The Sound of Rain by Sarah Loudin Thomas

the sound of rain

Pages: 326

Publisher: Bethany House Publishers

Published: November 7, 2017

The Sound of Rain is thought-provoking and comforting all at the same time. Judd Markley finds himself in South Carolina after recovering from a mining accident that took Joe, his baby brother’s, life. Joe always wanted to move to SC and Judd is trying to live the life Joe wanted. Judd starts working at the local timber company and starts spending time with the owner’s daughter, Larkin. Larkin has a mind of her own which she is just starting to show to those around her. Her dream is to move to Appalachia and help those in need. She sees the ticket to Appalachia through Joe not realizing he does not want to go back. Through many ups and downs including Hurricane Hazel Judd and Larkin find themselves falling for one another. Is Judd just a pawn for Larkin’s father and Larkin herself or can love overcome the economic difference in their lives?

I took my time reading this book as it made me think. I thought about the time period (1950s) it took place and wondered how I would have chosen to live my life. Would I have wanted to be unselfish and volunteer my time helping others or would I have lived in the moment and had fun hanging out with friends dancing and finding the right husband? Maybe having been into money the choice was easy for Larkin?

I admired Judd in basically starting a new life with barely a duffel bag full of clothing in a city and state he had never been too and working at a job that he had no experience working. I would have been terrified.

Judd talks about how he was not real religious but he knew God was there for him always. Even though he was not a church-going man he never lost his faith in God when things got trying. I found that refreshing in that a character could have faith without it being thrown at the reader every other page.

Whether you are a Christian fiction reader or not I suggest you grab a copy of this book. Sarah Loudin Thomas has outdone herself with her newest novel. This novel was clean with no sex, foul language or violence. It would make a great Christmas gift for the older teenage girl, grandma or best friend in your life.

Thank you to the author and Bethany House Publishers for a copy to read in exchange for my honest review in my own words.

, Published: November

Book Club Babies (Cherry Cola Book Club #6) by Ashton Lee

book club babies

Pages: 272

Publisher: Kensington

Published: November 28, 2017

How can I start my final review on one of my favorite fiction series? Perhaps with the idea that Mr. Lee may revisit Cherico, MS in the future through the eyes of the second generation. I like to believe that as I am not ready to say goodbye. Each installment of the Cherry Cola Book Club has brought me comfort and joy as I read them. I became friends with Maura Beth, Periwinkle, Voncile and etc.

Book Club Babies takes us through the pregnancies of Maura Beth, Periwinkle and Elise. Each pregnancy has its own ups and downs with outside influences but each finds a way to overcome with the love and support of one another. I don’t want to go into too much detail because I would like you to pick up this series and be as surprised, sadden and happy as I was through each chapter. The ending is a sweet way to introduce the second generation of the book club. It gives one hope that brick and mortar libraries and reading is not becoming lost in this world of technology.

I love the fact that Mr. Lee put the recipes from all the books at the end of Book Club Babies instead of creating a separate book. It made me think he gifted us readers with a treat for reading his series and talking about it to all our friends. I cannot wait to try a few at my next family gathering.

If you have not read this series I suggest you do as soon as you can. You will not be disappointed. To help you get started let me give you the books in order:

1. The Cherry Cola Book Club
2. The Reading Circle
3. The Wedding Circle
4. A Cherry Cola Christmas
5. Queen of the Cookbook
6. Book Club Babies

Thank you to NetGalley and Kensington for an advanced copy to read and review in my own honest words.

Christmas in Homestead by Kara Tate

 

christmas in homestead

Pages: 169

Publisher: Hallmark Publishing

Published: October 24, 2017

A sweet Christmas tale with a predictable ending but that is what we love about Hallmark. The love story with a happy ending.

When I read this book I had not watched the movie yet so I loved being surprised as I was reading. You will fall in love with little Sophie as she is a doll. She adds such character and excitement to the book. She became my favorite character.

This is the perfect book to read as you wind down from a busy day of shopping and visiting. Grab a cup of cocoa and turn on your tree and lose yourself in Christmas In Homestead.

