The Rancher’s Twins (Return of the Blackwell Brothers #1) by Carol Ross

twins

Pages: 384

Publisher: Harlequin Heartwarming

Published: August 1, 2018

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Lydia Newbury is on the run and finds herself as a nanny to Jon Blackwell’s five-year-old twins. To say they are spunky is mild. They are little imps of joy and curiosity. Will Lydia be able to convince the grouch faced rancher she is the woman for the job?

I have not read a Harlequin for many, many years and I am impressed with the Harlequin Heartwarming books. The Rancher’s Twins was full of clean romance with a detailed storyline. The plot of helping one another was the main focus and not how fast they could get in the bed.

The twins are utterly adorable and I hope they make cameo appearances in the rest of the series. You will find yourself falling in love with these little girls.

Fans of western romances written by Diana Palmer and Linda Lael Miller will enjoy this clean romantic story set on a ranch in beautiful Montana.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author. Any and all opinions expressed in the above review are entirely my own.

The Amish Midwife’s (Love and Promises #2 Secret by Rachel J. Good

midwife

Pages: 385

Publisher: Forever (Grand Central Publishing)

Published: November 27, 2018

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Kyle left his hometown behind after a heartbreaking young romance and a devasting accident with no plans to ever return. When the local doctor asks him to take over his medical practice, Kyle feels the need to help. What Kyle did not expect was to fall in love with Leah. Leah is the Amish midwife who believes that holistic healing herbs and faith in God are the best healing medicines. Can Kyle and Leah overcome their differences to let love have a chance?

This book kept me up way past my bedtime more times than I can count. I also found myself ignoring everything that needed to be accomplished after work just so I could dive back into Kyle and Leah’s story. You cannot help but believe in love and the power of love when you read this story. I became a little weepy as I read because it was so tender.

I am also more interested in the holistic healing properties of organic herbal teas for chronic illness. I have found a new interest. Leah’s story was very convincing in how well they can work.

This is the second book in the Love and Promises series but each book can be read as a stand-alone. It is a beautiful Christian romance with no obscene sexual overtones or scenes, no foul language and not overly religious (meaning scripture verses on every page). I would feel comfortable giving this to a teen girl or my ninety-year-old grandmother to read.

I received a copy of this book from Forever (Grand Central Publishing) through NetGalley. Any and all opinions expressed in the above review are entirely my own.

The Light Before Day (Nantucket Legacy #3) by Suzanne Woods Fisher

light

Pages: 368

Publisher: Revell

Published: October 2, 2018

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Henry and Hitty have inherited their grandmother’s vast fortune with a few hitches. They must live in her monstrosity of a house and marry a Quaker in good standing within six years. If they do not meet these requests conniving Tristam Macy will inherit all with no conditions. How will Henry and Hitty handle their grandmother’s request and what will they learn of themselves in the process?

I have absolutely loved this series. I found my love of Nantucket through a couple of other writers and it is on my bucket list to visit someday. I jumped at the chance to learn about the early days of Nantucket. Suzanne has taken the time to research and include true occurrences in this trilogy. My favorite is the third book. I know some readers felt the author rushed the ending and left a few things unfinished but isn’t that how life is? Not everything is tied up in a neat little bow. I also want to dream that she might have left it open to revisiting someday.

The trilogy is written in old English with “thee” and “thy” used very frequently. Once you get used to that you will find yourself falling into the story and not realizing the language difference. For this alone, I would say it is more appropriate for a mature audience. There is no sex or obscene language in the books.

I received a complimentary copy of this novel from Revell through NetGalley. Any and all opinions expressed in the above review are entirely my own.

A Seat by the Hearth(An Amish Homestead Novel #3) by Amy Clipston

hearth

Pages: 352

Publisher: Zondervan Fiction

Published: November 13, 2018

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Priscilla jumped the fence close to seven years and has found herself returning to her parents with her son to protect him from his abusive father. Priscilla is not sure her parents’ house is the best place to be but it is the only place available. Will Priscilla abide her father’s wishes to return to the fold and find a husband who will be a father to her son?

As with any Amy Clipston novel you will find yourself unable to put the book down once you open it. Amy writes with heart and you feel that in each character.

Priscilla’s story will break your heart. She teaches us how abuse affects our lives and everything surrounding our lives. She shows us how easy it is for an abused person to go from one abusive relationship to another. It takes strength and courage to break the cycle and how the right love can allow the abused person to open like a beautiful spring flower after a cold, vicious winter.

Grab your tissues and mug of tea and settle in for a long night of reading.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Zondervan Fiction through NetGalley. Any and all opinions expressed in the above review are entirely my own.

The Christmas Remedy by Cindy and Erin Woodsmall

remedy

Pages: 208

Publisher: WaterBrook & Multnomah

Published: October 23, 2018

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Since her father’s death, Holly has been able to live a different life for being Amish. She started working at Green’s Pharmacy in town and she realized she loved being able to help her people with health questions. Her bishop has allowed her to get her GED, become a pharmacy tech and now take classes to become a licensed practicing nurse. This will allow her to answer customer questions when it comes to her deliveries of their medicines. She knows her love for her job will keep her from getting married or so she thinks. Holly did not expect to find someone like Joshua.

Joshua knows Holly from some local singings but then she disappeared. He never expected to run into her on her worst day. He runs to Greene’s Pharmacy to pick up his mother’s new diabetes medicine but when he gets there the pharmacy is closed. Holly returns from her deliveries and becomes concerned when the pharmacy is still closed. As she opens up she finds Mr. Greene laying in the floor. With Josh’s help she able to get Mr. Greene the help he needs.

What will happen to the pharmacy and can Holly control her heart when Josh is around? Will her career stop before it even began?

I could not put this book down. The idea of an Amish being able to follow her calling without having to leave the faith was a wonderful change. If you think about it what could be better. We all trust those most like us, it is human nature. Holly understands their hesitancy to take medicine and go against the belief of “it is God’s will”. Her goal is to prevent deaths that were preventable if they had just gone to the doctor and took their medicine as prescribed.

I applaud the Woodsmall’s for creating an Amish male character that is open to change and seeing the woman not just as a homemaker. Josh understands that Holly is invested in her community and is willing to give up a life with another to help keep her community healthy.

A beautifully written tale of romance and change. If you like Christian fiction pick this book up. You won’t be disappointed.

I received a complimentary copy from WaterBrook & Multnomah through NetGalley. Any and all opinions expressed in the above review are entirely my own.

 

A Simple Christmas (Simple Gifts #3) by Charlotte Hubbard

simple

Pages: 368

Publisher: Kensington

Published: September 25, 2018

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

It’s Christmas in Willow Ridge! Rosalyn is the only daughter left to take care of her father, Cornelius, and that is a job unto itself. To get away a few hours several days a week she has started working in Nora’s shop and selling her homemade wreaths. It also allows her to buy groceries and items for the house when needed since her dad has been receiving bills marked past due. While working one day, Amish bad boy, Marcus walks in and turns Rosalyn’s life upside down. She knows he is trouble but her heart thinks differently. Will Marcus be able to heal Rosalyn’s heart with his love when the unthinkable happens to her father and family?

A Simple Christmas is book 3 in the Simple Gifts series. For fans of Amish fiction, this is a must read series. It is a little edgy with some of their beliefs but it is a good edgy in my opinion. I think it shows there are Amish sects out there that are relaxing some beliefs to let them be sustainable in an ever-changing world that is becoming more and more dependent on technology. This community still believes in living in a simple world but understands it needs the English and the ability to communicate with them. Cells phones and computers can be a wonderful addition to a business but it does come with evils that can lead you far away. Your faith must be strong to not go down those dangerous paths. Just ask Cornelius.

Cornelius has always ruled with an iron fist but more so since his wife died and he moved his family to Willow Ridge. As the years go by he finds himself living a double life. A life that will eventually lead to his ruin. He thinks he can strong arm Rosalyn into staying and taking care of him but he does see that he is pushing her further and further away.

Rosalyn believes deep in her heart that she will always be a “maidel” the rest of her life and she is fine with that. What she is not fine with is taking care of her ungrateful father. She finds he is making her life more and more unbearable. If not for her job in Nora’s store, I have no idea how Rosalyn would have survived.

Each book in this series can be read as a stand-alone. You will find yourself loving the characters as much as I do. I dare you!

I received a complimentary copy from Kensington through NetGalley. Any and all opinions expressed in the above review are entirely my own.

 

A Spark of Light by Jodi Picoult

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Pages: 352

Publisher: Random House Publishing – Ballantine

Published: October 2, 2018

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

I will start my review saying I will NOT discuss the political sides of abortion or whether I think it is right or wrong.

George Goddard, an upset father, takes it upon himself to teach the women and doctor at the state’s only abortion clinic a lesson, by taking them hostage. He blames everyone there, patients and staff, for what has happened to his daughter.

After the first shot was fired, Hugh McElroy, a hostage negotiator, was one of the first one scene. What he doesn’t realize is that his fifteen year old daughter is inside with her aunt, his sister. Hugh has depend on his training and the others inside to keep his daughter safe.

Through the eyes of a nurse who is a patient, the doctor who performs the abortions, a retired professor facing a death she cannot control, the distraught father, an anti abortion protestor, a young woman who felt abortion was her only way out and a scared teenager we learn of the many different reasons humans make the decisions they do.

You can guarantee that when you pick up a Jodi Picoult book you will be made to dig deep inside yourself and think. You may not agree with the issue being discussed but you will be forced to see the issue from every side.

I was not sure if I would like the narrative structure The Spark of Life was written in but by the end I was glad it was written backward, meaning we start with the most recent hour of the hostage standoff and work our way back to how it all began. It forced me to question why and take more of the facts given into consideration.

A great book for book clubs as many discussions can arise while reading. Expect tears and heartache as you read.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Random House-Ballantine through NetGalley. Any and all opinions expressed in the above review are entirely my own.

The First Love by Beverly Lewis

first love

Pages: 304

Publisher: Bethany House

Published: September 4, 2018

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

1951: It’s a summer of change and acceptance. Maggie is learning to deal with her chronic illness and help her younger siblings accept their new stepmom. A Mennonite tent revival has set up in town and Maggie attends at the urging of her Mennonite cousins. Will the meetings bring her closer to accepting her illness and accepting her stepmom or will the meetings take her away from her Amish faith?

I knew very little about Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis until reading Maggie’s story. JRA sounds absolutely terrible not to know day to day when you wake up on how you are going to feel and if you are going to be able to move or not.

I applaud Lewis for her positive stepmom portrayal. So many times we read stories of a terrible stepmom who hates her step kids. Being a stepmom myself it made my heart sing to see the stepmom as loving and trying to keep their mom’s memory alive. Yes, there are hard times but with love and patience hard times can be overcome.

My favorite story line was Maggie’s spiritual awakening. The thirst for understanding and believing was beautiful. There were a lot of biblical stories mentioned that I was not completely familiar with and has made me interested to read more of my Bible.

Lewis has written another story that reminds you of the beauty in the world.

I received a complimentary copy from Bethany House through NetGalley. Any and all opinions expressed in the above review are entirely my own.

An Amish Homecoming by Amy Clipston, Beth Wiseman, Shelley Shepard Gray and Kathleen Fuller

homecoming

Pages: 416 (eBook)

Publisher: Zondervan Fiction

Published: October 16, 2018

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Four wonderful stories on forgiveness and love.

No Place Like Home by Amy Clipston
Can Eva forgive her parents for their actions and feelings years ago for the benefit of her four year old son?
A perfect story on forgiveness: forgiving yourself and others that have wronged you.

When Love Returns by Beth Wiseman
Sarah and her daughter must return to home she fled six years ago and face those she left behind. Upon her returned, Abram has realized he never stopped loving her. Will Hurricane Harvey mend the destruction of Sarah and Abram’s lives?
This story had me in tears from almost the beginning to the end. The raw emotions and heartache of the characters came through beautifully.

The Courage to Love by Shelley Shepard Gray
Can Irene overcome her past and let people into her heart?
A story to remind us to get to know others before judging them.

What Love Built by Kathleen Fuller
Upon retuning to Birch Creek after being away 18 years, Carolyn is determined to realize her dream of opening an Amish Bakery. Will Carolyn relinquish control and let Atlee and others help her with her dream?
I found this story as a great reminder to forgive others who have hurt me in the past and to also let others help me when I need it. You are not showing weakness in needing help, you are letting others follow Jesus’ example.

I received a complimentary copy of the book from Zondervan Fiction through NetGalley. Any and all opinions expressed are in the above review are entirely my own.

 

Read and Gone (A Haunted Library #2) by Allison Brook

read gone

Pages: 320 (eBook)

Publisher: Crooked Lane Books

Published: September 11, 2018

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Carrie does not really know her dad as he has always been running from the law for as long as she can remember. She feels so disconnected from him that she calls him Jim and not dad. When she catches him breaking into her cottage she doesn’t know whether to hug him or call the police. She really doesn’t know what to do when he asks her to help him recover some stolen gems from the local jeweler and library board member, Benton Parr. Shortly after her refusal to help him, Parr is found dead and her father the main suspect. Now it is up to Carrie to prove her father is innocent and find the real killer before the killer strikes again. Will Evelyn, the resident library ghost, be of help in Carrie’s latest quest?

I’ve been surprised how much I have enjoyed this series being that it is of the paranormal theme with having a library ghost of a past librarian. Evelyn, the library ghost, is a great to help Carrie whether learning her way around the library or finding a killer. The second book starts a bit slow but picks up quickly. It really picks up when Carrie is torn between her dad and the love of her life, insurance man, Dylan. You find yourself having a hard time deciding who to be mad at, her dad or Dylan. Poor Carrie goes through every emotion. Luckily Smokey Joe, her cat, is there to comfort her.

I am curious to know if Carrie’s dad, Jim, will be a regular character or one who visits from time to time. He adds some interest to the story with his questionable background but I can see he may be a nuisance in the romance between her and Dylan.

I like that this library is trying to evolve with the times by mentioning a coffee shop inside and having so many programs. Our main library has recently allowed you to bring in drinks. Yes, it scares me to think of how many books could be damaged but we bring the books home and we know we all read as we eat lunch or are drinking a cup of tea. Allowing drinks gives you the option to stay longer and take advantage of the library offerings such as programs like a Christmas carol singing. I know myself I wish I could visit Carrie’s library and pet Smokey Joe and have a cup of tea while reading.

I received a complimentary copy from Crooked Lane Books through NetGalley. Any and all opinions expressed in the above review are entirely my own.