Built on Faith

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Five years ago, Naomi Kemp left her family in Pennsylvania to marry an Ohio farmer. But that's not the only thing she left behind. Her Daed and Grossdawdi, expert furniture makers, had recognized her natural talent and taught her to carve intricate designs on the items they built. When she married, though, she set aside her chisels and gouges to become a traditional Amish wife and mother. Now, with both her husband and her Daed gone, she and little Davy return to help her Mamm, who has her hands full with the furniture business, boarders in the home, and Naomi's dear Grossdawdi, who is suffering from dementia. The move is only supposed to be temporary, but her father's apprentice is making it difficult to think about leaving . . . 

Paul Belsley is more than grateful to the furniture makers who gave him a chance when he needed one after a bad choice made during his Rumspringa. He's been running the shop, but he doesn't have any ownership in the business, and he doesn't want to be an employee all his life. Worse, it's painfully obvious that, although he does a fine job on ordinary pieces, he doesn't have the skills to embellish the custom work that fetches the high prices, money that his employer desperately needs if she's to keep everything afloat. When Naomi arrives from Ohio, he fears that she will convince her mother to close the shop. What he doesn't expect is that Naomi might just open his heart instead.

With the clock ticking on a high-end order that Paul can't complete, Naomi knows she must step in. But her husband's family is pressuring her to return. Not only do they need her help with the farm work, they want Davy grow up with them so he can claim his birthright. And her husband's brothers have very definite ideas about whom she should marry: waiting back in Ohio is a widower with several children who has shown an interest in her. Torn between her duty to her Mamm and her duty to her son, Naomi must decide where she truly belongs.

If she digs deep enough, Naomi may just find that she and Paul are building something more than furniture together: they're building a life.

The Characters

Being the eldest child often means having more responsibility. With four younger siblings, Sarah Beth has a firm understanding of the weight she must bear.

After the passing of her Grossmammi -- a loss almost as devastating as the one the King children endured 12 years earlier when both of their parents were killed in a harvesting accident -- Sarah Beth, 24, is left to look after her special needs sister, Cora, 17, and only brother, Toby, 14. As for her 12-year-old twin sisters, Lovina and Luann, other family members felt it would be best for the girls to live with relatives in another church district, decimating the King family once again.

Family is everything to Sarah Beth! And she is determined to get hers back together ... even if that means putting off her thoughts of courtship and starting a family of her own. But why does her heart beat wildly when she meets her handsome new neighbor, Elias Stutzman? Is she drawn to the allure of his deep blue eyes ... or maybe it is the secrets they are hiding?

Life has been anything but easy for Elias ... abandoned by his Mamm who jumped the fence to Englisch life when he was just a kid ... passed along from one distant relative to another ... running with the wrong group of "friends" who always kept him on the outer edge of their circle.

Now, at 29 years old, Elias longs to be accepted for the hardworking man he is today and leave his past behind him. Hickory Meadows, known for its welcoming folks and strong sense of community, could give him the home he has always dreamed of having -- and possibly a family of his own.

But the shocking damage done to his buggy shop soon after his arrival makes it very clear that he is not welcome. Elias knows only a few people, so who would try to run him out of the church district? Maybe it was just a bunch of bored kids. Perhaps he pushed Sara Beth, his attractive new neighbor with the feisty spirit, a little too far. Or has someone from Elias's past discovered his new life?