Book Review: Seaside Letters (Nantucket #3) by Denise Hunter

Hello everyone,

Today’s review is on Seaside Letters by Denise Hunter.


It appears that I am obsessed with Denise Hunter’s books lately, but I can’t help it she writes some really great novels that not only have sweet romances, but she also doesn’t shy away from dealing with some hard topics and themes. And Seaside Letters is no different, although I will admit it tend to be a little more melodramatic compared to the other two books in the series, but it was still a fun and entertaining read! 

Seaside Letters follows Sabrina who is a waitress at the local diner, one of her regular customers is Trevor McCabe, a man who she has fallen in love with but has convinced herself that she can never be with him, despite the fact the feeling seems to be mutual. However, she is able to have an online relationship with him under the pseudonym, Sweetpea, in which she has found a connection with him and feels like she can share some of her secrets with him. However, she eventually finds out, while emailing back and forth, that she has a connection to him in her past that she is ashamed of, and if he ever discovered that secret, she believes that he would cut off all ties with her. But Trevor decides to hire her to help her find Sweetpea, and she agrees to it, although she knows that she will need to do whatever she can to ensure that he never finds out who she is and she needs to deny her feelings for him. And things only start to get more complicated when her cousin Arielle arrives in town…the woman who’s picture she sent to Trevor. 

I did really enjoy this book, although there were times that Sabrina’s stubbornness got to me and I felt like slapping some sense into her, but her reasoning for what she did makes sense, although that doesn’t necessarily make it right. I loved the dynamic in that she knows who Trevor is and he knows who she is (this isn’t a spoiler, it is stated at the very beginning of the book), but he is pretending he doesn’t know just so he can spend time with her. And even though she tries to thwart his efforts to get to know her better, he still finds a way to show her he’s interested. However, I do wish he would have told her sooner that he knew that she was Sweetpea, but again I get why he didn’t because she was constantly cold towards him and barely opened up herself to a friendship with him. 

I liked the added dynamic of Sabrina’s cousin coming town, in which Sabrina then tries to pawn her off as Sweetpea, despite the fact that Trevor knows she isn’t…again this would have been a perfect time for him to say something to her, but once again he doesn’t. Instead he goes along with Arielle’s cock-a-mainy scheme to try and make Sabrina a little jealous and force her into opportunities to spend more time with Trevor. It was interesting to watch Sabrina get frustrated for Sweetpea’s sake, even though she is Sweetpea in one particular scene (however I won’t say which one because it will kind of spoil some of the novel). 

Even though Sabrina’s stubbornness to open up to Trevor can grate on readers nerves, when the reason is discovered, it makes a lot more sense. But she also doesn’t give Trevor much of the benefit of the doubt, which is sad, but again it makes sense considering she has had a rocky history with relationships in the past. 

There were a few great side characters in this book, Rennie, Sabrina’s landlord. She was so full of wisdom and it was also interesting to see her going through her own issues. I wish we could’ve find out more about her overcoming these issues, but as she overcomes them, she is able to help Sabrina figure out what she should do. Another good character was Arielle, Sabrina’s cousin and how she tries to get Sabrina and Trevor together, however she was kind of annoying in how she just barges into Sabrina’s life in a sense. And then there is Oliver, another one of Sabrina’s regulars at the diner who constantly tries to trip her up using big words, but has never stumped her yet. 

Overall, I really did enjoy this novel, even though I found both main characters to be annoying at times, but I guess that just goes to prove that nobody’s perfect. If you’re a fan of Denise Hunter, or are interested in reading one of her books, I definitely recommend giving Seaside Letters a try. 4/5 Stars. 

Happy Reading,

Janelle L. C.


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Reading Experiment #3: Following the Read-a-like Trail

Hello everyone,

Welcome to another installment in my series of reading experiments that I am planning on doing throughout the rest of the year (and, let’s be honest, even into next year!). For this experiment I am doing what I like to call following the read-a-like trail for one particular book. In order t come up with this list I used a database available at my library called NoveList (by the way, this is in no way sponsored by them!) which is a databse in which you can search for books, and if you search for a particular title, often it will provide read-a-likes within the record.

Well, I decided to choose a title, and then to read the first book that showed up on the read-a-like list.

