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Rachel's Secret (The Riverhaven Years, #1)
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Rachel's Secret (Riverhaven Years #1)

4.05  ·  Rating Details  ·  562 Ratings  ·  66 Reviews
Bestselling author BJ Hoff promises to delight her many faithful readers with her compelling new series, "The Riverhaven Years. "With the first book, "Rachel's Secret, "Hoff introduces a new community of unforgettable characters and adds the elements readers have come to expect from her novels: a tender love story, the faith journeys of people we grow to know and love, and ...more
Paperback, 268 pages
Published October 1st 2008 by Harvest House Publishers (first published January 1st 2008)
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Murder Freshly Baked by Vannetta ChapmanThe Shunning by Beverly  LewisWhen the Heart Cries by Cindy WoodsmallThe Covenant by Beverly  LewisThe Betrayal by Beverly  Lewis
Best of Amish Fiction
117th out of 378 books — 348 voters
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,232)
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Andrea Guy
This is the first Amish historical I've read. It definitely was a different style of story from what I'm used to with Amish fiction/romance, and I have to say, it was a really enjoyable read.

Like most Amish stories there's a lot of drama involving the characters and the Englischers. In this case, an Irishman is shot and seeks the help of Rachel and her family. Jeremiah Gant is a conductor on the underground railroad, that in itself brings a whole new spin one what to expect in Amish fiction.

A l
Apr 24, 2013 Kate rated it liked it
This is an historical novel, set in the time of the Underground Railroad. It was the first time I read an Amish fiction novel that was not set within the past 75 years, and to be honest, it was hard to remember for the most part that this was set in the 1850s. I did enjoy reading the parts about Asa and Gant's work on the Underground Railroad, and that helped me remember when this novel is set.
I enjoyed the story for the most part, but it didn't grab me like other novels I've recently read. Mayb
Apr 27, 2013 Rebecca rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: amish-fiction
I really enjoyed this book. Although it did seem to me to be more about Susan and Dr. Sebastian. There were was details about slavery and the underground railroad. Many beautiful passages about healing hearts and forgiveness. It seemed to me that Rachel and Gant fell in love rather soon which I didnt feel convinced of. The author does address it, which I appreciated it. At some point the storyline with Asa trails off and I am wondering if she will address it it the next book in the series. Anoth ...more
Mar 28, 2014 Lynda rated it liked it
Shelves: amish
Rachel's Secret has a good plot but the author threw away a the ending. As in the book just stops. It doesn't truly end.

Two key parts of the book are answered but only in throwaway lines within a paragraph. One does not sense closure.

The book would have read better if I had all of the series and was reading them one after the other. BUT I rarely have that. Like many people, I read a book because it appeals to me now. Sometimes I'm reading in a series -- sometimes not. It's availability of the bo
Brooke Barenfanger
I have always found forbidden love desperately romantic. Hoff has sketched the characters of Rachel Brenneman and Jeremiah Gant with a finesse I have come to expect from her. She is always colorful in her language and excellent in her storytelling ability. She deals with serious themes and always shows them in a realistic manner. However, almost always at the end of her books I have found that she gives a hint of hope. She has become one of my favorite authors.
Janie  R. Freeman
Feb 10, 2015 Janie R. Freeman rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mysterysuspense

This was the first book I've read by B.J.Hoff-a historical, Amish, with a mix of suspense,and romance. I really enjoyed her writing. It had great characters -the character of Fannie was my favorite! The Underground Railroad subplot really interests me, and I appreciated learning more about it in this story. This was a wonderful story with the theme of forgiveness and healing woven through the story. I highly recommend this book!
Mar 14, 2015 Cheryl rated it really liked it
This is the first bvook in the Riverhaven years trilogy. In book one an wounded Irish American riverboat captain shows up at Rachel's house. Rachel is Amish and has to contend with the Amish community being upset by a widow having a man at her house. The captain brings more danger because he is part of the underground railroad. The book just stops leaving several loose ends so you will read the next in the series.
Mar 29, 2015 Paula-O rated it really liked it
Rachel's Secret -book#1 of series"The Riverhaven Years" by B J Hoff

