A Season of Change (Amish Inn #3) by Beth Wiseman

Pages: 336

Publisher: Zondervan

Published: October 5, 2021

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Source: NetGalley

Available Formats: Digital, Audio, Hardcover, and Paperback

My Review: Excuse me while I finish sniffling. I am NOT OK! This book was nowhere near as lighthearted as the first two but oh it was just as good. A moving tale of overcoming your past to find love.

If you have read the previous two books you know the nitpicking and poking Lizzie and Gus do to one another. They continue that sparring but we come to understand more of the reason why. From the beginning of the series, Gus has been my least favorite but by the end, he became my second favorite. We learn so much about Gus and realize he has a heart under that tough exterior.

My favorite character is Rose. She just needs love and understanding to find her way and what better place than the Peony Inn.

I suggest you read this series in order so you can experience the full emotional range of all the characters. If you chose not to read in order you will be ok.

Warning: Do not read the last 20% in public unless you want others to see you ugly cry.

I received a complimentary copy from the publisher through NetGalley. All opinions expressed in the above review are entirely my own.

From NetGalley: Finding peace means letting go of the past—and embracing the change that is to come. 

Sisters Esther and Lizzie have a new employee, Rose Petersheim, to help them tend to The Peony Inn. But their old matchmaking ways have stayed the same. The sisters focus their efforts on the lovely twenty-five-year-old Rose. Though Rose is witty and outspoken, her nervous chattering makes her the best match for someone calm and good at listening. Someone like Benjamin—the handsome handyman who recently moved to town. 

But when Esther receives an anonymous love letter and flowers, Rose’s love life is no longer the only one capturing the sisters’ attention. As they sleuth around searching for Esther’s secret admirer, they uncover that their grumpy renter, Gus, has a secret of his own that could bring about a difficult change in all their lives. And their continued meddling in Rose’s affairs reveals she, too, is hiding something—an old wound that could threaten her future happiness. 

As Rose, Lizzie, Esther, and Gus struggle to release the weight of their pasts, they discover that although people are complicated, love doesn’t need to be. 

This charming third installment of the Amish Inn series from bestselling author Beth Wiseman is a picture of loss and healing in which forgiveness will prove to be the greatest act of love.

Marriage Can Be Mischief (An Amish Matchmaker Mystery #3) by Amanda Flower

Pages: 304

Publisher: Kensington

Published: November 30, 2021

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Source: NetGalley

Available Formats: Digital, Paperback

My Review: Another wonderful-good mystery with Millie and Lois. I need to hook up with these two and I would be guaranteed to laugh and have some fun. They do not need a murder to get into trouble.

The mystery was grabbed me from the start and has a surprising conclusion. I picked up on who the murderer was not the reason why. I don’t want to mistakenly give away anything so I am not going to say too much.

Even though it is the third book in the series, you can pick up any book and be just fine. No sex, no cursing, and no extreme detailed violence. A clean cozy mystery for any age.

I received a complimentary copy from the publisher through NetGalley. All opinions expressed in the above review are entirely my own.

From NetGalley: Set in the fan favorite Amish village of Harvest, Ohio, USA Today bestselling author Amanda Flower’s newest Amish Matchmaker novel brings back the unlikely sleuthing duo of an Amish widow and her zany, thrice-divorced best friend. Will appeal to fans of cozy mysteries, small-town mysteries, wholesome romance, inspirational fiction, and readers of Jennifer Beckstrand, Charlotte Hubbard, Rachel J. Good, and other authors of Amish fiction
 

Millie Fisher may be widowed, but she leads a full life in her Amish hometown of Harvest, Ohio. There’s her quilting circle, her Boer goats, her gift for matchmaking—and the occasional murder…

Millie is happy that her childhood friend, Uriah Schrock, has returned to Harvest after decades away. He was sweet on Millie in their school days, but she only had eyes for her future husband. Now, there’s a new spark between them, so Millie is concerned when Uriah doesn’t show up at the Harvest concert series—or for his job as the Village square’s groundskeeper. Perhaps Millie has been involved in too many murder investigations, but she has a sinking feeling. And when she and her best friend, Lois, find Uriah with the police, it seems she’s right…

