Monday, September 22, 2014

Joyful by Shelley Shepard Gray

No compensation was received for this review. All opinions expressed are my own or that of my family. A complimentary review copy was provided to me. 
I have been very fortunate to have some free time lately to be able to spend time reading. There is something that is so relaxing about reading. Now that the kids are back to school, I am able to find time to read in the evening.
Most recently, I finished reading Joyful by Shelley Shepard Gray. This is the third book in her Return to Sugarcreek Series. As with the last book, it was nice to be able not only to explore the story of the two main characters, Randall Beiler and Elizabeth Nolt, but also to spend some time catching up with Judith and Ben and their foster child James and the other characters that were included in the first two books. But don't worry, there is no requirement to have read the first two to be able to enjoy this story.

There is something so appealing about the characters that Gray develops. As I read the book, I couldn't help but feel a connection to them, to want to influence the situations in their favor. The strength of the bonds that they share with their family is something that I admire. Having come from a large extended family, I love spending time with family and love to see that in the book.

The themes of love, loss, self discovery, and celebration are universal, the fact that the characters are Amish seemed to be more of a backdrop or setting for the story than something that was a focus.

If you enjoy a good romance, then you will enjoy this book.


by Shelley Shepard Gray
Avon Inspire
Amish Fiction

A young Amish couple gets a second chance at love in New York Times bestselling author Shelley Shepard Gray's final book in her Return to Sugarcreek series.

Randall Beiler is doing his best to put his family and the farm's needs first, even forsaking love. But though he tries, Randall knows he needs help caring for his younger siblings and keeping the house together.

When his brother offers pretty Elizabeth Nolt a job taking care of the house and cooking for the family, Randall is furious---and guilty about the way he once broke Elizabeth's heart. But when he learns that Elizabeth and her grandmother are struggling to make ends meet, he knows the offer, no matter how painful, is the right thing for everyone.

Elizabeth wants to refuse---to stay far away from the man who hurt her---but she needs the money. Though she vows to protect her heart, spending time in the Beiler household makes Elizabeth realize that, while she's older and wiser, her love for Randall still burns strong.

Randal, too, seems to want something more. But does he want Elizabeth because he truly loves her---or because he needs a housekeeper? If Randall sincerely wants something more, he must find a way to show Elizabeth---or risk losing his chance at love forever.

Meet the Author
Shelley Shepard Gray is a two-time New York Times bestseller, a two-time USA Today bestseller, a finalist for the American Christian Fiction Writers prestigious Carol Award, and a two-time Holt Medallion winner. She lives in Southern Ohio, where she writes full-time, bakes too much, and can often be found walking her dachshunds on her town's bike trail.

You can find her on Facebook and she has a website.

Find more reviews and info here.

No compensation was received for this review. All opinions expressed are my own or that of my family. A complimentary review copy was provided to me.