd love for Ellie to join them. I created a recipe for cookies they're going to bake. They'll chat and have fun."

His eyes sparkled. "I'll bring her. Danki for the invitation." He accepted and paid for his cookies and pie. "I'm glad we met. I'll be back with Ellie a week from Wednesday. It's been a pleasure to meet you, Liza." He lingered a moment and smiled wide. "Have a good day." He shut the door behind him.

A few minutes later, Hannah arrived, snatched her apron off the hook, pulled the first band over her head to rest on her neck, and tied the strings at the waist in a tight bow. "How has the morning been?"

Liza hugged her. "We had our usual morning rush, but business has slowed at present. Esther and I met Jacob Graber and his dochder, Ellie. They're new to Charm. She's about your age and I invited her to your social. I hope you don't mind."

She shook her head. "I'm happy to meet her. Where are they from?"

"Nappanee, Indiana. Her mamm passed three years ago, and her daed said she hasn't adjusted well without her. Ellie had bad manners. She spouted off to him in front of me. My heart goes out to her. It can't be easy for her without a mamm to guide her through these years when she's choosing to join or not join the church, thinking of her future, and many other things."

Hannah frowned. "I couldn't imagine life without Mamm or you. Daed and I are close, but he doesn't understand about certain things like Mamm and you. I'll be patient with her."

Esther joined them. "There's my beautiful dochder. You missed Mr. Handsome and his dochder, Ellie. He couldn't take his eyes off Liza."

"Did you notice, Liza?" Hannah gave her an impish grin.

Liza's stomach churned. She didn't need her niece to jump on the matchmaking wagon with Esther. "Both of you stop this instant. I'm happy with my life the way it is."

Esther nudged her. "Jacob came in and interrupted our conversation about marriage, and you didn't answer my question. Why are you against the idea?"

Liza's hands shook and tears trailed down her cheeks. She'd lost the battle of holding in her emotions. She took a clean cloth and dabbed the tears threatening to dampen her face.

Esther rushed to her side. "What is upsetting you?"

"Paul hid his true self from everyone but me. He mistreated me. He yelled and screamed at the way I cooked, cleaned haus, did the laundry, and stitched his shirts. He sent me to my room for punishment as if I were a child. He portrayed himself one way to you and others, but to me, he was an angry man. He hit the wall and table several times showing his temper."

Esther gasped and covered her mouth. "What? I'm shocked! Why have you kept this a secret from us for such a long time? When did his mistreatment start? Did he lay a hand on you?"

Pale, Hannah placed a hand on her mamm's arm. "Mamm, please slow down. You're peppering Liza with questions." She nodded to Liza. "Allow her to answer one at a time."

Pausing, Esther shifted her gaze to Hannah. "You're like your daed. You remain calm in the midst of a storm. I should be more like you." She squeezed Liza's hand. "I'm sorry. Tell us about him."

"I'll start from the beginning. Since Paul arranged our marriage with Daed, we didn't have much time to get acquainted before our wedding day. I had doubts because he was ten years older than me, but I married him anyway. According to him, his mamm adhered to his demanding schedule and he expected no less from me. He was an only child who inherited this large, profitable property, and he expected me to manage the bakery to add to our wealth. He hid his greediness, arrogance, and boorish temperament from everyone but me."

"I'm flabbergasted he put you through that. We had no idea." Esther bowed her head and spoke just above a whisper. "You are rich with beauty, talent, and a kind heart. You could've waited to fall in love with an Amish man. Why didn't you?" She froze. "You married him to provide financial freedom for us, didn't you?"

She didn't want them ridden with guilt for why she'd married Paul. "It was my decision and you are not to blame yourself. I chose to marry him for you, Hannah, Abe, me, and our parents. I had no reason to believe he wouldn't be an ideal husband, despite our age difference. I've had a wonderful daed, and Abe is a stellar bruder-in-law and close friend. I assumed Paul would be like them. His behavior was devastating. I believe he would've taken the bakery away from me had he discovered it had become my refuge."