A film crew is in Harvest to make a movie about a forty-year-old unsolved murder. A skeleton has been found at the bottom of a ravine—and Uriah is certain it’s his sister, Galilee. Right before Uriah left Ohio, she disappeared, and her harsh husband, Samuel, was found fatally stabbed with a knitting needle. The sheriff declared that Galilee killed him and ran away. Uriah never believed the theory, and he’s come back to Harvest hoping, Gott willing, Millie will help him stitch together the truth…

First Christmas on Huckleberry Hill (The Matchmakers of Huckleberry Hill #10) by Jennifer Beckstrand

Pages: 352

Publisher: Kensington

Published: September 28, 2021

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Source: NetGalley

Available Formats: Digital, Audio, Library Binding, and Mass Market Paperback

My Review: What a beautiful romance. It was time we learn the love story of the greatest matchmakers in fiction, Anna and Felty.

I really connected with Felty because his stories of the Korean War were so similar to the stories my dad tells of his time in the Korean War. To this day my dad doesn’t like the extreme cold.

My heart hurt for the cruelty Anna experienced from the others in her community. She was trying her best without a mom to guide her. I loved her perseverance to keep putting one foot in front of the other and how her fun-loving spirit never truly wavered. The cruelty she experienced shows us how no matter your community unkindness still exists.

If you have not read this series, you should check it out. You will laugh your way through and find a smile on your face long after the last page.

I received a complimentary copy from the publisher through NetGalley. All opinions expressed above are entirely my own.

From NetGalley: The endearingly mischievous matchmaking grandparents Anna and Felty Helmuth have helped generations of their Wisconsin community – including many of their own grandchildren – find love over the course of USA Today bestselling author Jennifer Beckstrand’s beloved Matchmakers of Huckleberry Hill series. Now, in this heartwarming prequel set in 1952, Anna and Felty’s own love story takes center stage as the young couple spends their first uncertain Christmas together.
 

Before irrepressible eighty-somethings Anna and Felty Helmuth became Huckleberry Hill, Wisconsin’s most-beloved matchmakers, they were mismatched young lovers facing seemingly impossible obstacles…

She can’t cook, sew, sing, or clean. And no matter how hard young Anna Yoder tries, she’d much rather help people in trouble than be a well-behaved pretty face and properly perfect Amish maidel. So she instantly reaches out to her old schoolmate, Felty Helmuth, when their Amish town ostracizes him for his Korean War army service. He’s still the only one who’s ever understood Anna—and liked everything from her green Jello carrot salads to her love of books. And this holiday season, she can’t help hoping that somehow she and Felty can find a way to be the perfect match…

Felty sensed he was called by Gotte to serve his country, though it went against his community’s peaceful ways. Troubled by his wartime experiences, he is resigned to being an outsider avoided by most eligible Amish girls. But lively, intelligent Anna has grown into a warm-hearted generous woman who accepts Felty for who he is. And in the face of family and community opposition, he and Anna will take a leap of faith to prove they are made for each other—and a lifetime of happiness.

Slashing Through the Snow (Christmas Tree Farm Mystery #3) by Jacqueline Frost

Pages: 304

Publisher: Crooked Lane Books

Published: October 12, 2021

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Source: NetGalley

Available Formats: Digital, Audio, and Hardcover

My Review: We all have our favorite Christmas cozies and this series is mine. It gets me in the spirit every time. Hmm…murder at Christmas gets me in the spirit? Wonder if my hubby should be worried?

Frost did an excellent job in providing plenty of red herrings to keep me guessing. I had no clue and was flabbergasted at the big reveal. My one complaint was all the hoopla with Meg and I did not feel much closure with her character. Maybe I missed it being so flabbergasted.

The ending was beautiful. That is all I will say about that as my lips are sealed tighter than gorilla glue.

This is a series you can pick up at any book and you will ok. I suggest some peppermint cocoa while reading next to the Christmas tree. Snow optional.

I received a complimentary copy from the publisher through NetGalley. All opinions expressed above are entirely my own.

From NetGalley: Maine innkeeper Holly White returns to sleuth another seasonal slaying in the third Christmas Tree Farm mystery from bestselling author Jacqueline Frost.

Reindeer Games Christmas Tree Farm is going into the B&B business, and Holly White is looking forward to her new role as innkeeper. Even better, Mistletoe, Maine’s sheriff, Evan Gray, has deputized his little sister Libby to help Holly wrap presents for Mistletoe’s toy drive. But a cold wind ruffles the cheery holiday decorations when a new guest checks in: Cleo, a vicious B&B critic, who could make or break the new inn. And the short December days turn even darker when Evan and Libby find Cleo’s dead body in the gift-wrapped toy donation box.

