When Andy’s baby sister Trish gets stranded at the family cabin during a massive blizzard, he calls upon his best friends—the Magnificent Eight—to go to his sister’s rescue.
Andy knows that several members of the Eight will drop everything to help, and they’re the perfect solution because the Amish aren’t hindered by stalled cars—they can travel just fine in their buggies.
But when Logan, Trish’s secret crush, is the first to volunteer to save her, she can’t help but worry that, despite the freezing temperatures, being alone with Logan might mean that things heat up pretty fast. Filled with Shelley Shepard Gray’s signature “heart-warming, heart-stopping” (Wendy Corsi Staub, New York Times bestselling author) prose, Friends to the End is an evocative and endearing romance.
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Friends to the End ONE
The first time I went to the Clarks’ house was with my older brother, Andy. He was twelve and I was ten. Back then, I was fairly certain my big brother could do no wrong.
A?ndy Warner almost hadn’t glanced at his phone. He was down in Naples, Florida, with his parents and two of his father’s golf buddies and was just about to walk into the grill at some crazy-expensive golf club when his cell phone vibrated.
Usually he would have ignored it, but his parents and the men had been talking about the stock market for the last hour—they wouldn’t miss him for a couple of minutes.
Just as he excused himself from the group, his phone vibrated again. Walking toward the front doors, he thumbed the screen. His little sister, Tricia, wouldn’t have called him for no reason.
“Hey, Trish,” he said as he slid his sunglasses back over his eyes. “How’s all the snow? Are you finally wishing you’d given in and come to Florida with Mom and Dad?” No matter how hard he’d tried to convince his sister that heading down to Florida for the long Presidents’ Day weekend would be good for her, his twenty-year-old sister had steadfastly refused.
“Oh, Andy. You have no idea.”
He was about to tease her again when something in her voice made him stop. “What’s going on?”
“I’m in trouble.”
The connection was breaking up. Hoping to hear her better, Andy strode toward the edge of the half-filled parking lot. As he stood on the dark pavement, heat radiating from it even in the middle of February, there was no one around to overhear. “What happened?”
“The power is out in the cabin and it’s snowing like crazy. The weather reports are bad, too,” she said in a rush, one word tumbling over the other. “I don’t think my car can make the drive back. It’s freezing, it’s going to be dark in a couple of hours, and the only way I can charge my phone is to go sit in the car.”
Feeling the headache that he’d been fighting off and on for the last six months come rolling back, Andy rubbed between his eyes. “You went out to the cabin by yourself? Did Mom and Dad know you were heading out there? I sure didn’t.”
She paused. “I didn’t tell anyone I was coming out here.”
Their family’s cabin was nestled in the woods about ninety minutes from their home in Walnut Creek, Ohio. Their grandparents had built it when their dad was just a kid. Over the years his parents had fixed it up until it resembled something out of one of his mother’s Midwest Living magazines. It had two bedrooms, a huge stone fireplace, and granite countertops in the kitchen. All of them loved hanging out there, hiking, fishing, or simply doing nothing at all.
But even though the place had every modern convenience and was gorgeous, it was still secluded—really secluded. In addition, the narrow, winding road leading up to it had tripped up more than one driver in the middle of the summer.
But in the dead of winter? It bordered on treacherous. Fear for her ratcheted up his tone. “Trish, what were you—”
She cut him off, her voice sounding pinched. “Andy, believe it or not, I didn’t call so you could yell at me from some beach in Florida. Chew me out all you want when you get home. But right now I need your help.” She took a deep breath. “What should I do? Do you think I should try to brave the roads and go back?”
Concern slammed into his chest. Tricia might be twenty years old and a grown woman to the rest of the world, but to him she was still the little girl who used to tag along behind him and his friends. “Give me a sec. Let me think.” He knew what he would do—he’d take the chance and start driving.
But this was Tricia.
After another second or two, Tricia made an impatient noise. “Can you think quicker? It’s snowing so much, I’m afraid I’m going to lose our connection. You know how spotty it is out here.”
She wanted him to spout off the right advice just like that? Andy mentally rolled his eyes. He was starting to have a whole new dose of respect for his parents. Was this what their lives had been like when he was a teenager and getting into trouble? Memories of him calling home in need of help taunted him like a bully.