"Uncle Paul never once raised his voice around me. I'm astounded he could put on such a cheerful front for as long as he did. I would've had to tell you or Mamm and seek comfort if I'd been in your position. You were strong to keep this hush-hush from us."

"I agreed to an arranged marriage for financial reasons. I promise you won't be in the same predicament. Our crops, the bakery, and the inheritance I received from Paul's estate provides us with more money than we need."

Liza didn't want Hannah to worry. Hannah was softhearted and compassionate toward others. The right man would appreciate those qualities in her. "You're pretty, with your fire-red hair, deep green eyes, and kind heart. Amish men will be knocking your door down before long to get your attention. You can take your time and fall in love with a man of your choosing." Liza wanted Hannah to find the right man, learn all she could about him, and then marry him.

"Your safety and happiness is worth more to me than fretting about people judging us for your divorce or having to survive on a lot less money. I can't imagine leaving the Amish life, but I would've for you." Esther dabbed a tear with her sleeve. "I'm angry with you, Liza. You shouldn't hide things from me. Even if you chose to stay with him after telling me, I'd have listened to you."

Hannah came alongside her mamm. "Don't be cross with Liza. She kept her secret to protect you, Daed, and me. This information would've robbed you of enjoying your life. You'd have fretted about Liza night and day had you known about the real Paul. You couldn't have done anything. She made the right decision."

Esther circled her arm around Liza. "Hannah's right, but I should've realized you were in pain."

"I didn't want you to." She cupped her schweschder's cheek in her hand. "You couldn't have fixed this problem. You have nothing to regret. I'm responsible for my own actions." She threw back her shoulders and brushed her palms. "Paul's gone, and we no longer have to concern ourselves with him." She didn't want to discuss him anymore. Enough had been said. Had she been wrong to tell Esther the truth about him? She didn't want her family to dwell on her revelation.

"Do you have to tell Abe?"

Esther stilled. "Jah. We don't keep secrets from each other. He'll be all right once he has a chance to let it settle in. Abe will be upset when I tell him about Paul. He loves you like a schweschder rather than a schweschder-in-law. I won't tell a soul except him, and he won't tell anyone."

Hannah put a finger to her lips. "Your secret is safe with me. Are you able to forgive Paul?"

(Continues…)



Excerpted from "Liza's Second Chance"
by .
Copyright © 2018 Molly Jebber.
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.