The suspect list is longer than Santa’s naughty list, and local resident Cookie is on it, since her fingerprints are all over the murder weapon, a metal nutcracker that she gave to Holly. So is Libby, who recently moved to town from Boston in less-than-savory circumstances. But cranky Cleo was an oh-holy-nightmare to lots of the townsfolk, such as Evan’s reporter friend Ray; Christopher, the inn’s former contractor; and confectioner Bonnie, whose Gum Drop Shop was a direct target of Cleo’s scathing prose.

To figure out the killer’s identity and clear Cookie’s name, Holly and her friends brainstorm at The Hearth, the farm’s café, while her mother keeps them fueled with Christmas goodies fresh from the oven. But if they can’t put the culprit on ice, Holly may never see another Christmas.

At Lighthouse Point (Three Sisters Island #3) by Suzanne Woods Fisher

Pages: 320

Publisher: Revell

Published: May 4, 2021

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Source: NetGalley

Available Formats: Digital, Audio, Hardcover, and Paperback

My Review: An excellent conclusion to the trilogy.

In Book Three we get Blaine’s, the baby sister, story. I will be the first to admit I couldn’t stand Blaine in the first two books. I thought she was childish and selfish. I wanted to reach in the books and spank her bottom like you would an unruly child. She exemplifies how going away can help one grow up and become who they should be.

There was a lot going on in this book but it was never overwhelming. I loved all the Bible references on controlling anger. Personally I needed those reminders. Funny how the right book lands in your lap at the right time.

I received a complimentary copy from the publisher through NetGalley. All opinions expressed in the above review are entirely my own.

From NetGalley: Blaine Grayson returns to Three Sisters Island with a grand plan–to take Camp Kicking Moose to the next level. Her dream starts to unravel when she discovers Moose Manor’s kitchen has been badly remodeled by her sister, Cam, who doesn’t know how to cook. Added to that blow is the cold shoulder given by her best friend, Artie Lotosky, now a doctor to the unbridged Maine islands.

As old wounds are opened, Blaine starts to wonder if she made a mistake by coming home. Little by little, she must let go of one dream to discover a new one, opening her heart to a purpose and a future she had never imagined. 

Bestselling author Suzanne Woods Fisher invites you back to the coast of Maine for a story that reminds you to release what doesn’t matter and cling to what does: faith, family, and friendships.

Shelter Mountain (Virgin River #2) by Robyn Carr

Pages: 400

Publisher: MIRA

Published: May 1, 2007

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Source: Paperback from Personal Library

Available Formats: Digital, Audio, Hardcover, Paperback, and Mass Market Paperback

My Review: The second book is even better than the first. Powerfully romantic. Full of weeping sadness.

Read with tissues.

From Goodreads: John “Preacher” Middleton is closing Jack’s Bar when a woman and her young son come in out of the wet night. A marine who has seen his share of pain, Preacher knows a crisis when he sees one—the woman is covered in bruises. He wants to protect them and to punish whoever did this, but he knows immediately that this is more than just instinct. Paige Lassiter has stirred up emotions in this gentle giant of a man—emotions that he has never allowed himself to feel.

Then Paige’s ex-husband turns up in Virgin River. And if there’s one thing the marines’ motto of Semper Fidelis—always faithful—has taught Preacher, it’s that some things are worth fighting for.

Nine Perfect Strangers by Liane Moriarty

Pages: 453

Publisher: Flatiron Books

Published: November 6, 2018

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Source: Hardcover from Personal Library

Available Formats: Digital, Audio, Hardcover, Paperback, and Mass Market Paperback

My Review: I really enjoyed this fictional suspense book. As others have noted it is much different from the author’s other books at it takes place at a spa retreat and not a neighborhood.

It made me think how trusting we can be of others especially if we perceive them to have a medical background and how we really to trust them when they do have a medical background. I have never been to a spa retreat before and after reading this I am not sure I want to. I would probably fall for some of things these characters did.

Now, I think I will go watch the HULU interpretation and see what it is all about.

From Goodreads: Could ten days at a health resort really change you forever?

These nine perfect strangers are about to find out…

Nine people gather at a remote health resort. Some are here to lose weight, some are here to get a reboot on life, some are here for reasons they can’t even admit to themselves. Amidst all of the luxury and pampering, the mindfulness and meditation, they know these ten days might involve some real work. But none of them could imagine just how challenging the next ten days are going to be.

