Thursday, 18 June 2015


Title: Rachel's Deception
Series: Temptation Series
Author: Karen Ann Hopkins
Release Date: May 2015

BLURB from Goodreads
This powerful family saga continues with Rachel's Deception, as events spiral out of control in the sleepy farming community of Meadowview. And Rachel Miller has her own secrets to hide. Noah’s younger sister has been living a double life. That is, until Justin Cameron, Rose's little brother, catches her in the act. Rachel is not the obedient Amish girl that her sister was, and her rebelliousness takes her to a very dangerous world. A world that only her true friends can help her escape from.

As Rachel questions all she has been taught about love, family, and commitment, Rose discovers what it really means to be shunned. And an evil shadow looms on the horizon, threatening not only Rose, but everyone she holds dear.


As soon as I heard there was going to be a book 4 in the Temptation Series, I immediately yearned to read it! I needed to know what was going on in the Meadowview Amish community, how my favourite characters were doing as well as what was happening to those characters I disliked too. So this book was instantly positioned near the top of my ever lengthening wishlist. To say I am looking forward to reading this book is kind of an understatement!

I received an e-copy of this book via Deitre Helvy and her tour company A Leisure Moment free in exchange for my honest review.
The cover of the book fits in nicely with the rest of the series. The female on the front is Rachel Miller, Noah's younger sister. The background of the cover is a field and a bright blue sky. There's a byline on the cover which says, "Growing up Amish is difficult . . . . . but leaving it behind is even harder". So does that byline hint at more problems for newlyweds and new parents Noah and Rose? Or as the book is called "Rachel's Deception" is trouble just beyond that bright blue sky for Rachel Miller? I'm certainly looking forward to finding out!
Would the cover make me pick this book up from a book store shelf? This is a hard one to answer because as soon as I saw the authors name & series name , it would be off the shelf and in my basket on the way to the checkout! However regardless of the author and my prior knowledge of this brilliant series would I pick this one up from a book store shelf? I truthfully think I would, the female on the cover who turns out to be Rachel Miller, her stance and the look on her face make you want to learn more about her and what the look on her face means too.
The book begins with the prologue, which turns out to be a catch up with perhaps the last character I would have thought about. Who is the character I disliked, and mostly didn't care about? Levi Zook, the evil young Amish man who attempted to rape and assault Rose. Levi is serving his 15 year sentence, and needs to serve another 9 years before he will be eligible to apply for parole. Levi is just waking up, he is feeling cold because the guards have forced him and some other inmates to sleep naked. The guards force inmates to regular strip searches, using the nakedness to degrade the inmates. Levi is to an extent a loner, though other inmates seem to revere him and ask his advice and listen to him read his bible. The only person from the Meadowview Amish Community that has interacted with Levi in any way is Bishop Abram Lambright. The Bishop visited Levi to let him know he would never be welcome in the Meadowview community ever again, even when he had completed his prison sentence and the "Englisher's" would say he had paid his penance, Levi would never be welcome. Levi is far from pennant and still blames all his misfortune on Rose. He still hold's a grudge against her and feels he has "unfinished business". 
The next character we re-visit is Rachel Miller, she's sneaking out of her Amish home, to go on another night out with some English friends. It's whilst she is out that she is recognized by Rose's brother Justin, despite her wearing English clothes. Clothes is a bit of a theme in this book as Suzanna and Miranda want to open a sewing supplies & dress shop. Will the Amish elders allow such a thing? Well with Rose on their side with a trick or two up her sleeve I'd say they have a great chance. I would think the girls in the Amish community would much rather work in a sewing supplies & dress store than the jobs the young girls usually have such as working at the butcher's or in Rachel's case working at the bird house making workshop. Rachel doesn't mind working, it gets her out of the house she just hates the tedious job she has been given of cutting the wood. Rachel has a lot to think about, her sneaking out at night to party, her sister Sarah who died in the old farmhouse during the tornado, and then she's thinking about Micah Schwartz and Justin Cameron (though she doubts her father would be pleased with either boy she likes). It's whilst she is working at the bird house workshop that Rachel has an accident. This accident alerts Dr Cameron (Rose's father) how young the girls are that are working with dangers machinery etc. Roses's fathers first instinct is to involve the authorities, he has been simmering for a long time and is somewhat eager to take this argument on with the Amish. Rose naturally tries to calm the troubled waters, and her older brother Sam even backs her up. The one with the most surprising opinion turns out to be Noah who is siding with Dr Cameron. Eventually it is agreed that Dr Cameron will speak to the Amish and give them a chance to re-arrange the workforce, before he goes to the authorities.
