Read Plain Return (The Plain Fame Series Book 4) Online
Authors: Sarah Price
Praise for Sarah Price
“Sarah Price once again engages her readers in a tender drama that leaves you wondering if two very different worlds . . . the Amish and the English can collide and still leave us with beauty. After Alejandro Diaz, a famous Cuban singer, crosses paths with Amanda Beiler, an Amish girl in the middle of NYC, the beauty begins. Alejandro’s world becomes Amanda’s, and Amanda seeks her own path in the light of Alejandro. Fantastic and well written . . . mostly beautiful.”
—Dianna Bupp, founder of All Things Amish on Facebook
has a unique story line that will keep you up late at night hiding under your blanket with a flashlight, trying to squeeze in one last page before you head into La La Land. Yes, it’s that good! I love that I loved these characters so much. They are as different as night and day . . . an Amish girl and a famous pop star brought together by an unfortunate accident involving a limo. Or was it unfortunate? Some may say it was fate pulling these two together like a magnet to metal. The only thing for certain is that their lives are about to be forever altered . . .”
—Sue Laitinen, book reviewer for
“Once again Sarah Price does not disappoint. I have enjoyed every book that I have read by her.
is a little different from your normal ‘Amish’ novel. Readers who don’t normally read Amish novels will like this one, as it, in my opinion, is more about how fame affects someone rather than being just an Amish novel.”
—Debbie Curto, book reviewer from
Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations
“Amish Christian romance like none other—Sarah Price opens both her characters and her readers to new worlds. This love story could easily become a classic as two lives from opposite cultures collide, creating intense conflict and romance.
was my introduction to Sarah Price and the beginning of my Price addiction.”
—Lisa Bull, blogger of
Captured by My Thoughts
ALSO BY SARAH PRICE
An Empty Cup
An Amish Buggy Ride
The Plain Fame Series
The Amish of Lancaster Series
Fields of Corn
Hills of Wheat
Pastures of Faith
Valley of Hope
The Amish of Ephrata Series
The Tomato Patch
The Quilting Bee
The Hope Chest
The Clothes Line
The Amish Classic Series
For a complete listing of books, please visit the author’s website at
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, organizations, places, events, and incidents are either products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously.
Text copyright © 2015 Price Publishing, LLC
All rights reserved.
No part of this book may be reproduced, or stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without express written permission of the publisher.
Published by Waterfall Press, Grand Haven, MI
Amazon, the Amazon logo, and Waterfall Press are trademarks of
, Inc., or its affiliates.
Cover design by Kerri Resnick
Without the gentle shove of my publishing team at Waterfall Press, this book may have remained unwritten, despite having the story already playing inside my head. I could not have done this without their encouragement and support through the lightning-paced process of editing and proofing the first three novels in the series while writing the fourth manuscript. So I thank my amazing Waterfall family for pushing me to make Alejandro and Amanda come alive once again. <3
About the Vocabulary
The Amish speak Pennsylvania Dutch (also called Amish German or Amish Dutch). This is a verbal language with variations in spelling among communities throughout the United States. For example, in some regions, a grandfather is
, while in other regions he is known as
. Some dialects refer to the mother as
, and others simply as
In addition, there are words and expressions, such as
, or the use of the word
at the end of sentences, and, my favorite,
for sure and certain
, that are not necessarily from the Pennsylvania Dutch language/dialect but are unique to the Amish.
The use of these words comes from my own experience living among the Amish in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.
Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you. And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart. I will be found of you, saith the Lord, and I will turn away your captivity, and I will gather you from all the nations, and from all the places whither I have driven you, saith the Lord, and I will bring you again into the place whence I caused you to be carried away captive.
Jeremiah 29:12–14 (KJV)
Christmas seems so long ago! Was it less than a month since I left Lancaster? With Alejandro’s busy schedule, hours often seem like days and days like weeks.
While I miss all of you, I reckon the one thing I do not miss about Pennsylvania is the cold weather. For the most part, we have been fortunate to travel mostly to warmer climates during the past few weeks, and we even celebrated my birthday at a beach in Malibu. The water was too cool for swimming, at least for my taste. But it was nice to be outside during the day, even if most of the people who joined us were friends of Alejandro’s.
In less than two months, we shall embark on the journey to South America for Alejandro’s tour. And shortly after that tour, he has concerts scheduled in Europe. It’s too much for me to keep track of, that’s for sure and certain. I admit to being apprehensive about all of this travel. As I’ve shared with you before, there isn’t much to see between the airports, appointments, arenas, and hotels. But it will be exciting anyway, I’m sure.
