Member Reviews

Another outstanding book and start to a new series! This story follows Seth and Tabitha who have both left the Amish faith but who still live in the area. Included in the book were side stories of Lott, Bethanne and Melonie. It was so disheartening for me to read how the Amish treat each other who have left the faith or have been shunned due to other peoples choices or actions or things that aren’t predicted.

This story was very thought provoking and I loved that Seth and Tabitha decided to look to God and their faith for help and answers, instead of their community – since they were viewed as Unforgiven in the Amish community.

This clean Christian fiction had great characters, compelling story line, and included themes like faith, love, and working thru trauma and guilt. I can’t wait to read more in this new series! This gripping drama kept me intrigued from beginning to end. Highly recommend! My 14 year old also read it and enjoyed it as well! I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book. All opinions and views expressed are my own.

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Seth Zimmerman has been out of prison for three years now. Three years of his former Amish community not accepting him. Three years of strain between his parents and sister. Seth went to prison for what some would call an accident. He heard Bethanne's cries for help. Her boyfriend was attacking her and Seth knew rape was soon to follow if he did not intervene. Unfortunately, as he was fighting the guy off of her, the guy fell, hit his head on a rock and died. Seth was sentenced to prison for murder. Seth had never joined the church, so he hasn't been shunned, but it sure feels like it.
Then, there is Tabitha Yoder, whom the Amish community has also turned their backs on through no fault of hers. She married hastily, due to deceit, and was abused on a regular basis. Finally, her husband beat her so badly she ended up in the hospital and lost the child she was pregnant with. Her husband went to prison, but had threatened her that he would be back to punish her. Tabitha spent time in a women's home getting much needed counseling. Now, she's back living in the home she had shared with her husband. She divorced him which is a no-no among the Amish. She has left the Amish, but not her faith. The Amish have not helped her in her time of need. They whisper to one another wondering about her. She is so scared and so along. Her sister and the children visit once a month. Her sister's husband won't permit any more. He is not as kind and understanding as he should be.
Seth wants to help Tabitha. He understands how it is to be a cast-off from the community. He goes to her house and chops wood, clears snow from her driveway and leaves food at her door. He expects nothing in return. She watches from the window, but doesn't acknowledge him. She is just a little older than Seth. Before she married, she taught school and Seth was one of her students. Little does she know that Seth was in love with her way back then.
Finally, one day, he saw her watching him. After that, she opened the door and thanked him. Very slowly, they began to talk and she began to trust him and they forged a friendship. Her first one. She was scared and very skittish.
Then, the sheriff lets her know that her ex-husband is out of prison and may be in the area. She is terrified all over again. She begins to find gifts on her porch from him. The police are watching for him and driving past her house frequently. Will he get to her again? A must read!
Wonderful story with great characters. I thoroughly enjoyed this one! A story of healing, redemption, forgiveness, second chances.
I was given an advanced ecopy by the publisher, Revell through Netgalley. I was under no obligation to leave a positive review.

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Unforgiven has characters from The Rumors in Ross County Series and I enjoyed it just as much as Edgewater Road and Sycamore Circle. After much turmoil in both their lives, Seth and Tabitha are both in search of forgiveness and peace. They had such a sweet love story and I was sad when it ended.

Shelley Shepard Gray is always a must read for me... I always get through her books fairly quickly so they make for wonderful lazy afternoons.

Thank you NetGalley for the opportunity to read and review. All opinions are my own.

Publication date: 21 May 2024

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Set on the periphery of Amish country of Crittendon County, Kentucky, Unforgiven by Shelley Shepard Gray focuses on ex-con Seth Zimmerman and divorcee Tabitha Yoder. Unforgiven by their congregation and community for very different reasons, but facing similar separation from their families and former friends, both of them struggle with the consequences of their actions. Seth has longed to make Tabitha his wife since he was a student in her classroom, only a couple years younger, but unable to reach the woman who married Leon Yoder. Since Leon beat her near to death and she found the nerve to divorce him, Seth has taken up the habit of silently and consistently showing care for Tabitha. With time, Tabitha begins to warm up to and finally gets the nerve to speak to Seth, but the confidence Tabitha has begun to find is squelched when Leon is released from jail.

