Review: An Amish Spring

An Amish Spring

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

A Son for Always by Amy Clipston

(Previously published in An Amish Cradle)

Carolyn and Joshua are thrilled to be expecting their first child together. Carolyn was a teenager when she had her son, Benjamin, and she feels solely responsible to secure his future. As Joshua watches Carolyn struggle to accept his support, he knows he must find some way to convince her that she—and Ben—will always be taken care of.

A Love for Irma Rose by Beth Wiseman

(Previously published in An Amish Year)

The year is 1957, and young Irma Rose has a choice to make. Date the man who is “right” for her? Or give Jonas a chance, the wild and reckless suitor who refuses to take no for an answer? Irma Rose steps onto the path she believes God has planned for her, but when she loses her footing, she is forced to rethink her choice.

Where Healing Blooms by Vannetta Chapman

(Previously published in An Amish Garden)

Widow Emma Hochstetter finds her quiet life interrupted when she discovers a runaway teenager in her barn, and then the bishop asks her to provide a haven for a local woman and her two children. Then, her mother-in-law, Mary Ann, reveals one of her garden’s hidden secrets, something very unexpected.

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

An Amish Spring is another wonderful collection of inspiring Amish stories. Each tale has its own path of love, faith, and lessons to learn.

In the first journey, I followed a young Amish couple struggling to be happy. The wife felt to blame yet for having her first child out of wedlock. She felt that she owed it to her son to provide for him when he is grown.  Yet what she doesn’t realize is just how much her husband loves her son as the son where his biologically. It was a sweet story.

The second journey, sent me to a very young Amish couple once more. This young couple felt an instant attraction. However, the young Amish girl didn’t think the Amish guy who loved her was the right one. Jonas was a little bit more rough around the edges for an Amish plain man. But it made the story more interesting and real. I couldn’t stop laughing with Jonas around.

Last but not least, the third journey sent me to another Amish couple who needed each other. This time they were older. I felt their connection immediately. Their love and faith was fun to follow. Overall, each of these stories had something to show me. I fell in love with the characters both English and Amish alike.

 

Review: An Amish Winter

An Amish Winter: Home Sweet Home, A Christmas Visitor, When Winter Comes

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Home Sweet Home by Amy Clipston

(Previously published in An Amish Home)

Down on their luck and desperate after being evicted from their small apartment, Chace and Mia O’Conner reluctantly take Chace’s Amish boss up on his offer to rent them the daadi haus located on his property. They are certain they will never feel at home in the rustic cabin without any modern conveniences, and they start to blame each other for their seemingly hopeless situation. But with the help of their new Amish friends, Chace and Mia begin to enjoy their cozy cabin and realize that home really is where the heart is.

A Christmas Visitor by Kelly Irvin

(Previously published in An Amish Christmas Gift)

Frannie Mast knows her parents have good intentions when they send her back to Bee County, Texas, to live with her aunt and her aunt’s new husband Mordecai. After all, Frannie knows nothing can come of a relationship with Rocky, the handsome Englisch farm boy back in Missouri. But all bets are off when Rocky follows Frannie to Texas to plead his case.

When Winter Comes by Barbara Cameron

(Previously published in An Amish Gathering)

It’s been too long since Rebecca put on her skates and flew across the ice. Five years have passed since a winter accident took her twin Lizzie and left Rebecca heartbroken. Ben has waited for her all that time, and at last she’s starting to heal. But has too much time passed for their hearts to reconnect?

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

An Amish Winter is a heartfelt Amish collection of stories. I could not stop reading this book. Each tale grabbed my full attention. I was inspired. Especially, the one couple who were not Amish yet were relying heavily on that community for help. No home, no money, and barely any items of their own, a young couple struggle daily. But it’s their love and faith in each other that helps pull them through. The Amish friends encouraged them in prayer, faith, and love. It was one of the most beautiful parts in this collection. Sweet, entertaining, and emotionally charged, this group of writers, have a way with words. Overall, I highly recommend reading, An Amish Winter.

 

Review: An Amish Homecoming

An Amish Homecoming

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Four brand new Amish stories of coming home.

No Place Like Home  by Amy Clipston

Estranged daughter Eva Dienner has been staying with her in-laws, the Riehls, since her husband was killed in a fire, but now she wants her son to meet his maternal grandparents. Upon her return, Eva finds that the man her parents always intended for her is living in their daadihaus and running the dairy farm for them for free, despite her suspicions of him taking advantage of her family. Eva knows she should put the past behind her, but is she ready to move into the future?

When Love Returns  by Beth Wiseman

Hurricane Harvey forces Sarah Zook to return to the home she fled six years ago when she couldn’t face her stern parents’ reaction to her unplanned pregnancy. Upon her return, Abram King can think of nothing but the pain she caused him—until he meets Sarah’s daughter and realizes that he never really stopped loving Sarah. Sarah and Abram must find a way to face the truth of their past so they can rekindle their first love.

