About The Book
For Leah Otto, marrying Jude Shetler is a long-held dream come true. As a young girl, she was captivated by his good looks and talent as an auctioneer. When Jude, now a widower with three children, begins to court her, Leah doesn’t hesitate. Other men may not appreciate her tomboy ways, but Jude values Leah’s practical nature and her skill with the animals she tends, and both enter the marriage with joy and optimism.
Three months later, Leah feels as if her world is coming down around her. Her twin teenage step-daughters, Alice and Adeline, are pushing boundaries and taking far too many risks, while five-year-old Stevie deeply misses his mother. Leah, more at ease in a barn tending her goats and chickens than in a kitchen, struggles with her housekeeping duties.
Then a baby is abandoned on their doorstep, and Leah must search her soul. Caring for little Betsy fills her with renewed purpose and the strength to begin pulling her family together. With Jude’s steadfast support, Leah finds that what she once thought of as a happy ending may be something even better—the beginning of a life rich in love, faith, and unexpected blessings.
“Denki for thinking of me, dear, but we’re talking about you now,” Lenore insisted gently. “I’m concerned because Jude’s mamm, Margaret, also lives with Jude and the twins—not to mention Stevie, who seems rather immature for five. Margaret will have her way of doing things, because she took charge after Frieda died. And with Stevie still missing his mamm, you’ll have a lot of little-boy emotions to deal with as you prepare him to start school next year. Most new brides only have a husband to get used to until the babies start coming.”
“Jah, but with Margaret running the household and tending the three kids—especially Stevie—their routine can remain uninterrupted,” Leah pointed out. “That will give Jude and me time to adjust to being husband and wife, and it’ll mean that meals are put on the table and the laundry and cleaning will still get done. From what I know of Margaret, she’ll have instructed Alice and Adeline about doing their part in the process, too.”
From what I know of Margaret, Lenore thought sadly, she’ll be snipping at you every chance she gets, calling you a slacker—or worse—because you’re not assuming the traditional role of an Amish wife.
Lenore stared at the far wall, sensing whatever she said would go unheard. “Just be ready for your plans to be changed, Leah,” she warned gently. “Spending most of your time with Jude at auctions, or in the barnyard tending your animals, might not work out the way you’ve imagined. Margaret will be a woman with a plan, too, you know.”
Leah rested her head against the wooden headboard, closing her eyes. “I’ll cross that bridge when—or if—I get to it, Mama. Tomorrow’s my big day, and I know it’ll be just perfect because Jude’s sharing it with me. The light in his eyes when he looks at me is all I need to see to believe he’ll love me forever and ever.”
Lenore looked out the window at the half moon, which shone brilliantly in the night sky. Bless your heart, Leah, I wonder if you still believe the moon’s made of green cheese, as Dat and I teased about when you were a child, she thought with a sinking heart. We probably should have done a lot of things differently as we were raising you . . . but it’s too late to change your way of looking at the world.
About The Author
Charlotte Hubbard is the acclaimed author of Amish romance and fiction that evokes simpler times and draws upon her experiences in Jamesport, the largest Old Order Amish community west of the Mississippi. Faith and family, farming, and food preservation are hallmarks of her lifestyle—and the foundation of all her novels. A deacon, dedicated church musician and choir member, she loves to travel, read, try new recipes, and crochet. A longtime Missourian, Charlotte now lives in St. Paul, Minnesota, with her husband and their border collie, Vera. Please visit Charlotte online at www.CharlotteHubbard.com.