Amish fiction, romance

The Englisch Daughter


Author: Cindy Woodsmall & Erin Woodsmall
Publisher: WaterBrook
Genre: Amish fiction / Romance
ISBN: 978-0-7352-9102-7
Pages: 352
Price: $15.99

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Jemima is concerned about her husband’s actions. Roy has become increasingly distant from her, taking strange phone calls at all hours of the day, and making overnight trips for business. Their marriage seemed to change about a year ago, after an accident and a difficult pregnancy kept them apart for a while, and now it seems they’re unable to reconnect. And now an Englisch woman Roy dated during his rumschpringe is living in the family cottage. Jemima can’t help but wonder if something is going on.

Suddenly, Jemima finds out the cause of Roy’s mysterious behavior, and the evidence shocks her to the core. As a traditional Old Order Amish wife, her choices in this circumstance are limited, and she has to determine how much she’s willing to forgive. But as they begin to talk, Jemima finds her heart softening toward her husband.

The Englisch Daughter is one of the best Amish romances I’ve ever read. Not only is it a beautiful story of reconciliation between an estranged husband and wife, but it’s also an amazing story of forgiveness and unconditional love in its highest form. I was really blown away by how good this story is and I highly recommend it.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

Amish fiction, romance

A Christmas Haven


Authors: Cindy Woodsmall and Erin Woodsmall
Publisher: WaterBrook
Genre: Amish Romance
ISBN: 978-0-525-65329-5
Pages: 208
Price: $14.99

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Ivy Zook is anxious to leave the Amish to pursue a career in party planning. But just when it seems her dreams are within reach, Arlan and Magda Keim crash into their town. Magda is very ill and her brother, Arlan, is caring for her.

The Keims have left their Schwartzentruber community under scandalous conditions, and are reluctant to return, so they take refuge with the Zooks. As Ivy gets to know the Keims, she becomes more and more aware of how much she will leave behind if she chooses the worldly path. And as she gets to know Arlan, she realizes she’s not sure she wants to anymore.

A Christmas Haven spans several months, concluding around Christmas time, and is a great read during any season. This sequel to The Christmas Remedy also continues the story of Holly Zook and Joshua Smucker as they prepare to marry, while worrying that Holly might not have the bishop’s permission to follow her dream of becoming a nurse. This sweet Amish romance will leave the reader with a joyful and merry heart.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

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