The Courage to Love  by Shelley Shepard Gray

After the death of her Englisch husband, Irene Keim seeks a fresh start by staying with her new friends Mary Ruth and Henry Wengerd in exchange for helping them around the house. But when Mary Ruth and Henry’s son Marcus comes around, he isn’t pleased with the woman they’ve taken in and is determined to push her out. Misunderstandings abound, but both Irene and Marcus learn that people aren’t always what they seem.

What Love Built by Kathleen Fuller

Independent and headstrong, Carolyn is determined to forge ahead with the opening of her bakery, a lifelong dream, in the Birch Creek home she left ten years ago. But she’s in over her head and needs help with the cleaning, shopping, and deliveries. Carpenter Atlee Shetler is visiting Birch Creek to escape the memories of his late wife. He takes a job renovating the new bakery and finds the project—and its owner—to be much more than he bargained for. Both Carolyn and Atlee must face pains of the past if they want to have the bright future God has planned for them.

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

An Amish Homecoming is a wonderful collection of four novellas. These Amish stories have captured my heart and soul. Each writer has infused a different lesson to be learned in her story. It was entertaining to follow the characters as the followed their hearts and dreams. Challenges were presented in a way that felt real. I also felt like I was a member of the Amish communities inside this collection. There is plenty of humor, faith, and love to explore here. The writers have brought the lost, the grieving, and the hurt together. It was an awe inspiring journey in each part of this book. Overall, I enjoyed reading An Amish Homecoming and recommend it to all.

 

Review: The Distant Sound of Thunder

The Sound of Distant Thunder (The Amish of Weaver's Creek #1)

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Katie Stuckey and Jonas Weaver are both romantics. Seventeen-year-old Katie is starry-eyed, in love with the idea of being in love, and does not want to wait to marry Jonas until she is eighteen, despite her parents’ insistence. So much can happen in a year. Twenty-year-old Jonas is taken in by the romance of soldiering, especially in defense of anti-slavery, even though he knows war is at odds with the teachings of the church. When his married brother’s name comes up in the draft list, he volunteers to take his brother’s place. But can the commitment Katie and Jonas have made to each other survive the separation?

From the talented pen of Jan Drexler comes this brand new Amish series set against the backdrop of the Civil War. She puts her characters to the test as they struggle to reconcile their convictions and desires while the national conflict threatens to undermine and engulf their community.

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

The Distant Sound of Thunder by Jan Drexler gives an insider’s view to the realities of an Amish lifestyle. The people are forbidden to live like the outsiders. Violence is not their way of life. However, a young Amish man wants to serve in the military. But he has decisions to make. He has a young Amish woman waiting for his hand in marriage and he has to follow the community rules. Despite what his community says, young Jonas enlists in the army in his brother’s place. I was amazed at the young man’s courage and bravery. He steps up to serve his country and at the same time manages a way to follow his faith. Jan Drexler offers a clean Christian read full of emotions. I recommend this book to readers everywhere.

Review: A Place of His Own

Place of His Own

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

When Josiah left Paradise the first time, he didn’t even say good-bye. Now he’s back, ten years later, and he’s changed. Why is he so distant and bitter? Where is the boy who used to be Amanda’s best friend? Amanda is learning that there are things even a capable Amish girl can’t fix. But can she stand there and watch him walk away . . . again?

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

A Place of His Own by Kathleen Fuller is a sad but beautifully written story. I cried a lot throughout this short story. I felt Josiah’s pain, anger, and loss. He lost his mother due to cancer, his father was full of anger and beat him constantly. The father was also a drunk who took Josiah away from the community and girl he loved. Now, as an adult, Josiah returns. Full of bad memories, hurt, and a need to be loved again. He tries pushing away his emotions. But he never expected his crush to turn into the beautiful woman she is. Still stubborn, kind, and full of life, Amanda wants to reach out and soothe Josiah’s pain. She knows only God can help him heal. But she also plays a major role in helping her friend heal and accept faith again. I enjoyed reading this book. Overall, I would highly recommend it to all.

 

Review: When Winter Comes

When Winter Comes: An Amish Gathering Novella

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Follow one year in an Amish community with three heartwarming tales of old friends and new beginnings. “When Winter Comes” is one novella from this collection.

It’s been too long since Rebecca has done what she loves—put on her skates and fly across the ice. Five years have passed since a winter accident took her twin Lizzie and left Rebecca heartbroken. And Ben has waited for her all that time. At last she’s starting to heal. But has too much time passed for their hearts to reconnect?