The interactions and building trust between Seth and Tabitha would have carried this story, as they struggle to forgive themselves in the face of what their former Amish community members will not. The addition of the family dynamic for each of them adds depth to the characters and their interactions, made more rich with the addition of the girl Seth protected on the fateful night that landed him in prison. Gray gives us characters we can relate to with interpersonal struggles that captivate. Some of the abruptness of interactions seem appropriate for the social style, but I did feel that there were times when it interfered with the flow of the story. Hence, four stars instead of five. Still, Gray leaves me looking forward to her next book, which hints at more of the story for dear Bethanne.

Thank you to the author and publisher for allowing me a copy to read and review. All opinions here are my own and are completely genuine.

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Unforgiven is an Amish romantic suspense novel written by Shelley Shepard Gray. If you love to read Amish Fiction like I do, then Shelley Shepard Gray is the author for you and this book, in particular, fits the bill.

I enjoyed each and every character that we were introduced to in this book, especially the two main characters, Tabitha and Seth.

I won't go in to the whole story with you, you can read the blurb on the back of the book for that. I am giving the book 5 stars because it kept me reading and wanting more. Anybody can write an Amish book but a good author will make you feel satisfied that you read their book and make you remember what you read, you will also find yourself wanting to read more of their work. That is exactly what I found with Shelley Shepard Gray.

I received a complimentary digital copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley.

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Shelley Shepard Gray is a prolific writer of Amish fiction. I have read many of her books and am amazed that she can concoct so many new stories. What a great mind!

Her novel, Unforgiven is one that I enjoyed. This novel addressed the issue of spousal abuse. Tabitha Yoder was isolated in her community because she divorced her abusive husband.

Seth Zimmerman has just been in prison for manslaughter after he defended a woman from a man who was trying to attack her. Although he left the Amish and was then ostracized, he tried to make amends to the community by doing good deeds, such as helping Tabitha by dropping off food, chopping wood, and anything else he could do to help her since she was being shunned. Then when gifts appear that can only be from her ex-husband, Tabitha is afraid for her life. Seth becomes her protector.

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I was surprised by this new to me author. This story had a good balance between showcasing the Amish’ ways and beliefs and bringing it together with the English world through Seth and Tabitha who grew up in the Amish world, but due to circumstances and events, lived a life away from the Amish.

The author did a great job with Tabitha’s character – showing her difficulty to trust, fear, and timid nature due to past abuse, but also the internal growth to become the stronger women at the end.

Seth was a wonderful character, one who just served others’ needs out of love, without expecting anything back. I enjoyed all his complex relationships and interactions.

I adored all the side characters from the Amish world, especially Melonie, Seth’s sister.

I did not expect to enjoy this story as much as I did!

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Unforgiven by Shelley Shepard Gray is an engaging Christian fiction!
I was pulled into this Amish romance story from the very beginning.
The characters are memorable. The writing is wonderful and the story was great.

Thank You NetGalley and Revell for your generosity and gifting me a copy of this amazing eARC!

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Unforgiven by Shelley Shepard Gray is a lovely story about two people who believe they aren’t worthy of love and find it with each other. Seth is a former Amish man who went to prison for accidental murder. Tabitha is a former Amish woman who was beaten by her husband to the point of almost death. Still embracing their faith, if not their Amish traditions, they develop a tentative friendship that moves into something more. However, Tabitha’s ex husband is back and looking to harm her. Can Seth help? Beautiful as all of her books are, you won’t want to miss this one!

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DNF for the time being.

When I requested this book, I didn't realize it was a spinoff from another series by Gray (which I haven't read so far). From skimming other reviews, it sounds like I could benefit from that--both because it itself is a good series, and to set myself up for success with this read.

I was also a bit confused; the book description noted Seth's _former_ Amish community--and again, not having read the other series, I went in thinking he wasn't involved with it anymore, but he's at least doing things for his former teacher in the community, whom he'd long had a crush on? Of course, once I clued in that she was only 3 years older than he (given the Amish schooling element), that made way more sense...but as a noob reader, I felt that could have been clarified way earlier. Instead, I felt on edge/weirded out about it until clarity came. So that just set me off on the wrong foot!

I may go back and read the other series, then revisit this one. I'll admit I'm not too big on Amish fiction anymore (ODed early on in the Amish-CF market), so we'll see, but Gray is certainly a talented author and I've enjoyed other books she's written.

