Monday, February 10, 2014

HOPEFUL: Return to Sugarcreek By Shelley Shepard Gray | Win a copy!

 I received this book from Litfuse Publicity for no charge in exchange for my honest review of this book. The opinions expressed here are my own.

Book Description: 

In the Amish town of Sugarcreek, love comes in many forms. But will it come at all for Miriam?
Miriam Zehr has worked at the Sugarcreek Inn longer than she cares to admit. The restaurant is a favorite of town residents as well as the many tourists who come to taste the famous Amish fare. Though she always tries to have a smile for every customer, deep down Miriam knows something's missing: a family of her own.
Miriam has never felt particularly beautiful, especially because she's always been a bit heavier than other girls her age. When Junior, the man she's pined for all her life, suddenly seeks her out, she's thrilled to be noticed . . . until she realizes he's only asking her to help get the attention of Mary Kathryn Hershberger, her pretty friend.
If Miriam helps Junior court Mary Kathryn, she'll get to spend a lot of time with him, but she might lose him in the process. Are these few stolen moments worth a lifetime of sacrifice? Is Miriam right to even hope for the life she dreams of?

My Thoughts: 

Hopeful is the first book in Shelley Shepard Gray's newest series Return to Sugarcreek. This is the first book by Shelley Shepard Gray I have had the joy of reading.  Miriam is always running late, everyone knows it. She works at Sugarcreek Inn and has for quite a while. She knows she wants more out of life than her job but just hasn't found it. Miriam has always felt less than the other girls in her district. Her family pushes her to find a man and get married. Miriam has really only had feelings for one man, Junior. They have known each other for many years but Junior and Miriam have never really spoken.  When Junior approaches Miriam to talk to her she thinks he has finally decided she is the one but finds out he is interested in her friend, Mary Kate. Miriam agrees to try to help Junior court her but Mary Kate wants nothing to do with him. Mary Kate recently moved to Sugarcreek and it looking to leave at the end of the school year. She moved to get away from a possessive boyfriend.  As Miriam hopes Junior will notice her, Mary Kate wishes he wouldn't notice her.

As my readers know, Amish Fiction is one of my favorite genres and thankfully I have had a few to read lately. Hopeful is the first book by Shelley Shepard Gray I have had read and I really enjoyed it. I haven't read any of the other novels based in Sugarcreek but I didn't feel like I was missing anything picking up this book.  Shelley Shepard Gray writes with authority on the Amish, Sugarcreek Ohio, other Amish cities, and teaching.  I really enjoyed all the characters but Miriam was my favorite. I could relate to her in many ways especially her feelings of inadequacy and her willingness to help anyone who needed her. She has a big heart and really put her heart and soul into everything she did. I found myself taken in with this book from the start and could not put it down.  I cannot wait to read the other books in this series! I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys Amish Fiction, you will not be disappointed.  I give this book 4.5 STARS.

Welcome to the blog tour for Hopeful, the first book in Shelley Shepard Gray's new series, Return to Sugarcreek. Critics have already given their thumbs up for Hopeful: “Lovable characters and a good story, full of romance and suspense . . . a must read." (Library Journal)

Enter to win one of FIVE copies of the book. 
Five winners will receive:
  • Hopeful by Shelley Shepard Gray
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on February 23rd. All winners will be announced February 24th at Shelley's blog.

Enter today and be sure to visit Shelley's blog on the 24th to see if YOU won one of the books!

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