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A Change of Heart (PAPERBACK)

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Cherish gets a surprise visitor, who changes her life forever. That's not the only change for the Baker/Bruner family when tragedy strikes. Can Wilma allow the entire extended family to come together to overcome the challenges they face? 

Book 29 The Amish Bonnet Sisters.

Paperback, perfect bound 234 pages
Book dimensions 6 x 9"
Publication date May 26, 2022
Publisher Samantha Price

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Chapter 1.
Under the warm, mellow sun, Cherish headed towards the barn to call Malachi. She’d finished her orchard chores, but she wasn’t finished for the day. Many chores within the household waited for her. 
Even though evening calls were Malachi’s preference, she needed to speak to him earlier today to get something important off her chest.
She’d led Malachi to believe she’d come back to the farm soon. At the time, she had intended to talk her mother into it. Now Malachi believed her mother had already agreed. Cherish had wanted it to be true so badly that she didn’t have the heart to correct him. 
When she had mustered up the courage to speak to Mamm, she wasn’t at all receptive to the idea. Mamm had said that once Levi made a solid improvement, she might be able to go to the farm for a visit.  
Once Cherish reached the barn, she closed her eyes. She said a silent prayer before pushing open the double doors and walking toward the phone. Caramel, her dog, ran over to her. When she reached the phone, Caramel settled on the ground next to her. 
Cherish picked up the phone’s receiver and took a deep breath. Caramel stared up at her as though he sensed she was disturbed. She wedged the phone between her shoulder and her ear and bent down to pat him. Then she called the number of the farm  that she knew by heart. It only rang a few times before Malachi answered.
“Hello, Cherish.”
Cherish smiled. “Malachi, how many times have I told you not to answer the phone like that?”
Malachi laughed. “You’re the only person who ever calls.”
“Yes, but one time it’s not going to be me, and you’ll be embarrassed.”
“No, I won’t. I don’t get embarrassed.”
Cherish laughed. “How are you doing? And how’s Wally?” Wally was his pet goose that followed him everywhere.
“I’m all right. Wally’s keepin’ me company but, I won’t be satisfied until you’re back here with me.”
Cherish didn’t want to tell him yet. It felt better to hear his cheerfulness before she blurted out the bad news. “I look forward to that day more than you can imagine.” She kept patting Caramel.
“Is everything okay? You seem a bit down? Has something changed since the last time we talked?”
Her heart pumped hard, making her a little faint. She leaned against the wall. “Yes, everything’s fine, it’s….”
“What?” he asked.
Cherish bit her lip. She didn’t know how to tell him. He’d heard it all before about being needed at the orchard. If she told him again, she’d just be singing the same old song with the same old excuses. “The truth is, I’m not sure when I will be able to return to the farm.” Cherish held her breath and squeezed her eyes shut, waiting for his response.
“What do you mean? I thought you’d talked to your mother, right?”
Cherish was silent for a moment. 
“It’s Levi, isn’t it?” Malachi asked.
Cherish exhaled, letting go of the breath she was holding onto. “Yes.”
“Is he okay?”
“He is, but Mamm has to do a lot more for him lately. And that means I have to do a lot more work around here. She needs my help now, so much more than before. It would be different if any of my sisters still lived at home. It’s hard being the last one. She’s come to rely on me way too much.”
“It’s okay. I understand.” His voice was quiet.
“I’m sorry, Malachi.”
“It’s okay. Don’t worry about it. Wally needs me. I’ll call you… maybe tomorrow.”
The phone went dead. Cherish’s jaw dropped. She was shocked at how suddenly Malachi had ended the call. He hadn’t even waited for her to say goodbye. They normally argued over who was going to hang up first. And what did he mean by ‘maybe tomorrow’?
Does Wally need him? 
For what?
Was Malachi having second thoughts? Or was he sick of waiting for her? She hung up the receiver and slumped to the ground next to Caramel. Her dog sat there, looking at her with big brown eyes. 
“All I want is to be at the farm,” she explained to her canine best friend and confidant. “I’m going to take things in a positive direction. I’m going to train you to like geese. You really should. It’s mean to chase them.”
Caramel licked her hand.
“That’s it. We’re going to the park right now.” Cherish stood up. She was determined not to be defeated by a little thing like distance. “Maybe if I can call him tomorrow and tell him how good you are with geese, he’ll at least know I’m trying.” Cherish walked out of the barn back up towards the house to hitch the horse and buggy. 
Wilma came out onto the back porch and yelled out to her. “Cherish, where are you going?” 
“I’m taking Caramel to the park.”
“At this time?” Mamm placed her hands on her hips. “He’s got acres of land to run around on right here, and Levi needs to eat soon.”
“I won’t be long.”
“Can’t you take the dog tomorrow?” Mamm whined. 
“I really won’t be that long. I need to get him used to geese.”
“Used to geese?” Mamm frowned. “What crazy thing are you up to now?”
Cherish sighed. Why was she always treated like a child? Since when did she ever do anything crazy? “Okay. I guess I’ll do it tomorrow. I’m coming, Mamm.” 
“It’s okay, Cherish. You can go, but be back within the hour. I need you to cook dinner tonight. I’m exhausted.” Mamm turned around and walked back inside. 
Cherish took a deep breath, then waved at Caramel. “Come on. Let’s go.”
Once Cherish hitched the buggy, she opened the door for Caramel, and he didn’t waste any time jumping in. As they traveled down the driveway, Caramel rested his paws on the door and peered out.
Cherish tried not to think about the conversation she’d just had with Malachi and the odd way it had ended. She looked at Caramel. “Please be nice to the geese. It’s important for our future.” 
Caramel was too busy looking out the window to listen. 
Cherish parked the buggy in the shade under a large cedar tree. The park was big and beautiful, but the lake in the center was her favorite part. It was surrounded by trees and bushes. She put Caramel on his lead and walked through the freshly mowed grass toward the lake.
She noticed a couple of other dogs running around, and a few families were there as well. Cherish held Caramel’s lead tightly. As she came closer to the lake, she spotted some geese over to the right. She kneeled next to Caramel, watching him closely. “There are some geese over there, but they’re not for chasing. Let’s hope you do well today.”
Cherish stood up and hung onto the lead. Caramel spotted the geese and moved toward them. Then he was distracted by the off-leash dogs darting about. He turned his back on the geese, so Cherish turned him around to face them again. 
