Bestselling author Leslie Gould returns to her Courtships of Lancaster County" series with "Minding Molly."
Gould's previous books, "Courting Cate" and "Adoring Addie" were inspired by William Shakespeare's "Taming of the Shrew" and "Romeo and Juliet." This time it is "Midsummer's Night Dream" that gets an Amish spin.
Molly Zook has always been an in-control kind of girl. When her father dies and her mother suffers from health problems, everything seems out of control. The future of their family farm and plant business seems to be shaky, and her older half-brother wants to sell the land, leaving Molly, her mom and her sisters to move into town. Molly's mom has other plans - for her to marry Mervin Mosier, the neighbor, who has been having an on-and-off relationship with her best friend, Hannah. Molly might considering marrying Mervin if it weren't for Hannah - that is until she meets Leon Fisher, an Amish man from Montana working at a nearby ranch training horses. The two fall fast for each other, but is there any future for Molly with a man who will want to move away? A weekend camping trip in the Poconos with a chaparone seems to be in order for the couples and that is where everything will either come together or fall apart at last.
With its unique blend of Amish romance and Shakespeare-inspired drama, this is a story that will charm readers who might not normally go for Amish stories. There's plenty of warmth, humor, misunderstandings and romance!
"Minding Molly" is pubilshed by Bethany House. It is $14.99.
Roslind Lauer returns to her Lancaster Crossroads series in "A Simple Hope."
James and Rachel, a young Amish couple who were talking of marriage were in a car accident that changed their lives. James is now confined to a wheelchair, and his father seems to want him to stay there and not take up the Englisher treatments. Defeated, James begins to push Rachel away. They seem to be headed on a course apart until a runaway girl shows up. Shandell thought she was on a road trip with a friend, escaping her drunk stepfather and her distant mother. But the friend turned mean, and Shandell knows she must get away from him. Stopping at the Amish town so he can steal things, Shandell seizes her chance and hides from him with the help of a friend of James' and Rachel's. She calls her mom and begs for her help, but her mom won't be able to come for days. Shandell ends up hiding in a shack on James' property. Soon James and Rachel are drawn to help the Englisher girl - and possibly back to each other.
This is a sweet story of two young people trying to overcome tragedy and obstacles to make a new path in their life. James and Rachel are both sympathetic characters, as is Shandell. It was also nice to see a brief appearance of Elsie and Ruben, the main characters from the first book in the series.
"A Simple Hope" is published by Ballantine Books. It is $15 and 323 pages long.
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