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I have been reading a lot of Amish romance lately, and I love the different communities the authors create that really lets a reader see the different culture the Amish people experience every day. I think there is a misconception that all Amish communities are alike, and it's clear in The Amish Cookie Club that it's not the case at all - each community has varying belief systems, some more conservative than others. I found this book not only very romantic but also very informative. The one quibble I have is the title - I understand that there is a large focus on the cookie club and the women within it, but I felt it had very little to do with the romance itself. I was expecting more cookie club involvement, so it threw me off a bit when I realized the heroine wasn't part of it at all. But I think it's setting up the series, since the children of the cookie club women are the ones who will be falling in love.
Myrna Bontrager has been fired from her job. Again. Her reputation among the Amish businesses in Shipshewana is horrible, and now that it seems to be spreading to the English businesses as well, Myrna's family is realizing that something must be done. That's when a plan is formed - a local widower, Ezekiel Riehl, needs help looking after his four children. After his wife passed away last year from cancer, he has had very little help, and being a farmer, it's hard to keep up with both his work and his family. Reluctantly agreeing to help him, Myrna tries to curb her opinionated ways so that she's not fired from this job as well. But when Ezekiel lets her rearrange his home and appreciates her particular way of doing things, they begin to form a friendship. And that friendship becomes something more.
Myrna and Ezekiel were like night and day! Myrna wouldn't shut up and Ezekiel rarely spoke. A match made in heaven, really - over time, Myrna spoke a bit less and Ezekiel spoke a bit more, balancing each other out. I had a crazy difficult time liking Myrna for the first half of the book. She wasn't just opinionated - she was downright rude! It was all about herself and not about other people. Even though she claimed she was just trying to help and had "good intentions," she didn't really consider if other people wanted her "help." I was so happy when her character took a turn for the better, once she took on more responsibility by caring for Ezekiel's children. She began to see a world beyond her own, and her maturity grew so much in just a few weeks. Ezekiel was such a sweetheart and a man of few words, and I loved how Myrna really appreciated him. Ezekiel was clearly charmed by her, and their relationship was very sweet.
I'm excited to read the next book in the series, about Bethany, a daughter of one of the cookie club ladies. She seems the opposite of Myrna, and it will be interesting to see her paired up with John.
**I received a free copy via NetGalley and this is my honest review.**