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

4.0 of 5 stars 4.00  ·  rating details  ·  432 ratings  ·  55 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 eno ...more
Kindle Edition, 274 pages
Published (first published January 1st 2008)
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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
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.
Tina Guffey
Beautiful story of captive hearts in a historical setting.
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
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
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
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
Rachel Kenny
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
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.
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
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
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Tasha enderby
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.
Janie  R.

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!
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.
Linda Branich
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.
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.
Having read this again, I liked it better although I still don't believe it will ever make my favorites list. The characters are well portrayed, and the writing is fairly well done. I had more appreciation for the plot and for the scenarios the characters had to deal with; however, I'm still not a fan of how abruptly the book ended.
I really liked this book and would highly recommend it. There are elements of danger, mystery and romance that make a great story. The historcal parts of the underground railroad and slavery added more dimension. There were also difficult circumstances in the romances since Amish and Englishers are forbidden to fall in love.
I did really like it, but also felt like there were many things that were left unfinished. Whatever happens to Asa? That is the biggest part of the story that is left hanging. I was already planning on reading the rest of the series, but I definitely will have too now to find out if some of those loose ends are tied up.
This is the story of an Amish girl who suddenly becomes affiliated with an unwelcome "outsider" and what she does to stay true to her religion, but also grow in a relationship with that "outsider." Some parts of the book dragged on a little long, but I enjoyed it and am looking forward to the next book due out in September.
Even though there is an English twist to this story it is still one of my all time favorite series. The story did not falter from Amish love and loyalty that I come to expect in this genre. This series ended beautifully and everyone found their way. I also discovered what an amazing author B.J. Hoff is to.
Rachel M.
*Note: This book really has a 4.5 star rating!!!

This was a wonderful book! I loved the characters and the plot. While I personally do not support the Amish beliefs, it was still interesting to read about their culture. I can't wait to read the next book in the series!
Nice story of forbidden love in the 1850's, with an Amish girl and a man helping slaves through the underground railroad. Would have liked to hear more about Asa, the freed slave, but all in all a good read. There's a trilogy, so I'll be looking for the next in the series.
Dana Kennedy
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Rachel and Jeremiah, Dr. David Sebastian and Susan, Gideon and Fannie--main characters in the story of the Amish in Riverhaven and the Underground Railroad and forbidden love between tha Amish and Englisch. I can't wait for the next book--September, 2009.
First Amish novel I have read by BJ Hoff. It was different to have the setting in Ohio instead of PA. Most Amish novels seem to have the setting based in PA. I thought it was a good book and a little unique compared to most Amish novels I have read.
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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)
Song Of The Silent Harp (Emerald Ballad #1) Where Grace Abides (The Riverhaven Years, #2) Heart of the Lonely Exile (Emerald Ballad #2) Land of a Thousand Dreams (Emerald Ballad #3) Dawn of the Golden Promise (Emerald Ballad #5)

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