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Liza's Second Chance 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 21 reviews.
Christa4 6 months ago
Liza's Second Chance by Molly Jebber will capture your heart from the very beginning. This beautiful story is the first book in a brand new series! Liza Schrock loves working at the bakery that her late husband purchased. Everyone thought her husband was wonderful, but they truly did not know the real "Paul". One day, Jacob Graber and his daughter Ellie stop in the bakery. Jacob, a widower, recently moved to Charm because of his daughter's defiant behavior in their previous Amish Community. He is hoping for a fresh new start in Charm, Ohio. Jacob and Liza become friends, but could that friendship ever blossom into a deeper relationship? You will definitely want to check out this book to find out the rest of Jacob and Liza's story. There are plenty of surprises sprinkled throughout this book too. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this story, which takes place in 1912. The author did a great job bringing the characters to life; you will feel like you are right there with them in beautiful Charm, Ohio! A must-read! I voluntarily reviewed a copy of this book from the author and have given my honest opinion.
RGNHALL 7 months ago
It is impossible not to love the characters in this book! I was rooting for Liza and Jacob from the very moment they met. I also hurt right along with Ellie, Peter, and Mae. The family members and Amish community as well as the local English sheriff and doctor are so supportive of the widows and their children. It would certainly make life more difficult not to have this invaluable support. Readers will also feel concern when some bad folks cause trouble for our dear ones here in Charm. I've been to Charm, Ohio, and the Amish community there is so quaint and sweet. The businesses run by the Amish flourish and locals and tourists alike frequent them. I would love to visit Liza's bakery and enjoy a cup of tea or coffee, along with some of her delicious molasses cookies. Molly Jebber painted such a beautiful picture with words that I felt like I was there. But a little taste would have been nice too. Wouldn't it, readers? Haha I rate this book 5 stars and highly recommend it to those who love Amish fiction, Christian fiction, good wholesome reading and a good clean romance. I received a digital version of this book from netgalley and Zebra Publishing in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are my own. I was not required to write a positive review.
arkieclown 7 months ago
LIZA’S SECOND CHANCE by Molly Jebber is the first book in the Amish Charm Bakery series. It’s a story about the Amish way of life of faith, family and community back in the early part of the 20th century in the town of Charm, Ohio. Liza Schrock is now a young widow and owner of the Charm Bakery. Although her abusive husband from an arranged marriage, Paul, had bought the bakery, she’s always thought of it as “her” place and where she found peace and happiness. It’s where she can share her love of baking with her fellow workers, her sister, Esther, and niece, Hannah, and her customers can reap the bounty of her oven. Her bad marriage left her content to be alone happy with her family, church and her business. That is until she meet the newcomers to town – the young widow Jacob Graber and his teenage daughter, Ellie. While helping Jacob, as a friend, through some difficult times while his daughter works out the dilemma of testing her wings and living in the English world or to stay in the church, Liza finds her attraction to Jacob to be more and more on her mind. She is sure that Ellie’s resentment of anyone trying to take over her Mom’s place plus the fact that she thinks she is barren, would make anything more than being friends impossible. Jacob is steadfast and determined to prove to her that she is all he needs and wants. Along the way, young Peter comes into their lives when his Mother dies. He’s just the pint size bundle of love that everyone needs. Through the eyes of a child, we will all see that God is real and love knows no bounds. It’s through the trials and life events that are thrown at them that their love shines and grows. It’s a story of faith in God and each other, the value of open communication and knowing that all things happen in God’s time. I highly recommend this book to anyone that loves a wonderful Amish story, a story that shows what hard work and dedication can achieve, a story of love and devotion and how it’s more of showing it than saying it, and wants a feel good Christian book to read by an author that weaves a colorful tapestry in her story.
wfnren More than 1 year ago
A story dealing with grief, making mistakes, forgiveness and moving on. Will the loss of a mother keep a father from ever finding happiness or will it help to build a whole new family? Will moving to a new area help ease the pain or will the pain continue? I've read several of Molly's books and enjoyed each one, as I did this one. I would recommend this as a great story.
jess_baker_614 More than 1 year ago