And then for that book, I would read the first book on the list for that title, unless it was a title I had already read, or, as I discovered as I created this list, if I had already read the book for this challenge. In that case, I just choose the next book on the list. And so it continues, I decided to limit my list to 15 books because I discovered that following the “trail” could go on for a very long time (I think I eventually got to about 50 books and was still going!). Just a note before we get started, I did notice that the read-a-like list for each book seemed to change after a week, and it seems to do so weekly, and this might due to some sort of algorithm that NoveList has, so if you try to do it for the same book I used as my starting point, you might get a different list than what I have.

Here are the books I’m planning on reading for the experiment and in order!

  1. Amish Front Porch Stories by Wanda E. Brunstetter, Jean Brunstetter and Richelle Brunstetter44025202._sy475_
  2. The Tinderbox by Beverly Lewis40392221
  3. A Place at Our Table by Amy Clipston34460508._sy475_
  4. Promise Lodge by Charlotte Hubbard25810160
  5. A Son’s Vow by Shelley Shepard Gray25817106
  6. Written in Love by Kathleen Fuller41022043
  7. Lydia’s Charm by Wanda E. Brunstetter7947769
  8. When the Heart Cries by Cindy Woodsmall201104._sy475_
  9. A Cousin’s Promise by Wanda E. Brunstetter5055957._sy475_
  10. Courting Cate by Leslie Gould13777891
  11. The Imposter by Suzanne Woods Fisher25178167
  12. The Store Keeper’s Daughter by Wanda E. Brunstetter136967._sy475_
  13. The Road Home by Beverly Lewis35138320
  14. Summer of Secrets by Charlotte Hubbard12938035
  15. The Journey by Wanda E. Brunstetter8565320._sy475_

Happy Reading,

Janelle L. C.

Book Review: The Convenient Groom (Nantucket #2) by Denise Hunter

Hello everyone,

Today’s review is on The Convenient Groom by Denise Hunter.


2019 was a big year when it came to my discovery of new authors (as well as other things), and Denise Hunter is definitely one of those new authors. Even though the first book I read by her, The Accidental Bride, was alright but not great, I knew I had to give her another chance. If you read my review for Surrender Bay, you know that that book quickly made her one of my new favorite authors and I want to try and read as many of her books as I possibly can. I was a little worried when picking up The Convenient Groom that it wouldn’t be as good as Surrender Bay, however, my fears would soon put at ease after I read the first chapter and I am definitely glad that I picked this up.
The Convenient Groom follows relationship expert, Kate Lawrence, who just several hours before her wedding to the love of her life is jilted by her fiance. In order to help her save face, and since he loves her, carpenter Lucas Wright offers to be her stand-in groom. She agrees to marry him and they come up with an agreement to keep up the appearances of their marriage, especially since there are no feelings involved – or are there? Kate believes that her and Lucas are two very different people and that a relationship between the two of them could never work, especially since nothing about him fits into the categories and lists that she has formulated when it comes to finding the right person to marry. However, Lucas proves that love isn’t something that can be checked off on a checklist and Kate has to decide whether she is going to confine herself to a list of rules that she developed over the years, or open herself up to the possibility of loving Lucas.
I really enjoyed this story, it was a nice, sweet relaxing read. I loved getting to know both Kate and Lucas and watching their relationship blossom and grow over the course of the novel. Kate is rigid and believes that finding love means first ensuring that your partner meets all the qualifications you believe that they should have in order to ensure a life free of conflict. However, when her perfect man, Bryan, calls her mere hours before her wedding she realizes that she might be wrong. But she refuses to even entertain the idea of Lucas being a romantic interest even if she is legally married to him. I did like her character development over the course of the novel, her even realizing that what she thought to be true was wrong. There were times when her rigidity was a bit grating, but I also realize that that was apart of her character as she tries to figure out how to open up to her new husband. Lucas was also a great character, but honestly I wish he would’ve let Kate know earlier on that her loved her, but I guess for the sake of the plot, but also not wanting to jeopardize or pressure her, a man’s got to do what he can, even when it’s hard for him to watch the woman he loves continually close herself off from him.
I also enjoyed a lot of the side characters, especially Lucas’ younger siblings, Brody and Jamie and the bonds they form with Kate and even go to her for advice. But can I just say that her ex-fiance Bryan is a sleaze-ball? He jilts her at the altar for another woman, is butt-hurt when she decides to try and save her reputation by marrying another man, and then when he breaks up with the woman he left her for, he tries to win her back, even though he knows that she is married! He’s a piece of work who doesn’t respect her and does not deserve her, especially since he clearly was sleeping with the other woman when they were still together. I am so glad that Lucas kept putting him in his place and that Kate also comes to the realization that he wasn’t as perfect as he seemed to be.
I’ll admit, yes the plot is probably cliche and predictable, but it is still a very cute story, and also deals with some very real issues, such as the trauma of divorce and even the effects of OCD. I enjoyed the ending, of course, and from the beginning the author does a good job of making readers root for this couple, even if they are seemingly mismatched. It does read like a Hallmark movie at times, which is ironic since was turned into a Hallmark movie a couple years ago, which I am planning on watching in the near future…if I do I might have to do a review of it to see how it compares to the book. While it is marketed as a Christian fiction book, there are only a handful of references to God throughout the novel, however when reading notes from the author, the absence of more overt Christian themes and references is intentional, because throughout the book not only does she try to display the qualities that men ought to have, but she also tries to demonstrate a facet of Christ’s love for His people, and to her credit she does a good job. I am looking forward to reading the other books in this series very soon. 4/5 Stars.
Happy Reading,
Janelle L. C.

