Addie Byler may be Apple Creek’s resident wallflower, but she knows she has a lot to offer—and much to be grateful for. Raised by her loving grandmother, she lives a life filled with good friends and hard work. Wary of romance, Addie assumes no man will look beyond her glasses and her tendency to talk to her rescue donkey, Snickers—until the day she finds a note from a secret admirer. A prank, most likely. But then, a second note arrives . . .
It’s not that Daniel Miller doesn’t like Addie; he just doesn’t want to court her. She’s too willful, too chatty, too odd. Yet when he learns she’s been teased because she’s never had a beau, he decides to send a little note of encouragement. One note leads to another. And when Addie begins replying with thoughtful messages of her own, he’s struck by her sweetness and warmth.
As chilly winter melts into spring, what began as a gesture of sympathy becomes something much deeper. Daniel fears revealing the truth, but with courage, faith—and a helping hand from their close-knit community—Apple Creek’s most unlikely couple may find their path to happiness . . .
Titles in The Amish of Apple Creek series include — Happily Ever Amish —♥— Once Upon a Buggy —♥—
This is a romance that includes no swearing, no violence, and no sexual content (beyond, perhaps, a few light kisses).
Title: Happily Ever Amish
Series: The Amish of Apple Creek #1
Author: Shelley Shephard Gray
Genre: Inspirational Romance
Published: October 25, 2022
Publisher: Kensington Books
My Rating: 4.5 stars
Happily Ever Amish begins The Amish of Apple Creek series with a lovely, emotional, and at times, unexpected romance between a young woman who is considered a bit odd and a wallflower and the man who stood up for her when she was being spoken about badly behind her back but isn’t looking for a romance… for the same reasons that he championed her among his “friends.”
Daniel may not want to court Addie, but he doesn’t want to see her hurting anymore, either. His thoughtful, encouraging notes were only meant to be temporary, a way to show her that she was good enough, to be encouraging when she seemed so down. Yet, when Addie began answering those notes with thoughtful, revealing notes of her own, Daniel slowly began to see the young woman behind her oddness, which might, in fact, be something far different than anyone had imagined.
Addie hasn’t felt accepted anywhere, even in this Amish community where she came to live with her grandmother years ago. She’s quiet, talks to her Donkey, Snickers, who she’s trained to be a therapy animal, and tries to keep to herself, ignoring the often cruel whispers about her that she overhears (as is often intended). When she finds the first encouraging note, Addie is convinced someone is pulling a mean prank on her but decides to answer with thoughts of her own. Slowly two people will begin to open up their hearts to each other, but will the truth behind those notes bring happiness to them both or more pain for Addie?
I think outsiders have a romanticized opinion about the Amish and forget that people are people no matter where or how they choose to live. There are just as many kind and thoughtful people among the Amish as there are unkind and mean folks as well. No one, no community is perfect… and Happily Ever Amish gives us a glimpse into the world of hurt that Addie has had to endure. I liked her so much. And I have intense conversations with my cat, so we have that in common.
The slowly growing affection between Daniel and Addie through their notes set the stage for the time when Daniel must admit the truth… and his feelings for a woman he never thought was perfect for him until he got to know and love her. I loved their story and also a different side of Amish life, proving that no one is beyond being bullied, even in a community where it’s unexpected by those on the outside looking in. Addie grabbed my heart, and I hurt for her so much and rejoiced when her deepest wish finally came true.
If you love a well-written, emotion-filled romance with believable characters and a love story to give you all the emotional feels you could possibly want; then you need to pick up Happily Ever Amish and get started on The Amish of Apple Creek series soon. You won’t be disappointed.
*I received an e-ARC of this novel from the publisher via NetGalley. The opinions expressed in this review are my own – good, bad, or indifferent.*
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