The Rancher’s Mistletoe Bride (Wyoming Cowboys) by Jill Kemerer (review by Cathy)

The Rancher's Mistletoe Bride

About the book:

Wedding planner Lexi Harrington needs a manager for her inherited Wyoming ranch. Clint Romine is the perfect man for the job, but the ruggedly handsome cowboy soon presents a new dilemma—distraction. Lexi can’t fall for a small-town rancher when she’s planning to return to her big-city career after the holidays.

Home has always been elusive for former foster kid Clint. Working alongside Lexi at Rock Step Ranch feels too cozy—and too risky. Opening up to her means revealing a secret about his past that could jeopardize everything he holds dear. This Christmas, can Clint learn to trust Lexi with the truth…and with his heart.

 

My review (5-stars)

I loved absolutely everything about this book, including the cover!

Lexie and Clint are characters that I genuinely liked from the very beginning.  They are opposites, but much more alike than they think.  She’s a wedding planner and settled, he’s a rancher in need of a job, which brings him to Lexie’s ranch.  Clint is perfect for the job because Lexie is grief-stricken over the loss of her father and Clint has suffered a big loss of his own.    They each have their own strengths , they are just in a place in their lives where they need to rely on others for a while.

I loved the setting and the description of the ranch.   The author made me feel like I was actually there.  The story moved at a perfect pace, there was nothing that was hurried and yet at the same time, there was never a time that I felt the story dragged on.

In addition to the sweet romance, there’s an inspirational thread woven in which added to my enjoyment of the story.    I am looking forward to reading more in this series.

I recommend this book to readers that a enjoy clean and well written romance with memorable characters.

I received a complimentary copy of this book and was not required to write a review.  All opinions are my own.

 

 

 

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My Heart Belongs in the Shenandoah Valley by Andrea Boeshaar (review by Cathy)

my heart belongs in the shenandoah valley

About the book:

Journey into the Shenandoah Valley of 1816 where…
With Nothing Left, Lily May be Forced into a Loveless Marriage.

Captain McAlister “Mac” Albright has purchased land in the Shenandoah Valley. However, the land belongs to Lillyanna Laughlin—or so she erroneously thinks. Mac sets her straight about current laws, and despite a poor start, the two are becoming friends.

Then, while Mac is away on business, Lily is faced with the impossible decision of marrying a man twice her age or she and her brothers becoming homeless, as her late father gambled away their home and acreage. But with debts being called in, will Lily be forced to choose a loveless marriage just when she is discovering what true love could be? What can she possibly do? Will Mac return in time to spare Lily a lifetime of unhappiness?

More from My Heart Belongs in Series…
My Heart Belongs in Fort Bliss: Priscilla’s Reveille by Erica Vetsch (January 2017)
My Heart Belongs in the Superstition Mountains: Carmella’s Quandary by Susan Page Davis (March 2017)
My Heart Belongs in Ruby City, Idaho: Rebecca’s Plight by Susanne Dietze (May 2017)
My Heart Belongs on Mackinac Island: Maude’s Mooring by Carrie Fancett Pagels (July
2017)

 

My review (4-stars)

I am been a huge fan of the My Heart Belongs series and have discovered a few new to me authors including this one written by Andrea Boeshaar.

I liked Lily and Mac from the beginning and thoroughly enjoyed their first encounter!   She tugged at my heartstrings as it’s revealed that she’s left with two younger brothers to raise after the death of her father.  As she and Mac form a friendship, it’s clear that Everett is untrustworthy and doesn’t have Lily and her brothers best interests at heart. Which was sad because he claimed to be their guardian. He’s a jealous, manipulative man and no one needs that in their life!

The secondary characters are just as endearing which makes the story a bit more lighthearted.  There’s a bit of humor, a couple of sweet romances and an interesting storyline. 

If you like historical fiction, you’ll want to get a copy as soon as you can.

I received a complimentary copy of the book from the publisher and was not required to write a review. All opinions are my own.