“Look, no judgments, but why did you call me instead of Mom or Dad? How about I run inside and get—”
“Mom’s been threatening to make me move back home and finish college online or something. She said I’ve had too much drama and that something is always going wrong with me.”
Their mom was right. Tricia was a junior at Bowling Green State University, but even he knew that his smart little sister was a walking disaster. She’d had difficult roommates, lost her keys and student ID, ran out of money, and never thought things through. How one girl could be so flighty and still make the dean’s list while majoring in applied mathematics was beyond him.
“So you don’t want them to know you’re stuck up in the cabin?”
He began to pace, working up a sweat. “Are you in trouble? Do you have wood and water?”
“The water’s fine. For some reason, the well hasn’t given out. I’ve got some granola bars, cereal, and milk, too. But I’m stuck, Andy.” Her voice quivered. “You know I wouldn’t have called if I wasn’t so stressed out. I can only find a couple of candles and two flashlights but no batteries. It’s really bad out here.”
Racking his brain, he tried to think of who would drop everything to help Tricia out. Exhaling, he realized he knew seven people. The other members of the Magnificent Eight. His best friends.
He was closer than close to these seven other men and women, thanks to the bond they’d formed back when they were toddlers. They’d vowed to be there for each other no matter what—and, amazingly, that loyalty had never wavered.
The best part about the group, for Tricia at least, was that some of the Eight were Amish. They didn’t need good roads to travel on; they could use a sleigh and horses. They didn’t need electricity, either. They made do without electricity all the time.
But what was most important was that both he and Tricia could trust any of them. Though she was never part of the Eight, she knew each of them really well.
And right then, he knew who to track down first. Logan lived north of Walnut Creek and knew all the back roads to the cabin. If anyone could make it there, it was him. “I’m going to call Logan Clark, Tricia. He’ll get you.”
“Logan?” Her voice softened with relief. “Do you really think he’d come out here for me?”
“Of course. He knows the cabin, too. So sit tight. He’ll drop everything to be there.”
“I hope he answers his house phone. He’s New Order, right?”
“Yep.” The Clarks were New Order Amish, which meant that they had a single house phone. One of the many people who lived there would answer it and tell Logan about Tricia. “Listen, if for some reason I can’t get ahold of him, I’ll call someone else in the Eight. No matter what, you won’t have to worry. Expect company to arrive in three or four hours.”
She sniffed. “Thanks, Andy. What would I ever do without you?”
He laughed. “Don’t worry about that. I’m not going anywhere. Now, let me call Logan and get back to Dad before he comes looking for me.”
“Okay. Thanks again, Andy.”
“Chin up, Trish,” he reassured her, ready to find her help as soon as possible. “Go light one of those candles you found and read a book or something. Try to relax. It will be all right.”
Still fighting his headache, he thumbed down his list of contacts and dialed Logan’s number, smiling when his buddy picked up.
“Hey, Logan, it’s Andy. I’m really glad you picked up and not one of your siblings.”
“Well, I’m really wonderin’ why you are on the phone. I thought you were in Florida.”
“I am, but I just got a call from Trish. Listen, I need a favor.”
“Name it,” he said.
He breathed a sigh of relief. Everything was going to be okay now. Tricia was going to be taken care of.
“Andy?” his dad called out.
Covering the mouthpiece, he turned to his father. “Sorry, Dad. There’s an emergency at work. I’ll be right there.”
Looking relieved, his dad walked back inside. As soon as he was gone, Andy filled Logan in on Tricia and asked him to drop everything to rescue her.
Just like he’d had to back when they were twelve years old.
“I’ll head out to get her within the hour. I’ll bring supplies, too, in case something happens.”
“If you want to bring someone else with you, that’s fine with me. Trish sounded like a wreck.”
“We’ll see. Try not to worry.”
“Danke, Logan,” Andy said, using the Pennsylvania Dutch word for thank you to emphasize his relief.
“Ack, it’s nothing. It’s what friends are for. Ain’t so?”
Andy smiled. “Absolutely,” he said as he hung up and walked back inside the club. Though his head was pounding and he didn’t feel good about keeping this secret from his parents, he believed in Logan and the strength of the Eight as much as he believed in God.
