Her Heart's Desire ~ Review

Her Heart's Desire
A Season in Pinecraft #1
By Shelley Shepard Gray

Mary Margaret Miller needs to escape her Amish community. A community that has judged and condemned her based on an incident in her past, an incident that was exacerbated by the malicious lies spread by others. A vacation in Pinecraft, Florida, seems the perfect way to escape her past and allow her to be herself. Perhaps even make a friend, someone who doesn't judge her before she has a chance to meet them.

Jayson Raber has decided to make his life better than it has been. His younger sister will be provided for, and he'll have a steady job. The only catch is he has agreed to marry a girl back in Kentucky. This vacation in Pinecraft will be his last on his own. But then he meets Mary. Surely a vacation friendship is okay. 

Her Heart's Desire is the first book in the A Season in Pinecraft series. For those who don't know, Pinecraft, Florida, is a vacation destination favored by the Amish because of the small Amish / Mennonite community that calls it home. This community offers the various characters who have made this vacation destination a safe place to leave their cares and worries behind. But all too soon, the past has a way of catching up.  Each character - Mary, Betsy, Lilly, Esther, Jayson, and Michael - faces choices. Choices to remain trapped by the past with its judgments, fears, and hurts or to embrace a new future one not dictated by what was but rather what will be. I enjoyed getting to know each character as they tried to decide what would come next. Taking an honest look at one's life is often a difficult thing to do. They needed friends to help them see themselves. 

This is a contemporary fiction with a touch of romance. In my opinion, friendship is the many focus of the book. Everyone needs a friend. Friends help us deal with times of pain. They accept us for who we are, but they also help us grow to our fuller potential. I'm looking forward to the next book in the series and just what comes next for these new friends.

I was provided a complimentary copy of this book with no expectations, but that I provide my honest opinion. All thoughts expressed are my own.

About the Book:
What happens when we allow our 
pasts to define our futures?

Mary Margaret Miller needs an escape from her small Amish community. She boards a bus, all alone, for a vacation in Pinecraft, Florida. Meeting Betsy and Lilly on the way, she's amazed to find two kindred spirits. They become fast friends and determine to have the best two weeks of their lives. For Mary, it starts when she meets Jayson Raber. The handsome and charming carpenter is taken by Mary from the get-go, but he has responsibilities back home in Kentucky--including a girl he's supposed to marry.

When someone from Mary's past shows up in Pinecraft, it seems like her perfect vacation is ruined. But that's nothing compared to what's coming when she realizes what Jayson has been hiding.

Take a vacation with New York Times bestselling author Shelley Shepard Gray as she explores what happens when we allow our pasts to define our futures in this story of friendship, romance, and new beginnings.

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