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Monday, June 30, 2008

Hidden by Shelley Shepard Gray is on the CFBA (plus my review!)

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing


Avon Inspire (May 27, 2008)


Shelley Shepard Gray


Hidden is Shelley’s first foray into inspirational fiction. Previously, Shelley lived in Texas and Colorado, where she taught school and earned both her bachelors and masters degrees in education. She now lives in southern Ohio where she writes full time. Shelley is an active member of her church. She serves on committees, volunteers in the church office, and is part of the Telecare ministry, which calls homebound members on a regular basis. Shelley looks forward to the opportunity to write novels that showcase her Christian ideals.


Hidden is a remarkable story about the unlikely love between a modern girl on the run and an Amish boy from the family who shelters her.

When Anna decides it's time to leave her abusive boyfriend, she doesn't know where to turn. Rob is a successful and respected person in her community. He has completely won over her parents with his good looks and prestigious position at a top law firm. Only Anna has seen his dark side. But when Rob hurts Anna yet again, she realizes that she must finally help herself.

Desperate, she runs to the one place she’s always felt completely safe, the Amish Brenneman Bed and Breakfast, where years ago she and her mother once stayed, and where Anna met life-long friend Katie Brenneman. When Anna shows up years later unexpectedly, the family welcomes her in, with few questions asked, and allows her to stay, dressed as the Amish in Plain clothes, and help around the inn.

But Katie’s older brother Henry doesn’t take too kindly to the intrusion. Anna wonders if it’s because he’s already had his heart broken. To Henry’s shame, from the moment he sees Anna, he feels a strong attraction. To cover his infatuation, he tries to ignore her, knowing no good would ever come from keeping an eye on a fancy woman like her. But as he sees that Anna has a good heart and is not the selfish, spoiled woman he imagined her to be, he feels his heart pointing towards her.

Anna comes to realize that she’s found a home and true love in the last place she’d expected. How can she deny the life she left behind? And will her chance for happiness be stolen away by the man who can’t seem to let her go?

If you would like to read the Prologue, go HERE

My review:

Hidden was an adventure that went beyond it's pretty cover. A cross between a movie like Sleeping with the Enemy, and a novel like Deb Raney's Remember to Forget, Hidden is somewhere in the middle in regards to tension, but with a bit of the Amish culture mixed in. I enjoyed this story and read it in just two days. I loved the premise of hiding out in the Amish community. And the hero was incredibly heroic even though he wasn't all that likeable at first. Then again, neither was the heroine. However, she changed through the course of the story and I couldn't help feeling connected to her. While my parents didn't smother and baby me like hers did, I could certainly relate to her feeling like she had to fight for her independence. The coolest part of the story was experiencing with Anna the drastic change in her life from our modern culture with all of its hassles and conveniences to the Amish life, which in many ways seemed so much better despite all she had to give up in the process of fitting in. This story almost makes you want to convert and become one of the Plain people. After all, they seemed more spiritual because they didn't have the insane busyness that we've grown accustomed to. Plus, they worked hard and labored physically, so they were strong and not soft or weak. In short, Hidden never bored me and the plot never dragged, so it was worth my while. I can't wait for the sequel.

Hidden was published by Avon Inspire and released in May 2008.

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