Sunday, February 23, 2014

Minding Molly

Molly Zook Has Everything Planned Just Right.
Or So She Thinks!

Molly Zook's always liked being in control, so she's struggling with her mother's wish that, to save the family farm, she marry Mervin Mosier. Especially after Molly meets Leon Fisher. He's from Montana but is now training horses at a nearby ranch. He's tall and muscular and confident--Molly has never met anyone like him and she's sure he feels the same about her.

Determined to let nothing get between them, Molly tries to coax Mervin into falling back in love with Molly's best friend, Hannah. A weekend camping trip in the Poconos could be just the place...but things quickly go awry, and it seems Leon and Hannah might be falling for each other instead! Will Molly keep struggling to control everyone and everything around her? Or will she learn to let God handle the twists and turns of her life?

This is book three in the Courtships of Lancaster County series by Leslie Gould. I have read book one but not book two and while these books are good as stand alones - there were frequent references to things that I can only assume happened in the second book. You can still enjoy the book and the references don't make the story confusing - it just gives you that feeling that you've missed something.

I enjoyed this story - there are four main "younger" characters that the book focuses on - Molly and her best friend Hannah, and Mervin, who lives next to Molly and has been sweet on Hannah for years, and Leon, who has come from Montana to work for Hannah's father. There's a bit of musical romance partners and some wondering who will end up with who. There are fears to be concurred, misunderstandings to muddy the waters and a couple of near tragedies to get your heart pumping.

As I mentioned, there are updates on characters from previous books, so if you've read them in order, you'll get to check in with old friends. And if you haven't read the first two books yet and you want to read them, I'd suggest reading them in order as there are spoilers in this last book.


My copy was graciously provided by Bethany House Publishers  for my honest review.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

The Quilted Heart

Like a beautiful patchwork quilt, the three novellas in The Quilted Heart tell stories of lives stitched together with love and God’s unending grace.

Once a week, Elsa Brantenberg hosts the Saint Charles Quilting Circle at her farmhouse on the outskirts of the riverside town of St. Charles, Missouri. The ladies who gather there have all experienced heartache related to the intense hardships of the Civil War, and together, they are facing their painful circumstances with friendship and prayer. Can the tattered pieces of their hearts be stitched together by God’s grace?
Dandelions on the Wind
When Maren Jensen took a job on Elsa Brantenberg’s St. Charles, Missouri farm, she never expected to call the place her home. As she grows to love Mrs. Brantenberg and her granddaughter, Gabi, Maren is transformed from a lonely mail-order bride-without-a-groom to a beloved member of the Brantenberg household. But when Gabi’s father, Rutherford “Wooly” Wainwright, returns to the farm unexpectedly, everything changes for Maren, and she feels compelled to find another job. Are her choices in obedience to God, or is she running from His plan?

Bending Toward the Sun
Dedicated to her education and to helping her father in his general store, Emilie Heinrich is convinced she doesn't have time for love. But when a childhood friend returns to St. Charles, Missouri, after serving in the Civil War, his smile and charm captures Emilie’s eye and her heart. Will she be forced to choose between honoring her father and a future with a husband and family of her own?

Ripples Along the Shore
Change is brewing in St. Charles. A group of brave souls are preparing to head west on the Boone's Lick Wagon Train, led by the mysterious and handsome Garrett Cowlishaw, who served as a Confederate soldier in the war that killed Caroline’s husband. Despite her dislike for him, Caroline is tempted to join the wagon train and start fresh somewhere new, but when Mr. Cowlishaw forbids her—a single woman—to travel with them, will one man’s prejudice destroy Caroline’s hope for a new future? Or will the ripples of God’s love bring the answer she needs?

What a wonderful collection of stories this is! I haven't read many novella collections but I have read enough to know that they don't all following the same "rules". The last one I read, the stories were tied together by the location but the characters didn't really carry from one story to the other except for a mention of how the characters from the previous story were doing. In this collection, the characters from the previous stories play a larger part in the next story. It's almost like as the story continues, another voice does the story-telling from their point of view.

This lovely group of ladies, who meet every Thursday to quilt, are strong, devoted ladies picking up the pieces of their lives after the Civil War. Each has experienced trials along the trail to true love. And each is faced with an obstacle to overcome in the face of that true love.

Such a joy to know that you can read one story in a day - but then when you pick up the next day, you'll run into some of the people you met the day before but it's a fresh, new story.

For more information on Mona Hodgson, you can check out her website:

You can read the first chapter of the book here:

Highly recommended.


I received this book for free from Blogging for Books for this review.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

A Match Made In Heaven

There's a secret matchmaker at work in frontier Texas!
In the small town of Dry Gulch, Texas, a good-hearted busybody just can't keep herself from surreptitiously trying to match up women in dire straits with men of good character she hopes can help them. How is she to know she's also giving each couple a little nudge toward love?
A Cowboy Unmatched
Neill isn't sure who hired him to repair Clara's roof--he only knows Clara desperately needs his help. Can he convince this stubborn widow to let down her guard and take another chance on love?

An Unforeseen Match
Hoping to earn an honest wage on his way to the land rush, Clayton ends up on Grace's doorstep, lured by a classified ad. He may have signed on for more than he expected though--and he may have found the one woman who can keep him from moving on.

No Match for Love
Andrew can't fathom how refined Lucy ended up as the caretaker to his dotty aunt, and somehow her arrival has prompted even more bizarre occurrences around the ranch. When they join forces to unearth the truth, will the attraction between Andrew and Lucy develop into more?

Meeting Her Match
When the tables are turned and a tenderhearted meddler becomes the beneficiary of a matchmaking scheme, her world is turned upside down. As her entire life changes, will she finally be able to tell the banker's son how much she cares for him?

About the Author

Karen Witemeyer is a winner of the Carol Award and has been a finalist for the RITA Award and National Readers' Choice Award. She lives with her husband and three children in Abilene, Texas. Learn more about Karen at

Mary Connealy is well-known for her award-winning, bestselling historical romantic comedies. She lives on a ranch in eastern Nebraska with her husband, Ivan, and has four grown daughters.

Regina Jennings is the author of two acclaimed historical romances, with a third to release soon. She lives outside Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, with her husband and four children.

Carol Cox is the author of more than 25 books and novellas. A pastor's wife and homeschooling mom, she makes her home with her husband and daughter in northern Arizona.

I have never been a fan of novellas. I prefer a book I can really get to know the characters and spend some time with them.

And then I read this collection. Each story is a stand alone story but they are all set in the same town and you do get a repeat of some of the characters - if only as an update of where their lives have gone - so you would want to read them in order.

They are around a 100 pages long so they're great for when you want a quick read but you really do get to know the characters in those 100 pages.

Each of these stories was written by a different author but their writing styles are similar enough that it's not jarring going from one to the next. And I love that there's both romance and humor in the stories. Great for a Saturday afternoon curled up with a quilt.

This book is a wonderful addition to your library and I highly recommend it.


My copy of this book was graciously provided by Bethany House Publishers for my honest review.