Tag Archives: Christian Fiction

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.

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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.