Caramel watched two geese that were in a clearing. One got frightened and sprang into the air. Caramel still sat there, uninterested. Cherish figured it was safe to unclip his leash. Once she did that, Caramel moved towards the geese and sat down about a yard away. Then he ran up and down the lake, sniffing and digging holes, unfazed by the geese that seemed unfazed by him too. Cherish sighed with relief. Then Caramel was joined by a familiar dog. It was Goldie, Joy’s dog.
“Cherish! Over here!” Cherish heard her name being called and turned around to see Joy walking over. Her two daughters played on a rug behind her.
“Joy! Hi. I didn’t see you there.” 
Her sister wrapped her arms around Cherish, giving her a warm hug. “I didn’t see you either. I was looking back the way we came.” 
“I was looking at the geese!” Cherish turned to watch Caramel run up and down the lake happily alongside Goldie. 
Caramel bounded back up to them and barked his excitement at being reunited with them. Then Goldie jumped up, nipping at his ear, and the two of them ran off together. 
The geese didn’t run away from Caramel. Maybe that was the answer. If the geese didn’t run, then Caramel would have nothing to chase. Although, one had moved off quickly, and he hadn’t been bothered by that. Cherish couldn’t wait to tell Malachi.
“Come and sit with the girls and me. They’ll be excited to see you.” Joy grabbed her arm. 
Cherish followed Joy until they reached the rug. When the girls saw Cherish, they were excited and ran toward her. Cherish got down on one knee and scooped them up in her arms. 
“Aunt Cherish, it’s so good to see you!” Faith said.
“You too, little ones!” She hugged Faith and Faith’s younger sister, Audrey, and then she stood up.
“Can we go with Goldie?” Faith asked.
“Go play. We’ll watch you,” Joy said.
Hand-in-hand, the girls ran off after the dogs, and Cherish sat down on one of the foldable chairs next to Joy.
“It’s funny that we’ve bumped into each other like this. I’ve been thinking about you,” Joy said.
“Yes. I was married at your age. I’m worried about you finding someone.”
“Well…” She wanted to tell Joy that bringing Caramel to the park was taking a step toward marriage with Malachi, but that would sound odd.
Joy continued, “If you want a lot of children, you can’t wait around much longer. Children are such a blessing. They truly are a gift from Gott.”
“I’ve been meaning to tell—”
“I know what you’re going to say, Cherish. But hear me out. I’m your big schweschder, and I know more than you about life. You don’t always need to be so stubborn and headstrong. Perhaps you need to try something different or start looking around seriously. I know you’re busy at the orchard, but you should consider starting a family as a priority. The orchard’s not going anywhere.”
Cherish’s mind wandered off. It had been nice to see Joy, but she didn’t need a lecture right now. She looked over at Caramel, who followed the girls. Cherish smiled and stood up.
“Oh, I haven’t finished talking yet,” Joy said.
“Sorry, I’ll be back in a minute. I want to play with the girls. They’ve got to remember who their favorite aunty is.” Cherish grinned at Joy before she ran over to the girls. They ran in circles away from Caramel. Caramel was barking playfully as he tried to catch them.
Faith giggled. “Aunt Cherish, Caramel’s trying to eat us!”
“Quickly, girls, run, or he’ll get you!” Cherish ran off in the other direction, and Caramel chased after her. The girls laughed and ran after them both. Cherish ran faster, weaving in and out of the large trees surrounding the lake. Cherish laughed as Caramel barked and growled at them, annoyed he couldn’t catch them. 
When Cherish grew tired, she stopped and sat on the ground. The girls ran to her and stood in front of her. Caramel joined them, licking the girls’ faces. 
Joy walked over to them, smiling. “Aren’t children amazing?”
“Of course they are!” Cherish turned and faced the girls. “Or, is it Aunty Cherish who is the amazing one?” The girls screamed and laughed. The young girls ran back to the picnic blanket. Cherish and Joy walked back behind them.
“You know what I’m saying, Cherish. I don’t mean to be pushy, but I don’t want you to end up alone. I couldn’t imagine anything worse. You admired Aunt Dagmar, a spinster, but perhaps she was a spinster only because she didn’t have a choice. You inherited her farm and you were close with her, but that doesn’t mean you have to copy her.”
Cherish frowned. “I’m not trying to be like Aunt Dagmar, but I do admire her.”
“You’re taking what I said the wrong way completely.”
“I often want Aunt Dagmar to be here so I can ask her questions. I’d love to learn about her younger life. You don’t ask those things when you’re young. With all her wisdom, she could’ve taught me a lot of life lessons.”
Joy shook her head. “I don’t think anyone would want to live alone if they didn’t have to.”
Cherish should’ve known she couldn’t share her feelings with Joy. The two of them never saw eye-to-eye about anything.
“You’ve got to trust in Gott. He’ll bring you, someone, if you ask,” Joy said.
Cherish took a deep breath. “I do trust in Him.”
The girls reached the blanket no sooner than they ran again, chased playfully by the two dogs. Cherish watched the girls and imagined Malachi was standing beside her with their children. Her heart filled up with so much love. She wanted so badly to start a life with him. To marry him and to have his children. Their children would play on the farm and run around like this. Nothing would make her happier than to be with him now. “I won’t be alone,” Cherish said suddenly.
“How can you be so sure? I haven’t seen you take an interest in anyone for years.”
“God’s got someone for me, somewhere.” She wasn’t ready to share yet.
Joy looked at Cherish. “Okay, well, I’m glad you’ve been praying about it. That tells me you are serious.”
“I have to get back to cook the evening meal. Let’s go, Caramel!” Caramel came running toward her.
“Leaving so soon?” Joy pouted. “Is it because I’m talking about you getting married? We can talk about something else if you want.”
Cherish put her hand softly on Joy’s arm. “It’s not that. I appreciate you caring about my future. I have to get back to the orchard. Levi’s not well, and Mamm’s exhausted, so the cooking’s up to me tonight.”
“What’s wrong with Levi?” Joy asked.
“Nothing different. He’s still the same as always.”
“It was good to see you. We have to go soon, too. I’ve cooked dinner already. It only needs to be heated. Send my love to Mamm and Levi.”
“Will do.” Cherish hugged her and waved to the girls who were still running around. Caramel caught up with her and ran beside her. She opened the door, and he jumped up into the buggy. 
As Cherish was leaving, she looked over at Joy with the two girls, waving at her. Cherish smiled and waved back at them. 
Cherish drove home, considering how funny life was. Years ago, everyone in the family had imagined Joy would be the last to marry. That was before Christina’s brother came along and fell in love with her. Now, Cherish was the last to marry, but seeing she was the youngest that was almost expected.

