Sunday, June 25, 2017

Plain Haven: Plainly Maryland

Thank you for visiting today!  I hope you are having a fun yet relaxing weekend.  On June 27 Booked 4 Murder by J.C. Eaton will be released. It is the first book in A Sophie Kimball Mystery series. Murder at the Puppy Fest by Laurien Berenson comes out on the same day.  It is the twentieth book in A Melanie Travis Canine Mystery series (can be read as a stand-alone).  I will share more new releases with you next time.

Plain Haven by Susan Lantz Simpson is the first book in the Plainly Maryland series.  Lilly Brandt is out on her morning jog when she notices two men pulling a body out of truck.  She ducks behind a tree and watches them dump the person.  Unfortunately, one of the men sees Lilly and she is forced to run for her life.  Lilly’s shirt advertises the library where she works as a children’s librarian.  At the police station, Lilly is informed that the only way they can protect is for her to go away.  Lilly becomes Hannah Kurtz, an Amish woman from Pennsylvania.  Hannah will be staying with Rebecca and Samuel Hertzler and their four children in St. Mary’s County, Maryland.  She will have to stay in the community until the police catch the men after her.  It is a new world for Hannah without computers, cell phones, and modern appliances.  She slowly adapts and enjoys the slower pace.  Jake Beiler is a carpenter who is recovering from a broken heart.  He has vowed not to fall in love again, but then he meets Hannah.  The two are attracted to each from the moment they meet.  Then Hannah’s secret is revealed and her new family and friends feel betrayed.   Can Hannah continue to risk the lives of her friends?  Will the villains ever be caught?  To see how the story ends, get your copy of Plain Haven.

Plain Haven is well-written and an engaging story.  The story has a good pace, and I liked figuring out the little clues (the pieces of papers left for Hannah).  I liked the characters and the setting of St. Mary’s County, Maryland.  I have not read an Amish book set in that area. We get to see Lilly/Hannah adapt to life in an Amish community.  It is like stepping back in time to when women cooked three meals a day (no microwave or take out), did laundry with wringer washing machines (they should be banned from existence), hanging clothes on the line to dry, growing vegetables, and using a horse and buggy for transportation. It is good to read about, but I would not want to experience it. Lilly/Hannah finds a community of friends and family.   I do wish the suspense element had been ramped up a little bit.  It would have made for a more intriguing story.  The romance portion needed to be toned down (just a little bit.  It felt a little fake in the beginning).   I am giving Plain Haven 4 out of 5 stars (I liked it).  The Christian themes throughout the story are trusting in God, the power of prayer and having a strong faith are prevalent throughout the book.   Plain Haven is a lovely, heartwarming novel that captured and held my attention.  I will be reading the next book in the Plainly Maryland series.

I appreciate you reading my latest review.  Next up for evaluation is Light of Dawn by Vannetta Chapman.  It is the third book in The Remnant series.   Until next time, take care and Happy Reading!

The Avid Reader

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