Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Ties that Bind

Book description:  "Twenty-year-old Ariana Brenneman loves her family and the Old Ways. She has two aspirations: open a café in historic Summer Grove to help support her family’s ever-expanding brood and to keep any other Amish from being lured into the Englisch life by Quill Schlabach. 

Five years ago Quill, along with her dear friend Frieda, ran off together, and Ariana still carries the wounds of that betrayal. When she unexpectedly encounters him, she soon realizes he has plans to help someone else she loves leave the Amish.  

Despite how things look, Quill’s goal has always been to protect Ariana from anything that may hurt her, including the reasons he left. After returning to Summer Grove on another matter, he unearths secrets about Ariana and her family that she is unaware of. His love and loyalty to her beckons him to try to win her trust and help her find a way to buy the café—because when she learns the truth that connects her and a stranger named Skylar Nash, Quill knows it may upend her life forever." 

My review:  This book was amazing!  After reading the first chapter, I knew this was going to be a book that I couldn't put down.  It left me on the edge of my seat until the last chapter, and I will continue to be on the edge of my seat until the next book in this series comes out.  Reading this book will leave you emotionally wrung out as you experience the emotions of each of the characters. While this book is mainly about Ariana, there are several characters with stories all their own and as you read you want to know as much about each of them as you can.  Ms. Woodsmall has started an amazing new series with plenty of stories to tell.  While I can't wait to see what happens with Ariana and Quill, I would love to follow the stories of other members of Ariana's family as well.  Although not your typical Amish fiction, if you enjoy reading books about the Amish, this is a must read!  I received a complimentary e-copy of this book from the publisher through the Blogging for Books blogger program in exchange for an honest review.  All opinions are my own.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Love Everlasting

Book description:  "Growing up in a Seattle bridal finishing school never prepared Abrianna Cunningham to become one of the brides, but now Wade Ackerman, who has always been the reliable boy next door, is indicating he wants to be more than friends. And even the people closest to Abrianna believe Wade is the man she should marry. So why is she having such a hard time choosing between Wade Ackerman and Priam Welby?

Watching Welby's relentless pursuit of Abrianna is making Wade's blood boil. Welby can offer her wealth and security, but what about character and integrity? Surely Abrianna can see past Welby's smooth tongue and fine clothes. Can't she?

Caught between the devil and the boy next door, either choice she makes will change Abrianna's life forever."

My review:  This is the third and final book in the Brides of Seattle series.  I do recommend that this series be read in order.  I have enjoyed following the life of Abrianna especially.  There is never a dull moment when she is around.  The aunts also add to the fun of the story-line and gave me many a chuckle throughout the series.  Ms. Peterson wrapped up the series quite satisfactorily with this final book and even threw in a few unexpected twists to keep the reader on her toes. This is a fun quick read by one of my favorite authors.  I received a complimentary e-copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for an honest review.  All opinions are my own. 

When Love Returns

Book description:  "It wasn’t easy to move back to the Old Order Mennonite community from which quiet, responsible Suzanne Zimmerman was shamefully sent away as a pregnant teen. Returning twenty years later to take care of her mother, Suzanne and Alexa—the daughter she raised as her own—have spent months rebuilding relationships with her family. 

Now with the upcoming wedding of their biological daughter,  Suzanne and Paul find themselves drawn to one another once again—but with new challenges to face. They have been single parents with painful pasts. Can Paul and Suzanne find the strength to rebuild the loving relationship that was torn apart by their teen pregnancy so long ago? 

Suzanne must also let go of Alexa as she heads back to Indianapolis to visit friends--and as her chance to find her birth parents. Leaving the bed-and-breakfast in Suzanne’s apprehensive hands, Alexa embarks on a journey that will certainly change her life completely. Can mother and daughter trust God to restore all things in His timing?"

My review:  When Love Returns is the final book in The Zimmerman Restoration Trilogy.  I hate to see this series come to an end, but this final book did not disappoint.  As with the first two books, I could not put this one down. I do recommend that this series only be read in order.  This final book ties together all the loose ends and answers the remaining questions that were raised in the first two books.  Ms. Sawyer has woven an intricately detailed story that is full of real characters and emotions.  As a reader, I felt like I knew the characters personally. I can only hope that Ms. Sawyer includes these characters in future stories.  They became like family and I don't want to lose track of them.  I received a complimentary e-copy of this book from the publisher through the Blogging for Books blogger program in exchange for an honest review.  All opinions are my own.

A Reluctant Bride

Book description:  "When tragedy strikes an independent Amish woman, she must accept a marriage proposal from the man she vowed never to marry.
As the oldest daughter in an Amish family, Sadie's life was mapped out since the day she was born. She would join the church, marry an Amish man, and eventually she and her husband would take over her family's store. But when her parents unexpectedly die in a buggy accident, her life goes into a tailspin. Determined to keep her parents' legacy alive, Sadie works harder than ever to provide for herself and her younger sisters.
However, the bishop is unwilling to let a young woman manage the property and business all on her own. He gives Sadie two choices: marry his son, Aden, or relinquish the business and land to the community. Not willing to give up on her dream, she weds Aden, resigning herself to a loveless marriage.
But while working with Aden at the store, Sadie realizes he isn't the same boy who had betrayed her in the past. In fact, she begins to look forward to the time they spend together, getting to know the man with a kind heart and gentle smile. Just when Sadie starts to let her guard down and perhaps develop feelings for her new husband, several dangerous secrets are revealed. Now everything Sadie has worked so hard to protect is threatened, and she must find a way to save her family-and herself."

