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Book Description

Rachel and Jordan’s feelings for each other are hostile at first, but angelic intervention helps the two discover peace . . . and perhaps love. 

The youngest and last unmarried of four sisters, Rachel Hartlzer spends most of her time helping with barn chores. Her role abruptly changes when her father hires Jordan Engles, the son he always wanted.

As Jordan takes on brotherly roles around the house, like escorting Rachel to the youth singing, the enmity between the two grows. Besides, Jordan has one foot in the Englisch world and is determined not to get involved with an Amish girl.

Neither realizes that God has sent an angel, Nathaniel, to help mend their hearts. The angel’s intervention helps them find peace and healing in accepting God’s will for their lives.

 

My Review

I have to say, this title was right up my alley. If you’ve read any of my other reviews, you’ve no doubt figured out that I generally enjoy Amish fiction.

This book is Amish fiction with a twist. 🙂

Rachel is doing just fine helping her daed on the farm. Since her brother James’ death, she’s trying to ease her guilt, all the while staying away from the mundane tasks of cooking and sewing unmarried women of her age are usually afflicted with.

When Jordan unexpectedly enters the picture, Rachel is angry, being replaced by this interloper. He’s not even Amish! And her father is calling him sohn!

At 20 years old, Rachel is pretty sure she’s going to remain unmarried. She can’t cook anything edible, and her stitching and sewing abilities leave the wearer looking lopsided. She would much rather be out in the barn with the animals or out in the fields with her daed.

Jordan’s intrusion into her life leaves her conflicted. He’s not Amish, and not completely Englisch. Either way it doesn’t matter, because he’s not staying.

When tragedy strikes again, Jordan is long gone. Rachel finds herself in a situation she could never have expected, and she’s not sure she wants.

Can they find their true paths in life before it’s too late?

This is a really nice story of love, tragedy, redemption, soul-searching, all amidst a backdrop of the war of good vs. evil. This was the debut effort from this author, and I’m excited to read the other titles that are planned for this series.

I give this book 5 out of 5 stars. I’ll definitely recommend this to friends I know that are interested in Amish fiction.

To see all of my BookSneeze reviews, click on the badge on the right hand side of the page.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com <http://BookSneeze®.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with    the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255    <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides   Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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This is the 3rd and final book in the Ada’s House series. I reviewed The Bridge of Peace, which is book 2 in this series. Having also read (and reviewed) books 1 and 3 in the Sisters of the Quilt series (When the Heart Cries ; When the Soul Mends) was nice, because many of the characters were familiar and like becoming reacquainted with old friends.

Sylvia Fisher is not a typical Amish woman. She loves cows. Well, she loves all  farm animals, but she particularly loves the dairy cows on her family farm. She also likes working the farm along side of her father. 

While her grandfather was alive, he really got her- he understood her passion, and taught her his philosophies on dairy management. When he died, Sylvia has struggled to find a man who treated with the same kind of respect, and trusted her with farm matters. Her father, though perhaps more liberal than others, feels that once Sylvia marries, her traditional place in the home will become her focus.

Elam and Sylvia have been courting. Sylvia’s father, having only daughters, forges a farm partnership with Elam, assuming he and Sylvia will marry. Sylvia is upset with both her Daed and Elam, neither of whom bothered to consider asking her opinion before changing the operations of the farm.

Sylvia can’t imagine giving it all up. Elam’s marriage proposal leaves her conflicted. “Didn’t she want more from true love than heart-pounding attraction?” She promises him an answer in a few weeks, while she sorts out her feelings.

Three weeks later, after storming out, Elam hasn’t been back to the farm. Sylvia is ready to sort things out with him, and she thinks,“If he could see her side of it, and if she could see his side, they could work this out.” Her heart soars, as she sees Elam upon arriving home.

Her hope turns to horror, as she gets the news that Elam and her younger sister, Beckie, are going to marry. Sylvia is devastated. And, to make matters worse, her Daed refuses her plea to let her leave the farm.

Several years later, illness forces Sylvia and Elam into the same house- the house her grandfather left her in his will- the house she relinquished to Beckie andElam upon pressured requestbecause of illness.  Sylvia does her duty as a sister, and takes care of Beckie and Elam’s young children, since Beckie is too sick to care for them herself.