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

When Winter Comes by Barbara Cameron is a young love that started but never got to fully blossom before tragedy happened. A young woman is stuck in grieving. Reliving the loss of her twin sister. The pain and fear consume her. In the background, a young man, her best friend still carries a torch for her. He knows she is still suffering from that painful day. But he does not want to rush anything. So, he waits. Waiting so long his family tells him he’s crazy. But they see how serious he is and how kind he is in waiting for her to heal. Every time winter comes, the pain engulfs Rebecca. Rebecca tries being the best daughter her parents have. Making up for the daughter they lost, Rebecca holds on to the past. The burden is heavy, yet with a lot of prayer, faith, and encouragement, Rebecca may find the strength after all. Ben and Rebecca have a lot of trials to go through before they can find their peace and happiness. Sometimes patience does pay off in the end. Overall, I found this story sad, funny, and enjoyable. The cast was wonderful to follow. I loved the lessons learned. Forgiveness, faith, and hope will always win.

Review: A Change of Heart

A Change of Heart (An Amish Gathering)

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Follow one year in an Amish community with three heartwarming tales of old friends and new beginnings. “A Change of Heart” is one novella from this collection.

Leah is no good at cooking, cleaning, sewing, gardening—the skills that young women need to make a proper Amish wife. All she wants to do is write stories, but she’s sincerely tired of being a disappointment. Will she ever find someone who accepts her just as she is?

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

A Change of Heart by Beth Wiseman is a heartfelt story. It is full of faith, family, love, and humor. The main characters have a lot to learn yet but they also ended up teaching me a few lessons. Differences can make the community better and not worse. A young Amish woman is a great story writer. Yet it’s not looked upon as a something to achieve. Yet she somehow continues to inspire her readers and spread the love of her faith. I was amazed at the young woman’s strength.

Then, there is the young Amish man who has loved her ever since school days. He never gave up hope. Overcoming his shy ways, he is determined to make her notice him. He starts by making a deal with her. I’ll read your book if you attend events with me. Simple, friendly, and charming…the events and book talk only bring the two closer.

Both blossom into an unknown territory of love and friendship. Sometimes, being a friend can help grow the foundation of a relationship. I loved how clean and entertaining this Amish fiction novel was. I could not stop reading it. Beth Wiseman has once again, cleverly caught my full attention. Overall, I recommend it to all.

 

Review: The Healing by Linda Byler

The Healing

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

A hopeful story of unexpected love in the midst of illness, pain, and family conflict

John is the youngest of seven boys and is constantly overshadowed by his big brothers who seem to all be stronger, smarter, and better looking than he is. As a teenager, he knows he’s overweight and is sure he’ll never be popular like his brothers are. But those struggles are nothing compared to the battle he is about to fight. After weeks of feeling exhausted, depressed, and achy, he has no idea what’s wrong with him and begins to wonder if he’ll be miserable for the rest of his life. By the time he is finally diagnosed with Lyme disease, his body is failing and his spirits are nearly at rock bottom.

John’s parents and brothers try to help him, but as weeks turn into months with no real sign of improvement, the illness begins to take its toll on all of them. Minor disagreements turn into angry fights and old hurts surface amidst uncertainty and exhaustion. The Amish family that was once so tightly knit is unraveling before John’s eyes.

When John’s older brother Samuel begins dating Lena Zook—John’s eighth grade teacher—he tries to be happy for them, but it’s hard not to feel jealous. With all his health issues, John figures he’ll be lucky if he makes it through rumschpringe at all; he doesn’t dare hope to date anyone as lovely and smart and fun as Lena is.

Determined not to continue burdening his family, John begins to discover a quiet inner strength, even as his body falters. Recovery seems far off, but he nurtures a glimmer of hope that God has not forgotten him. And is it his imagination, or is Lena starting to spend more time with him than she’s spending with Samuel? Torn between following his heart and the fear of tearing his family apart even more, John’s struggles seem to only get more complicated, even as that glimmer of hope fans into flame.

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

The Healing by Linda Byler is a Christian novel that grabbed me in quickly. An Amish family once happy and fine, suffers. The youngest Amish boy is constantly picked on by his brothers. None of them understood what he was going through nor how he felt. I felt so much sympathy for John I wanted to hug him. But seeing as I couldn’t, all I could do was cheer and pray for him. His journey is one filled with sadness, shame, guilt, responsibility, and love. God is good. Themes of faith, family, and love are strong. The mother wanted to give up multiple times, when John was suffering. Yet, her husband never let her fall down from her faith. He kept strong holding her up despite the downfalls. I fell in love with the entire family. It was hard not to…I saw them at their best and their worst. No novel, I have read has quite shown me the realistic sides to an Amish family. No one is perfect. We all suffer. How we handle it is where we might differ. Overall, this novel tested my strength.

Review: Through the Autumn Air by Kelly Irvin

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

A mysterious English stranger appears in Mary Katherine Ropp’s kitchen one autumn night, heralding the beginning of a new chapter in the widow’s life.

The mother of ten, Mary Katherine is an empty-nester who lost her husband four years earlier. She misses her husband so much, she still talks to him. She pours her creative spirit into writing stories and serves as the district’s Budget newspaper scribe. An avid reader, her dream is to open a bookstore with her English friend, but the church elders want this wayward widow to work in an Amish-owned combination store.

