Sometimes an Amish romance is sedate. This one fairly sizzles with drama. While I don’t count A WISH FOR HOME as a suspense story, there is conflict a-plenty and a life-threatening situation to face. Lauren Nolt is working for a PR firm, in her small car on the road to act for some developers in Lancaster County. Snow and potholes threaten to keep her here for some time.
Lauren seems like a good person, if focused on her busy career. I don’t like that we get an infodump about her backstory. Adam Hershberger, a local mechanic, helps with her car. He’s Amish. She’s not. But she was raised here in Bliss Valley, until her parents chose to leave, putting the community behind them. And at school Adam taunted and bullied the child Lauren unmercifully. If she had any other choice, she wouldn’t deal with him; she just asks for a lift in his buggy to her relatives’ B&B. Somehow the thought of bringing a major casino to the fertile farmlands starts to feel uncomfortable to Lauren. It’s just business. That’s what she tells herself. And it’ll bring tourism and jobs. Really, the farmers should be pleased.
Adam has matured more than Lauren realises, but he’s suspicious of the newcomer. Not just because farmers dislike change. As a volunteer firefighter, he’s seen a lot of barn fires break out lately, and he has to wonder if someone is trying to force land sales.
Lauren’s family issues take a lot of complicated turns and we start to feel for her and her family in a way that is unusual among romance novel characters. She’s never without her smartphone and car keys, a complete contrast to the modest farm women. At the same time, she’s willing to don Plain garb to help out at the B&B. Author Jo Ann Brown demonstrates considerable skill in bringing us to think that at some point, Lauren might want to call this community her home.
I greatly enjoyed A WISH FOR HOME and recommend it to anyone wanting to start reading romance situations in the Amish country, while longtime readers of this romance genre will enjoy the departure from the usual. Well done to Jo Ann Brown for keeping her characters and situations fresh, in her new series ‘Secrets of Bliss Valley’, following her other popular series such as ‘Amish Hearts’ and ‘Amish Homecoming’. More!
Lauren Nolt hasn’t forgiven the Amish community of Lancaster County for shunning her parents. But returning as a successful Englischer working for large developers is just what she needs to get a promotion and give her parents the life they deserve. Coming face-to-face with her childhood bully, Amish widower Adam Hershberger, is the last thing she wants. Yet when her world’s shaken by a shocking discovery, Adam’s the only one she can confide in…
Adam’s never forgiven himself for the part he played in Lauren’s past, nor what drove him to do it. But as developers threaten his great-grossdawdi’s farm, she’s the only one who can help. And with his little girl determined to bring him and Lauren together at every turn, keeping his distance is impossible. Now they must learn to trust each other—even as their secret feelings grow stronger. But is love enough to bridge the gap between their very different worlds?