Reviews

An Amish Reunion by Amy Clipston, Beth Wiseman, Kathleen Fuller, Kelly Irvin

ReunionFrom bestselling authors in the Amish genre come four stories about reuniting with those you love.

Their True Home by Amy Clipston

When Marlene Bawell moved from Bird-in-Hand ten years ago, she was in the deepest of mourning for her mother. Now her family has moved back so her father can seek employment after being laid off. To help save money, Marlene works at the hardware store owned by Rudy Swarey’s father. She knew Rudy growing up and had a secret crush on him, though he never seemed to notice her. But just as a friendship between them begins to blossom, her life is once again turned upside down. Will Marlene ever have a chance to find her own true home?

A Reunion of Hearts by Beth Wiseman

Ruth and Gideon Beiler experienced one of life’s most tragic events. Unable to get past their grief, the couple abandoned their Amish faith and went in different directions, though neither could bear to formally dissolve the marriage. When their loved ones reach out to them to come home for a family reunion, Ruth has reason to believe that Gideon won’t be there. Gideon also thinks that Ruth has declined the invitation. Family and friends are rooting for them to reunite, but will it all be enough for Ruth and Gideon to get past their grief and recapture a time when they were in love and had a bright future ahead of them?

A Chance to Remember by Kathleen Fuller

Cevilla Schlabach, Birch Creek’s resident octogenarian matchmaker, is surprised when Richard, a man from her Englisch past, arrives in Birch Creek for a visit. While he and Cevilla take several walks down memory lane, they wonder what the future holds for them at this stage of life—friendship, or the possibility of something else?

Mended Hearts by Kelly Irvin

At eighteen Hannah Kauffman made a terrible mistake. Her parents and members of her Jamesport Amish community say they’ve forgiven her. But she feels their eyes following her everywhere she goes with eighteen-month-old Evie. Thaddeus, Evie’s father, escaped this fate by running away from Jamesport. Now that Thaddeus is gone, Hannah’s old friend Phillip is stepping up to be by her side. He has waited patiently for Hannah to realize just how much he cares for her. But when Thaddeus returns after two years, Hannah can’t deny the love she feels for him. Does the fact that Phillip has waited patiently for her all this time mean that she owes him something? Can she trust either one of them? Can she trust herself? She has repented and been forgiven by the One who is most important—her heavenly Father. But is she willing to risk making more mistakes by opening herself up to love?

Each time I read novellas by these four authors I’m amazed how they can tell such a complete, compelling story in such a short time frame. And they’ve done it once again.

Instead of leaving a review for each story, let me say that they are all incredible. I love the characters, I love the settings. I love everything about these stories. You’ll see old friends again and meet new friends. Riveting story lines will keep you turning the pages to see what’s next.

As always, it’s refreshing to read about people who take life slower than we do, who understand the importance of God and family, and who are not perfect. The romances are clean and suitable for even the teenage reader. I highly recommend An Amish Reunion!

I received a complimentary copy of this book but was not required to leave a review.

 

The Governess of Penwythe Hall by Sarah Ladd

GovernessLaunching a brand-new series, beloved Regency author Sarah E. Ladd shares the tale of a governess who would risk anything to protect five recently orphaned children—even if it means returning to Cornwall.

Cornwall was in her blood, and Delia feared she’d never escape its hold.

Cornwall, England, 1811

Blamed for her husband’s death, Cordelia Greythorne fled Cornwall and accepted a governess position to begin a new life. Years later her employer’s unexpected death and his last request for her to watch over his five children force her to reevaluate. She can’t abandon the children now that they’ve lost both parents, but their new guardian lives at the timeworn Penwythe Hall . . . back on the Cornish coast she’s tried desperately to forget.

Jac Twethewey is determined to revive Penwythe Hall’s once-flourishing apple orchards, and he’ll stop at nothing to see his struggling estate profitable again. He hasn’t heard from his brother in years, so when his nieces, nephews, and their governess arrive unannounced, he battles both grief at his brother’s death and bewilderment over this sudden responsibility. Jac’s priorities shift as the children take up residence in the ancient halls, but their secretive governess—and the mystery shrouding her past—proves to be a disruption to his carefully laid plans.

Rich with family secrets, lingering danger, and the captivating allure of new love, this first book in the Cornwall series introduces us to the Twethewey family and their search for peace, justice, and love on the Cornish coast.

Author Sarah Ladd does a superb job of putting her reader in England during the Regency era. I enjoyed each page of this book. Her characters are well developed and realistic to that era. The descriptions of events and the countryside are enthralling.

With emphasis on family, we also read about secrets, smugglers, and danger. And of course a light romance thrown in for good measure. Overcoming grief and looking to the future added to the realism of this story.

The Governess of Penwythe Hall was a treat to read! I’m looking forward to the next book in the series.

I received a complimentary copy of this book but was not required to leave a review.

 

A Silken Thread by Kim Vogel Sawyer

threadFor readers who love a heartwarming romance and a rich historical setting comes a tale of a young woman with a heavy burden, the International Cotton Exposition, and the pursuit of true love.

 

Eighteen-year-old Laurel Millard, youngest of seven children, is expected to stay home and “take care of Mama” by her older siblings, but Laurel has dreams of starting her own family. Operating a silk loom at the Atlanta Exposition will give her the chance to capture the heart of a man wealthy enough to take care of Laurel and any children she might bear, as well as her mother.

Langdon Rochester’s parents have given him an ultimatum: settle down with a wife or lose his family inheritance. At the Exposition, Langdon meets Laurel. Marrying her would satisfy his parents command, she would look lovely on his arm for social events, and in her besotted state, he believes she would overlook him continuing pursuing rowdy adventures with his unmarried buddies. Langdon decides to woo Laurel. Willie Sharp is not well-off and must take on an extra job at the Atlanta Exposition as a security guard. When mischief-makers cause trouble in the Women’s Building, Willie is put in charge of keeping the building secure. He enjoys visiting with Laurel, who seems like the little sister he never had, but his feelings for Laurel change to something much deeper. Can Willie convince Laurel that he can give her better life–even with so little to offer?

Author Vogel Sawyer takes on such subjects as racism and classism, and does it well. The history of 1895 is well written and kept my interest. Learning about the Atlanta Cotton Exposition aroused my curiosity and kept me reading, as did learning about silk weaving.

The characters in this story were strongly developed. Some I liked and some I didn’t. Some I couldn’t decide about. All the qualities of a good book.

Very engrossing, romance and mystery were throughout the story as was the theme of depending on God. Vogel Sawyer isn’t shy about Christianity but there is nothing preachy about this story. If you enjoy Christian historical fiction you’ll enjoy this book.

I received a complimentary copy of this book but was not required to leave a review.

 

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