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  • Return to Love's Promise Book 41 Amish Bonnet Sisters series
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Return to Love's Promise (Paperback)

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The Baker family's generations-old apple orchard faces a season unlike any before. Three unexpected visitors bring a deluge of secrets and emotions, disrupting everything.
As these revelations unfold, love finds a way to blossom in the most unexpected of places.

Don't miss this second-last book in The Amish Bonnet Sisters series.
If you haven't read this series yet, it's best to read them in order, starting with Book 1 Amish Mercy.

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Chapter 1.
Wilma’s heart pounded as she rose to her feet, her mind whirling with emotions. Obadiah’s unexpected arrival, on top of Leonie’s revelation about Grace wanting to meet her birth mother, made the room spin. She took a deep breath, to steady herself.
“Obadiah’s here?” Wilma asked.
Ada nodded. “Jah, that’s what I said.”
Wilma glanced out the window, catching a glimpse of Obadiah stepping out of his buggy. The seriousness in his posture told her this wasn’t a casual visit. He was there for a purpose. 
Ada stood beside her. “It’s him alright, and I’m as surprised as you are.” 
Wilma turned back to the other unexpected visitors, Leonie and Grace, who were watching her expectantly. “I’m sorry. Please excuse me for a moment.” 
“We can wait,” Leonie said.
Wilma made her way to the door, her steps hesitant. As she opened it, Obadiah's tall figure loomed in the doorway, his face marked with an odd expression.
What mattered was that he had come back. This is what she’d been waiting for. But why now? She wanted to jump for joy, but she composed herself. “Obadiah. This is unexpected. Is everything alright?” She wanted to wrap her arms around him.
“Wilma, we need to talk,” he said.
Wilma nodded, sensing the impact of his words. She gestured for him to come inside, aware of the curious glances from the guests in the room. 
Wilma led him to the kitchen, away from the others, preparing herself for a deep conversation. He wasn’t smiling either, and he seemed so serious. 
They both sat down at the kitchen table. “I’m sorry. I had no idea you had company,” he exclaimed. 
“I would’ve introduced you, but they’ve come here on a delicate matter.” 
“I see.”
“Do you?” Wilma asked.
A smile turned up the corners of his lips. “Not at all. It sounds mysterious, but don’t worry, I won’t ask any questions.” 
They smiled at each other. Then Wilma asked, “What’s going on?” 
Obadiah took a deep breath, his eyes not leaving hers. “Wilma, it’s about the Millers’ dairy farm. There has been a development that has the potential to impact your community. The bank is calling in their loan, and the Millers are facing foreclosure.”
Wilma’s eyes widened in shock. The Millers’ dairy farm was a cornerstone of the community. Its loss would be a devastating blow to everyone. “That’s terrible news,” she said, her mind racing with the implications. “But why come to me about this?”
“There’s more.” Obadiah hesitated for a moment. “The bank has a buyer interested in the property, someone from outside the community. It would mean huge changes, changes I’m not sure anyone here would be prepared for.”
The gravity of the situation settled over Wilma. The intrusion of an outsider owning such a large property might disrupt their way of life. But was he really there about that? And how did he become aware of it when he lived so far away?
Before she had the chance to respond, Ada appeared at her side. “Wilma, Leonie and Grace are waiting. They seem anxious.”
Wilma nodded, aware of the burden of her responsibilities. “Thank you, Ada. I’ll be there in a moment.” She turned back to Obadiah. “We need to discuss this further, but it seems I have another urgent matter to attend to first.”
“It’s fine. I’ll wait. I’ve got all the time in the world.”
“Just wait here if you would.”
“Sure.” He gave a nod.
Wilma quickly returned to Leonie and Grace, settling on the couch in front of them. “I’m sorry about that interruption. A friend has come with important news, but he can wait for a moment.”
Leonie’s expression was stern, her eyes fixed on Wilma. “We need your help, Wilma. Grace wants to meet her birth mother. You gave me some information some time back when you last visited.”