When an English man breaks into her house looking for food, Mary Katherine doesn’t call the sheriff. She turns to her good friend, Ezekiel, who needs a cook at the restaurant he started after his wife died ten years earlier. Mary Katherine and Ezekiel set out separately to make sure their new friend isn’t caught up in the investigation, and their efforts keep bringing them together. They’re both still so in love with their long-gone spouses, so when the sparks begin to fly, they are beyond confused. Is it possible to find “The One” more than once in a lifetime?

But as Mary Katherine stands by her dear friend after the death of her husband, Mary Katherine is reminded of the terrible risk in giving her heart to someone. Can these two people, well-versed in the pain of loss, put the past behind them and trust in the hope of the future?

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Through the Autumn Air by Kelly Irvin is a heart melting tale. Two spouses have lost a loved one. They are still feeling the pain of their loss. To coupe they end up having conversations with their dead spouses. It was a bit heart breaking and understandable. No one wants to let go of someone they love. From there, the plot quickly turned interesting. It took just one stranger to bring two widowed people together. God is good. It showed that God has ways of bringing happiness to others. First, the kindness and understanding towards a stranger, and then their growing romance….Friendships have a way of evolving deeper, if we let them. In this case, I fell in love with the characters. I couldn’t help it. They had a way of pulling me in deeper. Sweet, engaging, and full of surprises, Through the Autumn Air is one wonderful Amish journey.

 

Review: A Defense of Honor by Kristi Ann Hunter

A Defense of Honor (Haven Manor, #1)

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

When Katherine “Kit” FitzGilbert turned her back on London society more than a decade ago, she determined never to set foot in a ballroom again. But when business takes her to London and she’s forced to run for her life, she stumbles upon not only a glamorous ballroom but also Graham, Lord Wharton. What should have been a chance encounter becomes much more as Graham embarks on a search for his friend’s missing sister and is convinced Kit knows more about the girl than she’s telling.

After meeting Graham, Kit finds herself wishing things could have been different for the first time in her life, but what she wants can’t matter. Long ago, she dedicated herself to helping women escape the same scorn that drove her from London and to raising the innocent children caught in the crossfire. But as much as she desperately wishes to tell Graham everything, the risk of revealing the truth may come at too high a price for those she loves.

Rating: 4-stars

Review: 

A Defense of Honor by Kristi Ann Hunter is a sweet heartfelt tale. A historical novel using a Christian theme. Inside, illegitimate children were being protected by a young woman. The same young woman whose father abandoned her and treats her with disgust. Yet hope remains in sight, and with the help of a new friend, Kit can help the children find a family.  There was also another theme of not judging a book by its cover. A young man, Graham, lived in the rich lifestyle. However, he was nothing like what Kit expected from a man such as himself. Graham displayed nothing but kindness, generosity, and love for the children and Kit. I loved the characters. They made reading this book enjoyable. It was hard not to cheer for Graham and Kit. The illegitimate children also touched my heart. Entertaining, charming, and engaging, this book is a must read for all. I recommend it to all Christian and historical readers.

Review: Farewell, Four Waters by Kate McCord

Farewell, Four Waters: One Aid Workers Sudden Escape from Afghanistan. A Novel Based on True Events

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Day 14: It should have been the beginning . . .

All she needed were stamps and signatures. Marie and her translator stood in the government offices in Kabul, Afghanistan, to complete the paperwork for her new literacy project. The women in her home town, the northern village of Shehktan, would learn to read.

But a spattering of gun shots exploded and an aid worker crumpled. Executed. On the streets of Kabul. Just blocks from the guesthouse. Sending shockwaves through the community.

The foreign personnel assessed their options and some, including Marie’s closest friend, Carolyn, chose to leave the country. Marie and others faced the cost and elected to press forward. But the execution of the lone aid worker was just the beginning.

When she returned home to her Afghan friends in Shehktan to begin classes, she felt eyes watching her, piercing through her scarf as she walked the streets lined in mud brick walls.

And in the end . . . 

It took only 14 days for her project, her Afghan home, her community—all of it—to evaporate in an eruption of dust, grief, and loss. Betrayed by someone she trusted. Caught in a feud she knew nothing about, and having loved people on both sides, Marie struggled for the answer: How could God be present here, working here, in the soul of Afghanistan?

Rating: 3.5-stars

Review:

Farewell, Four Waters by Kate McCord seemed interesting enough. The fact that is was based on true events made it even more frightening. It only took a short time for everything to change. Disaster stroke and danger lied ahead. The main character was an Afghan woman who struggled to survive each passing day. The Afghan culture and belief were mentioned across the pages. Murder, chaos, and deception are themes that are explored here. It was definitely a dark read. The sense of a broken community was sad. Trust was hard to come by…the plot was slow. It felt dragged out.

