In her Simple Gifts books Charlotte Hubbard has told the sometimes complicated stories of the Riehl sisters, their secretive deacon father, and other residents of the fictional town of Willow Ridge, Missouri. The stories have included love, mystery, deceit, and heartache -- among a number of other elements. A Simple Christmas ties together the loose ends from the previous books, answering questions that were woven into those stories.
This is one of my favorite of Charlotte Hubbard's books. The characters are full of life, and the story moves at the perfect pace to keep things very interesting. Fans of good Amish fiction should enjoy this story, a great way to begin reading your way into the Christmas season.
A Simple Christmas would best be enjoyed following the previous books in the series -- A Simple Vow and A Simple Wish.
Thanks to the author for providing a copy of the book. I am happy to share my own thoughts in this review.
About the Book:
The rustic beauty of a country Christmas fills the Simple Gifts crafts shop, while the Amish residents of Willow Ridge pull together in uncertain times—and in the face of an unexpected homecoming.
Nora Hooley’s shop is abuzz with preparations for the holiday open house, and Rosalyn Riehl is handcrafting wreaths from evergreen boughs, pinecones, and other natural materials. The work is a welcome diversion for the only unmarried daughter of Cornelius Riehl: her gruff dat has been receiving envelopes marked Past Due, leaving dutiful Rosalyn to manage the household’s inexplicably shrinking budget. Then another distraction swaggers into Simple Gifts—blue-jeaned and leather-jacketed, with a reputation that precedes him.
Marcus Hooley hightailed it to Willow Ridge on a wing and a prayer—not that he’s the praying type. He rejected his Amish roots long ago. But behind the bad-boy attitude is a gifted horse trainer who’s counting on some bent-but-not-broken family ties to throw him a lifeline. He can’t erase his past, but a sparking attraction with strong, spirited Rosalyn holds the promise of a second chance . . . and of shedding light on shadowy secrets to build a bright tomorrow.
As Rosalyn Riehl walked alongside the county highway pulling a cartload of Christmas wreaths, she gazed up at the sky in surprise. When she’d left home a few minutes earlier, the sun was shining but now low, gray clouds were rolling in and the wind picked up—and for a brief moment tiny pellets of hail pelted her.
It’s going to be a tricky winter, she thought. The weather seems as crazy and mixed up as I feel.
Rosalyn adored the holidays—Thanksgiving was only a week away—yet the thought of the approaching winter made her sigh. Her youngest sister Edith lived across the road with her husband, Asa, and their twins, and her younger sister Loretta was sharing the bedroom down the hall with her new husband, Drew, so Rosalyn felt like the odd woman out. All her life she’d longed for a husband and a family, yet at twenty-eight she saw no probability of fulfilling that dream.
Her cheeks tingled when the season’s first snowflakes met her cheeks. It’s a gut thing I have my new job at Simple Gifts to look forward to, Rosalyn thought as she made her way up the hill toward the store housed in a huge red barn. Working for Nora on Wednesdays and Saturdays sure beats dealing with Loretta and Edith’s moony-eyed gazes and happy chatter about being married to the Detweiler twins whenever we’re all together.
It wasn’t that she begrudged her sisters their happiness. She just wanted some of her own.
About the Author:
Charlotte Hubbard is the acclaimed author of Amish romance and fiction that evokes simpler times and draws upon her experiences in Jamesport, the largest Old Order Amish community west of the Mississippi. Faith and family, farming, and food preservation are hallmarks of her lifestyle—and the foundation of all her novels. A deacon, dedicated church musician and choir member, she loves to travel, read, try new recipes, and crochet. A longtime Missourian, Charlotte now lives in St. Paul, Minnesota, with her husband and their border collie, Vera. You can visit Charlotte online at www.CharlotteHubbard.com or www.Facebook.com/Charlotte.Hubbard1.
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This review is part of a book tour sponsored by Goddess Fish Promotions. Be sure to visit their other tour stops and increase your chances at the giveaway.