Wilma licked her lips, regretting that she’d opened her mouth that day. She was sure it was the medication she’d been given. It didn’t agree with her and it had made her open her mouth and speak without thinking.
Grace looked at Wilma, her eyes filled with hope. “Please, can you help me find my real mother, Mrs. Bruner?”
“Her birth mother,” Leonie corrected her.
Still reeling from her conversation with Obadiah, Wilma faced this deeply personal plea. She nodded slowly. “Just call me Wilma. I’ll do everything I can to help you, Grace.” 
“Thank you, Wilma,” Grace said. 
Leonie lifted a brown satchel she’d brought with her. “I have all the paperwork here. I am aware that the name you mentioned to me is her birth mother. It’s Christina, and you know her.”
Wilma’s eyes grew wide. “Oh, I see. You need me to do the introductions?”
Grace and her mother looked at each other, and Leonie turned back to Wilma. “Yes.”
Back in the kitchen, Ada was left with Obadiah. 
It was obvious to Ada that there were unresolved feelings between Wilma and Obadiah, a silent story etched in the way they looked at each other. “I overheard what you said about the Millers’ dairy farm. That’s terrible. It must’ve only just happened.”
“That’s right.”
“It’s not only about the Miller’s farm, is it? I sense there’s something more personal going on, perhaps.”
Obadiah shifted uncomfortably, his gaze briefly meeting Ada’s before drifting toward the room where Wilma was talking earnestly with Leonie and Grace. “Ada, I...,” he began, pausing shortly, struggling to find words.
Ada leaned in slightly. “It’s Wilma, isn’t it?” she asked softly. “You’ve come back for her.”
Obadiah sighed, a mixture of resignation and hope in his eyes. “I won’t deny it, Ada. My feelings for Wilma have grown stronger even though we’ve been apart. I will be a fool if she doesn’t feel the same.” 
“Maybe she does, maybe she doesn’t. You’ll have to talk with her about that.”
He slowly nodded. “That’s what I’m going to do.”
Ada tried to understand how he felt. He’d never married, so love must’ve been a new experience for him. “Obadiah, sometimes the paths that seem the longest can lead to the same destination. You’ve done the right thing making the first step.”
He nodded slowly, as though he was absorbing her words. “I just don’t know what will happen.”
Ada, ever the matchmaker at heart, smiled encouragingly. “We’re often blind to what’s right in front of us. Give Wilma a chance, and give yourself a chance, too. Sometimes, it takes a little nudge for two people to realize they’re meant to be together.”
“I want to find out once and for all.”
Ada couldn't resist feeling a twinge of excitement as she witnessed Obadiah's resolve grow stronger. She had a natural talent for detecting the unspoken ties between people, and she sensed the potential for a beautiful connection between Wilma and Obadiah. And if the two of them married, Samuel would have a new best friend. “I’m glad you came back.”
His eyes widened. “You are? So there is a chance?”
“I can’t say. I do hope so.”
“Thank you, Ada. Things will be easier with you on my side. I was cautioned that it’ll never work between me and Wilma, but I couldn’t stay away.”
Ada narrowed her eyes. “Who would’ve told you that?”
“My cousin said returning was useless because Wilma had moved on. I didn’t know if that meant she had another man or that she just wasn’t interested.”
“Eli said that?”
He nodded. “So, is Wilma dating someone? Eli wouldn’t tell me much except not to bother.”
Ada recalled how Eli was becoming more and more available and exceedingly useful to everyone. He’d even stopped talking about his late wife, Frannie. “Now it all makes perfect sense.”
“What makes sense?” Obadiah asked.
“Oh, nothing. I was thinking about something else.”
“Maybe I should come back when Wilma’s not busy with visitors,” Obadiah suggested.
“It might be a good idea. How long are you staying?”
“I’ve got no fixed time for when I need to be back. I’m staying with Eli.”
“So, he knows you’re here, then?”