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Book Review: The Preacher’s Daughter (Annie’s People #1) by Beverly Lewis

Hello everyone,

Today’s review is on The Preacher’s Daughter by Beverly Lewis.


The Preacher’s Daughter was a reread for me, I remember reading it several years ago when I was still in high school, but for some reason I don’t think I ever finished reading it. I can remember the gist of the book, but I’m 99.99% certain that I did not finish the series, so I decided to reread this book so that I could refresh my self of what happens so that I have a better idea of what is going on when I read the next two books in the series.
I’ll admit that I did not find this story as engaging as I probably did back in high school, I don’t know if that is just because I’ve been reading a lot of Amish fiction lately and reading from different authors. It could also be that I just don’t gel as much with Beverly Lewis’ writing style as I did back when I was a teenager. It seemed to move at a slow pace, and there were times that I felt that certain parts of the plot were drawn out when it could’ve just gotten to the point, but I think this was done in part because it is the first book in a trilogy, but I can’t help but think that maybe the trilogy could’ve just been a duology or even a standalone if certain things had been cut out…I don’t know, I guess I’ll find out when I get a chance to read the other two books in the series.
The Preacher’s Daughter introduces readers to Annie Zook, who’s father is a preacher in her district. She has yet to get baptized into the Amish community because it means that she will have to give up her passion for painting and drawing, which is frowned upon in the community. However, her delay has also led to heartbreak in that it forced away a young man who was interested in her, but was tired of waiting for her to join the Amish fellowship. Annie also has a pen pal who she has been writing to since she was in grade school, Louisa Stratford, a young artist who is about to get married at the start of the book, but realizes that her fiance is not all that he seems, and that her relationship was just another way of her parents trying to control her life. After she calls off the wedding, she decides to go spend several weeks with Annie to try and find peace from the craziness of the life she is used to living. At the same time, an old mystery is opened back up to a family that though they had finally found closure, and a young Amish woman must decide whether or not to leave her abusive husband.
As the start of a series, this was alright, but I do feel like this could have been condensed into two books, because there were several scenes that seemed to be drawn out for no reason. But I guess I’ll see if I still stick to this perspective after I have read the other two books in the series.
I did enjoy getting to know the characters in this novel, although Annie seemed unusually naive about certain things considering she is twenty and still in her running around years, but then again there might not be a whole lot she has ventured to do because she is the preacher’s daughter. And instead of getting into a world of shenanigans she dedicates herself to her art. Louisa served as a good foil to Annie, although it was interesting to see her outlook on life change over the weeks of her visit in Paradise. While she does have to adjust to doing without some modern conveniences that seem essential, she seems to get along just fine in her new surroundings and comes to love the peacefulness of life in the Amish community, even though she struggles with why Annie has to keep her artistic talent a secret.
It was also interesting to see more of what the Amish community does when it comes to something serious like a kidnapping and how they refuse to get the police involved. Another thing that was interesting is how they seem to handle the whole topic of salvation, although I also know that there are different sects of Amish, such as Old Order (which is the community that is the main focus of this book), New Order, and Mennonite, and I’m sure from district to district it also varies.
Overall, this was an okay read, although it did provide some interesting insights into the Old Order Amish culture. While the plot seemed to be slow at times, it did keep me interested, and it made me interested in reading the next book in this series. I look forward to finishing this trilogy sometime in the near future. 3/5 Stars.
Happy Reading,
Janelle L. C.