My review:  A Reluctant Bride is an amazingly gripping story!  It is also not your typical Amish story.  The author, Kathleen Fuller, tackles some very difficult topics and handles them very well. It is a very moving story and kept me on the edge of my seat.  I couldn't put it down.  The characters are so very real, and the struggles they endured carried a powerful message.  No matter how simple and set-apart from the world you try and live, we are all sinners and no belief is exempt from sinful struggles and practices.  I am looking forward to the next book by this author.  I received a complimentary e-copy of this book from the publisher through the Booklook Blogger Program in exchange for an honest review.  All opinions are my own.

The Photograph

Book description:  "When her sister Lily disappears only months after their widowed mother's passing, Eva Esch fears she has been wooed away from the People. Yet Lily's disappearance isn't Eva's only concern: She and her sisters must relocate once their older brother takes over the family farmhouse. Then Jed Stutzman, an Amish buggy maker from Ohio, shows up in Eden Valley with a photo of a Plain young woman. Eva feels powerfully drawn to the charming stranger--but the woman in the forbidden photograph is no stranger at all. . . "
My review:  Once again Beverly Lewis was written another intriguing story.  Wonderful characters, engaging story-line, and a few twists work together to make this another five-star book. The Photograph is another story that highlights the faith of the Amish and their simple ways in a way that pulls you into the story and leaves you sad when it is finished. Although it is a quick read, it is one that I didn't want to put down. I received a complimentary e-copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for an honest review.  All opinions are my own. 

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Counting on a Cowboy

Book description:  "After losing everything dear to her, Abby never wants to love again. But a certain cowboy spurs her to wonder if maybe love is worth the risk.
Running from a past that haunts her, Abby Knightly is drawn to the homey town of Wishing Springs, Texas, after her favorite advice columnist found love and a home there. Maybe this small town could offer hope and healing and a future for Abby too . . . if she's brave enough to reach out and take it.
Bo Monahan isn't interested in the new romantic destination his little town has become-or the women who might be looking at him like he's their next Mr. Right. Between taking care of his Pops and his growing stirrup business, he isn't looking for serious romantic commitments. But unexpectedly the young child he never knew about appears on his doorstep and Bo's world is turned upside down.
This confirmed bachelor might not need a wife, but he sure needs a woman . . . and newcomer Abby Knightly is definitely a woman. When she comes to his rescue to help him navigate fatherhood, he slowly uncovers her own history. And suddenly Bo's thinking maybe, just maybe, together they can help each other work through the problems of the past to create a future of their own."

My review:  This book was a fun quick read.  It is the second in a series, but it can certainly stand-alone.  Abby and Bo both have serious issues they are dealing with, and Ms. Clopton handles these sensitive topics in a very appropriate way.  Not only did I enjoy the story of Abby and Bo, I also really loved the character Pebble.  Her story plays a minor role, but it is still very important.  This book is definitely fiction, but even though there was quite a bit in the book that was unrealistic, I still really enjoyed it. I received a complimentary e-copy of this book from the publisher through the Booklook Blogger Program in exchange for an honest review.  All opinions are my own.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Falling Like Snowflakes

Book description:  "Speeding north through rural Maine, Eden Martelli wonders how her life came to this—on the run with her mute five-year-old son dozing fitfully in the passenger seat. When a breakdown leaves them stranded in Summer Harbor, Eden has no choice but to stay put through Christmas . . . even though they have no place to lay their heads.
Beau Callahan is a habitual problem solver—for other people anyway. He left the sheriff’s department to take over his family’s Christmas tree farm, but he’s still haunted by the loss of his parents and struggling to handle his first Christmas alone.
When Eden shows up looking for work just as Beau’s feisty aunt gets out of the hospital, Beau thinks he’s finally caught a break. Eden is competent and dedicated—if a little guarded—and a knockout to boot. But, as he soon finds out, she also comes with a boatload of secrets.
Eden has been through too much to trust her heart to another man, but Beau is impossible to resist, and the feeling seems to be mutual. As Christmas Eve approaches, Eden’s past catches up to her.
Beau will go to the ends of the earth to keep her safe. But who’s going to protect his heart from a woman who can’t seem to trust again?"

My review:  I stayed up way too late reading this book!  I couldn't put it down.  Having just read Married till Monday, I was looking forward to reading Falling Like Snowflakes, and I was not disappointed!  This book is a perfect mix of romance and suspense, and the ending was not as totally predictable as I thought it would be. I loved the characters and look forward to meeting up with them again in the next book in this series.  I received a complimentary e-copy of this book from the publisher through the Booklook Blogger Program in exchange for an honest review.  All opinions are my own.