Monday, May 17, 2021

Forbidden Gift

Title: Forbidden Gift 

Series: Willow Brook: Secrets of the Pen #1

Author: Debra Torres

Publisher: Elk Lake Publishing, Inc.

Genre: Amish/Christian Fiction/Suspense

Source: Author provided

My Review

"The hairs on the back of my neck stood up when I heard the noise again. The sound seemed almost human."

What do you do when you love a culture so much that you devour each book on the topic you can find? For author, Debra Torres, that turns into writing your own Amish fiction that is real, raw, and compelling. That love produced her debut novel, Forbidden Gift.

"And that's why I've decided to discipline your daughter with the Bann until she gives a public confession to her sin." 

I have read a ton of books featuring the Amish. There is not much that surprises me and most tend to follow similar story lines. However, this one had a very unique storyline, starting with the bishop forbidding Joanna and her district from writing!!

"Why would an Amish woman bring an expensive pen-a writer's pen like this-down to the river?"

I was about halfway through the book when I was like "I did NOT see that coming!" This book threw the biggest curveball that I have seen in Amish fiction. The author's voice is unique, her storyline is unparalleled, the dialogue is engaging, her characters real and relatable.

"I was losing her, I could tell."

 I would say the book had a bit of a slow start, but accelerated quickly and kept me guessing until the end. The only thing that I really did not like is that you are left hanging a bit at the end. But, isn't the point of a series? So, if you are looking for everything to be wrapped up neatly, set that expectation aside and enjoy the story for what it is.

"I was drowning all over again."

I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys reading stories that feature the Amish. I would also suggest it to fans of mystery and suspense. I would recommend this book to fans of  Shelley Shepard Gray, Amanda Flower, Suzanne Woods Fisher, and Vannetta Chapman. I look forward to the next book in the series!

I received a complimentary PDF of Forbidden Gift by the author in exchange for an honest review. I was not required to provide a positive review but am happy to do so. All thoughts and opinions are entirely my own. 



What if your greatest passion was a threat to all of your family?

Johanna Yoder is forbidden from writing by the bishop of her Amish community. But she can’t keep the words from pouring out. When the bishop discovers she’s been writing under a pseudonym for a local newspaper, she faces an ultimatum that could crush her. When hidden secrets come into the light, Johanna is left with a decision that could tear her Amish community apart.

Judah Barton—a cutthroat news reporter—doesn’t care who he steps on while making his way to the top. As his newspaper spirals towards bankruptcy, Judah is left scrambling for answers. He’ll do whatever it takes to help his editor save the paper, but a surprising encounter with a spirited Amish writer changes everything.

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