Thank you to NetGalley and Hallmark Publishing for a copy to read in exchange for my honest review in my own words.

A Plain Leaving (The Sisters of Lancaster County #1) by Leslie Gould

a plain leaving

Pages: 352

Publisher: Bethany House

Published: October 3, 2017

A fresh new approach to Amish fiction. Leslie Gould has taken Amish fiction to a new level and has excelled.

Jessica left her family for the English world three years ago and family tragedy has brought her back. Her older brother, Arden, is dead set against her returning to the farm. The brother and sister have never agreed on how the farm should run. Arden wants to allow fracking and Jessica is against as she knows the dangers. Will Arden be able to see past Jessica’s shunning to listen to her or will Jessica need to convince her Mamm that Arden is going against their Dat’s wishes?

Yes, this novel has the common themes of Amish novels such as shunnings, farming, distrust of the English world but it tackles new subjects of fracking and wanting to get the law involved to help others.

If you like a little more to your stories than just a complicated romance this is a book for you. You will be left hungering for more. I know I was. I am anxious to learn what the second book tackles and which characters will become the main characters. I am also interested to go back and look at her other works and start reading.

A refreshing, new approach to one of my favorite genres. I hope you take a chance and read A Plain Leaving by Leslie Gould.

Thank you to NetGalley and Bethany House for a copy of the book to read and review in exchange for a review based on my own honest opinion and in my own words.

A Place at our Table (An Amish Homestead Novel #1) by Amy Clipston

a place at our table

Pages: 352

Publisher: Zondervan

Published: November 14, 2017

An emotional read that will have you going for the tissues.

Kayla Dienner is still healing from losing her older brother, Simeon, to a house fire when a barn fire at her home puts her little brother’s life in danger. James Riehl, an Amish volunteer firefighter, responds to the fire and one look into Kayla’s eyes lights a fire inside of him. Will he flame that fire or will a personal tragedy extinguish it before it has a chance to burn?

Amy Clipston writes so beautifully that the love between her characters jumps off the page into your heart. I’ll be the first to admit I can become attached to characters quickly but no other Amish characters have touched my soul as Kayla and James. I did not think that my heart could take any more and Clipston would throw another heart twinging moment at me. I heavily suggest in a box of tissues and several hours of quiet time when you read A Place at our Table. You will not want to put the book down as the story will keep grabbing at you even when you are not reading.

I hope there are more books involving the Riehls and Dienners as it would be a shame to not visit them again.

Thank you to NetGalley and Zondervan for an advance copy in exchange for a review based on my own thoughts and in my own words.

Journey Back to Christmas by Leigh Duncan

journey back to christmas

Pages: 154

Publisher: Crown Media Holdings

Published: October 17, 2017

I loved this Christmas movie when it debuted last year on the Hallmark Channel so I was very excited to learn of the ebook based on the movie. If you enjoyed the movie you will enjoy the book. It will leave you feeling warm and happy.

The book does expand in some areas more than the book but the book stays true to the movie (words I have never uttered before). You love the characters even more after reading the book. Hanna is a nurse in 1945 mourning the loss of her husband Chet. A blizzard is starting to hit the town on December 22 which is the same night as a comet is to cross the sky. As Hanna is settling in for the night a lost dog wonders up to her house and sets off a chain of events that sends her the year of 2016. As Hanna is trying to figure out if she will ever return to her life she learns how her life of caring has affected others in ways she never dreamed.

As always I suggest reading the book then watch the movie. You will be in the Christmas spirit at the end of both.

Thank you to NetGalley and Crown Media Holdings for a copy to read in exchange for a review based on my own thoughts and put into my own words.

The Quilting Circle by Amy Lillard

the quilting circle.jpg

Pages: 304

Publisher: Kensington

Published: October 31, 2017

A collection of three novellas centered around three women in a quilting circle. The stories focus on love, family and learning what makes you happy.

In More than Friendship, Clara Rose is set to marry Thomas until her best friend, Obie, throws a snag into the plans. Will Clara Rose be able to figure out where her heart belongs before it is too late?

