Review: The Loyal One by Shelley Shepard Gray

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☆☆➹⁀☆ 5 stars ☆➹⁀☆☆

About the Book:

When Katie Steury hires her old friend Harley Lambright to remodel her rundown old house into a charming bed and breakfast, she does so with trepidation. Though they are longtime friends, they’ve always had a rocky relationship, thanks to her being partly responsible for his most recent breakup. But while they may not always get along, she needs someone to trust with her secrets, and Harley is nothing if not trustworthy and loyal.

Katie has always reminded Harley of a bright hummingbird—she is small and flighty, moves a mile a minute, and she possesses a very sharp beak. He’s hesitant to accept the job because of his history with Katie. But when he realizes that Katie’s been hiding her mother’s hoarding, he agrees to help her because it’s clear she needs someone on her side.

Both soon discover that clearing the debris in one old house also means they have to do some clean-up in their lives, forcing them to reevaluate their past and their future. This somewhat painful process reveals that Katie isn’t the only one with secrets. As the house gets a second chance, so, too, does their relationship. Now all they have to do is open their hearts—and hope and pray that their new bond will also stand the test of time.

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Guest Reviewer Frannie’s Thoughts:

I really enjoyed the second book in the Walnut Creek Series, The Loyal One.  It is a heartwarming story about a group of eight friends that grow up together, face adversity, hardships, heartache and love.  But the one thing they have in common is a loyal commitment to one another and a determination to stay friends forever no matter what happens.  A diverse group of friends who have different religious beliefs and must balance their friendships while dealing with their Amish, Mennonite and English customs.  How the author weaves through their differences and struggles is so profound and engaging, it is difficult to put the book down.

“Teach us to realize the brevity of life, so that we may grow in wisdom.”  Psalm 90:12

This saying touched me very much, because it is the essence of the storyline in the book.  The Loyal Onefocused on Katie Steury and Harley Lambright. They have a strained relationship due to past indiscretions.  The tension between them escalates as the story evolves.  As they grow to understand one another’s hardships and family struggles, they learn to understand and forgive one another.  It is a touching story that is inspiring and thought provoking.  The way the author addresses the friends’ interactions and family misunderstandings is well documented and believable.  The romantic scenes are full of emotions and tug at your heartstrings without being overly graphic.

It is written in such rich and colorful language that it is delightful to read.  The story is presented in a way that often makes the reader think about their own longtime friends and family affairs and how our own relationships grow and evolve over time.

I am looking forward to the third book in the Walnut Creek Series,The Protective One, that is due to be released in the spring of 2020.  Touching, insightful and wonderfully written, I would recommend this book series to any reader no matter what their age or religion.

About the Author: Shelley Shepard Gray has published over seventy novels. She currently writes Amish romances for Harper Collins, Kensington, and Simon & Schuster and contemporary women’s fiction for Blackstone Publishing.

Before writing romances, Shelley lived in Texas and Colorado, where she taught school and earned both her bachelor’s degree in English literature and elementary education and later obtained her master’s degree in educational administration. She currently lives in Colorado Springs and writes full time. Shelley is married, the mother of two young adults, and always has a dachshund by her side. She is an active member of her church, on Facebook and on Twitter.  She also has a website, www.shelleyshepardgray.com.

 

Start the series with book 1, The Patient One: Review: The Patient One

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