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Blog Tour: The Fifth Avenue Writers’ Society


About the Book


Book: The Fifth Avenue Story Society

Author: Rachel Hauck

Genre: Contemporary Romance/ Women’s Fiction

Release Date: February 4, 2020

An invitation to join The Fifth Avenue Story Society gives five New York strangers a chance to rewrite their own stories.

Executive assistant Lexa is eager for a much-deserved promotion, but her boss is determined to keep her underemployed.

Literature professor Jett is dealing with a broken heart, as well as a nagging suspicion his literary idol, Gordon Phipps Roth, might be a fraud.

Uber driver Chuck just wants a second chance with his kids.

Aging widower Ed is eager to write the true story of his incredible marriage.

Coral, queen of the cosmetics industry, has broken her engagement and is on the verge of losing her great grandmother’s multimillion-dollar empire.

When all five New Yorkers receive an anonymous, mysterious invitation to the Fifth Avenue Story Society, they suspect they’re victims of a practical joke. No one knows who sent the invitations or why. No one has heard of the literary society. And no one is prepared to bear their deepest secrets to a roomful of strangers.

Yet curiosity and loneliness bring them back week after week to the old library. And it’s there they discover the stories of their hearts, and the kind of friendship and love that heals their souls.

Get your copy of the book here.

My Thoughts

This is a hard book to review not because it was bad, rather it was really good, but some of the elements that I really loved about it are kind of spoilery, but I am going to try my best!

The Fifth Avenue Story Society was a poignant read and covered a couple of hard topics, but it did so in a great way. The best way to summarize this book is that even though the truth is hard to admit and share it will set you free. Several of the main characters are struggling to come to terms with the truth of certain events in their past and over the course of the novel they are forced to work through it.

I really enjoyed the premise of how each of the five characters received an invitation to be a part of the story society, however none of the characters really had much in common with each other, except for Jett and Lexa who had previously been married. I loved seeing the different relationships that were developed over the course of the novel. Another thing I really liked about this book is how each of the characters is struggling with their own inner demons, or even with the dreams of what they wish their lives had been.

One last thing I would like to say is that I really liked the whole idea of a society that seems to have no point, but rather the point is to face certain truths and how to move on from that point. In some ways I think it shows how God works in mysterious ways.

Overall, I really enjoyed The Fifth Avenue Story Society, in fact I think it will make my list of top 10 books of 2020, but who knows. I’m looking forward to reading more of Rachel Hauck’s works in the future. 4/5 Stars.

About the Author


Rachel Hauck is the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA TODAY bestselling author of The Wedding Dress, which was also named Inspirational Novel of the Year by Romantic Times and was a RITA finalist. Rachel lives in central Florida with her husband and pet and writes from her ivory tower. Visit her online at; Facebook: RachelHauck; Twitter: @RachelHauck; Instagram: @rachelhauck.

Read an Excerpt

Read an excerpt here. 