I would visit Charm, Ohio any day, set in 1912 or today. Molly Jebber paints a charming, picturesque community that I would love to be a part of. I can picture myself going to the bakery on a daily basis, sitting there eating the delicious cookies and pies, and talking to Liza, Hannah and Esther about pretty much anything. They are so warm, welcoming, and easy to talk to. It really makes you want to jump right into the book and befriend them. There were many times I wanted to get involved in Liza's life. I wanted to tell her that there is no shame in telling the truth about her late husband. That not all men are like that, and encourage her to open her heart for love again. Watching her growth throughout this book was exciting and fun. But what I enjoyed most about her, was her patience with Ellie. At the end of the day, she put Ellie's needs before her own, sometimes without even realizing it. It's too bad that Ellie didn't realize this in the first quarter of the book. I mean, the romance between Liza and Jacob could have really taken off. But....what's a great story without drama! This is a community I want to visit over and over again. I cannot wait to see what happens in the next installment of this sweet and charming series! I received a complimentary copy of this book. I was not required to write a favorable review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Laundry_Whispers More than 1 year ago
I’m a sitting here, having just finished reading this book and I have no idea where to start writing. Not a clue. I’m drowning people! This book intrigued me when I first came across it and knew I needed to read it. I pictured quaint scenes set in a cozy bakery with lovably flawed characters and deep story lines of love, faith and redemption. The truth was I was bored. I got cozy bakery scenes. I got flawed characters. I got love, faith and redemption. I didn’t get lovably or deep. I got bored. A book that should have taken me just a few hours to read took all day. I kept getting up to do something else between scenes. I did like the book so don’t let any of this detract you from the bigger story. Reading an ARC (Advanced Reader Copy) always comes with it’s own set of quirky experiences. I enjoy collecting them up and referring back to them when I go back later to my own writings and find my glaring typos. It makes me feel better, more normal, if you will. Set in 1912 most people were still driving horse and wagon. Amish, the drive buggy. It’s to be expected to see those mixed up at least once. It did, a couple of times, when an Amish person took off in their wagon. I want to talk about depth for a minute or twenty. Depth is what draws you into the story, makes you care about the characters, and hopefully carries you in a whirlwind through it all. While this was an enjoyable story with a solid plot line it lacked depth. I was frequently confused about time passage, what was really going on, why it mattered, and sometimes what really happened. Sometimes it felt like an emotion dump. Liza suddenly shares this horrid secret she had carried with minimal preamble. It colored so much of the story but it felt like a dump of emotion instead of a solid plot point. It was like here ya go, now let’s go on. Much of the story was like that. Someone gets shot – no big deal really it just slides to the background. Ellie runs away – a lot of moping around, she returns without preamble, instaforgiveness and slides partly into the background. Tornado – slides to the background. Thugs – miraculous rescue and then nothing. Just a few examples, there are many more. I know more about the way a person was laid out for their funeral than I do about any of these other things. The other thing that bugged me was how helpless all the females in the book were, expect perhaps Ellie. No one had a backbone, no one knew how to stand up for themselves and sometimes it felt like they didn’t know how to make decisions for themselves. It was just too sweet. Everything was OK, everything was glossed over, everything was sweet. OK, I know I just did a pretty big information dump myself but follow me here. This book had a solid story line to it. It did capture my attention and capture my interest. Stories of love, family, starting over, and community. This story has all of that. And a lot of sweet treats along the way. I was provided a complimentary copy of this book by CelebrateLit. I was not compensated for this review and all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own. I was not required to write a positive review.
cscott9 More than 1 year ago
I am a huge fan of Amish Fiction that I have considered giving up everything and moving to an Amish Community. When I got the chance to read Molly Jebber's new Amish Fiction book I couldn't wait to get it in my hands. I will be honest, it was one of the best novels yet!!! Liza's Second Chance is part of the Amish Charm Bakery and it is the first in the series. Beautifully written just like all her novels, this one will leave you ready for the second one in the series. Liza Schrock loves baking and loves her bakery that her late husband had bought for her. She is often baking for the people of the community, as well as staying single. She even reaches out to help a widower with his teenage daughter. Jacob Graber has just arrived in the community and needs help with his troubled teenager. Liza just wants to stay friends with Jacob but comes to caring for him. Reading Liza's story is beautiful and seeing her heart of gold will warm your heart. Liza's Second Chance is that sweet, happy book that you will read over and over again. “I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author/publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are mine alone." 
Virginiaw More than 1 year ago