So there's so much happening in this book that I could go on and on forever! It's really cute to read that Noah and Rose are still as in love with each other after being married a year and having their first child. Though Noah is shunned, Rose still becomes involved in the AMish community and the community members seem to be softening towards her. How can they not when they see little baby Sarah-Ann. They are so happy, Noah is quietly adapting to the fact he is shunned by the Amish, although his friends Matthew and Timothy both speak to him during work jobs that they are all on. It is Rose that is most upset as the weddings of Suzanna & Timothy and the wedding of Miranda and Matthew approach. It seems the Amish are quite happy for Rose to attend the weddings as an "Englisher" but Noah will not be welcome to attend. I love a specific scene where Rose is asking Noah a question she both dreads hearing the answer to yet still needs to ask. Noah is as ever good natured and so loving in his reply to her that he misses some aspects of his Amish life but that he would not swap his life with Rose, Sarah-Ann and he even goes so far as to include Rose's crazy brothers in the bracket that he wouldn't want to lose. 
Sam's character grows through the book very well too. He openly admits to being a hands on uncle and being on diaper duty on a regular basis. He is still happy in his relationship with Summer.
I love the fact that Sarah-Ann brings both the Englisher's and the Amish together as neither family can resist a hug and kiss with baby Sarah Anne. In fact even the strong, silent, Bishop has a smile and a loving touch for the cutie that is Sarah-Ann. I foresee this little girl bringing both sides of the communities together and wrapping her father Noah and Uncles Sam & Justin around her little finger! This little one is already a favourite character for me!
I also enjoyed catching up with the relationship between Sam and his girlfriend Summer.  I loved the way Summer is described as having strawberry pink hair that mesmerizes baby Sarah-Ann. Sam and Summer really dote on Sarah-Ann. . . could there be something more permanent/an extra level of commitment coming soon for them?
So there's lots of good things happening in this book on our revisit to Meadowview, but. . . yes there had to be a but. . don't forget the Prologue you read at the very beginning of this book. Where we had a catch up with a nasty character Levi Zook, disliked by the Amish and English alike. I can't tell you what happens because I would hate it if someone told me, I will say it's something really big and involves both sides of the community. This part of the book reminded me a little more of the other series Karen Ann Hopkins writes, the Serenity's Plain Secrets Series.
Throughout the book there's also what could be described as a great "love-triangle" going on between Rachel Miller, Micah Schwartz and Justin Cameron. Micah Schwartz was originally promised to court and marry Sarah Miller, and was devastated when she died during the tornado in the last book. Are his feeling genuinely for Rachel or does he just see Sarah Miller when he gazes at her younger sister Rachel? Then the other option is Justin Cameron, Rose's youngest brother. Rachel and Justin both understand losing someone extremely important to them. Justin lost his mum and of course Rachel lost her sister Sarah. The trouble with Justin would be that he is English, would Rachel give up her way of life for him? Could she cope with being shunned like Noah has to? I usually have a favourite who I'd like to "get the girl" when I read a book with such a love triangle. This is hard though, I really like both Justin and Micah, and I honestly am not so sure which one would be the best pairing match for Rachel.
The pace of this book varies, though I have to say it is never too slow. It's kind of switches from which/whose side it is told from. Even the character I disliked Levi Zook, has things told from his point of view, and I enjoyed reading that part too. It sets the scene for what happens much later in the book. Karen is so clever as you become so enveloped in the things going on in Meadowview that you are lulled into things going so well, then wham! she hits you with Levi Zook again! We also see a different side to Noah in this particular part of the book. He is so calm, centered and matter of fact on what has to be done that he shocks Rose's youngest brother Justin when he goes ahead and carries out the action with no hesitation. I was like "Oh, Noah"! and holding my breath, and gasping all at the same time whilst reading!
So did I enjoy this book? To say I loved it, well that would be an understatement. I truly adore this series and it's characters!
Would I recommend this book? Yes! If you have read the other books in this series then this is a must read. If however you haven't read the series, where have you been, you must, no, need to read this fantastic series of books. I'll be honest I aren't a big contemporary, or romance fan but these books are exceptional. Plus you also learn about a highly fascinating culture during the characters journeys in this book series. I also love Karen Ann Hopkins other series Serenity's Plain Secrets. In fact I'd recommend Karen Ann Hopkins as an author and would want to check out any book written by her really.
Would I want to read more of this series? Yes, yes please? When can I have it to read? I have a weakness when it comes to this series, it really is addictive, but hey! being addicted to a books/fictional characters is ok right?
Would I read other titles by Karen Ann Hopkins? Yes, I already have done this with Karen's other fantastic series Serenity's Plain Secrets, I highly recommend that one too. I do also intend to begin reading Karen's Wings Of War Series soon too.