 

The Beloved Christmas Quilt by Wanda E. Brunstetter, Jean Brunstetter, and Richelle Brunstetter (review by Kristi)

The Beloved Christmas Quilt

About the book:  One Quilt Binds Three Generations of Amish Women
Enjoy the gift of a brand new romance from New York Timesbestselling author Wanda E. Brunstetter, along with stories by her daughter-in-law, Jean and granddaughter, Richelle.

For thou art my rock and my fortress; therefore for thy name’s sake lead me, and guide me. Psalm 31:3
The scripture embroidered on the back of a beloved quilt brings hope to three generations of Pennsylvania Amish women at Christmastime.

Luella’s Promise
By Wanda E. Brunstetter
Luella Ebersol has been caregiver for a dying woman and her young son. When Dena Lapp gives Luella her favorite quilt, she makes Luella promise to pass it down to her daughter. But Luella isn’t sure she will ever marry if she can’t find someone with maturity and faith like Dena’s husband Atlee Zook.

Karen’s Gift
By Jean Brunstetter
Karen Allgyer and her husband moved to a slow-paced village to raise their children, but Karen longs for the closeness of family to help her through the challenges of managing three girls with one on the way. When life’s pressures rise, will Karen cave to her fears?

Roseanna’s Groom
By Richelle Lynn Brunstetter
When the unexpected happens on the day of her wedding, Roseanna Allgyer can’t help blaming herself, despite not understanding why. Then an old friend returns to town, and she battles feeling for him—afraid of being hurt again.

Published September 1, 2017, by Shiloh Run Press

 

My review:  There was so much to love about this collection of novellas. I’ve been reading Wanda Brunstetter books since my introduction to the Amish fiction genre. I have enjoyed the stories she has co-authored with her daughter-in-law, Jean and now with granddaughter Richelle writing there is even more to love. This book was a quick read for me and I enjoyed every bit of it.

Wanda E. Brunstetter does a fantastic job of setting the scene and the tone for the book. In Luella’s Promise, readers get to meet Luella and are introduced to the quilt with the special Bible verse. This story was both heartbreaking and sweet.

Jean Brunstetter does a splendid job of taking the reigns from Wanda for the second story in the book, Karen’s Gift. I liked this story and I really like Jean’s writing style. It is so much like her mother-in-law’s but she has added her own touch and really makes the story her own. It was interesting to read of Karen’s and Seth’s problems and how they dealt with them.

Richelle Brunstetter’s debut story, Roseanna’s Groom, is wonderful. Her writing style is similar to her grandmother’s and mother’s yet she has her own special way of telling a story. I found her writing easy to read and I can’t wait to read more from her. Roseanna’s story is full of heartache and hope. I was left guessing until the end as to what Roseanna was going to do.

I loved that these three stories about three generations of women were written by three generations of Brunstetters. The writing style of all three is similar yet a bit different so the stories are seamless yet readers know they are reading stories by three different authors. I enjoyed reading about each generation and what the quilt represented to them. It was neat that the quilt tied the stories together and it wasn’t just three stories about three women in the same family. The quilt really allowed each author explore their character and yet kept them true to the overall story.

Fans of Amish fiction are sure to love this book. This would also be a great way to introduce someone to the genre. Three authors with three heartfelt stories that are great reads for Christmas or any time of the year. Definitely a book for the keeper shelf!

I received a free copy of this book from the publisher and was not required to write a review. All opinions are mine.

 

 

An Amish Christmas Love by Beth Wiseman, Amy Clipston, Kelly Irvin, and Ruth Reid (review by Kristi)

An Amish Christmas Love

About the book:  Winter Kisses by Beth Wiseman

Three generations of Stoltzfus women are all living under the same roof. At twenty-five, Naomi has never been married, and both her mother, Barbara, and her grandmother, Ruth, have recently been widowed. Each nursing broken or lonely hearts, they also each have potential suitors. When a storm on Christmas Eve forces the three couples to take shelter in the basement of the Stotlzfus homestead, secrets are revealed, hearts are opened, and all three potential grooms drop to their knees for very different reasons a proposal, a prayer, and an epiphany.