Obadiah grinned. “No, not yet. I came here first. I must tell you, Ada, I’m pleased to hear there might be a chance for me.”
Red came up to Obadiah and gave him a lick. He chuckled and patted him. “Still got the dog, I see.”
“Yes. We can’t get rid of him. He keeps Wilma company. Gott sent him at just the right time.”
Obadiah rose to his feet just as Mercy came into the room. “Hi, I’m Mercy,” she said to Obadiah. 
“Oh, Mercy, this is Eli’s cousin,” Ada said. 
Mercy gave him a nod. “Nice to meet you.”
“You as well. I should go,” Obadiah said. 
Ada got to her feet and showed him to the door. Mercy followed them. She then took Ada's arm and pulled her out onto the porch, as Obadiah was driving away. 
“So that’s Christina’s long-lost daughter in there?” Mercy asked.
“Yes, and you know that by now.”
“I’m having trouble believing it. She looks like her, too. They could be twins, except that Christina is much older, but she doesn’t look as old as she is. Christina must’ve been young when the whole thing happened. I heard about it but didn’t know if it was a rumor. Is everyone going to know she had a child out of wedlock?”
Ada pressed her lips together. “Not if you don’t tell them.”
Mercy’s eyebrows shot up. “Why would I?”
“I’m saying that no one has to hear about this. Grace hasn’t even met Christina yet.”
Mercy rubbed her hands together. “How exciting.”
“Not a word to anyone. Okay?” Ada asked.
“Right.” Mercy’s eyes widened slightly. “I get it. It’s a sensitive matter. Christina’s past and Grace’s origins are their own to share or not share. I hope the secret doesn’t come out and people blame me. I’m going to keep my lips buttoned up tight.”
“Good. See that you do.” Ada leaned against the porch railing, her gaze following the trail of dust left by Obadiah’s departing horse and buggy. “It’s a complicated world we live in. Grace seeking her birth mother, Christina’s hidden past, and now Obadiah’s return. Oh, and you coming back here. That was a shock, too.”
“Obadiah’s back for Mamm, isn’t he? I’ve heard some whispers about him,” Mercy said.
Ada sighed softly. “Yes. He came back for your mother, but it’s not going to be simple. There are old wounds and unresolved feelings. And then there’s Eli.”
“Eli?” Mercy looked puzzled.
Ada decided to confide in Mercy. “Eli has been around Wilma a lot lately. And he told Obadiah that Wilma had moved on. He told him not to bother coming back here.”
Mercy’s expression shifted to one of surprise. “But has she? Moved on, I mean. How can she move on unless they were dating. They never were, were they?”
Ada shook her head. “I don’t think so. Wilma's heart has always been a puzzle, even for those who know her well. I’d say she has deep feelings for Obadiah. It scares her.”
Mercy considered this for a moment. “And what about Eli?”
Ada shrugged slightly. “Eli’s intentions are unclear. He’s been a good friend to Wilma, but whether there’s more to it, I can’t say. Maybe he loves her in secret. Or he’s trying to be a friend and doesn’t consider his cousin is good enough for her.”
They both fell silent, contemplating the intricate web of relationships and unspoken emotions surrounding those closest.
After a few moments, Ada said, “We should go back inside. Wilma might need help.”
“I’m so pleased I came back. Nothing happens like this at home.”
“But your children, Mercy. How can you say you’re glad you’re here? What about them?”
“I have a plan, Ada. I plan to make Stephen see what life is like without me. Then he might not think that everything is a joke.”
“So you haven’t left him for good?”
“No, of course not. But I want him to believe I have.”
“I see. That’s quite deceptive. I can’t go along with that.” Ada shook her head at Mercy. 
“Oh no. I shouldn’t have mentioned anything. Please don’t tell him just because you’re his aunt.”
Ada put her hand on Mercy’s shoulder. “I have no intention of telling him. There are too many other problems going on right now. Yours is the least of them.”
Mercy let out a relieved sigh. 

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