Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Ties That Bind by Cindy Woodsmall | Book Review

Overview: Twenty-year-old Ariana Brenneman loves her family and the Old Ways. She has two aspirations: open a café in historic Summer Grove to help support her family’s ever-expanding brood, and keep any other Amish from being lured into the Englisch life by Quill Schlabach.

Five years ago Quill, along with her dear friend Frieda, ran off together, and Ariana still carries the wounds of that betrayal. When she unexpectedly encounters him, she soon realizes he has plans to help someone else she loves leave the Amish.

Despite how things look, Quill’s goal has always been to protect Ariana from anything that may hurt her, including the reasons he left. After returning to Summer Grove on another matter, he unearths secrets about Ariana and her family that she is unaware of. His loyalty to her beckons him to try to win her trust—because when she learns the truth that connects her and a stranger named Skylar Nash, Quill knows it may upend her life forever.

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ISBN-13: 9781601426994 | Publisher: Crown Religion/Business/Forum
Publication date: 09/08/2015 | Series: Amish of Summer Grove Series

My Review: I've never read such an intense book from the Amish genre. Ties That Bind was all I expected it to be... and so much more! From the very beginning to the very end, I was biting my nails. I was nervous, excited, and scared for Ariana and the Brenneman family, even though I didn't know exactly what was wrong! The well-hashed plot kept me turning pages until the very end. AND TALK ABOUT A CLIFF HANGER! I can't wait to get my hands on the next book!

Ariana Brenneman loves her family, her faith, and her community and it shines through her personality on each page. After a devastating blow five years ago, Ariana has become fiercely protective of those she loves, so when Quill enters her life again she is understandably wary. Despite how Ariana feels, I instantly fell in love with Quill, especially after I learned why he did what he did. His deep understanding of faith and his acceptance of the consequences associated with his choices made him my favorite character in the book. I *hope* Quill and Ariana end up together. He is definitely my choice for her! (HINT HINT Cindy Woodsmall!!)

The statement that touched me the most, and the one I feel relates to the message of the story for all characters involved is this: "I used to think I wasn't strong enough to face my future. But eventually I learned that I only have to face today, and that's where our loving God, faithful family, and good friends come in. Each brings something to the day that strengthens us - just enough, but who needs more than just enough?" Wow.... just wow. I cannot tell you how much that statement just knocked me off my feet. Who needs more than just enough?.

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed Ariana's story and cannot wait to see what the future holds for her and the Brenneman family.

*I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through the Blogging for Books program in exchange for my honest review.*

About the Author: Cindy Woodsmall is a New York Times and CBA best-selling author of numerous works of fiction and one of nonfiction. Her connection with the Amish community has been featured widely in national media. She lives in the Foothills of the North Georgia Mountains with her family.

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