Katie Miller has come to Pleasant Valley to open a quilt shop, similar to the one her mother runs back home. She's excited about this new venture. Her father has paid the lease on the shop for one year so Katie needs to get it profitable by then.
Caleb Brand isn't too sure he likes having a quilt shop next to his furniture shop. He liked the hardware store that was there before just fine. He doesn't want to deal with all the feminine chatter and noise. Ever since his betrothed left him and the Amish faith under questionable circumstances Caleb has stayed away from women.
Katie doesn't know what is wrong with the man in the next shop but she's not going to let it worry her. She quickly gets involved with Pleasant Valley's business to community, with the bishop's blessing. Soon, she's helping another woman promote Pennsylvania Dutch Days. They hope this will bring in new business but not everyone likes the idea.
When acts of vandalism suddenly start happening around town, including Katie's shop, Caleb has to decide if he's willing to put the past behind him and reach out to help his neighbor. If he does, he's afraid that he may loose more than some time cleaning up, he may loose his heart.
This is the fifth book Ms Perry has placed in Pleasant Valley. You do not have to read the previous books to thoroughly and completely enjoy this one though the characters from the previous books do show up in the one. Each of these books are completely independent of the others and are only loosely connected.
The town and people of Pleasant Valley are very well thought out and developed. There is a good mixture of "English" and Amish, usually with respect for each other on both sides. The main town is described complete with some empty shops and stables for horses behind some of them. It's easy to visualize this vibrant community and its industrious people.
The characters are great. Caleb has reason not to trust women. The woman he was to marry left the Amish pregnant and not with his child though the community had rumors that he was the father. It's going to take a lot of faith for Caleb to trust another woman. Katie is cheerful and tries to look at the bright side of everything, even when her parents tell her that they are leaving her younger 16 year old sister, Rhonda, in her care due to issues back home. Rhonda is enjoying her first tastes of freedom but she's also learning quickly that the "English" don't always act like the Amish do. She's also learning that tales from home can follow her where ever she goes.
The "English" characters are just as interesting as the Amish. Lisa Macklin runs a gift shop, her husband's dream. She also wants to bring more business into Pleasant Valley and is the lead in the Pennsylvania Dutch Days. As sweet and pleasant as Lisa is, Donna Evans is abrupt and outspoken. Still, she only wants good for everyone and beneath that gruff exterior is a heart of gold. Melanie is young and works at the hardware store down the street. She is engaged to the owner but is questioning the relationship.
While this is a love story, it's also a very complex story. There are subplots which take the forefront at different parts. Rhonda trying to find her way in a new community and the vandalism that is happening are two of the most important. As each evolves, the story becomes richer and more complex.
I thoroughly enjoy my visits to Pleasant Valley. I always leave wanting to know more about the community and the people who live there. Though this story is about the Amish, it is not preachy about God. This flow naturally and easily. There are bad things that happen some which put the Amish beliefs in opposition to "English" ways.
I highly recommend this book and this series to anyone who loves Amish romances. It's a wonderful story that will warm your heart.
A quilt shop brings Amish and Englisch together, and trouble follows...
After a thwarted romance, Katie Miller starts over by moving to Pleasant Valley and opening a quilt shop. Soon Amish and Englisch turn the store into a lively spot...to the consternation of Caleb Brand, who crafts furniture next door. Then Katie's sister joins her, to escape rumors of her wild rumspringa, and Katie feels the burden of responsibility for a restless teenager. Even worse, her efforts to bring more people to Main Street arouse resistance among local businesses. When acts of vandalism threaten Katie's shop, she turns to Caleb for comfort, and their friendship deepens. But will Caleb's secret past prevent him from embracing a future with Katie? Or will their fragile romance develop the strength to last a lifetime?