A Welcome at Our Door by Amy Clipston

About the book:  

In the final installment of Amy Clipston’s Amish Homestead series, Cindy Riehl finds herself searching outside of her community for fulfillment and, with the help of a special friend, realizes what she was looking for was right in front of her all along.

Over the last few years, Cindy Riehl—the youngest of the Riehl siblings—has watched her brothers and sister find love and happiness in Lancaster County. But as her family has settled down and grown, Cindy has continued to grieve her mother, whose death left an enormous hole in her heart. Since that haunting day, Cindy has struggled to find peace and wonders if the community is the place for her—and if her faith in God will ever be like it once was.

When one of the Riehl cows escapes to visit another cow down the lane, Cindy chases after it and meets a handsome Englisher named Drew. As they become friends and eventually much more, she is drawn further and further away from the Amish community and the family she loves. She is suddenly faced with difficult choices that threaten to upend her world.

Will Cindy find happiness of her own? And will she ever be able to overcome her grief and find restored comfort in God and her community?

Publication Date:  May 7, 2019

Publisher:  Zondervan

Genre:  Amish fiction

Seires: Amish Homestead #4

My thoughts

Amy closes her latest series with the story of Cindy Riehl. Cindy is the youngest of the Riehl children and has been struggling with joining the Amish church. This struggle has been highlighted in previous books in the series so it was nice to finally discover what would happen in Cindy’s life.

I enjoyed this story and found it to be a quick read. Knowing a lot of the characters in this book from reading the series it was like meeting up with old friends and finding out what was going on in their lives. Amy has the gift as a writer of making readers forget they are reading about fictional characters instead of living, breathing people. In addition to catching up with the human characters in the book, we are also introduced to a cow named Cucumber and a dog named Bruce who brought a bit of fun to a story that had its fair share of sadness.

Although I loved the story I would have liked to see a bit more conflict and struggle between Cindy and Drew as they decided what path their lives should take as far as being Amish or not. It seemed as if they were just a bit too agreeable when it came to the big decisions of their lives and were a bit too willing to just go along with what the other one wanted. I would have liked to have seen a bit more as far as the decision making for what would be a tremendous life change for either of them based on the decision they ended up making.

All in all, this was an enjoyable read and one that will be going on my keeper shelf. Fans of the genre are sure to enjoy this story from one of the best authors of Amish fiction. This book could be read and enjoyed as a standalone and would be an awesome way to introduce someone to Amy’s books.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher and was not required to write a review. All opinions are mine.

About the author

Amy Clipston has been writing for as long as she can remember. Her fiction writing “career” began in elementary school when she and a close friend wrote and shared silly stories. She has a degree in communications from Virginia Wesleyan College and is a member of the Authors Guild, American Christian Fiction Writers, and Romance Writers of America. She is the author of the bestselling Kauffman Amish Bakery series and Hearts of the Lancaster Grand Hotel series with HarperCollins Christian Publishing. Amy works full-time for the City of Charlotte, NC, and lives in North Carolina with her husband, two sons, mother, and four spoiled rotten cats.

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A Seat by the Hearth by Amy Clipston

About the book:

 Priscilla Allgyer left the community to escape the expectations of Amish life. Now, years later, she is forced to return—along with her six-year-old son—to the place she thought she’d left behind forever. Though once estranged from her family, Priscilla is welcomed by her mother, but her father is cold and strict. He allows Priscilla to stay with them provided she dresses plainly, confesses her sins, and agrees to marry within the community. Once again, she feels suffocated, trapped, and alone. As Priscilla reluctantly completes her shunning, she catches the eye of Mark Riehl, a farmer with a playboy reputation. Wary of Mark, Priscilla barely gives him the time of day—while Mark, unused to being ignored by the women of Bird-in-Hand, won’t give up the pursuit of her friendship. Priscilla desperately needs a friend in Mark, even if she doesn’t realize it—and after Priscilla’s father and the bishop catch her and Mark in a compromising situation, their relationship becomes more complicated than ever. As affection quietly grows between them, Priscilla struggles to open her heart and reveal the painful secrets of her past. As Mark works to earn her good faith, can they both learn the hard lessons of love and trust? And can two friends discover a happiness that only God himself could have designed? The third book in the Amish Homestead series, A Seat by the Hearth invites us back to the Lancaster community where friendships are forged and love overcomes all.

Publication Date:  November 13, 2018

Publisher:  Zondervan

Genre:  Amish Fiction, Romance, Contemporary Fiction

Series:  Amish Homestead #3

My thoughts

I LOVED this story!!!!!!!! I think the author has written her best work ever with a compelling story and characters it is impossible to dislike (ok, with the exception of a couple). I found this book heartbreaking and heart-stopping at the same time. This book is just magnificent!!!!!!

