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.[5] 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.[2] "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."[5]
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.
Isaac Byler grew up in the Amish community of Zebulon, Minnesota. Because their community doesn't have the rumspringa common in other communities, it means Isaac will soon need join the church and find a woman to marry, something that just feels wrong to him for unexplained reasons. David Lantz is left supporting his mother and sisters after tragedy strikes. When he takes Isaac on as his apprentice, an attraction grows between them and they will be forced to reconcile their feelings and their faith.
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.
The genre has proven lucrative for publishers,[2][3][4] many of which are Christian publishers, such as Bethany House, Thomas Nelson, and Zondervan.[5] The first commercially successful Amish romance novel, according to writer Valerie Weaver-Zercher, was Beverly Lewis' The Shunning, published in 1997 by Bethany House.[5] In addition, over 150 Amish fiction e-books were self-published between 2010 and 2013.[6] The three most successful authors of Amish romance—Beverly Lewis, Cindy Woodsmall, and Wanda Brunstetter—have sold over 24 million books.[6]
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