Book Review: A Mother’s Secret by Amy Clipston

A Mother's SecretFrom the Book Description

“Carolyn Lapp dreams of marrying for love. But will the errors of her past destroy this dream forever? Carolyn Lapp longs to have a traditional Amish family. But she lives on her brother’s farm with her parents and her 15-year old son, Benjamin. Carolyn has never revealed the identity of Benjamin’s father and lives daily with the guilt and shame of her youthful indiscretion. Her brother simply will not forgive her. His answer is to arrange a practical marriage for Carolyn to Saul, a widower with a little girl. But Carolyn isn’t convinced that Saul really loves her and believes he is simply looking for someone to help raise his daughter. When Benjamin causes trouble at a local horse auction, horse breeder Joshua Glick decides that he must be taught a lesson. Carolyn and Joshua are unmistakably drawn to each other, but Joshua mistakenly assumes that Benjamin is Carolyn’s brother. Carolyn fears that if he discovers the truth, her past will destroy their budding romance. After years of shame and loneliness, Carolyn suddenly has two men vying for her attention. But which of them will give her the family – and the unconditional love – she’s longed for?”

My Comments

Amy has done it again. Over and over Amy proves why she is one of my favorite love-inspired, Amish novelists, and A Mother’s Secret is no exception. I didn’t realize, when I chose this complimentary book to read and review through the Book Look Bloggers Review program, that it was the second of a series of books. It doesn’t matter though, this book is easily read on its own.

What I love about Amy’s writing is that she focuses on compelling themes, in this case forgiveness and restoration. She writes characters that are believable and likable, and in some cases, not so likable. 🙂 When I read her books, including this one, I am transported into another world, and yet, I can so easily relate to the struggles and joys experienced by the Amish characters. Who hasn’t made mistakes, been judged, and/or needed to forgive or be forgiven at some point in their life? Most of us have, Amish or not.

Amy also writes in a way that keeps me interested and turning the pages. As a matter of fact, I read this book in one sitting because I didn’t want to stop reading! It is an easy read, for sure, with a predictable ending, but that doesn’t take away the enjoyment of reading the book.

A Mother’s Secret is the perfect end-of-summer light read and I give it four (4) stars.

Book Review: In Name Only by Ellen Gable

In Name Only is my third book of Ellen’s that I’ve had the pleasure of reading and reviewing. You can read my review of Stealing Jenny here and Emily’s Hope here.

From the back cover:

“1876, Philadelphia. Caroline Martin’s life has finally taken a turn for the better. After years of hard work, she has met a virtuous and wealthy man whose love seems to promise the kind of life realized only within the comforting novels she keeps on her night table. Tragedy, however, will teach Caroline of the complexity with which God Himself authors the lives of those who turn toward Him.”

My comments:

I liked Emily’s Hope, I thoroughly enjoyed Stealing Jenny and I absolutely LOVED In Name Only. 🙂 It is definitely my favorite out of Ellen’s three books. (a BIG thanks to Ellen for offering me a Kindle copy of this book in exchange for the review. 🙂 )

In Name Only is a historical romance, set in 1876 Philadelphia, but it isn’t an ordinary historical romance. Many romances, including historical, are often smutty and makes me want to go to confession after reading them! That’s why I usually stick with Amish love-inspired novels, such as The Wonder of Your Love. Ellen’s book, however, is anything but smutty. It is a touching and engaging romance that captivates the reader from the very beginning.

Ellen does a wonderful job touching on human sexuality and the Catholic teaching on sexuality. It is direct but weaved into the story seamlessly. She also beautifully handles topics such as tragedy, miscarriage and confession.

The characters are realistic, human and interesting and I fell in love with all of them. I became lost in the book, completely drawn into the story as I ‘watched’ the different character relationships evolve; so much so, I stayed up WAY past my bedtime because I didn’t want to put the book down!

If there was one “negative” thing to say it would be that the storyline was a little predictable; BUT, almost all books are like that for me. I have this thing of always thinking of possible scenarios and can almost always predict what will happen next in a novel. Still, even being able to expect what will happen didn’t detract from the plot lines whatsoever. They were interesting, several times made me tear up, and the perfect complement to the characters’ lives in the story.

Finally, I hated for the book to end. I wish Ellen would bring Carolyn and David back in a sequel to this book! Please, Ellen?!

I give this book 4 (four) stars for sure. 🙂