Lila Lehman's father wants her to marry the bishop's son. Zane Beck, her neighbor, joined the Army impulsively as a reaction to Lila's news. They each buried their feelings for the other, but sometimes feelings just won't stay buried. When Zane is deployed to Afghanistan, Lila is torn between her father's wishes and her fears for Zane's welfare.
The story gains momentum with every chapter. I especially enjoyed (if that's the right word) the scenes that took place in Afghanistan. Leslie Gould provided valuable insights into our country's initial hopes for the Afghan people. This quote from page 264 resonated with me: “The true cost of war was beyond his comprehension. Soldiers and families and civilians all paid for it their entire lives.”
Amish Sweethearts is the second book in Gould's Neighbors of Lancaster County series, and is a worthy follow-up to the series' first novel, Amish Promises. It's not necessary to have read the first book to enjoy this one, but knowing some of the background to the characters is helpful for people like me who like to know why people do what they do.
I recommend Amish Sweethearts highly. Don't be misled by the gentle title--the story will have you holding your breath in countless suspenseful scenes.
My thanks to the author and Bethany House for my review copy.