The Forgiving Jar (The Prayer Jars #2) by Wanda Brunstetter

jar

Pages: 320

Publisher: Barbour Publishing/Shiloh Run Press

Published: February 1, 2019

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

In book two of The Prayer Jar series, we focus on Sara. Sara is the real granddaughter of Willis and Mary Ruth and the young lady Michelle had been impersonating. Sara is struggling with her faith and with forgiving those she feels has betrayed her throughout her life, including her deceased mom. As she continues to live with her grandparents she finds jealousy rearing its ugly head. Especially when Michelle seems to be getting her life together and the community is forgiving for her sins. Christmas arrives with a friend of her grandparents and Michelle and Sara finds herself liking him as more than a friend. Can Sara find forgiveness in her heart and learn to let jealousy go? Will the prayer jar she finds in her grandparents basement become her saving grace?

I am still reeling from this book. I have not had an Amish book hit me in the feels as this one did in a bit. I still get teary-eyed thinking about it. In book one I was very angry with Michelle impersonating Sara and felt like Sara had a right to be upset and very angry but as book two opened I came to understand Michelle more and realized sometimes when you are at rock bottom you find yourself doing things you never would dream of doing. As for Sara, I could not imagine a parent dying and finding out I had a family I never knew about. I admire Sara for her bravery in contacting and going to live with her grandparents I do not admire her jealousy against Michelle or her feelings against her stepfather. She definitely had a lot of growing up to do in book two. By the end, you will love both Michelle and Sara as if they were a part of your family.

As always with a Wanda Brunstetter book, you will find yourself laughing one moment and in tears the next. I suggest you read book one, The Hope Jar, first. I am eagerly anticipating the third book in the series.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing/Shiloh Run Press through NetGalley. Any and all opinions expressed in the above review are entirely my own.

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.

Seasons of an Amish Garden by Amy Clipston

seasons

Pages: 386

Publisher: Zondervan Fiction

Published: January 8, 2019

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

A sweet collection of 4 stories spun-off from Amy Clipston’s The Christmas Cat. I heavily suggest you read that novella first because it sets the background and tone for these four wonderful love stories.

Spring Is in the Air is about Katie Ann. She feels as if she losing her best friend and bother as they both find love with each other. Will Katie Ann find love as she learns to accept the changes life has to offer?

Home by Summer finds Clara learning what it means to love someone enough to let them find their own way back.

The Fruits of Fall is a heart-aching story about Tena. She finds herself afraid of Englishers after a terrible experience in her life. When a homeless man wanders up and asks for him she learns to face her fear head-on with the love and patience from Wayne.

Winter Blessings is the story of Ephraim and Mandy. When life starts throwing curve balls will their love be strong enough to withstand them?

I am a fan of Amy Clipston and Amish stories and Seasons of An Amish Garden did not disappoint. You will find yourself cheering on the couples as they learn about love and the work it takes for it to grow.

Perfect for any time of year read but get it now to ease yourself into 2019 with some love and happiness.

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 Amish Sweet Shop by Emma Miller, Laura Bradford and Mary Ellis

sweetshop

Pages: 304

Publisher: Kensington

Published: December 18, 2018

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

A sweet read to get you ready for Valentine’s Day. Perfect for the romance reader in your life.

THE SWEETEST COURTSHIP by Emma Miller
Grouchy Jacob Beechy is no match for his mother, who has taken it upon herself to find him a wife. Rose has come to town for a change of scenery and ends up crossing paths with Jacob’s mom. Come sit a spell in Beechy’s Sweets and watch love melt even the hardest heart in town. By the end of the story, you will be craving fudge with a side of romance.

THE SWEETEST TRUTH by Laura Bradford ***My favorite of the three stories***
A horrific barn fire several years ago changed the life Sadie thought she would have so she has made the life she feels most comfortable living. When a secret admirer starts leaving little gifts for her to find on her lunch break, Sadie’s heart starts to soften and she allows herself to dream again. This story will make you smile and your heart tapdance with happiness.

NOTHING TASTES SO SWEET by Mary Ellis
A freak accident suddenly widows Hannah who has just found out she is pregnant. Hannah is thankful for her job at the local hardware store but when the job is in jeopardy Hannah learns she is stronger than she thinks. A sweet tale of how sometimes romance can find a way to heal even the most broken of hearts.

I love reading Amish romance novellas during the holidays as the stories are usually short enough to read in between all the hustle and bustle. You are always guaranteed a happy ending and a smile. Even if Valentine’s Day is not your holiday, you will be happy to read these sweet stories. Grab a box of yummy chocolates, put on your fuzzy socks and curl up in your comfy reading chair for one of the sweetest reads of the season.

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.

Kappy King and the Pie Kaper (An Amish Mystery #3) by Amy Lillard

kappy

Pages: 352

Publisher: Kensington

Published: December 18, 2018

Rating: 4 stars

It’s time for the county’s fall festival and annual pie contest. For more years than not Alma, the bishop’s wife has made the award-winning boysenberry pie. Unfortunately, Alma finds herself on the wrong end of a cast iron skillet. Can Kappy and friends find out who would want to keep the bishop’s wife from participating in the pie cook-off this year?

I love this Amish cozy mystery series. The titles make me smile, the cover art is fun and the stories have hilarity to them even if they do involve murder. Kappy is a hoot. She tries so hard to follow the Ordung but her curiosity get her in scrapes every single time.

This is number three in the Amish Mystery series but each can be read as a stand-alone novel. As with any series, if you start with a book other than the first you will know the outcome of previous books. I would feel very comfortable giving this book, the entire series, to a teenager as a gift. There are no steamy romantic scenes, no offensive language and the murders that take place are nowhere near gory.

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 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 Teacher’s Bride (Amish Brides of Birch Creek) by Kathleen Fuller

teacher

Pages: 320

Publisher: Zondervan Fiction

Published: December 4, 2018

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Christian moved to Birch Creek to accept the teaching position and in hopes, it would widen his availability to find a wife. When a sprained ankle sidelines home for a few days, he has to depend on “accident waiting to happen” Ruby to cover his class. Will Christian be able to see past Ruby’s clumsiness to find the love she has to offer?

The Teacher’s Bride has plenty of laughs to offer between Christian and Ruby. You will be laughing out loud aplenty. I think many of yes will be able to relate to how both get nervous and tongue-tied and clumsy when wanting to impress someone.

My opinion on Christian’s sister, Selah, is still out. I had to remind myself several times as I was reading that she is only 19 years old and 19-year-olds can be very selfish and self-centered. I hope her story is explored more in a future novel.

I enjoy the way Kathleen Fuller writes. It like a warm hug on a cold night; comforting and welcoming. I would have no problems giving her books to young teen girls to read as they are clean and wholesome.

I received a copy of this book from Zondervan 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.

 

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.