Reviews

Dinah’s Dilemma by Linda Shenton Matchett

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Will she have to run from the past for the rest of her life?

Dinah Simpkins has no chance of making a good marriage. Her outlaw brothers and her father’s gambling addiction have ruined the family’s reputation. Then the Westward Home and Hearts Matrimonial Agency provides an opportunity for a fresh start. After Dinah arrives in Nebraska, she discovers her brothers played a part in the death of her prospective groom’s first wife.

As a former Pinkerton detective Nathan Childs knows when someone is lying. The bride sent by the matrimonial agency may be beautiful, but she’s definitely hiding something, and he has no intention of marrying her until he uncovers the truth. But an easier solution may be to send her packing. Then his young daughter goes missing. He and Dinah must put aside their mutual hurt and mistrust to find her.

The mail order bride trope is one of my favorites. I can’t imagine leaving all I know to travel across the country and marry a stranger. Yet it sounds like it could be exciting, and author Linda Shenton Matchett makes it even more so. Matchett, once again, does a good job with historical facts and weaves them into a compelling story. Add in spiritual faith and it’s even better.

Dinah travels far away to escape a family that has defined her. Nathan is grieving, but his daughter needs a mother more than he needs a wife. Dinah’s Dilemma contains all the emotions you would expect and possibly can relate to. Add in suspense and mystery and you won’t want to put it down. Matchett has become a favorite author and I highly recommend this book.

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

A Christmas in the Alps by Melody Carlson

After a time of heartache and loss, Simone Winthrop discovers a tantalizing letter from her French great-grandmother, which seems to suggest that she is heir to a family treasure. Ever practical, Simone assumes the claim is baseless, but her best friend encourages her to find out for sure. Despite her deep-rooted fear of flying, Simone boards a jet to travel to Paris at Christmastime to uncover the truth.

During the long flight, Simone meets the charming Kyle Larsson, who’s on his way to France to become an apprentice clockmaker. Though they abruptly part ways, an unexpected rendezvous in the French Alps at Simone’s family’s clock factory may lead to the discovery of the family treasure . . . and so much more.

For anyone who is wearying of staying home, Melody Carlson invites you to spend Christmas with her in the beautiful French Alps this year. So pull on your mittens, tie your scarf tight, and prepare yourself for a magical mountain holiday.

Author Melody Carlson writes an easy to read Christmas book that will transport you to France for the holiday. I loved the descriptions Carlson wrote; they were beautiful. And although I hate flying it tempted me to go some time.

A typical Carlson Christmas story, not full of a lot of drama but heartwarming with teachable moments as Simone learns where her treasure really is. The characters are all lovable and some that I would enjoy spending time with.

A quick, relaxing story, I recommend it if you enjoy contemporary Christmas stories.

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

Purchase here

Beyond the Tides by Liz Johnson

When Meg Whitaker’s father decides to sell the family’s lobster-fishing business to her high school nemesis, she sets out to prove she should inherit it instead. Though she’s never had any interest in running the small fleet–or even getting on a boat due to her persistent seasickness–she can’t stand to see Oliver Ross take over. Not when he ruined her dreams for a science scholarship and an Ivy League education ten years ago.

Oliver isn’t proud of what he did back then. Angry and broken by his father walking out on his family, he lashed out at Meg–an innocent bystander. But owning a respected fishing fleet on Prince Edward Island is the opportunity of a lifetime, and he’s not about to walk away just because Meg wants him to.

Meg’s father has the perfect solution: Oliver and Meg must work the business together, and at the end of the season, he’ll decide who gets it. Along the way, they may discover that their stories are more similar than they thought . . . and their dreams aren’t what they expected.

Bestselling author Liz Johnson invites you back to Prince Edward Island for a brand-new series about family, forgiveness, and the kind of love that heals all wounds.

Author Liz Johnson starts a new series based on Prince Edward Island. I love reading about the island, because who hasn’t seen Anne of Green Gables? It’s so fun to return to PEI. And I honestly learned quite a bit about lobster-fishing, which I enjoyed. 

