About the Book


Book: The Amish Marriage Bargain

Author: Marie E. Bast

Genre: Amish

Release Date: December 17, 2019

Will a baby girl bring them together at last?

She’ll do anything for her niece…Even marry the man who broke her heart.

Nothing can keep May Bender in her Amish hometown—except caring for her baby niece. But the bishop insists that May also marry her widowed brother-in-law, Thad Hochstedler—the beau who jilted her to wed her sister. Can May risk her heart long enough to learn the real reason for Thad’s first marriage…and possibly rediscover their love?


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About the Author


Marie E. Bast is a Publishers Weekly bestselling author. Her stories whisper words of hope and healing through complex characters and twisting plots. She enjoys writing Amish, contemporary and historical stories. Married for twenty-eight years, Marie and her husband have two grown sons and one daughter. When she’s not writing, she’s walking, golfing, gardening or spending time with her family. Visit her website at MarieBastAuthor.com or follower her on social media. 

More from Marie

 

Did you know that until as late as the twentieth century, marriage was never based on love?
 
In fact, the institution of marriage predates recorded history. But in ancient biblical times, the reasons for marriage are numerous. The kings, nobility, wealthy, and aristocratic families used arranged marriages to ensure loyalty between kingdoms, which forced a united bound and ensured the integrity of their inheritance and the family wealth.
 
Arranged marriages, marriages of convenience, and marriage bargains were practical to keep property and kingdoms intact and in the family line. But these marriage contracts also spilled over into the commoners’ lives. In times of poverty, a daughter was only another mouth to feed and therefore a burden on the family. That fueled the arranged marriages where the groom gave the family money, animals, or some other commodity in exchange for the marriage.
 
Also, arranged marriages were instrumental for women over the age of 30 who were unwed. Even in the nineteenth century, many women would find that a marriage of convenience was the way to go. Often, a widower needed a mother and housekeeper for his family, and sometimes a woman without means to support herself would readily accept a marriage of convenience. Even today, some cultures still use arranged marriages.
 
But one of the most unique marriage of convenience is the marriage bargain, and that is the central theme to my newest book, The Amish Marriage Bargain, which releases in book form December 17, 2019, and eBook January 1, 2020. The marriage bargain is the specific negotiation of the terms of the agreement regarding a particular situation and often included land.
 
After her sister dies, May Bender will do anything for her niece…Even marry the man who broke her heart. But like the days of old, the bargain goes deeper than that.
 

My Review

 

“She didn’t know what was worse…losing the farm or losing her heart. But could she risk sticking around to find out?”

With “The Amish Marriage Bargain”, Marie Bast composes an inspirational romance that tugs at the heartstrings and encourages readers to never lose faith. This is the first Amish novel I’ve read that focuses on a marriage of convenience, at least as far as I can recall, and I have to admit that I’m surprised to have enjoyed it as much as I did. It did not fall into a clichéd trope, which made it all the more appealing. Books such as this excel at demonstrating the similarities between the Amish and English communities; there are obvious differences, but similarities abound, too, and in this divisive day and age it is important to remember the things that can bring us together. Things like family and faith.

After having her heart broken when her beau married her sister, who died shortly after giving birth to baby Leah, May Bender takes over her little niece’s care. Living in her family’s farmhouse with her former beau, Thad Hochstetler, is a sacrifice she is willing to make for Leah, but the situation escalates quickly when the bishop stipulates that the two must marry. Add in several suspenseful predicaments and the scene is set for an intriguing story. Well-crafted characters enhance the story as well, with backstories that Bast reveals over time. May both embodies and defies the image of the ideal Amish wife, as she is willing to do whatever is necessary to overcome obstacles, even if it is unconventional. Her ardent nature is a source of consternation to the bishop and to her draconic mother-in-law, and I appreciated May’s determination and perseverance while sympathizing with her desire for true love. “She didn’t want secondhand love or someone who pitied her, or someone who wanted her out of loneliness. She wanted to feel loved by someone who was content being next to her.”

The circumstances surrounding the dairy farmers’ dilemma provides a glimpse into the challenges that the Amish face, and how these are in some ways unique from those of the Englishers. The sense of community is an aspect of Amish literature that I never tire of reading about, and the faith element in “The Amish Marriage Bargain” is likewise strong. Forgiveness and sacrifice tie faith and community together, reminding us to put Christ first and to live out lives of kindness and service. After all, His plans for us are always greater than we can imagine.

I received a complimentary copy of this book through Celebrate Lit and was not required to post a favorable review. All opinions are my own.


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Giveaway

 

 
To celebrate her tour, Marie is giving away to four winners each a $25 Amazon card, and they will also receive a copy of the book!!
 
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.