Review (Plus a Giveaway!): Huckleberry Hearts by Jennifer Beckstrand

December 4, 2015 Amish, Christian, contemporary, Jennifer Beckstrand, romance 16

huckleberry hearts.jpgYoung-at-heart octogenarians Anna and Felty Helmuth never miss the chance to find a perfect match for one of their grandchildren. And when their beloved Cassie returns to Huckleberry Hill, Wisconsin, Anna has a feeling they might soon have a doctor in the family…

Though Cassie Coblenz left her Amish community to go to college, Mammi and Dawdi’s farm will always feel like home. It’s the ideal place for an extended study break—at least until her grandmother’s handsome Englisch doctor becomes a regular distraction. Zach Reynolds is the kind of heartbreaker Cassie has learned to avoid, no matter how charming he may be.

Unlike every woman Zach has met in recent years, Cassie doesn’t fall at his feet. Strong, generous, beautiful within and without —she’s everything he could want. Yet the gulf between them deepens when a tragedy shakes his faith. Now the good doctor has one goal—to become a man who could be worthy of Cassie’s love…

my thoughtsOh my goodness – what a delightful book!! I have not read any of the other books in the Matchmakers series but am going to correct that oversight at the first available opportunity.

Anna and Felty are two of my new favorite people. I could end the review there and it would sum up most of my love for this novel.  But, there is really so much more to say so I will continue.  But those two – what a hoot! In my heart, they rank up there with Dodie and Wilson Binder from Cynthia Ruchti’s An Endless Christmas and Goggy and Pops from Kristan Higgins’ Blue Heron series. Apparently I have a soft spot for grandparently characters who rock a killer sense of humor.

Speaking of humor – I laughed out loud often while reading Huckleberry Hearts.  A couple of scenes in particular stand out in my memory.  The pink shirt debacle, for one.  Oh my word, I kept wanting to sing, “Let it Go” to the men in Cassie’s family but I was chuckling too much to have done it justice. Which brings to mind another scene – this one where Cassie and Zach come upon Felty singing through a car window to a rather uptight visitor in an attempt to calm her down.  But what is he singing? LOL well…

…Felty stood next to the driver’s side window and tried to talk to her through the one-inch slit in her window. As they got closer, Zach realized that Felty was singing.

“And the Death Angel whispers, it’s time to come home. Then it’s goodbye to everyone I’ve met in my day. I’ll see you soon on that reunion day.”

That was funny enough to me (I mean, singing about the Death Angel is my go-to strategy when someone seems stressed), but Felty’s commentary on the situation sealed it.

Felty leaned closer to Zach’s ear.  “She seemed a little tense.  Singing usually calms people right down.”  He stroked his beard.  “Didn’t seem to help this one.”

LOL! Yeah…

But amid the laughing, there were also plenty of tears.  Good tears.  Healing tears.  Jennifer Beckstrand addressed some tough topics with grace and heart.  If you’ve ever struggled like Zach with the question, “Why does God let bad things happen to people He loves?” this is a marvelous place for you to start finding peace.  If you’ve ever been in Cassie’s shoes and felt pulled between your family’s expectations and the pull of your heart, this is again a marvelous place for you to start finding peace.

Oh yeah … I can’t forget to mention the kissing.  WHEW! First of all, Zach is trying to be a man of honor which just makes him dreamier as far as I’m concerned, and while he’s not perfect he is sincere.  Which makes the first kiss a doozy.  😀 And all the others too, for that matter.  I have to confess, I melted more than a little at his kissing rules.

Bottom Line: While this is the 6th book in the Matchmakers of Huckleberry Hill series by Jennifer Beckstrand, it can easily be read as a stand alone.  But I can just about guarantee you will want to go back and read the other books in the series as soon as you’ve finished Huckleberry Hearts because you will fall in love with Anna and Felty and Cassie and Zach and well, MOST of Cassie’s extended family 😉 Written with much talent and warmth, Huckleberry Hearts is a new favorite and I highly recommend it to fans (and non-fans) of Amish fiction, Jen Turano, and Cynthia Ruchti.

