Joyful by Shelley Shepard Gray a Litfuse Book Review

joylful About the Book:

A young Amish couple gets a second chance at love in New York Times bestselling author Shelley Shepard Gray’s final book in her Return to Sugarcreek series.

Randall Beiler is doing his best to put his family and the farm’s needs first, even forsaking love. But though he tries, Randall knows he needs help caring for his younger siblings and keeping the house together.

When his brother offers pretty Elizabeth Nolt a job taking care of the house and cooking for the family, Randall is furious—and guilty about the way he once broke Elizabeth’s heart. But when he learns that Elizabeth and her grandmother are struggling to make ends meet, he knows the offer, no matter how painful, is the right thing for everyone.

Elizabeth wants to refuse—to stay far away from the man who hurt her—but she needs the money. Though she vows to protect her heart, spending time in the Beiler household makes Elizabeth realize that, while she’s older and wiser, her love for Randall still burns strong.

Randal, too, seems to want something more. But does he want Elizabeth because he truly loves her—or because he needs a housekeeper? If Randall sincerely wants something more, he must find a way to show Elizabeth—or risk losing his chance at love forever.


My Review: This story was a little like Persuasian meets Lancaster County except this time boy rejects girl. Shelley Shepard Gray takes us back to SugarCreek so we can hear about a few of our favorite characters (Junior) and step back into the Beiler Family to make a new love connection with Randall Junior’s younger brother.

You’ve read the synopsis above so let’s get right to it. I know this is Amish fiction and the women are a little less direct and let the men take the lead but man! I was more than a bit frustrated with Elizabeth. She took so much schmuck from Randall! He seemed to go back and forth between wanting Elizabeth in his life and not. Poor Elizabeth was in a quandry because she needed to support her grandmother but I know she wanted to tell Randall where to stuff it (sorry) and walk on out the door. But that’s why Shelley is such a good writer eh? If I felt this much frustration for her main character then’s she captured my attention and drawn me in.

Joyful is not a wild action packed story full of drama and intrigue but a story of  simple Amish people and their desire to have a full family life. Sweet homemaking chores, delicious meals, and the routines of daily life. If you like Amish fiction and a slower pace you will enjoy this new tale.

Shelley-Shepard-GrayAbout the Author:

Shelley Shepard Gray is a two-time New York Times bestseller, a two-time USA Today bestseller, a finalist for the American Christian Fiction Writers prestigious Carol Award, and a two-time Holt Medallion winner. She lives in Southern Ohio, where she writes full-time, bakes too much, and can often be found walking her dachshunds on her town’s bike trail.
Learn more about Shelley at:


Buy the Book: Joyful: Return to Sugarcreek, Book Three

More Litfuse Reviews:

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Litfuse Publicity Group as part of their Blogger Review program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”



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