Saturday, November 22, 2014

Love Without End (Kings Meadow Romance #1) by Robin Lee Hatcher

Chet and Kimberly have both failed when it comes to love. Will they risk their hearts to love again?

Chet Leonard's life was forever changed when his seventeen year old son died and then, soon after, his wife walked out on their family. Over two years later, all he wants to do is hold onto his horse ranch and raise his remaining sons to be honorable men.

Kimberly Welch, widowed mother of Tara, a rebellious fifteen-year-old, has reached the end of her finances and nearly the end of her rope. She and Tara come to King's Meadow to try to piece their lives back together again. Kimberly has no intention of become involved with the residents of this remote mountain community and certainly not with any man.

When 84-year-old Anna McKenna returns to King's Meadow and to the Leonard ranch, she becomes an agent of change and healing for the two hurting families. With her help, Kimberly and Chet's families at last discover a love without end.

My Review:
Readers get two love stories for the price of one in this book! The character of Anna fleshes out nicely with flashbacks of her story from the 1940's to the present. It's interspersed throughout the novel.

Rather than a story about young love, Chet and Kimberly are middle-aged. They've both loved before. Chet's wife has left him and their two sons, and Kim's husband has died, leaving her with one daughter and deep in debt. Their stories are worth reading. I like the way the author draws them together. It's a nice pace; there is no rush.

I really enjoyed the ending.

There are a couple of confusing errors that editing should have discovered. Editor's notes appear in the margins of pages 66 and 146. And a confusing antecedent: Tara speaking to her mother and Chet: "Wait until she sees what we uncovered after you left" (126). These glitches caused me to scratch my head and pause while reading; however, I still liked the story.

Thank you to BookLook Bloggers for my complimentary copy.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

A Dream of Home, Book 3 by Amy Clipston

Hearts of the Lancaster Grand Hotel

When she moves to Amish country to find peace and healing, Madeleine finds a special community—and a special man—who pull her out of her solitude into a new life.

Moving to Pennsylvania wasn’t in Madeleine’s original plans. She should still be in California and should have married her pilot fianc√© a year ago—but death has a way of changing everything. Now the former Air Force flight nurse is living alone in Paradise, Pennsylvania, and working as a maid at the Lancaster Grand Hotel. She isn’t exactly a widow . . . but she sure feels like one.

Saul Beiler isn’t exactly a widower . . . but his wife is long gone. His eleven-year-old daughter, Emma, doesn’t know that her mother fled the Amish community—and married another man—but she does know that her dat is lonely, and that a pretty young maedel just moved in next door. Madeline’s numb heart begins to thaw as she spends more time with the innocent and ever optimistic Emma. The stronger her friendship grows with the young girl, the more intrigued Madeline grows about the humble, strong, man raising her on his own.

But even as a strange attraction pulls Saul and Madeleine across a stark cultural divide, they—and everybody else—have to wonder: What could they possibly have in common besides heartache? Will love allow Madeleine to finally find the home she’s been dreaming of all along?

My Review:
Although this is the third book in the series, it is a stand-alone novel. It's the first one I've read, and I had no problem. I quickly connected to the protagonist Madeline, an Englisher, who has inherited her Amish Grandmother's house. It feels like home to her because she spent so many happy summers there as a child. However, Maddie's mother left the church and raised Maddie as an Englisher. Now Maddie is balancing between the life of an Englisher and the community of Amish. I appreciate the way the author handled the character of a young lady trying to find peace in her life after the tragedy of her fiance's death. She runs to reduce stress, her cell phone is a valuable asset, and she loves her truck.

Maddie's Amish neighbors are Saul, a cabinet maker and his daughter, Emma. They have a loving relationship; still, motherless Emma misses her mother. Emma and Maddie become good friends. Tension builds as Saul decides that this relationship can only bring heartache. He fears that Emma might want to turn English or Maddie might decide to move away, leaving Emma hurt.

There are other characters who question the ways of English vs. Amish.

Which way is right? The author skillfully lays out the many differences between the two lifestyles without judging. There are several examples of others who are torn with the same decisions.

English vs. Amish, which way will Maddie choose?

I found that most words are easily understood without the extensive glossary. Even so, I used the glossary several times.

Discussion questions are included.

Thank you to BookLook Bloggers for providing me with a complimentary copy of this book.