Three generations of Stoltzfus women are all living under the same roof. At twenty-five, Naomi has never been married, and both her mother, Barbara, and her grandmother, Ruth, have recently been widowed. Each nursing broken or lonely hearts, they also each have potential suitors. When a storm on Christmas Eve forces the three couples to take shelter in the basement of the Stotlzfus homestead, secrets are revealed, hearts are opened, and all three potential grooms drop to their knees for very different reasons—a proposal, a prayer, and an epiphany. My thoughts: WINTER KISSES has a charming title - and a unique theme. Three single women. Three single men all together at the women's bed and breakfast for the month of December. I wasn't sure what to think of Ruth. She added a bit of comic relief to the story, but wow was she forward. Eli was a sweetheart and reminds me of someone I know. A very sweet, unconventional romance by Beth Wiseman. Fans of Amish fiction and Ms. Wiseman's usual women's fiction will love this.
The Christmas Cat by Amy Clipston
Emma Bontrager is spending her first Christmas alone after her husband of 45 years, Henry, passed away in July. Although the Amish don’t normally allow animals in their homes, a big, fat, orange barn cat keeps coming into Emma’s house. She shoos the cat away, but it continues to appear in her house, settling on Henry’s favorite wingchair. But the cat isn’t the only Christmas visitor: a group of young people help bring the Christmas spirit to Emma, reminding her that love and hope abide. My thoughts: THE CHRISTMAS CAT is kind a sad story, but it's also sweet. Emma is spending her first Christmas without her husband and as expected is awash in a sea of memories. The story sways from present to past as she relives her courtship with Henry and their years together. A cat decides to spend Christmas with her, and some young adults stop by to share a meal and fellowship and end up snowed in. A sweet story, even if I did read it with a tear in my eye.
Snow Angels by Kelly Irvin
As a young man enjoying his rumspringa, David Byler gave his heart to an Englisch girl, but he eventually realized he couldn’t give up his Plain faith and family for her, so he let her go. He’s found a new love in his Bee County Plain community, Molly Shrock. Molly has been patient, waiting for the man she loves to love her back. Just as he is ready to propose, David makes a startling discovery: Bobbie McGregor, his Englisch love, is back. Will Molly’s prayers for a Christmas love be answered? My thoughts: SNOW ANGELS is a sweet and sour romance. David can't quite make up his mind. The sweet, quiet Amish girl -- Molly -- with whom there is no sparks, but part of the life he wants, or the wild, exciting Englisch girl -- Bobbie -- who fills his every thought and dream. I felt kind of sorry for Molly. She had so much to deal with, with her beau having feelings for another woman, the bold Englisch woman talking with her, rumors, and of course, two young Mexican children who just lost their sole relative. Set in Ms. Irvin's popular Bee County, Texas, it plays in with that series.
Home for Christmas by Ruth Reid
When a misdirected GPS sends Ellie Whetstone to the wrong address, she inadvertently finds herself breaking into the home of Amish man, Ezra Mast. Ellie hopes to fix up the house left by her aenti and sell it quickly, but a series of run-ins with Ezra and his young daughter have her questioning whether a hasty sale is the right move. Could this new place with its slower pace be the right home for Ellie? My thoughts: Ruth Reid's HOME FOR CHRISTMAS is a story with a bit more substance than the previous three. Ellie is Englisch and very heavily involved in the show dog business with a poodle named Lulu. Ezra Mast is a widower with a young daughter with a disease that causes seizures. Ellie's aunt and Dad were Amish, but Ellie is not. She is kind of a misfit in this community with people questioning her and suspecting her, and she herself is not sure of her future. I did enjoy this story very much, though thought Ezra was a bit harsh at times. Overall thoughts: A very nice collection. I requested it due to Kate Lloyd and Ruth Reid's stories as I love their Amish books. They are different than the average, cookie-cutter Amish fiction. However, both Beth's and Amy's in this collection, were different, too, and quite good. Recommended for fans of Amish fiction or of any of these four authors. I received a copy free. All opinions are my own.