Inside this novel, I followed Marie. Marie spent 14 days of hell. It was quite scary how an ordinary day can turn dark so fast. Everything was told from her point of view. I saw her community and journey through her eyes and ears. An aid worker is shot dead in the street. Everyone saw it. After that, the gates of hell broke lose. Marie questioned whether God was around or not. She felt like God had abandoned the community. War broke out…making it deadly for Marie to stay behind. This story told how she survived and made it back home. Overall, Farewell, Four Waters was a good read.

 

Review: Where Hope Begins by Catherine West

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

In the aftermath of her husband’s act of adultery and abandonment, Savannah must finally face the ghosts that haunt her and discover for herself whether authentic faith, grace, and ultimate healing really do exist.

When her husband of twenty-one years leaves her, Savannah Barrington believes she’s lost almost everything she’s ever loved. With her daughter in college and her son in boarding school, Savannah retreats to her parents’ lake house in the Berkshires, where hope and healing come in the form of an old woman’s wisdom, a little girl’s laughter, a touch of magic, and a handsome man who’s willing to risk his own heart to prove she’s still worth loving.

But when her husband asks to reconcile, Savannah is faced with the hardest challenge of all: Forgiving the unforgivable. Somehow she must find freedom from the chains of their past and move forward, or face an unknown future without him.

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Where Hope Begins by Catherine West is one of the most heart wrenching tales ever. I was quickly absorbing this novel and the characters were like real people to me. Their struggles, sadness, hope, and disappointment scratched at my heart. Leaving behind tiny marks. Love is so powerful it can destroy everything the main character believes in or gives her the strength to find her way through it all. It appeared that God left the woman featured in this story. Yet as I dug further, that became less true. Sometimes our paths get distorted and lost along the way. Then, they become clear again. But until we can see clearly, patience and hope is required.

Savannah lost her husband of twenty years due to common issues that most couples face. Loss, grief, and broken marriages. But what they had before their loss and grief was love for each other. And faith in God. However, that all came crashing down when they suffered and lost their way. Savannah lost her faith when her husband broke her heart. Not knowing what to do or where to go, she stumbled like a lost soul in a desert storm. Then, hope came in the form of Brock and his daughter. Together they help Savannah heal and find the strength and peace in her life once more. Overall, I loved this story. It felt realistic and was engaging from the beginning. It was easy to relate and connect with all the characters. In the end, I recommend this stunning emotional journey to all readers.

Review: An Amish Family by Kathleen Fuller

An Amish Family: An Amish Novella Collection

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

In An Amish Family, beloved author of Amish romance, Kathleen Fuller, invites readers into the lives of four Amish families.

Building Trust 

Grace Miller and Joel King are in love. They’ve dated secretly for the past year and when he proposes marriage, Grace eagerly agrees. But when she tells her parents about the wedding, she’s shocked when her father tells her she can’t marry Joel. Can Grace get to the bottom of her father’s animosity toward Joel so they can have the happily ever after she’s always dreamed of?

A Heart Full of Love  (also in An Amish Cradle)

Ellie’s mother hasn’t stopped meddling in her personal life since Ellie lost her sight—and she’s taken it up a notch now that Ellie’s pregnant. When Ellie gives birth to twins, her mother insists on moving in to care for them. But when her mother’s behavior becomes unbearable, Ellie is forced to take a stand . . . and finally find out why Mamm can’t let go.

Surprised by Love 

In a desperate move to evade her match-making mother, Emily Shwartz announces that she’s already seeing someone: Reuban Coblentz. The trouble is, Reuban is barely even a friend. Seeing how desperate she is, Reuban plays along. But when the past sneaks up on them, will this temporary arrangement turn into everlasting love?

A Gift for Anne Marie  (also in An Amish Second Christmas)

Anne Marie and Nathaniel have been best friends since they were kids. Now things are evolving . . . in ways everyone else predicted long ago. But when her mother suddenly decides to remarry in another state, Anne Marie’s new chapter with Nathaniel looks doomed to end before it begins. 

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

An Amish Family by Kathleen Fuller is a wonderful anthology full of good Christian stories. Each story focuses on a lesson and they’re based on faith, love, and hope. Two of these short stories were previously published in other volumes. I enjoyed reading them all. They had a common theme and shared similar troubles. Love came in all many ways through each piece. Sweet, tender, and heartfelt…I felt a connection to all the of the characters. What I found most interesting what that in each new story, the focus on a female protagonist. Yes, there were strong male characters but it centered on the leading females. Everything they thought to what they did…moved the pages along. Overall, I found this collection engaging to read. I would recommend it to other readers.

Review: Arms of Mercy by Ruth Reid

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

He lost her once to a rash decision.

He will not lose her again.

On the eve of a new year, Catherine Glick is expecting her bu of five years to propose. Instead, the unexpected arrival of an old boyfriend, Elijah, sends her life spiraling out of control. When a rash decision damages her current relationship, Catherine leaves for Florida to work in her cousin’s bakery—anything to flee the source of her shame.