My Rating: 5 stars / In a class by itself

KissingBook level: 4 / May need a fainting couch and/or personal fan

(I received a copy of this book in exchange for only my honest review.)

carrie reading xmas

Purchase a copy: http://amzn.com/1420136534

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jennifer-beckstrand.jpgAbout the Author:

Jennifer Beckstrand is the bestselling Amish romance author of The Matchmakers of Huckleberry Hill series for Kensington Books. Huckleberry Summer was nominated for the RT Book Reviews Reviewer’s Choice Award and the 2015 RITA® Award, and Huckleberry Hill won the 2014 LIME Award for Inspirational fiction. Both Huckleberry Hill and Huckleberry Christmas appeared in Examiner.com list of top ten inspirational books for 2014.

Jennifer has always been drawn to the strong faith and the enduring family ties of the Plain people and loves writing about the antics of Anna and Felty Helmuth. Jennifer has a degree in mathematics and a background in editing. She and her husband have been married for thirty years, and she has four daughters, two sons, and four adorable grandchildren, whom she spoils rotten. Learn more at http://www.jenniferbeckstrand.com/

Carrie

16 Responses to “Review (Plus a Giveaway!): Huckleberry Hearts by Jennifer Beckstrand”

  1. Carole

    Absolutely loved this book and your review also, Carrie. Now I’ve got to get my thoughts together in order to write a review that does this book justice. Like you said, it’s in a class all by itself.

    • Carrie

      Thanks, Carole! Sometimes the best books are hardest to write reviews for because we want so badly to communicate everything we are feeling and all the love we have for them. I don’t feel my review did Huckleberry Hearts justice, but I hope at least it will draw someone’s attention and point them toward the book 🙂

  2. jenniferbeckstrand

    Carrie, your review did perfect justice to my book. I chuckled several times just reading your review! I am honored to have earned a level 4 kissing rating and a fainting couch. That made me laugh out loud. You are so kind, and I am thrilled. 🙂

  3. grandma68

    Thank you so much for all of these fantastic books. I love to read, and Amish books are my favorite. Have a Blessed Day.

  4. Stella Potts

    What a great review. Sure makes me want to read this book. Thanks for the chance to win.

  1. Top Ten Tuesday: Need a Laugh? | reading is my superpower

    […] You may remember that I included Huckleberry Hearts by Jennifer Beckstrand in my KissingBooks 101 post during Valentine’s Week – and for good reason.  One kiss in particular will for sure curl your toes! But I would be remiss if I didn’t also include it here too. (Heads up – it will be on next week’s list as well lol.) I laughed out loud a lot while I read Huckleberry Hearts! Especially during the great pink shirt debacle.  And the scene where Cassie and Zach come about Felty singing through a car window to a rather uptight visitor in an attempt to calm her down.  But what is he singing? LOL well…you just need to go see for yourself. […]

  2. Book Review (and a Giveaway!): The Amish Christmas Kitchen by Long, Beckstrand & Baker - Reading Is My SuperPower

    […] As for point #1 …. I’m pretty sure this novella’s subtitle could be “Goats Gone Wild”! I literally laughed out loud at the scene where both goats get loose in the house during a very important dinner. In fact, this whole collection is worth reading just for that scene alone.  But there are also two other guarantees that I mentioned, and in this case they kinda go hand-in-hand.  You see, I pretty much have a crush on Felty (who, as he is wont to remind us, is “only eighty-six”). His love for Anna, his wife. His sense of humor. His wisdom. His kindness. His twinkling eyes. His love for song. (notice i didn’t say his TALENT for song…. lol) Anna is equally all of those things (but substitute cooking for ‘song’) but Felty claimed a special place in my heart from the moment he sang to an uptight visitor about the angel of death, through a car window no less. (That scene is from Huckleberry Hearts) […]

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