This is a sweet and predictable romance, filled with family love and community relationships that stand the test of time. Miriam agrees to help Matthew recover from a serious accident, going to her neighbor’s house daily to assist him in his rehabilitation. Matthew is understandably bitter and angry about the accident that killed his brother and left him unable to move his legs. Miriam has her work cut out for her since she has to convince Matthew to have hope and his sister to allow her to do her job. The story moved at a quick pace and the characters were like beloved old friends, described well and giving a real heart to the story. In fact, I think that the characters made the story. The Amish traditions are included and are a welcome addition to the background of the plot. The themes are forgiveness and holding on to hope in spite of life’s lemons. I particularly enjoyed the humanity of the characters, their struggle with their daily lives and their close relationship to their family and friends. Fans of good Amish fiction will not want to miss this book. Although it is part of a series, I read it as a standalone and had no difficulty jumping right into the story.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the Harlequin via Netgalley. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255, “Guides Concerning the Use of Testimonials and Endorsements in Advertising.”
Excerpt: NURSING HER AMISH NEIGHBOR by Marta Perry
“It takes time to come back from lying in bed,” Miriam said, as if she knew his thoughts. “I’ve heard a therapist say a week of exercise for every day in bed.” She’d moved closer, and as he tried again, she put her hand on the middle of his back, pressing.
He could feel how much easier that made it to pull up. And he could also feel the shape of her palm and the warmth of her skin through the thin cotton of his nightshirt. He looked at her, feeling that awareness move between them.
“Here, let me help.” Betsy charged in, inserting herself between him and Miriam.
Jealous? He couldn’t be sure.
“That’s right.” Miriam, unruffled, moved Betsy’s hand slightly. “Good. Now don’t push. Just use your hand for a little extra support. We want his muscles to work but not strain.”
“Yah, I see. I can feel it.” Betsy sounded pleased, her antagonism slipping away.
With the two of them behind him, he couldn’t see either of their faces. But he didn’t like the idea of them ganging up on him.
“Betsy, do we have any lemonade?”
“I don’t think so. Do you want some? I can make it.” All her eagerness to please him rushed back.
“We could all use some after we finish here, ain’t so? Why don’t you make a pitcher?”
“Right away.” She hurried off.
“Don’t worry about it.” Miriam seemed amused. “She’s still your willing servant.”
“That wasn’t the idea,” he said stiffly, his temper flaring that she could read him so easily. “In case you haven’t noticed, it makes her happy to do things for me.”
“I noticed.” She looped the handles back up over the bar and pulled down a pair of stretchy bands. “As long as she’s helping you to get stronger, I don’t object.”
“Stronger.” He almost spat out the word. “Stronger for what? None of this is going to do any good. It’s useless. I can’t be the person I was.”
She seemed unaffected by his anger. “We’ll never know that if you don’t try, will we?”
He glared at her for a long moment as
He glared at her for a long moment as a thought formed in his mind. He turned it over, looking at it from all angles. Would it work?
“I’ll tell you what,” he said. “I’ll make a deal with you.”
“What kind of a deal?” Miriam’s expression was cautious.
“I promise to do everything you say…to try my hardest…for a month. If I’m not much better by then, you agree to quit.”
Miriam stood very still, considering before she spoke. “I can’t speak for Tim. Just for myself.”
“Yah. Just for yourself.”
“Who’s going to decide whether or not you’re much better?” she said. “You?”
His jaw hardened. She wasn’t going to make this easy.
“No,” he said abruptly. “How about… Betsy?”
Her lips twitched. “Don’t you think Betsy has her own reasons for wanting to be rid of me?”
He raised one eyebrow, a gesture that used to attract the girls. “If you’re really making progress, you’ll have won her over by then. What’s wrong? Don’t you have any confidence in your work?”
She seemed to wince at that. After a long moment, she nodded. “All right. It’s a deal.”
About the Author:
Marta Perry realized she wanted to be a writer at age eight, when she read her first Nancy Drew novel. A lifetime spent in rural Pennsylvania and her own Pennsylvania Dutch roots led Marta to the books she writes now about the Amish. When she’s not writing, Marta is active in the life of her church and enjoys traveling and spending time with her three children and six beautiful grandchildren. Visit her online at http://www.martaperry.com.
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