cover image Marrying Matthew

Marrying Matthew

Kelly Long. Zebra, $8.99 mass market (352p) ISBN 978-1-4201-5165-7

Long (The Amish Heart of Ice Mountain) delivers an underwhelming story centered on the sheltered 20-year-old Amish heiress of a lumber fortune. Tabitha grew up under tight security and the watchful eye of relatives due to Tabitha’s father’s fears of her being kidnapped for ransom. She, however, is determined to marry on her own terms, rather than end up with someone whose eye is on her father’s money. After she takes out an ad in the newspaper for an Amish mail-order groom, Tabitha is pleasantly surprised when it is answered by handsome woodworker Matthew King. However, Matthew has secrets of his own. The romance between Tabitha and Matthew, as well as between Tabitha’s uncle Abner and housekeeper Anke, add spark to the narrative. However, detailed descriptions of repressed sexual desire and unrealistically buffoonish characters (such as the town bishop) fall flat. Fans of small-town Amish romances will be disappointed. (Dec.)