Book Review: Mending Hearts by Janice Kay Johnson

Posted March 4, 2021 by meezcarrie in Amish, contemporary, Janice Kay Johnson, romance / 2 Comments

Tompkins Mill #2

GENRE: Contemporary Amish Romance
RELEASE DATE: February 23, 2021
PAGES: 318

In this emotional Amish romance, a young couple will discover that healing from heartbreak takes two.

Miriam Bowman was devastated when her fiance was killed in a logging incident. In the years since the tragedy, she finds it impossible to enter into a new relationship for fear of it coming to a disastrous end. So she works at her quilt shop in town and stays away from anything that would risk her heart. As least until David Miller comes back home to take a second chance at the Amish way of life.

David feels responsible for the logging incident that killed his friend and Miriam’s betrothed, and his life has been corrupted by guilt. That guilt only worsens when he and Miriam begin to spend time together after his return, and they begin to have feelings for each other. David might just be the man Miriam has been afraid of finding, one she could fall in love with. And Miriam is the only one who can truly forgive David for his perceived misdeeds. In order to risk their hearts and find the love they’ve been missing, David and Miriam will have to open them to each other.


Other Books In This Series

After reading Turning Home, I was really excited that Miriam’s story would be next in Mending Hearts. Something in me connected with something in her while reading her brother’s story and, even though we have little in common, I somehow felt she was a kindred spirit nonetheless. (Side note: You don’t have to read Turning Home to enjoy Mending Hearts – it works fine as a standalone – but I think you’ll appreciate the characters & community more if you have.)

Both Miriam and David built walls around their hearts after Levi (Miriam’s boyfriend & David’s best friend/business partner) died. Guilt drove David away from their community after Levi’s tragic death, guilt over his feelings for Miriam – his best friend’s girl. Miriam had her own share of guilt and secret heartbreak, and she closed herself off from any other marriage prospects, resigned to be a spinster. But now David is back and living right next door … and, while she only had eyes for Levi back then, Miriam certainly notices David now! And I can’t say I blame her – he is quite swoony and seems to be a great kisser too! 😉

I really liked David’s character – aside from the swoon factor & kissing skills, he is handsome and kind, loves his family, loves God, loves animals, owns up to his flaws & struggles, and is also not afraid to tease when it gets a smile from the woman he loves. Miriam herself has a big heart and a warm spirit. She often shows wisdom beyond her years, and she is just the kind of heroine you’d want to be friends with in real life. I also appreciated that Johnson skillfully creates interactions for David & Miriam that remind readers that, though they are initially united by tragedy and loss, they have much more than that in common.

Bottom Line: Mending Hearts by Janice Kay Johnson is the perfect follow-up to Turning Home, while also standing solidly on its own as a sweet romance and setting the stage for book three (Gideon’s story – YAY!). David & Miriam are delightful to watch fall in love, and I very much liked getting to spend time with them on the pages. I enjoy the community of Tompkins Mill – the Amish and the Englisch and the ones who straddle both worlds a bit – and I especially love how the theme of each book involves some form of returning home, to the community, to the faith, to something (or someone) you’ve been waiting for your whole life. This gives the already compelling characters even more depth & layers to be explored and keeps readers invested in the outcome. Highly recommended for fans of Laura V. Hilton, Cindy Woodsmall, Laura Bradford and Shelley Shepard Gray!

(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: 4 / keep those fans & fainting couches handy!

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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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