AN AMISH FAMILY CHRISTMAS Shelley Shepard Gray
The Charmed Amish Life , Book 4
Avon Inspire
ISBN: 978-0-06-233786-3
October 2016
Holiday Amish Romance

Present Day Charm, Ohio

Well, it's December in Charm, just about a year since the sad fire at the Kinsinger lumber mill that took the lives of five men, including the owner of the mill. If you've read the first three books about his children, you'll have learned that Lukas, Rebecca, and Amelia have found fulfillment and love in their lives. Not so the fourth and youngest. They all mourn their father, but Levi took his father's death especially hard. He feels an emptiness deep inside, so much so that he fled to Florida to escape. Levi is back now, but not yet willing to move into the large Kinsinger mansion with his family and all the memories. He rents a house in a rather rundown neighborhood.

Newcomer to Charm, Julia Kemp is neither a Kemp nor a widow; she made a mistake at eighteen by falling for and believing in the wrong man. He became more and more controlling as his abuse escalated. When Julia learned she was pregnant, she feared for her baby and ran away, and ended up in Charm. Normally an honest person, Julia regrets the lies she tells to keep her daughter safe from her ex. She works in a fabric store, rents a small house, and is gradually making friends with the good people in Charm. Her daughter, Penny, her treasure for whom she lives, is now five.

Levi's house just happens to be across the street from the newcomers. They meet when he sees the widow outside on her knees in the snow. She has locked herself and Penny out of the house and is looking for a rock to break a window. Levi makes short work of finding a skeleton key among the keys in his pocket. He enters with mother and child to light a fire and is rewarded with cocoa and popcorn. It's love at first sight between Levi and Penny.

So begins a slowly growing attachment between Levi and Julia. Meanwhile, Levi's family and old friends draw Levi back into their midst and welcome Julia and Penny, who expand into the warmth. But are Julia and Penny truly safe?

Meanwhile, there are side plots with a variety of other characters, many familiar, that add much to the whole. AN AMISH FAMILY CHRISTMAS is a wonderful story of faith, family, love, and the Christmas season. And, as always, note the recipes and other interesting addenda in the back of the book.

I don't really want to see this series end, but can't wait for the next one. HER SECRET will start The Amish of Hart County series in March 2017.

Jane Bowers