Title: The Amish Candy Maker
Author: Laura V. Hilton
Genre: Amish Christian Fiction
Release date: February 5, 2019
Publisher: Whitaker House
Agnes Zook finds herself on her own in a small Amish community in Mackinac County after a tragedy kills her family. Most of the Amish call her “off in den Kopf” (strange) since she’s starting her own business and forging her own way in the community instead of relying on the bishop to take care of her. Since she’s viewed as non-submissive and too-forward for an Amish woman, she’s not courted by young men in the area.
Isaac Mast is on the verge of leaving the Amish church. He’s become a sought-after auctioneer and has a thriving business, but he feels confined by the strict rules. When his brother is severely injured in a wild-fire, Isaac receives a letter from his sister-in-law, begging him to come to Mackinac County to help out while his brother is hospitalized. Isaac agrees but is unsure how to manage their young children when he has weekend auctions he’s expected to attend.
Agnes may be the answer to a prayer. Sparks fly when she and Isaac meet. But could their differences help them form a deeper connection to their faith…and each other?
5 Stars – ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ This is a new author for me, but she is now one that I will be checking out her backlist, especially the first book in this series, Firestorm.
I loved the character of Agnes Zook. She was a strong woman who had endured a lot of hardship in her short life. Living in Mackinac County in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, the Amish District has recently survived a terrible Wildflower that killed and/or seriously injured many, with several homes being destroyed. Resigned to being a spinster, she needs a way to support herself, thus the opening of her Candy Shop. She has no filter, so says what she is thinking, often getting herself into trouble. She also wears her heart on her sleeve and everyone can see what she is feeling just by looking at her face.
When Issac Mast stumbles into her store, they have an immediate connection. He is another wounded character who plays the field, is a terrible flirt, yet guards his feelings. From their first meeting, I was rooting for these two to get together. Issac’s nieces and nephew were adorable. As children do, they love deeply and become very attached to both Onkle Issac and Agnes, even calling her Aenti Agnes. It takes a while to find out what happened in Issac’s past to cause him to become estranged from his family, but as it is revealed, my heart broke for this man.
I have read many books about Amish couples and romance, but Bishop Miah (Jeremiah) was different from any I have come across. He was their spiritual leader, but he was a caring and highly intelligent man. It was almost like he could read their minds. He carefully leads Agnes and Issac towards each other, with them thinking he is actually trying to keep them apart.
Throw in some jealous females, a few farm animals, an armed thief and several roadblocks and you have a wonderful Amish Romance. I really enjoyed this story and definitely recommend it to any Romance lover, as well as those who enjoy Amish stories and/or Christian stories.
About the Author: Laura Hilton is a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers and is a professional book reviewer for the Christian market, with more than a thousand reviews published on the web. Her first series with Whitaker was The Amish of Seymour, comprising Patchwork Dreams, A Harvest of Hearts (2012 Laurel Award winner, first place in the Amish Genre Clash), and Promised to Another; and her second was The Amish of Webster County, comprising Healing Love, Awakened Love, and Surrendered Love. Her next series was The Amish of Jamesport, featuring The Post Card, Snow Globe, and The Birdhouse. Her latest books include The Amish Firefighter, The Amish Wanderer, and Love By the Numbers. Laura and her husband, Steve, live in Arkansas with their five children, whom Laura homeschools.