Monday, December 11, 2017

Mary's Christmas Goodbye (also known as Coming Home for Christmas) by Linda Byler - Review of one of the books in the Amish Romance series

Mary Stoltzfus, splashed with freckles, is thirty years old and unmarried. In her Amish world, that qualifies her to be called an old maid. She is living her quiet schoolteacher life in the Lancaster County Amish community when she gets a surprising invitation in the mail. Would she come to Montana to teach? Before long, Mary is on Amtrak, "just to take care of her curiosity," she explains to her mother.

She arrives at a desolate station and meets Arthur Bontrager, who soon raises her old buried question as to why no man has ever been her match. Who is the young woman in the photo at Arthur's house? And why does Mary suddenly care? Does she really belong back in Lancaster?

A great short book for Christmas, I have read a few of Linda's books now and enjoyed each one. I think there are a lot of people who know how Mary feels, never pretty enough, not interesting enough to overcome your shortcomings, yet seem to be content with your life and unconsciously push people away but still have a lot of friends with people who look up to you at the same time.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

With You Always by Jody Hedlund - Review of the first book in the Orphan Train series

Could Following the Opportunity of a Lifetime
Cost Them the Love of their Lives?

One of the many immigrants struggling to survive in 1850's New York, Elise Neumann knows she must take action to care for her younger sisters. She finds a glimmer of hope when the New York children's Aid Society starts sending skilled workers to burgeoning towns out west. But the promise of the society's orphan trains is not all that it seems.

Born into elite New York society, Thornton Quincy possess everything except the ability to step out from his brother's shadow. When their ailing father puts forth a unique challenge to determine who will inherit his railroad-building empire,  Thornton finally sees his chance. The conditions to win? Be the first to build a sustainable community along the Illinois Central Railroad and find a suitable wife.

Thrown together against all odds, Elise and Thornton couldn't be from more different worlds. The spark that ignites between them is undeniable, but how can they let it grow when that means forfeiting everything they've been working toward.

Oh Jody, you never fail me when I choose to read one of your books!!! I loved this story as it showed what strength and faith, even when they thought they'd lost it, women had/have in such hard times. The farther along I got in Elise's story the more I hated having to put the book down. I am so anxious to read the next two books, yes, two, I see there is one coming out in May of 2018 and I'm 'sure' there will be at least one more, that is the one I'm really waiting for.

I highly recommend this book, this series, to historical fiction lovers. I will suggest that you read the prequel, "An Awakened Heart" first, then this one as we wait for the next one, "Together Forever" in the series.

Sunday, November 26, 2017

His Frontier Christmas Family by Regina Scott - Review of the sixth book in the Frontier Bachelors series

After taking guardianship of his late friend's siblings and baby daughter, minister Levi Wallin hopes to atone for is troubled past on the gold fields. But it won't be easy to convince the children's wary elder sister to trust him. The more he learns about her, though, the more he believes Callie Murphy's prickly manner masks a vulnerable he's starting to wish he was worthy of.

Every man in Callie's life chose chasing gold over responsibilities. Levi---and the large, loving Wallin family---might just be different. But she can tell he's hiding something from her, and she refuses to risk her heart with secrets between them. Even as they grow closer, will their pasts keep them from claiming this unexpected new beginning?

To continue on with the Wallin family, the story is just as good as the previous ones in this series. Regina kept me interested and wanting to read late into the night! The Wallin family is one welcoming, loving family and forgiving family, willing to help anyone. Truly a wonderful Christmas story about hardship, learning from your mistakes and forgiveness. You don't have to read the series in order but you will enjoy the books more if you do.

I received this book from the author with a request for an honest review. I have stated my honest opinion of this book.

Sunday, October 8, 2017

An Awakened Heart by Jody Hedlund - Review of the prequel to the Orphan Train series

(copied from
Trying to heal the ache she feels in her empty life, wealthy Christine Pendleton decides to volunteer at Centre Street Chapel. Ministering to one of the most deprived parts of New York City, the chapel aims at making a difference in the lives of the impoverished immigrants flooding the city. After seeing firsthand the hopelessness of the poor women and orphans, Christine is convinced more can be done to help them.

Guy Bedell has been serving at the chapel and pouring his heart out for the vision for reaching out to the community, can he trust that perhaps God has bigger plans in store for him--plans that may include this feisty socialite?

What a touching story, so glad I found this lead into the Orphan Train series!Christine missed out on so much as an only child to wealthy parents, yes you read that right but you will have to read the story to find out what I'm talking about! Even as an adult she is paying the consequences of her wealthy father. Yep, you better grab a copy then delve into the series. I read the first chapter in the first book then ran across this prequel (that's what I'm calling it, on other sites it's called An Orphan Train Novella, not actually listed as one of the books in the series. I chose to read this first and so glad I did, it was truly moving! Now on to the first book in the series, "With You Always".

