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?
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.
Middlebury, Indiana is home to an Amish Artisan Villiage, and Amber Wright, owner of the shops, gets a call that the manager of the coffee shop, Ethan, is dead. Shaken, Amber has to eventually hire a new manager and find Hannah Troyer, a young Amish woman. They quickly become friends and it doesn't take long before they begin looking into Ethan's mysterious death themselves. Running into a lot of dead ends, secrets, and a little romance, Amber and Hannah won't stop until Middlebury's secrets reveal themselves.
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.
Many readers do enjoy reading what's unfamiliar to them. That's why genres like fantasy and science fiction are so popular - because the reader gets to experience something they wouldn't otherwise experience. With Amish romance, readers get to take a journey to a life they're unfamiliar with, without the constraints of modern technology to get in the way of human relationships.
The genre has proven lucrative for publishers, many of which are Christian publishers, such as Bethany House, Thomas Nelson, and Zondervan. The first commercially successful Amish romance novel, according to writer Valerie Weaver-Zercher, was Beverly Lewis' The Shunning, published in 1997 by Bethany House. In addition, over 150 Amish fiction e-books were self-published between 2010 and 2013. The three most successful authors of Amish romance—Beverly Lewis, Cindy Woodsmall, and Wanda Brunstetter—have sold over 24 million books.