Author: Shelley Shepard Gray

Publisher: Harper Collins

Release Date: March 1, 2014

Blue Ribbon Rating: 5

Format: Print

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In HOPEFUL by Shelley Shepard Gray, you will meet Miriam Zehr, an Amish woman who works at Sugarcreek Inn.

Miriam is always cheerful, smiling and so happy at her job at the inn. Deep down it is a front as she feels overweight, lonely and just plain.  She has always had a special feeling for Junior Beiler, who she grew up around and was friends with in school.

Junior Beiler has been busy raising his many siblings after the death of his parents. He looks to Miriam as a true friend and never looks at her as a special person to share a future with.

Miriam is surprised when Junior asks her to meet him one afternoon and was all excited to think she finally has gotten his attention.  When they met it is more a surprise because Junior wants Miriam to help him get to know the school teacher, Mary Kate Hershberger.  Miriam feels sad to know she has mistaken his motives, but as a true friend of the school teacher as well as Junior, she will agree to help him.

Mary Kate has no interest in dating anyone and she resents the idea.  Mary Kate left her hometown with a secret buried deep in her heart and she swore not to ever get involved with anyone of the opposite sex again.

Events developed when Miriam tries to get Mary Kate and Junior together, but each time it is not a great success.

Mary Kate's secret is finally out to Miriam and now she feels she has a true friend who understands her position.

Meanwhile Miriam is asked to tutor Junior's youngest sister Kaylene, as she is having trouble reading.  Being a tutor gives Miriam a chance to be around her favorite person Junior, and she resolves to settle for what time she can to be around Junior.  Miriam grows fond of Kaylene and this special request gives her a feeling of worth.

Mary Kate's secret shows up as a man who feels he owns her and she finds herself in danger that also involves others in the community.  Much to the surprise of everyone, including her own parents, she is put into a position that demands the law to step in.

This is a well written book and one I truly enjoyed.

By Romance Junkies Reviewer: sue Leech

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