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Her Secret Hope by Shelley Shepard Gray

 This book was gifted to me in exchange for my honest review.

My favorite genre of book for my guilty pleasure reading is Amish fiction. I enjoy the characters and the things that are important to them.  I love the simple life they lead and where they find enjoyment and pleasure.  This book included all of that and much more.

From Amazon:

Almost two years after Lilly Kurtz first traveled to Pinecraft, Florida, with friends, she's decided to make a fresh start there. She's ready to be a new-and-improved Lilly, a Lilly without a past, a Lilly with no secrets. At first, everything goes well. She gets a job, her coworkers feel like family, and she enjoys reconnecting with her friends. But it turns out the past is reluctant to be left behind.

When Lilly meets hardworking farmer Eddie Byler, she can't get him off of her mind. But then she discovers that Eddie actually lives just a few miles from her hometown in Ohio. Lilly knows that he's not going to like it when he finds out what secrets she's been running from. And she knows she could never follow the man she's falling in love with back to a place where she's never felt accepted.

Will Lilly have to give up on love to find peace? Or could it be that love is actually the solution to all of her problems?

My Take:

This is my first book by the author, but I can say that this book can stand alone if you are not inclined to read the series.  It is an unusual Amish book in that these characters seem to be able to do many things that the Amish I know about cannot: such as take a vacation.

This is a light read that took me about a day and a half of reading to finish.  The overlapping romances were fun as well, creating some depth to this otherwise rather easy plot.  It was easy to pick my favorite character, Phillip because he seemed more "real" than the other characters. The role seemed authentic and his character seemed genuine.  From the moment he took Lilly, the main character, under his wing, I knew I was going to love these interactions between the two.

I would have enjoyed reading more about Lilly's job as a room cleaner at the Bed and Breakfast. Learning cleaning tips under an expert is always a favorite feature of a book for me.  

I am puzzled why the drama around the adoption, though. I wasn't aware that adoption was a practice in the Amish community and for Lilly to feel like she does, and for so long, doesn't feel right.  However, this may be something I need to explore more on my own to get an understanding of why this was such an issue in the book.

I do recommend this book, I enjoyed it and the setting, characters, and plot.

About the Author:

Shelley Shepard Gray is a NYT and USA Today bestselling author. She's published over a hundred novels and has over a million books in print. She currently lives in northern Ohio and writes full-time.

Shelley lives just an hour from Holmes County, where many of her Amish-themed novels are set. She currently writes contemporary romance and Amish fiction for a variety of publishers. When not spending time with her family or writing, she can usually be found walking her two dachshunds on one of the many trails in the Cleveland area.

She also bakes a lot, loves coconut cream pie, and will hardly ever pull weeds, mow the yard, or drive in the snow.

Shelley also spends a lot of time online! Please visit her website, www.shelleyshepardgray.com to find out her latest news or to sign up for her newsletter. Shelley can also be found on FaceBook, Instagram @shelley.s.gray, or on Twitter @ShelleySGray.

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