Can These Two Friends from Opposite Worlds Find Love? They’ve been best friends for years, but as high school ends, Zane Beck can’t help but look at his Amish neighbor, Lila Lehman, with different eyes. Her controlling father sees only one future for Lila, though, and arranges for her to be courted by an upstanding young Amish man. When Zane sees the two together, his plans for the future crumble, and he impulsively enlists in the Army, following in his father’s footsteps.However, the passing of years and the distance between them isn’t enough to halt their now hidden feelings for each other. If being together used to be difficult, it’s now impossible, especially with the Amish opposed to war. Zane’s service takes a dramatic turn when he’s sent to Afghanistan. Being on the front line and the reality of taking a life has him questioning whether he can continue to serve or not. But all choices have consequences–both his and hers. With Lila preparing to marry another, will these one-time sweethearts ever find the life together that they both still long for?
Today’s review is about an Amish book, Amish Sweethearts, by author, Leslie Gould. Whenever I get invited to review an Amish book, as most of you know, I turn to my mother who is the lover of anything Amish. She eagerly volunteered to read and review this book, and here’s what she said:
“Amish Sweethearts is book two in the Lancaster County series, but I would say you could read it as a ‘stand-a-lone’, although if you read book one first, it would help you be more acquainted with the characters in book two.
This touching story does an excellent job of combining two very different worlds in Lancaster County. Living side by side as neighbors were Zane Beck’s military family who were English, and his neighbor and best friend, Lila Lehman’s family who were Amish. Despite the differences in their families, Lila and Zane grew up together being the best of friends. They not only had a special place to meet and play, but they also shared their dreams.
Then, Lila’s mother had passed away leaving her with overwhelming responsibilities at home. Lila knew that she enjoyed spending time with Zane who listened to her, shared his zest for adventures, shared their dreams and their love of learning as Lila had not finished high school.
As Zane and Lila’s relationship grew stronger and they got older, they realized that their feelings for each other were changing, but they didn’t want to admit it. Lila’s father, Tim was pushing her to court and marry the bishop’s son, Ruben. Because of this, Lila began pushing Zane away, and he became so disappointed that he ended up joining the Army rather than seeing his beautiful friend courted by Ruben, and was deployed to Afghanistan.
For the next three years, danger in the mountain region of Afghanistan during the war followed Zane. The years he was away failed to extinguish the feelings each of them carried for the other. Whenever Zane came home on furlough it was difficult for the couple who weren’t supposed to love each other. How could this resolve itself? Would Zane and Lila ever get together? How were the differences in Zane’s and Lila’s positions overcome? Where did this leave Ruben? Would Lila leave the Amish?
Love, healing, confliction and faith in what God’s will for each life is shown in this heartwarming tale. The author shows us how praying and always asking God for guidance is the answer to life’s uncertainty and confusion. I enjoyed this book very much, and I am anxiously waiting for book three.”
Leslie Gould is the #1 bestselling and Christy Award winning author of twenty-two novels. Leslie received her master of fine arts (MFA) in creative writing from Portland State University in 2009 and and teaches writing at Warner Pacific College. She also teaches workshops at public and private schools and at writers’ conferences. A varied work history, from curating a historical museum to editing a bridal magazine, preceded her fiction-writing career. She is also an Army Reserve wife who has supported her husband, Peter, through many years of service, including a deployment to Afghanistan as the commander of a field hospital. Leslie and her husband, Peter, are the revolving-door parents of four children and three cats. Visit her at http://www.lesliegould.com/.
Thank you to the Bethany House Blogger Review Program for the opportunity for a free advance copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.