Wednesday, December 17, 2014

I Am Sorry it Has Been a Week

I am truly sorry that it has been a week since my last post but I was sick for several days and I have been trying to catch up on my life since then.  Now with Christmas next week and so on, things are really getting busy around here.  I will be able to post something for the next week or so only about every other day.  

I hope all of you hang with me while I get caught up.
 

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

"Sugar Plum Season" by Mia Ross

About the Book

 Season of Love 

Amy Morgan is determined not to let her injury affect her love for dance. Moving to the tiny town of Barrett's Mill, she takes over her aunt's dance studio and begins to organize a children's Christmas ballet recital. She just needs a little help from handsome lumberjack Jason Barrett. Charming and an all-around good guy, Jason volunteers to build the stage sets. Working together with the pretty ballerina forges a connection he never expected. But is Amy really ready to leave the limelight behind? It'll take a few dancing candy canes—and a whole lot of faith—to bring them together in joy and love. 

Barrett's Mill: In the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains, a family legacy leads to love





This book released in December 2014
This was a well loved library book that was reviewed


My Review

“Sugar Plum Season” by Mia Ross is the second book of her 'Barrett's Mill' series but can be read as a stand alone book. This is a story of overcoming both hurts and fear, plus so much more. This is a book that is worth reading that is for sure.

Amy is a woman who is doing what she can to remain in close contact to the activity that she loves dearly. She has not only been physically injured but emotionally as well yet she is still putting one foot in front of the other. She has this quiet strength about her that is seen more and more through the story and things in her life begins to change in ways she didn't expect. There are flaws about this young woman without a doubt though she does her best to overcome then and make herself perfect.

Jason is about as completely opposite from Amy, for he is a laid back kind of guy who always has a smile on his face, and a heart as large if not larger than he is. When he gives his word then he sticks by it regardless what it costs him. It seems that Jason is also a man who can forgive pretty easily which is something we all need to remember, but he is no fool either.

This story is your typical two souls who find each other but weary because they have been stomped on in the past, yet there is nothing typical about the hurdles that are thrown in their way. Hurdles that each had a choice to make to jump over together, jump separately or throw their hands up all together. These hurdles by themselves could have been easy enough to handle but when they came back to back like they did it made it interesting to see what happens.

I have a confession to make for I am the type of reader who reads the last two paragraphs of the book before the epilogue if there is one, and frankly I didn't know what was going on or maybe where it was happening might be the better way to say it. This is a great example of the twists and turns that this story takes with these hurdles for I just couldn't be sure what the end results were for the decisions that needed to be made.

I do hope that there are more books in the 'Barrett's Mill' series for I am hoping that Jenna gets her own story for there is something there with her that is for sure, not to mention I am a little curious about the lone wolf Barrett who is in Texas. I hope all who read this book enjoys it as much as I did.


Other 'Barrett's Mill' Books





Tuesday, December 9, 2014

"Huckleberry Christmas" by Jennifer Beckstrand

About the Book

Now that they've happily married off two of their grandchildren, Anna and Felty Helmuth are ready for their next matchmaking challenge. What better way to celebrate the most heartwarming of seasons--and make Huckleberry Hill, Wisconsin, the place for unexpected love. . .

A difficult marriage has left the Helmuths' widowed great-granddaughter, Beth, finished with wedlock. She's content to live with them and make a life for herself and her toddler son. But once she turns down handsome Tyler Yoder's proposal, it seems only fair to encourage him to find a suitable wife. Trouble is, his gentleness and generous ways are showing her how joyous a real meeting of hearts can be. . .

After a failed courtship, Tyler thought the best he could hope for in a wife was mere companionship. But spirited Beth is the one he longs to protect, and hold close. Earning her trust is the hardest thing he's ever had to do. And soon, both will discover that forgiveness and understanding are gifts that only rekindled faith--along with the happiest of holidays--can bring.


This book was released in October 2014
This was a well loved library book that was reviewed


My Review

“Huckleberry Christmas” by Jennifer Beckstrand is the third book in her 'The Matchmakers of Huckleberry Hill' and this is a book where so many lessons are learned. Lessons in love, trust and forgiveness are just some of the major lessons here in this book. I found that though this is a Christmas story, Christmas doesn't really come into play until the end of the book, but the meaning there is subtle but there.