Beyond the Tides is a story about family. About the hurts and disappointments that can happen in life. And about forgiveness. We journey with the wonderful characters as they come to terms with some difficult things, learning that God is always there.

The book does talk about a terminal illness but also about making memories while you have the time with that person. It’s done in such a caring way that most people won’t be upset by it.

I’m so looking forward to book two. I can only guess it’s about one of Oliver’s brothers. I hope it is! If you enjoy Christian contemporary romance that’s clean and uplifting, then I recommend Beyond the Tides.

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

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Lost and Found Faith by Laurel Blount

A terrible tragedy nearly broke him.

Can love put him back together again?

Widowed history teacher Neil Hamilton has lost his way—at work, with people and even with his faith. But Neil’s shut-down existence is disrupted when a small toddler and his would-be foster mother, vibrantly pretty Maggie Byrne, come crashing into Neil’s yard and his life. Can this absentminded teacher find himself again…and take a chance on love, too?

Oh my. Read this book by author Laurel Blount. It has all the feels, from Maggie who wants to love a child of her own, to Neil who is afraid of love, and little Oliver who will steal your heart.

Blount writes a story of profound loss, both of faith and family. We see a spiritual struggle happening because of deep hurts. And we see unconditional love bring that person back to God. I loved the faith journey in this book because who of us hasn’t been wounded, scared, and angry? God understands and draws us back to Him.

This story contains abandonment, foster care, and adoption. Yet it is written with such heart, so gently, that it isn’t uncomfortable but full of hope and love.

I enjoyed the pace and the gentle unfolding of romance between Neil and Maggie. And Oliver. That little man is adorable and so well written as he walks his own path of forgiveness and acceptance. Wonderful characters!

If you enjoy Christian contemporary fiction then you must read Lost and Found Faith!

A Summer Amish Courtship and Amish Reckoning by Emma Miller and Jocelyn McClay

A Summer Amish Courtship by Emma Miller

After a sudden heartbreaking loss, young widow Abigail Stolz must somehow help her troubled son adjust—even if it means working with Jamie’s stern schoolmaster, Ethan Miller. Much to her surprise, Ethan is actually a sensitive man who is also grieving—and lonely. But will family duty and the past keep them from a chance at happiness together?

Amish Reckoning by Jocelyn McClay

A new client is just what Gail Lapp’s horse transportation business needs to survive. But as the single mom works with Amish horse trader Samuel Schrock, she’s pulled back into the world she left behind. And even though returning to her Amish life is enticing, it isn’t possible if she wants to keep the truth about her past hidden…

I thoroughly enjoyed this 2 in 1 set of stories. Both authors wrote unique stories with circumstances that I haven’t read about before.

From a troubled child with a Mamm who has spoiled him, to a female horse trucker who is lost in the English world, I honestly fell in love with the characters. Well developed, yes, but also finding their way through troubles with the help of community and God. Something we can all relate to and are drawn to.

Lots of spot on details about grieving, acting out, horse trading, and more, with humor and heartwarming moments thrown in, make these books enjoyable and some I can see myself returning to. If you enjoy Amish fiction then I highly recommend these stories. 

Undercurrent of Secrets by Rachel Scott McDaniel

Two women, a century apart, are bound by a haunting secret aboard a legendary steamboat.

Walk through Doors to the Past via a new series of historical stories of romance and adventure.

As wedding coordinator for the 100-year-old steamboat The Belle of Louisville, Devyn Asbury takes pride in seeing others’ dreams come true, even though her engagement had sunk like a diamond ring to the bottom of the Ohio River. When the Belle becomes a finalist in the Timeless Wedding Venue contest, Devyn endeavors to secure the prestigious title with hopes to reclaim some of her professional dreams. What she hadn’t planned on was Chase Jones showing up with a mysterious photo from the 1920s.