FAQs Series Reading Order


Book 1 Amish Mercy

Book 2 Amish Honor

Book 3 A Simple Kiss

Book 4 Amish Joy

Book 5 Amish Family Secrets

Book 6 The Englisher

Book 7 Missing Florence

Book 8 Their Amish Stepfather

Book 9 A Baby For Florence

Book 10 Amish Bliss

Book 11 Amish Apple Harvest

Book 12 Amish Mayhem

Book 13 The Cost of Lies

Book 14 Amish Winter of Hope

Book 15 A Baby For Joy

Book 16 The Amish Meddler

Book 17 The Unsuitable Amish Bride

Book 18 Her Amish Farm

Book 19 The Unsuitable Amish Wedding

Book 20 Her Amish Secret

Book 21 Amish Harvest Mayhem

Book 22 Amish Family Quilt

Book 23 Hope's Amish Wedding

Book 24 A Heart of Hope

Book 25 A Season for Change

Book 26 Amish Farm Mayhem

Book 27 The Stolen Amish Wedding

Book 28 A Season for Second Chances

Book 29 A Change of Heart

Book 30 The Last Wedding

Book 31 Starting Over

Book 32 Love and Cherish

Book 33 Amish Neighbors

Book 34 Her Amish Quilt

Book 35 A Home of Their Own

Book 36 A Chance for Love

Book 37 Her Amish Wish

Book 38 Amish Harvest Time

Book 39 Whispers of Change

Book 40 Her Hopeful Heart

Book 41 Return to Love's Promise

Book 42 Amish Circle of Blessings