The Christmas Cat by Amy Clipston

Emma Bontrager is spending her first Christmas alone after her husband of 45 years, Henry, passed away in July. Although the Amish don t normally allow animals in their homes, a big, fat, orange barn cat keeps coming into Emma s house. She shoos the cat away, but it continues to appear in her house, settling on Henry s favorite wingchair. But the cat isn t the only Christmas visitor: a group of young people help bring the Christmas spirit to Emma, reminding her that love and hope abide.

Snow Angels by Kelly Irvin

As a young man enjoying hisrumspringa, David Byler gave his heart to an Englisch girl, but he eventually realized he couldn t give up his Plain faith and family for her, so he let her go. He s found a new love in his Bee County Plain community, Molly Shrock. Molly has been patient, waiting for the man she loves to love her back. Just as he is ready to propose, David makes a startling discover: Bobbie McGregor, his Englisch love, is back. Will Molly s prayers for a Christmas love be answered?

Home for Christmas by Ruth Reid

When a misdirected GPS sends Ellie Whetstone to the wrong address, she inadvertently finds herself breaking into the home of Amish man, Ezra Mast. Ellie hopes to fix up the house left by her aenti and sell it quickly, but a series of run-ins with Ezra and his young daughter have her questioning whether a hasty sale is the right move. Could this new place with its slower pace be the right home for Ellie?

Published September 12, 2017, by Thomas Nelson

 

My review:  There’s a reason I’m a reluctant fan of novellas. Not all stories are meant to be told quickly. I felt like some of the stories in this collection were too rushed and not complete. Two stories were well done and two needed a bit more work. Here’s my take on each story:

Winter Kisses by Beth Wiseman

This story sounded interesting with three generations of women possibly finding love with the renters of their daadihaus. For me, there were too many characters in the book and each couple’s story seemed rush. While the story was nice enough it may have been better told as a novel with more time spent on each couple.

The Christmas Cat by Amy Clipston

This is one of the novellas that was done right. I loved how the story was told in present day with flashbacks to Emma and Henry’s life together. There were enough happy moments mixed in with Emma’s grief over the loss of her husband that the story wasn’t overly depressing. And Hank the cat was probably my favorite character.

Snow Angels by Kelly Irvin

I felt like I was missing something in this story. It was like I should have known the backstory of the characters but had missed out on it. The premise of the story was good and there was enough conflict to keep me guessing what would happen. While not one of my favorites of the collection the story was ok.

Home for Christmas by Ruth Reid

There is just something about Ruth Reid’s writing that pulls me into the story and holds my interest until the end. The more I read from this author the more I like her. This novella (the longest in the collection, I believe) reads more like a novel. It was nice seeing the characters grow and change over the course of the story. The storyline was different which is something I’ve come to expect from this author and quite enjoy. The story and the author’s writing style made this one of my favorites of the collection.

Fans of Amish fiction are sure to enjoy these stories by four of the genre’s leading authors. This collection would also make a nice gift for the reader in your family.

I received a free copy from the publisher and was not required to write a review. All opinions are mine.

 

 

The Beloved Christmas Quilt: Three stories of Family, Romance and Amish Faith by Wanda E. Brunstetter, Jean Brunstetter and Richelle Brunstetter (review by Cathy)

The Beloved Christmas Quilt

 

About the book:

One Quilt Binds Three Generations of Amish Women
Enjoy the gift of a brand new romance from New York Times bestselling author Wanda E. Brunstetter, along with stories by her daughter-in-law, Jean and granddaughter, Richelle.

For thou art my rock and my fortress; therefore for thy name’s sake lead me, and guide me. Psalm 31:3
The scripture embroidered on the back of a beloved quilt brings hope to three generations of Pennsylvania Amish women at Christmastime.

Luella’s Promise
By Wanda E. Brunstetter
Luella Ebersol has been caregiver for a dying woman and her young son. When Dena Lapp gives Luella her favorite quilt, she makes Luella promise to pass it down to her daughter. But Luella isn’t sure she will ever marry if she can’t find someone with maturity and faith like Dena’s husband Atlee Zook.

Karen’s Gift
By Jean Brunstetter
Karen Allgyer and her husband moved to a slow-paced village to raise their children, but Karen longs for the closeness of family to help her through the challenges of managing three girls with one on the way. When life’s pressures rise, will Karen cave to her fears?