This story made me laugh and cry. I had a hard time putting this down. I have loved all of Molly Jebber’s books and this one was no exception. I look forward to reading more books in this wonderful new series. I loved all of these fantastic characters. Each character grows as the story unfolds. This is a great Amish fiction story. I received this book from Celebratelit for a fair and honest opinion that I gave of my own free will.
Baranski1987 More than 1 year ago
Liza's Second Chance is book one in The Amish Charm Bakery series by Molly Jebber. If you like Amish fiction than this is the story for you. Molly has written another book that is sure to delight. A story that is full of love, faith, hope, heartache and much, much more. Be sure to order your copy of Liza's Second Chance today.
Mar-J More than 1 year ago
Stepping into Liza’s Amish Bakery shop in Charm, Ohio to smell the delicious baked goods, sit and visit with a cup of coffee and a treat would be delightful. Since that’s not possible, reading this touching story with true to life issues the characters were faced with caused this reader to be right in the midst of Charm during 1912. Molly Jebber created another beautiful historical Amish story with well developed characters that will remain with readers after finishing the book. Liza’s Schrock loved the bakery her late husband had purchased prior to his demise. The bakery was her security and gave her an inner peace. Her secret of her past married life was kept hidden from the community but with a newcomer, Jacob Graber, will Liza be able to continue to keep her past hidden? It seemed he was set on winning her heart. Liza’s sweet spirit and love for all reached out to his troubled teenage daughter who was grieving the loss of her mother. Even with Ellie’s negative behavior toward Liza that others might see as disrespectful and despiteful, Liza saw the good in Ellie and continued to love her. The insight of Liza’s sister Esther, brother-in-law along with her young niece gave Liza strength, encouragement and a hope that she might be able to move forward and heal from her past. There are unexpected incidents that kept the pages turning to see what was happening with the primary and secondary characters. This engaging story is well crafted by Molly Jebber, that will resonant with readers of God’s love and second chances when He is sought through His Word and prayer just as the various characters discovered during the rough and heartbreaking moments in their lives. I received a complimentary copy of Liza’s Second Chance from the author. A favorable review was not required and all thoughts expressed are my own. I look forward to reading the next book in An Amish Charm Bakery series, as Molly Jebber has become one of my favorite authors.
KrisAnderson_TAR More than 1 year ago
Liza’s Second Chance by Molly Jebber is the first novel in The Amish Charm Bakery series. We go back in time to 1912 in Charm, Ohio. Paul Schrock purchased the bakery for Liza (as an investment), and Liza considers the bakery her haven. Liza was happy to be off in her bakery each day making delectable delights for her customers. It allowed her to be away from her husband’s criticisms (mental abuse). Paul projected a different persona to the community. Liza never told a soul about her miserable marriage. He has been gone a year, and Liza is happy with her single status. Then Jacob Graber and his troubled daughter, Ellie arrive in town. Esther, Liza’s sister, believes Jacob would be the perfect mate for Liza (a matchmaker at heart). Ellie has a belligerent attitude and ruined Jacob’s last relationship. Jacob moved them to Charm to give Ellie a chance to start over, but the outside world fascinates her. Liza aids Jacob and Ellie in adjusting to the new town. She introduces Ellie to her niece, Hannah hoping they will become friends (and it will help Ellie’s attitude). Things seem to be improving with Ellie, but then she disappears into the English world with a young man. Why did she take off and where did she go? While Ellie is away, Jacob and Liza spend time together and grow closer. Jacob wishes to marry, but Liza is reluctant. What would happen when Ellie returns? Will there be a happily ever after for Liza and Jacob? Liza’s Second Chance is nicely written and has a nice flow. I found the book easy to read. The author incorporated major events from the time-period like the sinking of the Titanic, the Olympics, and Harry Houdini. I did find a repetition of information. Details surrounding Liza’s first marriage for example are repeated several times. Amish words are interjected into the dialogue. The meaning of them can be discerned from the text. Christian elements include scripture, accepting God and his plan for a person’s life, forgiveness, power of prayer and having faith. We get to see the importance of family and friends. Liza has a close relationship with her family and they are happy to include the Graber family. I felt that the author could have developed the characters more. There is a lack of details on the main characters background that could have given them depth. I did become annoyed with Jacob at times. Liza wants to allow time for a friendship to develop between herself and Ellie, but Jacob keeps forcing the issue. His lack of understanding was frustrating for me. Liza’s Second Chance is a light, sweet Amish romance that will appeal to fans of Amish fiction.
Deana0326 More than 1 year ago
