Thursday, March 17, 2016

Amish Sweethearts - Neighbors of Lancaster County Book Two - by Leslie Gould

I received this book from Bethany House in exchange for an honest review.   I always enjoy reading about the Amish, taken back in time to the simpler life, simpler but harder as living without the English use if electricity, phone's, etc. is a harder life.  I've read books by the author Leslie Gould, and expected a lot from this book. I did not read book one of this series, although the book stood on it's own pretty well.
Unfortunately I came down with pneumonia since reading the book and I have to do the review rather late, wish I  had gotten it done right after finishing the book.  I know why I didn't write that review immediately upon finishing the book.  I felt really torn as I always like to make sure to give a positive review when I receive books for free, and especially when they are from an author I am sure I have read before and enjoyed.
There was a drag in the story where things didn't come together for a story that flowed so well you felt the characters came off the page and  you couldn't wait to see how their relationships were going to develop by the end of the book.  I know I wasn't feeling well but I looked and there were some other people who were equally feeling something was slowing the story.
Zane Beck and his Amish neighbor Lila Lehman were friends from the time they were children.  No one had a problem with it even though he was English and she was Amish, they were children.  After high school though they had feelings for each other, which they spent a lot of the time in the book avoiding each other and not telling the other about their feelings.  I think that was the drag.  Lila is being courted by the Bishop's son which is what her father wants, she really doesn't have feelings for him.  When she turns her back on Zane he feels she does, that she will be married soon to someone else he takes himself out of the vicinity and joins the service, although he really doesn't have the stomach for fighting, and he is sent to Afghanistan.  The Amish are very much against war, violence and for Lila to have a relationship with someone English who also served in the war, well it really is the entire second half of the book as she fights her feelings and he fights his and he also feels after he is injured but is told to return to service he doesn't want to go back because he really doesn't want anything to do with killing or injuring anyone.  I did like the ending the book did come together and there seemed to be a lot of people who read the book and didn't seem to feel there was a slow start to it.  I would say give the book a chance, you would probably enjoy this book especially if you read the first book.  There were more than enjoyed the book and gave it five stars than those that felt there was something missing, and I was ill in between writing the review and reading the book.. I'm going to give it three stars which kills me because I know Leslie Gould the author is so highly regarded and the other books I have read of hers I truly enjoyed.  So it may just be me.  Give this one a chance.
Description of book as written here: Can These Two Friends from Opposite Worlds Find Love?

They've been best friends for years, but as high school ends, Zane Beck can't help but look at his Amish neighbor, Lila Lehman, with different eyes. Her controlling father sees only one future for Lila, though, and arranges for her to be courted by an upstanding young Amish man. When Zane sees the two together, his plans for the future crumble, and he impulsively enlists in the Army, following in his father's footsteps.

However, the passing of years and the distance between them isn't enough to halt their now hidden feelings for each other. If being together used to be difficult, it's now impossible, especially with the Amish opposed to war. Zane's service takes a dramatic turn when he's sent to Afghanistan. Being on the front line and the reality of taking a life has him questioning whether he can continue to serve or not. But all choices have consequences--both his and hers. With Lila preparing to marry another, will these one-time sweethearts ever find the life together that they both still long for?