Category Archives: series

A Christmas Bride in Pinecraft | Shelley Shepard Gray

 

 

Today I am reviewing A Christmas Bride in Pinecraft, the fourth book of the Amish Brides of Pinecraft series by Shelley Shepard Gray.

Here is a brief synopsis:

Christmas has come to Pinecraft in bestselling author Shelley Shepard Gray’s final Amish Brides of Pinecraft novel, an uplifting story that proves anything is possible when you follow your heart

When manager Beverly Overholt’s beloved Orange Blossom Inn is broken into, she’s shaken to the core. The inn has been her whole life since arriving in the quaint Amish vacation town of Pinecraft, Florida. Hoping to repair what’s been lost, Beverly calls Eric Wagler, the inn’s handsome owner. To her surprise, he promises to be on the next flight out of Philadelphia.

Ever since her fiancé jilted her, Beverly’s been closed off to love. However, with Eric things feel different. She can’t help but be hopeful that their work relationship will turn into something more—even though they are from different worlds. She grew up Amish and is now Mennonite. Eric, on the other hand, grew up on the city streets of Philadelphia. How could they ever find common ground?

But as Beverly and Eric put the inn back together, prepare for Christmas, and even witness romance blossoming for another couple, the trust—and love—between them grows. Will Christmas bring a second chance for Beverly? And if it does, will she be brave enough to take it?

 

 

MY THOUGHTS:

I love this final story. . . and how Shelley completes the series in such a productive, satisfying way. Oh yeah, I was over-the-top by the end!

Thank you, Shelley!

In The Promise of Palm Grove, you met Beverly Overholt, who runs the inn, and receives some disturbing news from Eric Wagler.  In the sequel, The Proposal at Siesta Key, Beverly hears from Eric again, as well as several other unexpected guests. In this final story, A Christmas Bride in Pinecraft, Beverly has trouble adjusting to being at the inn after a break-in. Will Eric be able to convince her to stay? I think Shelley handled everything perfectly, bringing everyone together at the end.

Don’t miss this amazing series!

 

God bless you!

Review © 2018 DJ Mynatt

  1. The Promise of Palm Grove
  2. The Proposal at Siesta Key
  3. A Wish on Gardenia Street (novella)
  4. A Wedding at the Orange Blossom Inn
  5. A Christmas Bride in Pinecraft

 

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A Wedding at the Orange Blossom Inn | Shelley Shepard Gray

 

Today I am reviewing A Wedding at the Orange Blossom Inn, the third book in the Amish Brides of Pinecraft series by Shelley Shepard Gray.

Here is a brief synopsis:

In the third book in New York Times bestselling author Shelley Shepard Gray’s Amish Brides of Pinecraft series, a wedding brings together two young widowed parents . . . and gives them a second chance at love.

Emma Keim was heartbroken when her husband, Sanford, passed away, leaving her to raise three young daughters alone.

Though several years have passed, her relatives have made it no secret that they expect Emma to remain a widow, mourning Sanford indefinitely.

But when she meets Jay Hilty — a handsome widower with three young sons of his own — Emma is delighted to have a new friend who understands her struggles.

Still, she is dismayed that her family is so opposed to their friendship — and the idea of it ever becoming anything more. She honors her husband’s memory every day, but is she destined to be alone forever?

Emma’s gentleness with Jay’s boys stirs something in his heart that’s been quiet for far too long. But when his oldest son becomes engaged to a local woman, suddenly Jay, Emma, and their children are swept up in wedding preparations.

Witnessing his son’s joy, Jay wonders if it’s time for him to move forward, too, and find happiness again.

Once again, love has come to Pinecraft. But can these two parties of four become a happy, healthy family of eight?

 

 

MY THOUGHTS:

I really, really want to move to Pinecraft, Florida!

As a matter of fact, after reading this series, we are planning a trip to Pinecraft this year!

Pinecraft is noted for it’s Amish and Mennonite population — and I’m not Amish or Mennonite — but I really think I’d love living there among the plain people. My family has been adapting our lifestyle for several years, letting go of bits and pieces, hoping to adapt to a plainer life.