He really was blessed to have such an amazing group of friends.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Friends to the End, a novella by Shelley Shepard Gray, was a very enjoyable book. This book is a prequel to The Patient One and is a wonderful story of love and true friendship. When Tricia runs off to a cabin trying to escape her life and bad choices gets caught in a blizzard and is stranded in the cabin with no electricity or adequate supplies. Of all the people to come to her rescue, but a man she has had a crush on since she was in her early teens. Only she is English and he Amish. Will she be able to withstand days stranded with him without revealing her real feelings for him? I truly enjoyed this novella and look forward to reading more in this series! I received a copy of this book from the author, but was not required to give a positive review. This is my honest opinion of this book.
When Andy Warner got a call from his little sister Tricia while he and his parents were in Florida, he knew exactly what to do. He called Logan Clark. Logan was his best friend and, along with Andy, a member of the Eight. As children, this group, some Amish, some Mennonite, and some English, had formed a fast friendship and a deep bond. They made a pact to always be there for each other. Now in their twenties, that bond still held. All the Warners where supposed to go on vacation but Tricia hadn’t wanted to go. What she did do however, was very reckless. She went to the family cabin in the woods and got stuck there due to a bad snow storm. What a predicament she had gotten herself in! The power was out. Her phone was dying. The only way she could charge it was to go out to the car. It was freezing and she was alone in the middle of nowhere. Until she wasn’t. Pick up a copy of Gray’s newest novella. You won’t be able to put it down! Read Tricia’s story. Find out who went to her rescue and what happened in the cabin.
Friends to the End is a prequel to Shelley Shepard Gray's Walnut Creek series which revolves around the friendship of 8 people. Not all are Amish. Besides Amish there are Mennonite and also English, some women some men. The story starts out where Trish Warner is at her family's summer cabin and the power goes out. In a panic mode she calls her brother Andy, one of the 8 people and he calls one of his best friends in the group Logan who happens to be New Order Amish. Trish, an Englisher had a crush on him when she was younger. Logan comes to the rescue and then about half of the Magnificent 8 as they are called come a few hours later bring more supplies to weather the storm. We get a brief introduction to some of the characters that we will get to know in the series. There is a romance but not until the end of the book. I felt that it was rushed and not entirely believable. The two people involved are from different walks of life and for the romance to be able to thrive it is going to me one person making a drastic change. I suppose that romance will be developed in future books and will make more sense. This novella was only 100 pages and not enough pages to develop characters, romance or even a plot. I look forward to reading future books in this series as I have always enjoyed books by this author. I received a complimentary copy of this book from Gallery Books through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own. This book is due to be published on February 11, 2019.
Friends to the End is a well-written and thoughtful story. It introduces readers to Tricia Warner along with brother, Andy plus a group of close friends. Friends to the End is only 113 pages in length so it is a quick, easy to read novella. Tricia is a junior at Bowling Green State University and is a mathematics whiz. However, she has difficulties with other parts of her life. Tricia feels like she is letting down her parents with her frequent mishaps. Andy Warner is an organizer and worrier. He cannot help fixing things for Tricia and his friends. Logan Clark is New Order Amish, but he cannot help his feelings for Tricia. He cannot imagine Tricia giving up her lifestyle to be with him. We also meet Harley, Elizabeth Ann and Marie Hartman. When Andy called, they dropped everything to come help Tricia (good friends). I thought the story was realistic with interesting and relatable characters. I look forward to learning more about them in The Patient One. The author laid the groundwork in Friends to the End for the series and we get a glimpse of what will happen in the next book. I do recommend reading Friends to the End before embarking on The Patient One. Friends to the End is the perfect tale to settle down with in a cozy chair on a cold afternoon.
The Warner family is on vacation all but Tricia she decided to stay at home. But she gets in some trouble when she decides to go to the family's cabin in the middle of no where. When a big snow storm hits and the power off and she gets stranded there so She calls her brother Andy on vacation so he can't do much to help but he calls his best friend Logan Clark to come help Trisha but the snow storm gets worse and they get stuck there overnight. (Logan and Andy are part of a group called the 8. They met when they were young and some are Amish some are Mennoite and some are English.) Trish called Andy and said they were stuck so he called another member of the eight. Did other members of the eight come to help? How did they get there? Did they make it? Was there more snow? get your copy today and see for yourself what happens. This is a book that you don't want to put down and you want to find out what happens when/if the others make it to the cabin. Can't wait to read more of this new series.