A century earlier, Hattie Louis is as untamable as the rivers that raised her. As the adopted daughter of a steamboat captain, her duties range from entertainment to cook. When strange incidents occur aboard the boat, Hattie’s determined to discover the truth. Even if that means getting under First Mate Jack Marshall’s handsome skin.

Oh my. What an adventure for both Devyn and Hattie. And for me as I read Undercurrent of Secrets. Author Rachel Scott McDaniel writes a wonderful dual time-line story that drew me in from the start.

I learned much about steamboats, and that was fascinating. And I loved how McDaniel wove history into her story in such a way that it wasn’t at all dry like a history book. She made people and events come to life and I feel as though I was dropped into two different time periods. Adventure. Twists and turns. Heartwarming. It was all there!

Strong main characters who lived life with zest, great descriptions of steamboats, places, and of course clean romance made this a gem I’ll return to. McDaniel isn’t shy about sharing the need for salvation through Jesus and yet isn’t preachy in her writing. I loved that it just felt very natural. And as was spoken in the book, remember that love is bold!

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

Purchase here

An Amish Schoolroom by Amy Clipston, Kathleen Fuller, Shelley Shepard Gray

Three charming stories of new school years and new romance. 

A Class for Laurel  by Amy Clipston 

Adventurous Laurel Weaver leaves Pennsylvania to answer a newspaper ad for a teaching position in Colorado. She stays with handsome Glen Troyer’s family, and they become close. However, she never intended to stay in Colorado, and his family worries Glen may choose to follow her back to Pennsylvania or be left with a broken heart. Now she can’t bear to think of leaving Glen and her beloved students, but she’s beginning to feel like she’s out of options. Will Laurel and Glen push through the obstacles and fight for love? 

A Lesson on Love  by Kathleen Fuller 

Priscilla Helmuth left her Amish community twelve years ago to pursue her dream of being a country singer, but she’s missed her faith and her family. Now, she’s moving to Birch Creek to be a schoolteacher. Micah Wagler recently moved there as well to put the past behind him. As the community comes together to build a new schoolhouse, Priscilla and Micah are thrown together. They bond over their love of music, but soon it appears that Priscilla’s dreams of fame just might be coming true. She has to give up something, and Micah worries that it will be their faith . . . and his heart. 

Wendy’s Twenty Reasons  by Shelley Shepard Gray 

Wendy Schwartz is used to people underestimating her, but she’s sure she can be a great teacher. Unfortunately, it’s a disaster not long after she starts, and soon her job is in jeopardy. To make matters more complicated, she worries that she’s falling for the son of the older couple she’s boarding with. Lewis Weaver knows he shouldn’t have a romantic relationship with a tenant, but he can’t help but be drawn to Wendy. When a dangerous ice storm traps Wendy in the schoolroom with her students, uncomfortable truths will have to be faced by the town that just might change the future for everyone. 

Includes discussion questions for book clubs

Three novellas written by three premiere authors of Amish fiction, they won’t disappoint you at all. Well,only in the fact that I wish they were longer so I could read more of these wonderful characters and their lives.

Based on three school teachers, their students, and communities, each one is well written with well developed characters. Hard to do in novellas but Clipston, Fuller, and Gray all pulled it off. Each story is heartwarming, with love of family, determination, and humor sprinkled throughout and of course each contains a sweet romance. I highly recommend An Amish Schoolroom if you enjoy Amish fiction.

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

Purchase here

Dogwood Winter by Candace West

A Lukewarm Correspondence. A Tattered Reputation. Two hearts at Odds.

He is walking away while she is fighting to walk.

After a springtime swim, Ella Steen is stricken with a dire illness, leaving her without the use of her legs. Meanwhile, Dr. George Curtis, the man she secretly loves, faces ruin. For over a year, the crusty New York City bachelor and vivacious spinster have exchanged dozens of letters and formed a wary friendship.

