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.
Gray's fourth Charmed Amish Life novel succeeds as a simple, heartwarming tale of opening up and starting anew during the Christmas season. After Julia discovered she was pregnant with an abusive, manipulative man's child, she fled to the Amish community where she grew up. Six years later, she has crafted a simple life for herself and her daughter, claiming to be a young widow. Julia's hardened independence begins to thaw when her neighbor Levi, son of the richest family in town, suggests she could clean his house to earn the extra money she needs for her daughter's Christmas gift. As the two grow closer, Levi's lingering grief over his father's death also slowly evaporates. But romance between the two faces serious challenges when Julia's past unexpectedly catches up with her. Alongside the main romance, Gray shows a former Amish woman returning to the area to set up a battered woman's shelter, and some of the family dynamics among Levi and his siblings. Julia's daughter, Penny, is particularly well drawn, and her relationship with Levi is touchingly tender. Gray lightly applies the Amish setting to provide texture without bogging down the pace, letting some inaccuracies pass unremarked for the sake of the story.