The Christmas message that I took away from this story is that God so loved us that He sent His own Son to earth. It is that love that we should always remember for we are loved so dearly that a great sacrifice was made for each and everyone of us. The way this message was presented too was really something for it was in a way that most people not might think that would work, but it really did in my opinion.

Beth is a young woman who is trying to figure out where to go from here now that she is home where she wants to be with her young son. Slowly through this book things start to look up for Beth but at the same time things are getting tougher for her. She is finding that things are just as hard refusing suitors at home then when she her in-law home, and yet she is able to still find humor. No matter what is happening it seems as if she is able to keep humor and is quite ready with a hearty laugh. She has her plans for the future and really doesn't plan to alter those plans for anything until she learns some pretty important lessons.

Tyler is a man who I felt sorry for in “Huckleberry Summer” yet it seems that he has moved on and is quite alright now. Yes he was hurt but that doesn't stop him from be happy for those who hurt him, but it has left him thinking differently for his future. He is a man who puts other people needs ahead his own, and there is not much that seems to ruffle his own feathers. He is a man of principles that he shows time and time again, which shows that he is a man who can be trusted. I found that he was entirely too serious at times and enjoyed watching him thaw and change his mind about things. I also really enjoyed his sense of humor that showed itself throughout the story in such subtle ways.

Through the conflict of getting through one person, there are some interesting experiences that add a bit of humor through. It seemed as if the conflict that one person was feeling really didn't seem to change that much but then again as the full story is told then it makes a little more sense why that internal conflict is not being resolved faster. Once there is progress being made, it is done in such an amazing way with courage to face the past head on. I really cheered on the character who was facing the past for they did it with courage that showed an inner strength that they didn't know they had, as well as showing them what a good, steady, strong love can do for them.

I truly hope all who read this book, enjoy it as much as I have.


Other 'The Matchmakers of Huckleberry Hill' Books

Huckleberry Hill
Huckleberry Summer
Huckleberry Christmas
"A Perfect Amish Christmas"
                                                          found in An Amish Christmas Quilt





Monday, December 8, 2014

"Huckleberry Summer" by Jennifer Beckstrand

About the Book

With one of their grandchildren happily married, Anna and Felty Helmuth are ready for their next matchmaking success. Because there's nothing more rewarding than sparking unexpected love--and putting Huckleberry Hill, Wisconsin, on the map for romance. . .
Cautious to a fault, Lily Eicher strives to live up to her dat's high standards. She's certainly not the kind of proper Amish girl who would make time for someone as impetuous as the Helmuths' grandson, Aden--even if his lively spirit and caring ways are showing her just how wonderful following her heart can be. . .

Recklessly doing the right thing got Aden into big trouble. A fresh start at his grandparents' is just what he needs. And shy, pretty Lily is turning his world upside down and making him want to prove he can do good within the rules. But now both must find enough faith and understanding to risk pursuing their dreams--together. . .



This book was released in June 2014
This was a well loved library book that was reviewed


My Review

“Huckleberry Summer” by Jennifer Beckstrand is the second book in her 'The Matchmakers of Huckleberry Hill' and whoa I can't recall the last time I finished a book with red, swollen eyes, splotchy cheeks, along with a nose running for the hills (ok so I am not a pretty crier), but this book I did just that. I must have cried the last 100 or so pages, not so much because there was some earth shattering event that happened but more of the different emotions that was happening. This book was so worth the read without a doubt.

Lily is a woman who is maybe a little to much of a rule follower but then again there is a reason that she is like that. I was actually frustrated with Lily for a while with her unwilling to do anything that would make her father cross with her for she seemed way to timid to do anything, but when her story comes out that explains what shaped her into that person, I actually felt for the young lady. It made sense but I still didn't like how it happened. Lily is so tender hearted that she doesn't hold back when she gives her friendship and loyalty. She almost tries to turn herself inside out to not hurt those around her, most especially her family.

Aden is a man who might have good intentions but well doesn't always think about how he is going about things. Here is a man who seems a little odd for an Amish man but his heart is there for the whole world to see at the same time. He is trying to turns things around and has learned some pretty important lessons, though they were most certainly not easy lessons that is for sure. Aden is a man who is trying so hard to do right when there are those who are working against him, and it is how he handles everything that shows his deepest character for he is a man of his honor.