When I opened my mail and found A Wedding at the Orange Blossom Inn, I immediately began reading it –- and didn’t stop until I reached the end! It’s an easy read… mostly because it’s interesting, and portrays a story that seems real. Of course, I know it’s fiction – but I enjoy pretending…

The characters in this sequel are delightful! Emma Keim and Jay Hilty have both lost their spouses; they both have three children –- Emma has three daughters and Jay has three sons -– and to marry would make life easier for everyone involved.

Unfortunately, in a strange turn of events, Emma’s parents -– and in-laws –- all want Emma to stay single –- to honor her husband’s memory. Or is there another reason?

You’ll love this story… Shelley Shepard Gray writes awesome Amish romances!

Don’t miss this amazing series!

 

God bless you!

Review © 2018 DJ Mynatt

  1. The Promise of Palm Grove
  2. The Proposal at Siesta Key
  3. A Wish on Gardenia Street (novella)
  4. A Wedding at the Orange Blossom Inn
  5. A Christmas Bride in Pinecraft

 

A Wish on Gardenia Street | Shelley Shepard Gray

 

 

Today I am reviewing A Wish on Gardenia Street, a novella to be read after The Proposal at Siesta Key and before A Wedding at the Orange Blossom Inn, also part of the Amish Brides of Pinecraft series by Shelley Shepard Gray.

Here is a brief synopsis:

Bestselling author Shelley Shepard Gray continues her Amish Brides of Pinecraft series with a special addition—a tale of wishing and wanting…and what the heart really needs

Good things may come to those who wait, but Mattie Miller is confident that great things come to those who go after what they want…and Mattie wants Danny Brenneman. Danny is the reason she’s returned to the sunny Amish community of Pinecraft, Florida—well, that and to see her best friend Leona get married.

Mattie’s met Danny only once before but she knows the spark between them is sure to lead to something special. Despite a missing cat, wedding day chaos, and Danny himself, she’s confident this vacation can only end one way: in an engagement of her very own!

 

 

MY THOUGHTS:

I loved reading about Mattie Miller, who we met in The Promise of Palm Grove. In this sequel, Mattie returns to Pinecraft for her friend’s wedding. But Mattie is also hoping to re-connect with Danny Brenneman, the young man she’s been corresponding with since her first visit.

Does Mattie find love in Pinecraft? Well, I could tell you… and ruin the story for you, but I’m not about to do that. So I’m not going to tell you. Instead, I encourage you to get a copy of this ebook and read it for yourself. If you’re reading this series, you won’t want to miss this exciting story!

Happy Reading…

 

God bless you!

Review © 2018 DJ Mynatt

  1. The Promise of Palm Grove
  2. The Proposal at Siesta Key
  3. A Wish on Gardenia Street (novella)
  4. A Wedding at the Orange Blossom Inn
  5. A Christmas Bride in Pinecraft

 

The Proposal at Siesta Key | Shelley Shepard Gray

 

 

Today I am reviewing The Proposal at Siesta Key, the second book in the Amish Brides of Pinecraft series by Shelley Shepard Gray.

Here is a brief synopsis:

Penny Troyer never disobeys her parents. But tonight she’s bending the rules because Michael Knoxx — the most famous member of the Knoxx Family, a traveling Mennonite evangelical family — is scheduled to speak.

Penny has heard of Michael — how he lost part of his leg in a terrible accident and uses the experience to inspire others — and knows she must meet him… even if it means challenging her parents’ strict rules and taking the first step toward her own independence.

Though he speaks about living life to the fullest, Michael knows he needs to take his own advice. Life on the road is grueling and Michael wants to slow down, to rest… to perhaps meet someone who sees him as a man, not just a celebrity. So when a twist of fate allows him the chance to stay a little longer in Pinecraft, Michael knows God is showing him a new path, especially when he discovers that Penny has also survived a terrible ordeal.

But as Michael’s time in Pinecraft comes to an end, Michael and Penny are left to wonder what kind of future they could possibly have together. Are they brave enough to take the chance given to them? Or will they choose to cling to what is familiar, even if it pushes away their dream of happiness?

