Book at a Glance:
Title: Plain Protector
Written by: Alison Stone
Genre: Suspense, Romance
Format: I read the paperback
My Vote: 5 Thumbs Up: Don’t Wait for Santa – Get it Now!
Book in a Minute:
Plain Protector tells the story of Sarah Lynn, a social worker whose passion is to help others struggling with addictions. The problem is that she needs to lay low to avoid an abusive ex-boyfriend. She finds a safe haven in the small Amish community of Apple Creek – close enough to keep tabs on her mom, but far enough away to be safe – or so she thinks. When a rock comes crashing through the basement window of her church, she starts to ask a lot of questions. Has her ex found her or is the mischief coming from another source? Can she trust the locals with her secret? And what about the local deputy sheriff? ©MegsMinutes.com
Plain Protector is a high-intensity story right from the start. I liked that the tone immediately reflected Sarah’s predicament. It made me want to keep reading to see what was going to happen and how on earth it would be resolved.
At no time did it ever feel like an unnerving ‘cat-and-mouse’ type story. The book pulls off heavy suspense and several highly tense moments perfectly without crossing any fear lines. In my mind’s eye I could see everything playing out like it was on my tv screen!
It was also awesome that the story did not revolve around a murder. While Sarah’s situation is never sugar coated, it was refreshing to see her find several real people to trust who were godly in the best sense of the word. I equally enjoyed reading about Nick who was always on alert, smart and compassionate. The scenes between Nick and his sister Christina were awesome – I easily identified with their desire to help others and they gave me a good laugh or two.
I also enjoyed how Nick and Sarah’s relationship grew. It felt real and not forced or fake. They both have trust issues to work through, but they don’t let those issues stop them from living.
There were several valuable take aways from this story. There were no trite auto responses. Reading about characters who prayed and saw God work (i.e. placing them in the right place at the right time) was equally refreshing. This book has a highly relatable cast. I think it would be extremely helpful to others who have found themselves, at one time or another, in a similar situation as Sarah.
While we get a great epilogue, (the way the story closes out is awesome), I’m still left with one question. Does Nick Jennings ever get his slice of Apple Creek Diner’s pie?!
This was the first book I’ve read that took place in Apple Creek. It was fun reading a story that takes place in an area with lots of Amish farms. Having visited a large Amish community in the past, I could easily picture the town and the daily routine of Amish life.
The only thing I really, really questioned was Sarah walking – WALKING – a mile from the church to her rental house at night. But after I read why she didn’t have a car, I could sorta see it…
This story was well worth the time investment. It has a high re-readability factor and it is definitely worth the shelf space.
But be prepared: Nick goes into the Apple Creek Diner to get food more than once and of course there are pies! Banana Cream Pie…Lemon Meringue Pie…Chocolate Pie….sigh…If you’re trying to diet, you’ve been warned! 😉
Meg’s Content Cautions:
Overall, this is a good, clean, tense read. Even with the story’s intensity, it was fine reading it late at night (there was one scene where I could not have rolled my eyes any more due to Sarah’s actions – so I knew something was going to happen).
V- There are several situations that involve passive and active physical violence including: vandalism with and without injuries, bullying, relationship abuse, attempted murder.
L- There are no curse words used in the book.
S- There is no sexually explicit content. There are a few scenes that involve a casual kiss. The romance was perfectly subtle and had a real quality to it. It was on par with the clean Hallmark mystery movies.
D- There are several candid conversations about violent and vindictive behavior. Also, a character has health issues.
For more information on the Meg’s Content Cautions rating system, please check out the FAQs page.
Book Character Notes:
Sarah Lynn Gardner is a compassionate social worker whose passion is to help others struggling with difficult life situations and addictions. When she left her home town to get away from an abusive relationship, she was happy to find a place where she could make a difference in the lives of others. But when things start to happen that make her question whether her location has been compromised, she can’t decide what to do. Should she run to another town or go back home and take her chances? When a local cop wishes to investigate the latest incident that left her injured, Sarah can’t decide whether to trust him with her whole story or not. After trusting one bad cop, dare she trust another?
Maggie Gardner is Sarah’s ailing mom who lives in Buffalo, New York. Concern for her daughter’s safety is in the forefront of her mind. With all the precautions she and her daughter have taken, Maggie is prayerful that her Sarah will be able to live a normal life in Apple Creek. But will Sarah agree to stay there?
Mary Ruth Beiler is a local Amish teenager who lives in the normal Amish tradition. Mary likes Sarah and is happy to help arrange meetings with her young Amish friends. Although she finds Sarah’s work interesting, she’s curious about Sarah’s life story. Why is Sarah willing to move away from her family to live in their community?
Nick Jennings is a deputy sheriff for Apple Creek. After serving in the military, he’s back home and ready to serve in his quiet home town community. When an emergency call comes in over the radio of an incident at the church, Nick responds. While he recognizes the injured victim, he doesn’t know anything more than idle gossip. Will he let his distrust of secretive women hinder him from helping Sarah in her time of need?
Dr. Christina Jennings is Nick’s little sister and a doctor at the local community clinic. She has a heart for helping her community and for being reachable. When Nick brings Sarah in for treatment, street savvy Christina instantly sees the signs of a woman in trouble. Can she convince Sarah that it’s safe to trust her brother with her secret?
Pastor Mike and His wife Ellinor serve the community at Apple Creek Community Church. When Sarah needs a place to meet with her young clients, Pastor Mike is more than happy to offer her the use of the church building.
Lola is a small dog Sarah discovers in the country. The little fur ball joins right in with the small group of friends.
Flo works at the local Apple Creek Diner. She has her ears to the ground for local news.
Jimmy Braeden is Sarah’s ex-boyfriend. He works as a cop outside of Buffalo, NY. All of his buddies think he’s great, but will the truth about him ever come out?
Amos and Temperance Zook are Sarah’s Amish landlords and next door neighbor. Their children are Patience, Ruben, and Ephram. When Pastor Mike asks the Zooks if Sarah can rent the empty house on their property, they agree because they are glad to have the extra money. But they aren’t fond of having an outsider living so close to them. Will Sarah be able to win them over?
General Book Information:
Book Genre: Suspense, Romance
Book Length: Approx. 220 pages
Number of Chapters: 15 Chapters + Epilogue
Base Verse: Psalms 56:3
Inside Book Pictures: No
Part of a series: Yes. Can be read stand-alone.
Series Name: n/a. The books are set in the community of Apple Creek
Book Format: I read the paperback
How I Found It: I won this book during a Facebook weekend book chat. The author, Alison, was the guest for the weekend and she had several copies of her book to giveaway.
Publication Date: May 2016
Book ISBN: 978-0-373-44743-5
Book Publisher: Loved Inspired Suspense
Where to Buy and Borrow:
Buy eBook on iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/plain-protector/id1044201079
Buy Audiobook on iTunes: n/a
Buy eBook on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Plain-Protector-Love-Inspired-Suspense-ebook/dp/B015W85HK2
Buy Audiobook on Amazon:n/a
Borrow eBook on Amazon:n/a
Buy Paperback on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Plain-Protector-Love-Inspired-Suspense/dp/0373447434
Author FAQs: Want to learn more about the author?
Name: Alison Stone