Things are so confusing, not for the reader for they follow along pretty well in my opinion, but everyone in the story is going through some pretty confusing times. Oh Annie and Felty Helmuth, ok more Annie than Felty, is up to her schemes again and she is not one for giving up in the slightest. Introductions are done, competition is on and then something happens to make it all up in the air and then the ending in a way that I sure didn't expect in the slightest bit. At times it seems as if there is no way to go down a certain path to that happy ending only for something out of the blue to happen to change the course, though the changes are not done in a way that makes no sense but more like a wonderful surprise to make one smile.

I truly loved the ending for I really didn't see how that could happen but it did with such grace and wonder. I really enjoyed the last few scenes as well for they just put a smile on my face after all that time crying my eyes out. I hope all who read this book enjoys it as much as I did.


Other 'The Matchmakers of Huckleberry Hill' Books

Huckleberry Hill
Huckleberry Summer
Huckleberry Christmas
"A Perfect Amish Christmas"
                                                          found in An Amish Christmas Quilt





Sunday, December 7, 2014

"Huckleberry Hill" by Jennifer Beckstrand

About the Book

With their thirteen children grown, Anna and Felty Helmuth are ready for their next adventure.

That means trying their hands at matchmaking--because what could be more fun than igniting love when it's right--and undoing mismatches when they're wrong. Now Huckleberry Hill just might turn out to be the most romantic spot in Wisconsin. . .

Lia Shetler is resigned to being a spinster. She's too tall and sturdy to ever be marriageable--so says her overbearing dat. Instead, she's helping her pretty, spoiled sister Rachel secure the perfect husband--the Helmuths' grandson, Moses Zimmerman. But the more Lia sees of Moses' gently teasing ways and quiet understanding, the more she wishes he could be hers alone. . .

Moses knew his grandparents couldn't resist trying to find him a wife. But he never expected it would be the graceful, sensible Lia--a woman who is tall enough to look him in the eye, and honest enough to make him question a promise holding him to his past. Now both will need the kind of miracles only faith and courage can bring to finally reach for a lifetime of happiness. . .



This book was released in January 2014
This was a well loved library book that was reviewed


My Review

“Huckleberry Hill” by Jennifer Beckstrand is the first book in her 'The Matchmakers of Huckleberry Hill' series and what an interesting start of a series to boot. I found myself frustrated more times that I could count because of different attitudes that really bugged me. I was glad to see some attitudes change by the end of the book and at the same time I laughed with the one of the last scenes.

So much is happening in this story that I was captivated from the start. I have to say that I fell in love with both Felty and Annie Helmuth for they are so feisty and well more 80 something year old couples should be like them a little more. I found Annie's constant knitting and cooking to be so endearing and her own little way of showing her deepest love for her family and friends, though she is very successful with one and not so hot with the other.

Moses is a man who is doing what needs to be done in his life without allowing others to pull his strings. He is loyal almost to the point of being blind to the truth and to the point where others feel bad for him. Moses heart is so warm for he does what he can to not hurt anyone's feelings and makes time to help his grandparents. He knows how to work hard and yet at the same time knows what is more important. There are some pretty big lessons that Moses learns but it seems as if he takes his time to learn them.

Lia is a woman who accepted what others have told her to be the truth but yet that has not turned her heart cold and bitter for this is a woman who freely gives so much of herself. She is trying to do her best to be the obedient daughter regardless what this does to her, and never a cross word comes from her lips. There are some pretty important lessons that she learns towards the end when her back is up against the wall to speak.

I really wanted to slap one of the characters for this person was a hateful and spiteful character that refused to allow anyone happiness. However, on the upside this character also added some humor to the book for their actions were so clear to what this person was trying to do that I couldn't help but laugh out loud. I wonder if we are going to see this person again sometime in a future book with maybe a major attitude change. I think it would be interesting to see this person after learning a few things for I think they would be a wonderful person with that attitude adjustment.

I hope all who read this book enjoy it as much as I have.


