Love Still Stands by Kelly Irvin
Publisher: Harvest House
Series: New Hope Amish(Book 1)
Goodreads Summary: Readers of Kelly Irvin’s Bliss Creek Amish novels will be overjoyed to discover her new series for lovers of Amish fiction: The New Hope Amish. In the first installment, Love Still Stands, a group of dedicated families leaves Bliss Creek to establish a new community in Missouri. Among them is Bethel Graber, a beautiful young woman with a passion for teaching. But after being disabled in a terrible accident, overseeing a classroom is out of the question…and romance seems a long-lost dream.
Bethel begins physical therapy, determined to make a fresh start. But that won’t be easy in the town of New Hope, where the locals seem anything but eager to welcome their new Amish neighbors. Amid growing intimidation from the community, Bethel must find the strength to face her many challenges and the faith to believe that God still has a plan–and a love–for her life.
Love Still Stands is the first book of the spin-off series following The Bliss Creek Amish. We follow Luke and his wife Leah as they move along with Bethel who is Leah’s sister to New Hope Missouri. A few other families have moved as well as they plan to start a new settlement. Bethel is still recovering from the tornado that left her badly injured. She now has to figure out what God wants for her as she is not married and can no longer be a school teacher due to her injuries.
Elijah has also moved to New Hope and after years of taking care of his parents he is now helping his brother farm and hoping to start a family of his own if he can find a wife. Bethel fears she can’t be a whole wife and does not want Elijah to feel sorry for her. Can they over come the past to face a brighter tomorrow?
In the Bliss Creek series we see and hear a lot from Luke and Leah but we don’t really get to know them. In this book as we follow Bethel and Elijah we also get to know Luke as he gets a voice in this book for the first time. Leah did not have a voice but through Luke we start to understand her and shed some light on her behavior. The first series was kind of dark and sad and this book starts out that way but by the end it feels happier over all.
What I liked: I really liked that we finally get to hear from Luke and learn more about Leah and why she is such an unhappy person. Both Bethel and Elijah are quite likable and I was cheering for Bethel to understand that even though her legs are not working right she still has a lot to offer and would make a good wife.
What I did not like: This was a good book but it’s still on the dark side. Not as bad as the first series so far but not a touchy-feely kind of read. Not a bad thing at all but not everyone likes books that feel so real to life.
Overall this was a good book. It deals with a lot of hard issues such as prejudice and depression and the road of recovery after an accident. Even though there were some tough subjects the book did a good job of being upbeat and the ending left me happy with how it turned out. I would strongly suggest you read the Bliss Creek series first as they follow each other and it will make it easier to understand the characters and how they are related etc..
DISCLOSURE: I was provided a free copy of this ebook from the publisher through NetGalley to review it. I was not required to write a positive review and the opinions I have expressed are my own.