I instantly fell in love with Priscilla and Mark. Priscilla has been emotionally and physically abused by her ex-boyfriend and son Ethan’s father, Trent. It was easy to feel her emotions as she returns to her childhood home where she encounters Mark, her childhood best friend’s brother. Mark is known to be a bit of a flirt but instead of me being turned off by this I found him to be friendly and charming. The way he cares about Priscilla without even knowing it just made my heart skip beats at times. Now some readers may not like the slow pace of the relationship between these characters, but I liked it. I liked the way Priscilla slowly let her guard down and how Mark’s actions towards her spoke so much louder than any words. The author did a wonderful job in creating these characters and their personalities. They are a perfect match for each other and it is revealed page after wonderful page.

In addition to the abuse Priscilla received at the hands of her ex, there is also a very strained relationship with her father. There is a bit of a plot twist that I wasn’t expecting in regards to this aspect of the story. I thought I knew how this story was going to progress and then *BAM* there it was and I was left rereading sentences to make sure I had correctly read them the first time. Once again Amy Clipston is proving that she is a top-notch author and can keep the reader’s interest from beginning to end.

The pace of the story was perfect though at times I became a little impatient for these two characters to hopefully find their happily ever after. I chalk this up to the author’s ability to create characters I loved and cared about so much. The descriptions made me feel as if I were there with the characters and experiencing everything along with them.

If I could only recommend one Amish fiction book to someone this would be the one. Everything about the book is perfect and showcases why Amy is one of (if not the) best writers of Amish fiction. This is the third book in the series but I feel like it would be ok to read as a standalone. You will have missed out on the backstory of some of the other characters but you won’t feel lost. You can always go back and read the first two books later but this is one you definitely won’t want to miss out on. This book is definitely going on my keeper shelf.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through BookLook Bloggers. I was not required to write a review and all opinions are mine.

About the author

Amy Clipston has been writing for as long as she can remember. Her fiction writing “career” began in elementary school when she and a close friend wrote and shared silly stories. She has a degree in communications from Virginia Wesleyan College and is a member of the Authors Guild, American Christian Fiction Writers, and Romance Writers of America. She is the author of the bestselling Kauffman Amish Bakery series and Hearts of the Lancaster Grand Hotel series with HarperCollins Christian Publishing. Amy works full-time for the City of Charlotte, NC, and lives in North Carolina with her husband, two sons, mother, and three spoiled rotten cats.

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Room on the Porch Swing by Amy Clipston

About the book:  

Ever since her best friend died six months ago, Laura Reihl has vowed to make each day count. And that means she should probably break off her relationship with Rudy. They’ve been together for so many years, and his friendship means the world to her. But she knows friendship doesn’t come close to the fireworks of true love, and she’s not really feeling the fireworks.

So when Savilla’s widower, Allen, asks her to help him take care of the baby Savilla left behind, Laura jumps at the chance. Maybe the change of scenery will help her gain perspective on her relationship with Rudy. And she’d do anything to help Allen out—he’s always been a good friend to her, and he’s Rudy’s best friend as well.

When she arrives at Allen’s house, though, she finds a man she barely recognizes. Allen is distraught over his wife’s death, blaming himself for not taking her to the doctor soon enough.

As Laura helps Allen work through his grief, she remembers just how easy he is to talk to. And she discovers an attraction she’s never felt with Rudy. She can’t be falling for Allen, can she? It would be a betrayal to the two people she’s care most about, Savilla and Rudy. But if she denies her feelings, is she betraying herself?

Publication Date:  May 8, 2018

Publisher:  Zondervan

Genre:  Amish Fiction

Series: An Amish Homestead #2

My thoughts:

 I started reading this book on my lunch break and the opening scene was so intense and I was so interested in it I was almost late going back to work. (That’s not really a bad thing though, right?) I couldn’t wait to get home to dive into the story again. However, once I was able to get back to the story I found that it had lost that spark I found it in earlier. I found the story to be predictable and nothing really surprised me on the journey to the end.

Laura was a caring character and I liked that she wanted to honor her deceased friend by taking care of her infant daughter. Taking care of the daughter leads to taking care of the baby’s dad and it’s easy to see where this story is headed. There isn’t a lot of drama or dramatic events but just the day-in and day-out lives of the widower, the friend, and the baby. I feel like there should have been more interaction and conflict between Rudy and Laura. There never really seemed to be a bond between the two that made me care if they stayed together or not. A bright spot in the story is Laura’s twin, Mark. He added charm and life to the story and I can’t wait to read his story. It should be interesting as he is quite the charmer!

Even though I didn’t love this story I still love Amy’s writing. She has that ability to pull readers into a story and make them a part of it. Her descriptions made the story come alive and made it easy to picture things as they happened. Amy Clipston is one of my favorite authors and I can’t wait to read her next book.

I received a free copy from the publisher and was not required to write a review. All opinions are mine.

