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.
It's difficult being different in the Amish community, something Sarah and Miriam know all too well. Once, Sarah fell in love with an English woman and, realizing what that meant, withdrew into herself until Miriam walked into her life. Miriam was torn between trying to love a man she saw only as a brother and attempting figuring out what her heart truly wanted. Lesbians in the Amish community end up shunned, but that's a risk they're willing to take to be together.
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.
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."