Other 'The Matchmakers of Huckleberry Hill' Books

Huckleberry Hill
Huckleberry Summer
Huckleberry Christmas
"A Perfect Amish Christmas"
                                                          found in An Amish Christmas Quilt





Saturday, December 6, 2014

"An Amish Christmas Quilt" by Hubbard, Long and Beckstrand

About the Book

With all the warmth of a cozy quilt, three authors stitch together Amish tales of hearts joined, friendships patched, and the bright joys of Christmas tradition . . .

A Willow Ridge Christmas Pageant ~ Charlotte Hubbard
Seth Brenneman didn't expect his holiday would include rescuing pregnant young Mary Kauffman and her two children. . .or having unexpected feelings for the still-grieving widow. But when they must play the leads in an impromptu live Nativity pageant to help his Amish community, will their roles reveal their hearts--and work a miracle for a lifetime?

A Christmas On Ice Mountain ~ Kelly Long
Matthew Beider and Laurel Lapp's secret wish to marry is a gift their feuding fathers definitely won't accept. And trying to settle their dats' long-standing quarrel is making their holiday anything but merry. Can rediscovering the joys and friendships of Christmas past finally turn their families' futures bright?

A Perfect Amish Christmas ~ Jennifer Beckstrand
Anna and Felty Helmuth's grandson, Gideon, plans to spend Christmas on a beach in sunny Mexico. But Anna is quite sure he'd rather be with them, snowshoeing, ice fishing--falling in love. And she knows the perfect girl. Not only is Dottie Schrock an excellent quilter and baker, she's having a party. There's just one complication--Gideon is not invited. Dottie has her reasons, but Anna trusts that the spirit of Christmas--and true love--will change her mind, and her future . . .



This book was released in October 2014
I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.


My Review

“An Amish Christmas Quilt” is a book with three novella's by Charlotte Hubbard, Kelly Long and Jennifer Beckstrand. All three stories focus on Christmas with a different meaning all the way around, while love blooms or draws families closer. Jesus, forgiveness and better understanding of Christmas are just some of the messages that I took from these charming stories that are each only about 80 pages. I hope all who read this book enjoy the Christmas messages that come from these stories. 

“A Willow Ridge Christmas Pageant” by Charlotte Hubbard goes along with her 'Seasons of the Heart' series. Seth is a minor character in the other books, but here we see him with his own role. Here is a Christmas novella that I really enjoyed for though it is a romance and things appear to be moving fast, I got the feeling there was a lot more contact between the two as this story takes over several months. We are just invited to see what is going on in those pretty important scenes where things are being discovered or shared between the two. I have to say that I felt the Christmas message as well for it was the focus on the Reason for the Season that I enjoyed and how they touched so many other people as well. 

“A Christmas on Ice Mountain” by Kelly Long goes along with her Ice Mountain series (not sure of the title of the series though sorry), and that in of itself made me uncertain if I wanted to read the short novella. Oh Ms. Long writes wonderful stories and this was no different, but after reading “The Amish Bride of Ice Mountain” I was just weary. This time I wasn't given the shock that I had when I tried reading “The Amish Bride of Ice Mountain” so I wasn't taken by complete surprise, so warning it is an adult short story regardless, for if I don't feel comfortable allowing my 14 year old neighbor read it then it is an adult story, and I feel that about this story. 

Here is a a story that reminded me a lot of “Romeo and Juliet” in that their fathers are feuding to the point to where they don't speak. The story starts out with what caused the rift, and sadly at that point I figured out what happened but the ending was so worth reading the book. Yes this is a story of love between Matthew and Laurel but the more important part of the story is that of forgiveness and listening. Time is sometimes too short here on earth so we should always work on trying to get over those past hurts and forgive each other. This story is a wonderful example of that alone with the fathers. 

“A Perfect Amish Christmas” by Jennifer Beckstrand goes along with her 'The Matchmakers of Huckleberry Hill' series. I found the message of discovery for what makes the perfect Christmas to be so precious for so many times people look for things being perfect and over look the important things. The person who is seeking that perfect Christmas has their reasons and reasons that everyone can understand, but this person forgot what makes Christmas perfect no matter what happens. When things look so bleak, the truth is figured out, things begin to turn around for things are being looked at differently. Truly a Perfect Christmas is achieved then and I couldn't help but smile as I read the ending.


