A Match for Addy (The Amish Matchmaker)

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9780373879373: A Match for Addy (The Amish Matchmaker)

In Search of True Love 

Spinster Addy Coblentz fears she'll never marry. So her parents hire the new matchmaker who's moved to their Amish community of Seven Poplars. But Addy doesn't just want a match. She wants love. While some of her potential suitors are perfectly fine, only one man catches her eye. Gideon Esch is everything Addy's looking for: strong, kind—and handsome. But he's only a poor hired hand who can never give her family the stability they want. With her future happiness at stake, will Addy follow the rules...or follow her heart? 

THE AMISH MATCHMAKER: Bringing love to Seven Poplars—one couple at a time!

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About the Author :

Emma Miller lives quietly in her old farmhouse in rural Delaware amid fertile fields and lush woodlands. Fortunate enough to be born into a family of strong faith, she grew up on a dairy farm, surrounded by loving parents, siblings, grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins. Emma was educated in local schools, and once taught in an Amish schoolhouse much like the one at Seven Poplars. When she's not caring for her large family, reading and writing are her favorite pastimes.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved. :

Kent County, Delaware
June


Dorcas Coblentz walked at a brisk pace, eager to reach Sara Yoder's farm. Today was going to be an exciting day; she could feel it. She just wished her mother hadn't insisted that she wear her church shoes to her new job. They were black leather oxfords, old-fashioned, heavy and exactly like the ones her grossmama wore. Dorcas understood the value of Plain shoes that would hold up to mud and rain, but these were more suited to a sixty-year-old woman than one less than half that age.

And they had rubbed a blister on the big toe of her left foot.

It didn't matter that they were the same size her mam had been buying for her since she was fourteen; this pair had never fit right. Dorcas had tried to explain the problem to her, but as long as she lived under her parents' roof, she would be allowed little choice in her own clothing. No one ever asked for her opinion on anything, and when she dared give it, she wasn't taken seriously. Martha and Reuben Coblentz believed that a girl's parents should make decisions for her until she moved into her husband's home. Then it was his responsibility to make those decisions. What was funny about that idea was that, as far as she could tell, it was her mother who made all the decisions in their house.

Dorcas sighed as she walked along the wooded path between her parents' property and Sara's. Dealing with her parents was becoming more and more frustrating. She should have been married years ago, like her pretty Yoder cousins. Then she would have had her own husband, household and children. It wasn't that she didn't love her parents or honor them, as the Bible told her she must. But every once in a while, Dorcas longed to have more independence. Almost as much as she longed for a beau.

That thought elicited another long sigh from Dorcas.

She'd just learned that chubby Barbara Beachy had a young man courting her, a man with his own horse and buggy. And Barbara was barely seventeen. Sunday, Barbara had confided in Dorcas that she should try prayer to find a husband. The thing was, Dorcas had been praying for one every night since she was fifteen. Maybe that was where she had made her mistake. Maybe it wasn't right to pray for a husband. Good health, rain, even patience—she could understand asking God for those things. But maybe bothering Him about a husband was irreverent. Maybe that's why she'd never had a boy ask her to a singing, or even offer her a ride home from a frolic.

Dorcas straightened her thin shoulders and walked a little faster. Now her right shoe was rubbing her heel, which took her mind off the left foot a little. She didn't want to be late on her first day at her new job. It was important to make a good impression on cousin Sara, who was new to Seven Poplars, and—her mam said—rich enough to set sausage, bacon and scrapple on her breakfast table every morning. Sara had offered to pay Dorcas well for her assistance in getting settled into her new house, and then, if things worked out, Dorcas would continue to help with cleaning and cooking on a regular basis.

Dorcas caught a flash of the hem of her dress and smiled to herself. Her shoes were awful, but at least she could be happy with her new dress. Her mam had paid cousin Johanna to sew it for her, and the material was the nicest that Dorcas had ever worn. It was the prettiest shade of lavender; she'd never had a lavender dress before. Her mother always chose dark colors for her. This morning, she had covered it with a full-length work apron. The fabric felt soft against her skin and made her smile every time she looked down at it.

Dorcas's own sewing wasn't that good. She supposed that she could have done a better job if their treadle machine didn't keep breaking the thread and grinding to a stop in the middle of a straight seam. Finances were tight in their home, and her mam said the old worn-out sewing machine was the least of their worries. Dorcas was glad to have an opportunity to help her family by working for Sara. Her dat had promised that she could keep part of her wages, and it was exciting to think that, for the first time ever, she'd have money to spend as she chose.

Dorcas intended to work hard for Sara and prove that picking her, when she could have had any of a dozen unmarried girls in Seven Poplars, had been the best choice. Dorcas had been so eager to start that she'd hurried through oatmeal, stewed prunes and coffee this morning, not even taking time for toast and apple butter. And wanting to be there early, she decided to cut through the woods by the old logging road rather than walk down the blacktop from their farm to Sara's place.

