Friday, July 28, 2023

Unexpected Visitors -- Hidden Away at Promise Lodge

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Charlotte Hubbard will be awarding a $15 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Enter to win a $15 Amazon/BN GC - a Rafflecopter giveaway Click here to see the other stops on the tour.

About the Book

Returning to the fan-favorite world of the close-knit Amish community of Promise Lodge, the small-town Missouri setting of her beloved Amish inspirational romance novels, Charlotte Hubbard continues to delight readers with uplifting tales of faith, family, and the blessings and happiness of true love and caring partnership.

There are no secrets among Missouri’s Amish community of Promise Lodge, as they share their joys, burdens, and blessings. But two visitors with a hidden agenda bring some surprising revelations—and unexpected saving graces…

When Karen Mercer and Andi Swann come to Promise Lodge for a week’s stay, the Kuhn sisters quickly detect the guests are not Plain folk, despite their kapps and homemade dresses. Entranced by the idyllic Amish lifestyle they’ve read about in romance novels, the visitors have gone undercover to revisit the place that was once the church camp where they spent happy summers. They mean no harm—but when the truth is uncovered, their deception has an intriguing impact on the faithful, hard-working community...

Meanwhile, amid bustling preparations for a spring wedding, a shy horse trainer is encouraged to share his colorful world with a newcomer awaiting a miracle... while the widowed baker of luscious Promise Lodge Pies sees a long-time friendship in a romantic new light. And in the wake of a destructive storm, Karen and Andi’s insider knowledge of the grounds may offer the safe passage they all need to renew and rebuild—stronger than ever.

My Thoughts

Hidden Away at Promise Lodge is #7 in Charlotte Hubbard's series, and it is another great story set in her fictional Missouri community of Amish, Mennonite and English residents. As with all the books in this series, you will revisit a growing number of "old" friends and be introduced to new ones as well. Each story has its own little (or big) twists and turns, and this one includes a couple of unexpected visitors who play important roles in the early part of the story. A pretty serious storm and devastating health problems of a fairly new resident of Promise Lodge add some page-turning interest to this installment. As anyone who knows anything about this series would expect, friends and family come together to help each other with the challenges they face and celebrate together the victories they experience.

I highly recommend Hidden Away at Promise Lodge to fans of Amish fiction that takes you a little outside the typical box. This is the seventh book in the series and could easily be read as a stand alone like each of the previous books. But is much more enjoyable if you know the backstories of the community and its residents.

Thanks to Goddess Fish Promotions for providing an electronic copy of the book. I am glad to be a part of this book tour and am happy to share my own thoughts in this review.  

Read an Excerpt

“Look at how this place has changed since we went to church camp here,” Andi remarked as they stood at the entry to Promise Lodge. “This must be a new metal entryway sign, because I don’t remember it having sunflowers and wheat sheaves, do you? And this plot to the left was a mowed pasture for horseback riding, and now it’s planted in green beans and tomatoes—”

“Probably to be sold at this produce stand,” Karen said, nodding toward the wooden structure at the roadside. “And look at all the houses! And there’s a tiny home with a dock on the far side of Rainbow Lake. How cool is that?”

“The old timbered lodge and the cabins look just the same as I remember them,” Andi said wistfully. “Except the Amish here have obviously done a lot of painting—and that looks like a new roof. The summers we spent here as campers and counselors were some of the best times of my life.”

“Yeah, they were.” Karen pointed toward a large white barn. “And look at those adorable black and white cows! Everything looks too neat and perfect to be real—”

“But what about us?” Andi interrupted, her smile falling a notch. “Do we look authentic? We’re wearing these calf-length dresses we made and the kapps we ordered from a store in Lancaster County—and we’ve read hundreds of Amish novels—but what if they call us out as fakes? What if they make us confess in front of everybody at church and then—”

“They can’t do that, silly!” Karen reminded her with a chuckle. “We’re just taking a little trip down memory lane while we live the Amish life instead of just reading about it. If we stick to our script and imitate the way these folks do things, we’ll be fine, right?”

Andi sighed as though she wasn’t too sure about that. “But we made our phone reservation request and sent our money as though we were Plain, and the Amish think it’s a sin to lie. Maybe we should’ve—”

“But we didn’t,” Karen pointed out quickly. Her pulse was pounding with anticipation as she picked up the old-fashioned suitcase she’d bought at a thrift store. “If we follow our plans, we won’t have any problems. We’re just a couple of Amish maidels who’ve come to Promise Lodge for a week to check it out because we read about it in the Budget newspaper—which we did. Let’s walk to the lodge before you get cold feet and back out on me.”

