Sunday, February 23, 2020

Review: "Two Steps Forward" by Suzanne Woods Fisher

Let me start this out Hank Lapp syle: IT'S FINALLY JIMMY FISHER'S TURN!!!

Jimmy Fisher has long been a recurring character in Suzanne Woods Fisher's novels set in the Stoney Ridge Amish community, and I'm so glad it's finally his turn to grow up and find love.

Back and broke in Stoney Ridge, Jimmy Fisher has coasted as long as he could through life on charm, good looks, and deep-set dimples. They always worked just fine for him--until they didn't. His smile has no effect on the violet-eyed beauty he met at the Bent N' Dent, the one with that stunning horse. She's offered him a job, but nothing else.

The last thing Sylvie Schrock King needs around Rising Star Farm is a grown boy working for her, especially her neighbor Edith's son. The woman holds a serious grudge against Sylvie and her son, and hiring Jimmy Fisher will only fan the flames of Edith's rancor. But Sylvie is desperate for help on the farm, and Jimmy understands horses like no one else.

While Jimmy's lazy smile and teasing ways steal Sylvie's heart, Edith is working on a way to claim her land. Has Sylvie made another terrible mistake? Or is it too late to outfox the fox? More importantly . . . just who is the fox?

Writing with both wit and warmth, Fisher delivers a supremely satisfying conclusion to the popular Deacon's Family series.

While I'm not a fan of Amish novels in general, I'm always up for a return to Stoney Ridge! And the fact that this book is largely about Jimmy Fisher, first introduced clear back in the Stoney Ridge Seasons series, just made Two Steps Forward more attractive to me.

Upon his return to Stoney Ridge, Jimmy immediately meets widow Sylvie Schrock King, who owns the farm next to Jimmy's mother Edith and stepfather Hank's and is despised by Edith. When Sylvie offers Jimmy a job, he accepts—partly to help Sylvie, and partly to spite his mother. As the two get to know each other, they grow close ... but Jimmy's aversion to commitment might ruin their relationship before it even starts.

While Jimmy and Sylvie are the "A" story, the "B" story belongs to Luke & Izzy Schrock, who fell in love in the first book in this series. While I enjoyed Jimmy and Sylvie, I actually found myself more engaged with Luke and Izzy as they navigated infertility and a shared quest to save babies who might otherwise be aborted. The resolution to their story had a "wow, that's convenient" feel to it, but it was also so touching that I really didn't mind!

Also, Edith Fisher Lapp has a touching arc in this novel that I really enjoyed. At times, the book seemed to move a little slowly, but overall I really enjoyed this return to Stoney Ridge. 4 stars.

Note: While those who've read at least the other novels in the Deacon's Family series will probably enjoy this book the most, Fisher does include a very helpful character list that introduces the major characters and tells what book they first appeared in.

Buy the book (affiliate link).
Read my reviews of The Deacon's Family novel Mending Fences (4 stars); The Bishop's Family series: The Imposter (5 stars), The Quieting (5 stars), and The Devoted (5 stars); Inn at Eagle Hill series: The Letters (3-1/2 stars), The Calling (5 stars), The Rescue (novella: 4-1/2 stars), The Revealing (5 stars); her Stoney Ridge Seasons series: The Haven (4-1/2 stars), The Lesson (4-1/2 stars); her Christmas books: A Lancaster County Christmas and Christmas at Rose Hill Farm (4-1/2 stars), and her Amish Beginnings novel: Anna's Crossing (4-1/2 stars).

Suzanne Woods Fisher is an award-winning, bestselling author of more than two dozen novels, including the Nantucket Legacy, Amish Beginnings, The Bishop’s Family, and The Inn at Eagle Hill series. She is also the author of several nonfiction books about the Amish, including Amish Peace and The Heart of the Amish. She lives in California. Learn more at and follow Suzanne on Facebook @SuzanneWoodsFisherAuthor and Twitter @suzannewfisher.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Also, some of the links in this post are affiliate links. This means if you click on a link and make a purchase, I will receive a small commission. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

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