Wednesday, February 1, 2012

A Stitch In Time by Tracey Bateman, Carol Cox, Cathy Marie Hake, and Vickie McDonough

This is actually four cute stories in one book, each written by one of the four authors in the title of this review.  The stories are all connected in that each one is about one of four siblings of the Stafford family that live in No Man's land in the Oklahoma territory in the 1880s.  They are presented in chronological order in that once there is only one sibling unwed, they are all trying to set him up which is very humorous to read.  Micah falls first for an interesting girl from the east.  Louisa the only girl and tomboy of the family falls for a very unexpected match.  Josh first meets his love when she is disguised as a boy.  Lastly, Sam has to look beyond the outside before he finds his love while being harassed by his well meaning family.  I very much enjoyed reading this book and recommend it to other romance lovers.

Valeria's Cross by Kathi Macias and Susan Wales

I did not know what I was getting into when I picked up this book from the bookstore.  It's a very thought provoking story that makes your heart ache and realize exactly how we take for granted the freedom of worship.  The story's about Princess Valeria, daughter of Roman Emperor around 250 AD.  Valeria's first love is brutally murdered and made a martyr by the man her father is making her marry.  Can she find love in an arranged marriage to a man she despises?  How can she stand up for her faith in a life full of pagans?

This book is actually based on recorded dates and real people though the gaps are filled in by the authors, events are slightly changed, and things are inferred.  It's not a very good book if you are looking specifically to be entertained by romance.  I didn't really enjoy that part but I'm use to reading fantasy and fiction where anything is possible.  The authors of this book had to go with the events that really happened and were recorded so the framework for the story was already laid out.  It's a very melancholy and sad book so if you are looking to cry, like I did, then this is the book for you.  Not a light read or appropriate for young teens and kids.

Sisters of the Quilt trilogy by Cindy Woodsmall

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Once again I have read an amazing Amish romance by Cindy Woodsmall and again I am thoroughly entertained.  I got this trilogy in one book and would recommend you do so to.  They are much better as one big book rather than three individual books since the first book has a melancholy ending, the second ending is a little better, and the last book's ending is awesome.

"When the Heart Cries" is the first book and a very heart wrenching beginning to the trilogy.  Hannah's world is all rosy with a new fiance and a bright future until one person's selfish actions bring her to her knees.  Can she find hope for her future despite a community and circumstances that are against her?

In "When the Morning Comes", Hannah tries to make it in the English world since her own Amish community abandoned her when in her greatest need.  Can Hannah get through the pain of the past and live in the present or is she doomed to a lonely life of sadness?  Hannah's Amish friends also must deal with the wounds of her leaving and try to move on in this interesting sequel.

Lastly in this trilogy is the page turning story named "When the Soul Mends".  Hannah returns to her community to help her sister, in her illness, and friend, in his loss, only to come face to face with the man she never wanted to see again.  Answers and confrontations long overdue finally take place but only in God's time can healing truly happen.  Hannah's biggest decision lies waiting for her answer but only with God's guidance can she know what is the right way for her.

I very much enjoyed these romance novels and learning about the Amish lifestyle.  The situation presented in the first story and the pain of the aftermath, is something many girls can relate to even if they are not Amish.  This book is encouraging in knowing that even if your world falls apart, God can bring good out of the bad, and give you a hope for the future.  The other romances going on between major characters and the multiple points of view make for a well written and worth reading book for older teen and adult Christian romance lovers.

(I received this book for free from Waterbrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review and this opinion is my own.)

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