Lillard's CAROLINE'S SECRET, BOOK 1 in THE WELLS LANDING SERIES, was well written and endearing. I felt I got to really know the characters, especially Caroline, Andrew, Emma, Esther, Abe and Caroline's parents. The story was not what I expected with Englischers involved and all the hurts and secrets that always have a way of getting out. There were family and friends - both new and old, tears, laughter, fear, angst, anger, shame, happiness, lots of praying and Church, socializing, hard work and hard decisions, and the much anticipated happily ever after. The epilogue gave me the closure I needed along with the happy ending but took me by surprise - pleasantly - in how the story wrapped up. The letters that both Caroline and her mother wrote to each other as well as those Andrew and his sister Lizzie exchanged shed a lot of light on the plot and the happenings throughout and were a nice addition to the story. The first letter just prior to chapter one was a prologue to me and set the stage for what was to come. The letter from the author to her readers at the conclusion of the book was a warm touch.
I look forward to the continuation of this series even if I have to wait until January 2015 for it but there was an excerpt from the second book, COURTING EMILY, in the back of this book which definitely left me wanting more. There was also a dictionary of Amish words which was very helpful and several delicious sounding recipes posted that were part of the storyline. I look forward to trying a few of them.
Lillard is an author I found not long ago. I read her three books in the CLOVER RIDGE SERIES - SAVING GIDEON, KATIE'S CHOICE AND GABRIEL'S BRIDE - and enjoyed them. I've also read her contemporary novel, BLAME IT ON TEXAS, which she wrote as Amie Louellen. I look forward to reading many more of her books.