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, February 10

The Avid Reader, February 10

Livin’ Lit, February 10

Genesis 5020, February 10

Locks, Hooks and Books, February 10

The Power of Words, February 11

A Baker’s Perspective, February 11

Rebecca Tews, February 11

All-of-a-kind Mom, February 11

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, February 11

Older & Smarter?, February 12

Seasons of Opportunities, February 12

Texas Book-aholic, February 12

Inklings and notions, February 12

deb’s Book Review, February 12

My Devotional Thoughts, February 13

Just the Write Escape, February 13

For Him and My Family, February 13

The Meanderings of a Bookworm, February 13

CarpeDiem, February 13

Remembrancy, February 14

Christian Bookaholic, February 14

Connect in Fiction, February 14

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, February 14

April Hayman, Author, February 14

Robin’s Nest, February 15

Mypreciousbitsandmusings, February 15

Britt Reads Fiction, February 15

Just Your Average reviews, February 15

Blogging With Carol, February 15

Batya’s Bits, February 16

Bigreadersite, February 16

A Reader’s Brain, February 16

Worthy2Read, February 16

Stories By Gina, February 16

Back Porch Reads, February 17

janicesbookreviews, February 17

Literary Reflections Book Blog, February 17

Inside the Wong Mind, February 17

Mary Hake, February 17

Through the fire blogs, February 18

Mia Reads, February 18

Baker Kella, February 18

EmpowerMoms, February 18

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, February 18

Maureen’s Musings, February 19

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, February 19

Coast and Anchor, February 19

Spoken from the Heart, February 19

SPLASHES of Joy, February 19

She Lives to Read, February 20

By The Book, February 20

Wishful Endings, February 20

Moments, February 20

Simple Harvest Reads, February 20 (Guest Review from Mindy Houng)

Andrea Christenson, February 21

Tell Tale Book Reviews, February 21

Pause for Tales, February 21

For The Love of Books, February 21

Lis Loves Reading, February 21

Reader’s Cozy Corner, February 22

Hallie Reads, February 22

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, February 22

A Good Book and Cup of Tea, February 22

To Everything There Is A Season, February 22

Godly Book Reviews, February 23

Daysong Reflections, February 23

SusanLovesBooks, February 23

Lights in a Dark World, February 23


Blog Tour and Giveaway: Waltz in the Wilderness


About the Book


Book: Waltz in the Wilderness

Author: Kathleen Denly

Genre: Christian Historical Romance

Release Date: February 4, 2020

She’s desperate to find her missing father. His conscience demands he risk all to help.

Eliza Brooks is haunted by her role in her mother’s death, so she’ll do anything to find her missing pa—even if it means sneaking aboard a southbound ship. When those meant to protect her abandon and betray her instead, a family friend’s unexpected assistance is a blessing she can’t refuse.

Daniel Clarke came to California to make his fortune, and a stable job as a San Francisco carpenter has earned him more than most have scraped from the local goldfields. But it’s been four years since he left Massachusetts and his fiancé is impatient for his return. Bound for home at last, Daniel Clarke finds his heart and plans challenged by a tenacious young woman with haunted eyes. Though every word he utters seems to offend her, he is determined to see her safely returned to her father. Even if that means risking his fragile engagement.

When disaster befalls them in the remote wilderness of the Southern California mountains, true feelings are revealed, and both must face heart-rending decisions. But how to decide when every choice before them leads to someone getting hurt?

Click here for your copy!

My Thoughts

This book surprised me, I think because I went into it as blind as I could. In fact, by the time I picked it up to read it, I had forgotten what it was about, except for the fact that it was in the 1800s and in California. However, I’m not disappointed by that fact because I really enjoyed Waltz in the Wilderness.

I loved the setting of San Francisco and then the wilderness of California during the Gold Rush. I also enjoyed learning about the different customs from that era, especially when it comes to a you woman having to have a chaperone – most novels touch on this, but I felt like I learned more about it. It was also interesting to see how something as simple as a woman showing her ankles was considered scandalous back then.

Eliza was a great character however, there were times I wanted to slap some sense into her, especially when she makes decisions that put her life in jeopardy. But I also do admire her dogged determination to find out what happened to her father, even though he seemingly abandoned her several years before. I also appreciate how she tries to keep from ruining Daniel’s reputation, especially since he’s engaged. Another thing I liked about Eliza is that she is a reader and seems to delight in the works of Charles Dickens.

Then there  is Daniel Clarke, who is a real gentleman. Even though he knows his actions throughout the novel might ruin his reputation, he also realizes that he can’t leave Eliza to wander the wilderness on her own. Throughout their journey he remains honorable. However, every character has their flaws, and Daniel’s was that he was infuriating when he keeps reminding Eliza about propriety but not fully understanding why find her father is so important.

I also enjoyed the side story following Daniel’s fiancee, Alice and her brother Richard as they run away from a terrible situation. Even though they were unlikable at times, they were only human, especially since Richard is trying to do the right thing for his sister.

I really want to discuss some of the side characters, especially some of the more odious ones, but I fear that to do so would give away spoilers and I don’t want to do that because this is definitely a book that needs to be read!

Overall, I really enjoyed Waltz in the Wilderness, it was a really interesting premise and well-written. I am looking forward to reading more of Kathleen Denly’s books in the future. 4/5 Stars.

