Second in the series following A Simple Vow—from the author of the Seasons of the Heart novels, who “writes Amish stories with style and grace” (RT Book Reviews).
The Amish residents of Willow Ridge share their talents at the Simple Gifts crafts shop—and share the blessings of faith, hard work, and love with their community—even when family secrets bring unexpected challenges . . .
Making rugs for Simple Gifts has taught Loretta Riehl that an unassuming pattern can reveal surprising depth. People, too, have a way of defying first impressions. Drew Detweiler came to Willow Ridge under a cloud, but the handsome craftsman has gained the community’s respect for his upholstery skills and commitment to making amends for his mistakes. As her new brother-in-law’s twin, he’s joining the family for dinners and Sunday visits at the Riehl house, and Loretta can’t deny enjoying his attentions.
If only her dat were willing to let a little joy into his life. Cornelius Riehl grows more stern with each passing day, and Drew suspects there’s more to his moods than missing Loretta’s late mamm. Hoping to fulfill Loretta’s wish to live in a peaceful, happy home again, Drew sets out to learn the truth. It’s a journey that will bring to light painful realities—but also the chance to forge a new, honest, and loving future together . . .
Praise for Charlotte Hubbard’s Seasons of the Heart series
“Fans of Amish fiction will love the Seasons of the Heart series.”—Marta Perry, national bestselling author
“These very special books will sit proudly on my keeper shelf!”—Romance Reviews Today
Hubbard (A Simple Vow) brings fans back to the Amish community of Willow Ridge, Mo., and the town's Simple Gifts craft shop in this underwhelming outing. Loretta Riehl, the autocratic church deacon's middle daughter, knows she has to obey her father, but his increasingly erratic behavior troubles her, and she defies him to work at Simple Gifts. Determined to make her own happiness, Loretta also starts seeing Drew Detweiler, a handsome young man who's making amends for a scandalous past. Hubbard is skilled at portraying the realities of Amish life and developing well-crafted characters, but she misses the mark with an uncharacteristically confusing plot, including a secondary romance seen by a third party: Mennonite Nora Hooley, the owner of Simple Gifts, has the front-row seat to everything in town, including two "English" (i.e., not Amish) people computer graphics designer Rebecca Oliveri and horse breeder Wyatt McKenzie falling in love. The perspective shifts constantly, and it's impossible to get to know any of the characters well. Moreover, Loretta and Drew's physical demonstrations of affection and Rebecca and Wyatt's sexual banter feel out of place in Amish fiction. Fans will still find plenty of joy and grace in Drew and Loretta's courtship, but newcomers should begin with Hubbard's other romances first.