Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Accidentally Amish, by Olivia Newport

Annie Friesen has it all: a successful career, money, beauty and a boyfriend who loves her. Or does he? When Annie discovers that her boyfriend (who also happens to be her company's attorney) has joined forces with her business partner in a devious plan against her, Annie runs away to have some time and space to sort things out and figure out how to save her company from her partner and her boyfriend. But when her escape does not go as planned, she ends up in an Amish farm staring into the eyes of Rufus Beiler. The attraction is immediate and mutual. As they get to spend more and more time together while she is in hiding, their attraction increases, as well as her curiosity towards the Amish way of life. Rufus knows that there can't be anything between them —he is Amish, she is an Englisher. Annie, however, discovers that they have a common ancestor: an Amish settler who came in the 1700's. Now she is torn between the life she has, with its comforts, luxuries and technology, and the life she thinks she wants and needs, a simpler, quieter, peaceful life.

Will her love for her work, her company, and those around her be enough to keep her close to home? Or will her love for Rufus and for the simpler, uncomplicated life he represents be strong enough to call this new life home?

Annie and Rufus are very different: he is a whole lot country and she is a whole lot techno-geek. Certainly, a match made in impossible-love heaven. You see, Rufus is a baptized Amish, with no intentions of leaving the church or his family. Annie is a technology loving, 21'st century girl, with no intentions of exchanging her Prius for a horse and buggie. Or so she thinks. She is quite a relatable character because in our fast pace world, many of us dream of a slower, simpler life. So almost everyone can identify with Annie on that. And that's a good thing because she is the driving force throughout the book. Although we get to see much of Rufus, we don't get to know him much at all. He is like a big, almost impenetrable wall, and it's a little bit frustrating. He certainly says a lot, is very quick to give his opinion, but his feelings for Annie? Those were pretty guarded until the end.

The author tells quite an interesting, romantic story with a little suspense thrown in. Annie's lawyer boyfriend is kind of creepy, and obsessive, so each time he appears you feel a little bit on edge. And that kept me interested most of the time. However, there is a story within the story that did not work for me. Every so often the author goes back to the 1700's to tell the story of Jakob, the settler to which Annie traces back her ancestors. Yes, it's a nice story, but too long, too detailed and too out of place. Every time the main story got a nice, interesting pace going, the author cut back to the 1700's and Jakob's struggles with his family. It didn't add to the main story, and sometimes felt like it would go on and on, when all I wanted was to see Annie's and Rufus' story develop.
So once I felt invested in the main story, the author pushed me back and my interest dwindled.

There are a few nice side stories in the main story about Rufus' sister who left the church and her family to follow her calling, God's calling; and about Rufus' problems with a developer. Both side stories complimented the main story very well as we got to see Annie interact with and get involved in both issues, and how that helped the romance evolve.

A few things were left unsolved, so I expect a second book. It would be very interesting and sweet to see Annie's and Rufus' relationship progress, and to see both side stories happily concluded.

3 out of 5 stars

*I received a copy of this book from Barbour Books through NetGalley in exchange of an honest review.


  1. I thought it was nice, but, like I said, the 1700's part of the story was a letdown.