Readers who enjoy Amish fiction will not be able to put Gabriel’s Bride by Amy Lillard (B&H
Publishing Group) down once they start reading. This Amish romance is the continuation of The Clover Ridge series and
follows the eldest son, widowed, taciturn Gabriel Fisher and his family in
Clover Ridge, Oklahoma. Readers need not
read the previous two novels in the series, but will want to as the first two
novels, Saving Gideon and Katie’s Choice, are just as exceptional as
The book begins with Gabriel’s oldest child, Mary
Elizabeth, leaving home unexpectedly to further her schooling in the English
world.Gabriel, who desperately misses
his wife who died during childbirth six years ago, has no one to help with the
cooking and housekeeping for him and his five sons. He needs the help especially with his youngest
son, sweet and delightful six year old Samuel with Down syndrome.
Soon Gabriel meets a 26 year-old Amish woman, Rachel, who
is in need of a job and place to live since her only close relative has passed
away. If Rachel doesn’t take the
housekeeper job for the stern and unfriendly Gabriel, she will need to move to
Ohio to live with a distant cousin with eleven children and give up her organic
goat cheese business.
With some misgivings, Rachel begins the housekeeping job
at Gabriel’s home but she’s not much of an Amish housekeeper.She burns most of the food she cooks, her
goats eat Gabriel’s prized experimental crop of red and gold wheat, and she has
trouble keeping up with cleaning and sewing. However Rachel and little Samuel develop a bond even if the older
brothers have little use for her.
Only two weeks into this rocky start, the bishop and
ministers pay a visit to Gabriel and Rachel to tell them their living
arrangement is inappropriate since they are not married but living under the
same roof. Impulsively and although they
barely get along, Gabriel asks Rachel to marry him, in name only, so they can
continue the work arrangement and still satisfy the demands of the Amish
Slowly the barriers between Gabriel and Rachel begin to
crumble and break down; love starts to grow secretly in each of their hearts. The author skillfully brings the couple
closer to a real marriage until little Samuel gets bitten by a
rattlesnake.Rachel blames herself for
the boy’s injury. She feel unworthy to
raise Gabriel’s children and decides to run away from Clover Ridge to live with
her distant Ohio relatives. Delightful surprises
await readers in the captivating ending to this most readable novel.
Amy Lillard writes beautiful romantic Amish novels. She is talented in maintaining the romantic
tension as well as interjecting humor between the characters in her books. Readers of the Amish genre will savor every
page of Gabriel’s Bride, which
released February 1, 2014.
Gloria is a 59 year-old retired RN and former accountant who has
a life long love of reading.She has
spent the last two years reading every Amish novel she can get her hands
on.When not reading, Gloria spends her
day trading stocks and options, tweeting under the name of @gloriason, and
expressing her gratitude to God.