Friday, 22 February 2013

Book Review: Family Blessings by Anna Schmidt

Her four stepchildren are thrilled when they learn an ice cream shop will be opening in their small Amish community. But widow Pleasant Obermeier isn't so pleased. Spending time with handsome shop owner Jeremiah Troyer is too much for a woman who's only ever been wounded by love. And now he wants to use her baking skills in his shop? Out of the question A harsh childhood left Jeremiah convinced that family life wasn't for him. Yet something about the Obermeiers moves his heart. If he can win Pleasant's trust and learn to trust himself, then he may gain the ultimate blessing--a lifetime of love. (Love Inspired, October 2011)

RATING: 3 out of 5 (Above Average)

This was a nice, easy read, but I didn't find it quite as compelling as the first book in the series. Part of my problem might just have been that I finished Love Comes to Paradise by Mary Ellis--which I absolutely adored--right before I started this book, and nothing really would have lived up to Love Comes to Paradise. I liked the unique details in the story, such as Jeremiah's ice-cream shop and the historical context of the depression and how it affected the Amish community. It was also interesting to find a book that acknowledged that abusive relationships can exist among Amish communities, even if it was sad that the community knew how Merle was treating his family and never had intervened. But ultimately, the romance itself wasn't as engaging as others I've come across in the Love Inspired Historical line, and I felt that the final conflict just stretched the story out rather than adding to it. I have enjoyed reading the Amish Brides of Celery Fields series and would quite like to find out what happens to Greta and Lydia, even if Pleasant's story wasn't as interesting as Hannah's. Ultimately, this wasn't the sort of book that gripped me, making it very easy to put down, but it was still a relaxing read and a solid addition to the LIH line.

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