Publication Date: 11/05/2013
Publisher: Penguin Group
Imprint: Berkley Trade
Genre: Inspirational Fiction
(Received for an honest review from Berkley Trade)
Purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Book Depository, IndieBound
Marianne Ellis (aka. Jo Ann Brown)on the WEB: Website, Goodreads
Books in the series:
Summer Promise (2013), Autumn Grace (2013)
Coverart: Click the image for a larger, clearer view of the covers in this series.
Excerpt from Autumn Grace, courtesy of Amazon's Look Inside feature.
With the change of seasons comes a change of heart—and an unexpected journey of love, compassion, and discovery . . .
The oldest of seven daughters, Ruth Schrock has grown up believing that her uncompromising father has never really approved of her independent nature. Though devoted to her community and her faith, she’s always found it difficult to follow the straight and narrow path of a deacon’s daughter. When Ruth is asked to teach in a nearby community, she jumps at the opportunity—feeling that God has given her a chance at a life of meaning.
Ruth never could have guessed that her new path would lead to Levi Yoder. Handsome Levi is a shy and quiet man. He lives alone and seems most comfortable spending time with the injured animals he rescues and cares for. Ruth and her all-embracing love of life confuse yet captivate Levi. With her school across the road from his farm, the attraction grows—but so do the conflicts. Can these two opposites find a path they can walk together into the future?
Marianne Ellis brings readers the latest inspiration romance in her Amish Seasons series, Autumn Grace. This is tender love story between a quiet, man of God and a young Amish school teacher. Readers of Amish fiction will love Ellis' attention to detail and characterizations. With strong values and a call to a simpler life, readers would think there will be no ups and downs for this couple, but that's not the case. Ellis provides an enchanting story set against the backdrop of the Amish religion that will keep readers reading long into the night.
It's no secret... I love Amish fiction! As a young girl I started out reading inspirational fiction and though I have branched out into a lot of other genre's, I still love the simple and beautiful love stories created by authors who understand that faith and love are often meant to be shared. Most of the inspirational fiction I have reviewed has come from the big names in Christian Fiction, Revell Books, Bethany House and others. Autumn Grace comes from Berkley and I was interested in seeing what they had to offer readers of this genre. I was definitely not disappointed.
Autumn Grace features a young woman named Ruth that has had a difficult time living up to the rigors of the Amish life. Her father is a deacon and a lot is expected of his children and the eyes of the community often rest on them. Ruth has a way of looking at life that is refreshing and joyful. She has a lively spirit, which is not always a good thing, when it comes to the Amish. She doesn't feel as though she fits in and is waiting for God to show her where she needs to be. I loved Ruth, she was such a breath of fresh air. Ellis does a fantastic job of showing the reader that Ruth is not doing things that are against her faith, it is just how she does things that seems to be at issue. I thought she was a wonderful character and readers will find her irresistible and infectious.
Levi is a quiet man, shy and unassuming. I liked the fact that he lived his faith openly and tried to help his community in any way he could, including serving on the school board. His passion for wounded and sick animals was another thing that drew me to his character. He was the kind of man you wished had a good woman at his side. It was almost as if he deserved that. I thought Ellis brought the Amish lifestyle and faith to life through this character and made readers fall in love with him. An excellent hero!
When Ruth is asked to take a position as a teacher, she feels as though she has her answer. But the road to her destiny isn't an easy one. Her school is across the road from Levi's farm and he helps her as she faces the school board on one occasion. The romance that blooms between them is both confusing and joyful to Levi and exactly what God had in mind for both of them. Their road isn't easy, as they are very different and I thought Ellis really brought out that point well. Even those who are living a life of faith, don't always have it easy. It's how they weather the storm that is often different.
I loved the good clean romance that Ellis has written here and I believe readers will find it enchanting. I have great respect for the Amish people and their faith. I often think we would all be a little better off if we were less concerned with the things of the world and more concerned about the things of heaven. Ellis portrays the Amish people well here and I think it is a testament to her writing that she is able to bring the Amish so vividly to life in her stories.
Autumn Grace is available NOW from your favorite bookseller.
I'm giving this one 5 out of 5 apples from my book bag!
About the Author:
Marianne Ellis, author of Summer Promise, is the pseudonym for two accomplished writers: JoAnn Brown and Cameron Dokey.
Jo Ann Brown has written over ninety books in the romance genre. She currently writes in The Patchwork Mysteries series for Guideposts and Thorndike, and she wrote the novelization for Thomas Kinkade’s The Christmas Cottage for Berkley. Her interest in the Amish goes back many years when she and her family lived in Pennsylvania not far from Lancaster County.
Cameron Dokey began her writing career in 1994. Since that time she has more than thirty works of fiction to her credit including romances for readers of all ages. Her young adult works have appeared regularly on the ALA most recommended lists. Brown and Dokey also collaborated on the Candace Steele paranormal romance series for Ballantine Books.
The publisher is sponsoring a giveaway for one copy of Autumn Grace by Marianne Ellis.
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