Years ago, Emma Keim's husband Sanford passed away, leaving her heartbroken and alone to raise her three daughters. Her family hasn't been quiet about the fact that they expect her to stay a window, but meeting Jay Hilty a fellow single parent and widower, changes something within her. Jay feels it too. Watching his oldest son become engaged and the joy it brings him makes Jay question if it's time to finally move on.
Some[who?] argue that the non-Amish authors fail to understand Amish theology and how it differs in key areas from mainstream Christianity. They thus present characters who may appear Amish but who maintain an evangelical Christian worldview. For example, a character might proclaim an assurance of salvation, rather than a "living hope" of such as the Amish do. Amish specific beliefs such as non-violence, non participation in government, and an unwillingness to proselytize may be glossed over or not mentioned. Evangelical themes, such as sexual purity, are substituted.
As a genre Amish romance novels have flourished over the last decade and a half. Wanda Brunstetter, writer of Amish fiction, says, "When people read my books, it takes them to a simpler way of life. Hanging clothes on the line, cooking meals from scratch, turning off the television and mobile phones and just visiting. We've lost that way of life. I think my readers are craving that."
Joanna Kurtz, always the bridesmaid, never the bride. For now. Joanna has a few secrets of her own that she tries to keep under wraps. Like the fact that she loves to write and desperately wants to be published, something that just isn't done in her Pennsylvania community. She also has someone courting her that no one knows about, a secret she holds close to her heart. Eben Troyer lives in the Shipshewana, Indiana Amish community and since his only brother joined the English world, it's up to him to take over the farm. Will he and Joanna ever be together?
Most works of Amish romance have protagonists with socially conservative values, especially chastity, who engage in romance in ways which are socially and religiously acceptable in their communities. Similar works may also feature other religious minorities, such as Mennonites, Shakers, or Puritans. Unlike many mainstream romance novels, Amish romance novels do not rely on the portrayal of sex and most other forms of physical intimacy. "Despite the suggestion by some that the appeal of Amish fiction must lie in the arousal of coverings coming off, or suspenders being suspended — hence the coy industry term 'bonnet rippers' — most Amish novels are as different from Fifty Shades of Grey as a cape dress is from a spiked collar."