Saturday, November 16, 2013

Book Review: Christmas in Apple Ridge Three-in-One Collection by Cindy Woodsmall

Christmas in Apple Ridge Three-in-One Collection 
Book One:  The Sound of Sleigh Bells
Beth has been mourning the loss of her fiancĂ© for over a year.  Her friends and family want her to get beyond the grief and enter into activities and have joy in living again.  But she can’t let go of her sadness, because she has stuffed secrets about Henry’s death.  Beth’s Aunt Lizzy is afraid Beth will be an old maid, like herself, and miss out on the joys of sharing life with a family.  Lizzy concocts a plan to get Beth writing Jonah, a wood carver, (whom Beth has never met and she thinks is an old man), because Lizzy knows Jonah has wisdom to share about surviving loss and pain.
Lizzy’s plan seems to be working:  Beth has renewed interest in life and has released her secrets to Jonah.  But what will happen when Beth finds out that Jonah is not an old man and she has been “tricked” into sharing her pain?

Book Two:   The Christmas Singing
I had read The Christmas Singing previously, but I found it more enjoyable to read this time because of knowing the characters and their stories already started in Book One. 
Mattie has just come to Apple Ridge after her bakery shop in Ohio burned to the ground.  The move puts her back in the vicinity of Gideon, her first love, who broke up with her four years ago, letting her believe that he wanted to date non-Amish girls.  She didn't know his real reason for breaking up was to protect her from knowing about him having leukemia, which he did not expect to survive.  In the meantime, she has a safe, boring relationship with someone else that she hopes would never hurt her.  Should she “settle” for Sol, or find out what Gideon was and is thinking?

Book Three:  The Dawn of Christmas
In The Dawn of Christmas, Sadie has been lied about by her fiancĂ© Daniel, whom she caught with her beautiful cousin the day before their planned wedding day.  Broken-hearted, she moved away from Apple Ridge, learned to be independent and developed a love for mission trips to Peru. 
On a visit to her family, she discovers Levi, injured from being thrown from a spooked horse.  Her actions save his life and make him eternally grateful to her.  They both have sworn off marriage, but they decide to pretend to be courting to keep their families from bugging them about their singleness.  What will happen when they find out they love each other at the same time they realize Levi’s brother Daniel is the one by whom Sadie was betrayed?

I enjoyed reading these books.  I like the 3-in-1 version of a series, because of the continuity of the story line, and getting to read the next one right away before I forget the characters.

I received the Kindle version of these books for free from WaterBrook/Multnomah Publishers in exchange for my honest review.