I was provided a complimentary copy of this book by CelebrateLit. I was not compensated for this review and all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own. I was not required to write a positive review.The Christmas Admirer by Laura V. Hilton
Published by Whitaker House on September 5th 2017
Genres: Amish & Mennonite, Christian, Clean & Wholesome, Fiction, Romance
Benaiah Troyer has loved Susanna King for as long as he can remember, but when his parents died in an accident a year ago, he broke up with her—for her own good. After all, he was now the sole caregiver for his three younger sisters. What woman would want to put up with that? Still, against his better judgment, he can’t help leaving her a gift now and then, anonymously addressing her name in big block print, just to catch a smile. Roses one month, maple syrup candy another; and maybe this time, something special for Christmas. //
Susanna has never gotten over losing Benaiah, but now the clock is ticking. Her father is selling his glass-blowing business, remarrying in January, and moving to Iowa with his bossy wife-to-be. Angry and frustrated, Susanna realizes she’s left with three options: one, go with Daed to his new home with a new mom; two, stay in Jamesport, Missouri, as an old maid; or, three, the best yet, flush out her mysterious secret admirer. But how could she be with anyone else when her heart is still with Benaiah?
Being from the Ozarks region of Missouri (that corner in the southwest part of the state for the uninformed) Jamesport isn’t in my backyard. However, I have family in Trenton which means that I’ve have opportunities to visit the area, because that is backyard. I don’t know a lot about the community and lets face it, if I’m making a 5-6 hour drive (depending on who’s driving) I’m going to see my people, which doesn’t always translate to going a rural town over to visit the Amish. Especially when I have the Amish shops I frequent here in my own backyard. I don’t know a lot about the Jamesport community and while I know there are books featuring them, I haven’t read them. That all being said, it was interesting to learn more about this particular local-ish community in a book I fell in love with…mostly.
Truth. I’m so romanced out that I kinda want to Gibbs romance. I’ve just read too many here lately without a break into something else (which I as necessary to me as breathing) and guess what, yarp romances all in the stack. Here’s why I’m romanced out. I watch these two young people, Benaiah and Susanna, be in love and also have all sorts of excuses why they aren’t together. He with the martyr complex, her with the I love him and he needs to get over himself and just realize he loves me too. Just leap already. It’ll work, or it won’t, but in the end you save so much extra stress and drama. That being said I really really LOVED this book, in spite of the romance. I also have to say that Irene is a complete heel. I can’t begin to understand what Peter sees in her. And how he can love someone who is so completely antagonistic toward his daughter. And what a complete jerkwad toadnugget he was toward everyone. Well, except Irene of course. I get that it was probably partly his way of trying to force Benaiah and Susanna to make decisions and get out of their own heads and together already, but still hateful and not in the fun way.
I have to say, on the other hand, that I am so very proud of Benaiah. He prayed, he followed his part, but he also stood up for what he believed was the best path forward. He did all this despite the toadnugget ways of Peter. All of the characters had a depth that was refreshing. They had a heart for their family and community. In the end I truly think every single person got what they deserved, even Peter. I’ll definitely pray for him up in Iowa with Irene. This story has the potential of faith and love, and if I’m lucky a sequel or two. Laura V. Hilton is a newer to me author and this book was completely what I needed to start falling in love with her work.