#Book Review # A Springtime Heart by Marta Perry

A second chance at love blooms in the quaint Amish community of Promise Glen, from national bestselling author Marta Perry.

Dorcas Beiler’s reckless teenage years are far behind her. She’s serious and responsible now, and the good people of Promise Glen trust her with the education of their children. But when her first love returns after years of exile from the community, her past comes rushing back. Thomas is the only one who knows her secret, and despite his careless charm and teasing manner, she refuses to let her guard down.

Thomas Fisher has plans. Plans to start a construction company and prove himself a success to all those who doubted him, and plans to find the woman he left behind. His chance comes when he lands the opportunity to rebuild the stable and shed at the community school. He won’t be paid for his time, but he’ll be able to showcase his abilities…and spend time with Dorcas.

Scenting love in the air, Dorcas’s young pupils make excuses to bring them together. As old feelings stir, Dorcas and Thomas wonder whether their first love might also be their last.

(From the synopsis)

*****

My thoughts:

A second chance love is one of my favourite tropes in romance and Marta Perry does it brilliantly!

Dorcas Beiler is a serious and thoughtful teacher, dedicated to her scholars and their progress. She also has a secret she’s been keeping since her teenage years. When Thomas Fisher, minister Fisher’s son, comes back ome after having spent several years working alongside his uncle in a distant Amish community in Ohio, everybody is quick to remind Dorcas that they used to be great friends. They did and then something happened. One night, coming back from an Englisher party where teenagers drank alcohol and behaved wildly, Thomas got arrested by the police. Needless to say, his father was extremely disappointed and ashamed. Afraid that people will question his ability to provide parental guidance to his own children, he sent Thomas away. Now at his mother’s insistance, the prodigal son is back, but is his father ready to accept him? and how will his siblinngs and other inhabiatants of Promise Glen react to Thomas’s return?

Schoolchildren may think that Dorcas is an old maid. She did put on hold her life to be there for her mother and her brothers after their father’s death. Now her mother seems to be much stronger. However hard Dorcas is trying to be tactful and understanding with her sister-in-law Betsy, she can’t help thinking that Betsy is supposed to take a more active role in running the household. Perhaps she is a bit intimidated by her mother-in-law? There are also tender moments when Dorcas holds her little nephew and we get to see how much she would like a family of her own.

Somebody is spreading gossip in their little village of Promise Glen and this somebody is out there to close the school. Storms have damaged the building roof and the repairs will cost money, but surely the school board must see that the children are better off staying in their own village? Thomas has a brilliant solution: he will repair the damage for free and this work will allow him to showcase his construction skills and hopefully get employed by other people. This little project will also mean that he and Dorcas will see each other more. There is nothing untoward in their conversations, although not everybody in the village might see it the same way.

With secrets from the past, gossip, happy new mothers, misbehaving siblings that need a bit of friendly advice, and the long-awaited Mud Sale , Paradise Glen is a lively place and a great community full of interesting characters that are mindful of each other’s feelings and always willing to help out if necessary. Plus, there is a sweet romance between two former friends who have become more responsible and can appreciate each others steady trustworthy character much more.

I really enjoyed this story and I hope that Marta Perry continues adding new books to this series.

Thank you to Edelweiss and Berkley for the ARC provided in exchange for an honest opinion.

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