Read An Excerpt

by Marta Perry

Genre: Contemporary Romance, Inspirational

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The first step in Sarah Mast’s new life didn’t seem to be going quite the way she’d expected. She stood at the bus station in the village of Pleasant Valley, her plain dark suitcases by her feet, and pulled her black coat around her against the chilly November wind. 

She could sense the curious glances of passers-by, even though the brim of her bonnet cut them from view. Folks were probably used to seeing the Amish in this central Pennsylvania valley, but maybe not an Amish woman standing alone in so Englisch a place as a bus station.

She could see the clock above the counter through the plate glass window. Nearly a half hour past the time she’d told Aunt Emma the bus would arrive. Why was there no one here to meet her?

Doubt crept in, as it did so easily these days. Maybe this move had been a mistake. Maybe...

She pushed the weakening thoughts away. Aunt Emma’s letter had offered her a chance she hadn’t expected...a chance to start over in a new place where she was Sarah Mast, midwife, a useful member of the community, not Sarah Mast, childless widow, an object of pity.

The creak of a buggy alerted her, and she turned to see an Amishman climb down. She let out a breath of relief and headed toward him, but when the man turned, it wasn’t one of her cousins. She stopped, flushing when his startled gaze met hers. 

Recognition seemed to grow in a strong-featured face that was vaguely familiar, even though she couldn’t put a name to the man. He stopped, inclining his head slightly.

“You are Emma Stoltzfus’s niece, ain’t so?”

“Ja.” She let out her breath in a sigh of relief. “Sarah Mast. I was afraid Aunt Emma had forgotten I was arriving today.”

His dark eyebrows drew down over brown eyes as he seemed to assess her words. “You were expecting her to send someone to pick you up already?”

“I thought you—“

“I’m afraid not.” He seemed to realize she wasn’t sure who he was. “I’m Aaron Miller. My home and shop are just down the road from your aunt’s.”

“Of course. I should have remembered.” She’d have met him the last time she was here, probably. 

“I think it must be a good six or seven years since you visited Pleasant Valley. Long enough to forget a few names, ain’t so?”

She nodded, but the memories had begun to come back now that she had a name to hang them on. Aaron was taller and broader than the boy he’d been then, but he hadn’t changed all that much. He was clean-shaven, showing a strong, square jaw, which meant he wasn’t married yet, and he had to be a year or two older than she was. That was unusual among the Amish, who married and started their families earlier than their Englisch neighbors. 

The wind whipped around the corner of the building, and Sarah couldn’t stop a shiver. 

Aaron frowned, glancing up and down the street that was lined with a mix of businesses, some Amish, some Englisch. “How long have you been waiting?”

“Half an hour. Maybe a bit more. I’m sure someone will be along soon...”

“There’s been some mix-up, that’s certain sure.” Aaron bent and picked up her suitcases. “Let me stow these in the buggy and see if the part I expected came in on the bus. Then I’ll take you to your aunt’s place.”