Reviewer Conny Withay:Operating her own business in office management since 1991, Conny is an avid reader, volunteers reading the Bible to the elderly, and makes handmade jewelry. A cum laude graduate with a degree in art living in the Pacific Northwest, she is married with two sons, two daughter-in-laws, and one granddaughter.
Authors: Lori Copeland & Virginia Smith
Publisher: Harvest House Publishers
“The peace he needed wasn’t found from long hours in the saddle. It wasn’t found at the bottom of a whiskey bottle. It was here, among men and women who loved the Lord and listed for His direction,” pen Lori Copeland and Virginia Smith in their third book of The Amish of Apple Grove series, A Cowboy at Heart.
At two hundred and ninety-nine pages, this paperback book depicts a photograph of an Amish young woman and a cowboy in a field with a horse in the background on the front cover. The book also includes a discussion section and author’s notes regarding factual and medical issues of the time period. Since there is no profanity, questionable sex scenes or innuendos, it is an ideal read for any young preteen age or older female who loves wholesome romantic stories and italicized German wording for emphasis. The topics of alcoholism, barrenness and loss of loved ones in the late nineteenth century are discussed.
This tome continues the Englisch lives of married sisters Emma and Rebecca as they build their families’ farms in Kansas while their Amish father, Jonas Switzer, and grandmother live hours away at Apple Grove. Jesse Montgomery, once the alcoholic cowboy and heart-throb of Rebecca, has sobered up living with Emma and Luke but now has a yearning for settling down with a wife and family too.
When Jesse is visiting Jonas’s farm, he confronts Mr. Andrew Littlefield’s ranch hands who are altering the property line by building a new fence that cuts through Jonas’s land, taking away access to water. As Jesse is leaving after a verbal altercation, one of the ranchers shoots him in the back, causing him to fall of his horse and hit his head on a sharp rock. Left for dead, Jesse arduously gets back on his trusty horse and returns to the Amish farm where Grandma Switzer and beautiful Katie, a recent widow, nurse him back to health.
With personal torment of her own from her husband’s recent death, her inability to bare children with him and her bitter father-in-law Amish bishop’s disapproval of her interests in being happy, Katie questions if she will ever find love again or wonders if God punishing her.
After Mr. Littleton retaliates by burning Jonas’s barn down when the property line fence is reset, Jesse rides to the nearby town to confirm the requirements of property ownership and is tempted to stop in the local salon for a drink before finding out how the rules are in the details.
Will Jesse give up the bottle once and for all as he vies for Katie’s attention? Will the calloused bishop always succumb to the simple Amish ways of always turning the cheek no matter what? Will Jonas make a decision that alters his and the communities lives? Will Katie be able to love again?
This Amish romance is predictable but shows how medicines and cures were handled during the era, how land possession was determined and how not only the Amish believe that God can soothe, heal and strengthen through tough times.
Follow Here To Purchase A Cowboy at Heart (The Amish of Apple Grove)