English River

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Nye, Thomas. English River: Amish Horses Series- Book III. USA: CrossLink Publishing. 2016.

SUMMARY:
Living with his Uncle Noey and Aunt Ruth since his father left the Amish years earlier, young Lenny reaches adulthood. Having followed his coming of age story through the previous two novels in the Amish Horses Series, Lenny finally comes to a crossroads and must decide between the Amish settlement and the English ways of life. Torn between emotions, community, family and his heart, Lenny realizes he must make choices which will impact his life both now and in the future.

A PENNY FOR MY THOUGHTS:
As book 3 in the series, I enjoyed this book at least as much as I did the previous two. With a backdrop of a simpler way of life filled with horses, laughter, sadness and love, English River was probably my favorite book yet. As a calm storyteller, author Thomas Nye pays beautiful credit to the Amish manner of living. A simple, sweet, heart-warming novel with a deeper message, I cannot help but recommend this book to many others. Hopefully, this skilled and gentle writer will have another book on the near horizon.

RATING:
4.25 (out of 5) pennies

*I received a complimentary copy of English River from BookCrash and the author for my honest review*

What Hope Remembers

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Alexander, Johnnie. What Hope Remembers: Misty Willow Series- Book 3. Grand Rapids, MI: Revell Publishing. 2017.

SUMMARY:
Returning home to her childhood community after a heartbreaking situation, Amy Somers isn’t exactly proud of the person she has recently become. Not having stayed especially close to her family, Amy can only wonder how she will be accepted back. When her high-school sweetheart, Gabe Kendall, rides into town, memories surround her even as she realizes Gabe may have some history due to personal choices as well. Romance, forgiveness, family and sweetness combine with a dash of country charm in the newest Misty Willow series novel by author Johnnie Alexander.

A PENNY FOR MY THOUGHTS:
Having read one of the previous books in this series, I had hoped to revisit some of the characters yet again. Though this novel works as a stand-alone, it works even better when read with the series. A strong contemporary writer with just enough pizazz in her storyline to make it enjoyable, What Hopes Remembers is full of gentleness, understanding, love and surprises. Taking place on the ranch of Whisper Lane Stables is an added delight for horse lovers. Wonderful addition to a well-written series.

RATING:
4 (out of 5) pennies

*I received a complimentary copy of What Hope Remembers from Revell Publishing for my honest review*

Catbird Singing

Nye, Thomas. Catbird Singing: Amish Horses Series-Book 2. USA: CrossLink Publishing. 2015.

SUMMARY:
catbirdStranded on an Amish farm after an accident, Lenny and his dog, Russell, seem to find trouble. Warned by Bishop Mose not to chase the Amish girls, Lenny finds himself trying to fit into the Amish way of life while also trying to understand his interest in Leah as he journeys into manhood. With friendships new and old, as well as his love of horses, though trouble may find him, forgiveness and redemption follow closely…

A PENNY FOR MY THOUGHTS:
Having read and enjoyed the first book in the Amish Horses series, I was excited to see book 2 available. Finding the title quite creative, I also enjoyed the placid pace of this novel along with the storyline. Obviously very well versed in horses, author Thomas Nye is able to convey his knowledge of the Amish also. A gentle yet heartwarming story, I found it compelling yet also relaxing as I quickly read it. Although it is not necessary to read the books in order, I did find it helpful as many of the same characters were revisited. Hopefully, book 3 is already in the works.

RATING:
4 (out of 5) pennies

*I received a complimentary copy of Catbird Singing from the author and BookCrash for my honest review*

Irish Meadows

Mason, Susan Anne. Irish Meadows: Courage to Dream- Book 1. Bloomington, MN: Bethany House Publishers. 2015.

SUMMARY:
irishmeadowsWell aware of his ancestry as an Irish immigrant, James O’Leary expects his daughters to marry well, especially now that the future of Irish Meadows depends on it. Caught between a domineering father and their own hearts’ desires, sisters Brianna and Colleen must make difficult decisions regarding their farm, family responsibilities, and dreams of their futures. Through family emergencies, soul-searching, forgiveness, and newly found courage, all involved must work together for the best outcome…

A PENNY FOR MY THOUGHTS:
As her first historical novel written with her style of “romance sprinkled with faith”, Irish Meadows was a success for me. I loved the word choices and writing style with which Susan Anne Mason penned, as well as the family dynamics, difficult situations, strength of faith, pronounced courage and a few surprises all united in a page-turning storyline. Influenced by her own genealogy along with intended and accidental research, the combination worked well for her latest novel. Leaving a character undeveloped in her story ensures a second book will follow next year. Definitely an author I will seek out, I truly enjoyed this book from the gorgeous front-cover to the appealing back-cover and all the pages in-between!

RATING:
5 (out of 5) pennies

*I received a complimentary copy of Irish Meadows from Bethany House Publishers for my honest review*