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Joyful (Return to Sugarcreek Series #3)

Shelley Shepard Gray
Joyful (Return to Sugarcreek Series #3)
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A young Amish couple gets a second chance at love in New York Times bestselling author Shelley Shepard Gray's final book in her Return to Sugarcreek series. Randall Beiler is doing his best to put his family and the farm's needs first, even forsaking love. But though he trie... Read More


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A young Amish couple gets a second chance at love in New York Times bestselling author Shelley Shepard Gray's final book in her Return to Sugarcreek series. Randall Beiler is doing his best to put his family and the farm's needs first, even forsaking love. But though he tries, Randall knows he needs help caring for his younger siblings and keeping the house together.

When his brother offers pretty Elizabeth Nolt a job taking care of the house and cooking for the family, Randall is furious--and guilty about the way he once broke Elizabeth's heart. But when he learns that Elizabeth and her grandmother are struggling to make ends meet, he knows the offer, no matter how painful, is the right thing for everyone.

Elizabeth wants to refuse--to stay far away from the man who hurt her--but she needs the money. Though she vows to protect her heart, spending time in the Beiler household makes Elizabeth realize that, while she's older and wiser, her love for Randall still burns strong. Randal, too, seems to want something more. But does he want Elizabeth because he truly loves her--or because he needs a housekeeper? If Randall sincerely wants something more, he must find a way to show Elizabeth--or risk losing his chance at love forever.

Joyful includes a P.S. section with a letter from the author, discussion questions, and a teaser from her next book.
  • Product type: Book
  • Format: Softcover
  • Release Date: Sep 2, 2014
  • UPC: 9780062204509
  • Height: 0
  • Width: 0
  • Length: 0
  • Volumes/Discs: 1
  • Pages: 234
  • Publish Date: Sep 2, 2014
  • Language: English
  • Audience Age Maximum: 0
  • Audience Age Minimum: 0
  • BISAC: "FIC053000"
  • ISBN: 0062204505

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Fulfilling conclusion to a delightful family series by Carole on 9/20/2014

I have enjoyed all three books in the Return to Sugarcreek series. These aren't complex or dramatic stories, but just plain good reads with a cozy feel. Shelley has an easy style of writing and the ability to make me become invested in the character's lives. I also enjoy how she brings back previous characters and interweaves multiple storylines.

The main story revolves around the sweet romance between Randall and Elizabeth, a couple who had broken up two years earlier. Randall could be frustrating at times, yet I admired his loyalty and sense of responsibility to family. But his downfall was in believing that he bore the family's burdens alone, and while his motives were right, his actions were misguided - and that's something to which I could relate. One of Elizabeth's strengths is also loyalty, for she was willing to sacrifice her own happiness in order to help others - but she let pride interfere when it came to asking for her mamm's financial help. And in all honesty, I must confess to a little envy when it comes to Elizabeth's remarkable housekeeping, cooking, and organizational skills!

The two other storylines involve the returning characters of Pippa, Hispanic owner of the Sugarcreek Inn who is waiting to be embraced by the community, and Judith. In the way they handled an agonizing situation with baby James, Judith and Ben reminded me that we have to be willing to let go of things that are most precious so God can do His work. I love this old saying that Ben shares with Judith: "Reach up as far as you can. God will reach the rest of the way."

I think one reason I enjoy Amish fiction so much is simply the love and support of "family" - and one moving scene that beautifully exemplifies this is Judith's extended family being present in mass when little James' aunts came to visit. We see spiritual and relational growth throughout the narrative, and, in Shelley's words, all three of these storylines "revolve around the idea of finding joy in unexpected places, as well as the joy that God’s love can bring to a person."

Joyful is a fulfilling conclusion to the series - but, of course, I'd like to return to Sugarcreek and read the stories of other characters. Thank you for a heartwarming and inspirational series, Shelley. Recommended to all fans of Amish fiction.

Thank you to Litfuse Publicity for providing a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

Loved it!!!! by Angela on 9/3/2014

It is no secret that I am a huge fan of Shelley Shepard Gray and her books. Each book that she writes delivers exactly what I hoped for and, and in some cases, didn't even know I wanted. She has the beautiful gift of making you feel like you are right there, in Sugarcreek, with all of these unbelivable and terrific characters.
Joyful is no different. This is the third and final book in the series, and you guessed it; I loved it. I loved the premise of this book, I fell in love with the character of Elizabeth. What a patient and humble person! Randall is the character that makes you want to shake your head and just "wake him up" and help him realize the error of his ways faster. Your heart aches for Judith and Ben, and all the while I am reading their stories I can picture it all in my mind with the vivid descriptions and beautiful way the stories are told.
You need to take the time and pick up this Return to Sugarcreek series. You will be grateful to me that you did, and might even leave a comment thanking me. :)
What a pleasure to be the reader of one of Shelley's books.

Joyful Return To Sugarcreek by Maureen on 9/2/2014

I just finished the third book in Joyful: Return to Sugarcreek, Book Three, I loved the book, but didn’t want the series to end.
This is the story of Elizabeth Nolt and Randall Beiler, and how he breaks her heart. I felt he was really tactless in how he handled the breakup. He sure didn’t seem to have his head screwed on right, as he wasn’t at all thinking, especially seeing what his other members had done previously.
We also have Judith and Ben, who are still caring for little James, and growing in their love for him. Will their hearts be broken, will Kendra change her mind and let her sister’s raise her baby.
Then there is Pippa who is enjoying managing the restaurant, but after her divorce, skeptical about having a relationship with Bud. Can she overcome her disappointments and begin to accept Bud’s attention?
Through all of these relationships you see people struggling with using their own will and not listening to God. When they begin to yield to God, things don’t always happen the way they want, but it is the way it should be.
How I enjoyed this great read, and will miss these people that I have come to love, and be involved in their lives. Made me want to move to Sugarcreek, and in particular live among the Amish. I can’t wait for the new series to start! Thank you Shelly Shephard Gray!

I received this book through Edelwiss and the Publisher Harper Collins, and was not required to give a positive review.


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