Title: The Bachelor (Place City Peace #2)
Author: Stephanie Reed
My introduction to this fabulous author was her novel, Across the Wide River, which is a totally separate story from this series. I really enjoy this author’s tales, but was disappointed to learn that book three of this series, The Bride, won’t be coming out till 2016.
The Bachelor picks up where The Bargain left off with the central figures being the Troyer family in Ohio. Now Betsie’s younger brother comes back from being away helping another brother. Abijah however has changed and it is the latest challenge for Betsie to manage. Charley and Betsie have planned to marry since they were kids. Now Charley seems to more assertive into the life of Betsie and the running of the farm. The real reason for pushing and pursuing Betsie may be less than gentlemanly and upright Betsie observes his behavior at her parent’s funeral. A twist in the plot is when Michael shows up on the day of Betsie’s best friend, Rachel’s, wedding to tell her some very sad news which turns the Troyer family life upside down.
There are a couple of different themes going on in the book. The most glaring one is the difference in the belief systems within this Amish community and the Englisher that her parents are following. For me, it was interesting to read and watch how the author had her characters wrestling through their own convictions and the newest introduction of the different beliefs.
Another theme is the ulterior motives that drive some of the various characters’ speech and actions. Not only that, but how they force Betsie to learn how to listen to her heart and not just follow what others are saying she must do. Plus, Betsie is a prayer warrior who talks to God all day long in order to know how to carry the heavy responsibility on her shoulders for hearth and home. Sheila, the young English woman Betsie has opened her heart and home to, is very upfront with what she believes and never minces words!
Enjoy reading this very entertaining tale along with discovering who will win Betsie’s heart in the end when the third book is released.
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