A Marriage of the Heart By Kelly Long

Novellas aren’t always my favorite to read, but I really liked this one.  Each one was complete in its self and gave me 3 different Christmas/Amish fixes for the holiday!  This book would be great to read anytime of the year though.   All of the stories were very well written.

“A Perfect Secret” is the story of Rose and Luke.   They had been friends for many years.  It was more or less expected they would marry, but his proposal doesn’t bring Rose the happiness she thinks it should.   Their relationship is well, boring.  He seems almost afraid to show her affection and she wonders how could she live a life time like this?  She wants excitement and romance!   Does she really know who Luke is?  Does he really know who she is and does he care?  The community is hit with a string of thefts, something very uncommon among the Amish.  Rose becomes enthralled by the mystery and decides she will find out who the thief is.  The culprit falls into a trap she sets and she risks following the bandit into the woods.  Her discovery intrigues and shocks her, causing her simple life to suddenly become very complicated.   A surprise ending to look forward to!

“Christmas Cradles” was such a sweet story.  Midwife, Anna Stolis, covers for her aunt’s midwifery practice while she goes on a short vacation.  The weather is turning bad and forecast to grow even worse.  Samuel Mast has volunteered to drive the midwife to nighttime emergencies, but he is sick.  His son Asa is taking his place.  Three babies are due and Anna is hoping they will wait until her aunt returns.  Of course they don’t and all three mothers deliver the same night.  At 26 Anna is considered past marrying age, and somewhat buxom. She didn’t have much hope in marrying.   Asa is a great surprise when he arrives.  Tall and handsome, not to mention she was expecting a man old enough to be her father!   All through the night they go from delivery to delivery in a horrible storm.   Anna finds herself falling in love with Asa’s kind and gentle ways and thinks he might also be interested in her.   Their time together proves to be challenging in many ways more than just the deliveries and the weather. Will unexpected information about Asa’s past threaten end her hopes of marrying him?

“A Marriage of the Heart” was my favorite of the three.  Abigail’s mother died when she was very young.  She never had a mom to teach her how to take care of a household, very important in the Amish life.  Her father was distant, harsh, and unloving which made her feel even more insecure.  All she can think about it getting out from under his roof.   The only thing worthwhile she feels she has is her beauty.  Joseph who has just returned to the Amish community doesn’t give her the attention the other boys do.   In retaliation she falsely accuses him of taking advantage of her.  She is shocked when her father, in a rage, demands they marry.  Then she gets excited thinking this may be her ticket out of her home.  Her hopes come crashing down when her new husband offers for them to live with her Dad!  Now she is married to a man she doesn’t even know, still in her father’s house and now responsible for caring for 2 men when she doesn’t have a clue how. On top of being newlyweds that are married in name only, everyone is acting like they are love birds, and they struggle to keep up the pretense.  She harbors hopes that Joseph will want to go back to the English world he just returned from thus helping her escape from what she believes to be a stifling, boring life.  When she finds out Joseph had a drug addiction he still struggles with, she wonders what she has gotten herself into.  Their journey to learn about each other is humorous and touching.  Can they ever overcome this forced marriage and truly be a happily married couple?

To be perfectly honest I wish there had been a dozen more stories like this.  A book you will want to read!

I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com <http://BookSneeze®.com&gt; book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255





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