Other 'Season's of the Heart' Books and Novellas

Summer of Secrets
Autumn Winds
Winter of Wishes
"Kissing the Bishop"
                                                      found in An Amish Country Christmas
Breath of Spring
"A Willow Ridge Christmas Pageant"
                                                found in An Amish Christmas Quilt

Other 'Ice Mountains' Books 
 
The Amish Bride of Ice Mountain


Other 'The Matchmakers of Huckleberry Hill' Books and Novellas

Huckleberry Hill
Huckleberry Summer
Huckleberry Christmas
"A Perfect Amish Christmas"
                                                          found in An Amish Christmas Quilt


Friday, December 5, 2014

"Breath of Spring" by Charlotte Hubbard

About the Book


Breath Of Spring 

As a bright season brings a fresh start to Willow Ridge, Annie Mae Knepp feels she can never make peace with the past. Her disgraced ex-bishop father is furious she has taken her five siblings to live with her. She's never been truly at home in her faith. . .or believing in herself. And Annie Mae fears no man will want to take on the responsibilities she's gladly shouldered. True, her quiet neighbor Adam Wagler has been steadfast and unshakeable helping her through her trials, but he surely couldn't think of someone so lost as more than a friend. Believing she is unworthy because of her doubts, Annie Mae will find in a moment of surprising revelation that God can work impossible miracles--and that love makes all things new.


Please visit Charlotte Hubbard's website


This book was released in May 2014
I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.


My Review

“Breath of Spring” by Charlotte Hubbard is the fourth book of her 'Seasons of the Heart' series and not the last one either, for “Harvest of Blessings' will be out in February 2015, and I just can't wait for it. I have to say that Ms. Hubbard wove a tale that I got lost in for I was up until 4:00 in the morning to just finish the story.  There was no point that I could put down the book so I could get to sleep for I just had to see what would happen next. 

Well 'the creep' that I have talked about in the last few reviews, has gone beyond being a creep to a demented villain. This creep turned villain has been apparently building in their ways through each book and has really shown their deeper character in this book, but I wonder how much more this character can sink into the depths of hatred. Though I haven't really cared for this character in the slightest bit from the very first book “Summer of Secrets”, I still hope that maybe there is something happens to change this creep back into someone so much better, or somehow just disappears all together.   I have also gotten to the point to where I think this character is not going to just stop like I thought in the first couple of books for well this character is just plain nuts.

This is Annie Mae's story and what an interesting story it is as well. Annie Mae is a young woman who has been making her own choices for some time as a way to rebel some but now her choices are being made with a different reasons. Her change of heart may have happened almost overnight but instead of there just suddenly being a change of heart, we are given the gift of seeing what helped Annie Mae change so quickly. Her heart has always been a loving one for it is clear how much she loves her family throughout the series even if she feels overwhelmed at times. Her determination to do what she knows is for the best shows just how strong Annie Mae is, even when she feels as if she took too much upon herself even for the best intentions that she has. 

Things are truly getting interesting in Willow Ridge with some new surprises coming along the way. Love is still growing strong but it also seems as if a new start is happening all through Willow Ridge as they are now entering a new era with all that has been happening. Characters that play such a major part of this book and prior books show how together they love, laugh and protect each other through some of the hardest times. The message here in this book seems to be that we are not some lone islands that must learn to handle everything alone, but with family and friends we stand stronger when we learn to lean on others at times. 

I hope that all who read this book enjoys it as much as I have, with the understanding they shouldn't start the book so close to their bedtime.


Other 'Season's of the Heart' Books and Novellas

Summer of Secrets
Autumn Winds
Winter of Wishes
"Kissing the Bishop"
                                                      found in An Amish Country Christmas
Breath of Spring
"A Willow Ridge Christmas Pageant"
                                                found in An Amish Christmas Quilt



Thursday, December 4, 2014

"An Amish Country Christmas" by Hubbard and King

About the Book


In Willow Ridge, Missouri, the Christmas season is a time when faith brings peace, family brings warmth and new romance brings sparkling joy. . .

Twins For Christmas
For spirited Martha Coblentz and her twin Mary, the snow has delivered the perfect holiday and birthday present to their door--handsome brothers Nate and Bram Kanagy. But when unforeseen trouble interrupts their season's good cheer, it will take unexpected intervention--and sudden understanding--to give all four the blessing of a lifetime. . .