Neither are willing to open their hearts completely. Until they face each other. The past looms between them, however. Does George still love another or is his heart completely free?

A trip to Valley Creek holds the answers. Instead, when George and Ella arrive, they encounter obstacles that force other truths to the surface. Is George brave enough to confront what he fled in New York? Can Ella confess why she hates dogwood winters? Will their hearts survive?

If only their pasts would keep out of the present.

Author Candace West wraps up her Valley Creek Redemption series with Dogwood Winter. And she does so with the style and grace of the other two books, Lane Steen and Valley of Shadows. Please do read them. They’re worth your time, and Dogwood Winter will be a richer read if you do.

This is a beautiful story of loss and love, redemption, and finding God. It is not a light, easy read as West includes painful circumstances, some based on true happenings. Yet with the eloquent writing style of the author I couldn’t put it down. The story she wove kept me picking the book up again.

Well developed, strong characters who had weaknesses just like we do made this a page turner as I read on to discover how situations would be resolved. There were many emotional ups and downs yet several light hearted moments so it didn’t feel heavy.

If you enjoy historical fiction with clean romance then I recommend Dogwood Winter.

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

Matched and Married by Kathleen Fuller

Neither Margaret nor Owen has any interest in getting married. But in the small Amish town of Birch Creek, where marriage is on everyone’s mind, their plans don’t stand a chance.

Margaret Yoder can’t seem to catch a break. Even though she’s dedicated to her Amish faith, her wild rumspringa won’t stay in the past, and her mother keeps pressuring her to get married. To placate her mother and get away from former “friends”, she decides to return to Birch Creek to visit family—and pretend to find a husband.

Like Margaret, Owen Bontrager isn’t looking for a spouse, something that’s hard to avoid in Birch Creek, where an ad for brides in the local paper has brought a swarm of single women to the thriving town. When he meets Margaret in an unexpected way, they discover they have more in common than they ever expected. In some ways, they are a perfect match.

Margaret struggles to keep her goal of avoiding romance in order to focus on being a faithful member of the Amish church, and it doesn’t help that she finds Owen intriguing. Knowing they don’t have a future together; she returns home and gives in to her mother’s insistence that she get married.

Can Margaret betray her feelings for Owen and become a dutiful daughter and wife to the man of her mother’s choosing? Or will Owen find a way to free Margaret of her past by giving her the future they both are surprised to find they desire?

I thoroughly enjoyed Matched and Married. Author Kathleen Fuller writes a charming, fun story that kept me turning the pages. With well developed characters and a great setting it’s easy to see why she is one of the premier authors of Amish fiction.

Quirky characters who are sure they never want to get married, foraging in the woods, and running from pushy parents are all wrapped up in one delightful story. Include self-forgiveness and a brides wanted ad, and you have a story with something for everyone. If you enjoy Amish fiction this is a must read!

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

His Amish Wife’s Hidden Past by Mindy Steele

Becoming an Amish wife is her only option…

Englischer Hannah Raber will do anything to protect her children when they are sent into witness protection—even marry her late husband’s brother. Learning to be an Amish wife is a big adjustment, especially since she’s determined to keep an emotional distance. But as her girls bond with Daniel, Hannah can’t help but wonder if strangers from different worlds can turn a convenient marriage into a forever love…

Author Mindy Steele has become one of those authors that I enjoy so much I have to read each of her books. Her writing style is not only easy to read but compels me to continue reading. This book is no different!

Hiding among the Amish, Hannah learns a lot about the simple life. So well written I felt her attempts to fit in, yet her fear of doing so. We learn quite a bit about the Amish lifestyle, customs, and the whys, which I really appreciate. It makes me rather envious and I wonder if I could do it. 

A mystery, laced with humor and love of family, His Amish Wife’s Hidden Past is not only heartwarming, the suspense will keep you on the edge of your seat because you know something is coming. You just don’t know when and how. And I won’t tell you. Grab a copy and read it for yourself. You’ll be glad you spent time with the Raber family.