Elijah Graber knows he hurt Catherine when he left their Amish district six years ago. He’s determined to explain his actions, even if it means following her to Florida. Perhaps their two-day bus trip together will provide enough time for him to make his case and win her back.

Just when Elijah is starting to tear down the walls Catherine has built, their bus skids on an icy road—and amid the mayhem and tragedy that follow, Catherine disappears. Elijah’s friends urge him to prepare for the worst, but Elijah holds on to his hope in God and refuses to give up his search for Catherine. With supernatural nudging from the most unexpected places, Elijah sets out to find the love he once lost—no matter the cost.

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

Arms of Mercy by Ruth Reid is an emotional journey. It tugged at my heart strings all the way. Two young Amish people fell in love but things didn’t go as planned. Hurt and embarrassed, one of them runs away from their current life. Only this time, the other one isn’t going to give up…

Catherine loved Elijah until he hurt her emotionally. She has then moved on with her life. Currently romantically involved with another Amish man, Catherine has been waiting for love. What she doesn’t realize is that her heart was still with Elijah. Then, embarrassed by what happens to her next, she flees. Unexpectedly, Elijah meets her and from there the story grows complicated, heartbreaking, and sweet.

Elijah broke his love’s heart. Hoping to make mends…he finds that his love never ended for her. Just being with Catherine makes him happy. Things are going well, until tragedy strikes them both. Loss, grief, and forgiveness are major themes of this novel. I was so engaged in both characters’ lives I felt like I was there with them. They made me hope and cheer for them both. The ending was wonderful. I wasn’t disappointed with this read. Overall, I highly recommend it to all Christian readers.

Review: To Wager Her Heart

Synopsis:

With fates bound by a shared tragedy, a reformed gambler from the Colorado Territory and a Southern Belle bent on breaking free from society’s expectations must work together to achieve their dreams—provided that the truth doesn’t tear them apart first. 
Sylas Rutledge, the new owner of the Northeast Line Railroad, invests everything he has into this venture, partly for the sake of the challenge. But mostly to clear his father’s name. One man holds the key to Sy’s success—General William Giles Harding of Nashville’s Belle Meade Plantation. But Harding is champagne and thoroughbreds, and Sy Rutledge is beer and bullocks. Sy needs someone to help him maneuver his way through Nashville’s society, and when he meets Alexandra Jamison, he quickly decides he’s found his tutor. Only, he soon discovers that the very train accident his father is blamed for causing is what killed Alexandra Jamison’s fiancee—and what has broken her heart. 
Spurning an arranged marriage by her father, Alexandra instead pursues her passion for teaching at Fisk University, the first freedmen’s university in the United States. But family—and Nashville society—do not approve, and she soon finds herself cast out from both. Through connections with the Harding family, Alexandra and Sy become unlikely allies. And despite her first impressions, Alexandra gradually finds herself coming to respect, and even care for this man. But how can she, when her heart is still spoken for? And when Sy’s roguish qualities and adventuresome spirit smack more of recklessness than responsibility and honor? 
Sylas Rutledge will risk everything to win over the woman he loves. What he doesn’t count on is having to wager her heart to do it. 
Set against the real history of Nashville’s Belle Meade Plantation and the original Fisk University Jubilee Singers ensemble, To Wager Her Heart is a stirring love story about seeking justice and restoring honor at a time in history when both were tenuous and hard-won. 

Rating: 4.5-stars 

Review:

To Wager Her Heart by Tamera Alexander is a brilliant historical romance. Full of emotions. Both protagonists find themselves in  a world of hurt that binds them together. Each one seeking something with the help of the other. Tamera Alexander brought me back into the era of railroads and their danger. High clout families, politics, and the risks of falling in love. The stakes are high and the scenes are engaging. Themes of loss, honor, and hope are found here. I was intrigued with both the southern belle determined to make her own way and the troubled man taking on a huge task. Heartfelt, entertaining, and well-developed. Alexandra Jamison is a strong female character. She worked hard and it paid off…the feeling of accomplishment back then in her time period was the best part of the book. To Wager Her Heart has won my heart over many times. I highly recommend it to readers worldwide. 

Review: An Amish Summer



Synopsis:

A Reunion in Pinecraft by Shelley Shepard Gray



When sisters Sharon and Sherilyn Kramer attend a wedding in Shipshewana, one of them returns with a new penpal while the other returns to her job at the bakery. After sending weekly letters back and forth, Sherry and Graham Holland arrange a reunion in Pinecraft. Upon Graham s arrival, however, he realizes he s been writing to the wrong sister. He decides to use the reunion as a way to get to know both sisters, but can he sort through the confusion in time to turn the worst vacation ever into something truly wonderful?

Summer Storm by Amy Clipston



Arianna is counting down the days until her wedding to Jesse. They have been friends longer than Arianna can remember, and that friendship turned into love over the past couple of years. But when Arianna s brother Isaac, who happens to be Jesse s best friend, gets them both into trouble, Arianna s father puts an end to her engagement to Jesse. Some summer storms pass quickly, but Arianna is afraid the damage from this one may be too much to repair.