Kissing The Bishop
As the year's first snow settles, Nazareth Hooley and her sister are given a heaven-sent chance to help newly widowed Tom Hostetler tend his home. But when her hope that she and Tom can build on the caring between them seems a dream forever out of reach, Nazareth discovers that faith and love can make any miracle possible. . .


Please visit Charlotte Hubbard's website


This book was released in October 2013
I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.


My Review

“An Amish Country Christmas” by Charlotte Hubbard and Naomi Kind is book that contains two novellas. I was surprised to see that both stories combine two great series. The two series are 'Home to Cedar Creek/One Big Happy Family' series by Naomi King and 'Seasons of the Heart' by Charlotte Hubbard. I didn't realize this came out when it did, otherwise I would have been starting on the 'Seasons of the Heart' series a whole lot sooner I am sure, for I would have gotten it to read the Naomi King story. 

“The Christmas Visitors” by Naomi King is a sweet story that takes place fairly quickly with the Coblentz twins (from 'Home to Cedar Creek' and 'One Big Happy Family' series) and the Kanagy brothers (from 'Seasons of the Heart' series'). 

I kind of enjoyed the spontaneity that both siblings displayed and how easy and laid back they could be, yet when things backfire, and they do at one point, the ones in the wrong were able to apologize and realize where they went wrong. 

I don't know if it was intentional on Ms. King's part to make it hard to know who was who when it came to the twins, or if it was just me having a hard time following along, but while reading the story I found it annoying. As I am sitting thinking about while typing up the review I am chuckling for if the reader can't always tell the twins apart, I can only imagine how Bram and Nate felt while in the situation at first. Now I have to wonder how hard or easy it was to write those conversations with the twins for Ms. King. 

I would have to say that though I have greatly enjoyed both series that these characters are a part of, all have a minor part in their respective series so that we don't really get a great depth of their characters. In this story with so many, Martha, Mary, Bram and Nate, I still didn't feel as if we got a whole deeper than before, but we do learn a few things about them that we didn't know before. The twins are still up to mischief and the Kanagy brothers are still hard workers, we just learn a tad more of what makes them tick. 

Over all this was a cute and sweet story that was perfect to read when I didn't have a lot of time to read a full book. 

“Kissing the Bishop” by Charlotte Hubbard is an interesting story with two romances happening. One couple is one that frankly is not a surprise to those who have been reading and enjoying 'Seasons of the Heart' series, and the other couple well that just took me by surprise. With that said I wont go into the other surprise couple for I would really hate to ruin that surprise for anyone. 

I have to say that the male half of the surprise couple is one I was always interested in learning more about for he just seems to be the type of a man who is honorable and so wise. I have to say that this character also surprised me beyond anything that I could fully explain for he was so up front and candid. I never thought that this was a guy who would be that candid but wow it really made him a little more special. 

Things are not easy for there are hurdles that both of these couples must work over and find a way to forge a new path for a future together. I enjoyed how things all worked out even though I really just wished that things would for once work out a lot smoother than in the last few weeks for Willow Ridge. Really it seems as if nothing runs smoothly in this little town, but I so enjoy how above all else love conquers it all.


Other 'Season's of the Heart' Books and Novellas

Summer of Secrets
Autumn Winds
Winter of Wishes
"Kissing the Bishop"
                                                      found in An Amish Country Christmas
Breath of Spring
"A Willow Ridge Christmas Pageant"
                                                found in An Amish Christmas Quilt



Wednesday, December 3, 2014

"Winter of Wishes" by Charlotte Hubbard

About the Book

Snow is falling, cookies are baking, and Christmas is just around the corner in Willow Ridge, Missouri, where a new season marks fresh beginnings for the residents of the tranquil Amish town. . .

Winter Of Wishes

As another year draws to a close in Willow Ridge, life seems to be changing for everyone but Rhoda Lantz. Her widowed mother is about to remarry, her sister is a busy newlywed, and soon Rhoda will be alone in her cozy apartment above the blacksmith's shop. An ad posted by an Englischer looking for someone to help with his mother and children may offer just the companionship she's looking for, but if she falls for the caring single father, she may risk being shunned by her community. Certain she can only wish for things she cannot have, Rhoda must remember that all things are possible with God, and nothing is stronger than the power of love.



