Tuesday, February 2, 2016

My Bookshelf: A Son’s Vow by Shelley Shepard Gray

        Three months ago, everything changed for Darla Kurtz and her family. Darla’s father was responsible for a terrible fire at the Charm’s lumber mill which killed five Amish men. And though he, too, lost his life, the town of Charm hasn’t looked at her family the same since. Even Lukas Kinsinger—with whom Darla used to have a close relationship.
        Now her brother’s anger at the town is spilling over onto Darla, and she has the bruises to prove it. The accident already cost five lives, but if something doesn’t change soon, Darla fears it will cost her—and her family—even more.

        Lukas Kinsinger wants to mourn the loss of his father, but he can hardly find time to breathe. Suddenly the head of his father’s lumber mill and responsible for taking care of his three siblings, he’s feeling the pressure. He has also never felt more alone—especially with the new tension between he and Darla. But when he learns of her troubles at home, Lukas knows he can’t simply stand by and watch. Someone has to help her before another tragedy occurs.
        As Lukas and Darla attempt to repair their families, they discover something deeper than friendship growing between them. But will Lukas and Darla’s love be accepted after so much loss? Or will the pain of the past overcome any chance of future happiness?

        A Son’s Vow is the first book in Shelley Shepard Gray’s The Charmed Amish Life series, but is definitely not the first book I have ever read by her. In the past, I read her Crittenden County series—Missing, The Search, and Found—and The Promise of Palm Grove and The Proposal at Siesta Key, the first two books in her Amish Brides of Pinecraft series. My favorites of her novels, however, are the ones I just read a couple of months ago, the ones she published under Shelley Gray, the three novels in her Chicago World’s Fair Mystery series—Secrets of Sloane House, Deception on Sable Hill, and Whispers in the Reading Room. Apparently she’s an even better historical fiction/mystery writer than an Amish one, but that’s another discussion for another day since this is an Amish novel.
        Darla Kurtz is such a sweet character; hardworking and caring, always doing for others and never stopping to think of herself. Despite all of the horrors she faces, she is constantly strong and resilient, and that is definitely something that I admire about her. I also feel so much sympathy for her throughout the novel as I realize just how badly her brother treats her. I cannot imagine how horrible I would feel if my brother treated me in such a way, so I truly sympathize with her, and that fact makes me admire her even more.
        Lukas Kinsinger is such a strong and compassionate hero! He fights for Darla throughout the entire course of this book, and that is my favorite thing about him. Despite all that he has been through since the fire that claimed his father’s life, he is able to put aside his grief and focus on making things better for Darla, and that is literally just the sweetest thing ever. Plus, he is just a wonderful older brother and an all-around great person, and that is why I love him as much as I do.
        All in all, I really enjoyed this novel, and am definitely excited to read more in the series. However, I find myself needing to give it only four out of five bookshelves, most likely because of one simple reason. Even though this was a great story, it just didn’t even come close to how wonderful the Chicago World’s Fair Mystery series is, and that really disappointed me. Throughout the whole novel I was really anticipating it being just as fabulous, and was kind of let down when it wasn’t. Although, that possibly could just be because I absolutely love both mysteries and historicals the most out of almost anything else I have ever read. At the end of the day, this was a quality book that I would recommend, and did definitely enjoy.
        Happy reading!

I received a copy of this book from the Litfuse Publicity Group in exchange for only my honest review.

To see where I’m linking up, check out my Where I Party page.

Photo credits go to my fabulous sister, Allie, whose blog you can visit here.

All credit for the italicized synopsis goes to Shelley Shepard Gray and Avon Inspire Publishing.

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