About the author

Amy Clipston has been writing for as long as she can remember. Her fiction writing “career” began in elementary school when she and a close friend wrote and shared silly stories. She has a degree in communications from Virginia Wesleyan College and is a member of the Authors Guild, American Christian Fiction Writers, and Romance Writers of America. She is the author of the bestselling Kauffman Amish Bakery series and Hearts of the Lancaster Grand Hotel series with HarperCollins Christian Publishing. Amy works full-time for the City of Charlotte, NC, and lives in North Carolina with her husband, two sons, mother, and three spoiled rotten cats.

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A Place At Our Table by Amy Clipston

About the book:

 Kayla Dienner has suffered her fair share of heartache, which is why she vows to protect her heart at all costs . . . until she meets Jamie Riehl.

Along with his volunteer work at the local fire department, running his Amish farm keeps Jamie Riehl busy. He barely has time to eat at the family table, never mind find someone to date. But when he meets Kayla Dienner, he is smitten.

Kayla tries hard to deny her attraction to Jamie. After all, she’s spent the last year discouraging her younger brother, Nathan, from becoming a firefighter. The death of their older brother in a fire a year ago is fresh in her mind—she can’t bear the idea of putting her heart on the line every time the sirens blare.

Then tragedy strikes, and Jamie wants to extinguish any flame between him and Kayla. Can Kayla set aside her own fears to save the love she was determined to deny?

The first book in the Amish Homestead series, A Place at Our Table invites us to a quiet community in Lancaster County where love burns brightly no matter the cost.

Publication Date: November 14, 2017

Publisher:  Zondervan

Genre: Amish Fiction

Series: An Amish Homestead #1

My review:  

There are some authors that you just know you are going to enjoy their books. For me, Amy Clipston tops the list. I’m always excited to read her latest story and be introduced to characters who I will soon think of as friends. This book was everything I expected.

Even though there is a heart-stopping moment at the beginning of the story, I thought the book had a bit of a slow start. Perhaps I was just too anxious to find out what was going to happen next because I kept thinking “c’mon, let’s go”. Soon enough though the story takes off and I was reading and turning pages as fast as I could. After those initial moments I thought the book had a great pace and the storytelling, as always, is excellent.

I liked both of the main characters in this book. Kayla may come across a bit on the tough side but she’s really just shielding her heart from more pain. She has recently suffered heartache in two different forms and James, a.k.a. Jamie, represents both forms of heartache to Kayla. I can understand that while she found him attractive she wanted to protect her heart. To me it only seemed the natural thing to do even though at times it may have made her seem a bit harsh or selfish. Jamie is driven by his work and at times he lets it get in the way of living. He has his reasons for being the way he is and I was just as able to understand where he was coming from as I was Kayla. Once again Amy Clipston has created characters who are completely realistic and authentic. Not only will Kayla and Jamie find a spot in your heart but so will the other characters in the book.

As always after reading an Amy Clipston book I am left wanting more. I want more Kayla and James and I want more of the rest of these characters and their lives. I love that Amy can write a story that leaves you satisfied yet wanting more, more, more. This book is a wonderful start to what can only be an awesome series. This book is definitely recommended for fans of a good read.

I received a free copy of this book from BookLook Bloggers and was not required to write a review. All opinions are mine.

About the author:  

Amy Clipston has been writing for as long as she can remember. Her fiction writing “career” began in elementary school when she and a close friend wrote and shared silly stories. She has a degree in communications from Virginia Wesleyan College and is a member of the Authors Guild, American Christian Fiction Writers, and Romance Writers of America. She is the author of the bestselling Kauffman Amish Bakery series and Hearts of the Lancaster Grand Hotel series with HarperCollins Christian Publishing. Amy works full-time for the City of Charlotte, NC, and lives in North Carolina with her husband, two sons, mother, and four spoiled rotten cats.

Website   •   Facebook   •   Twitter

Throwback Thursdays

Hello fellow readers!!! I think sometimes as bloggers we focus a lot on the newest releases and the books with all the buzz around them. That’s why for the months of June, July, and August I’ll be featuring older titles I’ve reviewed on a special Throwback Thursday post. Each month will have a different theme and I’m starting out with June being a booklover/blogger salute to one of my favorite authors, Amy Clipston.

July’s theme is Christmas in July with, you guessed it, some of my favorite Christmas books! If the July temps are hot outside then count on these books to cool you down and perhaps get you into an early round of Christmas spirit.

August is dedicated to those dog days of summer and each throwback Thursday will have a story featuring….yep….a dog!!! There’s a mix of fun romance and suspense in these books with a Biblical fiction book thrown in the mix. As you’ll read in my review this isn’t a book I would have picked for myself but was glad I was able to read it. Got your interest yet? I hope so!

Have a fun and safe summer and let me know what you think about my throwback Thursday reviews. I can’t wait to hear from you!!!