Chasing Paradise (Paradise #1)

Young Adult

INSPIRATIONAL:  Paul Fischer is a young Amish man who dreams of becoming a contractor. He is struggling to get his business started and at the same time fighting for his uncle's approval — and believes his company is the way to get it. When he lands a big contract with an Englischer, he is certain he is on his way. Rachel Adams and her mother have moved to Paradise, Pennsylvania from Florida for a fresh start after the death of her father. The good-looking Amish boy renovating their house is a welcome distraction for her. but she discovers that a relationship between an Amish and an Englischer is forbidden. Paul fights his feelings for Rachel, but it's difficult; he finds her fascinating. After trying to keep his distance, Paul makes friends with her. The more he gets to know about her, the harder it is to fight his attraction, and Rachel most definitely returns his interest. They have to overcome their different heritages one way or another.

"Chasing Paradise" is a clean, refreshing romance about forbidden love. The concept of the book is interesting — an Amish man is mixing with an Englischer. The conflict of their love is tangible and it makes the story intriguing. The characters are strong and distinctive, and their  integrity is encouraging. Author Cindy Patterson has a good sense of Amish culture, and readers will learn a lot about their customs. On the downside, the novel has stilted dialogue, slow pacing, and awkward scene transitions, but the rich romance overcomes the other flaws of the book.  A wholesome, inspirational read, "Chasing Paradise" will win over readers' hearts.

Jessica Samuelsen