In Shelley Shepard Gray’s third book in her Charmed Amish Life series, a respectable young woman finds herself falling for an Amish man from the wrong side of the tracks.
Amelia Kinsinger is the perfect Amish woman—at least according to her neighbors. And while Amelia takes pride in her role as homemaker, she’s also harboring a secret: She’s been in love with bad boy Simon Hochstetler for as long as she can remember. Too bad he’s about as far from “perfect” as an Amish man could get… but that’s exactly why she’s so drawn to him.
Life hasn’t been kind to Simon. He ran away from an abusive home at fifteen and things went downhill from there. Eventually, Simon landed in prison. But the experience changed him. Now back in Charm as a grown man, he’s determined to make a new life for himself and not think too much about his wild past…unless it pertains to Amelia.
He’s loved Amelia for years. To him, she represents everything good and kind in the world. When he realizes that she returns his affections, he starts calling on her in secret, even though her older brother Lukas—who just happens to be Simon’s best friend—has made it perfectly clear that Amelia deserves better. Simon disagrees and believes he’s the only one who can truly make her happy.
But when Amelia gets hurt, it sets off a chain of events that forces them to consider their future together—and face their past mistakes. There’s a chance for love… but only if Simon dares to trust Amelia with the secrets of his past.
Amelia’s story! Yay 🙂
I really enjoyed Amelia and Simon’s story, even more than I thought I would! The idea of an Amish “bad boy” is so intriguing–the label sounds like a complete oxymoron, but Ms. Gray totally pulled it off.
Simon’s life hasn’t been easy–the reasons why he left his home as a teen are even more awful than the conditions that eventually landed him in jail–but one constant bright spot in his life has always been his best friend’s little sister, Amelia Kinsinger. Now that he’s back in Charm and doing his best to reintegrate into Amish life, he’s finding it impossible to stay away–especially when she seems to return his interest.
Simon’s dark past remains a shadow over his present life, though, and it won’t take much to convince him that Amelia deserves (and could do) so much better than him. I absolutely shared her frustration with how quickly he backed off when her (overbearing and bossy) older siblings told him to. Grrrr.
Fortunately, he’s not a complete dunce, and comes to his senses again fairly quickly. His hesitance to open up to her is another snag, though, and very nearly costs him everything…
I enjoyed getting to know Amelia better then we did in the first two books–she’s so much more feisty than she originally seemed in the earlier books. I loved watching her put everyone in their place when they decided–without her input, of course–what was “best” for her.
There’s one more Kinsinger sibling left single at the book’s end, and two Hochstetlers. Fingers crossed that Ms. Gray gives us their stories too, because I am not at all ready to say goodbye to Charm, and I’m anxious to see how Simon and his sister’s idea pans out in the end.
Rating: 4 stars / A-
I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.