I really cannot shout out loud enough or find the correct words to describe well enough, how much I loved this book. I really hope (fingers crossed) that we have more to come in the Temptation Series. I want to read more about some of the other Amish characters and events such as Suzanna and Timothy's wedding, then there's Rachel's decision(hey that could be the next book! only joking Karen!) between Micah and Justin. Then there's Summer and Sam's relationship and where that may go. I'm becoming a very greedy reader I want more Noah, Rose and Baby Sarah-Ann, and maybe a tad more Dr Cameron and Tina? This list could go on forever! I even saw another side to the Bishop in this book! An emotional read from the prologue, to the very last page.

Rachel's Deception [out now!]



[Click on the links above to take you to my reviews of the books I have read. The books I am yet to read have links to Goodreads]

The Temptation Series is now available on Audible. Listen to a sample on audible now.

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Karen Ann Hopkins resides in northern Kentucky with her family on a farm that boasts a menagerie of horses, goats, peacocks, chickens, ducks, rabbits, dogs and cats. Karen's main job is home schooling the kids, but she finds time to give riding lessons, coach a youth equestrian drill team, and of course, write. She was inspired to create her first book, Temptation, by the Amish community she lived in. The experiential knowledge she gained through her interactions with her neighbors drove her to create the story of the star-crossed lovers, Rose and Noah.

Karen grew up about a mile from Lake Ontario in Upstate New York. She was bitten by the horse bug at the age of five, and after diligently taking riding lessons for several years, was rewarded with her first horse at the age of eleven. The feisty horse's name was Lady, a Quarter Horse-Thoroughbred cross, who became Karen's steadfast companion. Through the years, the constant force in her life was horses. Eventually, she found her place as a riding instructor herself. Before accepting her fate in the barnyard, she worked a short stint as a paralegal, traveled abroad, and guided tourists on horseback riding tours in the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee.

Karen is currently working on her Amish mystery series, Serenity's Plain Secrets, along with the YA paranormal/fantasy series, The Wings of War. Karen is also excited to announce the Temptation series has been optioned for TV by Pilgrim Studios and is available on Audible.


Rachel's Miller's Choice

So as Rachel's Deception ends, she is still somewhat undecided about who the right man for her is. Neither option is easy, choosing Micah would be difficult there has been "bad blood" between the Schwartz & Miller families. Justin wouldn't be an easy choice, her father is determined that he will not "lose" another child to the "English", though Noah is happy with Rose, so could Rachel be happy with Justin? Both of the males Rachel has feelings for are nice looking, well mannered, and mild tempered, who will she choose?

Michah Schwartz 


He is Amish.
He is quiet, and a bit of a loner like her, and love quiet walks etc.
It would be a simple way of life that she is used to.
They would have the Amish community to support them.

Does Micah genuinely love Rachel, or his he merely seeing her sister Sarah who he loved?
Rachel craves freedom, a life with Micah would be a family, household chores & children.
There has been bad blood between the two families

Will Rachel do what is expected of her and court an Amish boy, and go on to marry him, become a dutiful wife and have a family, be it Micah or another male from the Amish community?

Justin Cameron


He is quiet and arty, a bit of a loner like Rachel
He has also known loss of a loved one
She would become English and have more freedom
There would not be as many rules to follow

He is English
She would be shunned by her Amish family & community
Does Justin genuinely love Rachel, or is it the novelty of her being Amish that attracts him?

Will Rachel turn her back on the Amish and "go English" for the male she loves and end up with Justin Cameron. Her brother chose "English" and he is happily married, with a family and a new but reasonably successful business of his own.

So if YOU were in the same position which guy and way of life would YOU choose? And which guy and way of life do you think Rachel will end up with?


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