Reviewer: Danielle Mason
Title: The Caregiver - 1st in the Families of Honor series
Author: Shelley Shephard Gray
Publisher: Avon Inspire
Release Date: March 2010
Genre/Sub-genre: Inspirational Romance
Year/Setting: Present day, Jacob's Crossing, Ohio
Overall Rating: 4.75
Sexual Content Rating: None
Language (Profanity/Slang) Content Rating: Mild
Violent Content Rating: Minimal
Shelley's Website: www.shelleyshepardgray.com
Lucy is a widowed Amish woman on her way to visit her sick cousin in Jacob's Crossing. While Calvin is an Amish man on his way home to Jacob's Crossing. By a twist of fate, their two paths cross and both start to learn quite a bit about themselves and one another.
Lucy does not trust men because of her former husband, Paul. He was very abusive to her and she only got away from him because he had an accident in their barn and died. He has been gone for a year and Lucy is finally somewhat starting to get her life back. Her trip to Jacob's Crossing is to help her cousin, Mattie, go through chemotherapy treatment for her cancer. Mattie was a very big help to Lucy not only after Paul's death but during her marriage as well. This is a way for Lucy to help Mattie now and she cannot wait.
Calvin had gone on vacation to see his Uncle John, who had left their Amish community a long time ago. A heartbreak is what lead Calvin to leave Jacob's Crossing for a while taking his little sister, Katie with him.
You can tell from the start when Calvin first talks to Lucy that something good is going to come of their encounter. Now, they do have their problems right from the start. But, all of their interactions aren't bad and it honestly seems to bring them closer together and the feelings they are starting to have for one another come even further to the surface. Making them both not only face their pasts, but also make decisions about what they want for their futures.
Now, although Lucy is there to take care of her cousin Mattie, it's Mattie who is helping Lucy kind of weed through all of her confusion about things. Mattie is the only one of her family that helped Lucy during her abusive marriage. The two act more like sisters than cousins and the love they have for one another is very, very evident, no matter what is going on or what one of them is going through.
Like most Amish based romances, Lucy and Calvin's courtship is very tame and innocent. I love how it's written. If you haven't read an Amish romance before, you will notice how "old" the courtship rituals are and in my opinion, that is what makes these books such a joy to read. They take things slow but kind of fast at the same time. I know that sounds confusing but honestly itís refreshing to know that itís their true feelings that they are basing decisions on instead of physical ones.
Lucy and Calvin definitely are going on feelings alone. I will say that in the end, the very end of the book is when they decide on their futures. The great decision of whether they can live without one another and what they have helped each other to learn not only deep inside themselves. They also have to decide if it will continue to blossom if they continue on together!
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