Please visit Charlotte Hubbard's website


This book was released in September 2013
I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.


My Review

“Winter of Wishes” by Charlotte Hubbard is the third book in her 'Seasons of the Heart' series and what a roller coaster of a story it was at that. Here is a story that brings along a story line that I thought was resolved from the other books, only to see that it has grown and twisted into some interesting happenings. I just have also say that I loved the small connection that was mentioned near the end of the book to another series to where when I made the connection I just couldn't help but laugh out loud. 

I have to say that things happen so very fast there at the beginning, but with the explosion of emotions that develops, all that manages to happen is a small crack in the brick wall that separates the two worlds that are involved. Through the first half of the book while this explosion is taking place there is one of three things that is going to happen though I only really considered two of those options for the third seemed as if the are way too many complications to make that happen. Once the option that is going to be worked toward, the wall has so many hand holds but they don't always hold so another way must worked out to get around the little slip. 

Rhoda is a woman who has done some growing up throughout the other books and continues to do so in this book. Throughout all the books Rhoda is the one who seems to be the most sedate sister who doesn't want to cause problems, yet she loves with her whole heart. She is a woman who seems confident in just about all situations but she is also a woman who knows when a line has been crossed. Things in Rhoda's life sure haven't become simpler as the winter season comes upon them but what a ride we take with her. 

Andy is a man who at first seems to be at his wits end with so much going on that he isn't sure where to turn. Here is a hero is trying to do what is right for him and his family including switching jobs. There is a lot of changes happening but he is not making any changes without a great deal of thought for there are more than just himself to think about and he knows this. Above all else Andy is a man who can be counted on and is honorable. 

As I said before there is the story line that has been in the other two books, that I thought was resolved dealing with the character I have dubbed, 'the creep', but apparently the creep has come back with a vengeance and really went over the top this time around. I have to wonder if this character may have some kind of mental imbalance or if greed just became too valuable to this character they just no longer cared. I wonder what is going to happen next that is for sure. 

I hope that all who have been reading this series and this book, enjoys it as much as I have been.


Other 'Season's of the Heart' Books and Novellas

Summer of Secrets
Autumn Winds
Winter of Wishes
"Kissing the Bishop"
                                                      found in An Amish Country Christmas
Breath of Spring
"A Willow Ridge Christmas Pageant"
                                                found in An Amish Christmas Quilt



Tuesday, December 2, 2014

"Autumn Winds" by Charlotte Hubbard

About the Book

The leaves are falling and there's a chill in the air in Willow Ridge, Missouri, the quaint, quiet Amish town where love, loyalty, and faith in the Old Ways are about to be put to the test ...

Autumn Winds

Winds of change are blowing through Willow Ridge, and they're bringing a stranger to the Sweet Seasons Bakery. At first, widowed Miriam Lantz has misgivings about Ben Hooley, a handsome but rootless traveling blacksmith. But as she gets to know the kind-hearted newcomer, she wonders if his arrival was providential. Perhaps she could find love again--if only there weren't so many obstacles in the way. With Bishop Knepp relentlessly pursuing her hand in marriage and the fate of her beloved café at stake, Miriam must listen to God and her heart to find the happiness she longs for and the love she deserves. 




This book was released in September 2012
I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.


My Review

“Autumn Winds” by Charlotte Hubbard is the second book in her 'Season of the Heart' series and what a wonderful story. It is not often that I find myself having to put down a book because I am so embarrassed by something that is going on, but through the first part of the book, I had to do just that, but the story is written so well that well I was embarrassed by what was going on and fearing the worse things possible with this one situation. The well written story didn't stop when the situation was handled, for there was worry that something might still come from it, then of course there is the other stories that are going on through the story that once I got beyond those embarrassing moments, I couldn't put my book down. 

The creep from “Summer of Secrets” is back and a bigger creep than in “Summer of Secrets”. I kept waiting to see how this creep was going to be taken down a peg or two. Things were not so simple either for this story line takes several surprising twists and turns through out the book, but at the end of the story I was quite pleased with what happened and voiced it out loud with my pleasure. 

