Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Book Review: A Stranger's Wish by Gayle Roper

About the book:

Beloved author Gayle Roper begins a contemporary Amish series readers are sure to love....

Englischer Kristie Matthews’ move to an Amish family farm in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, starts on a bad note as the young schoolteacher is bitten by a dog. A trip to the local ER leads to an encounter with an old man who hands her a key and swears her to silence.

But when Kristie’s life is endangered, she suspects there’s a connection to the mysterious key. While solving the mystery (and staying alive), Kristie must decide whether her lawyer boyfriend, Todd Reasoner, is really right for her....or if Jon Clarke Griffin, the new local man she’s met, is all he seems to be.

Mystery, romance, and a beautiful Amish settling....just the thing readers are clamoring for.

My thoughts:

Sometimes, it just stinks when I have to be totally honest. Not that I'm not honest with all my reviews, but I really hate it when I come across a book that I just really didn't like.

Well, first of all, it appears that this book was a rewrite from an older book that Ms. Roper wrote called The Key. Now I don't mind rewritten books, and I have read several that were done successfully, but I think the approach with this one went all wrong. When it was originally published as The Key, it was marketed simply as a romance novel for the Palisades line of romances. Romance novel....great idea! But honestly, this book is so lacking with romance. This poor girl doesn't really like the guy she's with, and when she does find a guy that she likes, the scenes that they share are somewhat dull up until the very end.

So, I guess since the romance novel marketing strategy didn't pan out, someone came up with the idea to market it as an Amish novel. How Kristie came to live with these people was a little unrealistic, although I've read about this same practice in a few other Amish novels, but written much better. The way in which Kristie met this Amish family and boarded there was just not explained well enough, and it seemed that as a reader, I was just thrown into her experience at an Amish farm. The good thing, though, is that this book does have a lot of Amish info in it, and especially the differences between what the Amish believe compared to what Christians believe regarding the Bible. On that point, the author truly did a great job.

Honestly, I don't know that I'll even read the rest of this series in the new format. I have book two, which was originally published as The Document, that I think I'd rather read as the original instead of the rewrite. Can't believe I'm saying this, but I hope it will be a little heavier on the romance instead of the Amish culture.

3 Stars

**This book was provided to me from the publisher. It was sent to me for the FIRST Wild Card Tour, and that post, along with the first chapter of the book, is here.

**Click here to purchase a copy of A Stranger's Wish.


  1. It bugs me when the publicist/author isn't up front about the book being a reprint. And, I kept getting annoyed at Kristie because she never went to the police and reported anything. Hello?

    I thought this one was ok as a light, escapist read, but I won't seek out the rest of the series.

  2. I agree, Holly. I had no idea that this was a reprint. If I had known, I don't think I would've signed up for the tour.


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