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.

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Danger on the Ranch by Dana Mentink

About the book: After putting his serial killer brother in prison, former US marshal Mitch Whitehorse chooses a solitary country life—until his brother escapes. Now Mitch’s former sister-in-law, Jane Reyes, needs protection…for herself and the toddler she’s kept a secret. Mitch still isn’t sure of Jane’s innocence in his brother’s crimes, but to keep his nephew out of a killer’s grasp, trusting her is his only option.

Publication Date: June 1, 2019

Publisher: Love Inspired Suspense

Genre: Suspense, Mystery

Series: Roughwater Ranch Cowboys #1

My thoughts: Two things I have learned from reading Dana Mentink’s books are: 1) don’t start them close to bedtime as bedtime will be delayed by hours (not minutes) and 2) this sweet author can write some really sinister stories and characters. That being said I have to say I absolutely loved this book. Once I started reading I couldn’t put it down.

This was a fast-paced story with twists and turns in every chapter. I loved the fact that I was unable to guess what was going to happen next. This book kept me on the edge of my seat from beginning to end.

I’m not sure how this author who is so sweet and funny on her social media creates such cringe-worthy, creepy characters but I am so glad she does. I believe Wade Whitehorse may be her most cringe-worthy character to date. This character had me wanting to get up and close the curtains while reading the book. My favorite character was Ben. He brought some light moments to what was a very suspenseful story.

If you like suspense then this is a must-read book for you. It’s a quick read and is an ideal way to spend an afternoon or evening. Get caught up in the lives of the people of Roughwater Ranch. You’ll be glad you did!

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

About the author: Dana Mentink enjoys writing in many different capacities. She currently writes for Harlequin’s Love Inspired Suspense, Harlequin Heartwarming and Harvest House Publishers.


Dana is the recipient of a Romantic Times Reviewer’s Choice Award, two ACFW Carol Awards as well as a Holt Medallion.

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