Friday, April 6, 2012

Arms of Love



The year is 1777. America is in turmoil and Amish life is far different than today.

Pennyslvania in the late 18th century, once called William Penn's Woods, is populated with an assortment of different faiths living together for the first time in American history. Included in this tapestry is a small and struggling group called Amish.

Surrounding this peaceful people are unavoidable threats. Both Patriots and the British are pillaging land and goods for the sake of the war. Young Amishmen are leaving the faith to take up arms and defend freedom. A simple walk in the untamed forests could result in death-from bullet, arrow, or wild animal.

Amid this chaos, Adam Wyse is fighting a personal battle. To join the war efforts and leave his faith would mean walking away from the only woman he's ever loved: Lena Yoder. But because of his love for her, he's made a promise that may keep them apart permanently.

When Adam withdraws from Lena, she's forced to turn to his brother, Isaac, for support. Must Lena deny her heart's desire to help Adam's soul? and will life in this feral and primitive New World be more than this peace-keeping people can withstand?

My Review:

A complex, stunning novel that took me to unexpected places. Though set during the revolutionary war, I found the character's inner battles far more treacherous. Long did an excellent job of creating angst from both without and within while including fascinating historical facts into the mix. Historical lovers who aren't Amish fans will still enjoy Arms of Love while Amish connoisseurs will relish spotting the similarities and differences in the roots of this much-loved faith.

Life was hard. Complicated. Impossible in ways it's hard to imagine. Thankfully Long has enough imagination for all of us and she takes her characters (and her readers) on a fascinating journey of self-discovery. There were places where I read voraciously and other spots where I just wanted to close the book and not go on! Thankfully the story was too compelling to let go of and I persevered through the angst.

This book is so full of surprising revelations that it's hard to review for fear of posting spoilers so I need to tread carefully. Let's just say that Adam's love is deep and irrefutable even when it's impossible. There's something so alluring about a man who is willing to sacrifice for the woman he loves. By contrast, Lena's innocent, enthusiastic, for-sure-we're-forever faith is sorely tested many times over. And yet their romance is larger than life from the very first page -- even before we see them together.  Long's masterful storytelling allows for incredibly intimate scenes that have nothing to do with kissing and everything to do with a connection so much deeper. But when they do get to!

Let's just say that this is well worth the read. A story that will satisfy your heart and your soul and leave you with lots to think about. In fact the author has actually included a four-week Novel Bible Study at the end of the book which looks fantastic. I'm excited to get started on it since I've long been applying gospel truths I read about in fiction into the reality of my life.

Giveaway Opportunity:

If you would like a chance to win a copy of Arms of Love please leave a comment below or email me at kavluvstoreadATyahooDOTca. Please put the title in the subject line so your entry is easy for me to spot. Draw will be held and winner announced on Sunday April 8 2012. Offer open to international readers. Good luck!


  1. Another great giveaway. I have read this author's previous books and have really enjoyed them. Was happy to see she had written another one. Really enjoyed your review. This is definately going on my wishlist. Please enter me. Thanks.

    sweetdarknectar at gmail dot com

  2. Consider yourself entered, Amy. Good luck!

  3. I've not read about the start of the Amish. This would be a great historical read. Please enter me. Thank you!

    Linda at: desertrose5173 at gmail dot com

  4. Oh my gosh, I love Kelly's books! This one looks great- please enter me!


  5. Awesome giveaway! This looks like a great book... thanks for the chance to win it!


  6. I've never read any Amish fiction but this one sounds like a must read! Thanks for another great review and giveaway!


  7. It's definitelya a must read! Good luck, ladies!

  8. If you say a historical reader will like it even if they aren't an amish reader, I'm willing to try. rmjagears AT gmail DOT com

  9. Looks like a great read! Can't wait to get my hands on a copy! Thanks for the giveaway....


  10. Oooh! I've been waiting for a long time for this one. Love Kelly's books! Thanks for the oppertunity, can't wait to read it!


  11. Ooohhh, you're brave, Melissa! Hope you get to read it soon.

    It's definitely a great read, Deb. Good luck!

    Emily -- I've been waiting for this one too and about jumped out of my skin when I saw it on the shelf! Good luck!

  12. A book that makes you want to devour it and then in other places, take a break, is usually pretty powerful and enjoyable. Please include me for Arms of Love.
    worthy2bpraised at gmail dot com

  13. You're right about that, Merry! Good luck!

  14. Sounds like a great book!! Kelly Long definitely draws you into her stories, doesn't she? :) Would love a chance to win her latest!



  15. Thank you so much for this wonderful and thoughtful review and for all of these great comments. I wrote this book when my mother was dying and was afraid readers would find it too dark...I'm so glad to see that it touched you and that you used the word "complex" in describing was a difficult bok to write.
    Thank you again,
    Kelly Long

  16. Oh Kelly, my heart goes out to you. What a difficult time that must have been but I can definitely see how this book is a tribute to your mother. And while parts might be defined as dark you did a beautiful job of weaving in God's love and hope throughout the story. It definitely moved me.

  17. Good luck Amber! I think you'll really like this one

  18. I would love to win this book that's on my wish list.
    Thank you for hosting this giveaway.


  19. This sounds like a wonderful story. The time period already interests me and even more so that it will give me perspective on the Amish. I'm definitely keep this book on my want to read list.


  20. I love both Amish Literature and Historical Fiction so this is a double joy. I would love to read about the Amish set back so far in history,


  21. I am a fan of Kelly's. I can't wait to read Arms of Love. I would love to win a copy.

    I know what Kelly is going through with the loss of her Mother. Mine died on January 27,2012 and there isn't a day that goes by that I don't miss her. I have a lot of dark and down days because I still can't believe she is gone. I know she is in Heaven but I miss her here on Earth!

    Blessings! He Is Risen!

  22. Ah Judy, my prayers go out to you too. Such a hard thing to get used to, isn't it? Makes the Easter message all that more special, though.

    Carol, I love Amish and historical too -- and this is a fantastic example. Good luck!

  23. Thank you for the opportunity to win Arms of Love in this giveaway. Historical Fiction is my favorite read, with Amish too!
    In Missouri, less than an hour away from Amish windmills. Judy and Kelly, I will be praying for you both. My son died the first week of June of a heart attack. I keep our love for each other in my heart, my firstborn, 19 years apart; and my trust in God. He loves each one of us so much. May His comfort and peace go around you mightily as you miss your loved ones. So fresh, and we loved so much. Kathleen

  24. Kav, thank you for your prayers. Yes, it is a hard thing to get use to. We drove past Mom's old apartment today and it still hurts. Yes, it makes this Easter message all the more special. We have HOPE and the promise of eternal LIFE...all because HE IS RISEN!

  25. Kathleen, thank you for your prayers. I will be keeping you in my prayers as I have been keeping Kelly in them. To lose a son couldn't have been easy. We know that God is in control and we don't always understand why but we do know that he will never leave nor forsake us.


    1. Thank you, Judy. I will pray for you and Kelly too.

  26. Thank you again...your stories and words are so powerful. My grandmother is now dying and I feel your love and support. There are always dark times before the light...Praise the Living God!