There was no gate at the end of the woods road, just a four-foot wire fence, overgrown in a morass of poison ivy, thorns and wild roses. There was an old wooden ladder, a stile, to get over it. Almost to the stile, Dorcas stopped and shifted her right foot inside her shoe. She was definitely working on a blister on her heel. She glanced up in indecision. It was another quarter of a mile to the farmhouse. How was that going to look to Sara if her new employee showed up for her first day of work limping like a foundered mare?

The clunky shoes just weren't going to do today.

Dorcas glanced around, hands on her hips. The path was used by plenty of the neighbors, but there was no one in sight. No one would ever know. She quickly untied her shoes, slipped out of them and removed her black stockings. Into the shoes the stockings went, then she put them behind a tree. They would be safe there, and she could retrieve them on her way home, without her mother being any the wiser.

With the grass delightfully cool beneath her feet, Dorcas gazed up at the fence. While the rungs on the stile were old and covered with moss, she knew she could easily climb them. Without any trouble, she scrambled up. She'd taken the first step on the far side when suddenly wood cracked under one foot. As she started to fall, Dorcas threw out her arms and windmilled, in an attempt to catch her balance. It was too late. She tumbled sideways and somehow fell headfirst into the tangle of fencing, vines and briars.

"Ach!" she cried as she hit the ground.

One shoulder had slammed into the wooden fence post as she went down, and for an instant, the wind was knocked out of her. Dorcas lay caught in a snare of green briars and stared up dizzily at the bright blue sky. How did these things happen to her? She was a good girl who obeyed her parents and tried to follow the laws of God. Things like this were not supposed to happen—not on the first day of work at her very first job!

Dorcas's right knee and the palm of her left hand burned; she was sure she'd cut herself on something. Her knee felt as though the flesh had been gouged, and she felt a warm trickle of blood.

Her eyes welled up suddenly, as much from disappointment as pain. Today was not supposed to go like this. Today was a new start. She'd decided that this morning when she'd risen from her morning prayers.

But Dorcas wasn't a crier. She'd learned long ago that tears didn't do a body a bit of good. She shoved her dress over her bare legs and tried to sit up, but the briars scratched her arms and legs, seeming to pull her down. The harder she tried to get up, the more it hurt. She lay back for a second to think. How was she going to get out of the hedgerow without further injuring herself? Maybe if she could get her feet beneath her, she could wiggle her way out. Dorcas rolled to one side, only to find that her skirt was snagged on a splinter of the fence post. She rolled onto her back and tried to free the material, but she couldn't work it loose. The only way she could get free, at this angle, would be to tear the dress off the post.

Her throat constricted. Now she wanted to cry. Her mam had warned her to wear her old burgundy-colored dress, but it was patched and scandalously short, sewn for her when she was younger and hadn't yet grown to such an unseemly height. She'd so badly wanted to wear the pretty new dress on her first day of work. Now she was paying the price for her vanity.

"Was in der welt?" It was a male voice.

Dorcas froze.

"Are you hurt?" He switched to English.

Dorcas tried wildly to think who it could be. He was Amish. She could tell that by his use of the Deitsch dialect. But she couldn't recognize this stranger's voice, which didn't make any sense. Seven Poplars was a small community; she knew everyone.

Heat flashed under the skin of her throat and cheeks. If she could have suddenly made herself invisible, she would have. Frantically, she drew her legs up, attempting to cover her bare shins. "I'm caught," she managed, her voice coming out in a squeak. "My dress…"

The sun was so bright that when she looked up, she could only make out the silhouette of the stranger as he leaned over her and closed his hands around her shoulders. "Ne, maedle, lie still."

His husky voice was rich and compassionate. She squinted in the sunshine. This was no lad, but neither did his tone have the weight and gravity of age—a young man, then. Which was even worse. She clamped her eyes shut, hoping the ground would swallow her up.

"Easy," he said. "I'm just going to—"

She felt the tension on her dress suddenly loosen.

"There you go."

At once, she tried to struggle to her feet, but she couldn't find anything solid to grab on to. Before she could protest, he had wrapped his arms around her and was lifting her out of the briars.

He cradled her against him, one arm under the backs of her knees, the other supporting her shoulders. "Best I get you to Sara and have her take a look at that knee. Might need stitches." Instead of putting her down, he turned and started to walk across the field toward Sara's.

Dorcas opened her eyes and looked into a broad, shaven face framed by shaggy butter-blond hair that hung almost to his wide shoulders. He was the most attractive man, Amish or English, she had ever laid eyes on. She parted her lips, but words wouldn't come. He was too beautiful to be real, this man with merry pewter-gray eyes and suntanned skin.

I must have hit the post with my head and knocked myself silly, she thought.

She was breathless again, but now it wasn't from the fall. Other than her father, she'd never been this close to a man. And this one was so large, so beautiful. And his smell. She hadn't known a man could smell so good. A small part of her brain registered the thin, patched shirt with its frayed collar, as she took more of the details in. This dream man was even more poorly dressed than her father.

"I can… I should…" She pushed against his shoulders, thinking she should walk. She could certainly walk.