Lakeside Love by Kathleen Fuller



Esther has always lived in the shadow of her beautiful younger sister Sarah. Even the boy she has known and loved her entire life, Judah, only has eyes for Sarah. But when a handsome young Englischer comes to live with the family for a summer, everything begins to change.

One Sweet Kiss by Kelly Irvin



Everybody in little Bee County, Texas, can see the obvious: Jacob King and Martha Byler are meant to be together. Everyone, that is, but Martha. Ever since her mother died when Martha was a young girl, she has taken over the role of caregiver to her large family. And reckless Jacob, who has had a little too much fun on his rumspringa, only seems to add to the list of people to manage. But one summer changes everything, and these two may just find a way to meet in the middle and share one sweet kiss.

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

An Amish Summer is a collection of novellas from four of my favorite Christian writers. These writers are beyond talented. When I read each novella, I felt like I was only reading five pages…the plot flew by that fast. I was deeply engaged. Entertaining from the beginning to end. The endings for each piece were beautifully done. I was surprised. Sometimes, I didn’t think certain situations were going to work out…then, to find that they did. I was hooked. I would love to write a review for each novella, but I’m afraid that I’ll give too much away.

Shelly Shepard Gray’s A Reunion in Pinecraft was a perfect summer Amish tale. Young Amish men and women met that summer. New beginnings. Tender, sweet, and messy. I loved it. 

Amy Clipston’s Summer Storm was brilliant too. A young Amish man and woman loved each other for along time. This tale was a coming of age read. The young Amish man had a lot to learn. His love, patiently waited for him. Their love was inspiring. 

Kathleen Fuller’s Lakeside Love was an eye opener. I found that their is much more to our outside looks than originally thought. Those of us who don’t have the good looks on our side can easily relate to the Amish sister who was deemed plain by all. Hearts of gold were found in this sweet read. 

Kelly Irvin’s Sweet Kiss was a story of determination and growing up…promising. This novella showed how life can be messy but how it can also be good. Losing loved ones isn’t easy. A young Amish woman lost her mom and took over for her mother. She soon finds that she’s not needed as much as before and that sometimes there are other things God has planned for her. Like the determined yet good looking Amish man. The one willing to prove to her that he’s the only one for her. I felt so in love with these characters…

Overall, An Amish Summer was packed full of clean yet engaging stories. They were well-written. The characters were different as the sun and moon. But each one has similar issues. Issues revolving on finding the one for them. Love comes and goes. It surprises us when we least expect it to…I highly recommend this Amish collection to readers worldwide. 

Review: The Beloved Hope Chest 

Synopsis:

In the final installment of the Amish Heirloom series, the Fisher sisters learn the mystery behind their parents’ marriage—and about the sibling who has never been spoken of.

Mattie Fisher’s three daughters know that she’s been keeping a secret from them. With each item pulled from the beloved family hope chest, they’ve discovered a new clue about their mother’s past.

But there’s a reason Mattie has been keeping her history hidden, and she’s not sure she’s ready to reopen old wounds. Will dredging up the past change the way her children view her? Or her marriage to their father? And can she handle the pain of revisiting the memories that preceded the last few happy decades?

Mattie’s story is one of grief and learning to love again. But like the best things preserved in a hope chest, it’s a story of love and redemption born out of heartache—and it’s past time to share it. 

Rating: 4.5-stars

Review:

The Beloved Hope Chest by Amy Clipston was a wonderful Amish heirloom read. This novel, was a journey down memory lane for Mattie. Memories that might change the present. Doubt, fear, and worry fill Mattie’s mind. Her daughters know something…but not enough. Imagine keeping a secret for so long…and finally it’s about to be revealed. Choices have to be made. For better or for worse. I loved reading this charming, engaging, and emotionally powered book. The family life tugged at my heart strings. Suspense of what might happen kept me intrigued. Every page was entertaining. The Beloved Hope Chest is another brilliant piece featuring strong female heroines. Amy Clipston has once more captivated my full attention with her latest novel. Overall, this heartfelt read is one that I would recommend to readers everywhere. The story is full of both woe and happiness. 

Review: Upon A Spring Breeze 

Synopsis:

After a devastating winter, a spring breeze promises more than new flowers.… It promises a new chance at love.
Bess Weaver, twenty and expecting her first child, is in the kitchen making stew for her beloved mann, Caleb, one minute, and the next she’s burying him after a tragic accident. Facing life as a young widow, Bess finds comfort only in tending the garden at an Englisch-owned bed and breakfast—even as she doubts that new growth could ever come after such a long winter.
Aidan tries to repress his guilt over his best friend Caleb’s death and his long-standing feelings for Bess by working harder than ever. But as he spends time with the young son his friend left behind, he seems to be growing closer to the boy’s beautiful mother as well.
When a close-knit group of widows in her Amish community step in to help Bess find her way back to hope, she begins to wonder if Gott has a future for her after all. Will she ever believe that life can still hold joy and the possibility of love? 