As for Miriam, we learn a lot more about this generous woman who loves serving others in her community. Though things are not easy for her, she holds steady to her faith above all else even when things look so very bleak and almost as if there is no way out. Miriam learns a few things even though she is a woman of 40 and a mom of three, and she learns them with humility. Things are happening pretty fast for her, but it is interesting in how everything starts and works out too. Normally I am not one for a short time frame story such as this but wow this really worked out really well. 

Ben is not your typical Amish man yet he still holds true to the Old Order and all its rules according to the Ordnung. Ben seems to be a man who knows that he is unusual with what he does, but yet he is sure there is a reason why he is the way he is. Ben though is a man who knows his heart which is pretty large for he is willing to help where he is needed, and gentle when the case needs to be. 

There are some really interesting twists and turns to this story as we watch it unfold, which helped keep this reader picking the book back up after putting it down as I said before. Though there are several different point of views through out the book, it was pretty easy to tell whose point of view we reading. There are also some pretty interesting new characters that are introduced in the book who really bring in some much needed humor as well. 

This is a book that I hope all who read this book, enjoy it as much as I did.


Other 'Season's of the Heart' Books and Novellas

Summer of Secrets
Autumn Winds
Winter of Wishes
"Kissing the Bishop"
                                                      found in An Amish Country Christmas
Breath of Spring
"A Willow Ridge Christmas Pageant"
                                                found in An Amish Christmas Quilt





Monday, December 1, 2014

"Summer of Secrets" by Chalotte Hubbard

About the Book


Overview
Welcome to Willow Ridge, Missouri! In this cozy Amish town along the banks of the river, the Old Ways are celebrated at the Sweet Seasons Bakery Café, and love is a gift God gives with grace. . .

Summer Of Secrets

Summer has come to Willow Ridge, but Rachel Lantz is looking forward to a whole new season in her life—marriage to strapping carpenter Micah Brenneman, her childhood sweetheart. When a strange Englischer arrives in the café claiming to be the long-lost sister of Rachel and her twin Rhoda, Rachel feels the sturdy foundation of her future crumbling—including Micah's steadfast love. As the days heat up and tempers flare, Rachel and Micah will learn that even when God's plan isn't clear, it will always lead them back to each other. . .




This book was released in February 2012
I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.


My Review

“Summer of Secrets” by Charlotte Hubbard is the first book of her 'Seasons of the Heart' series and a enjoyable start. Here is a story that is about trusting others when frankly everything looks about as bad as it can be and to not judge a book by its cover.

This story has several different point of views; Rachel, Micah, Miriam and another towards the end of the story, and they are pretty easy to tell whose point of view is whose. Each of their point of view is able to add another layer to this story of secrets, trust and not judging, for each one is seeing it in a totally different way. One of them is over joyed, another is looking beyond the cover, and the third is distrustful, and this is a story of how things are worked out above all else.

It how they work through all the different emotions that make this story so interesting.  Granted this is not a piece of cake for anyone for there are some pretty big hurdles to overcome but with grace those hurdles were jumped.  At times it seemed as if there would be a step forward only to have something that would force a step or two backwards.   Sure a part of that was from the creep but not always and that helped make the ending so much better.

Frankly I got the creeps from one character for I disliked this character from the moment that they showed up in the picture. There was just something that was so disturbing about this character that I really don't know how they got to the position in the community that they did for they just give off this creep vibe from the go. It takes talent in my opinion to be able to write a character that gives off the creep vibe so early on in a story without actually being the villain, but more of a just a royal pain such as this character.

With the huge shock that is received there is a lot of things that can happen, for things usually go one way or another, and for the way this goes, I found it pretty hard to put the book down. There is a great deal of growth in one of the characters that was worth watching the journey. With the shock that is received, things are not easy and at times things had to be fought for long and hard, within reason.

Truly I am looking forward to reading the rest of the books in the series for I truly want to see what happens with the creep character.


Other 'Season's of the Heart' Books and Novellas

Summer of Secrets
Autumn Winds
Winter of Wishes
"Kissing the Bishop"
                                                      found in An Amish Country Christmas
Breath of Spring
"A Willow Ridge Christmas Pageant"
                                                found in An Amish Christmas Quilt