Formats available: ebook
Genre: Contemporary romance
Length: 248 pages
Date Released: February 25, 2013
Purchasing Info: Author’s Website, Publisher’s Website, Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes & Noble
Laura Hayes has been acting since she was an infant, making Hollywood the only home she has ever known. But when she moves to Pennsylvania’s Amish country to film her next movie, she discovers there’s more to life than a pair of Jimmy Choos and a Marie Claire cover.
Intrigued by the Amish simplicity, she’s soon gardening and baking plum pies—and enjoying it. And when her neighbor turns out to be the local heartthrob and a talented furniture maker, she realizes that what’s missing from her life might be the love of a good man—not to mention the perfect heirloom tomato.
Jacob fights the urge to question the teachings of his Amish beliefs—despite his desire to create furniture that is beautiful as well as useful—and struggles with his longing for the sexy stranger who makes him feel truly alive for the first time. As his attraction grows, so do his doubts, until he’s forced to face temptation and decide once and for all what is truly worth the fight.
Anything forbidden always seems so terribly tempting.
Laura Hayes is not merely an actress, she’s also a celebrity. She enjoys the “work” but not the trappings that go with it. Including the mother who only sees Laura for what she can buy for her, and the ex-husband still trying to sponge off her. Laura longs for a “real life” like her sister Meg.
Jacob Hostetler is an Amish furniture maker. He enjoys the work but he longs to make the designs that are in his mind, designs that are more than the “Plain” designs permitted by his faith. He is inspired to make works of art modeled after the Arts and Crafts work of Frank Lloyd Wright that he has seen pictured in forbidden books he’s borrowed from the public library.
These are two people who should never meet. But Laura is making a movie in Lancaster, PA, about an Amish woman who commits adultery to give her husband a son. It’s a long film shoot, and Laura is tired of living in hotels and inns. She buys a house in Lancaster. Then she goes into Jacob’s shop to buy a cradle for her sister’s new baby.
Jacob is a widower. He never expected to find another woman who would fascinate him the way his late wife Susannah did.
Laura never thought that any of the Amish men would be young, not to mention gorgeous.
Lightning strikes where it shouldn’t.
Through one very long summer, as Laura films a movie about an Amish woman committing an act that she would definitely be shunned for, Laura and Jacob meet, continue to draw sparks from each other, and pull away, both stung and stunned.
Laura doesn’t understand the cost to Jacob if they act on what they feel. After all, they are both single and unattached.
Jacob has a young son and a mother. If he leaves the community, he loses them, and they lose his support. The price is high.
But he can’t keep away. He tries to be just a good neighbor, helping Laura with her garden, fixing her porch roof when it breaks. making furniture when she asks.
There is always more between them, not acted upon, but not always unspoken.
And someone leaves Laura nasty notes because they know her relationship with Jacob is a threat.
While Jacob questions everything that he ever believed, because he also wants to build the furniture he wants, and not only the furniture he is supposed to. Cutting himself off from his art is like cutting off part of his soul.
His art is half of his soul, and Laura may be the other half. Without either of them, what does he have left?
Escape Rating B: The love story simmers through the whole book, and you can’t help but get caught up in the “will they/won’t they” question. As the reader, you want them to have a happy ending, but because of the bigger questions, you’re not entirely sure what a “happy ending” really means.
Part of the happy ending, outside of the love story, is that Laura needs to put on her “big girl panties” and deal with her mother and the other leeches surrounding her celebrity life. She needs to get control of herself before she can give that self to anyone else.
It was good that it takes quite a while before you figure out who the “evildoer” is. There shouldn’t have been any easy answers in this one, because this is not about black and white questions.
The “forbidden fruit” aspects of the love story made for good fiction, but I can’t help but wonder how close to the Amish way of life the portrayal of Jacob might be. (Reviewer’s note: My husband grew up in Lancaster, and he just shook his head at the description of the plot)
This story was still fascinating, and I couldn’t put it down. It also makes me want to go and watch the movie Witness.