Category Archives: The Amish Mail Order Grooms Series

Review: Marrying Matthew by Kelly Long

Title: Marrying Matthew by Kelly Long
The Amish Mail Order Grooms Series Book One
Publisher: Zebra Books
Genre: Contemporary, Amish, Romance
Length: 272 pages
Book Rating: B

Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley


Captivating Amish romance set in a tiny Appalachian community—where some young women are determined to wed on their own terms . . .

Wanted: An Amish mail-order groom willing to live in remote Appalachia. Appearance must be tolerable, though bride would favor a gut mind over looks . . .

Everyone in Blackberry Falls knows that Tabitha Stolfus is heir to her daed’s wood carving company. To find a man who values more than her purse, Tabitha creates an ad and sends it far from home. But from her first meeting with handsome would-be groom Matthew King, Tabitha realizes this may not be the uncomplicated arrangement she expected.

Matthew’s true desire is an apprenticeship, not a frau. A talented woodworker, he longs to study with the great Herr Stolfus. Yet it’s more than the kindness and warmth of this mountain community that makes Matthew regret his deception. Tabitha—beautiful, intelligent, resourceful—is all he could ever want in a wife. Can a real marriage ever take root when there are so many secrets between them?


Marrying Matthew is a charming first installment in Kelly Long’s The Amish Mail Order Grooms series.

Tabitha Stolfus is the twenty year old daughter of a successful owner of a woodworking business.  She wants to marry a man of her own choosing and who does not know about her family business. Strong-willed and creative, Tabitha places an ad for a mail-order Amish husband. Keeping her plans secret from her father, John, she is aided by her friend/bodyguard Abner Mast and her friend/housekeeper Anke. Tabitha is pleasantly surprised by her intended, but will she and her new groom live happily ever after?

Matthew King is really not interested in marriage but answering Tabitha’s ad is a means to an end. He is a woodworker who wants to apprentice under his bride-to-be’s father so that is his impetus for marrying Tabitha. Matthew is taken aback by how quickly Tabitha wants to marry since he believed they would have a bit of a courtship before their marriage. He goes along with marrying quickly but he stymies her plans to consummate their marriage before they take the time to get know each other.

John is surprised but thrilled by Tabitha’s marriage and he does not hesitate to welcome Matthew into the family and the business. But the townspeople are a somewhat superstitious and when a couple of incidents occur, they try to distance themselves from the newcomer. After tragedy strikes, most everyone believes Matthew is to blame. Then, just as Matthew and Tabitha fully commit themselves to their marriage, their future is threatened by a series  of events that put not only their happiness, but their lives, in danger.

Marrying Matthew is a fast-paced romance that is not typical of Amish fiction. John and Tabitha are delightful characters whose attraction to each other is not downplayed. Readers of clean romances might be uncomfortable due to descriptions of their mutual desire. A lovely romance between Abner and Anke slowly unfolds and adds depth and substance to the storyline. With a somewhat predictable plot twist late in the story, Kelly Long brings this engaging romance to a dramatic conclusion.  I am looking forward to the next book in The Amish Mail Order Grooms series.

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