Review: A Forbidden Rumspringa (Gay Amish #1) by Keira Andrews

When two young Amish men find love, will they risk losing everything?

In a world where every detail of life—down to the width of a hat brim—is dictated by God and the all-powerful rules of the community, two men dare to imagine a different way. At 18, Isaac Byler knows little outside the strict Amish settlement of Zebulon, Minnesota, where there is no rumspringa for exploration beyond the boundaries of their insular world. Isaac knows he’ll have to officially join the church and find a wife before too long, but he yearns for something else—something he can’t name.

Dark tragedy has left carpenter David Lantz alone to support his mother and sisters, and he can’t put off joining the church any longer. But when he takes on Isaac as an apprentice, their attraction grows amid the sweat and sawdust. David shares his sinful secrets, and he and Isaac struggle to reconcile their shocking desires with their commitment to faith, family and community.

Now that they’ve found each other, are they willing to lose it all?

Simply wonderful.

I was so worried this would be overly angsty for no other reason than it would be easy to do so.

But, no. 

No, this was about Issac's journey to finding his own happiness. Taking his own rumspringa, regardless of the strict rules that govern his life.

When Issac is first assigned to be an apprentice for David he knew it was a bad idea. He knew being around David would worsen his already sinful thoughts about the other boy. As they continued to work together, Issac realized that his attraction may be reciprocated. 

Even though they both realized that they liked each other in that way, they couldn't risk it.  They danced around each other, a touch here and there, until finally... 


*really bad explosion sound effects*

"Issac waited for the horror of what they'd done to reach him-to grip his soul in terror. Yet as they kissed and breathed each other in, sticky and sated with the oaks standing sentinal, Issac felt only a peace and wholeness he hadn't realized he'd been missing.

That it was a sin, he had no doubt. But it was the sweetest sin he'd ever known."

Coulda been the hottest frottage scene ever. I'm pretty sure it was. Their exploration of each other was worth the wait. Don't let the Amish theme fool you. David did done his research in the ways of sexytimes. He did good research. Mmmhmm. They didn't let their innocence hold them back at all. Even still, they were pretty clueless about relationships in general and learned how to love together.  
"'We don't have to do anything else if you don't want to.'

Issac took a deep breath. 'But I do. I want it so much.'

'So do I.' David kissed him softly. 'Touching you feels right. It feels... beautiful. It makes me so happy, Issac. If it's a sin, then I'll gladly call myself a sinner.'"
*dreamy sigh* Issac and David totally captured my heart and would not let go.

The weight they had to carry because of their feelings seemed almost unbearable. What they had to go through was heartbreaking. But I was so glad that they did it anyway and that I was able to be a witness. Ack. I'm such a goner for them.
"David had drawn his fingertips down Issac's cheek. 'This will be our own little rumspringa. They never have to know.'"
The fact that they had to hide completely was gut wrenching. It's not just them that would be made to suffer, but their families as well. Neither boy was willing to do that. Even though they risked everything for each other, they still put their families above themselves. Even in the end, they tried to be as selfless as they could.

I don't know anything about Amish culture. So, I can't say if the way they were depicted in The Forbidden Rumspringa was accurate. But I can say that it felt real. Every scene with their families felt genuine. Every interaction between the characters felt like it really could be happening. Hell, it felt like it was happening.

And the ending. I couldn't believe that the words on that next page were THE END. I'm pretty sure there was yelling involved, especially when I saw '2015', which feels like an eternity away. So, I went back. (I'm pretty sure I'm not the only one who does this, right?) I went back to the last page and reread it over and over again. I wanted to make sure I soaked up everything I could about David and Issac and what they are about to embark on. The end was completely satisfying while making me completely crazy with wanting more. 

I'm so glad their story isn't over yet.

A copy of this book was provided in exchange for an honest review.

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    1. ME THREE! So much so that as soon as I hit "The End", I went back to the beginning and read it again. So goddamn good! Want more!

  2. Fantastic review, B! Bumping this up this list.

  3. You had me at hot frottage. I gotta admit, I was afraid of this one, but if you and Heidi give it the huge green light, I have to read it!

    Excellent review B!