 

 

MY THOUGHTS:

Once again, Shelley Shepard Gray has won me over – with another Amish Brides of Pinecrest story…

I love how Shelley creates wonderful, true-to-life characters that I can identify with. She shows the reader that everyone has issues; it’s how her Amish folk handle their problems – with faith and hope – that make a difference to me.

The Proposal at Siesta Key revolves around the Orange Blossom Inn, as well as the community of Pinecrest. You’ll meet Penny Troyer, a grown woman who still lives at home with her parents, and Michael Knoxx, who travels with his family, speaking to groups and witnessing of Jesus’ love.

If you read the first book in the series, then you’ve already met Beverly Overholt, who runs the inn. Beverly received some disturbing news in The Promise of Palm Grove. In this sequel, Beverly hears from Eric again, as well as several other unexpected guests – will they be trouble for Beverly? Even the book title invokes questions – is there a proposal at Siesta Key? Who will it involve?

I guess you’ll have to read the novel to find out. Oh, how I’d love to tell… but I can’t spoil it for you. Take my word – there are a few unexpected events – and you’ll be surprised at them, but delighted in the end.

Don’t miss this amazing series!

 

Blessings!

Review © 2018 DJ Mynatt

  1. The Promise of Palm Grove
  2. The Proposal at Siesta Key
  3. A Wish on Gardenia Street (novella)
  4. A Wedding at the Orange Blossom Inn
  5. A Christmas Bride in Pinecraft

 

The Promise of Palm Grove | Shelley Shepard Gray

 

 

Today I’m reviewing The Promise of Palm Grove, the first book in the Amish Brides of Pinecraft series, by Shelley Shepard Gray.

Here’s a brief synopsis:

A young Amish woman finds herself torn between the man she’s pledged to wed and the man her heart desires in this heartwarming story of chance, duty, and choice in the face of love—the first volume in beloved New York Times bestselling author Shelley Shepard Gray’s new Amish Brides of Pinecraft series

Amish bride-to-be Leona is thrilled to be in Florida, on a mini vacation in the pretty town of Pinecraft. Her girlfriends think she’s happy because she’s away from the stress of wedding planning. They have no idea that Leona’s real joy is in being away from her fiancé.

Edmund is a good man and will make a decent husband . . . just not for Leona. The more time she spends with him and his overbearing ways, the less she wants to be his wife. Her cousins are sure Edmund is the right man for her—and their certainty makes Leona begin to doubt herself. But when a chance encounter with a wayward cat brings her face-to-face with a handsome, fun-loving Amish man named Zachary Kaufmann, Leona’s faced with two vastly different futures.

Leona must decide: Should she follow the path set out before her? Or take a chance with only the promise of what could be to guide her?

 

 

My thoughts:

All right… now I want to move to Pinecraft, Florida!

I know what you’re thinking… Pinecraft is noted for their Amish and Mennonite population — and I’m not Amish (or Mennonite) — but I really think I’d love living there among the plain people.

I had the hardest time putting this book down (don’t start it at night — you won’t want to put it down until you finish it).

I have to say, I figured Edmund wasn’t much to like… and when I was done, I still didn’t find much to like about him. I could say much more, but I’ll leave it at that… if you want to know more, just read the book!

You won’t lose interest in this story… not just the main characters, but some wonderful characters building up their own story. I’m hoping we’ll hear more from them in the sequel.

Thank goodness I don’t have to wait to read book 2 (a review coming up next time).

Great job, Shelley! Of course, I wouldn’t expect anything but the best from you!

 

 

Happy Reading!

Blessings!

Review © 2018 DJ Mynatt

  1. The Promise of Palm Grove
  2. The Proposal at Siesta Key
  3. A Wish on Gardenia Street (novella)
  4. A Wedding at the Orange Blossom Inn
  5. A Christmas Bride in Pinecraft

An Amish Family Christmas | Shelley Shepard Gray

 


Today I am posting my review of An Amish Family Christmas, the last book in The Charmed Amish Life series, by Shelley Shepard Gray.

Here is a brief synopsis:

An unlikely Amish romance reveals that Christmas is a time for family, miracles—and love.

