Friday, August 31, 2012

A Plain & Simple Heart by Lori Copeland & Virginia Smith

Summary from back cover: 1884--Several years earlier, young Rebecca Switzer lost her heart to Jesse Montgomery, a rugged but dissolute cowboy on a dusty cattle trail near the Amish settlement of Apple Grove. Now she is grown up, and when she hears one day that he has been spotted nearby, her desire is plain and simple: She must see him.

Sheriff Colin Maddox is counting the days until he can leave law enforcement and follow his dream of starting a church. When a lovely woman, new to town and looking travel weary and a bit lost, gets caught up in the middle of a temperance riot, she is arrested along with the leaders. He can hardly believe she is what she claims--a Plain and simple woman. Nor can he believe how quickly he loses his heart to her. Can Colin convince her to forget Jesse and give him a chance?

Review: This is the second book in the Amish of Apple Grove series. I have not read the first, but I found this one delightful. Who would have thought that the Western-Amish combination would work at all? I guess that's the genius of the two authors, both of whom have numerous books published.

It's a romance, but it is seasoned with just the right amount of humor. I didn't feel that the authors were making fun of the Amish, although some of the situations they found themselves in were downright hilarious. Rebecca Switzer just can't seem to stay out of trouble, although she's remorseful that she has embarrassed her Amish father and grandmother. It's clear she just cannot help herself. The sheriff has his hands full as he counts the days until his replacement arrives. And, the town just will not be quiet and peaceful until that day comes---especially with Rebecca in town. The characters are many and well-developed, as is the story. Just when you think you know what will happen next, the story takes an unexpected turn.

Both of the Apple Grove books offer several discussion questions at the end, ideal for use with a review club or study group. See the books  on Virginia Smith's site here. You can link to your favorite online bookstore from there. Lori Copeland's site is here.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Harvest House with the expectation that I write a review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255  : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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