Jewish, marriage, relationships, romance, spirituality

The Joy of Intimacy


Author: Manis Friedman with Ricardo Adler
Publisher: It’s Good to Know Publishing
Genre: Relationships / Spirituality
ISBN: 978-0-9862770-0-9
Pages: 216
Price: $14.00

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Today’s marriages are failing at an alarming rate. But what if we discovered the way to experience true intimacy with our life partner? In The Joy of Intimacy, Manis Friedman shares timeless Jewish wisdom in creating a meaningful and lasting relationship with our spouse.

Much of Friedman’s advice is based on orthodox Jewish teaching on marriage. These include proper modesty, relations only at certain times of the month, and an emphasis on creating a baby as a result of the marriage act. But Christians (and especially Catholics) would also relate to many of these concepts. God gifted the married couple with these pleasures, and He wants our marriage to be alive, fresh, and fulfilling. Following this advice would be the perfect start in growing closer to each other.

The Joy of Intimacy would be a great resource for all couples starting out in their marriages, as well as those who may have hit some snags along the way. I highly recommend it.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

Amish fiction, romance

Ours for a Season


Author: Kim Vogel Sawyer
Publisher: WaterBrook
Genre: Amish fiction
ISBN: 978-0-7352-9008-2
Pages: 352
Price: $14.99

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Marty Hirschler is devastated that she and Anthony will never have children. Bitterness and misery fill her days, as she watches the women in her community raising their own families. So when her best friend, Brooke, offers her and Anthony the chance to get away for a while, she is anxious to go.

Anthony doesn’t know what to do to help Marty heal from her pain. His construction business is booming, causing him to spend weeks away from her, and their marriage is suffering. When Brooke asks him to work on a special project for her, and Marty wants to go, Anthony accepts.

Brooke was not raised Mennonite, but she developed a lasting friendship with Marty when they were children, despite their differences. Now Brooke is involved in one of her biggest business deals ever, while also battling a serious medical condition. She needs Marty more than ever.

Ours for a Season brings them all together as they work toward completing this building project as a team. And as the work progresses, their plans for the project – and their own lives – are transformed. I highly recommend this wonderfully well-written and moving novel.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

Amish fiction, holiday, romance

The Christmas Remedy


Author: Cindy Woodsmall & Erin Woodsmall
Publisher: WaterBrook
Genre: Amish fiction / Romance
ISBN: 978-0-7352-9104-1
Pages: 208
Price: $14.99

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Holly Zook is not a traditional Amish girl. She’s determined to bring better health care to her Amish community, after seeing how their neglect has affected the quality of their lives. But this choice might cause her to sacrifice her own happiness in the process. Rather than choosing marriage and family, she’s pursuing a nursing degree. And now, the pharmacy Holly works for that caters to the Amish community is threatened.

Joshua Smucker was captivated by Holly’s charm when they met many years ago, but Holly abruptly ended any attempt he might have made to court her. After meeting her once again at the pharmacy, he understands why Holly chose the path she followed, but was this her only choice? If her bishop was enlightened enough to let her get her degree, might he also be willing to let her work once she married?

This delightful Amish romance-mystery takes place during the Christmas season, but could easily be read at any time of the year. I highly recommend it.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

romance

A Holiday by Gaslight


Author: Mimi Matthews
Publisher: Perfectly Proper Press
Genre: Victorian Romance
ISBN: 978-0-9990364-7-1
Pages: 172
Price: $8.99

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Sophie Appersett needs to marry well in order to help her family. When the affluent merchant, Edward “Ned” Sharpe, chooses to court her, she readily agrees, despite the difference in their class. But their courtship leaves much to be desired.

After making a decision she comes to regret, Sophie finally speaks frankly to Ned. Giving him one last chance, she tells him what she needs in a relationship, and hopes he’ll see the light. And as her family hosts their traditional Christmas gathering, wonderful surprises await them all.

A Holiday by Gaslight is a delightful Victorian holiday romance. I highly recommend it.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

romance

The Matrimonial Advertisement (Parish Orphans of Devon)


Author: Mimi Matthews
Publisher: Perfectly Proper Press
Genre: Victorian Romance
ISBN: 978-0-9990364-5-7
Pages: 386
Price: $16.46

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Helena Reynolds is running from a dark secret when she answers the matrimonial advertisement. Seeking to be married as quickly as possible, she hopes to find sanctuary with Justin Thornhill.

Justin has given up on the idea of a happy marriage, and is simply looking for a pleasant companion who is willing to share the cold, dark nights together. When Helena shows up, he’s stunned. Why would an obviously well-bred, beautiful woman answer such an unusual advertisement? But once they’re married, Helena’s secrets come back to threaten the happiness they’re beginning to find together. Is Justin willing to be the knight in shining armor that Helena needs so desperately?

Mimi Matthews has done it again, in giving us such a strong and spunky heroine. Although Helena initially appears weak, her transformation by the end of this story is so enjoyable to watch. And Justin is every woman’s dream man, as he stands by his wife. I loved The Matrimonial Advertisement and I’m looking forward to reading the next books in this series.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

romance

The Summer of New Beginnings


Author: Bette Lee Crosby
Publisher: Lake Union Publishing
Genre: Women’s fiction
ISBN: 978-1503901247
Pages: 284
Price: $14.95

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Meghan Briggs is running the family business after her father’s death. Always the responsible one, she stepped in immediately, putting her own dreams on hold. When Meghan rescues a puppy, she tries hard not to fall in love, expecting his owner to show up any moment to claim him. But she’s not as wary when she meets the handsome new vet.

Tracy Briggs followed her heart, making a disastrous romantic decision. When she returns home as a single mother, Meghan and their mom are there to help her pick up the pieces. Her son, Lucas, will need special attention, and the family bonds in the process of helping him.

While this story is full of romance, it’s more about family and the ways they work together. All three of the ladies in this book struggles with something from their past, but now they’re making a new beginning. The Summer of New Beginnings is an enjoyable “warm and fuzzy” read.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

Christian, romance

As the Tide Comes In


Authors: Cindy Woodsmall and Erin Woodsmall
Publisher: WaterBrook
Genre: Christian Romance
ISBN: 978-0-7352-9101-0
Pages: 352
Price: $14.99

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Tara Abbott has helped raise her two half-brothers, and how she’s looking forward to the vacation they’ve planned for her. When tragedy strikes, she makes the trip to St. Simons Island anyway. Dazed and confused, she has no idea where she is or what she’s doing there, but she searches relentlessly for answers.

Gavin Burnside is attempting to solve the family’s financial difficulties after his dad passed away. With his mom and the rest of the “Glynn Girls” to help, they hope to have everything resolved shortly. Finding Tara, lost and alone on the island, isn’t part of his plan. But who is Tara, and what is she really doing on St. Simons Island? And how is her future intertwined with his own?

Watching Tara cope with such a devastating loss is heart-breaking, and at times I wondered how she would ever recover. But with her loving friends, the Glynn Girls, and Gavin to support her, she starts to make peace with the past. As the Tide Comes In is a moving picture of God’s grace in unimaginable circumstances. I highly recommend this beautiful story.

Reviewer: Alice Berger