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Opposites attract? Maybe not.

Emilie Getz and Jonas Fielding are as different as two people—of the same age, with the same faith, living in the same charming Pennsylvania town—could be.

She loves history; he loves new ideas. She sticks to the rules; he likes to break them. She’s into saving relics; he’s into saving souls. The one trait they share is a penchant for controlling every aspect of their lives, including their stubborn hearts.

When Emilie’s search for an archaeological treasure leads her to the one piece of land she can’t have (thanks to Jonas), they choose opposing sides in an engaging battle of wits. Emilie, a no-nonsense sort of woman, is determined to have her way. But Jonas is on a mission as well: He wants to hear Emilie laugh. Often.

350 pages, Paperback

First published January 1, 2000

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About the author

Liz Curtis Higgs

95 books1,300 followers
Former Bad Girl, grateful for the grace God offers. Happy wife of Bill, one of the Good Guys. Proud mom of two grown-up kids with tender hearts. Lame housekeeper. Marginal cook. Pitiful gardener. Stuff I love? Encouraging my sisters in Christ—across the page, from the platform, online, in person. Unpacking Scripture. Traveling wherever God leads. Listening to His heart. Leaning into His embrace.

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5 stars
448 (29%)
4 stars
537 (35%)
3 stars
393 (25%)
2 stars
111 (7%)
1 star
23 (1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 126 reviews
Profile Image for Bruce Judisch.
Author 9 books45 followers
June 21, 2010
So, I'm in the bookstore the week before Christmas. There's a few bucks of my shopping allowance left and Jeannie likes to read, so let's see what's available. I scan the shelves and my eye stops on a really classy cover design. It's got old books on it--which I'm a sucker for--so it's at least worth pulling off the shelf for a look-see.

Hmmm...Bookends. Clever title (I think). Let's see what else it's got going for it

Top endorsement reads, "Witty, charming, delightful". I cringe. All the testosterone in my hand and halfway up my arm jumps ship.

Backmatter leads with, "Opposites attract? Maybe not." Okay, I've got this one nailed: "relationship book."

Jeannie'll like that; I won't have to. My 'guy card' is still recovering from an earlier review, but I think I'm safe having it in the house.

Jeannie finishes the book after Christmas around the same time I finish the book I just reviewed, a real guy's book—sweaty and everything.

"You want to try this one?" Jeannie smiles. “It’s good. Witty. Charming—“

“Yeah, I know. Delightful.” I just look at her.

She lays it on my bedside table.

That night at bedtime, I reach over a pick up the top book on my stack of 'to-reads'. Bookends. “Oh, well,” I sigh. “Let's give it a shot.”

I finished it today.

I know my guy card is in for another major hit, but, my goodness, people! This book was fantastic! I’ve never read a story penned with more wit, charm and—wait. Let me back up.

Ms. Higgs has got to have the most clever writing voice of just about anyone I’ve ever read. She snagged me in Bookends from the first chapter to the last as much with her writing style as with her characters and story line. How she was able to deliver the innermost thoughts of two so entirely different people—the Bookends—with such acute insight, pathos, and humor, is nothing less than a work of art.

Oh, yes. The story.

Bookend #1 is Emily Getz. Historian. PhD. Petite. Prim. Proper. Thirty-six years old. Inextricably immersed in an orderly, comfortable, predictable, safe life of academia from which she has no desire to come up for air—nor would she even know how to, if the desire were there.

Did I say “inextricably”?

Enter Bookend #2. Jonas Fielding, land and community developer. Cleverly brash, infuriatingly masculine, and playfully spontaneous. Mr. Fielding is a visionary who approaches his excavation of undeveloped land methodically, with exactness and unwavering purpose. The same Mr. Fielding decides to approach the extrication of drum-tight (and, in his estimation, undeveloped) Dr. Emily Getz in like manner.

Emile has returned home to Lititz, Pennsylvania, on a mission of the greatest personal and professional importance. Key to its success is a quarter-acre patch of ground under which she is certain rests a profoundly important archaeological artifact. Jonas has come to Lititz to develop a top-notch, professional-grade golf course in which both the community and he have invested a considerable amount of money. Key to its success is a quarter-acre patch of ground ideal for the all-important eighteenth green. You see where this is going, right?

Needless to say, Jonas’ intent to extricate Emile—along with his growing, albeit awkwardly expressed, love for the woman—collide with his intent to excavate that quarter-acre of ground. Emile’s intent to remain snuggled in her cozy academic cocoon—along with her own intentions for that patch of ground—collide with a growing, albeit stubbornly resisted, interest in Jonas. The result is a hilarious, poignant, and thought-provoking comedy of connects and disconnects, communications and miscommunications, that provokes out-loud laughter on one page and somber head-shaking on the next.

