Title: The Trustworthy One by Shelley Shepard Gray
Walnut Creek Series Book Four
Publisher: Gallery Books
Genre: Contemporary, Amish, Romance
Length: 302 pages
Book Rating: B+
Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley
New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author Shelley Shepard Gray returns to the charming and evocative Walnut Creek Series with an unforgettable novel following one broken young woman whose search for peace leads her back to her hometown, where she rediscovers her faith and reconnects with those she loves most.
Kendra Troyer always knew she would leave Walnut Creek the first chance she got. When she was accepted into design school, she tried her best not to look back at the four siblings she was abandoning, but ahead to Columbus, where she was determined to stay—far away from her abusive home and far away from Nate Miller, the boy she vowed to despise for the rest of her life.
Though she suffered through dark times in Columbus, Kendra found her faith in the Lord again, and years later, when she learned one of her good friends had died, she realized it was time to go home to those she left behind.
Back in Walnut Creek, Kendra has a life she never could have imagined: her own design shop, a pretty little house, and a tight-knit group of friends. After she settles down, though, unexpected visitors come knocking and dark memories begin to resurface. Complicating things even further is the ever-present Nate Miller, who now owns the hardware store two doors down and whose very presence stirs in Kendra a fierce need to turn away and hide from her past. But Nate is persistent in setting things right between them.
As Kendra tries to come to terms with the anger she holds from her childhood, will she be able to open her heart to forgiveness and find the comfort she has always longed for in Walnut Creek?
The Trustworthy One by Shelley Shepard Gray is a sweet Amish romance of healing and forgiveness. Although this latest release is the fourth full-length installment in the Walnut Creek series, it can be read as a standalone.
Kendra Troyer is back in Walnut Creek where she is reconnecting with friends and setting up a new business. She is finally at a good place in her life when Nate Miller graciously offers her assistance. Kendra has disliked Nate ever since she overheard him disparaging her to his friends when they were teenagers. Can she forgive him for those long ago painful comments? And if she does, will Kendra welcome Nate into her life?
Kendra fled her abusive home as a teenager and she turned to unhealthy ways to cope. Finally getting her life back on track, she is happy to be back in Walnut Creek. Although she has tried to ignore Nate while she and their mutual friends are together, the close proximity of their businesses means seeing him on a more regular basis. Despite the pain he caused her in past, Kendra is quick to forgive but does that mean she is willing to truly become friends with him?
Nate regrets the hurtful comments he made about Kendra when he was a teenager. He is genuinely remorseful and his efforts to make amends are sincere. Kendra accepts his apology, but Nate soon realizes she is not ready to allow him into her life. Realizing his feelings run deeper than friendship, can Nate truly make up for his past mistakes?
Just as Kendra becomes settled into her new home and business, her younger sister Naomi surprises her with a request to live with her. Although taken aback, she is quick to agree. But just as they are settling into a new routine, Naomi is upset to discover her beloved sister is keeping secrets from her. And even worse, both sisters feel pressured to forgive the family members who hurt them the most during their dysfunctional childhood.
The Trustworthy One is a heartwarming novel with warmly inviting characters and a charming small town setting. Kendra is a wonderful young woman who has overcome many obstacles in her life. Nate is a delightful man whose willingness to make amends for past mistakes is quite refreshing. Kendra and Nate’s relationship transition from reluctant friends to romance takes place gradually in a realistic manner. Naomi is mature for her age but her lack of life experience results in conflict late in the story. Shelley Shepard Gray brings this touching romance to a heartfelt and gratifying conclusion. A wonderful conclusion the Walnut Creek series!