Handsome, headstrong Jacob offers Lilly his hand in marriage, but his heart belongs to someone else.
While Lilly Lapp has loved Jacob for years, she wouldn't compete with Sarah King, the woman Jacob was determined to marry. But when Sarah marries another, Jacob spontaneously agrees to wed Lilly.
Lilly divides her time between teaching the local Amish children and caring for her widowed mother who suffers from depression. Lilly's faith comforts her, but her heart still longs to be the sole object of Jacob's affection.
As the days slip by, Lilly decides that hoping is too risky and vows to protect her heart. But God is subtly as work, and as winter turns to spring, their hearts awaken.
The furthest thing from Lilly's mind is her Amish wedding quilt, a traditional gift for new brides. And the person she'd least suspect is the one making it. Like stray pieces of fabric quilted into a new design, Jacob and Lilly's marriage begins to bind them together in ways neither expected.
Star Rating: ****
This was my first book by Kelly Long and I really enjoyed the story and settings. Jacob and Lilly's struggles were very realistic and the reader can't help but feel their pain. The story opened up with a gripping start--a horse thief in the Amish community--and continued to get better as the story progressed. I always love reading how two people grow to love and respect one another after a marriage of convenience or forced marriage, and the story in Lilly's Wedding Quilt did not disappoint me!
Lilly's strength in this book--as a "second best" wife--was very encouraging. Even though she knew that her new husband yearned for another woman, she strove in every way to honor him and draw him out of himself. I cheered for her the whole time. Her depth of forgiveness and grace was commendable, even when he disappointed her time again--she was always willing to let him try again. Jacob himself was an interesting character, learning (painfully) the hard lesson of giving away your heart to someone you are not promised to.
This lesson was one that I really appreciated and enjoyed reading through. Because Jacob gave his heart so completely to the girl he thought was the one, he had only a shattered, and very shaky, heart to offer the woman he did marry. Even though they worked through the pain and sorrow that came with this, it still shows how much suffering young people today can escape if they guard their hearts carefully.
The only thing I had a problem with was the kissing in this book--and I might be the only one who would feel this way. I don't mind a book with a few kisses, but these kisses were very intimate and in other places besides the lips (i.e. shoulder, wrist, back, etc). Even though Jacob and Lilly were married when they shared these kisses, I felt uncomfortable reading these scenes. I felt like I was intruding and I tended to skim the pages. Maybe that's just me, but I thought to point this out just the same.
But this is just my personal opinion, so I wouldn't hold this against the book if you enjoy Amish romance. The book was written exceptionally and the emotions that ran through this story were powerful. Kelly knows how to write an engaging Amish romance! If you enjoy a romance story with a lesson, then this would fit the bill!
I reviewed this book for Thomas Nelson via BookSneeze. It was not required that I give a positive review, but solely to express my own thoughts and opinions of this book, which I have done.