Authors: Kathleen Fuller
Tags: #ebook, #book
An Honest Love
held my interest from the first page—a double dose of romance as two couples struggle to put the past behind them and move forward. Fans of Amish fiction will appreciate the descriptive details as they revisit the Old Order Amish community of Middlefield. Kathleen’s given us another heart-gripping tale.”
—Beth Wiseman, best-selling author of
An Amish Christmas
“Kathleen Fuller has done it again. A wonderful tale of love, friendship, and loss that kept me up late just to see how it would end.”
—Jenny B. Jones, author of
So Not Happening
A Man of His Word
A Summer Secret
An Honest Love
A Hearts of Middlefield Novel
© 2010 by Kathleen Fuller
All rights reserved. No portion of this book may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means—electronic, mechanical, photocopy, recording, scanning, or other—except for brief quotations in critical reviews or articles, without the prior written permission of the publisher.
Published in Nashville, Tennessee, by Thomas Nelson. Thomas Nelson is a registered trademark of Thomas Nelson, Inc.
Thomas Nelson, Inc., titles may be purchased in bulk for educational, business, fund-raising, or sales promotional use. For information, please e-mail [email protected]
Scripture quotations are from the King James Version of the Bible.
Publisher’s note: This novel is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are either products of the author’s imagination or used fictitiously. All characters are fictional, and any similarity to people, living or dead, is purely coincidental.
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
An honest love : a hearts of Middlefield novel / Kathleen Fuller.
ISBN 978-1-59554-813-9 (softcover)
eISBN : 9781418551988
1. Middlefield (Ohio)—Fiction. 2. Amish Country (Ohio)—Fiction. 3. Amish—Social life and customs—Fiction. I. Title.
Printed in the United States of America
10 11 12 13 14 RRD 6 5 4 3 2 1
ab im kopp:
language most commonly used by the Amish
unmarried woman, Miss
an Amish woman’s prayer covering
the period between ages sixteen and twenty-four, loosely translated as “running around time.” For Amish young adults,
ends when they join the church.
a non-Amish person
to leave the Amish faith
lisabeth Byler cradled her nine-month-old niece in the crook of her arm while she fumbled with a baby bottle. Powdered formula was normally easy to prepare, but with Ester squalling and Velda—
“Velda?” Elisabeth glanced around the kitchen, then ran into the living room in search of her other niece. “Velda Anne! Where are you?” She looked behind the couch and one of the armchairs, gripping the baby to her side.
Elisabeth ran up the stairs to Velda’s bedroom, shouting her name several times. She panicked, unable to find her little eighteen-month-old niece in any of the bedrooms. “This is the last time I’m babysitting for Moriah and Gabe!” Ester’s cries grew louder.
A check of the bathroom proved fruitless, so she ran down the stairs to the back door, hoping, praying with all her might that Velda was outside and hadn’t strayed too far from the house. She flung the door wide and took a step outside—
“Oof!” She’d run into a solid wall. Of muscle, she realized as she stared at the front of a light blue shirt and black suspenders. She looked up and saw the face of Aaron Detweiler. “Oh, thank God you’re here. Velda Anne’s missing! You’ve got to help me find her!”
Aaron’s expression was inscrutable. She shoved the baby into his arms. “Watch her while I
“You don’t have to do that—”
“Are you crazy? Of course I do!” Elisabeth moved past him, wringing her hands together. “Velda! Velda Anne Miller, you come here right now!”
She spun and faced Aaron. “What!”
“She’s right here.” He shifted the baby to one arm, then pointed at the little girl clinging to one leg of his gray, broadfall trousers.
Elisabeth looked down at Velda, who stared back at her, sucking her thumb. Her black
was askew on her head, and strands of light brown hair rested against her plump cheeks.
Elisabeth rushed over and squatted down on the ground, clutching the child to her chest. “Where have you been?” She looked up at Aaron. “What are you doing with her?”
“She came out to the blacksmith shop.”
.” Velda wiggled out of Elisabeth’s grasp. She pointed at the shop behind Elisabeth. “
“Guess she was looking for her
.” Aaron shifted Ester in his arms.
Elisabeth’s panic subsided, replaced by anger. She met Velda’s wide, innocent gaze. “Don’t you ever,
run off like that again!”
Ester, who had quieted down while Aaron held her, started howling again. At the same time Velda’s bottom lip began to tremble. “
!” She burst into tears.
Aaron turned and walked into the house. Elisabeth picked up Velda and followed, watching him as he calmly walked over to the sink, as if he dealt with screaming babies on a daily basis. Within a minute Aaron had not only made the bottle, he had gently nudged the nipple into Ester’s mouth, silencing her cries. He held the baby in the crook of one arm as if she weighed no more than a football.
Elisabeth put her niece down and leaned against the kitchen table, letting her heart rate slow. She tried not to stare at Aaron, but he seemed completely unaffected by the commotion. And there was something mesmerizing about seeing such a large man feeding a little baby. The bottle looked like a toy in his hand. She tried to remember back two years ago when Aaron Detweiler had been a scrawny kid of seventeen who had just gotten out of jail after serving time for dealing drugs. So much had changed since then. Not only had he grown a couple inches taller, he’d also filled out, probably due to the physical exertion of being a blacksmith.
Pulling her gaze from Aaron and Ester, she glanced around the kitchen for Velda, who had disappeared again. Her sister’s firstborn had been a complete angel until she’d turned fifteen months. Since then the child had become a complete terror, and Elisabeth could barely keep up with her. Elisabeth started for the living room again, her patience as thin as parchment paper. “Velda Anne, I’m warning you—”