I received an eARC of the book from the publisher via NetGalley. All opinions are my own.

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Unforgiven, by Shelley Shepard Gray, opens with Seth Zimmerman stopping by Tabitha Yoder’s home to assist with some of her chores. Seth is a former student of Tabitha’s; however, after a death in their Amish community has left Seth with the label of ex-con, Tabitha is uneasy with his presence!

Although Tabitha is a mere three years older than Seth, her unease is due to her memories of her abusive ex-husband. After two years of his weekly visits, Seth is surprised when one day Tabitha steps outside to thank him. Soon you will see these two begin to converse like old friends!

When Tabitha’s ex-husband shows up again, you wonder what will happen next. Will Tabitha be able to live in the new freedom she has found or will her ex-husband bring violence back into her world? Hold fast to see how Seth and Tabitha respond to this potential threat!

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I appreciated that this book dealt with issues of abuse in an amish community and didn't try to hide how the rules that govern their community can cause harm to a victim. Yet it didn't do it in a way that makes one condemn the amish. It showed the struggle even within one's own family. It dealt with the issue in a sensitive, real way that offered hope.

Seth is a beautiful character. He spends large amounts of time serving Tabitha even when she's too afraid to open her door. He doesn't blame others for the hardships he's encountered. He is wise and caring.

This book was written well and had a good pace to it. It moved along quickly and it was hard to put down. I'd highly recommend it. Thank you to Revell for providing me with a free copy of this book. All opinions are my own.

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Unforgiven by Shelly Shepard Gray, gives a different view of Amish family life. It's not a simple, perfect life that we might think as we drive by and look at the clothes on the line or the buggy's going down the street. Their private lives can be more like ours then we imagine.

Both main charactors (Seth and Tabitha) have done the unthinkable in the Amish community. Of course many of the community have strong opionions about what has happened and are not so easy to forgive. Even Seth and Tabitha have to learn to forgive...themselves.

This book kept me captivated from beginning to end.
What a great read!

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Unforgiven is the latest release by Shelley Shepard Gray. Unforgiven is a spinoff from her Rumors in Ross County series. This is Seth’s story. I have been waiting for his story for a while now and it was good, but it wasn’t quite what I was expecting. I loved that Tabitha is able to overcome so much in this story. Reading Tabitha and Seth’s story was a sweet and uplifting journey. I just thought that Seth’s good friends in the Rumors in Ross County series would have made an appearance in his story. He was always there for them and their significant others, that it is odd that they were not there for him and Tabitha. If I am being honest, it was a bit of a let down for me, at least compared to her Rumors in Ross County series. If you like a sweet and clean romance, then Unforgiven just might be for you.

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I find a lot of Amish-based stories to be very cookie cutter mold stories.

Unforgiven was not that!

I enjoyed the pace of it, past the initial little bit. It had some suspense, a lot of self forgiveness and working through past choices. It was also a good look of the interactions between Amish and non-Amish family but also not shunned. I enjoyed that aspect of the book!

There was good character growth and I’m excited to see how the rest of the series ends up!

Thank you to NetGalley for the ARC.

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The title, Unforgiven, makes you think. Who is unforgiven? For what? Could it be so bad that it could never be forgiven? This is an Amish novel. Don’t the Amish believe in forgiving no matter what?

Unforgiven is the first book in a new series, Rumors in Ross County. And what a beginning. Seth Zimmerman is an ex-con who has worked for three years in his Amish community to make amends. He assists people who need it — the vulnerable. One person he often helps is Tabitha Yoder who did the unthinkable for an Amish woman. She divorced her husband — her abusive husband. She is now shunned. Seth began two years ago. He just appears and does what needs doing.

Tabitha stays in the house. They do not talk but she watches him sometimes from the window. She is a few years older than Seth and was his teacher in the Amish school. Seth has been dropping by and doing various chores for two years and Tabita feels the need to say thank you. And from that thank-you, a friendship begins, an uneasy friendship, but it is what both need whether they know it or not.

And THEN … little gifts begin to be left at Tabitha’s door. After verifying the gifts are not from Seth, the only person it could be is her ex. Tabitha is scared and justifiably so and Seth isn’t about to stand back and let anyone hurt Tabitha. Even if it means he is arrested again.