About the Author

In 1983, Charlotte Hubbard sold her first story to True Story. She wrote around 70 of those confession stories, and she’s sold more than 50 books to traditional or online publishers. A longtime resident of Missouri, she’s currently writing Amish romances set in imaginary Missouri towns for Kensington. She now lives in Omaha, NE with her husband and their Border collie, Vera.


Sunday, June 25, 2023

Western Christian Romance -- Trouble in Dry Springs

Trouble in Dry Springs is the first book in Kristina Hall's The Dry Springs Chronicles series. I'm a sucker for old TV Westerns, so I thought this one was worth a try. And I'm very glad I got the chance to read it.

There were plenty of "good guys" in the story, as well as a few requisite "bad guys." Eliza and Jesse have so many obstacles standing between them and the future they both want, some even matters of life and death. Their well-written journey of love and faith makes for a very enjoyable story. Colonel Burke and the cantankerous Mrs. Reilly, along with Eliza's brother Anson and a few other side characters, add a wide range of elements to the story, keeping my interest at a satisfying level throughout.

There were a couple of style details and repetitive points that seemed to hold the pacing back a little. But overall this was a very delightful story. As this author does so well, the romance is clean and the faith shines through in very good fashion.

Thanks to the author for providing an electronic copy of this book. I am happy to share my own thoughts in this review.

About the Book

Even the peaceful town of Dry Springs is not without trouble.

When Eliza McCoslin's brother sends for her, she exchanges war-torn Mississippi for Dry Springs, Texas. Settling into a new way of life proves difficult though, despite the arrival of the man she's long admired.

Jesse Carrigan comes to Dry Springs seeking work and a place to start the ranch he's dreamed of ever since his parents lost their farm. What he doesn't expect to find is the woman he'd like to court—or his former colonel on the run from a deadly threat.

Given the circumstances keeping Jesse and Eliza apart and the danger looming on the horizon, he and Eliza find themselves facing the loss of future love—and life. When trouble comes to Dry Springs, who will be left standing?

About the Author

Kristina Hall is a sinner saved by grace who seeks to glorify God with her words. She is a homeschool graduate and holds a degree in accounting. When she’s not writing, she enjoys reading, arm wrestling, lifting weights, and playing the violin. 

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Friday, April 28, 2023

Love Beyond the Scars -- Windswept Way

What could be better than another visit to the charming seaside town of Hope Harbor, Oregon? Not much -- unless you could make it a real place that I could actually travel to.

Windswept Way is the 9th book in Irene Hannon's fantastic contemporary romance series which bears the name of the inviting town. I think the stories are getting better and better, and I hope she keeps writing more!

The characters in this book -- particularly Ashley, Jon, and Rose -- are so real and raw. Their stories invite you in from page one to share the deep feelings they deal with . . . even if it takes them a while to share those things with each other. Taking chances on relationships doesn't come easy for them because of past experiences that left big scars -- physical and otherwise. But through acts of grace (for themselves and for others) and courage, they find Hope Harbor to once again be a place where hearts heal and love blooms.

This book, like the others in the Hope Harbor series, can be read as a stand alone. But I think you will enjoy the story even more if you have already met Charley the artist/taco chef/adviser, his friends Floyd and Gladys, a couple of friendly clerics, and other returning characters who call Hope Harbor home.

I highly recommend Windswept Way and the entire Hope Harbor series to fans of great contemporary inspirational romance.

Thanks to Revell Reads for providing a copy of the book. I am happy to share my own thoughts in this review.

About the Book

One house that deserves a second chance meets two hearts that deserve the same . . .

Buying a haunted house was never in Ashley Scott's plans, but when an intriguing opportunity drops into her lap after a major life setback, she finds herself trekking cross-country to Hope Harbor on the Oregon coast to launch a new life.

Wounded warrior Jonathan Gray isn't sure what to make of the attractive woman on his reclusive older neighbor's isolated property, but her presence is none of his business--until she enlists his help with an ambitious project. When Jonathan finds his interest in the new arrival becoming more personal than professional, however, his defenses go up. There's no room in his life--or his heart--for romance.

Yet as these two hurting souls join forces to restore life, laughter, and love to a historic estate, might they also find healing, hope, and happiness themselves?

Come home to Hope Harbor--where hearts heal . . . and love blooms.

About the Author

Irene Hannon is the bestselling and award-winning author of more than 60 contemporary romance and romantic suspense novels. In addition to her many other honors, she is a three-time winner of the prestigious RITA Award from Romance Writers of America. She is also a member of RWA's elite Hall of Fame and has received a Career Achievement Award from RT Book Reviews for her entire body of work. Learn more at