Book Review: Amish Christmas at North Star

*This post is not part of the write 31 days writing challenge. This post contains affiliate links, please see my disclosure policy.

From Book Description

“In the town of North Star, an Amish midwife delivered four babies one winter night. In four novellas by four Amish Christmas at North StarChristian fiction authors, the children’s paths align two decades later.”

My Comments

I received a complimentary galley copy of Amish Christmas at North Star  to read and review from one of the Senior Publicists at the Waterbrook Multnomah Publishing Group. I am so glad that I had the opportunity because to read this book because I enjoyed each story so much.

The first story, Guiding Star, by Katie Ganshert tells the story of Noelle (Elle) McAllister and Chase Wellington. Elle is adopted with no knowledge of her background until she meets Chase. Elle goes to North Star and meets her Amish Family and finds love in the process.

The second novella, Morning Star, by Amanda Flower, is a mystery story revolving around Eden Hochstetler. Eden works at a candy shop and when one of her favorite customer dies, Eden’s best friend, Gina decides to investigate.

The third story, In the Stars, by Cindy Woodsmall, tells the tale of Savilla and her beloved, Kore. Unable to conceive, Savilla breaks up with Kore, believing she is doing the right thing. Unfortunately, she doesn’t explain to Kore her reasoning which causes all sorts of misunderstandings.

The final story, Star of Grace, is all about Andy Danner who leaves down after his girlfriend, Nellie breaks up with him. His brother, Sam, wanting Andy home for Christmas no matter what, does all he can to make it happen. Yet troubles come making the return trip almost impossible.

Each story is so different, and yet they are equally wonderful, engaging, and so fun to read. To be honest, I am a little biased given that Cindy Woodsmall is one of my favorite authors, so I sort of gravitated to her story right away. However, after reading them all, I couldn’t pick a favorite among the four novellas – even if I was pushed.

The characters are lovely, and I felt almost an immediate connection with the main characters. As I was reading each story, I felt like I could be friends with some of the characters if they were real. It is a bit of a shame that they are not. 🙂

In addition, I so loved how the book ended with the epilogue which weaved all the characters from each story together. It was so well done and such a sweet ending to the book.

I know it is a little bit early, nevertheless, if you are looking for a fun, easy book to get you into the Christmas spirit, you will enjoy this book. I give Amish Christmas at North Star four (4) stars.

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Awesome Authors: Cindy Woodsmall

*This post is part of the Write 31 Days challenge.

I am fairly new to Cindy Woodsmall’s books. I had the opportunity to read a few of her books, including A Love Undone and Ties That Bind, and I am in the process of reading a four-story book that includes a story by Cindy Woodsmall.

Ties that Bind by Cindy WoodsmallOver the years, I have read quite a few love-inspired Amish novels from several different authors and Cindy Woodsmall is definitely one of my favorites. Her characters are relatable and likeable, her stories are engaging in such a way that the reader can’t help but keep turning the pages, and she doesn’t shy away from unusual or difficult topics.

In addition, Woodsmall’s stories are the perfect “easy reads” to bring to the beach during the hot days of summer or to curl up with on the couch during the blustery, cold days of winter.

Thus, if someone was new to Amish fiction novels, or was looking for love-inspired romance novels that are free from the usual graphic romance novels, I would absolutely recommend she start with one of Cindy Woodsmall’s books.

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Book Review: Ties that Bind

From the Book Description

“This contemporary Amish romance from a best-selling author explores identity and family in Amish community. Twenty-year-old twin Ariana loves everything about her Old Order Amish family and community. But she is no stranger to loss. years ago, several Old Order families left in the middle of the night, including Quill, the man she dreamed of building a future with. When he suddenly returns, she’s determined to protect herself from loss and heartbreak.”

Ties that Bind by Cindy Woodsmall

My Comments

I read a couple of Cindy Woodsmall’s books and so I was delighted when I was contacted by the WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group and offered a free galley copy of Ties That Bind. And having now read the book, I can say that Woodsmall is quickly becoming my new favorite Amish author.

She does an expert job weaving in several mini-plots into one larger, connecting plot. With most books that I read that try to do this, it is unsuccessful. They are usually confusing, unnecessary, or fall short. Not so with Ties That Bind. There is a smooth, easy flow to the book, every shift makes sense, and adds to the storyline. In addition, there are so many twists and turns in the story that holds the reader’s attention throughout. I could hardly put the book down!

As for the characters, it is hard not to fall in love with them. Even the characters that make “bad” choices have appealing qualities that makes the reader resonate with them on certain levels. The main protagonist, Ariana, is strong and yet vulnerable. I felt for Quill and respected some of the decisions he made but I wanted to smack him at the same time. 🙂 Truly, all the characters are relatable, human, and engaging.

The only thing I didn’t like was the ending. I didn’t see it as having any real resolution. It also left me hanging and I wanted more. I think it is partly intentional because Ties That Bind is the first book of a series and in that way it worked. I can’t wait to read book two! But on the other hand, it felt unfinished.

Still, having said that, I enjoyed the book so much and I think you would, too. I give Ties That Bind four (4) stars.

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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher, WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group. 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.”