Sylvia and Elam had been vaccinated for whooping cough, which put them in the position of caring for the farm and for the sick family “around the clock like a married couple.” An unplanned and unwanted situation necessitates an urgency for Sylvia to leave the farm, regardless of her father’s objections to letting an unmarried daughter move away.

Life on the Blank farm was more than Sylvia could have hoped for. She was partners with Michael, and was increasing the herd. Although her father forbade her to have any contact with her sisters and she had to give up her portion of the farm along with all the money he’d put aside as her salary through the years, Sylvia was content with the trade-off. Dora and Michael provided her with solace; she filled their need to nurture.

Life was good; simple. At least it was until prodigal son and recovering alcoholic Aaron Blank comes home. He’s intent upon buying an appliance store in town and convincing his parents to sell the beloved farm and move with him there. Sylvia and Aaron could not be on further ends of the pole.

In addition to this main story line, there are the continuing stories from the other books in the series. Cara came to the Amish as the niece of an Amish couple; hoping to hide herself and her daughter from a violent stalker who was bent on killing her. Cara and Ephraim were childhood friends, in her brief time visiting. When Ephraim was grown, he went to the city to try to find Cara, but was unsuccessful. Cara and Ephraim, are now in love and hope to marry (book 1, Hope of Refuge).

Also making appearances are Lena and Grey, from The Bridge of Peace (book 2), Deborah and Jonathon (book 1), and Ada and Israel. Being the final book in the series, all of the story lines are nicely wrapped up.

Because I totally loved this book, I give it 5 out of 5 stars. All of the characters, even those from the other series, feel like friends. It was nice to get an update, and I love how both series are intertwined. I do think reading the other books is helpful, but not essential. Not having read any of the other books should not be off-putting in the least.

I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.

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3 years. That’s how long it’s been since Gideon broke Mattie’s heart. 3 years, a move out of state, and as Mattie’s business takes off, her heart is still slow to mend. 

Gideon was the love of her life; her lifelong good friend. Mattie still can’t understand why he cheated on her with an Englischer and then broke their engagement. Their first date had taken place on her birthday, Christmas Eve, when they attended the Christmas Eve singing together. The following three years, they celebrated their love and the season the same way.

“And then she caught him.

Her heartbreak had been compounded by confusion. Nothing had prepared her for his betrayal.”

And now, she had Sol. Quiet Sol. Solid, dependable Sol. Sol who was slowing gaining confidence with her. Seeing each other was now regular, instead of just at special occasions, and Mattie felt comfortable with Sol. Sol was Gideon’s polar opposite when it came to getting along with young women, and Mattie was looking forward to going to the Christmas Singing with him.

Mattie’s business as a cake maker had taken off; she had orders coming out of her ears, and she couldn’t be happier. She’s planning for a busy holiday season of birthday and wedding cakes, and she can’t wait to see her original designs.

Then, disaster struck. Mattie’s cake shop caught on fire. As she watches, she sees a flash of fabric- fabric the same color as the dress her niece was wearing that morning. Mattie knows her niece will never find her way out of the fire without someone to help her…..

A trip across state lines finds both Gideon and Sol at the hospital, checking on an unconscious Mattie. Gideon finally found a driver, and gets to the hospital before Sol, who was out on a hunt, arrived.

Once Mattie is released from the hospital, the only realistic option for her is to go home to Pennsylvania while they wait to get the insurance sorted out. Mattie’s apprehensive, but is convinced she can avoid Gideon while she’s there. It doesn’t take her long to figure out she’s wrong about that, though, when she realizes how involved they both are with her cousin’s impending marriage.

Will she be back in Ohio in time to attend the Christmas Singing with Sol, as they had planned? Can Mattie finally get some answers and bury her feelings for Gideon?

This book is classic Cindy Woodsmall. I love it! You’ve got a solid storyline, packed with relationship history. While the plot was relatively predictable, the particulars were not, and that was fun.  I also really liked that both men were good guys, which ultimately made the choice more difficult.

I absolutely would recommend this book to anyone who likes Amish fiction. It’s a really nice feel-good story, and I give it 5 out of 5 stars.

I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.

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