Saturday, December 17, 2016

An Amish Family Christmas: A Charmed Amish Life Christmas Novel (Book 4) by Shelley Shepard Gray

It's getting to be my favorite season in Virginia, winter!  The temperatures are dropping, Jack Frost makes patterns on my car, baking goes into full gear over here, and I wait for the first snowfall of the season.

I have to abandon my front porch swing but I just cozy up to my fireplace in my favorite armchair with a hot cup of tea and grab a book or two (or more).  My stack was growing so I had plenty to choose from.

My son gifted me a bunch of lovely books for my birthday and I was excited to see this beauty in the pile!
My son picked it out because he know I liked snow and "those people who have horses and buggies". He did a pretty good job.  This is book four in the Charmed Life Amish Series and the first book I've read in it.  

From the back: In Shelley Shepard Gray’s fourth book in her Charmed Amish Life series, an unlikely Amish romance reveals that Christmas is a time for family, miracles—and love. 

Ever since his father died in a tragic fire, Levi Kinsinger has felt adrift. Newly returned to Charm, Ohio, Levi is trying to fit into his old life, only to discover he seems to have outgrown it.

But when Julia, his young widowed neighbor, asks for his help with a Christmas project, Levi finds a sense of purpose for the first time in months. She and her daughter are new to Charm and could use a friend, a job Levi takes personally. Soon enough, friendship grows into attraction, but Levi can’t help having doubts. There’s something about Julia that doesn’t ring quite true…

Like Levi, Julia Kemps has survived her fair share of hardships—but only by hiding the truth of her past. Being an unmarried mother in an Amish community was unthinkable. Feeling hopeless, Julia did the only thing she could do: she moved to a new town and pretended to be a widow. But meeting Levi, she’s hopeful for the first time. Little by little, she begins to imagine telling him her darkest secret, and eventually…perhaps even sharing her life with him.

Christmas is a time for family, and as the holiday draws closer, Julia and Levi will have to face their pasts together…in order to find the healing, support and love they so desperately desire.

This was a "gut" read!  I was a little leery about starting out with book four but this was a fantastic stand alone.  It also takes a different path than your traditional Amish book, something that I really appreciate.  

Levi is overcome with grief and hides a part of himself away.  You can feel his pain in the story.  Julia is on the run from a real creep.  She's changed her identity to protect herself and her little girl Penny. Like Levi, she has a great deal of pain inside of her.  Will Julia and Levi be able to leave the past behind and focus on what God wants for their future?  

This was a very emotional read.  The characters were really well written and Shelly Shepard Gray showed that even the Amish face problems.  It's a truly lovely story that has a fantastic ending that you don't want to miss (I'm not telling;) ).  The only regret I had was that I didn't read the other books first, but I plan on correcting that problem.  

So pick up your copy of An Amish Family Christmas and enjoy a wonderful Christmas story!  Happy Reading!  

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