Love's Simple Duty

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It's been a year since her husband's tragic death, but Deborah Albrecht doesn't know if she'll ever adjust to life as a single parent. Her son, Thad, is the light of her life, and she'd do anything for him, including working long hours running a fabric shop as well as managing their small household and farm. But when Thad comes home from school one day visibly shaken, Deborah is at a loss. How can she help if her son won't open up to her?

FBI Agent Eben Graber is on a mission. An Amish man has gone missing, and he's sure that a criminal recently released from prison is somehow involved with the man's disappearance. His search leads him to the San Luis Valley settlement in Colorado, a place that tugs at him. As a child, he was forced to leave his own Amish community when his Dad was shunned. Although he grew up in the English world and established a career, he has never settled down. When he meets Deborah and her son, he begins to understand what his life has been lacking  ...  but he must ignore his personal wishes if he is to accomplish his objective.

It isn't long before Deborah and Eben are forced to face a chilling reality: the missing man had a connection with Deborah's deceased husband, and it's clear that Deborah and her son are in danger. While they work to put a criminal back behind bars, Deborah and Eben can no longer deny that their feelings are growing for each other. But are those feelings born of circumstance, or are they based on something deeper and more permanent? 
When duty and destiny collide, love may emerge  ...  if the hearts are ready.

The Characters

Being the eldest child often means having more responsibility. With four younger siblings, Sarah Beth has a firm understanding of the weight she must bear.

After the passing of her Grossmammi -- a loss almost as devastating as the one the King children endured 12 years earlier when both of their parents were killed in a harvesting accident -- Sarah Beth, 24, is left to look after her special needs sister, Cora, 17, and only brother, Toby, 14. As for her 12-year-old twin sisters, Lovina and Luann, other family members felt it would be best for the girls to live with relatives in another church district, decimating the King family once again.

Family is everything to Sarah Beth! And she is determined to get hers back together ... even if that means putting off her thoughts of courtship and starting a family of her own. But why does her heart beat wildly when she meets her handsome new neighbor, Elias Stutzman? Is she drawn to the allure of his deep blue eyes ... or maybe it is the secrets they are hiding?

Life has been anything but easy for Elias ... abandoned by his Mamm who jumped the fence to Englisch life when he was just a kid ... passed along from one distant relative to another ... running with the wrong group of "friends" who always kept him on the outer edge of their circle.

Now, at 29 years old, Elias longs to be accepted for the hardworking man he is today and leave his past behind him. Hickory Meadows, known for its welcoming folks and strong sense of community, could give him the home he has always dreamed of having -- and possibly a family of his own.

But the shocking damage done to his buggy shop soon after his arrival makes it very clear that he is not welcome. Elias knows only a few people, so who would try to run him out of the church district? Maybe it was just a bunch of bored kids. Perhaps he pushed Sara Beth, his attractive new neighbor with the feisty spirit, a little too far. Or has someone from Elias's past discovered his new life?