Ms. Higgs buffers her story delicately with the lives and influences of family and friends in and outside Lititz, each bringing their own strengths and weaknesses into Jonas’ and Emile’s blossoming relationship. You also learn loads about the Moravian Church community of Lancaster County in which the story basks. But mostly you learn a little more about life, love and the role faith plays in both of them.

Wow, I can’t recommend this enough! Great book, wonderful read. I’d even go so far as to say it’s witty, charming, and—(stop it!).
Profile Image for Chautona Havig.
Author 262 books1,538 followers
July 23, 2022
I read this book years ago and then found it on audio and nostalgia got the best of me. I forgot how much I cracked up through this one.
Delightful characters, flawed and super-unique voices the both of them. Seriously, there's nothing about this that doesn't deliver. I enjoyed every minute.

Oh, and the narrator? GENIUS! Absolutely nailed every single line. I was cracking up the whole time and half of it was her!
Profile Image for Moira.
77 reviews28 followers
July 17, 2010
My Ratings Translation:
* = Dropped it/hated it.
* * = Forced myself to finish/found difficult.
* * * = Interesting, but not likely to be cracked open again.
* * * * = Liked very much, and will be/has been re-read.
* * * * * = Loved, and has been worn to pieces

Please understand that this review reflects ONLY my opinion. I may have bad taste in books, but you are also entitled to your own erroneous opinion.
I'll be posting a longer and (hopefully) more in-depth review of this book on my blog, but I just had write a little something here saying how much I enjoyed it. I have only read one other Higgs book ("Here Burns My Candle"), but I liked it just as much, and I have a feeling that there are going to be two new additions to my bookshelf by the end of the month.
I read this book in a hurry. Alright, I read it in one day. One day is really too short a time to really take in all this book has to offer, and I intend on going back and reading through it again. Then I plan to read it again, during Christmas time.
Initially I was worried. This was a romance. I like romances, but I am wary of them - even more so of contemporary christian romances. Plus, I knew nothing about the Moravian church except what I had heard of their brass. But the main thing I was afraid of was the characters. I hate reading a book and not feeling for the characters. I shouldn't have worried. Higgs' characters were so real to me, and I loved seeing them grow.
One thing that I loved was the way she broke up and introduced her scenes. Everything about the scenes flowed well, and I read it from cover to cover without wincing once. Okay once, but that was because I thought I knew the MMC better than I did.
I love this book, and I'm sure it will be on my shelf for a long while. Go ahead and give it a read if you are in the mood for a cute, serious, and engaging read.
Profile Image for Autumn.
13 reviews1 follower
August 10, 2017
I hate this book. The main female character - Emilie? I think I've subconsciously suppressed everything about her - is sooo hard to swallow. Her character is disgusting and I can't get past it. I couldn't finish this book even though I so badly wanted to. The reviews were phenomenal and I expected a much better read.
Profile Image for Kara.
606 reviews67 followers
July 12, 2018
It's been so many years since the last time I'd read this one that I'd forgotten how much Ms. Higgs makes me laugh! She is so good at putting her characters in hilarious situations and then sitting back and letting them find their way out. Plus she knows how to write a hero to make you swoon! Jonas and Emily fight hard to deny their attraction, for all of two minutes. And then the rest of the time they fight hard about bringing their two very different lives together! It makes for a really fun ride, I must say. :D Their chemistry is, obviously, wonderful, but it's the growth they both need to work through that really struck me. This isn't just a cute little romance, there is much depth here. Both characters have to work hard to figure out exactly what they really want out of life and that sometimes it requires sacrifice. Yet in the end, sacrifice is usually worth it, right? Adorable romance, lessons to learn, unique characters, what more could a reader ask for?
Profile Image for Kim.
660 reviews1 follower
October 22, 2021
Emilie is a professor and historian, hired to write a book about her 250 year old church. Jonas is a land developer who is building a library and golf course in town. They clash, they cooperate, they eventually fall in love. Jonas had a weird habit of giving Emilie pets that she didn’t ask for or really want. There was some family drama with Jonas’ younger brother Nate who is an alcoholic gambler in debt up to his eyeballs to a Vegas bookie. That situation is only somewhat resolved. The story is well written and easy to read with a lot of spiritual content.
Profile Image for Becka.
573 reviews41 followers
Shelved as 'dnf'
April 9, 2023
Just couldn’t get invested in the story
Profile Image for Naomi Grace.
Author 3 books2 followers
June 4, 2022
This book was painful to finish. Its full of dated stereotypes, a condescending male lead who thinks he knows best, and too many bows tied on problematic issues.
Profile Image for Kriste.
464 reviews27 followers
August 14, 2022
I enjoyed hearing about the Moravian Church.
Profile Image for Audrey.
1,397 reviews71 followers
April 19, 2015
What happens when a studious history professor meets up with an exuberant landscaper? Emilie and Jonas are about as opposite as anyone could be. Emilie is doing research for the Moravian church and suspects that the land Jonas wants for his golf course holds an archaeological landmark. What follows is a delightful tale as fireworks are sparked. It's a story of how Christ's love can soften someone's heart.