About the Author


Kathleen Denly lives in sunny Southern California with her loving husband, four young children, and two cats. As a member of the adoption and foster community, children in need are a cause dear to her heart and she finds they make frequent appearances in her stories. When she isn’t writing, researching, or caring for children, Kathleen spends her time reading, visiting historical sites, hiking, and crafting.

More from Kathleen

As Valentine’s Day nears, stories of how couples met seem to be everywhere. Many of those stories share a common element: “The second I saw him/her, I just knew I would marry him/her.”

Every time I read or hear these stories, I chuckle. Not because I don’t believe them but because it reminds me of my own meet-cute.

“Not my type.”

These were the first words to enter my mind when I met the man who would later become my husband. In hindsight, they are hilarious because I know that God worked things out for our good. After more than eighteen years of marriage, I can honestly say that I am more in love with my husband than ever.

However, just a few months prior to meeting my husband, I’d suffered a terrible breakup with another man whom I thought had been considering proposing to me. I had no idea the breakup was coming and that left me devastated and confused. The truths we learn in hindsight don’t help much when we’re in the midst of such circumstances. When we think we know the future before us and something happens to upend those plans it can feel as though our world has turned upside down.

This is what happens to Eliza Brooks in the first chapter of my novel, Waltz in the Wilderness. Though not romantic in nature, a major shift occurs in her world that leaves her feeling betrayed and disoriented. She’s still struggling to right her world when Daniel Clarke enters her life in the worst way possible. Misunderstanding leads to a humiliating confrontation that sets these two at odds with one another before they have a chance to truly get to know each other. Fortunately for Eliza and Daniel, God works their foolishness for good just as He did in my own true love story.

This Valentine’s Day, whatever your romantic relationship status, remember that you are not alone. You are loved. And the God of all the universe loves you and has a plan for you—plans to prosper you and bring you hope.

“Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.” ~ Proverbs 3:5-6

Blog Stops

A Baker’s Perspective, February 5

Adventures of a Travelers Wife, February 5

Pause for Tales, February 5

Texas Book-aholic, February 6

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, February 6

Older & Smarter?, February 7

deb’s Book Review, February 7

Reflections From My Bookshelves, February 8

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, February 8

Locks, Hooks and Books, February 9

The Christian Fiction Girl, February 9

The Meanderings of a Bookworm, February 9

Betti Mace, February 10

Through the Fire Blogs, February 10

Inklings and notions, February 11

Robin’s Nest, February 11

Remembrancy, February 12

For Him and My Family, February 12

My Devotional Thoughts, February 12

Maureen’s Musings, February 13

For the Love of Literature, February 13

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, February 14

Jeanette’s Thoughts, February 14

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, February 15

Blossoms and Blessings, February 15

Bigreadersite, February 15

Emily Yager, February 16

Blogging With Carol, February 16

Mia Reads, February 16

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impression, February 17

Janicesbookreviews, February 17

SPLASHES of Joy, February 18

Hallie Reads, February 18

Connie’s History Classroom, February 18



To celebrate her tour, Kathleen is giving away the grand prize package of a NEW Kindle Fire HD8, Proverbs 3:5 Paperback Lined Journal, Romans 8:28 Leather Bookmark, Proverbs 3:5 mug, and an Antique Silverplated Spoon made by 1847 Rogers Bros!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.


Book Review: Plain Peace (Daughters of the Promise #6) by Beth Wiseman

Hello everyone,

Today’s review is on Plain Peace by Beth Wiseman.