Roseanna’s Groom
By Richelle Lynn Brunstetter
When the unexpected happens on the day of her wedding, Roseanna Allgyer can’t help blaming herself, despite not understanding why. Then an old friend returns to town, and she battles feeling for him—afraid of being hurt again.

 

 

My review (4-stars)

A delightful and heartwarming collection. The three stories were woven together with three generations and one special quilt.
I loved that the precious quilt meant so much to so many as it was passed down from the first story in the book until the last person in the book.
I have to say that I found the writing of Richelle to be very much to my liking and I look forward to reading more of her work. I knew that I would enjoy the writing of both Wanda and Jean.
This is a definite keeper and I’ll read it again closer to Christmas.
This would be the perfect Christmas gift for a loved one.
I received a complimentary copy from the publisher and was not required to give a positive review. All opinions are my own.

 

My Heart Belongs in the Shenandoah Valley: Lily’s Dilemma by Andrea Boeshaar (review by Kristi)

my heart belongs in the shenandoah valley

About the book:  Journey into the Shenandoah Valley of 1816 where…
With Nothing Left, Lily May be Forced into a Loveless Marriage.

Captain McAlister “Mac” Albright has purchased land in the Shenandoah Valley. However, the land belongs to Lillyanna Laughlin—or so she erroneously thinks. Mac sets her straight about current laws, and despite a poor start, the two are becoming friends.

Then, while Mac is away on business, Lily is faced with the impossible decision of marrying a man twice her age or she and her brothers becoming homeless, as her late father gambled away their home and acreage. But with debts being called in, will Lily be forced to choose a loveless marriage just when she is discovering what true love could be?  What can she possibly do? Will Mac return in time to spare Lily a lifetime of unhappiness?

Published September 1, 2017, by Barbour Books

 

My review:  The best part of this book for me was that it didn’t follow the usual “guy meets girl, they don’t like each other, then they fall in love” formula. Lily and Mac were hesitant of each other but there is definitely an attraction there that made the characters come to life and the story fun to read.

I liked Lily right off the bat and I liked Mac just as much. Mac’s friend Blake was a nice addition to the story with his friendship and humor. I really liked that Lily was bold and wasn’t afraid to tell Mac what she thought and how she felt. I’m sure this was unusual for the time but she did it in a way that was tactful so it didn’t seem unrealistic. I also liked Lily’s intelligence and spirit. She was young but mature enough to care for her two younger brothers who were a bit of a handful. Aunt Hilda lent a feeling of home to the story. Mr. Everett seemed sneaky and slimy from the beginning and I was glad to see that Mac was on to him and also Lily wasn’t easy to pull one over on.

Mac and Lily had personalities that both matched and balanced each other. I liked their (not quite a) friendship from the beginning. I enjoyed reading about their friendship and perhaps budding love for each other. The author did a great job in creating characters that were dimensional and easy to like. I enjoyed getting to know them and spending time with them in the pages of the book.

I also liked the author’s writing style and her use of words to paint descriptions of the setting of the book. Whether in the Shenandoah Valley or Alexandria I felt like I was there right along with the characters. The pace of the book is good as well as the story is constantly progressing and never stalls or becomes boring.

This story is a great addition to the My Heart Belongs series. It fits the series well with a strong female lead character and a man who is the perfect match for her. I think this will be an enjoyable read for fans of historical fiction.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher and was not required to write a review. All opinions are mine.

 

About the author:  Andrea Kuhn Boeshaar has been married for more than 30 years. She and her husband, Daniel, have three adult sons, daughters-in-law, and two precious grandchildren. Andrea’s educational background includes the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee, where she studied in English, and Alverno College where she studied in Professional Communications and Business Management.

Andrea has been writing stories and poems since she was a little girl; however, it wasn’t until 1984 that she started submitting her work for publication. Eight years after that, she was convicted about writing for the Christian market. She read books in her genre (Inspirational Romance & Women’s Fiction), studied the market, and worked hard to hone her craft.

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