Friday, April 11, 2014

Review of "Huckleberry Summer"

Review of Huckleberry Summer

The Matchmakers of Huckleberry Hill, Book 2

by Jennifer Beckstrand

17703075

LIBBY EICHER is the most obedient child a parent could ask for. She idolizes her father and wouldn’t think of doing anything to disappoint him. Even during her rumspringe, she didn’t step one toe outside of the Ordnung, the set of strict rules for Amish living. Why would she want to do anything remotely unconventional and risk getting into trouble? She is perfectly content living in her safe little world in her tranquil Amish community, never needing to muster courage that she doesn’t have. The Helmuths hire her to work for them on Huckleberry Hill, but not only is spending time with Aden Helmuth dangerous, it’s unsanitary. Their handsome grandson has a dog the size of a bear, determined to share all his dog germs with her. Will Susannah risk everything to realize her heart’s desire, or will fear override her chance for love?

ADEN HELMUTH has a hard time following anyone’s rules but his own, which makes growing up Amish a bit of a challenge. By the time he reaches his twenties he has gotten in trouble with the law and his community more times than he care to count. After his life is spared by a miraculous event, his parents send him to Huckleberry Hill, hoping he will seek a life of devotion to God. He sees an opportunity to escape a community hostile to his presence and find some purpose to his life. Even though Libby Eicher hates his dog, she’s kind of cute in her efforts to be so well behaved. Will his past return to haunt him and destroy any hope he has for happiness, or will Libby Eicher take a chance on an uncommon and exceptional young man?

MY REVIEW:  "Anna pursed her lips and scolded Felty with her eyes. 'Boys like Aden need a wife to settle them down.  A girl like little Eicher.'  Felty sputtered and coughed, and Anna stood up and thumped him on the back until he motioned for her to stop.  'Not another one of your matchmaking schemes, Annie.  I don't think my weak heart can stand it.' "
      Aden is the talk of the community when he comes to stay for the summer with his grandparents, Anna and Felty.   Lily innocently accepts an offer to work for them for the summer, never realizing that Anna and Felty are planning a matchmaking experience for her.   Lily's father warns her to stay away from Aden as the rumor mill has spread plenty of gossip about his "troubles".  Will forgiveness win out?  Will Aden have a chance to speak for himself and win the hearts of the Amish community?   
     This is a delightful light read....I can recall my own granny trying to "set me up" with young boys in the neighborhood and at church when I stayed with her during the summer.   My granny was not successful in her matchmaking but she did highly approve of the young men I dated and took to visit her for her seal of approval.   I married one of those young men and we ended up performing her funeral service for her when she passed on to glory at age 95.....as she had requested of us when we were newlyweds.   5 Stars for this one and now, I can hardly wait for Huckleberry Christmas which is to release in October 2014......oh, I hope there is snow and maybe a romantic sleigh ride for some lucky Amish couple!  
I received a print Advanced Reader Copy of this book from the author in exchange for my honest review.   

About the Author:
Jennifer Beckstrand 

From Goodreads.com's author bio:

I grew up with a steady diet of William Shakespeare and Jane Austen. After all that literary immersion, I naturally decided to get a degree in mathematics, which came in handy when one of my six children needed help with homework. After my fourth daughter was born, I started writing. By juggling diaper changes, soccer games, music lessons, laundry, and two more children, I finished my first manuscript—a Western—in just under fourteen years. I now write Inspirational Amish Romance. My goal is to write uplifting, inspiring stories with happy endings and hopeful messages. If my books make readers want to give themselves a big hug or jump up and down for joy, I’ve done my job. I am a member of Romance Writers of America and American Christian Fiction Writers and am represented by Mary Sue Seymour of The Seymour Agency.

There are three Amish romances in the Forever After in Apple Lake Series (Summerside/Guideposts). Kate’s Song, Rebecca’s Rose, and Miriam's Quilt are all now available. Kate’s Song was the #1 Romantic Religious Fiction download in the Free Kindle Store in August of 2012, and Rebecca's Rose and Miriam's Quilt both spent time in the top 50 Religious Fiction books on Amazon.com.

I have six Amish Romances in the works with Kensington Books. The first book, Huckleberry Hill, will be released on January 7, 2014. Huckleberry Hill is set in Wisconsin on a little hill in Amish country.

The series, The Matchmakers of Huckleberry Hill, is about an elderly Amish couple who try to find suitable mates for their grandchildren. What could be more fun than throwing two young people together to see if sparks ignite? No one would ever suspect two octogenarian Amish folks of mischief.

Romantic Times gave Huckleberry Hill 4 1/2 stars, calling it "A sweet romance with a lot of heart that offers a new, refreshing take on the...matchmaking trope. The storyline is feasible, the characters are well written, with both their strengths and weaknesses on display. Readers will treasure this series and put the first outing on their keeper shelf."

I have four daughters, two sons, three sons-in-law, and two adorable grandsons. I live in the foothills of the Wasatch Front with my husband and one son still left at home.

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