Amish bride-to-be Leona is thrilled to be in Florida, on a mini vacation in the pretty town of Pinecraft. Her girlfriends think she’s happy because she’s away from the stress of wedding planning. They have no idea that Leona’s real joy is in being away from her fiancé.
Edmund is a good man and will make a decent husband…just not for Leona. The more time she spends with him and his overbearing ways, the less she wants to be his wife. Her cousins are sure Edmund is the right man for her—and their certainty makes Leona begin to doubt herself. But when a chance encounter with a wayward cat brings her face-to-face with a handsome, fun-loving Amish man named Zachary Kaufmann, Leona’s faced with two vastly different futures.
Leona must decide: Should she follow the path set out before her? Or take a chance with only the promise of what could be to guide her?
The first book in Shelley Shepard Gray’s Amish Brides of Pinecraft series, The Promise of Palm Grove is a delightful little story that made for the perfect summer read. Although it is just a little bit fluffy—it was definitely a light read—I really enjoyed reading all about Leona and her dilemma. Besides, who ever said fluffy reads were bad? Plus, this novel did have plenty of hairy situations and a few laughs, along with some pretty lovable characters.
I really liked Leona. Since she is such a sweet girl, she is easy to love, and her struggle with knowing God’s will is something everyone can relate to. What I don’t understand, however, is how she ever liked Edmund in the first place. That man is a piece of work! I most certainly couldn’t imagine spending the rest of my life with a man like that. Clearly, I cannot blame Leona for having second thoughts. With a demanding man like Edmund, I’m sure anyone would want out (let me just assure you that Edmund is a fictional character and that any hatred I have of him does not carry on to any real men who might happen to be anything like him). Especially once she meets Zach Kaufmann.
Zachary Kaufmann is by far the exact opposite of Edmund. Always putting others before himself, Zach spends all of his time taking care of his younger sister, helping his family, and doing things for others, and none of his time on himself. Then he meets Leona. With her sweet smile and charming ways, she immediately catches his eye, and he knows he must find the time to get to know her before she leaves Pinecraft.
The Promise of Palm Grove is such a sweet story of love, forgiveness, and new beginnings that was all too easy to enjoy. Along with all of its wonderful characters, something I loved about this novel was the fact that it is full of people learning to trust God and His will in their lives. I also really loved meeting the minor characters, some of whom will be featured in later books. Because of its wonderful storyline, I gladly give this novel all five bookshelves, and would happily recommend it, and the rest of the books in the series.
You can purchase a copy of any of the books in this series here!
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All credit for the italicized synopsis goes to Shelley Shepard Gray and Avon Inspire Publishing.