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.

 

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

spark.png

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.

Alaskan Holiday by Debbie Macomber

alaskan

Pages: 224 (eBook)

Publisher: Random House

Published: October 2, 2018

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Josie has spent the past six months in Ponder, Alaska cooking at the town’s lodge while waiting for her dream job to begin in Seattle with Chef Anton. A position others in her culinary school class would have loved to had. What Josie did not expect was to fall in love with the town and a particular young bachelor, Palmer, the local swordsmith. The night before she is to leave, Palmer tries to propose. Even if Palmer had been more romantic with his proposal Josie was still not going to stay. She has worked too hard to get her dream position. After missing the last ferry leaving Ponder for the season, Josie blames Palmer for her situation. In order to save what is left of their relationship Palmer finds a sea-tac plane leaving in a couple of weeks. When Josie gets to Seattle she realizes she left her heart in Ponder. Can Josie and Palmer find a way to both be happy and be together?

I can’t start celebrating Christmas reading until I have read a Debbie Macomber Christmas story. Macomber has a knack for making one believe in love and happily ever afters especially around Christmas. I appreciate she can show love at its finest in a clean way. She doesn’t feel the need to have sex scenes sully the beauty of true love.

This is the perfect book to grab on a cold, blustery Sunday afternoon while sitting in front of the Christmas tree sipping peppermint cocoa. It is the perfect length to read in one sitting.

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

Sadie: An Amish Retelling of Snow White by Sarah Price

amish sadie

Pages: 400 (eBook)

Publisher: Kensington

Published: September 25, 2018

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Sadie has tried and tried to be a good stepdaughter but to her detriment her stepmother, Rachel, is as jealous as ever. Rachel sees Sadie as everything she is not young, beautiful, and able to bear children when the time is right. In order to move on with her life, Rachel has decided to marry Sadie off to an ungrateful widower with many children. Sadie decides to take her future in to her own hands and runs away while on a buggy ride with the ungrateful widower. As she run away into the forest she finds herself awaking in a small cottage belonging to the seven Glick brothers who are outcasts in their Amish faith due to their small size. Will Sadie make a life with the brothers as chief cook and bottle washer or will her true love find her?

If you are a fan of retellings of fairytales and like the Amish genre then Sarah Price is your author. Her creativity of retelling Cinderella, Beauty and the Beast and now Cinderella are a pure delight. I did not want to put any of the books down.

In Sadie: An Amish Retelling of Snow White, Sarah Price has taken the beloved fairy tale and moved it into the current real world. She tackles jealousy among women (especially stepdaughters and stepmoms), out casting others due to being different (little people/dwarfism) and the dangers of food allergies. I bring up the food allergy danger because it is getting more and more common and it is not just your usual peanuts and shellfish. Even with all real world problems tackled we still get our romantic ending.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Kensington through NetGalley. Any and all opinions expressed 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.

The Christmas Prayer by Wanda Brunstetter

christmas prayer.jpg

Pages: 176 (eBook)

Publisher: Barbour Publishing Inc. (Shiloh Run Press)

Published: September 1, 2018

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

In the wake of the Donner party, three wagons of strangers meet in Independence, MO to head to the land of gold, California. Eight months later December arrives and they have just reached the Sierra Nevada Mountains and have encountered a blizzard that could mean the end of the trip and themselves.

Cynthia is traveling with her fiancé and mother. As the trip has progressed she finds herself questioning if he is the man she thought he was, especially as she finds herself spending more time with the children on the trip. Christmas is approaching and the travelers are finding themselves getting bleaker and bleaker but will Santa come save them and show Cynthia the way to love?

I know whenever I pick up a Wanda Brunstetter book or novella whether Amish or not I am in for the perfect feel good read. Although I know the ending will be a happy one and love will always win the story to get to the ending is always beautiful. This is the perfect story to get you ready for the colder months and Christmas. Pick this book up for the romance reader in your life or yourself. You won’t be disappointed.

I received a copy of this story from Barbour Publishing Inc. through NetGalley. Any and all opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.

 

Through the Autumn Air (An Every Amish Season #3) by Kelly Irvin

through

Pages: 368 (eBook)

Publisher: Zondervan Fiction

Published: August 14, 2018

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Widowed Mary Katherine has found herself fighting her children and the church elders over leaving her home for life in the Dawdi Haas. Her children think her facilities are failing but in truth Mary Katherine lives in a world of stories, whether through books or stories she concocts in her head and writes down later when she has the time. Everyone seems to think they know what is best for her. Instead of being able to follow her dream of opening a bookstore with her best friend who happens to be English she finds herself helping Widower Ezekiel in his restaurant and her friends in the new Amish Combination Store. As things heat up in the mysterious Amish break ins, Mary Katherine and Ezekiel find their friendship heating up as the days cool down. Can Mary Katherine find a solution to make herself happy along with everyone else?

The Every Amish Season books have been a delight to read. Through the Autumn Air has been my favorite of the three published so far. I love just about any book centered around books and reading. Plus I hope I am as spunky as Mary Katherine when I am sixty. I admire how she tries to stay true to her faith but herself as well. Can we truly enjoy life if we don’t stay true to ourselves.

If you are a fan of Amish fiction and are ready to read a story with some spunk hurry and get your copy today.

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

Shattered Mirror by Sarah Price

shattered

Pages: 265 (eBook)

Publisher: Waterfall Press

Published:  July 24, 2018

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

A powerfully written, eye-opening fiction novel that could be the real story of a neighbor or ourselves.

Kelly has been fighting for years to keep her fractured family together. Meaning she has been trying to keep life as normal as she can for her two children after her divorce from their verbal abusing drunk of a dad. Unfortunately, her son, Zach, has been self-medicating with alcohol and drugs. Kelly has gotten Zach help in the past but when he OD’s in his bedroom she realizes he needs professional help. Fighting her ex-husband, close family, a school system with their heads in the sand and a society that refuses to acknowledge the epidemic killing our kids Kelly pulls strength from deep within to find the help her son needs.

I cried, screamed and cringed while reading and listening to this book. The story had me so entranced that I finished it in less than 24 hours. I found myself waking up at 3am just to read more. Sarah Price has described a situation that is killing our young at an alarming rate with so much truth and grit. Too bad every parent in America is not required to read this before their children hit their teenage years. What will it take for our nation to wake up and see the young need our help in fighting the war on drugs. This killer knows no boundaries. It affects every social and economic class.

I will be recommending this book to all my friends, teacher colleagues and anyone who will listen.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Waterfall Press through NetGalley. Any and all opinions are entirely my own.