Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Review: The Amish Bride

The Amish Bride (Lancaster Courtships - Book 1) by Emma Miller

Publication Date: 08/18/2015
Publisher: Harlequin  
Imprint: Love Inspired
Genre: Amish Historical Romance
Pages: 256

(Received for an honest review from Love Inspired)

Purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, IndieBound, itunes

Emma Miller on the WEB: Website, Facebook, Goodreads, Fantastic Fiction

Excerpt from The Amish Bride, courtesy of Amazon's Look Inside feature


An Unexpected Courtship

Ellen Beachey's dreams of being a devoted Amish wife and mother are finally within her reach. But she didn't expect she'd have to choose between two brothers. Golden-haired Micah has a heart filled with adventure and a ready smile. Serious but gentle elder brother Neziah is a devoted and caring father of two. But Ellen and Neziah share a heartbreaking past that might prevent any hope of a future. Ellen never imagined an arranged union as a way to find true love. She wants to be loyal to her family, but she needs to follow her heart…if only she can figure out what it wants.

Lancaster Courtships: Life and love in Amish country

Collect all 3 book in the series! 

The Amish Bride by Emme Miller

The Amish Mother by Rebecca Kertz

The Amish Midwife by Patricia Davids


Emma Miller brings readers the first book in Love Inspired's new Lancaster Courtship series, The Amish Bride. Readers who are looking for an Amish romance that is a little on the lighter side, will enjoy this one very much. Miller, takes the idea of Amish courtship and gives it a good spin by giving the heroine, Ellen a difficult choice between two brothers. Miller's knowledge of the Amish community and it's practices is authentic and heartfelt. She uses a deft hand with her characters making them approachable and relatable, even though they come from a culture most of us don't know a lot about. 

In my opinion Harlequin often gets a bad wrap because their books are basically considered mass produced. Too quick, too fast, and not as good as others. It's often considered a good place for an author to get their feet wet but only until they get picked up by one of the bigger publishing houses. I disagree with this for a lot of reasons. I have read several books and authors from the Harlequin stable that a very well developed and have all the earmarks of books you would find from any of the top named houses. I like the fact that they are willing to take on new authors, that they don't shy away from giving someone a chance. They have a lot of different imprints that appeal to a variety of readers. As a reader I hope you will give more Harlequin authors a chance to impress you. I know you will find some that you will love.

In the past I have tended to shy away from a book series that has more than one author, because I think it creates too many loose ends and the voice is not consistent enough for me. But I decided to give this one a try. The Amish Bride by Emma Miller is from the Love Inspired imprint and is the first in the new Lancaster Courtships series. There are two other authors in the series as well, Patricia Davids and Rebecca Kertz. 

I wanted to give this particular book some attention because I liked Miller's take on Amish romance. She takes a light approach to a life changing decision for her main character. But she still instills in reader the urgency of Ellen's situation and the depth of her commitment to her family. One thing about the Amish that always seems inspiring to me is the way they take care of their own. There are definitely some rules that must be followed, but they still seem very solid on helping one another and family means everything to them and that is very apparent in Miller's writing.

I liked the fact that Ellen has a history with one of the brothers. Neziah, seems more reserved and less flighty than his brother, Micah. I liked his presence in this story. He came across as strong and reliable. While Micah tended to be more outspoken and jovial. There were certainly good reasons for Ellen to choose either brother. Given that she only had a month to choose, these guys had a lot to do in the way of making her choice easier. I liked the general competitiveness between the brothers and thought it added both humor and liveliness to the story. 

Ellen was a great character on her own. She had a strength that came from within. Her faith and her family meant the world to her. She is past the point to marrying young. In her thirties, she takes care of her ailing mother and works diligently in the family store. I liked her a lot. She was content with her lot, but finding a husband, even later in her life, afforded her a lot of opportunities that she wouldn't have otherwise. Making this choice all the more important to her future. 

Bottom Line:

There were several story threads woven throughout the book, that didn't come to a climax before the end. The situation with Ellen's mother, the Amish girl who couldn't make it on the outside and others. I hope they will be followed up on in the next two books. I'm not sure how I will like going into the next book with a different author, but I am trying to keep an open mind. I truly enjoyed, The Amish Bride and I'm looking forward to what happens next in the series. Miller gives readers a very tender, yet light hearted look at Amish relationships and if this kind of story isn't on your radar... it should be.

The Amish Bride is available NOW from your favorite bookseller.

I'm giving this one 4 out of 5 apples from my book bag!

About the Author:

Emma Miller lives quietly in her old farmhouse in rural Delaware amid fertile fields and lush woodlands. Fortunate enough to be born into a family of strong faith, she grew up on a dairy farm, surrounded by loving parents, siblings, grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins. Emma was educated in local schools, and once taught in an Amish schoolhouse much like the one at Seven Poplars. When she's not caring for her large family, reading and writing are her favorite pastimes.