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

The Secret Keepers of Old Depot Grocery by Amanda Cox

Present Day. After tragedy plunges her into grief and unresolved anger, Sarah Ashby returns to her childhood home determined to finally follow her long-denied dream of running Old Depot Grocery alongside her mother and grandmother. But when she arrives, her mother, Rosemary, announces to her that the store is closing. Sarah and her grandmother, Glory Ann, make a pact to save the store, but Rosemary has worked her entire life to make sure her daughter never follows in her footsteps. She has her reasons–but she’ll certainly never reveal the real one.

1965. Glory Ann confesses to her family that she’s pregnant with her deceased fiancé’s baby. Pressured into a marriage of convenience with a shopkeeper to preserve the family reputation, Glory Ann vows never to love again. But some promises are not as easily kept as she imagined.

This dual-timeline story from Amanda Cox deftly explores the complexity of a mother-daughter dynamic, the way the secrets we keep shape our lives and the lives of others, and the healing power of telling the truth.

This is my first book by author Amanda Cox, and I’m wondering why. Now I have to go read The Edge of Belonging because Cox writes an incredible story with The Secret Keepers of Old Depot Grocery. I need more from her.

Skillfully weaving the past and present together in this time slip, we see why the title is so fitting. Exploring the relationship of three women in one family, and the dangerous way keeping secrets can affect those relationships, you definitely want to read it and find out about the secret keepers!

Humor is lightly threaded throughout this emotionally charged book. It has great character development along with a compelling story line and I read it pretty quickly to see what would happen next. With mystery and light romance there is something for everyone and I highly recommend it.

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

Purchase here

To Write a Wrong by Jen Turano

Miss Daphne Beekman is a mystery writer by day, inquiry agent by night. Known for her ability to puzzle out plots, she prefers working behind the scenes for the Bleecker Street Inquiry Agency, staying well away from danger. However, Daphne soon finds herself in the thick of an attempted murder case she’s determined to solve.

Mr. Herman Henderson is also a mystery writer, but unlike the dashing heroes he pens, he lives a quiet life, determined to avoid the fate of his adventurous parents, who perished on an expedition when he was a child. But when he experiences numerous attempts on his life, he seeks out the services of the eccentric Bleecker Street Inquiry Agency to uncover the culprit. All too soon, Herman finds himself stepping out of the safe haven of his world and into an adventure he never imagined.

As the list of suspects grows and sinister plots are directed Daphne’s way as well, Herman and Daphne must determine who they can trust and if they can risk the greatest adventure of all: love.

The fun continues in Turano’s series, The Bleecker Street Inquiry Agency. All I could think of while reading To Write a Wrong was that it was so droll. The author’s sense of humor definitely fits the definition of “curious or unusual in a way that provokes dry amusement.”

Characters to love and characters not to love, as well as amusing animals make this story one that I couldn’t put down. The situations Daphne and Herman find themselves in are ridiculously crazy. Unexpected twists and turns of a mystery add a level of intrigue that while not over the top edge of the seat, spices up the story. Of course Turano throws in romance so that this book includes something for everyone. I highly recommend it!

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

Purchase here

The Walnut Creek Wish by Wanda Brunstetter

An Antique Store Becomes a Place of Healing for Broken Hearts

Welcome to Walnut Creek, Ohio, where Orley and Lois Troyer own an antique store they call “Memory Keepers.” Though knowledgeable in antiques and their repair, their real talent is in mentoring folks who are hurting and don’t even know it. Enter Jeff, a restaurateur, and Rhonda, a hotel manager, who recently moved to Amish country for the slow pace, but the change of scenery puts even more stress on their already strained marriage. Will an antique sled be the last straw, or will it lead to unexpected revelations and the fulfillment of dreams?