Frances Welty, the formerly best-selling romantic novelist, arrives at Tranquillum House nursing a bad back, a broken heart, and an exquisitely painful paper cut. She’s immediately intrigued by her fellow guests. Most of them don’t look to be in need of a health resort at all. But the person that intrigues her most is the strange and charismatic owner/director of Tranquillum House. Could this person really have the answers Frances didn’t even know she was seeking? Should Frances put aside her doubts and immerse herself in everything Tranquillum House has to offer—or should she run while she still can?

It’s not long before every guest at Tranquillum House is asking exactly the same question.

Combining all of the hallmarks that have made Liane Moriarty’s writing a go-to for anyone looking for wickedly smart, page-turning fiction that will make you laugh and gasp, Nine Perfect Strangers once again shows why she is a master of her craft.

If the Shoe Fits (A Meant to Be Novel) by Julie Murphy

Pages: 304

Publisher: Hyperion Avenue

Published: August 3rd, 2021

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Source: Hardcover from Public Library

Available Formats: Digital, Audio, Hardcover, and Paperback

My Review: I am a so-so reader when it comes to rom-com. It really has to grab me and let me tell you this one sure did. It grabbed me by my chubby arms and didn’t let go.

My guilty pleasure is reality shows. It let’s me escape for an hour and not use my brain. I love the old school Real World.

Cindy is a fluffier woman and has confidence galore. She loves fashion especially shoes. After graduating Parsons in NYC she is flying to home to LA and meets her Prince Charming. They part at LAX and she thinks she’ll never see him again. That is until she agrees to star on a reality show for her stepmom. Read the book to find out when and where sparks fly.

Being a much fluffier woman than most (and proud of who I am thank you very much) I love books that feature strong, happy fluffy women.

Good job Julie Murphy.

From Goodreads: After having just graduated with a degree in shoe design, and trying to get her feet on the ground, Cindy is working for her stepmother, who happens to be the executive producer of America’s favorite reality show, Before Midnight. When a spot on the show needs filling ASAP, Cindy volunteers, hoping it might help jump-start her fashion career, or at least give her something to do while her peers land jobs in the world of high fashion.

Turns out being the only plus size woman on a reality dating competition makes a splash, and soon Cindy becomes a body positivity icon for women everywhere. What she doesn’t expect? That she may just find inspiration-and love-in the process. Ultimately, Cindy learns that if the shoe doesn’t fit, maybe it’s time to design your own.

Bodies and Bows (Apron Shop #3) by Elizabeth Penney

Pages: 288

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press

Published: March 30, 2021

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Source: NetGalley

Available Formats: Digital, Audio, and Mass Market Paperback

My Review: This is my favorite of the three books so far. Why you ask? The secondary story line is about a Korean War veteran and my dad is a Korean War veteran. It added something personal to the book. I would love to read a romance book based on the storyline between Chet and Florence.

The author did a great job with red herrings throughout the story. I didn’t guess the killer until it was revealed. The small town life played very nicely into this murder.

The romance between Iris and Ian is sweet and I am thankful there is not a love triangle. I wish there was a little more spark though. I wonder sometimes if Iris is settling because Ian is such a tender and patient man. Is he too patient?

I hope there are more books in this series as I look forward to reading them.

I received a complimentary copy from the publisher through NetGalley. All opinions expressed in the above review are entirely my own.

From NetGalley: Bodies & Bows is the third in the charming cozy Iris Buckley mystery series set in an apron shop in Maine—Elizabeth Penney will have you on pins and needles

Iris Buckley is hoping for a bit of rest and relaxation now that the summertime rush is winding down in Blueberry Cove, Maine. Her apron shop Ruffles & Bows has been a huge success, her friendships are stronger than ever, and now she’s ready for all of the end of summer cookouts on the beach that she can handle.

But before Iris can even turn on the grill, Bella’s latest fling, former Olympian sailor and gorgeous bad boy Lance Pederson is killed in a hit and run while jogging at dawn—and all the evidence points to Bella herself.

Suddenly the month of August isn’t looking so restful, since now Iris has been roped into the Lighthouse Rehabilitation Committee, helping her friend Sophie plan a wedding, and—most importantly of all—tracking down a killer and clearing Bella’s good name before everything unravels.