The beginning is so well-written that I was pulled into Tabitha’s and Seth’s story from the beginning. We meet her sister & husband and their precious boys. And the three people who were intricately involved in Seth’s arrest. The story builds adding pieces of information that confirmed my suspicions.

As happens often when I read Amish-based novels, something reminds me of yesteryears. This time it was putting milk into mason jars, refrigerating them, and waiting for the cream to rise. Growing up we did the same except a mason jar wouldn’t hold enough milk, so a gallon can (well-cleaned) with the top removed was used instead.

When Chance appeared … I’m a sucker for puppy dogs. Chance adopts Tabitha. Dogs have an instinct that tells them when people need them — even when they don’t know they do.

Unforgiven is a wonderful story. I highly recommend it. And I’ll be looking forward to the next book in this series.

I received a complimentary DRC (digital review copy) of Unforgiven via NetGalley from the publisher, Barbour. A positive review was not required; the opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.

Rating: 5 stars
Series: Rumors in Ross County, #1
Cover: Grabbing. Catches the eye.
Pages: 292
Publish Date: 21 May 2024
#Unforgiven #NetGalley #ShelleyShepardGray

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Unforgiven by Shelley Shepard Gray pulled me into the story from the first paragraph. I was very interested in learning more about Seth and Tabitha. Their unique stories were very interesting and I needed to keep reading to learn more. As Shelley Shepard Gray introduced more characters and the story of Lott, Melonie and Bethanne are introduced, the story becomes even more interesting. I liked the theme of forgiveness and courage that was woven throughout the story. I could not put this story down. I enjoy all of Shelley Shepard Gray's stories and this one did not disappoint. It was very good!

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The two main characters, Seth Zimmerman and Tabitha Yoder, have an unfortunate part of their lives in common. Both live in semi-isolation from the Amish community where they live. Because of their past choices beyond their control, they have not been shunned but neither are they welcomed by the Amish around them. Seth shows up at Tabitha’s house frequently, chopping wood for her, leaving gifts of groceries and helping out around the house as much as he can. Tabitha is a recluse, rarely leaving the confines of her house since her divorce from the abusive Leon, a choice that has led to her isolation from family and friends. Seth is an ex-con who accidentally killed a man who was attacking another woman, so he is not accepted in the Amish society either. The plot is mesmerizing and totally engaging, with the friendship that the two establish gradually developing into mutual respect and finally love. The title of the book is intriguing, especially since I spent a lot of the time I was reading it thinking that the two were “Unforgiven” by the Amish. There is a deeper reason for the title and I won’t spoil it for you by revealing the hidden meaning. The characters are so realistic and relatable, characters who are caught in the challenges of life and end up victims of their circumstances in more ways than one. I enjoyed getting to know Seth’s heart, what led him to be so kind and compassionate to others. I also liked getting to know the quiet and talented Tabitha who weaves baskets so that she can earn money to live on. The story seems realistic and believable with a pace that is perfect for the story being told. There is a lot of spiritual truth built into the story but it doesn’t overwhelm the tale with preachiness. An entire community is affected when these two find themselves combining efforts to keep Tabitha safe from Leon, newly released from prison and determined to possess what is his. I loved the story, the life lessons and the character development. The entire book is brilliantly written, action packed and addictive. A rich story infused with spiritual truth, “Unforgiven” immersed me in the drama of the story with its intricate plot threads and satisfying conclusion.
Disclaimer
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary copy of this book from Revell via Netgalley as well as a hard copy from Baker Book House. I was not required to write a positive review and all opinions expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16th CFR, Part 255, “Guidelines Concerning the Use of Testimonials and Endorsements in Advertising.”

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I requested to read and review this book through the Revell Reads program. All thoughts are fully my own and freely given.

I chose to review this book because I have enjoyed reading other books by Shelley Shepard Gray. This book was a bit disappointing. It seemed rather shallow to me. The characters were not fully developed and there wasn't much depth to them.

The storyline was fine. It flowed well and it was something that could have happened. The story kept my interest but seemed to end too quickly.

I give this a solid 3 out of 5-star rating and would recommend it to my friends.

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Another Amish romance. This is a favorite genre of mine. I found this to move fairly slowly to start. I liked the idea of the ex-con Amish man and the divorced Amish woman who had been abused by her ex husband. There were some good take away messages throughout.

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