Whenever I find out that one of my favorite authors has a new series coming out, I’m all giddy with excitement. I couldn’t wait to start the first in a very promising series. I commend the author for writing a story about an Amish marriage that was not perfect. Some of us may glamorize the Amish life, but they have problems just like everyone else when it comes to marriage. I’m thankful that the author showed a different side to an Amish marriage that is hardly written about. I know as you read the story you will discover the secret Liza kept from everyone. It’s very typical in a situation like her’s , to hide the truth because of fear. This is one story that has all the elements of a book that draws you in at the beginning and tugs on the heartstrings as you want to hug Liza. Liza is one tough character. I admire her for wanting to protect her family while hiding something that is emotionally and physically hurtful. I loved her character and wanted to walk beside her and tell her that everything would be ok. I wonder why some people judge others when they haven’t walked in their shoes? It’s a mystery that I will never understand but hope someday we will all work together and help those that are hurting. I adored Jacob as soon as he was introduced. He has his hands full with his disrespectful daughter Ellie. Maybe things will be better for them in the new town. I loved how they were welcomed in the community and especially by Eliza and her family. The story is full of surprises and sadness at times. My heart went out to Ellie. She is defiant but under that tough exterior is a young girl crying out for acceptance and love. I adore stories about second chances and this one has been written with a few characters praying for just that. Isn’t it nice to know that if we mess up, God is right there to give us another chance? If only we could forgive as quickly as God does, then our loved ones would find happiness sooner. Don’t miss this wonderful story about friendship, forgiveness, patience and second chances. I received a copy of this book from Celebrate Lit. The review is my own opinion.
DKStevens119 More than 1 year ago
This was a heart warming story of second chances.. Liza’s fought her second chance for a long time and her reasons were easy to understand.. Enjoyed how Jacob courted her and got his second chance too. Good story from start to finish! I was gifted a copy and my review is voluntary...
LilacDreams More than 1 year ago
When Liza’s husband died, she felt relief. The persona he offered outside their home was far different than the way he treated her. She never told anyone, and her sister Esther is constantly trying to interest her in other men. Jacob comes to Charm, and she’s attracted to him, but she doesn’t want to marry again. His wife died three years ago, leaving him with a teenage daughter who’s attracted to the outside world. Ellie’s earned a bad reputation for running away, and she doesn’t want her dad to remarry. And Liza won’t consider marrying Jacob without Ellie’s consent. With an Amish story, it can be difficult to know the time period. The only way to know this is a historical is because of Englischers discussing the Titanic and the Stockholm Olympics. A few Amish words are used, including “kumme,” in place of “come.” It didn’t give me a sense of Amishness, like “boppli” might. Rather, it interrupted the flow of the story. Unlike most Amish books I’ve read where silent prayer was observed, here someone offered a prayer out loud before meals. What could have been an appealing story got tedious with all the conversations about Ellie’s boasting about the outside world, running away, and need for forgiveness from the Amish community. Or the explanation of why Liza’s marriage was bad given three times in the first two chapters.
vics49548 More than 1 year ago
Author Molly Jebber included all personalities in this book. An abused widow, recovering from the situation. A troubled teenager suffering loss. An Amish man who wants his way, regardless of what others want. But you'll enjoy watching them grow, change, and blossom. We all want second chances! Jebber brought in many facets of the era, including Houdini and the Sinking of the Titanic. That gave the reader a good time frame for the story. She also did a good job of helping you to see the Amish lifestyle. The closeness and dependence on family, etc. Her descriptions were very thorough. I did feel the dialogue was a bit stiff; it didn't seem to flow freely, but that is a style preference. There is nothing wrong with it. In all, it was a good book; an easy read that even included a yummy cookie recipe. If you like Amish stories you'll enjoy Liza's Second Chance. I received a complimentary copy of this book but was not required to leave a review.
GailHollingsworth More than 1 year ago
An Amish Charm Bakery Novel, first in a new series! This whole series is going to be great if they are all like this first one. The characters were real. The emotions were realistic and sometimes Kleenex grabbing. And the setting was described beautifully. I kept wanting to eat cookies or pastries. Thankfully the recipe for Liza's famous molasses cookies is found in the back of the book. They sound a lot like gingerbread cookies, which I love. Liza had been in a very bad abusive marriage to a man she didn't love. She knew he could provide for her family. When he passed away she vowed to never marry again and supported herself at a bakery her husband had bought for her. This was her love and her escape. Jacob moved to Charm to get his daughter away from gossips. Having lost her mother, Ellie had turned from her Amish life to taste the ways of the English. Jacob was at a loss as to what to do with her other than pray. He is instantly attracted to Liza but his daughter emphatically declares she does not want a new "mother". It was entertaining reading to find out what happened and how each situation was handled. The time period is 1912 but being Amish and the way they lived made it not even noticeable. I throughly enjoyed reading this novel and look forward to the others in the series. I received a complimentary copy of this book but was not required to write a review.
