DNF: Undercover Amish by Ashley Emma

Posted December 14, 2018 by Sophia Rose in Reviews / 18 Comments

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I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review.
This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

DNF: Undercover Amish by Ashley Emma
Undercover Amish
Narrated by Callie Beaulieu


Series: Covert Police Detectives Unit #1
Genres: Inspirational Romance, Romantic Suspense
Published by Tantor Audio
Released on October 16, 2018
Format: Audiobook
Source: Publisher
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I am a softy for books set in the Amish community.  When paired with a murder mystery and a lady detective who left the Amish faith and a former sweetheart only to be ordered back for an undercover assignment, I was doubly eager to give this one a go.

But, something was off from the beginning.  I thought it was just a mood so I returned my earbuds to my ears and kept going.  I stopped and started several times and was content to pick up other books and other audios before coming back to it.  It is nothing for me to breeze through a few hours a day with an audio book, but I’m only about four hours in two weeks later.

The story begins with an abused Amish woman defending her very life against a husband trying to choke her to death.  She accidentally kills him in self-defense.  Then the story picks up years later when she is an experienced police detective in a covert crimes unit.  Her work is her life.  Her captain calls her in and against her vehement ‘no’ tells her that her job is on the line.  Departmental cuts and she’s low man so she has to prove herself.  Not only that, she is under a Shunning and must first repent to get reinstated in the community and pretend she wants to get back with her high school crush to stay close and guard him since he might have witnessed a murder.

And, right there, I felt it went wrong.  I just couldn’t wrap my mind around this must subterfuge especially since the man, Isaac, is well aware of the danger and it is his choice not to involve the police let alone a special unit after he woke up from his attack.  This isn’t a guy who saw something to bring down the mob or a drug empire, but a single murder in rural Maine.  I’m not trying to sound callus about a murder, but bringing in covert ops to do witness protection and nose around for a murderer just seemed over the top.  What do I know?   Maybe this is normal stuff for a special covert police unit.

And, then there was the part about faking all that she was going to have to fake- a religious repentance, returning to her faith and the lifestyle where she would be lying to her family and entering a courtship all to have one more win on her record and an extra week in the Bahamas for her vacation?  Just in the time I was listening, she kept bouncing back and forth between believing her thing in the past and the present with Isaac was infatuation to knowing it is love all the while she’s lying big time.  It didn’t set well with me that he was completely honest about love and everything else, but she wasn’t- I know it was under orders some of it, but, hey, it wasn’t working in the romance part for me.

I never could warm up to this story and I constantly felt the disconnect.  The narrator was good and did both Liv and Issac’s narration turns well.  I think I might have given up sooner without Callie Beaulieu’s narration work.  I was just under half-way and thought about pushing on through, but why.  I wasn’t into it.  It happens to all of us.  So, if it sounds like just the thing and you want to give it a go, why not.

My thanks to Tantor Audio for the opportunity to listen to this book in exchange for an honest review.

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I was born and raised near Sacramento, CA. I have read since I was four years old and developed tastes that run the gamut of literature. I went away to college and have a degree in education, a certificate in family history research, and a certificate in social work. I worked for a non-profit agency with low income families for 20 years which included being responsible for the children’s library and promoting/teaching adult literacy. I have lived in Southeast Michigan for the last 18 years and I am currently a book addicted homemaker with a cat and husband who keep me grounded. Recently, I made it a challenge to review each book that I have read as a favor to author friends who said reviews are important. I have done reviews for Good Reads, Amazon, eBay, and Smashwords, but mostly at Goodreads and Amazon.

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Tracy Terry
2 years ago

For some reason I too am fascinated by the Amish community so any book with Amish in the title gets my attention
and captures my imagination.

A shame this one didn’t work for you. reading your thoughts on it I can understand why.

Sophia Rose
2 years ago
Reply to  Tracy Terry

Mine started with that old thriller movie Witness with Harrison Ford. I do love Amish settings.
But, I really struggled with things not feeling authentic.
Maybe your library will have it and you can try.

Rachel @Waves of Fiction

Sorry to hear this didn’t work out for you, but I can understand. I wouldn’t like all the subterfuge either. The whole situation doesn’t ring true to life.

Sophia Rose
2 years ago

You hit the nail on the head, Rachel. It didn’t ring true the whole time I was listening. I felt so much of it was a big device just to get a police detective inside the Amish camp and that it was supposed to be more exciting because she was once Amish- oh, and why not toss in a second chance at romance while they’re at it. I know its fiction, but I couldn’t get past feeling off about it.

Angela (Angel's Guilty Pleasures)

Great review. I appreciate you explaining why this story wasn’t working for you. I don’t like to DNF, but their comes a point we just need to move. Now I’m not into the Amish read, but I appreciate your review.

Sophia Rose
2 years ago

Thanks, Angela. Yes, there comes that point when its best to move on to the next book. I wanted to like this one because of the Amish setting and the mystery, but no.

Carole @ Carole's Random Life in Books

Sorry this one didn’t work for you. I think I would have had a few problems with the whole set up for the mission as well.

Sophia Rose
2 years ago

Thanks, Carole! Yeah, this one didn’t work for me.

herding cats
2 years ago

Whew that’s a whole lotta nope right there. Yeah, I don’t think they’d do any undercover work for just a single random murder. Maybe if it was someone very high profile but, yeah, doubtful. And ick on all the lies.

Sophia Rose
2 years ago
Reply to  herding cats

It just really smacked of a device that felt awkward and made up the whole time to me for the purpose of getting a police detective infiltrating the Amish and close to her love interest without her being completely Amish.

Stephanie Jane (Literary Flits)

Hmm, doesn’t sound like a plausible setup to me either. At least you found a good narrator though

Sophia Rose
2 years ago

Good catch, Stephanie! She is indeed a good one. This was my first experience with her work. 🙂

Kimberly @ Caffeinated Reviewer

I am drawn to books featuring these communities too. I have to agree that does sound a little far fetched. Sorry this was a no go for you.

Sophia Rose
2 years ago

I probably could have suspended believe if some other element in the story really drew me in, but it never did even near the half-way point. Oh well!

Carole Rae
2 years ago

Bummer. But I would’ve prolly DNFed too

Sophia Rose
2 years ago
Reply to  Carole Rae

I just couldn’t quite buy in on the sneaking around and witness protection and then her lying about her Amish faith and being close to her old crush. Too much, I guess.

2 years ago

Sometimes you just have to stop. I totally get it as it wouldn’t sit well with me either.

Sophia Rose
2 years ago
Reply to  Lorna

Exactly, it wasn’t getting any better and I just lost interest.