Christmas in Apple Ridge by Cindy Woodsmall

Cindy Woodsmall does an amazing job bringing together three stories… all three centering around the Apple Ridge community.

Christmas in Apple RidgeFrom GoodReads:  Experience the holidays with the Plain folk of Apple Ridge, Pennsylvania, in these touching novellas centered around love, romance, heartache, and restoration from best-selling author Cindy Woodsmall.

The Sound of Sleigh Bells –  Beth Hertzler is unable to let go of a past tragedy, but when she discovers a large, intricately carved scene of Amish children playing in the snow, something deep inside Beth’s soul responds. Determined that her niece meet the gifted artist, her aunt tracks him down, but it’s not that simple – will Jonah be able to offer Beth the sleigh ride she’s always dreamed of and a second chance at real love?

The Christmas Singing –  Mattie thought her childhood sweetheart adored her until he abruptly ended their engagement on Christmas Eve. Brokenhearted, Mattie moves away and pursues her longtime dream of becoming a cake decorator, and even finds a new beau. But when Mattie is forced to return home three years later, will learning the truth behind Gideon’s rejection restore her Christmas joy – or open the door to even deeper heartbreak?

The Dawn of Christmas –  Sadie enjoys her freedom away from home and her mission trips to Peru, but after four years, her Old Order Amish family insists it’s time to come home and settle down. Levi, a bachelor who distrusts women after a family heartbreak, also has no desire for romance. To keep their families from meddling in their lives, Sadie and Levi devise a plan—but soon discover that the walls around their hearts are breaking down. Can they let go of their prejudices, learn to trust each other, and embrace a future together?

MY THOUGHTS:

… I could hardly put the book down until I was done. Ms. Woodsmall excels at creating unexpected twists and turns.

Beth and Jonah, who almost immediately garner your sympathy; Beth’s fiancé died just before their wedding and Jonah almost died while rescuing his family! As the story unfolds, Beth and Jonah both begin to share their deep, dark secrets… and their shame. With a little help, they are both able to finally put the past behind them.

I wanted to hide with Beth… I laughed out loud when Jonah discovered the ruse, but was unable to get Beth out of his thoughts. I cheered when he showed up at the motel with a sleigh!

When I began the second story I was disappointed at first, thinking there were all new characters. I love past characters showing up in sequels. I quickly found that many of the people from the first story were continuing their story in the second (and third) books. Woohoo!

I appreciate how Ms. Woodsmall weaves in the characters throughout the three novels, yet making each novel distinctly about the new characters. I love reading her novels. The people in them are more realistic than you find in many other novels (things don’t always work out the way you hope), but she does a great job tying up loose ends and creating happy endings whenever possible.

I heartily recommend these novels.

I received this book free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Company in exchange for an honest review. I had already purchased the first two novels, so now I’m debating whether to keep them or give them away! I love having all three novels in one.

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