Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Edgy Amish Fiction?!

I had a bad reaction to a bonnet book a decade ago (broke out in a nasty case of book flinging) and have avoided the genre ever since.

But not without a little guilt.

Edgy or not, this is a Christian romance blog and to ignore the Amish is to ignore a huge section of the inspirational market. So I put "read a bonnet book" at the top of my to-do list, but it kept slipping somewhere behind call Aunt Edna and clip my toenails. I just couldn't get excited about it.

Last month, my Google alerts picked up a conversation about an edgy Amish novel that caught my attention. I checked Amazon for Lilly's Wedding Quilt by Kelly Long and when I read the one star review nestled between all the four and five star ones, my interest grew. It sounded like just the kind of book I'd looooove. Then my friend Renee called Kelly Long the Amish Deeanne Gist, and I was sold (read the backstory on my Deeanne Gist obsession here).

Don't let its vanilla cover fool you, Lily's Wedding Quilt had everything I love in an edgy inspirational romance, high romantic tension, lots of relationship angst, and kissing scenes that'll flap your church fan. It's the closest thing I've read to Deeanne Gist this year except, obviously, Deeanne Gist.

In addition to raising the heat level, I loved that the author touched on the topic of depression in the Christian community. In my opinion, there is some misinformation and harmful teaching coming from pulpits on that issue and her book does a great job addressing it.

As long as I don't picture Jacob kissing Lily with that married Amish beard of his (those things aren't sexy at all) I can say Lilly's Wedding Quilt is one of the best romances I've read in 2011.

My rating:







And even edgier....

Hot off the heals of my first Amish success, I have an even edgier bonnet book at the top of my reading pile. This one has vampires in it!

Forsaken by Leanna Ellis isn't technically Christian fiction, but the author has said in an interview that it's probably her most spiritual book to date, so I can't wait to see what she means.

Seems like Edgy Amish fiction isn't such an oxymoron anymore. Do you have an Amish fiction book you think I need to read? Leave the title in the comments.

16 comments:

  1. Oh my stars, Joy. What a hoot! Love your review of Lilly's Wedding Quilt. I'm with you on bonnet reading, but I might have to add this one to my list. I adore Deeanne Gist books, too.

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  2. It was bound to happen. And might even lure ME into the same field of reading for the same reasons. Yay!

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  3. I haven't read any Amish books. Looks like this one might be a good place to start.
    Ann

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  4. Thanks for sharing this. I like lots of romantic tension and kisses that make me swoon, so I have placed this particular genre on the bottom of my TBR pile. I feel guilty all the time!!

    I'm definitely going to check this out. And I've been waiting on the Amish Vampire book, because really...amish vampires? Gotta read it! :)

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  5. So funny! I try not to think about those Amish beards, either! I was just thinking about that yesterday when I was finishing up an Amish book.

    The first Amish book I ever read was Sarah's Garden, but I can't remember it being edgy. I definitely want to read Lilly's Wedding Quilt one day!

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  6. I've never read any of the Amish books either for the same reason. And I also adore Deeanne Gist. You've got me interested now!!

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  7. LOL- joy! You know my first Amish fiction I had the same reaction...but I think I read Operation Bonnet this year and really loved it, you should try that one. Im so reading that vampire Amish on...;)

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  8. I can't say that I blame you for flinging your Amish fiction one little bit. The first Christian Fiction book I ever read was a bonnet romance. It was the first book in a series of 3, and being the perseverant reader that I am, I finished all three books. And then I didn't pick up any Christian fiction for another 2 years because I [wrongly] assumed it was all just as rotten as the trilogy I read. Of course, now I read a lot of CF, but I have yet to pick up another Amish novel.

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  9. I love Deanne Gist! And I'll have to check out the books you reviewed. I haven't been able to get into the bonnet books for the same reason you described. We'll see if this changes things :-)

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  10. Look at the Deeanne Gist fans here, thank you all for commenting. You are my people and I want to give you all big a group hug! You'll like this bonnet book ladies, give it a try.

    @Jessica, EXACTLY! Amish Vampires? How could I *not* read that!? Look for my review soon.

    @Tammy, yeah, the author referenced Jacob's beard growing in and that line made me cringe. There is a nice picture of him on the back cover though clean shaven.

    @Tina, you know what, Deborah at Books Movies Chinese Food mentioned that title as her favorite bonnet book too. I'm definitely going to have to check it out.

    Thanks again everyone!

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  11. I am not a big fan of Amish fiction either, but 2 of my favorite authors write just that! Try Cindy Woodsmall and Suzanne Woods Fisher. Both writers bring believable stories and the Amish life is not idealized.

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  12. I've been avoiding Amish books myself. maybe I'll have to reconsider after reading this post

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  13. I LOVE this review! I have had the same reaction to both of the Dekker books I've read, and I still have one more on my shelf, but ... well, it may be waiting for quite a while. I do have a "bonnet book" in my TBR shelf (haven't read Amish fiction yet). Maybe I should pick it up ... or maybe I should just get this one and read it first!

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  14. OMG OMG OMG I can't wait for Forsaken!
    I'm loving the edgy Amish trend.
    Bring it on I say!
    Great review :)

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  15. Awesome, Joy! ;) I have Lilly's Wedding Quilt on my TBR stack, and I'm excited to read it! The first book in that series was also a little edgy, but I've heard that this one is much better, so we'll see. :)

    As for Forsaken, I can't wait to hear your thoughts on it! It's definitely an edgy read!! :)

    ~Amber

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