SBMC More than 1 year ago
This is the first book by Molly Jebber that I have read. For full disclosure, I have to admit that I don’t read much Amish fiction. I have read more since becoming a part of the Celebrate Lit Tour review team, but it is not my go-to genre of fiction. That being said, this Amish fiction book that takes place in Charm, Ohio in 1912 blends love and faith in the small Amish community that provides second chances with historical happenings of that era. The deeply woven thread of faith and prayer in the storyline is also an added bonus. Liza is a bakery owner in Charm who suffered through a terrible marriage to a verbally and emotionally abusive man. She is now a widow, enjoying her time with her sister’s family and bakery. Jacob is a widower just moved into Charm with his troubled teenage daughter. Sparks fly between the two, but many issues - past and present - interfere with their budding relationship. Liza is strong and capable but so timid and fearful in a courtship. Jacob is tender, loyal, and caring but sometimes too pushy and stubborn about getting his own way. Then there is Ellie, Jacob’s daughter, who is willful and spiteful, mostly because she’s still hurting from her mother’s death. Although the characters were definitely three-dimensional and layered, I unfortunately couldn’t really connect with any of them. The storyline was plotted out well, but the book seemed a bit long and repeatedly addressed Liza’s emotional issues with remarriage more often than was needed. If you enjoy Amish historical fiction, I’m sure you would enjoy this book. I was given a copy of the book by the author/publisher via Celebrate Lit Tour. I was not required to write a favorable review. All comments and opinions are solely my own.
annelr More than 1 year ago
Liza's Second Chance by Molly Jebber is an endearing Amish story. As a reader with a love for Amish tales, this book did not disappoint. Liza, recovering from an abusive marriage and busy with her bakery, has no desire to pursue a love relationship. Jacob, a lonely widower with a teenaged daughter who tests his patience, has set his cap for Liza. Both had their share of sorrows, will they be able to overcome the obstacles that seem to crop up at every turn of the road? Will Liza be able to open her heart and accept that a man might truly love and care for her? The author expertly deals with some rather difficult subjects, such as death and grief, thugs out to make trouble, runaways, and even a tornado. The characters are likable and also realistic with their strong points and their flaws and foibles. The plot flows quickly with twists and turns that keep the reader's interest. The author has infused the pages with heart-warming emotion and romance as well as a strong faith in God and a belief that He is a God who will guide and direct as one turns to Him in time of need. Liza's Second Chance is first in the Amish Charm Bakery series and I'm looking forward to the next book in the series. I received a complimentary copy of the book through CelebrateLit and was not required to write a review. The opinions are my own.
MaureenST More than 1 year ago
The premise of this story was very good, and kept my attention, but I did have a problem with the same things being said and said again. The author has set this story in 1912 and the sinking of the Titanic is in the local newspapers, but our story is set in Amish country, mainly at a locally owned Amish Bakery. There are so many directions this book went to, abuse, searching for where you belong, bad health, death of parent or spouse, trying to control a parent, to name a few. We do get to know a few characters up close and personal, and I would love to know what happened down the road, after the end of the book. There is even a yummy recipe offered at the end, and there is a lot of baking going on here! I received this book through Net Galley and the Publisher Kensington Books, and was not required to give a positive review.
MaureenST More than 1 year ago
The premise of this story was very good, and kept my attention, but I did have a problem with the same things being said and said again. The author has set this story in 1912 and the sinking of the Titanic is in the local newspapers, but our story is set in Amish country, mainly at a locally owned Amish Bakery. There are so many directions this book went to, abuse, searching for where you belong, bad health, death of parent or spouse, trying to control a parent, to name a few. We do get to know a few characters up close and personal, and I would love to know what happened down the road, after the end of the book. There is even a yummy recipe offered at the end, and there is a lot of baking going on here! I received this book through Net Galley and the Publisher Kensington Books, and was not required to give a positive review.