Keeper of Her Heart

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Fannie Lapp is thrilled when her aunts hire a handyman to help ease her burden of caring for the family's home and Alpine goat herd. She just wishes they would have told her the new helper is Gideon Zook, the man she'd admired from afar before he left their community and his family after his rumspringa. 

While Aunt Susie and Aunt Lucy are excited to bring Gideon back into the fold, Fannie is hesitant to accept his eagerness to give up modern living. When someone poisons Fannie's dog and releases the goats, Gideon's determination to call the sheriff seems to confirm her fears. Gideon's choice to have an English life broke Fannie's heart once. Can she risk trusting his decision to come home knowing that if he chooses to leave again, her heart may never mend?

The tragic death of a close friend makes Gideon reconsider every choice he's ever made and sends him back to his childhood home seeking the comfort of a simpler life. His hope of being welcomed back to the Amish community he left behind is dampened when Fannie meets his return with open skepticism.

Earning Fannie's trust soon becomes as important to Gideon as earning forgiveness for his past mistakes. Criminal activity on the Lapp farm and misunderstandings in the Zook family are not hurdles he's expecting to have to overcome, but his determination to rejoin the community is unwavering. He'll do whatever it takes to set things right and have the life he left behind and the woman he's come to love. 

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?