Estranged daughter Eva Dienner has been staying with her in-laws, the Riehls, since her husband was killed in a fire, but now she wants her son to meet his maternal grandparents. Upon her return, Eva finds that the man her parents always intended for her is living in their daadihaus and running the dairy farm for them for free, despite her suspicions of him taking advantage of her family. Eva knows she should put the past behind her, but is she ready to move into the future?
My thoughts: At first I didn't like Eva at all - really, she didn't grow on me much at all, but Ian is a sweetheart and so is little Simeon. I loved Ian's caring and nurturing spirit and how he strove to keep peace with everyone, even when Eva was firing insults and false accusations at him. One has to admire a man like that. Eva was the one with issues to work through, and come to terms with her relationship--or lack thereof--with her parents. A sweet romance.
When Love Returns by Beth Wiseman
Hurricane Harvey forces Sarah Zook to return to the home she fled six years ago when she couldn’t face her stern parents’ reaction to her unplanned pregnancy. Upon her return, Abram King can think of nothing but the pain she caused him—until he meets Sarah’s daughter and realizes that he never really stopped loving Sarah. Sarah and Abram must find a way to face the truth of their past so they can rekindle their first love.
My thoughts: I can honestly say this is probably the best Beth Wiseman story I've read in years. I liked both Sarah and Abram and I really felt their anguish. Maam's point of view was poignant as well. This story moved me to tears. Loved it.
The Courage to Love by Shelley Shepard Gray
After the death of her Englisch husband, Irene Keim seeks a fresh start by staying with her new friends Mary Ruth and Henry Wengerd in exchange for helping them around the house. But when Mary Ruth and Henry’s son Marcus comes around, he isn’t pleased with the woman they’ve taken in and is determined to push her out. Misunderstandings abound, but both Irene and Marcus learn that people aren’t always what they seem.
My thoughts: I really loved the faith message in THE COURAGE TO LOVE. It was so sweet. I greatly enjoyed Irene and Marcus's story and getting to know them. I felt so sorry for Irene and yet she was such a sweet and kind individual despite her abnormal Amish upbringing. Most Amish aren't such obviously bad parents. Going in, Ms. Gray was my favorite author in this collection as I usually love her sweet stories. This stayed true to Ms. Gray's standards. What Love Built by Kathleen Fuller
Independent and headstrong, Carolyn is determined to forge ahead with the opening of her bakery, a lifelong dream, in the Birch Creek home she left ten years ago. But she’s in over her head and needs help with the cleaning, shopping, and deliveries. Carpenter Atlee Shetler is visiting Birch Creek to escape the memories of his late wife. He takes a job renovating the new bakery and finds the project—and its owner—to be much more than he bargained for. Both Carolyn and Atlee must face pains of the past if they want to have the bright future God has planned for them.
My thoughts; Atlee is a widower and Carolyn beyond prickly in this middle-age romance. Ms. Fuller is an accomplished author and quite popular and you can see her writing is stellar in this story. Unfortunately, I couldn't relate with Carolyn. I understand why she is as she is but it didn't endear her to me. Overall, a good collection that Amish fans will greatly enjoy. I got a copy free. All opinions are my own.