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Return to Huckleberry Hill by Jennifer Beckstrand - Review of the seventh book in The Matchmakers of Huckleberry Hill series

When it comes to matchmaking, Huckleberry Hill, Wisconsin's unstoppable octogenarians Anna and Felty Helmuth never seem to run out of opportunities---or grandchildren...

Reuben Helmuth is plenty bitter, John King, his best friend---or so her thought---is engaged to the girl Reuben loved. humiliated, Reuben flees from Ohio to his grandparents' home on Huckleberry Hill, where he knows he'll find comfort. He's enjoying wallowing in his misery---until John's sister, Fern, shows up. She won't stop pestering Reuben about forgiveness---or trying to help him find love again. Yet Fern's efforts only reawaken Reuben's long-buried feelings---for her...

With her brother too ashamed to face Reuben, it's fallen to Fern to help mend fences. But as she and the Helmuths do all they can---even organizing a knitting club event filled with eligible girls---it ma take one more challenge to inspire Reuben to forget his heartache, recognize his own blunders, and embrace the true love that's right in front of him...

WOW! I normally find a lot to chuckle about in this series, there were some 'slight' chuckles but Jennifer also made me a little weepy in spots with this one! Oh yeah, if this doesn't pull at your heartstrings, you have no heart. I just can not express how much I love this series and I highly recommend each book, the series, every time I write a review. You will LOVE it!!! Oh, and did I mention there is a new one, number eight in the series, coming out in December this year? Watch for "A Courtship on Huckleberry Hill" around December 26, 2017.

Monday, September 25, 2017

Home All Along by Beth Wiseman - Review of the third book in an Amish Secrets series

Home. It's the thing Charlotte has always wanted most.
Will she finally find it among the Amish of Lancaster County?

Charlotte has spent much of her life trying to figure out where she belongs. After enduring an abusive childhood, she sets out on a journey her brother once took, landing her in an Amish community. Despite her outsider attitudes and her reluctance to accept the Amish way of life, the community embraces her. A quiet, handsome man named Daniel reveals his feelings for Charlotte, but she struggles to commit to him. Despite her desire for home and family, painful memories and fear threaten to destroy the peace Charlotte desperately seeks.

Just when Charlotte finally believes she is ready to bid farewell to her former life, a long lost relative resurfaces and throws Charlotte's life into chaos. When an illness erupts in Daniel's family and a shunned aunt and a prodigal son return, circumstances leave Daniel and Charlotte second-guessing the future they'd hoped to share.

Charlotte wants to believe that despite her heartbreak, god is leading her towards her true destiny. But how can she trust her choices amid so much personal calamity?

Home All Along is a soul-searching novel about a woman leaving the life she has known in search of love, faith, and a place to finally call home.

Once you pick this book up to read, you will NOT want to put it down. Beth really puts you right in the middle of this story with so much grief, love, and faith, you will think you are right there in the middle and wonder which character you are and how you would handle it all. I will very highly recommend this as a must read, not only this book but the first two in the series also, "Her Brothers Keeper" and "Love Bears All Things". Also you will enjoy it so much more if you read them in order. WOW!!!!!

I was provided a copy of this book by BookLook Bloggers in return for an honest review. The above review are my true feelings.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Wild Horses by Linda Byler - Review of the first book in Sadie's Montana series

When the Miller family moved from Ohio to Montana, Sadie had to leave her beloved horse, the palomino named Paris. Still, she likes the Montana snows and her job at Aspen East Ranch serving the ranch hands.

Unexpectedly, Ezra appears, the man who seems to be perfect in every way and fully intends to marry Sadie. But does she love him back? And who is this fascinating Mark who helps to rescue a dying horse and shows up at the Amish hymn-sing though he is English?

Now Sadie's own close-knit family is falling apart. Will Dat let Mam seek professional help? Will Mam be willing?

Sadie finds some refuge in Nevaeh, a black and white paint. But when a dreadful accident involving wild horses occurs, Sadie must move forward into the unknown future.

I got this book when I first saw it, but had so many books on my TBR pile, and kept acquiring more, sadly it took me a long time to get to it. I finally grabbed it and it is a beautiful story if you love horses, enjoying a great Amish book is an added bonus. Sadie is a horse whisperer, but her Dat does not like horses, so that is part of the story. But horse lovers beware you will be pulled into this series and want to read more. Great story, don't put off getting this book or reading it! Thank you Linda.