Tuesday, December 23, 2014

The Amish Bride of Ice Mountain


Like most Mountain Amish girls, Mary King has always dreamed of her wedding day. But she never imagined that a sudden, irresistible kiss would result in marriage to the handsome Englischer professor studying her unique community. Or that doing the truly honorable thing means keeping their relationship chaste so both she and Dr. Jude Lyons can someday go their separate ways.

But when Mary accompanies her husband-in-name-only to Atlanta to meet his wealthy, overbearing family, she's tempted more than ever by Jude's kindness, humor--and vulnerability. And when a wrenching misunderstanding causes her to return heartbroken to her remote Appalachian home, she's certain she's lost the real love they have found...and the shared future she's come to want so much. But a crisis of more than faith will work surprising miracles--and show Mary that love is strong enough to make the impossible come true.

My Review:

Please read the entire review before signing up for the giveaway draw as this book deals with the physical intimacies in marriage in a very frank way. See the last couple of paragraphs for my views on that.

First off, I love Kelly Long's writing. She has a wonderful gift for creating characters that matter. I was quick to relate to both Mary and Jude, eager to watch their 'arranged marriage' story develop into a forever love story.

It's a fascinating tale of two divergent worlds colliding. Mary's is faith-filled and simple while Jude is lost in cynicism and complications. And yet I could see his yearning for more depth and meaning in his life with his fascination with the Amish life style on Ice Mountain. Simplicity versus complicated merge into something both dreadful and wonderful.

Both have domineering fathers who manipulate circumstances to achieve their own desired end leaving Jude and Mary to deal with the repercussions of their fathers' manipulations. What tension! And angst! Raw emotions abound as the pair struggle to navigate the treacherous waters they've been thrown into.

And while I wouldn't classify this as Christian fiction, I will say that The Amish Bride of Ice Mountain has one of the most moving inspirational threads I've ever read. So, why don't I consider it Christian fiction? For one, the publisher is secular -- Zebra (an imprint of Kensington books). Secondly the frank exploration of sexuality, even though in marriage, definitely pushes the boundaries of  Christian publishing as we know it.

So -- about all that sexual tension....here's my take on it. First off, I should acknowledge that I've been reading Christian books exclusively for five years now. That was a deliberate choice on my part. I love having my faith encouraged through fictional characters. Those inspirational words bring a richer depth to my reading experience. I also appreciate the 'clean' read. In fact, while I have read traditional romances in the past and even tried my hand at writing them, I became increasingly disillusioned with the content of mainstream romance. In my opinion it has pushed the boundaries until there doesn't seem to be any boundaries left.

I have no problems with showing desire between characters. That attraction is God given and blessed under the right circumstances (my opinion). I've been amazed at the derogatory reviews some Christian books have received simply because a hero acknowledged a physical attraction to the heroine or vice versa. I like my romance reads to be well...romantical...but not explicit. That old Christian publishing adage about leaving the bedroom door closed seemed like a good measuring stick to me. In The Amish Bride of Ice Mountain, Kelly Long has left that door wide open -- rocking off it's hinges actually.

To be fair, I bought the book knowing that the content might be challenging. The author has posted a PG disclaimer on Amazon and upgraded it to a PG-13 in an interview on amishwisdom.com. But I also bought the book thinking it was from a Christian publisher. So --- the physical side of marriage is a major part of Jude and Mary's story. And while tastefully done -- there's no hiding that physical attraction is definitely a major plot point. I will say that at times I found the intimacy came across as the cat, "Jude" playing with the mouse, "Mary". Sometimes it seemed to impede the love story rather than enhance it. There were two scenes that I was uncomfortable reading and I think part of the problem was that Jude and Mary had become such real, living, breathing people to me that I felt like a voyeur.

This definitely isn't the right read for everyone but it is a wonderful, emotional and truly inspiring story. Only you can decide if it's the right choice for you.


If you would like an opportunity to win a copy of The Amish Bride of Ice Mountain please leave a comment below or email me at kavluvstoreadATyahooDOTca. If you post a comment and add your email address, please use AT and DOT instead of @ and . in the address to protect yourself from spammers. If you enter the draw via email please remember to put the title in the subject line so that it's easy for me to spot your entry. Draw will be held and winner announced on Sunday December 28 2014. Offer open to international readers. Good luck!


  1. I would like to read this and keep an open mind to the scenes you are referring to. Sometimes I think the stories in books could certainly be told without so much sexual content. However, I always enjoy Amish books and want to be entered.

    1. And Kelly Long is a great writer of Amish fiction. Good luck, rubynreba.

  2. KAV!!! Yay for having that "difficult" book!
    I am totally in. Not because being fan of too expressive books, not at all. But I love a honest take. I am sure some parts can be difficult to read (you can always skip :) - at least I do, because I read world literature too (there is very, very small Christian book market here at my country)). But, well - we should be smart as serpents, right? I do believe that one should not just close their eyes the baby way (like "what I don´t see, doesn´t exist"), we should to close it deliberately - and there is a big difference in this. I would love to win this.

    Hugs for great review and for courage!!!


    1. Thanks, Janka. I was dithering about whether I would or not. And it's true, we in the church can't just close our eyes and pretend away reality. It's not healthy. I think the real problem is the brokenness of the world's view of intimacy. Sadly it has coloured our Christian view as well. If you love honesty, you'll love this one. Good luck!

  3. I would love to entered. Heard varying takes on this book here and had a very good friend throw the book away. But I would like to make my own call on it and see how it is. Thank you for being honest in your review. I know it is hard to do that sometimes. esterried[at]yahoo[dot]com

    1. You're right, Charity. It's getting all kinds of fluctuating reviews. R.T.only gave 2 stars! Because the reviewer felt the content didn't match what readers expect in the Amish genre. Good luck!

  4. Kav, I appreciate your honesty and your review. I would like to be entered, please.

    mauback55 at gmail dot com

  5. Thanks Kav for these give-aways. I would like to win Kelly's book. I think it sounds interesting. Thanks for the chance.
    Maxie > mac262(at)me(dot)com <