Plain Peace was another good installment in the Daughters of the Promise series, although it was confusing to keep track of what had happened in this community since the last book (even though each book can be read as stand-alones, they are also connected to one another). After about 50 pages it becomes clear that there have been some major changes in the community, but there were also a few characters that were front-and-center in the last two books (Plain Paradise and Plain Proposal) aren’t mentioned at all – almost as if they didn’t exist because their families are mentioned. I don’t know the full reason for it, but I would’ve loved an update on how Linda and Stephan were doing, as well as Miriam and Saul. For instance, did Linda and Stephan end up getting married? Do they have any children yet? What did Miriam and Saul name their baby? Are they still coping with life in the English world? These are all questions I have that I felt like could have been easily answered, especially since we get a brief description of past events with other characters such as Samuel, Lillian, Noah and Carley, etc. But I get it, there probably wasn’t enough time in these books, but it still would’ve been nice to find out what happened to them.
Plain Peace follows Anna Byler who’s  grandfather has recently become the bishop in their district and he is a lot stricter than Bishop Ebersol. He’s even made it hard for Anna to enjoy her Rumshpringe and has instilled fear in all the eligible Amish bachelors from even asking her out on a date. But things soon change when newcomer Jacob Hostetler seems take an interest in her. However, they must both go up against her grandfather, who is not only legalistic when it comes to ruling the community, but also extremely overprotective over his granddaughter. While trying to find away to convince the bishop to allow him to court Anna, Jacob and his family are also dealing with the grief of losing his older sister, Leah, which is part of the reason why they left Middlefield, Ohio and moved to Paradise.
While the main plot seems to be focused on Anna and Jacob’s relationship, it seems to take a back seat to the plot following Jacob’s mother, Cora, Anna’s grandmother, Marianne, and an Englisher, Lucy Turner. Let’s start with Marianne, Anna’s grandmother (Mammi), she loves both her husband and her granddaughter, but she is keeping a secret from her husband, one that could make him angry and upset if he ever found out. However, Anna is determined to never have a marriage like her grandparents’ where she would be forced to hide secrets from her husband. She befriends Cora Hostetler when she needs help learning how to work her new cell phone, and strikes up a friendship with the grieving mother who is trying to put on a brave face for her children, but also has to deal with a husband who continues to be distant ever since the death of their daughter. And eventually, both women become friends with Lucy Turner, a single mother who is trying to take care of her son, and her ailing mother, while trying to turn her life around after making some grave mistakes in the past. However, many in the Amish community refuse to associate with her because she was the mistress of a man in their community, who left his wife to be with his mistress. After his death, Lucy is alone and desperately longs to find peace and faith in God after the life she had previously lived. Both Cora and Marianne extend the hand of friendship, but eventually they will learn of her dark past.
I also found Bishop Byler to be unreasonable, he refuses to listen to his granddaughter’s explanations for some of her actions, which then forces her to take action and sneak around behind his back. However, I do like that eventually he comes around and starts to soften in his ruling over the community. Jacob was also a great character because he constantly tried to push Anna to be honest with her grandfather, even if he was strict, instead of sneaking around to be with him. In fact there were several times during the novel that Anna does sneak around and Jacob gently tells her that what she is doing is wrong, even if he does want to spend time with her.
The series ends on a happy note, but again, even though these books can be read as stand-alones, I do recommend that they are read in order. I also think it would’ve been helpful if I had read the Land of Canaan series in conjunction with the last two books in this series, because there was quite a bit of overlap between them. The overlap isn’t major, but it still would’ve been helpful especially before reading Plain Peace, because there are some characters at least from the first two books that are mentioned in this book, and it also spoils at least the first two books in that series.
Overall, Plain Peace was another delightful read from Beth Wiseman, and as I’ve mentioned before I’m looking forward to picking up the Land of Canaan series very soon, as well as some of her other works. I hope that there will be more books by Beth Wiseman set in Paradise and revisit some of these characters in the future. 3.5/5 Stars.
Before I wrap up this review I want to give a shout-out to my amazing fiance who bought a copy of this book for me because he knew I was enjoying the series. Thank you for being supportive of me!
Happy Reading,
Janelle L. C.

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Blog Tour and Giveaway: A Girl’s Guide to the Outback


About the Book

Outback2Book: A Girl’s Guide to the Outback

Author: Jessica Kate

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Release Date: January 28, 2020

How far will a girl go to win back a guy she can’t stand? This funny, sweet, and romantic story proves that opposites do attract—and that God has a sense of humor.

Samuel Payton is a passionate youth pastor in Virginia, but below the surface, he’s still recovering from the blow of a failed business and insecurities he can’t shake. His coworker, start-up expert Kimberly Foster, is brilliant, fearless, and capable, but years of personal rejection have left her defensive and longing for a family. Two people have never been more at odds—or more attracted to one another. And every day at work, the sparks sure do fly.

When Kimberly’s ambitious plans for Sam’s ministry butt up against his risk-averse nature, Sam decides that obligations to family trump his work for the church. He quits the ministry and heads home to Australia to help his sister, Jules, save her struggling farm. As Kimberly’s grand plans flounder, she is forced to face the truth: that no one can replace Sam. Together they strike up a deal: If Kimberly comes to work on Jules’s dairy farm and lends her business brains to their endeavor, then maybe—just maybe—Sam will reconsider his future with the church.

