AN AMISH CINDERELLA by Shelley Shepard Gray
SERIES: The Amish of Apple Creek #3
GENRE: Contemporary/Amish Romance (Clean)
PUBLISHER: Kensington Books
RELEASE DATE: September 26, 2023
Set in the close-knit Amish community of Apple Creek, Ohio, this sweet Cinderella-inspired novel from the New York Times and USA Today bestselling and award-winning author is complete with a matchmaking pet rat, and will delight fans of heartwarming, wholesome fiction and readers of Charlotte Hubbard, Beverly Lewis, and Beth Wiseman.
Now that her friends are all marrying or moving away, Heart Beachy has started feeling lonely. Worse, everyone keeps asking when she’s going to find a man of her own. Don’t they realize Heart has her hands full at home with her widowed dad, too many chores, and a menagerie of needy, small animals? Besides, she doesn’t understand the fuss about marriage. It’s enough to make her consider finally becoming a pet-sitter, or moving to an English community, where she won’t be an oddity . . .
Newcomer Clayton Glick is utterly charmed by Heart—and completely confounded. He can’t figure out why this beautiful woman is as awkward as a teenager whenever he’s around, which is often now that he’s an apprentice to her blacksmith father. So Clayton starts assisting with Heart’s never-ending tasks, even helping her corral her unruly pets. How else can he court an adorably flustered woman who doesn’t know the first thing about courtship? Because courting is exactly what he intends . . .
Heart doesn’t know why her pulse hammers every time she sees Clayton. She only knows yielding to such emotions will mean trouble. . . . But maybe with a little faith—and the trying on of a shoe—Clayton can convince her to join him on the road to happily ever after.
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I always enjoy a new Shelley Shepard Gray novel, but An Amish Cinderella is one of my favorites in recent memory! This story – and its characters – simply delighted me.
While this isn’t a true Cinderella retelling per se, there are several nods to the beloved fairy tale that are sure to please its fans like me. An overworked, underappreciated daughter. A missing shoe. A loyal dog. Even a cuddly pet rat with personality. And let me tell you… second only to my chicken phobia is my rodent phobia, but Shelley Shepard Gray’s fairy tale charm even made me like Spike, the aforementioned cuddly rat. I enjoyed this story on its own, to be sure, so if Cinderella isn’t your fave, don’t worry – the shared elements are very subtle. But since Cinderella IS my fave, I also delighted in seeing those nods scattered throughout this story.
There’s so much to love about An Amish Cinderella, but the number one reason for me is Levi Beachy. Heart’s gruff and often oblivious father had me chuckling all the way through this book. Gray has cleverly made him an endearing blend of infuriating and hilarious (often at the same time) and given him a surprisingly tender side that I delighted seeing come to the surface more and more as the story progressed. I loved Heart and Clayton and Mary too – and all the animals – but Levi is one of those reluctantly-lovable characters that stays with you.
Bottom Line: Rats, puppies, and apprentices, oh my! An Amish Cinderella by Shelley Shepard Gray is a book that made me smile from cover to cover. I loved the Cinderella elements but I also loved that it can stand on its own as a delightful story without any comparison to the fairy tale. Clayton and Heart’s friendship, banter, and eventual romance is sweet, swoony, and fun to read, as is the other romantic subplot in this novel. I especially adored Heart’s father Levi and his endearingly clueless & cranky self – and his scenes with Spike are some of my faves. An absolutely delightful story in every way!
(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: 4.5 stars / loved it!
KissingBook Level: 3 / may forget to breathe on occasion
Shelley Shepard Gray is a NYT and USA Today bestselling author. She’s published over a hundred novels and has over a million books in print. She currently lives in northern Ohio and writes full time.
Shelley lives just an hour from Holmes County, where many of her Amish-themed novels are set. She currently writes contemporary romance and Amish fiction for a variety of publishers. When not spending time with her family or writing, she can usually be found walking her two dachshunds on one of the many trails in the Cleveland area.
She also bakes a lot, loves coconut cream pie, and will hardly ever pull weeds, mow the yard, or drive in the snow.
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