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REVIEW: “A Forbidden Rumspringa” by Keira Andrews

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When two young Amish men find love, will they risk losing everything?
In a world where every detail of life—down to the width of a hat brim—is dictated by God and the all-powerful rules of the community, two men dare to imagine a different way. At 18, Isaac Byler knows little outside the strict Amish settlement of Zebulon, Minnesota, where there is no rumspringa for exploration beyond the boundaries of their insular world. Isaac knows he’ll have to officially join the church and find a wife before too long, but he yearns for something else—something he can’t name.

Dark tragedy has left carpenter David Lantz alone to support his mother and sisters, and he can’t put off joining the church any longer. But when he takes on Isaac as an apprentice, their attraction grows amid the sweat and sawdust. David shares his sinful secrets, and he and Isaac struggle to reconcile their shocking desires with their commitment to faith, family and community.

Now that they’ve found each other, are they willing to lose it all?

Note: Contains explicit sexual situations and graphic language. This is not an inspirational/Christian romance

REVIEW:

Whoaaa. Hold up!

Please deposit all presumptions here and personal baggage goes over here and….

Wouldn’t it be nice to ‘turn yourself off’ sometimes? No matter how open-minded you might be, you inevitably bring things along with you. You can’t help but carry a load of opinions, experiences and emotions wherever you go. It makes you ‘who’ you are. Well, for me, I have Amish neighbors and friends and they are vastly different than the Amish community portrayed here. I know this dampened my enjoyment of the story. I suppose there are times when you should avoid stories that are too close to home simply because you can’t help but compare your own experiences and the author’s tale. It took me nearly till the halfway mark before I could separate myself enough to truly enjoy this story.

There is a certain charm when forbidden love survives. Ms. Andrews creates the most beautiful love that should never exist and had me on the edge of my seat, fervently begging for her to allow it to endure. As Amish are resolute with their beliefs, it’s not surprising this played a major factor in the story. Religion hung heavy and could be oppressive for some. Yet this didn’t bother me…much.  Their way of life is indeed enormously different than the ‘English’ ways but their love is strong. *nudges bag aside* Again, my neighbors are private, natural and hard-working; BUT, they are also loving, welcoming and affectionate. The cold reserved attitude towards each other, especially their children was not easy for me to concede to. I am aware that this differs from community to community, but it was still hard to read.

Isaac is coming of age, preparing for his Baptism and receiving his responsibilities in the community. His family farms, dairy to be precise, and he hates it. His father graciously arranges for him to apprentice under David Lantz experienced hands of woodworking. David is four years older than Isaac but hasn’t taken his vow with God yet due to the heavy weight of taking over his deceased fathers duties. Pressures from the community are profound and David will not be able to evade them much longer. David is not the only focus of interest when it comes to the elders, Isaac has his fair share of scrutiny as well.

Stolen moments behind the barn doors ignite a love affair against all odds. It was reckless abandonment at its finest. I shall never wonder what it might be like to suffocate from the decision to live your life as you’re told and expected or to actually chase the happiness on the other side of the looking glass. I heard, I felt, I understood. It was heavenly and it was cruel. Deep and gorgeously fleshed out young men draw you effortlessly into their obscure yet simple world. This alone won me over.

The conclusion was slightly rushed but it was not truly goodbye, rather a bridge to new beginnings.

Absolutely glorious story and if it wasn’t for my bothersome personal connection, it would have most likely soared to the top.

RATING: 4 STARS

BOOK INFO:

22913988Title: A Forbidden Rumspringa (Gay Amish Romance #1)
Author: Keira Andrews
Publisher: Self-Pub
Pages: 231
Release Date: September 3, 2014
Purchase Links: Amazon, ARe

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This entry was posted on October 23, 2014 by in Contemporary, Reviewer: Sheri and tagged , , , .

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