Love in Unlikely Places by Linda Byler has Emma Beiler finishing up her last day of teaching school. Emma has been the teacher at Hickory Hollow School for ten years and she is now ready for a change. She is twenty-six and unmarried. Some in the community say that Emma is picky. Emma had felt love once and wants that feeling again as well as to have it reciprocated. Emma spots a newspaper ad for an English couple who need a nanny for their two children. It would allow Emma to spread her wings because the couple rented a house on the beach in North Carolina where they are constructing a summer home. Emma is drawn to the ocean immediately, but she is unprepared for living in an English household with its confusing appliances plus her employer’s unique method of childrearing. Emma is surprised to find an Amish man working as the contractor on the house next door. Emma and Ben spend time together walking along the beach and chatting. She finds him charming as well as bold. Unfortunately, Emma is forced to suddenly return home and does not get to say goodbye to Ben. Despite not exchanging phone numbers or addresses, Emma told Ben enough about herself that he could locate her. After a few months, Emma’s best friend, Eva with her husband, Elvin arrange a camping trip. It turns out to be a set up with Eva’s cousin, Matt. Emma ends up enjoying her time with Matt, but she could not date a man who left the Amish faith. Emma needs to see Ben again and learn if he cares for her the same way. Emma wonders what God has planned for her.
Love in Unlikely Places by Linda Byler is a unique Amish novel. I thought the book was well-written with friendly main character. Emma Beiler is ready for a change. After spending the last ten years teaching and working her families produce fields in the summer, Emma wants to do something different. She is twenty-six, unmarried, and has yet to become baptized. Emma would like a chance to spready her wings. When she finds an ad for an English couple who need a nanny, Emma calls them to apply. She would get to spend the summer at the beach in North Carolina looking after two children age two and four. I could relate to Emma’s feelings regarding the ocean. It is calming and so peaceful. I enjoyed the author’s descriptive writing that perfectly captured the beach and the vast ocean including the smell (that salty tang in the air). I felt bad for Emma who was being taken advantage of by her employers. They pulled a bait and switch. Hired her as a nanny and then made her a housekeeper too. Emma is out of her comfort zone, but we see her adapting. I had to laugh as she tried to figure out the coffee machine. Emma also gets to see a different style of parenting. She is unprepared for the little girl’s temper tantrums and how the parents cater to the child. Everything happens for a reason as we see in Love in Unlikely Places and we must wait for God’s timing not our own. Emma learns some valuable life lessons in her journey and meets an incredible woman along the way. Emma pushed the boundaries thanks to her supportive parents (they are also worn out thanks to their ten children). Love in Unlikely Places is unlike other Amish books which I appreciated. It would be great if Linda Byler did a story featuring Dena Beiler, Emma’s younger sister. Love in Unlikely Places is a captivating and atypical Amish story with temper tantrum toddler, beautiful beach, a temperamental teen, a libidinous lady, and a matchmaking comrade.
Love in Unlikely Places comes out on August 18 and is available from Amazon*. You can find Linda Byler's other novels here. Thank you for reading my review today. I have Royal by Danielle Steel on deck for tomorrow. I hope that you have a diverting day. Take care, be kind, and Happy Reading!
The Avid Reader
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