Author Wanda Brunstetter begins a new series, Creektown Discoveries, with a book that isn’t purely Amish, quite a change for her. English couple Jeff and Rhonda will learn and grow with help from Amish neighbors Orley and Lois. I really enjoyed seeing the lifestyle differences that can blend into friendship. Plus an antique store is woven throughout the story. I loved that setting!

This book has a lot of hardship in it and sometimes the characters irritated me,  but it also has much spiritual growth. We all struggle with things in life and this book is true to that. Yet we also have a God who is there for us, as we see throughout the story. I appreciate that the truth of salvation is part of this story.

I do find Brunsetter’s writing a bit stilted but if you’re looking for a story that will leave you with hope, then I recommend The Walnut Creek Wish.

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

The Amish Quiltmaker’s Unexpected Baby by Jennifer Beckstrand

In the first in an engaging new series, an Amish quiltmaker moves from Pennsylvania to a new settlement in Colorado, where adventure, challenges, and love are waiting . . .

Esther Zook is starting over after her father’s death, piecing together a new life with as much care as she puts into her intricate quilts. When her wayward sister abandons her baby, it throws all those plans for a fresh start asunder. Esther had accepted her status as an old maid—but a mother? And a single one, at that? Not that she hasn’t noticed Levi Kiem, the eligible young man who’s making repairs in her house. Yet he surely has no interest in Esther as anything other than a friend . . .

It’s true that Levi has plenty of marriage prospects. His dat has even offered to send him to Ohio to find a wife. Yet the more time he spends with Esther, the more intrigued he becomes. Feisty and independent, she’s nothing like the wife he once imagined for himself. Yet just as a quilt is crafted from contrasting cloth, they might find that together, they can create a family to cherish . . .

Well this was fun to read. And challenging to read. And sometimes I wanted to shake Esther for being dense and a push over. BUT that’s part of what made this charming book one that I couldn’t put down.

Well developed characters who you either love or…..don’t love. An adorable baby that only Levi can handle. And redemption. All wrapped up in one book. I highly recommend it!

‘Til I Want No More by Robin Pearson

When the man she loved years ago returns to town, one young woman’s complicated past rises again, threatening to expose her well-kept secrets.

If Maxine could put her finger on the moment when her life went into a tailspin, she would point back twenty years to the day her daddy died. She tells herself he’s the only person who ever really knew and loved her, and if he hadn’t left her behind, her future would’ve taken a different path. No absentee mother, no stepfather, no rebellious ripping and running during her teenage years. And no JD, who gave her wandering young heart a home, at least for a time.

But that’s over and done with. All grown-up now, Maxine has pledged her heart and ring finger to Theodore Charles, the man she’ll promise to love, honor, and obey in front of God and everybody. At least that’s what she’s telling anybody who will listen. The only folks buying it are the dog and the readers of her column, however. Her best friend and family aren’t having it—not even Celeste, the double bass–playing thirteen-year-old the community of Mount Laurel, North Carolina, believes is Maxine’s adopted sister. And apparently, neither is the newly returned JD, who seems intent on toppling Maxine’s reconstructed life. As her wedding day marches ever closer, Maxine confronts what it means to be really known and loved by examining what’s buried in her own heart and exposing truth that has never seen the light of day.

A Christian fiction novel with a poignant story of romance, a search for truth, and a journey to redemption. For fans of Chris Fabry, Lauren Denton, and Charles Martin.

I fell in love with author Robin Pearson’s writing with her first book, A Long Time Comin’. I was hoping ‘Til I Want No More would live up to my expectations and it certainly did. I loved visiting with old friends again and seeing what everyone was up to. And of course we meet new friends who capture our hearts.

Pearson’s characters must deal with the past when secrets and lies begin to unravel. Will love hold true? She kept me wondering right to the end. Along the way we see the necessity of forgiveness, both towards others and ourselves. Life is miserable without it. 

Truly you will be drawn right into this story with it’s true to life and even quirky characters. It’s fun. It’s poignant. It’s heart wrenching. It has all the feels and I highly recommend it.

