Skip to Main Content

From New York Times bestselling author Shelley Shepard Gray comes a new series that follows a bookmobile driver-turned-matchmaker who learns that her Amish patrons need a whole lot more than just new books to read.

Aaron Coblentz has a secret: he’s been studying to take the GED to get promoted at work. But he can’t let his Amish family know, not when his older brother already left the faith just a year after getting baptized, practically crippling the family. When Aaron asks bookmobile librarian Sarah Anne Miller for some additional study guides, she does one better. She arranges for Kayla Kaufman to be his tutor.

Kayla has a secret, too. Her life has been turned upside down in a matter of months—her mother’s death propelled her father into a constant state of depression, and unable to deal with his erratic behavior, her longtime boyfriend has broken things off. But despite losing those she holds most dear, she hasn’t completely given up on love. Only now she seeks to find it in the sweet romance novels she secretly checks out from Sarah Anne’s bookmobile.

As Aaron and Kayla’s study sessions start to feel less like work and more like pleasure, they soon realize that happily ever afters don’t only happen in fiction; sometimes they happen when you least expect it.

From a “skilled storyteller who reminds the reader that faith can help us survive the ups and downs in life” (RT Book Reviews), A Perfect Amish Romance is a moving and deftly told story that paints a heartwarming picture of the magic of true love.

Prologue

prologue
“Well now, that’s it,” Ron Holiday said as he led the way out of the bookmobile. “Good luck to you. I’m sure you’ll do just fine.”

Sarah Anne Miller froze in the doorway. “Wait. That’s it?”

He scratched his head. “Don’t think there’s anything more to say, Sarah Anne. You’ve got all the route information and times. What else would you need to know?”

“A lot more. A whole lot more.” This part-time job she’d signed up for on a lark was beginning to feel real. Really real and more than a bit foreboding.

Now that she was about to head out and service the literary needs of the whole community, she was starting to combat a whole army of worries and doubts. “Ron, I have no idea what to say to these people.”

“What do you mean, what to say? You give them the books they’ve requested and take their orders. You’ll help them get on the Internet, talk about books, maybe even let them look around for a spell.” He paused. “Smile. Chat. Some of our patrons are lonely, jah?”

Ron had grown up Amish. Now, even though he was Englisch enough to be wearing a pair of white leather tennis shoes, jeans, and a sweatshirt emblazoned with See Rock City across the front, he was as folksy as Mr. Rogers in his neighborhood. Sarah Anne had always found him to be mildly irritating, and right now she felt like he was being especially vague and unhelpful.

“Jah,” she echoed in a dry tone.

If Ron caught her sarcasm, he was polished enough not to let on. “There you go. That’s what you do.”

But it wasn’t that easy. People would no doubt have questions for her. Expectations. “Although I took a couple of online classes, you know I’m not actually a librarian, right?”

He stuffed his hands into his pockets. “To be sure, I haven’t forgotten that. But it seems to me that you don’t remember you’ve worked in a library before.”

“I volunteered.” She cleared her throat. “I volunteered in a brick-and-mortar building, Ron. There was a whole staff there to assist people. I was just there for support. There’s a difference between that and… this.” She gestured to the bookmobile.

“You volunteered a lot, though. A whole lot. Plus, you’ve received some very impressive recommendations. You’ll do fine.”

Even though he held out the key, Sarah Anne made no move to take it. “What if I miss someone? Or if can’t find some of my customers?” She lowered her voice as she at last voiced her greatest fear. “Ron, what if I let some of our customers down?”

He laughed. “You’re delivering books, not blood. You’re going to be just fine.” He jangled the key in front of him and motioned for her to lock the door. “Come on now. It must be thirty degrees out here, and the wind’s picking up.” He sniffed at the air. “I think we’re in for a bit of snow.”

She looked up at the sky but couldn’t see anything but a few fluffy clouds. How Ron was interpreting that as an approaching storm, she didn’t know. However, it was more than obvious that she’d just about used up the last of her new boss’s patience. Taking the key from him, she locked the door and turned back to Ron, but he was walking fast, as if the sidewalk was made of hot coals. She rushed to catch up with him.