I read book#2 first and then had to go find 1-3 at library to finish the story. This is a great series and you won't want to miss any of the books.
I enjoyed the characters and wanted to hear the "whole" story.
Rachel Kenny
Jul 25, 2014 Rachel Kenny rated it really liked it
i really enjoyed this book but if you are not a christian i suggest you do not read this n=]because this is a strong christian story
Tina Guffey
Jul 17, 2012 Tina Guffey rated it really liked it
Beautiful story of captive hearts in a historical setting.
Jan 08, 2010 Molly rated it it was amazing
This was my first book by this author,and I absolutely LOVED it! It is excellent in it's ability to hold the reader until the end. I did not want to put this book down! Every page brought a new twist, and I couldn't wait to get to the end to see what happens. It is the perfect blend of history, Amish, suspense, romance and God. It is filled with wonderful tension from beginning to end. It is detailed in describing the struggles that the Amish had long ago, as well as, that of the times of the Un ...more
Jul 30, 2013 Marijke rated it liked it
Mooi boek over een amish vrouw.....die verliefd word op een buitenstaander....het verhaal speelt zich al in 1850 ....op een avond staat er een slaaf met zn zwaar gewonden kapitein voor haar deur...ze besluit de kapitein te helpen ondanks haar angst voor de amish gemeenschap...samen met haar moeder broer en zus helpen ze de gewonde kapitein....het is een verwarden tijd voor rachel ze wil het geloof trouw blijven maar ze worden verliefd....ondertussen gebeuren er allemaal aanslagen op de amish gem ...more
Sarah Udall
Aug 30, 2011 Sarah Udall rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Ashley Daviau
Sep 24, 2015 Ashley Daviau rated it really liked it
I always find forbidden love appealing and this story was no different. That element mixed with the Amish way of living, and the Underground Railroad made for a wonderfully compelling novel. Although I would have liked to see more about the Underground Railroad! can't wait to dive into the next in the series!
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
The first book in The Riverhaven Years, this is an Amish romance that takes place in 1855. Tow Amish women fall for an outsider. I have read Amish romances set in the present day and this is not so very different. There have been changes in Amish life but their basic way of living appears not to have changed all that much from 1855.
In the beginning, Widowed Rachel finds a black man and a wounded man on her doorstep. She cannot turn them away even though her community is being harassed by those w
Mekina Tapio
May 06, 2015 Mekina Tapio rated it really liked it
Pretty good book! Not very exciting, but very interesting and beautiful. The only part I really didn't enjoy was the ending. It didn't conclude to book well.
Pauline Youd
Mar 25, 2015 Pauline Youd rated it really liked it
My first romantic fiction in a long time. I'd be interested in the second in the series, I think. I get a little up tight worrying about the characters. I guess that's why I tend more toward non-fiction.
Mar 12, 2015 Santhi rated it really liked it
Excellent narration by BJ Hoff. Good grip in the plot is well maintained from beginning to end. This is a story between Amish Rachel and Irish Gant .
Jun 10, 2014 Midge rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Thank you Ms Hoff for another wonderful series. I think this is the first book I have read about the Amish. I learned a lot about their ways and customs. The book has romance and adventure, good qualities along with the Christian aspect.
Aug 28, 2014 Stephanie rated it liked it
Shelves: romance
I was really disappointed with the ending of this book. I realize that it's part of a series, so the story doesn't actually end with the last chapter, but it was soooooo frustrating to read 265 pages and NOT find out what happens to certain characters. Talk about a cliff-hanger! I now feel that I HAVE to read the second book and I'm not sure I like that feeling.

The writing was lovely, though ... BJ Hoff has a very simple, sweet style to telling a story and I really enjoyed the book as I was read
Mar 14, 2015 Diane rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book and look forward to reading the rest of the series.
Mar 20, 2016 Ceashark rated it it was amazing
very good book
Jan 11, 2012 Linde rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Tasha enderby
Nov 05, 2010 Tasha enderby rated it did not like it
Shelves: 2010, amish
I love amish tales and I hate rating this one so poorly but it wasn't really written by an Author that writes Amish stories and you can tell. The facts about the faith and culture are not correct and that was turn off to me. They don't really say that poor Fannie was abused by those English boys on the road but I get the feeling it was more then a bump on the head and kicks that had her so upset. The book ends with no real resolve but a lot of hoping it all ended for the best.
Apr 06, 2010 Amy rated it it was amazing
My first foray into Christian fiction and I really liked it. I especially love historical fiction, and this one (the first in a trilogy) surrounds characters in an Ohio Amish community during pre-Civil War times. The underground railroad was also highlighted and I appreciated learning more about it. A nice feel good read without the "yuck" so often found in books today.
Jan 30, 2016 ANNETTE rated it it was amazing
Loved it!! Well done BJ Hoff . Such a good story . This is my first book by B. J Hoff. Such an extraordinary reading book.
Linda Branich
Sep 07, 2014 Linda Branich rated it really liked it
Shelves: amish
IF YOU ENJOY READING ABOUT THE PLAIN PEOPLE ( Amish) or the Underground Railroad,
this book will be right up your alley, as it is about both. It is the first of a trilogy, and I am looking forward to reading the other two books in the series . This was my first taste of this author's work. I plan to sample more than just the trilogy.
This was similar to Beverly Lewis' books, yet from a different time period and with the touch of Irish that B. J. Hoff always incorporates into her books. I didn't like it as much as most of B. J. Hoff's other books, but still enjoyed it quite well and read it quickly. There was a bit too much romance, but not as overblown as in some novels.
Oct 17, 2012 Suzie rated it liked it
Once again, a clean fluffy Amish book in which the characters fall in love as the hero is mostly unconscious. This one weaves in a subplot about the underground railroad and possible conversion to the Amish religion, but it is mostly poofy. I will probably read the next book in the series, but after I've read something with a little more bite.
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BJ Hoff’s bestselling historical novels continue to cross the boundaries of religion, language, and culture to capture a worldwide reading audience.

Her books include such popular series as The Riverhaven Years, The Mountain Song Legacy, Song of Erin, American Anthem, and An Emerald Ballad. Hoff’s stories, although set in the past, are always relevant to the present.

Whether her characters move ab
More about B.J. Hoff...

Other Books in the Series

Riverhaven Years (3 books)
  • Where Grace Abides (The Riverhaven Years, #2)
  • River of Mercy (The Riverhaven Years, #3)

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