Book Review: Her Secret, The Amish of Hart County Book 1 by Shelley Shepard Gray + GIVEAWAY

"How do you know what your life will be like tomorrow? Your life is like the morning fog - it's here a little while, then it's gone.
- James 4:14

Title: Her Secret
Series: The Amish of Hart County, Book 1
Author: Shelley Shepard Gray
Publisher:  Avon Inspire, an Imprint of HarperCollins Publishers
Release Date:  March 14, 2017
Genre: Amish Contemporary Fiction


New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Shelley Shepard Gray begins a new series—The Amish of Hart County—with this suspenseful tale of a young Amish woman who is forced to move to a new town to escape a threatening stalker.

After a stalker went too far, Hannah Hilty and her family had no choice but to leave the bustling Amish community where she grew up. Now she’s getting a fresh start in Hart County, Kentucky…if only she wasn’t too scared to take it. Hannah has become afraid to trust anyone—even Isaac, the friendly Amish man who lives next door. She wonders if she'll ever return to the trusting, easy-going woman she once was.

For Isaac Troyer, the beautiful girl he teasingly called “The Recluse” confuses him like no other. When he learns of her past, he knows he's misjudged her. However, he also understands the importance of being grateful for God’s gifts, and wonders if they will ever have anything in common. But as Hannah and Isaac slowly grow closer, they realize that there’s always more to someone than meets the eye.

Just as Hannah is finally settling into her new life, and perhaps finding a new love, more secrets are revealed and tragedy strikes. Now Hannah must decide if she should run again or dare to fight for the future she has found in Hart County.

The cover of Her Secret, Shelley Shepard Gray's latest Amish fiction story already gives us a glimpse into what we can expect. The first book in The Amish of Hart County wraps you in with the suspense of a stalker and what his selfish acts can do to an Amish girl and her family.

With her usual flare of writing a story that weaves in romance, message and Amish culture, Shelley Shepard Gray have once again "hit the ball out of the park" with Her Secret. She even added in a suspenseful twist that carries through the whole book. A topic that you don't see much in Amish fiction, the topic of stalkers provides the catalyst to what can be a thrilling suspense that can either have you looking over your shoulder constantly or lack substance to instill in you the dangers of one. Her Secret is one of that sticks with you.  In Her Secret, we were made known of the stalker from the get go. His ominous note created tension for Hannah's family, as well as devastated Hannah's sense of security. As a reader, we can feel the angst and the fear that Hannah's stalker caused in her, and that makes for a great start. As we're looking over Hannah's shoulder for her, we can't help but speculate everything that happens, as well as every character that appears. Suspenseful it is.

"You can't help how you feel...Maybe not, but I'm learning that I can help how I act.(87)

In terms of message, I'm still in awe with how much the author can put in. We're not only talking about fear or countering evil, but also guilt and displacement. There's also protection and finding God's blessings in each day. If you've never read Shelley Shepard Gray, you'll find her writing easy to read, but filled with profound insight and great story connections. Her characters will get a reaction out of you - you really can't help yourself.  In all, a great start to a series that I can't wait to continue on.

"Sometimes I think it's easy to forget that the Lord wants us all to be happy and to follow Him.(170)

Disclaimer: I received an ARC of this book from the author/publisher. I was not required to write a positive review, and have not been compensated for this. This is my honest opinion.
Please note, all quotes are taken from ARC (essentially an uncorrected proof). Please do not share or if, please make note that it is taken from an ARC. 

For my review policy, please see my Disclosure page.




Shelley Shepard Gray is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, a finalist for the American Christian Fiction Writers prestigious Carol Award, and a two-time HOLT Medallion winner. She lives in southern Ohio, where she writes full-time, bakes too much, and can often be found walking her dachshunds on her town's bike trail.

CONNECT WITH SHELLEY: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest

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  1. Sounds like a really good read! Adding it to my TBR list! Thanks for the interesting review! You definitely made me want to read this book.

    1. It really is, Becky. I really enjoyed it! It's different from Shelley's last A Charmed Amish Life series. I think the added suspense is fun!

  2. Now that I'm venturing out of my comfort zone a bit, this book sounds interesting.
    And #CFRR2017! I can't wait! I'll get to see you all in August :)

    1. Andrea, it is and you'll get to ask Shelley all about it at CFRR!


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