Grace Connor, a military nurse formerly stationed in Afghanistan, hopes that moving to a farm in rural Ohio will help her recover from the ravages of war.
Levi Troyer finds his pacifist beliefs challenged when he discovers his stepfather has been killed and his mother wounded by an unknown intruder. Levi and Grace are thrown together when she comes to his family’s rescue and saves his mother’s life. A deep attraction develops—even though a relationship between them is strictly forbidden.
Levi belongs to the most conservative and isolated of all Amish sects—the Swartzentruber Amish. Even before meeting Grace, Levi had begun to question some of their teachings. He has considered leaving, but knows he will be banned forever from contact with his younger siblings and widowed mother—who need him to survive. He is torn between his love for Grace and his responsibility to his family.
Grace considers leaving her beloved farm and reenlisting rather than continuing to live near the man she loves but cannot have. Levi must confront the Bann if he pursues Grace. And a murderer must be caught. When lifelong allegiances are tested, can love and justice prevail?
I’ve mentioned it before, but I’m not a huge Amish fan. That said, I’m a huge Serena Miller fan so I knew I had to read this book. And Ms. Miller did a fabulous job. She always manages to take a topic you’ve read hundreds of times before and give it a fresh new look. First, you have Grace who is a nurse in the military. I found her character to be so fascinating. She managed to be both feminine and strong throughout the whole novel. Her faith in God was grounded and she became a very trustworthy character. My heart, however, went out to Levi. His family goes through so much and then they have their Amish sect to deal with. Ms. Miller did a fabulous job of showing how much Levi loved the Amish and yet could not fully accept their ways. The end was great when you could see Levi coming into the realization that it is faith and not works that gets you into heaven. One of the best things I loved about this novel was that there was no “communication” issues when there was plenty of room for them. I found the romance to be subtle, and quiet, and below the surface. I found myself slowing down every time Grace and Levi were together. While there were moments where the romance bloomed (great first kiss!), it probably wasn’t as romantic as I would like. And yet, Levi explains why that is at the end of the novel. Very good read. Highly recommended especially if you like Amish novels.
Romantic scale: 7