Saturday, January 13, 2018

A Courtship on Huckleberry Hill by Jennifer Beckstrand - Review of the eighth book in The Matchmakers of Huckleberry Hill series

There's nothing Huckleberry Hill, Wisconsin's irrepressible eighty-somethings Anna and Felty Helmuth like better than a challenge. And the chance to matchmake their feisty granddaughter is their most delightful task yet ...

Elsie Helmuth's plain-spoken ways got her in trouble once before, so she needs to make a good impression at her new teaching job in Huckleberry Hill. but she's not about to let disabled student Wally Sensenig work below his potential. And she definitely won't put up with his hot-headed older brother sabotaging her efforts, no matter how handsome he is...

Sam is nearly at the end of his rope caring for his ailing, widowed mother, working their farm, and raising his siblings. He'll admit Elsie's ideas are bringing Wally out of his angry shell--but why does she have to be as stubborn as she is pretty? Yet as it turns out, Elsie has taught Sam something about himself as well. And he'll do whatever it takes to make up for his mistakes--and win her heart forever.

If you have not read any of this series yet you really need to get started! Jennifer gives you humor, heartache, faith, and yes, love. I got close to tears several times in this book, but I did hold them at bay. I just absolutely love this series and once I finish a book I dread the wait for the next one in the series, I'm soooo glad the Amish have large families so Anna and Felty have a lot of grandchildren to share the love with.

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

The Pony Express Romance Collection by Barbara Tifft Blakey, Mary Davis, Darlene Franklin, Cynthia Hickey, Maureen Lang, Debby Lee, Donna Schlacter, Connie Stevens and Pegg Thomas - Review


Hearts Are United by Express Mail
Between April 1860 and November 1861, before the transcontinental telegraph lines or railroad could be completed, express mail was guaranteed to get from St. Joseph, Missouri, to Sacramento, California, in just ten days via the Pony Express. Regardless of the daily risk of death, daring riders were needed, along with a team of supporters at numerous stations along the way. In nine adventure-filled novellas, you will meet riders, station masters, horse trainers, and more via the Pony Express route, who faced the daily urgency and danger involved in moving the mail cross country.

A Place to Belong by Barbara Tifft Blakey
An Unlikely Hero by Mary davis
The Gambler's Daughter by Darlene Franklin
Her Lonely Heart by Cynthia Hickey
My Dear Adora by Maureen Lang
Ride into My Heart by Debby Lee
Echoes of the Heart by Connie Stevens
Embattled Hearts by Pegg Thomas

Nine romances take root along the Pony Express trail, but can they trive in the midst of daily challenges that jeopardize the company's success?

Every time I read one of these 'collections' books, it reminds me of why I enjoy them so much. Anywhere from four to nine short stories usually, all around the same focus but not connected. I find new authors to watch for and great writers. Of course there are some stories that I like better than others, that is not saying the others are not good, and I am sure other readers may probably like others better than my choices, that is what is so great about these books. Yes, I highly recommend this book!

Saturday, January 6, 2018

Harmony Trilogy (The Harmony Series) by Nancy Mehl - Review of Simple Secrets, Simple Deceit and Simple Choices

(copied from
Follow the lives of the Mennonites in Harmony, Kansas, and outsider Gracie Temple, who comes to live among them. Gracie has trouble fitting in from the start when she inherits a heavy secret from her estranged uncle. Then just when Harmony starts to feel like home, her graphic design career puts her a suspicious position that threatens the town's way of life. And when life and love are finally falling in place, Gracie's attempts to help a Mennonite teen realize her dreams backfire. Will Gracie ever be in harmony with the town she has grown to love?

What a great series this was, one mystery after another keeps you interested and not wanting to put your reading to the side. Nancy has a way of making you want more with her writing. This is not my first experience with her books and it won't be my last.

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".