As Kimberly tries her hand at Australian farm life, she learns more about herself than she could’ve ever expected. Meanwhile Sam is forced to re-evaluate this spunky woman he thought he already knew. As foes slowly morph into friends, they wonder if they might be something even more. But when disaster strikes the farm, will Sam find it within himself to take a risk that could lead to love? And will Kimberly trust God with her future?

Click here to get your copy.

My Thoughts

I’m going to be honest and start off by saying that I almost put this book down after the first few pages after I read the following line, “Kimberly’s uterus did a backflip of approval.” when the main character sees her boss in  a Captain America costume. I’m no prude, but that line rubbed me the wrong way for a couple of reasons: 1) I personally feel like this is a poor way to describe being attracted to someone; and 2) it doesn’t seem like something that is appropriate for a Christian romance novel. And then there was a description of Kimberly from Sam’s point-of-view that seemed more lustful than just mere attraction. However, after the first two chapters it seemed to get better and I didn’t cringe as much. For the most part it was an okay story, however about halfway through the story started to lag, but once I got passed the 70% mark it picked up again.

Now I feel like I’ve spent enough time focusing on the negatives, it’s time to talk about some of the things I liked about this book.

First, I liked how this book is set mainly in Australia. I enjoyed getting to know a little bit more about the culture and the slang. I think I enjoyed reading about the different kinds of foods, especially discovering that there are a few brand names of food that are available in South Africa (where I grew up).

I also liked how we see both Sam and Kimberly struggle with self-doubt ad trying to figure out their purpose in life. I personally think there were times when Sam was too hard on Kimberly and often shot her down without listening to her ideas and how she came up with them.

I also liked the relationship between Sam’s sister (her name escapes me right now) and Mick and seeing both of them wrestle with past hurts.

However there were times when the plot seemed repetitive and I think that’s why I eventually felt like it dragged on.

Overall, this was an okay read there were quite a few things I didn’t like. The plot was good, but also dragged at times. The main romance seemed to more lust-filled for about half the novel than I would’ve liked, but it was still okay. 2.5/5 Stars.

About the Author


Australian author Jessica Kate writes inspirational romances with wit, sass, and grit. Jessica is a screenwriting groupie, cohost of the StoryNerds vlog and podcasts, and her favorite place to be—apart from Mum and Dad’s back deck—is a theme park. She has traveled North America and Australia, and samples her favorite pasta wherever she goes—but the best (so far) is still the place around the corner from her corporate day job as a training developer. She loves watching sitcoms with her housemates and being a leader in a new church plant. Visit her online at; Instagram: jessicakatewriting; Facebook: jessicakatewriting; Twitter: @JessicaKate05.

Exclusive Excerpt

Click here to read an exclusive excerpt of the book!

Blog Stops

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Robin’s Nest, February 4

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Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, February 12

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Reflections From My Bookshelves, February 13

Mary Hake, February 13

Moments, February 14

Stories By Gina, February 14

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Library Haul #16

Hello everyone,

If you’ve been a long time follower of my blog, you know that I am a huge advocate of libraries. It’s been a while since I posted a library haul, so I thought it was about time for another one. I have 14 books to share with you today, I have no idea if I will get to all of these books, but I am hoping to get through most of them over the next few weeks. Here are the books that I checked out:

  • The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden25489134._sx318_
  • A Man Called Ove by Frederik Backman18774964
  • The Red Address Book by Sofia Lundberg 40543116._sy475_
  • The Alice Network by Kate Quinn32051912
  • How to Train Your Dragon by Cressida Cowell 352262._sx318_
  • The Bookish Life of Nina Hill by Abbi Waxman 42379022._sy475_
  • The Secret Guests by Benjamin Black 45186564._sy475_
  • The Phantom Tollbooth by Norman Juster 378._sx318_
  • Girls Like Me by Lola St. Vil 28114572
  • The Night Country by Melissa Albert 43565384
  • Window on the Bay by Debbie Macomber 42584174._sx318_
  • To Be Taught, If Fortunate by Becky Chambers 43190272
  • The Giver of Stars by Jojo Moyes 43925876._sx318_
  • Evvie Drake Starts Over by Linda Holmes 40514431._sy475_

Happy Reading,

Janelle L. C.