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

Upon A Spring Breeze by Kelly Irvin is a Christian tale full of tragedy, loss, and new beginnings. A young woman loses her husband and faces life as a single mother. Beth buries herself into work. Keeping busy. Aidan is facing internal struggles over his friend’s death and the growing attraction towards his friend’s wife. The child seems to be pulling the two adults closer but Aidan and Beth have to overcome their obstacles and fears before love can set in…

Kelly Irvin’s writing is easy to follow. Intriguing, clean, and charming. The charcaters are believable. Their life situations are realistic. I was able to connect with both characters. Loss, grief, love, and faith are themes commonly found on every page. Overall, I recommend Upon A Spring Breeze to all. 

Review: The Ebb Tide


Synopsis:

A Heartwarming Tale of Courage and Love from Amish Fiction’s #1 Author

When a well-to-do family asks Sallie Riehl to be their daughter’s nanny for the summer at their Cape May, New Jersey, vacation home, she jumps at the chance to broaden her horizons beyond the Lancaster County Amish community where she grew up. Sallie has long dreamed of seeing more of the world, but her parents are reluctant for her to put off baptism yet another summer, and the timing is unfortunate for Perry Zook, who has renewed interest in courting her. 

Though she loves nannying, Sallie has free time on the weekends to enjoy the shore. It is there that she meets Kevin Kreider, a marine biology student who talks freely about all he’s learning and asks about her interests, unlike most of the guys she grew up with. Time with Kevin is invigorating, and Sallie realizes she’s never felt quite this alive around Perry. Then again, Kevin is Mennonite, not Amish. 

Sallie tries to brush aside her growing feelings for Kevin, but she fears what her parents would think about her new friendship. Just as concerning, however, is Sallie’s realization that her time in Cape May is increasing her desire to see the world, challenging her plans for the future. Has she been too hasty with her promises, or will Sallie only find what her heart is longing for back home in Paradise Township?

Rating: 5-stars

Review

The Ebb Tide by Beverly Lewis is a sweet Christian tale. A young Amish woman has had a heart for traveling the world in which God created. Her family wishes to see her baptized as an Amaish soon, but they start realizing it may not be what is good for their daughter. Sallie has a good Amish man back home who cares about her…yet her heart is constantly drifting back to Kevin. His family is Mennonite, not Amish. Sallie never once gives up trying to be a good Amish woman. She tries her best. But her heart is being pulled into another direction. Kevin and exploring the world. Beverly Lewis’s novel is heartfelt. The words carry a deep meaning and captivate me as I went through them. I felt sad and then happy for Sallie. Despite what our families want for us, we have to go find what it is that we want. Happiness is by falling our hearts. A deep and beautifully told story. The Ebb Tide is one that I recommend to readers worldwide. It’s relates to everything we all go through…each day. Finding ourselves. 

Review: The Living Miracle

 

Synopsis:

Is Izanagi Okamura a monster or just a man afraid to die?

There is a new world without God, sorrow or love for others, only self. One man attempts to control life. Another tries to reintroduce it.

Hiroto Okamura is given a doll, L4-13354, for his birthday. He quickly discovers that she is special. Together, they struggle to hide her secret until it is time to reveal her true existence.

A greedy perfect world; the choice between morality and covetousness; and the created life that will change everything.

This story takes Hiroto on a journey through life, love, passion, death and spiritual growth. The devotion these two innocent children share is both pure and enduring as they fight to remain together. Follow them as they travel the world telling their story and restoring the Christian faith.

Rating: 5 stars

Review:

The Living Miracle by Donna D. Vaal is truly in inspiration to many. The novel explores so many sides of life and shows that hope, love, and God do truly exist. You can be a nonbeliever and find this story comforting. I definitely did. Readers will laugh, cry, and fall in love with the main characters. Brilliantly well-written by Donna D. Vaal is a Christian tale the combines a few genres into one amazing masterpiece.

Inside this emotionally moving story, readers will notice that science fiction and Christian fiction were combined in making this come alive.  The characters both robotic like and real pop off the pages with every word. A young boy like others his age receives a toy that obeys their command until they’re eighteen.Then, they are destroyed. On his fifth birthday, Hiroto receives his toy. A toy that turns out to be a girl. Hiroto turns out to be more humane than the rest of his people and soon fate places him and his toy into a life of an adventure. A friendship that grows into more as they age and a secret that could destroy and take away what they have…then Hiroto learns from his grandfather who turns out to be his father about his life and the life of his toy…Readers will be kept lured in as the story continues and suspense will hang in the air as they race to finish reading the book.  Donna D. Vaal has taken an entertaining and complex way to bring the message that God exists to readers. The ending is just as great as the beginning and  middle. I loved reading The Miracle and look forward to reading the next book written by Donna D. Vaal. Overall, I highly recommend this stunning read to readers worldwide.

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