Ever since his father died in a tragic fire, Levi Kinsinger has felt adrift. Newly returned to Charm, Ohio, Levi is trying to fit into his old life, only to discover he seems to have outgrown it.

But when Julia, his young widowed neighbor, asks for his help with a Christmas project, Levi finds a sense of purpose for the first time in months. She and her daughter are new to Charm and could use a friend, a job Levi takes personally.

Soon enough, friendship grows into attraction, but Levi can’t help having doubts. There’s something about Julia that doesn’t ring quite true…

Like Levi, Julia Kemps has survived her fair share of hardships—but only by hiding the truth of her past. Being an unmarried mother in an Amish community was unthinkable.

Feeling hopeless, Julia did the only thing she could do: she moved to a new town and pretended to be a widow. But meeting Levi, she’s hopeful for the first time. Little by little, she begins to imagine telling him her darkest secret, and eventually…perhaps even sharing her life with him.

Christmas is a time for family, and as the holiday draws closer, Julia and Levi will have to face their pasts together…in order to find the healing, support and love they so desperately desire.

 

MY THOUGHTS:

I have been a faithful reader of all books from Shelley Shepard Gray for many years . . . and The Charmed Amish Life series doesn’t disappoint in the least. It’s a wonderful series, and, although I’m supposed to be reviewing An Amish Family Christmas, I can’t help but include the other books in the series!

This story is about Luke, the brother who left home after the fire. Now he’s back — and when he helps out his young, widowed neighbor, just maybe he’ll have a reason to stay!

Great characters! Great stories!

This is an amazing series that I encourage you to read. I just know you’ll enjoy them as much as I have.

Happy Reading!

 

Blessings!

Review © 2018 DJ Mynatt

  1. A Son’s Vow
  2. A Daughter’s Dream
  3. A Sister’s Wish
  4. An Amish Family Christmas

 

A Sister’s Wish | Shelley Shepard Gray

 

Today I am reviewing A Sister’s Wish… the third book in The Charmed Amish Life series by Shelley Shepard Gray.

Here is a brief synopsis:

In Shelley Shepard Gray’s third book in her Charmed Amish Life series, a respectable young woman finds herself falling for an Amish man from the wrong side of the tracks.

Amelia Kinsinger is the perfect Amish woman—at least according to her neighbors. And while Amelia takes pride in her role as homemaker, she’s also harboring a secret:

She’s been in love with bad boy Simon Hochstetler for as long as she can remember. Too bad he’s about as far from “perfect” as an Amish man could get… but that’s exactly why she’s so drawn to him.

Life hasn’t been kind to Simon. He ran away from an abusive home at fifteen and things went downhill from there. Eventually, Simon landed in prison. But the experience changed him. Now back in Charm as a grown man, he’s determined to make a new life for himself and not think too much about his wild past…unless it pertains to Amelia.

He’s loved Amelia for years. To him, she represents everything good and kind in the world. When he realizes that she returns his affections, he starts calling on her in secret, even though her older brother Lukas—who just happens to be Simon’s best friend—has made it perfectly clear that Amelia deserves better. Simon disagrees and believes he’s the only one who can truly make her happy.

But when Amelia gets hurt, it sets off a chain of events that forces them to consider their future together—and face their past mistakes. There’s a chance for love… but only if Simon dares to trust Amelia with the secrets of his past.

 

MY THOUGHTS:

For years, Simon Hochstetler has been in love with Amelia Kinsinger. Unfortunately, Lucas Kinsinger, Amelia’s brother, told Simon in no uncertain terms that he wasn’t the man for Amelia.

Not only does this news hurt Simon, but it also hurts Amelia deeply. So much so that she . . . well, I can’t exactly tell you what she does, can I? I really don’t want to spoil this wonderful story for you. You need to read it on your own. But please let me encourage you to read it.

In fact, read the whole series. You’ll be blessed by it.

Happy reading!

 

Blessings!

Review © 2018 DJ Mynatt

  1. A Son’s Vow
  2. A Daughter’s Dream
  3. A Sister’s Wish
  4. An Amish Family Christmas

 

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