©picture by scribbles (Marye McKenney)

Monday, October 31, 2016

Christmas at Forest Hill

Joel's wife, Florence, died shortly after giving birth to their baby girl, Grace, and leaving behind two very young boys. Joel needed help and fast. His father, the bishop, calls a bishop in another Amish settlement asking if there is someone who can come and help Joel with his children. The bishop immediately thinks of Rose and calls on her to see if she's willing to go and help. Her father answers for her and so the very next day, she is on her way to Forest Hill to assist in any way she could. She's not there long before Joel's father comes to tell Joel he needs to marry Rose for her to stay and take care of the children. Rose accepts the marriage of convenience with only a few conditions--being friends with the woman who coordinated getting breast milk for baby Grace, and that Joel will always be kind to her.

Rose's past is talked about early in the story--the fact that her mother verbally abused her and her father basically ignored her. It takes Joel a while to get past the grief of Florence's death and begin to live again, but when he's about to tell Rose that his love has grown for her, his late wife's mother sticks a wrench into the works and involves the bishop into their marriage.

Cindy Woodsmall has written a formulaic romance with an Amish twist, but the romance formula does not detract from the narrative at all. In fact, the romance formula* makes the story worth reading this time. It's not trite, it's not inane, it actually helps the story along. It does not take long to read the book and it is a good book to fill in an afternoon. Five Stars, Two Thumbs Up, and a cup of hot cocoa to warm you up after an afternoon of sledding.

My thanks to Waterbrook/Multnomah for allowing me to read and review this book.

*Romance Formula
Boy meets Girl
Boy gets Girl
Boy loses Girl
Boy gets Girl back

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