Mattie and her two sisters, Christine and Rosetta, have left Coldstream to start a new community they call Promise Lodge. Mattie's son Noah. who is nursing a broken heart, joins them and a few other men from Coldstream to help make Promise Lodge a reality.
After the way Deborah broke off their engagement, she was the last person Noah expected to show up at Promise Lodge. But she arrives after being cast out of Coldstream by her dat for reasons she's not ready to share. Noah isn't yet ready to accept Deborah's apology, even if the Old Order ways demand he try. He's going to need help from his mother, aunts, and their preacher to make it happen.
Promise Lodge is Hubbard's latest and, boy, do you have to read it. There's so much going on in this one. You have the rehabbing of Promise Lodge; the arrival of Deborah under mysterious circumstances; Deborah seeking forgiveness from Noah and his struggle to accept her apology; and the ties that still bind everyone to Coldstream that interfere with their plans.
Hubbard is a masterful storyteller, developing her characters in such a way that they become just as real as if they were sitting across the kitchen table from you. Her stories are inspiring and filled with love, faith and, in this case, forgiveness. You'll find some great recipes at the back of the book too.
If you enjoy Amish fiction, if you enjoy inspirational romance, if you like to read a book that touches your heart, then pick up a copy of Promise Lodge.
Promise Lodge, Book 1
Zebra (February 26, 2016)
ISBN-13: 9781420139419 •• ISBN-10: 142013941X
Deborah stepped inside the cabin and paused. She couldn’t see Noah, but the squeak of a crank-out window told her he was in the far bedroom. Silently crossing the main room’s plank floor, she peered in to watch him work. It had always amazed her, how Noah handled his tools so effortlessly, as if they were extensions of his hands . . . strong, well-shaped hands that had once grasped hers and gently stroked her cheek.
Noah turned as though he’d read her wistful thoughts. His dark brown hair framed his suntanned face in a mop of unruly waves. Even though he wasn’t Sunday-best clean, Deborah longed to touch him, to coax a boyish smile to his lips.
“Hey,” he murmured. He took a deep breath. “I’m sorry if I bumped your ladder—”
“It was my fault!” Deborah insisted as she hurried toward him. “I was watching you instead of paying attention to how far I’d reached—how the ladder was swaying. You’re always so intent on your work, and so gut at what you do, Noah. It’s a joy to watch you.”
On impulse, she flung her arms around him. “I’m sorry if I’ve been a bother,” she murmured. “I just had to tell you I was wrong—to see if we couldn’t patch things up and be together again. Please, Noah?”
As she hugged him, Deborah wondered what had gotten into her. Why was she behaving so boldly? No matter what Noah might think, however, she couldn’t let him take the blame for the painting incident.
She felt him softening, returning her affection. Maybe this impulsive hug would bring her closer to becoming his wife . . .
Noah’s arms tightened around Deborah’s waist before he realized what he was doing. She smelled fresh and clean. Even though her hair and kerchief were damp, he felt a rush of warmth and longing that made him close his eyes. He’d forgotten how perfectly she fit against him, how firm and strong her body felt . . . how her voice teased at him and could convince him to do just about anything.
For a few blissful moments he savored an embrace that took him back to happier times. Why is it again that you can’t allow Deborah back into your life? Noah nuzzled the damp hair above her ear, noting how the kerchief set off the line of her jaw—
The bruise on her neck brought him back to reality. The handprint was less distinct, blurring from purple into a greenish yellow, but it was still the mark of another man.
Noah touched the bruise lightly with his fingertip as he eased away from her. “Did your dat do this to you?” he whispered. He couldn’t help himself. Deborah’s injury held the key to his feelings for her.
Her face clouded over. Noah reminded himself that she’d never been much good at fibbing, even as doubt and pain furrowed her brow and her cheeks turned splotchy and pink. “No,” she finally murmured.
Noah took another step away from her. “Wrong answer.”
“Wrong question!” Deborah shot back. She crossed her arms tightly, as if to hold herself together when she turned away from him. “Why did you have to ruin—why can’t you trust me? Don’t you understand that I didn’t go asking for trouble when—”
“You didn’t come to Promise Lodge just to see me, either. Did you Deborah?” he countered in a harsh whisper. “Why would I want you back if you’re really here to get away from somebody else?”
When she rushed away, he had his answer, didn’t he?
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I received a free advanced copy of this book--which I accidentally dropped in the tub while reading one night--from the author. This review contains my honest opinions, which I have not been compensated for in any way.
I read this book for the following challenge: