An Amish Reunion by Amy Clipston; Beth Wiseman; Kathleen Fuller andKelly Irvin

reunion

Pages: 399

Publisher: Zondervan

Published: April 9, 2019

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Net Galley:

Their True Home by Amy Clipston

When Marlene Bawell moved from Bird-in-Hand ten years ago, she was in the deepest of mourning for her mother. Now her family has moved back so her father can seek employment after being laid off. To help save money, Marlene works at the hardware store owned by Rudy Swarey’s father. She knew Rudy growing up and had a secret crush on him, though he never seemed to notice her. But just as a friendship between them begins to blossom, her life is once again turned upside down. Will Marlene ever have a chance to find her own true home?
A Reunion of Hearts by Beth Wiseman

Ruth and Gideon Beiler experienced one of life’s most tragic events. Unable to get past their grief, the couple abandoned their Amish faith and went in different directions, though neither could bear to formally dissolve the marriage. When their loved ones reach out to them to come home for a family reunion, Ruth has reason to believe that Gideon won’t be there. Gideon also thinks that Ruth has declined the invitation. Family and friends are rooting for them to reunite, but will it all be enough for Ruth and Gideon to get past their grief and recapture a time when they were in love and had a bright future ahead of them?

A Chance to Remember by Kathleen Fuller

Cevilla Schlabach, Birch Creek’s resident octogenarian matchmaker, is surprised when Richard, a man from her Englisch past, arrives in Birch Creek for a visit. While he and Cevilla take several walks down memory lane, they wonder what the future holds for them at this stage of life—friendship, or the possibility of something else?

Mended Hearts by Kelly Irvin

At eighteen Hannah Kauffman made a terrible mistake. Her parents and members of her Jamesport Amish community say they’ve forgiven her. But she feels their eyes following her everywhere she goes with eighteen-month-old Evie. Thaddeus, Evie’s father, escaped this fate by running away from Jamesport. Now that Thaddeus is gone, Hannah’s old friend Phillip is stepping up to be by her side. He has waited patiently for Hannah to realize just how much he cares for her. But when Thaddeus returns after two years, Hannah can’t deny the love she feels for him. Does the fact that Phillip has waited patiently for her all this time mean that she owes him something? Can she trust either one of them? Can she trust herself? She has repented and been forgiven by the One who is most important—her heavenly Father. But is she willing to risk making more mistakes by opening herself up to love?

My Review:

A wonderful collection of Amish novellas that show you even in the darkest times there is a silver lining but it just may not be the one you were anticipating.

If you have never read Amish fiction/romance and want to give it a try this a great collection to start with. Each novella is short enough to read in a couple of hours. You do not have to worry about letting your teenage daughter read as all are clean romance and language-wise.

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

The Patient One (Walnut Creek #1) by Shelley Shepard Gray

 

patient

Pages: 304

Publisher: Gallery Books

Published: April 9, 2019

Rating: 5 stars

What made life memorable wasn’t when everything went so right that it was easy . . . it was when everything felt so wrong that the only thing to do was accept it for what it was—a memory in the making.” – The Patient One by Shelley Shepard Gray

NetGalley:
When word had gotten out that Andy Warner had committed suicide, everyone in Walnut Creek, Ohio, had been shocked. For seven men and women in their twenties, some Amish, some Mennonite, and some English, each of whom had once counted his or herself as one of Andy’s best friends, it had been extremely painful.

And, maybe, a source of guilt.

Years have passed since they’d all been together last. Some of them got into trouble. A couple got into arguments. Eventually, they all drifted apart. But even though none of them really saw each other anymore, there was a steadfast certainty that they’d always have each other’s backs—even when no one else did. Their bond was that strong…until Andy did the unthinkable.

Now the seven remaining friends, still reeling from Andy’s death, have vowed to look after each other again. As far as they’re concerned, it doesn’t matter that they’re now in their twenties and have drifted far apart. They need to connect again…for Andy.

My review:
I’m still reeling from the Andy we meet in Friends to the End is no longer with us. I never got the feeling in the prequel that he was struggling. Which I understand is how a lot of people suffering from depression are. A lot of times you don’t know until it is too late. I appreciated Gray taking the time to reflect how suicide and senseless death affects not only those close to the deceased but others around the deceased.

Tissues are a must when reading. This would be a great book to use as a way to talk to your teenager about depression and suicide and that there is help available. It is also a good lesson on drunk driving and how a night of fun can destroy lives in seconds.

The Patient One is a clean romance with no foul language.

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

Murder Lo Mein (A Noodle Shop Mystery #3) by Vivien Chien

lo mein

Pages: 304

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press

Published: March 26, 2019

Rating: 4 stars

Amazon
Lana Lee’s stake in her family’s Chinese restaurant is higher than ever now that she’s been made manager. So when she enters Ho-Lee into Cleveland’s Best Noodle Contest, Lana makes it her business to win―at all costs. But when a local food critic receives a threatening note in a fortune cookie and is later found dead, face-down in a bowl of lo mein, all bets are off. . .
Now, along with her sweet-and-sour boyfriend Detective Adam Trudeau, Lana decides to take matters into her own hands and dig into the lives of everyone involved in the contest. But when she receives an ill-fated fortune, Lana realizes that in order to save the reputation of her restaurant, she needs to save herself first. . .

My Review
Murder Lo Mein was a delicious read that I did not want to put down. Constantly while I was reading I wanted nothing more than to be sitting in Ho-Lee Noodle House, eating noodles and reading this book. I definitely will pass on the fortune cookies though. Beware while reading you will want Asian noodles ALL THE TIME; breakfast, lunch, little lunch (snack) and dinner.

Lana is the girl we all want to be friends with but we realize if we are we will be dragged into a murder investigation. No dull moments with Lana around. Even when she tries she cannot stay out of trouble. Every time her mom shows up I know I am in for a good laugh.

I am so happy for an explanation of why Adam and Lana’s relationship is slow to get off the ground. I was almost hoping Peter was going to give Adam a run for his money but glad Lana shut him down. Adam is a great guy even if a little overprotective.

I received a complimentary copy from the author. Any and all opinions expressed in the above review are entirely my own. No compensation was provided.

Criminally Cocoa (An Amish Candy Shop Mystery #3.5) by Amanda Flower

cocoa

Pages: 86

Publisher: Kensington

Published: February 26, 2019

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

NetGalley:
As if being in New York City for Easter isn’t exciting enough, Charlotte Weaver has another reason to be thrilled. She’s helping her cousin, Bailey, on the set of her first cable TV show, Bailey’s Amish Sweets. Bailey will even be re-creating the delectable hand-woven chocolate Easter baskets she once crafted for the city’s world-famous JP Chocolates. But once things start rolling, Charlotte starts to notice odd things happening—things that seem intended to make Bailey look bad . . .

With Bailey feeling extra nervous about being on camera, Charlotte decides to keep her suspicion of sabotage to herself. But she knows that among Bailey’s fans at the Gourmet Television network lurks a dangerously jealous rival. Now Charlotte will have to find out who that person is—before sour grapes turn one of the sweetest times of the year fatally bitter . . .

My Review:
Amanda Flower has a way with words when it comes to cozy mysteries that warm your heart and keep you on the edge of your seat. I have yet to find a series of hers that I do not like. In fact, they keep getting better. If you have never read one of her books and are not sure where to start, Criminally Cocoa would be a great place to start. Yes, it technically comes after the third book in the An Amish Candy Shop series but you can read it out of order and be perfectly fine.

I thoroughly enjoyed hearing the story from Charlotte’s side instead of Bailey’s. It gave the series a fresh view. Charlotte is a perfect spunky Amish side kick to Bailey.

A recipe for Bird’s Nest is included at the end of the novella. I find myself being tempted to try and make them this year for Easter.

Books in Series:

  1. Assaulted Caramel
  2. Lethal Licorice
  3. Premeditated Peppermint
  4. Toxic Toffee

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

Friends to the End (0.5 The Walnut Creek Series) by Shelley Shepard Gray

friends

Publisher: Gallery Books

Published: February 11, 2019

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

NetGalley: When Andy’s baby sister Trish gets stranded at the family cabin during a massive blizzard, he calls upon his best friends—the Magnificent Eight—to go to his sister’s rescue.

Andy knows that several members of the Eight will drop everything to help, and they’re the perfect solution because the Amish aren’t hindered by stalled cars—they can travel just fine in their buggies.

But when Logan, Trish’s secret crush, is the first to volunteer to save her, she can’t help but worry that despite the freezing temperatures, being alone with Logan might mean that things heat up pretty fast. Filled with Shelley Shepard Gray’s signature “heart-warming, heart-stopping” (Wendy Corsi Staub, New York Times bestselling author) prose, Friends to the End is an evocative and endearing romance.

My review: Wow, what an introduction to the Walnut Creek Series. I was blown away by how a novella made me fall in love with the characters so quickly. I am a sucker for Amish romance and this novella delivered on all aspects. The end will leave you hungering for more.

A quick read perfect for a quiet evening.

I have already read the blurb for book one, The Patient One and I am very impatient to read the book. Warning do not read the blurb for book one until you have read this novella.

I received a complimentary copy of this novella from the publisher, Gallery Books, through NetGalley. Any and all opinions expressed in the above review are entirely my own.

Ellie’s Redemption (An Amish Charm Bakery #2) by Molly Jebber

ellie

Pages: 288

Publisher: Kensington/Zebra

Published: January 29, 2019

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

After experiencing the English world for a bit, Ellie has returned to her Amish community and enjoys working with her stepmom in the bakery. Joel and his family have just moved to Charm for a new chance. He is not aware of Ellie’s past and finds himself falling for her. When her past comes to light will Joel be able to forgive her and continue to love her?

As I felt with the first book in the series, I find it hard to review a book that I just liked and not loved. It is not the author’s fault if the book did not speak to me. I have read many reviews where others loved it. My main issue remains the same as I felt the story was rushed. It seemed to jump from one thing to another and ideas were not given a full follow through as I am used to in other Amish novels.

This is Ellie’s story and I’m still not impressed with her behavior. At times she still acted like a brat and I found myself shaking my head in disgust at her.

Will I continue with the series if there are more? I honestly don’t know. I’m leaning towards this series not being my cup of tea.

Please do not use my review as a judge if you want to read the book. Read the book yourself and make your own opinion. What doesn’t speak to me may speak volumes to you.

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

Premeditated Peppermint (Amish Candy Shop #3) by Amanda Flower

peppermint

Pages: 352 (eBook)

Publisher: Kensington

Published: September 25, 2018

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

It’s Christmas time in Harvest, Ohio and Bailey is excited to be sharing a small town Christmas with her Amish grandmother making treats for the shop and the Christmas Market on the Square. Her happiness soon fades when her ex-boyfriend walks in the shop with a TV crew wanting to film a reunion of their love and to showcase a real Amish Christmas. As Bailey tries to navigate her feelings for the local sheriff deputy with her ex standing nearby she finds the body of the executive producer of the show. Will Bailey help her ex clear his name or will she find out he really is a scoundrel only thinking of himself?

One can never go wrong reading a book written by Amanda Flower. My favorites are her Amish cozy mysteries.

The town of Harvest is a wonderful little town that will have you longing to visit. You will be hoping to run into Bailey, her grandmother and of course Jethro, the town’s polka dotted pig.

Premediated Peppermint will have you longing for Christmas and craving everything peppermint. There is a recipe for Peppermint Bark at the end that sounds divine and does not seem too hard to make.

I enjoyed the book and was riveted until the end. The ending is a swoon worthy ending that has me longing for the next book in the series, Toxic Toffee. I am on the edge of my seat to see how the relationship between Bailey and Aiden blossoms.

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

A Christmas by the Sea by Melody Carlson

christmas sea

Pages: 176 (eBook)

Publisher: Revell

Published: September 4, 2018

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Wendy and her son, Jackson, have been living in Cincinnati, OH and trying to cope with life after the death of her husband, his dad. Wendy’s grandfather passed away and left her his home in Seaside, Maine. Wendy plans on updating the home and selling it ASAP. They drive to Maine over Thanksgiving break and both fall in love with the house and town. Jackson wants to live there but Wendy sees no way to make a living and insists they must go back to Cincinnati. Will the townspeople, one in particular, change her mind and give a young boy his Christmas wish?

What a heartwarming, beautiful Christmas read. Melody Carlson writes with such love and hope that you can’t help but fall in love with Seaside. She makes the reader wish we could experience the Christmas season on the Maine coast with mornings of shelling, days filled with creating beauty within our home and evenings filled with delicious seafood meals.

I would like to see a return visit to Seaside with one of the other characters with an update to how Wendy and Jackson are doing.

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

Dim Sum of all Fears (A Noodle Shop Mystery #2) by Vivien Chien

dim

Pages: 320 (eBook)

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press

Published: August 28, 2018

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Lana is still working in her parents Chinese restaurant in Downtown Cleveland even though she would rather be working as a manager in the corporate world. Just as she thinks she has found the break she has been looking for her parents must fly to Taiwan to take care of her grandmother and have left her in charge of the restaurant with the Chinese New Year right around the corner. Everything is running smoothly until one morning she finds the owners of the shop next door brutally murdered. Can Lana leave the investigation to the police or will she find herself facing the murderer on her own?

This book was very enjoyable. I have already bought the first book in the series to take with me this weekend to read while traveling. Lana, amateur sleuth, is the reason we have cozies. Even though she lives in Cleveland, her community is Asia Village. A small village of Asian stores, restaurants and businesses. She may wish to work in corporate America but she is the force that keeps this little village alive. Her relationship with local law enforcement officer Adam is hilarious but serious at the same time. He wants her to stay safe and she just can’t help herself getting into trouble. I get this picture in my head of him just shaking his head in defeat but smiling at the same time out of love. I can’t wait to learn more about him as the series progresses.

This is the perfect series to begin if you are looking for a culinary cozy mystery series in a different setting. Be prepared to be craving everything Chinese as you are reading. I had to keep myself from drooling as I was reading.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from St. Martin’s Press through NetGalley. Any and all opinions expressed in the above review are entirely my own.

The Mending by Susan Lantz Simpson

mending

Pages: 288 (eBook)

Publisher: Kensington

Published: August 28, 2018

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Malinda is happy to be out of the hospital in Ohio and heading back home to Maryland. As she settles back in the swing of home life she wonders if she will ever share the joy her friend Phoebe has with her boyfriend soon to be fiancé. Malinda has Chron’s disease and feels she is a burden to everyone around her, especially her family.

Timothy has been in Malinda’s life for as long as anyone can remember as he is her older brother, Sam’s, best friend. Timothy has waited patiently for years for Malinda to grow up and be ready to accept suitors. Now that the time has come can he convince Melinda that she will never be a burden to him?

What a beautiful love story between Malinda and Timothy. The love and patience he has for Malinda would make any girl swoon, young or old, English or Amish. Both of them have a strong faith in God and the way it is portrayed is great. The author uses real life experiences to show how God is in each of our lives. The author writes with such knowledge that one would think you were reading a true story and not one of fiction.

This is the second book by Susan Lantz Simpson I have read and I am eagerly awaiting the next book in the series.

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