Please let me know how everyone is doing. I’m sure Jonas and Harvey are managing the farm just fine. From the weather reports that I’ve seen, I gather that you haven’t had much snow in January. With February being such a short month, spring will be here before you know it. I can already see you and Mamm planning the garden at the kitchen table after supper and under the kerosene lantern.
I’m thankful to finally return to Miami. Even though it isn’t Lancaster and there won’t be any open fields or springtime crops, it is my home with Alejandro. It’s certainly much nicer than Los Angeles! And the blue skies that drop into the sea are truly a gift from God to remind us of how he created this world with a plan for each creature, both great and small. While I hadn’t expected his plan for me to take me so far away from my family, I pray each morning and each evening that I honor him in both word and deed.
I best post this letter now. We are ready to leave for the airport.
Blessings to you, Jonas, Mamm, and Daed.
From somewhere in the condominium, a door shut, the sound just loud enough to cause Amanda to rouse from a not-so-deep slumber. Her loose hair covered part of her face until she rolled onto her back. As she did, the white satin sheet slipped from her shoulder and fell so that it barely concealed her chest. Filtered sunlight shone through a sliver between the drawn draperies, and she lifted her arm to shield her eyes. She heard soft footsteps and knew that it was the housekeeper, Señora Perez, beginning her daily routine. Cabinets opened, water ran. Within minutes, the faint scent of freshly roasted coffee wafted into the second-floor bedroom.
As the quiet noises of morning woke Amanda, she opened her eyes just enough to see the red lights from the alarm clock on Alejandro’s nightstand. It was almost eight o’clock: too early for him to rise but quite late for her. Still, after three weeks of travel, Amanda wanted to absorb the comfort of being back in Miami at last.
Every joint and muscle in Amanda’s body ached. After so many nights sleeping in different hotels and on Alejandro’s time schedule, not hers, she had not slept well the previous night, even though they were home. She suspected that she needed a few days to adjust to staying in one place, and that was something she looked forward to.
With a soft, deep breath, she slowly moved her arm and let her eyes flutter open. Beside her, Alejandro slept, his head against the pillow. She smiled at how peaceful he looked with his dark hair falling over his forehead and his arm covering part of his face. Unable to help herself, she reached out her hand, hesitating before letting her fingertips brush against his bare shoulder. Alejandro’s skin quivered under her touch and he let out a satisfied and sleepy groan, which escaped his throat as he exhaled. Despite the travel and the long days, his skin remained a healthy shade in contrast to her pale complexion. She wanted to trace the muscle that ran down his arm. But she also knew that he needed his sleep and decided against disturbing his slumber.
Quietly, she slipped her legs from beneath the sheet and slid them over the side of the bed. Her muscles ached from the past few weeks of travel. She wanted to stretch and work out the knots in her neck, but she feared waking him. With one last glance at Alejandro, hoping that her movements had not disturbed him, she lowered her feet to touch the soft white carpet and forced herself to stand. Careful not to make any noise, she padded over to the window.
The previous evening, it had been well after midnight by the time they’d arrived back at the condominium and everything was dark. Now, with the break of dawn, she wanted to see the sky and the sun, the palm trees and the water. The wall of windows in their second-floor bedroom overlooked the terrace and, beyond that, the ocean. She had missed that view, a realization that surprised her since she hadn’t spent much time in Miami.
Amanda peeked through the gap between the curtains, giving her eyes a moment to adjust to the sunlight reflecting off the pool’s surface. The crystal-clear turquoise water shimmered as if a light breeze were skimming it. Someone had already swept the patio; not a leaf or flower lay astray. The cabana drapes were open, tied back to the wooden, accordion-style doors that she’d been told were only closed during storms. So far her stays in Miami had all been brief, and she had yet to experience anything less than pleasant weather.
She could see the ocean in the distance. The rolling motion of the water looked calm and tranquil from her vantage point. She could barely make out a cruise ship on the horizon. It looked as if it was approaching the harbor just a few miles north of their building.
At the sight of the cruise ship, Amanda sighed, remembering the last time Alejandro had taken her out on his yacht: after their wedding. Our yacht, she corrected herself, and immediately felt uneasy. The idea that all of this—the yacht, the cars, the money, and the fame—belonged to her now, too, seemed foreign and unnatural. It wasn’t something she wanted. No. All she wanted was Alejandro’s love. With that, her life was complete. The frills and perks that came with loving him meant nothing to her.