I was feeling depressed for some time and this book "blew away the black clouds". The humour is delightful and at times i laughed until i nearly made myself sick. I don't often read romances but i made an exception in this case as the characters were of interest to me. I could see a bit of myself in both of them but especially in Emilie. It was also encouraging to read about a couple in their mid-thirties. It gives hope to those who are still praying for a godly marriage. The only thing i didn't like about it was all the smooching they did. It seemed a bit much.
Profile Image for Larisha.
620 reviews4 followers
October 27, 2012
Liz writes in a way you feel like she is a dear friend who has come over for fellowship, tea, and a laughter-filled time :) and this book didn't disappoint. Liz sums up the title and book well when she said 'the 2 main characters: Emilie & Jonas begin like bookends - facing life in opposite directions on every point, but oh how our God turns them toward HIMSELF more and toward one another!
Profile Image for Sarita.
1,104 reviews637 followers
September 6, 2021
This was ok. A sweet romance story, bit predictable. I did not like or connected with Emily - she came across snobbish and arrogant and even though she did improve, it was not enough to win me over.

*I listened to this on Scribd.*
Profile Image for Ruth.
Author 14 books92 followers
April 8, 2008
Great contemporary romance. Funny, heartwarming.
Profile Image for Amy.
362 reviews4 followers
July 2, 2021
Oof, where to start?

Let's start with the things I liked:
-The book inspired me to learn more about the Moravian Church
-Being a Christian book, there was no smut or swearing!

Things I did not like:
-The characters! They are written very poorly.
-Let's start with Emilie. Poor Emilie was having an identity crisis throughout the story - was she actually British or just wanted to visit England? She seemed to swing between the two. She was also unrealistically rigid and uptight and became a caricature instead of a character.
-Moving on the Jonas - slightly more likeable, but no one can possibly be as dense as he was written. You know who gives someone 5 unsolicited pets in 5 week? A crazy person who has no idea who he's dating (but instead he pats his own back because he's acing this dating thing) Yeah...no.
-And finally, let's talk about Sara (the co-worker's 4 year old). Can there be a more annoying child? Based on this story, I don't believe the author has ever talked to a real 4 year old.
-While I enjoy faith based books, they are often (as this one is) way too heavy handed. I imagine that, as an author, it would be difficult to put into text the small conversations faithful people have with God on a day to day basis. As.a result, the reader get slapped in the face with faith instead of it being natural woven into the story.

Overall, the book was full of ridiculous situations with ridiculous characters. I thought about abandoning the book several times, but kept reading because it was the only book I had at the pool with me.
Profile Image for Tomi Alger.
349 reviews
March 16, 2021
Emilie and Jonas are now both residing in Lititz, Pennsylvania. She is doing research for the Moravian Church and he is directing the building of a golf course, with a piece of land being needed by both of them. They seem to be quite opposite of each other, but as they learn about each other, they find some similarities. It is a pleasant Christian romance, though I found some of it a bit improbable.
Profile Image for Carol.
483 reviews
November 8, 2019
God shone through the many delightful folks in this story - young & not-so-young! Enjoyed the setting in Littitz, PA having been there. Enjoyed how Emilie grew as the story progressed. I was a tad frustrated with the misunderstandings early on. Great quotes at the head of each chapter; & wonderful moments of tea!
Profile Image for Havanah.
11 reviews
February 3, 2021
I will say, I didn't enjoy this contemporary novel from Liz quite as much as I do her historical fiction, but it was still a fun read.
The story feels very Hallmark-ish, but has a deeper spiritual note. Some of the descriptions used are hilarious, and I laughed a lot. Overall, it's a wholesome heartwarming book😊
104 reviews1 follower
February 16, 2018
Two different people meet under unusual circumstances, and along with preconceived opinions about each other, they don't click. Many other issues arise in the plot under the disguise of a love story of an unusual couple, which make it interesting.
435 reviews3 followers
December 29, 2017
This was a great romantic comedy with a good amount of heart and great spiritual depth. I had never heard of the Moravian Church before but it was so interesting to get a glimpse into their world.
Profile Image for Kim.
283 reviews
March 4, 2018
Wonderful long plane ride fairy tale . . . Maybe someday this will come true . . . ;)
Profile Image for Marisa Parker.
Author 2 books5 followers
April 2, 2018
Romance and religion intertwined. The growing romance a bit girlish at times but an easy light read.
Profile Image for Adrienne Organa.
284 reviews5 followers
November 13, 2019
I enjoyed this fun little romantic read! I wanted something lighthearted, funny, and focused on the Lord and that's just what I got! It was refreshing.
Profile Image for Bonnie Olive.
259 reviews2 followers
March 4, 2020
wonderful and laugh out loud book about a couple that start put complete opposite. but God has plans for them
Displaying 1 - 30 of 126 reviews

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