Review: Ties That Bind, The Bishop’s Son

Ariana’s comfortable Old Order Amish world is about to unravel. Will holding tightly to the cords of family keep them together—or simply tear them apart?

Twenty-year-old Ariana Brenneman loves her family and the Old Ways. She has two aspirations: open a café in historic Summer Grove to help support her family’s ever-expanding brood and to keep any other Amish from being lured into the Englisch life by Quill Schlabach.

Five years ago Quill, along with her dear friend Frieda, ran off together, and Ariana still carries the wounds of that betrayal. When she unexpectedly encounters him, she soon realizes he has plans to help someone else she loves leave the Amish.
Despite how things look, Quill’s goal has always been to protect Ariana from anything that may hurt her, including the reasons he left. After returning to Summer Grove on another matter, he unearths secrets about Ariana and her family that she is unaware of. His love and loyalty to her beckons him to try to win her trust and help her find a way to buy the café—because when she learns the truth that connects her and a stranger named Skylar Nash, Quill knows it may upend her life forever.

Ties That Bind is the first novel in the Amish of Summer Grove series.

Review: I connected with the characters in this novel quickly, especially Ariana and Quill. Even now as I think about certain scenes in the book, tears form in my eyes. Yep, I’m a sap.

I expected a happily-ever-after ending and was a bit disappointed as this seems to be part one in the series. While it “might” stand-alone, it leaves a lot of questions.

All that said, I enjoyed the story a great deal, and am anxious for book two because I want to know what happens next.

Rating: 4 roses


Two men offer Leila two very different futures. Will she choose with her heart or with her faith?

Leila Lantz has been in love with Jesse Glick from the day she first saw him at his father’s store, but she can’t make sense of his intentions. One day he wants to come courting, the next he seems to be putting distance between them.

Jesse may be the bishop’s son, but his faith has been wavering of late. If he is so unsure, is it fair to give Leila false hope for a future he doubts he can provide?

Then there’s Will, Jesse’s cousin. He has been trying to keep his feelings for Leila a secret, but he also knows Jesse is wrestling with his faith. Would declaring his feelings for Leila be in her best interest or simply serving his own selfish desires?

Leila knows she can choose Will and be secure in her own future. But when her heart speaks, it’s Jesse’s name she hears. When will God make His will known to her? Could leaving everything she knows—even her own faith—be a part of God’s plan?

Review:  I loved this book. I think I have loved most, if not all, of the books I’ve read by Kelly Irvin. She tends to delve into the difficult, real problems of life, just from an Amish perspective. I liked Leila’s choice (nope, no spoilers here), but think if she’d chosen the other route, it would have been just as satisfying. This book, I think, shows that there’s not always one RIGHT choice. We all struggle with choices that both seem right–this school or that one, that car or this one, etc. Sometimes we just have to choose. 🙂

Rating: 5 roses

I received these novels from the author/publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Happy Reading,

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