But she knew that these luxuries were important to him.
Over the past few weeks, she’d witnessed the way Alejandro thrived on his professional life as an international sensation. When she first accompanied him on the road, she had been too distracted by all of the new places and experiences to pay much attention to the little details: the constant presence of an entourage, the white glove treatment, the VIP attention at every event. During the past few weeks of touring and traveling, especially after Christmas, she’d truly recognized that there were two sides to him: Alejandro and his stage persona, Viper. And they both enjoyed the finer things in life.
As for the two sides of him, it never ceased to amaze Amanda how effortlessly he could switch between the different identities. Although she couldn’t imagine how anyone could manage living with two very different personalities, it appeared to come naturally to Alejandro. Amanda suspected that he took comfort in separating his public face from his private affairs.
When they were alone together, Alejandro pampered her with love and attention. But onstage, Viper emerged and sang his songs—often with lyrics that caused her cheeks to flush—while dancing with the six dancers who performed with him at each concert. Whether she watched his concert from the backstage greenroom or the wings of the stage, the dance troupe’s suggestive gestures and choreography were enough to make her more than mildly uncomfortable. And when Viper would grab one of the dancers by the hair or pull her close to him, with his hands on her body and his mouth less than an inch from hers, Amanda felt as though her heart would burst with humiliation.
Yet when she looked around, no one else seemed to even notice. It was the same routine that Viper and the dancers had performed in all of the other cities, including the concerts that Amanda attended prior to their marriage. Now that they were married, when she saw him gyrating with one of the female dancers, she felt unbearably tense and uncomfortable.
And then there were the reporters and the interviewers.
Despite her continuous exposure to the media during the last few stops of his tour, these interactions still made Amanda feel awkward. The intrusive questions always led back to one thing: Viper. Early on, she’d recognized that the media took advantage of her shyness and inexperience in the face of the glamorous world of show business. They placed her on some sort of a pedestal, strictly because she was the wife of an international star. They expected her to play the role, but Amanda had a hard time acquiescing. All she wanted was to be herself: Amanda. But as she met with the media, she quickly learned another important lesson: the public wasn’t really interested in Amanda, not as a person.
When Alejandro wasn’t onstage during the preshow sound check or performing for his adoring fans, he rushed from one appointment to the next. His new manager, Geoffrey, often accompanied him, ensuring that Alejandro arrived and left on time. Amanda watched all of this with mixed feelings. The logistics behind the life of Viper amazed her. But the intrusive idolization by endless hordes of women who seemed to follow Alejandro wherever he went did not sit well with her. Still, he was always prepared and ready to smile and pose for photos. And the lack of sleep didn’t seem to bother him at all. He slept when he could, even if it was only for an hour here and an hour there.
He reminded her of a young horse with enough energy to pull a buggy from Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, to Holmes County, Ohio. He had only one speed: on. And she admitted to herself that she had a hard time keeping up with him, especially since his days often blended into nights.
Now that they were in Miami—with just six weeks ahead to prepare for the start of the South American leg of his tour—Amanda was looking forward to helping him learn how to relax . . . if he let her. She figured that if there was anyplace where he might be able to catch up on his sleep and enjoy the sunshine, it was Miami.
She pressed her forehead pensively against the cool glass of the window. How long had it been since she was last in Miami? Had it been since Thanksgiving? After all that had happened in the last few months, Thanksgiving felt like a lifetime ago. In fact, she realized, every day with Alejandro was like a lifetime. Often, as daylight dwindled and gave way to nighttime, she was left with a fading recollection of what had happened during the early part of the day. It was a strange feeling, indeed: as if they were living out separate episodes in their lives that immediately followed one another, yet were not entirely related. With the addition of each new episode, the earliest one would get erased from memory and fall into oblivion. Even during the busiest seasons of her youth on her parents’ farm, Amanda’s days had never contained a fraction of the activity that Alejandro had scheduled nearly every day. And without complaining or looking weary, Alejandro bore it well. She had no idea what was the source of his energy. She only knew it was consistent and contagious. He invigorated everyone around him with his strong personality and engaging conversation. When he spoke to people, his lively blue eyes sparkled, making everyone—whether fans, staff, or media—feel as if they were the most important person in the world.
