Monday, December 13, 2010

Book Review: An Honest Love by Kathleen Fuller

About the book:

Anna must find the courage to tell Lukas the truth. Will he find the courage to forgive her?

Anna was once betrayed by someone she loved deeply. In an attempt to never be hurt again, she and her mother relocated to Middlefield, Ohio. It was the ideal place for Anna's broken heart to mend. In Middlefield, Anna withdrew from risk, placing all her attention on managing the new gift shop she and her mom bought.

When Lukas introduces himself, Anna can't resist her attraction to him. Though she finds herself falling in love, she's hiding a piece of her past in fear that their future will be destroyed if she tells him the truth.

But love can't be built on lies and the past comes rushing back to Anna in an irreversible way. Now Lukas must decide how he will react to Anna's betrayal. As they cling to their belief in an honest love, they realize it's a path they must walk together even as it leads to unexpected places.

My thoughts:

You know...I think I may have found a new favorite Amish author.  Kathleen Fuller has thoroughly impressed me with her great storytelling with the first two books in her Hearts of Middlefield Series.  I'm always a little nervous to read a new Amish author because so many plot lines are recycled among all the Amish novels available now, but Kathleen offers an emotional storyline in An Honest Love that kept me glued to each and every page.

I loved the slow and gradual closeness of Elisabeth's and Aaron's relationship.  He was certainly not the perfect Amish son, and went after life in the fast lane during his running-around years.  After a stint in rehab to overcome a drug addiction he developed, he came back home and joined the church, intending to become a model Amish member.  What he didn't plan on was a new friendship with local girl, Elisabeth.  Elisabeth had always wondered about Aaron's quiet nature after he came back home, and didn't understand why he seemed to purposefully cut himself off from everyone.  Because of an impromtu offer to work for her brother-in-law, Gabe, she found herself spending more time with Aaron since he was also employed by Gabe.  What resulted was the sweetest friendship between Elisabeth and Aaron that I couldn't seem to get enough of.

The other storyline was between Lukas and Anna, and their story also had a good foundation with friendship before it got serious.  What disappointed me was that there wasn't as much of their story as there was of the Elisabeth/Aaron story.  Since the back of the book specifically mentions the Lukas/Anna story, I was expecting it to be more front and center than it was.  I felt that I didn't get to really know their characters as well, particularly during one long section where their story was not even mentioned.  Don't get me wrong....this was still a great book, but I would've liked there to have been more of a balance between the two storylines.

While I will always be a fan of the great Amish authors like Cindy Woodsmall and Beverly Lewis, Kathleen Fuller has quickly become an author that I will be reading more of.  Her style of writing is simple, but with complex emotions that fully engage me in her stories.  I'm eager to read the final book in her Hearts of Middlefield Series, A Hand to Hold.

4.5 Stars

**Many thanks to Thomas Nelson through BookSneeze for providing a copy for review.

**Click here to see a couple of the recipes for yummy food featured in the book.

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