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May 31, 2016

A Daughter's Dream {Shelley Shepard Gray}

a daughters dream shelley shepard gray
In Shelley Shepard Gray’s second book in her Charmed Amish Life series, a young teacher and farmer discover they have much in common, especially when it comes to healing old wounds from the past…and finding love in one another.

Rebecca Kinsinger has always dreamed of being a teacher. But when she’s given the opportunity she’s been waiting for at Charm Amish School, she’s dismayed to discover that teaching is hard work—work she’s afraid she’s not very good at. 

That is, until Lilly Yoder joins the class. A thirteen-year old who’s just lost her parents, Lilly is in need of someone like Rebecca. For the first time since starting her new job, Rebecca feels a sense of purpose. But when she meets Lilly’s uncle, Jacob, his good looks and sweet, easy-going temperament are hard to ignore. How can she even entertain romantic thoughts of Jacob when his niece is her student?

Suddenly becoming Lily’s sole caregiver, Jacob Yoder never thought he’d be a single parent—or a farmer. Having been living in Florida as a carpenter, Jacob feels more at home wielding a hammer than a backhoe. The only bright spot in his life is Rebecca Kinsinger. As Lily and Rebecca develop a bond, Jacob’s fondness for the pretty teacher grows, too. 

But when a fateful accident brings them together, Rebecca and Jacob must choose between duty and desire. Will they follow the path before them? Or set out to find true happiness…and true love?

My Thoughts:
It was so much fun to return to Charm and reconnect with the Kinsinger siblings. I enjoyed their story in the first book in this series, and this book was a great read as well.

Rebecca seems to be the Kinsinger sibling holding the family together. She acts like a guardian to her younger sister and a helper to her brother. But Rebecca dreams of becoming a school teacher and is so excited to have the opportunity to help out in the local school. However, she quickly discovers teaching is not really her calling in life. I connected with Rebecca so much with this topic. I also always wanted to be a school teacher until I actually spent time in the classroom.

The only thing keeping Rebecca interested in the school is the new student’s guardian, Jacob. We briefly met Jacob in the first book and I quickly found him to be a character I liked. I was happy to see him play such a major part in this second book, and look forward to his role in the future books in this series.

Rebecca and Jacob quickly form a friendship and find they have something in common – a dream different from the calling God has placed on their heart. Each character must choose between following their own wishes, or listening to God and following His plan for their lives. I believe this is something each of us has struggled with at least once in our lives. It is sometimes hard to give up what you want in favor of what God wants, but following God always works out in the end.

These characters have such a sweet story throughout their relationship, and it is tragedy that finally shows them what their future is going to look like. I look forward to the next book to see what the future holds for them.


Meet Shelley!

I live in southern Ohio with my husband, two teenagers, and two dogs. My days are filled with busy activities like most any other mom and housewife. But I also love to write books.

Each morning, after my kids go off to school, I sit at my desk, look out my window, and dream of other places. The hours fly by as I make up people and places and drink way too much coffee.

Writing for Avon Inspire has truly been a dream come true. Being able to spend my days in my make-believe world of the Brenneman Bed and Breakfast is a true blessing. I have enjoyed getting to know more about the Amish culture and tapping into my faith as I show each character’s progression toward a personal relationship with our Lord.

Before becoming a full time writer, I taught elementary school in Texas, Arizona, and Colorado. A job transfer to Ohio led my husband to encourage me to finally give writing a try. After all, I had notebooks full of made up stories.

I’ll never forget that first book I typed in our unfinished basement. It was exciting to make up a story, but also very scary. I was also so embarrassed, sure someone would come out of the woodwork and point out that I wasn’t a ‘real’ writer. But I persevered, and sold my third manuscript.

Things have changed a bit. Now I have a real office of my own. (think old guest bedroom!) My walls are painted pink, and more than a couple of book covers decorate my walls. But my days are still the same. I wake up, dream about other people, and do my best to type out stories.

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