One time, many lifetimes ago in Las Vegas, Alejandro had commented that he lived a
. While he often praised her for adapting so well to it, in hindsight, Amanda knew how ill prepared she had been for becoming a part of that fast life: the paparazzi, the fans, the commitments, and the travel. Always the constant travel. Why, since New Year’s Eve they had crossed the country at least three times! Just last night, she teased him that their home should be aboard the jet, instead of in Miami.
Now, however, his immediate tour obligations were over. They were finally home. Gazing at the ocean, she took a deep breath. The sun lingering over the horizon and the drained feeling in her body told her she hadn’t gotten enough sleep. Still, she couldn’t linger in bed all day. She needed to unpack their luggage, work outside in the garden, and help Señora Perez in the kitchen. Now that they were back in Miami, Amanda wanted Alejandro to have a nice home-cooked meal that evening. His eating habits on the road left a lot to be desired.
Just as she was about to drop her hand from the drapes, she felt him standing behind her. Without even looking, she could sense his body. She smiled to herself as he wrapped his arms around her, his bare chest pressed against her back. Even though she wore a nightdress, she could feel the heat from his skin through the silk. His fingers tugged at the thin strap of her gown as he kissed the back of her neck.
“What are you doing up so early, Princesa?”
His voice sounded groggy, still thick with sleep. As she smelled the faded scent of his day-old cologne, an intense wave of warmth coursed through her body, leaving her light-headed and breathless. Being held in his arms, so muscular and strong, made her feel safe. She leaned back, her head pressing against the underside of his chin. His morning stubble tickled her skin, but she didn’t mind.
“Come back to bed, Aman-
,” he purred into her ear, her name rolling off his tongue and his thick Cuban accent heavy with sleep. “For once, let’s sleep until the sun sets. You and me. Alone with no interruptions, no cell phones, nowhere to go.” He held her tighter, his embrace protective and strong.
“The sun has barely risen,” she replied, her voice soft and innocent.
“All the more reason to stay together in bed. Just once, Princesa,
The invitation was enticing, especially since she heard the unspoken suggestion in his voice, but she knew that he needed his sleep.
She couldn’t remember the last time she had both gone to bed
arisen with him. No, on most nights, she either fell asleep first or awoke alone, sometimes both. After his concerts, there were always places for him to go and people for him to see. She knew that his obligation to interact with his public was the driving force behind his self-imposed sleep deprivation. Most of his concerts took place back-to-back from Thursdays to Sundays, which allowed them to fly to Los Angeles so that he could work with the recording studios and meet with other artists during the rest of the week. It had been a long time since she had seen him get a full night’s sleep, something that had not happened since Christmas, when they stayed at her parents’ farm in Lancaster.
Reluctantly, she pulled away from him and, taking him by his hand, led him back to the bed. He followed her willingly, a half-smile on his lips.
“You need more rest,” she said, helping him into the bed as if he were a child. “And I am no longer tired.” That wasn’t entirely true, but she wanted him to rest, undisturbed, while she took on the duties of the house like a proper wife.
He shut his eyes and relaxed as she pulled the sheet over his chest, her hand purposefully grazing his skin. When her fingers lingered by his wrist, he wrapped his hand around hers and gently pulled her to his chest, shifting his weight just enough so that her back pressed against his body once again.
“I will sleep,” he whispered into her ear, “but only if you stay with me.”
With his arm holding her tight, she couldn’t say no, even if she wanted to. And once she felt his tight grip on her, she realized that she wanted to stay. Relaxing, she listened to his soft breath as it slowed down. She gently stroked his arm, feeling the muscles quiver beneath her touch. One of his legs was tossed across hers, another measure to ensure that she did not escape. With each breath that he took, she could feel his chest rise and fall against her back. She smiled to herself, shut her eyes, and allowed a light sleep to find her, once again.
When she awoke later, she sensed that it was almost noon. Alejandro hadn’t moved; his arm was still holding her and his leg was now entwined with hers. Her body felt less weary, and she knew that with great care, she could slip from his embrace and start the long list of chores that she had planned. With gentle, deliberate movements, she slid out from under his arm and managed to escape his hold. For a long, quiet moment, she stood there, gazing down on this beautiful man that God had for some reason placed in her life. He barely stirred, his chest rising and falling in a rhythm that told her what she needed to know: he was finally catching up on sleep after those long months of eighteen-to-twenty-hour days.