Monday, April 15, 2024

Sophia Rose Reviews: Courting the Amish Bishop by Mindy Steele

Today Sophia Rose reviews an inspirational novel, Courting the Amish Bishop, by Mindy Steele #4 in her Heart in the Amish series.

Courting the Amish Bishop by Mindy Steele

#4 Heart of the Amish

Inspirational Fiction

Publisher:  Barbour Fiction

Published: 4.1.24

Pages:  288

Rating: 4.5 stars

Format: eARC

Source:  NetGalley

Sellers:  Amazon

ADD TO: GoodReads


GoodReads Synopsis:

No One Is Ever Too Old to Love Again Full of faith, hope, and romance, this new series takes you into the Heart of Amish country. Simon Graber became a widower and a bishop early in life. His focus is solely on his very close-knit Old Order Amish community—not entertaining the idea of marriage, despite what many of the elders think. When sickness comes to Cherry Grove, Kentucky, Simon reaches out into the next community for help. But help is beginning to look a lot like a second chance when Stella Schmucker agrees to offer her vast herbal knowledge to the sick. Can it be that these two, who have been too busy serving others to entertain the idea of love, have met at just the perfect time for an unlikely courtship?


Sophia Rose's Review:

A widower Amish Bishop needs a doctor for his community and a woman herbalist in the next community answers his need in a sweet opposites attract Amish Romance.  Mindy Steele is a new to me author, but I was captivated by the blurb so gladly picked up Courting the Amish Bishop for a try.


Courting An Amish Bishop is fourth in the Heart of the Amish series, but it is standalone and easily read out of order.


Courting An Amish Bishop is told in alternating narration between Simon Graber and Stella Schmucker.  They’re a pair of opposites or they think they are when they warily circle each other while working together to help the Cherry Grove community.


Simon is a young bishop widower raising his one remaining child (after his wife and two younger children died in an accident) though he’s not really young and feels past the need for a wife.  Too bad his Cherry Grove people and his family have other plans for him when they catch sight of bright and helpful spinster, Stella.  Simon isn’t much impressed with Stella (and her dog) at first, but learns to respect her work and her character.  They grow a friendship after a time. 


Simon’s not the only one with an uphill battle toward happiness.  Stella has a past history in her old Amish community back in Ohio where her dysfunctional family was well known for being troublesome and users.  She’s left that behind to start fresh in her grandparent’s community and has worked hard to not be a user or seem like she is in need of a man to do for her.  She’s got her simple cabin on the hill, her dog, and her work gathering herbs and medicinal plants to help people.  Not until she goes with Simon to help heal his sick people does her isolated, contented life start to chafe and she slowly starts to feel for the lonely bishop.


I enjoy romances set in Amish communities and this one was even more fascinating because it featured one of the community leaders and a woman healer.  The author doesn’t stint on the Amish life and world for the story backdrop and paints in some unique and fun assortment of characters from the community.  I just loved Simon’s old mother with all her generous love and practical wisdom. 


The romance is definitely slow burn with the pair of them needing to deal with their pasts before they could move forward in the present.  Their courtship sneaks up on them, but also takes place under the eyes of the interested Cherry Grove community.  That was the fun part.  Loved the scenes of healing, Amish life, and oh yes, the food.  Mindy Steele writes a good heart-felt story that was a wonderful feel-gooder.


Author Bio:

I came to becoming a published author later in life, though I have been writing since I was old enough to hold crayons to the wall. I feel God planned that accordingly, as the older I got, the more life experiences I had. I give all my words to Him, for helping me create stories with deeper realism and unflinching faith.

I love touching all the senses to make readers laugh, cry, and root for the happy-ever-after. My stories are faith tested, inspirationally driven, and at times, a lit grit added to the grace of two characters struggling through difficulty. Since my debut novel, To Catch A Hummingbird in 2021, I have written a dozen novels and novellas. I’ve been a finalist in the Reader’s Choice Awards, and the 2022 Winner of the Reader’s Choice Award for Sweet Inspirational fiction for writing the first Hallmark Publishing romance, An Amish Flower Farm. I have been honored by readers for making the best seller lists with   An Amish Flower Farm, and my Love Inspired debut novel, His Amish Wife’s Hidden Past. I can’t thank readers enough for finding love in these stories.

Though I love researching my stories and meeting readers, my heart is at home, among Amish and English where sometimes I forget which side of the fence I live on. Regardless of the story that is in the works currently, a journey is promised, strength is found, and encouragement is woven in. Life has enough rough corners, adding a little fiction smooths out the edges.  

Steele lives in northeastern Kentucky with her husband, Mike. They have five grown children, ten grandchildren, and many wonderful neighbors.

Represented by Julie Gwinn with the Seymour Agency, and is published by Barbour Publishing, Hallmark, Love Inspired, Vinspire, Entangled, and Ally Press. 


Sophia’s Bio:

Sophia is a quiet though curious gal who dabbles in cooking, book reviewing, piano-playing, and gardening. Road trips and campouts, museums and monuments, restaurants and theaters are her jam. Encouraged and supported by an incredible man and loving family. A Northern Californian transplant to the Great Lakes Region of the US. Lover of Jane Austen, Baseball, Cats, Scooby Doo, and Chocolate.

As a lifelong reader, it was inevitable that Sophia would discover book blogs and the joy of blog reviewing. Sophia is a prolific reader and audiobook listener which allows her to experience so many wonderful books, authors, and narrators. Few genres are outside her reading tastes, but her true love is fiction particularly history, mystery, sci-fi, and romance. Though, sorry, no horror or she will run like Shaggy and Scooby.






  1. Aww, I am glad they find that happiness

  2. I'm glad this was a feel good story. And I must admit, I am a sucker for a hero with a tragic past. Great review, Sophia Rose!