Book Review: Turning Home by Janice Kay Johnson

Posted October 17, 2020 by meezcarrie in Amish, contemporary, Janice Kay Johnson, romance / 2 Comments

Tompkins Mill #1

GENRE: Inspirational Amish Romance
PUBLISHER: Berkley Books
RELEASE DATE: September 29, 2020
PAGES: 320

In this tender Amish romance, an Amish man who is returning to his community and faith is drawn to a young woman who is still reeling from past wounds.

When Luke Bowman returns to the Amish faith after years of being away from home, he does so with absolute conviction. Those feelings are shaken when he meets Julia Durant, a non-Amish woman who works at his family’s furniture-making business. Despite his instincts, Luke is drawn to Julia, and although Julia is still recovering from a brutal assault when she was a college student, she is drawn to Luke as well.

As Luke and Julia grow closer, and their fragile friendship grows stronger, Luke wants to be with Julia, but the reason he came home–his faith–is now the thing keeping them apart. Luke and Julia will have to decide whether their relationship can survive this divide, and whether the home Luke has made in the Amish faith is one that’s fit for two.


Other Books In This Series

I was excited to see that Janice Kay Johnson was starting an Amish romance series with Berkley – I enjoyed some of her general market romances several years ago & was really looking forward to a romance by her that I could easily recommend to all of y’all. So delighted that everything that I loved about Johnson’s writing style & the way she writes romantic tension still shines in Turning Home!

Luke is such a layered, complex Amish hero. After living Englisch for a number of years, he’s returned to his home, his family, and his faith … something he’s not regretted until he begins falling in love with Julia Durant, the Englisch woman his father hired to manage their furniture store. Julia herself is a multi-dimensional character, a woman whose confidence was shaken after a brutal assault and who is searching for a deeper relationship with God than she sees modeled in the ‘church people’ she encounters in her new community. I really enjoyed this juxtaposition that we don’t usually see in Amish romance – a redeemed prodigal hero with a past in the Englisch world, and an Englisch woman who craves the kind of faith that the Amish live out. This allowed the reader to get a unique perspective on Amish life while also being able to put ourselves in both Luke & Julia’s shoes because of their strong ties to the world we’re most familiar with.

Bottom Line: Turning Home by Janice Kay Johnson is everything I was hoping for & more! It’s not as predictable as many Amish romances can be, with several intriguing twists that beckon you to settle further into this entertaining read. Luke & Julia’s story is supported by a delightful & layered group of secondary characters who set the stage nicely for further books in the series too (so excited that Miriam’s story is next!). Johnson’s writing style is smooth & engaging, keeping you invested in the plot & these characters from beginning to end. A must-read for fans of Cindy Woodsmall and Shelley Shepard Gray. I can’t wait for this series to continue!

(I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the publisher. All views expressed are only my honest opinion.)

My Rating: 4 stars / love it!

KissingBook Level: 3 / may forget to breathe on occasion

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The author of more than a hundred books for children and adults, Janice Kay Johnson writes about love and family–about the way generations connect, and the power our earliest experiences have on us throughout life. An eight-time finalist for the Romance Writers of America RITA award, she won a RITA in 2008 for her novel Snowbound. A former librarian, Janice raised two daughters in a small town north of Seattle, Washington.

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