Title: Her Secret (The Amish of Hart County #1)
Author: Shelley Shepard Gray
Publisher: Avon Inspire
My rating is 4 stars.
Hannah Hilty is a 20-year-old Amish woman who is the victim of a stalker. She and her family are forced to quit their jobs, leave their friends and move to a different state and different Amish community to flee this stalker. The local police were not too responsive to the Hilty family’s reporting of the stalker, so no legal action was taken. Hannah is now afraid to leave her new home. Her two younger, teenage siblings blame Hannah for making them move and leave all their friends. Hannah’s mother is forced to take a job outside the home and they are now living in a much smaller house. The whole family is in upheaval. This family secret is kept from the new Amish community, and there are other secrets the Hilty family is keeping as well.
Isaac Troyer is unsure what to think of his new neighbors, the Hiltys. Their oldest daughter never leaves home alone and then very rarely. He jokingly calls her The Recluse. He is a 22-year-old Amish man who works in the family woodshop. He runs into Hannah one day while she has bravely decided to take a walk alone. The impression he makes on her he knows is unfavorable. A couple of days later he apologizes as well as lets her know that he knows her stalker history. The begin to form a tentative friendship. Isaac feels protective of Hannah and senses her fear of trusting others. Hannah feels safe with Isaac and begins to live again. However, her newfound freedom is threatened by her sister who unknowingly tells Hannah’s secret to the wrong person.
I thought this was a good story to introduce the series and it kept me flipping pages quickly. The story is easy to read and I read it in one sitting. The romance between these two young Amish people is gentle, slow and tender. The mystery/thriller aspect of the story set in Amish country is a new twist for me and I liked that aspect especially. Readers can see the multiple secrets the Hilty family keeps from each other that create much dissension and disunity within the family, which added realism to the story. I’m looking forward to book two in the series and to what mystery the author will weave into the tale!
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