"Ne, not on that knee. It may need stitches. If you try to walk, you could do yourself more harm." He shifted her weight. "You'll be more comfortable if you put your arms around my neck." she mumbled, but she did as he said. He kept walking. She knew that this was improper, but she couldn't figure out what to do, what to say. The sun shone warm on her face; she could hear a mockingbird singing.

"You must be the little cousin Sara said was coming to help her today," he said. "I'm Gideon, her hired man. Gideon Esch. I just arrived last night from Cashton."

Little cousin? Gideon's words sifted through her tumbled thoughts. Little? She was five foot eleven, a giant compared to most of the local women, and taller than three quarters of the men in her community. She almost giggled. No one had ever called her little before. But what came out was only "Vo? " She'd never heard of Cashton.

"Wisconsin. My home." He smiled down at her, and sunlight lit his face. His eyebrows were fair and neat, his face clean-shaven. He wasn't married. Her heart pounded.

She didn't know what to say. She had to say something, didn't she? "The…stile…step broke," she managed.

"I saw. Falling into that fence. You could have been seriously hurt."

She nodded. Gulped. Maybe this was a dream.

"You don't say much, do you?" He looked down at her in his arms and grinned. "Not like my sisters, eight of them. Talk, talk, talk, all the time, until a man can't hear himself think. You know what I mean?"

Dorcas nodded again.

He grinned. "I like you, little cousin. Do you have a name?"

"Dorcas. Dorcas Coblentz."

The gray eyes narrowed, and Gideon shook his head. "You don't look like a Dorcas to me."

What was she supposed to say to that? She'd never thought her name suited her, either, but it had never mattered. Dorcas was the name her parents had given her at birth.

He stopped walking to look down at her with a serious face. "I don't suppose you have a middle name?"

She nodded. "Adelaide."

"Better." He grinned down at her. "Adelaide," he repeated. "Addy. That's what I'll call you. You look a lot more like an Addy than you do a Dorcas."

"Addy?" The syllables rolled off her tongue, not quite the same as the way Gideon said it with his Wisconsin Deitsch accent, but well enough. The idea settled over her as easily as warm maple syrup over blueberry pancakes. "Addy," she repeated, and then she found herself smiling back at him. Addy was such a pretty name.

Dorcas wasn't pretty. She had never been pretty. Her parents and grandmother had made that clear to her as a child. "Teach that one to cook," her grossmama had declared on the morning of her first day of school. "She's as plain of face as you were, Martha, too tall for a girl and skinny as a broom handle. And that mouth… " Her grandmother had spread her hands hopelessly. "Be firm with Dorcas while she's young, or I warn you, you'll have an old maid on your hands, just like my sister, Jezzy."

"Almost there, Addy," Gideon said, bringing her back to the present.

She opened her eyes, half expecting to find that it wasn't a handsome young man carrying her across the field, but some shriveled-up old farmer with straw in his beard and hair growing out of his ears.

But there he was. Dorcas sighed with relief, as a smile bubbled up and spilled out of her wide mouth and spread across her face. Gideon Esch—a perfect name for any Plain girl's secret wishing.

"Gideon Esch! Was in der welt?"

Dorcas turned her head to see Sara Yoder drop her basket of laundry at the clothesline.

She hurried toward them, apron flying. "How bad is she hurt?"

"The stile broke on the south fence line, and she fell into the hedgerow. She cut her knee on a nail, I think. She might need a tetanus shot," Gideon told Sara.

"Had one this year," Dorcas squeaked.

"I thought…it might not be goot for her to walk on it."

Sara looked at Do...

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Emma Miller
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Description du livre Love Inspired, United States, 2015. Paperback. État : New. Language: English . Brand New Book. In Search of True Love Spinster Addy Coblentz fears she ll never marry. So her parents hire the new matchmaker who s moved to their Amish community of Seven Poplars. But Addy doesn t just want a match. She wants love. While some of her potential suitors are perfectly fine, only one man catches her eye. Gideon Esch is everything Addy s looking for: strong, kind--and handsome. But he s only a poor hired hand who can never give her family the stability they want. With her future happiness at stake, will Addy follow the rules.or follow her heart? THE AMISH MATCHMAKER: Bringing love to Seven Poplars--one couple at a time!. N° de réf. du libraire BRD9780373879373

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Description du livre Love Inspired, United States, 2015. Paperback. État : New. Language: English . Brand New Book. In Search of True Love Spinster Addy Coblentz fears she ll never marry. So her parents hire the new matchmaker who s moved to their Amish community of Seven Poplars. But Addy doesn t just want a match. She wants love. While some of her potential suitors are perfectly fine, only one man catches her eye. Gideon Esch is everything Addy s looking for: strong, kind--and handsome. But he s only a poor hired hand who can never give her family the stability they want. With her future happiness at stake, will Addy follow the rules.or follow her heart? THE AMISH MATCHMAKER: Bringing love to Seven Poplars--one couple at a time!. N° de réf. du libraire BRD9780373879373

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