Purchase here

The Christmas Visitor by Amy Grochowski

An Amish Dreams on Prince Edward Island Novella

Every so often, first love lasts a lifetime—and what seems impossible is made possible with God.

Mattie Beller is confident God’s plan for her life does not include marriage—ever. Her poor health has kept her an outsider, even in her close-knit Amish community. But when a visitor comes to the New Hope church district for the Christmas season, Mattie’s ideas about her future are turned upside down.

Amid a growing concern over her twin brother’s choices, even as her own heart tugs in two very different directions, Mattie learns that love comes in unexpected ways and can be a truly wonderful thing.

The novella bridging two of Author Amy Grochowski Prince Edward Island books, it could easily be read as a stand alone. But I would recommend reading book one, Forever Home, as we see a glimpse of old friends in The Christmas Visitor.

I read this on a hot summer day, because I can always read Christmas stories. I was enthralled from the first page. Grochowski does a really good job of bringing her characters to life. I could sense the concern, the feeling of not belonging, and then the hope that radiated from Mattie. I think she and I could be good friends! When a visitor shows up, the story ramps up, the pace becomes a bit quicker, and I was anxious to see what would happen.

If you’ve ever wondered about the Amish on PEI, I highly recommend reading The Christmas Visitor. You won’t be disappointed.

A Dream of A Family by Jill Weatherholt

To give a little girl a home…

she must take a chance on forgiveness.

From the minute Molly Morgan saw sad-eyed little Grace, she longed to give her a happy home. But Molly’s struggling bookstore is endangering her adoption chances. Outgoing entrepreneur Derek McKinney has a puppy Grace adores—and a plan to save Molly’s business. But can he and Molly put their troubled past behind them in time to make a family for a lifetime?

Author Jill Weatherholt has become a favorite as she skillfully blends trials and challenges with heartwarming characters. Throw in a puppy, a cute little girl in need of love, and a bookstore, and you have the makings for another wonderful read.

It was interesting to read of the suggestions Derek made to help Molly save her bookstore. These were things that a business owner in the real world could use. But more than that I enjoyed how the two characters worked through their differences, bringing healing and forgiveness to each other while giving Grace hope for a real family. 

Weatherholt deals with adoption in this story, and that is very personal to me. I loved how she handled it, with truth and with expectation. If you enjoy clean, light romance that is heartwarming, full of hope and joy, then I recommend A Dream of Family.

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

Beyond These War-Torn Lands by Cynthia Roemer

The War brought them together ~ Would it also tear them apart?

While en route to aid Confederate soldiers injured in battle near her home, Southerner Caroline Dunbar stumbles across a wounded Union sergeant. Unable to ignore his plea for help, she tends his injuries and hides him away, only to find her attachment to him deepen with each passing day. But when her secret is discovered, Caroline incurs her father’s wrath and, in turn, unlocks a dark secret from the past which she is determined to unravel.

After being forced to flee his place of refuge, Sergeant Andrew Gallagher fears he’s seen the last of Caroline. Resolved not to let that happen, when the war ends, he seeks her out, only to discover she’s been sent away. When word reaches him that President Lincoln has been shot, Drew is assigned the task of tracking down the assassin. A chance encounter with Caroline revives his hopes, until he learns she may be involved in a plot to aid the assassin.

In her newest book, author Cynthia Roemer moves from her much loved prairie series to the battlefields of the Civil War. And she does it very well. It’s easy to tell that she has done her research, as the details are intriguing and on point. I really enjoyed the history I learned, given in story form. 

The characters are well developed and like the rest of the book, well researched as to clothing, manner of speech, etc. They jump out of the pages of the book and come to life in your mind as you’re reading. It’s hard to imagine the horrors of war and of hating others so much, but Roemer brings the past to life. And through it all you’ll find hope, and a love from God that will soften hearts.

If you enjoy history with a Christian perspective, give Beyond These War-Torn Lands a read. Not a dry history book, I highly recommend it!

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

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