She was almost out of breath by the time they entered the administration building for the whole library system. The sudden warmth against her skin felt almost uncomfortable. She pressed a hand on the wall to steady herself. It was time to get in better shape, that was a fact.

“I’ll check in with you in a week or so, Sarah Anne. Good luck tomorrow. I wish you God’s blessings, too.”

“Thank you, Ron.” As irritating as he was, she knew he was also sincere, so she softened her voice and added, “I am grateful for your belief in me.”

He waved her off. “No need for that. Now, don’t forget to have fun, Sarah Anne. There’s no reason to fret, I can promise you that. Just go out there and get to know our patrons. Remember, you’re providing them a valuable service. They’ll be pleased to see you. I’m sure of it. And when they’re pleased to see ya, they’ll forgive most anything.”

But Sarah Anne wasn’t used to getting things wrong. She’d demanded perfection from herself, and everyone else did, too. She’d just retired from her position as an accountant after putting in almost twenty-eight years on the eighth floor of a big firm. In that capacity, anything less than perfect wasn’t even an option.

“I know I’ll make mistakes.” And yes, she sounded frightened.

“No one expects perfection, Sarah Anne. Not even our Lord. Ain’t so?”

She nodded, though she was still worried. Even though the Lord might not expect perfection, she did.

After taking a deep breath, she smiled weakly. “I hope I’ll have a good report for you.”

“I’m sure you will.” Then, to her surprise, Ron chuckled softly. “After all, what could go wrong?” He strode down the gray-carpeted hallway before she had a chance to reply.

But perhaps that was a good thing. Driving a bookmobile along country roads by herself? Receiving orders, picking up books, taking care of all of the paperwork? She had a feeling it wasn’t going to be a matter of what could go wrong… but rather what in the world was going to go right?
Photograph by Dianne Bomar at The New Studio

A practicing Lutheran, Shelley Shepard Gray is the New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author of more than one hundred novels, translated into multiple languages. In her years of researching the Amish community, she depends on her Amish friends for gossip, advice, and cinnamon rolls. She lives in Colorado with her family and writes full time.

  • Publisher: Gallery Books (March 3, 2021)
  • Length: 320 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781982148393

"A book lover's dream! In this charming series opener, Shelley Shepard Gray weaves a pair of sweet love stories, a likeable inadvertent matchmaker, and a cast of quirky supporting characters into a story about the power of books to bring a community together. Fans of the genre as well as newcomers to Amish fiction are sure to make room for A Perfect Amish Romance on their keeper shelves."

– Carla Laureano, RITA Award-Winning Author of Five Days in Skye and The Saturday Night Supper Club

"Shelley has another winner with A Perfect Amish Romance. I loved getting to know these well-written characters and reading about their romance and faith journeys. Shelley’s fans will be pleased with this sweet story, and without a doubt she will win over new readers, too!"

– Kathleen Fuller, bestselling author of The Innkeeper's Bride

“Enjoyable… Readers will be delighted by Sarah Anne’s gentle matchmaking… Each of the main characters undergoes realistic personal evolutions as they are shaped by transformative powers of love, hope, and faith. Gray’s fans will love this quiet, endearing tale.

– Publishers Weekly

"Author Shelley Shepard Gray is beloved for her swoon-worthy Amish love stories, and her latest exudes charm and joy. Bookmobile librarian and amateur matchmaker Sarah Anne Miller is determined to help Aaron Coblentz pass his GED, so she arranges for Kayla Kaufman to be his tutor. Sparks soon fly between Aaron and Kayla and they discover the true magic of unexpected love."

 

– Woman's World

"The matchmaker being a bookmobile librarian—with some secrets of her own—is a new twist, and I enjoyed all of the characters, who were very realistically drawn, they seemed like real people you want to have a happy ending."

– The Parkersburg News and Sentinel

More books from this author: Shelley Shepard Gray

More books in this series: Berlin Bookmobile Series, The