In More than a Promise, Mariana learns she is pregnant soon after she buries her husband. She turns to her husband’s best friend, Reuben, in her time of need. Will they find love together?

In More than Marriage, Tess and Jacob have hit a rough patch. There is more arguing than sweet words of love. Will Tess leave Jacob or will she see a way to find the love in her marriage?

I enjoyed these novellas and found them short enough to read the entire book in under 24 hours. The strangest thing for me was their use of tractors to get around. That was a first. These novellas have made me curious about the Amish in Oklahoma.

Thank you to NetGalley and Kensington for an advanced copy in exchange for my honest review in my own words.

Home for Christmas by Holly Chamberlin

home for christmas

Pages: 256

Publisher: Kensington

Published: October 31, 2017

Holly Chamberlin is fast becoming one of my authors I turn to when I want some feel good family love. Home for Christmas is the second Christmas novel I have read of hers and it was a warm, cuddly read.

It is the Christmas season in Yorktide, Maine and Nell is trying to make a season her two daughters won’t forget. Nell fears this is the last Christmas she will have her daughters before life takes them away. She turns to crafting and cooking to help her make it beautiful and fulfilling. One day while reading the local paper she sees an ad for a book reading and signing for Eric Manville, a famous writer who happens to be her one true love. Nell now needs to decide if she should see him and see if he has forgiven her or hide behind her Christmas quest of making it the best yet for her daughters.

If you love books that make your heart melt and are full of all things Christmassy then Home for Christmas is the book for you. Grab a warm blanket, a cup of tea and settle in for a winter’s read you won’t soon forget.

Thank you to NetGalley and Kensington for an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review in my own words.

Belle by Sarah Price

belle

Pages: 320

Publisher: Kensington

Published: October 31, 2017

Belle is an Amish retelling of the classic story of Beauty and the Beast and it lives up to its expectations.

Belle Beiler lives with her dad and two older sisters on their farm in Echo Creek. Her father is a dreamer who loves to invent things from new tools to outdoor grills. When an adventure to a neighboring town goes awry, he must tell his girls that he is broke and soon they will lose their farm. Their neighbor Adam, who is known as The Beast due to a horrific childhood accident, has offered to buy the farm. Belle hates to see her family have to uproot and move so she offers to be Adam’s housekeeper on one condition. He must let her family stay in the house. Does The Beast accept this offer or does he have a more permanent solution?

Beauty and the Beast is one of my favorite stories and I enjoy reading different takes on it. This was a clean read with many great messages. The message that spoke the most to me is towards the end when the bishop talks about “Just one speck of dust can blind an eye.” The sermon he gives makes the reader think about their own life and how they treat others.

Thank you to NetGalley and Kensington for an advanced copy in exchange for a review in my own words.

Sarah Price does a great job in retelling classics. Below is a list of her classic retelling works:
1. Second Chances (Jane Austen’s Persuasion)
2. Sense and Sensibility (Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility)
3. Mount Hope (Jane Austen’s Mansfield Park)
4. Belle (Beauty and the Beast)
5. Ella (Cinderella) – to be released

These Healing Hills by Ann H. Gabhart

these healing hills.jpg

Pages: 368

Publisher: Revell

Published: September 5, 2017

A perfect historical novel to read at the start of the fall season. Educational in you learn about the Frontier Nursing program in the Kentucky Appalachian Mountains. A clean read with a bit of romance.

Francine has decided to continue her nursing and learn about catching babies by moving to the Appalachian Mountains of Kentucky. She also hopes this will help heal her heart as her intended has written that he has fallen for a girl overseas while fighting in Europe during WWII. As Fran learns the ways of the mountains she also learns about herself. Despite the warnings from her mentor/teacher she finds herself loving more than just nursing.

This book took ahold of my heart from the beginning and has yet to let go. I could read a series of books on Granny Em alone. We all need a Granny Em in our lives.

Ann H. Gabhart has written a beautiful tale set in a place that speaks of beauty and love.

Thank you to NetGalley and Revell for a copy to read in exchange for an honest review in my own words.