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A dash of joy brings everything together . . .
Something’s always baking in an Amish oven, and at Christmastime, all the ingredients for joy are at hand. Wrap yourself in the warmth of the Amish home—and the Plain peace of hearts joined by love. Each story includes a recipe from the author!
THE CHRISTMAS BAKERY ON HUCKLEBERRY HILL
When shy Katie Rose Gingerich’s dat sends her to Huckleberry Hill to secure a marriage proposal, she never expects to long for carefree Titus Helmuth—or to hope that he might want to spend every Christmas with her . . .
Other stories in the collection are “Baking Love on Ice Mountain” by Kelly Long and “The Special Christmas Cookie” by Lisa Jones Baker.
SERIES: The Matchmakers of Huckleberry Hill #6.5
GENRE: Contemporary Amish Romance
RELEASE DATE: September 27, 2016
Other Books In This Series
“The girl Titus married would be blessed indeed.”
The Amish Christmas Kitchen is a collection of three Amish novellas from Kensington Publishers. For the purposes of this review, I’m mainly going to talk about Jennifer Beckstrand’s novella (my favorite of the group!) but I did want to briefly mention the other two.
Baking Love on Ice Mountain by Kelly Long is, for starters, not at all a match to its description in the official blurb on Amazon or Goodreads. I’m not sure if I have a really early copy and the entire story changed prior to publication or if the blurb is wrong. Either way, what I read is not a Gift of the Magi type story – it’s a story about a young widow and her husband’s best friend … and cookies. While I did enjoy the story, I must admit to raising my eyebrows more than once at the sensuality of the story. Nothing inappropriate, per se, but definitely suggestive.
The Special Christmas Cookie by Lisa Jones Baker is a sweet story about a little boy in need of a lifesaving operation. The friendship/budding relationship between his tutor Emma and his brother Jonathan isn’t a lot of sparks and sizzle, but when you combine it with Amos’ general adorableness and the community coming together in his honor it’s an all around cozy story!
Now… on to the focus of this post: The Christmas Bakery of Huckleberry Hill by Jennifer Beckstrand. I adore this author’s books because two things are always guaranteed. Three, if it’s a Huckleberry Hill book.
- I will snort-laugh at some point during the story.
- I will melt at the utter romance of it all more than once.
- I will fall more in love with Anna & Felty.
True to form, all of the above occurred whilst I was reading The Christmas Bakery of Huckleberry Hill. (Side note: I’m not British, but I do so love using the word “whilst” 😀 )
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)
And Titus? Felty’s grandson? He’s just like Felty in all the most endearing ways.
Endearing is the perfect word for Titus. He’s not suave or particularly debonair. But he’s so sweet and sincere and kind. His poems may never win awards but they come from his heart. And even if Katie Rose is a bit oblivious to just about everything, he’s steady and true and so much like Felty that I wanted to just hug him. Viking beanie and all.
Katie Rose’s intended? I did not want to hug. On the contrary, he needed a good purse whomping. 🙂
Bottom Line: If you’re looking for a story that will make you laugh … and melt … and want to hug Viking beanied Amish men, then you have come to the right place! Jennifer Beckstrand’s novella in The Amish Christmas Kitchen is romantic and tender and perfectly hilarious. The accompanying novellas in this collection – one a little spicy, one simply sweet – are good as well but Beckstrand’s is my favorite. With all the right ingredients, it’s the recipe for a great read!
(I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book. All views expressed are only my honest opinion.)
My Rating: 4 stars / Love it!
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.
Other Books by Jennifer Beckstrand
What do you get when you combine Anna and Felty’s earnest grandson, Titus, with a pretty girl who’s practically engaged to someone else, a sleigh full of Christmas bakery orders, and two mischievous Christmas goats?
A wild, wacky, and wunderbarr Christmas, that’s what.
Anna and Felty Helmuth are determined to make this the most romantic Christmas ever on Huckleberry Hill, but have they bitten off more than they can chew trying to match their slightly scatterbrained grandson Titus with timid Katie Rose Gingerich? Titus tends to be a little thick in the head when it comes to love, and Katie Rose is too shy to open her mouth. It might take every potholder Anna can knit plus a determined goat and a little Christmas magic to bring Titus and Katie Rose together.
Titus would do anything for his Mammi Anna, even eat her very bad cooking and learn how to knit, but why does he have to be the one to care for Mammi’s new goat? Goats give him the willies. But when Titus meets the pretty girl staying with his grandparents for Christmas, he doesn’t mind the goat so much. The more he sees of Katie Rose’s gentle ways and loving spirit, the more he wishes he were the kind of boy she would bake a pie for. Can he convince her to love him without offending her boyfriend? And will Mammi notice if he gets rid of her goat?
After I wrote Huckleberry Hearts, I just knew there had to be someone special out there for Titus Helmuth, Anna and Felty’s lovable grandson. Christmas is the perfect setting for “A Christmas Bakery on Huckleberry Hill” because Titus is one character who seems to have the spirit of Christmas in his heart all year long. When Katie Rose is homesick, Titus does his best to make her feel welcome and comfortable on Huckleberry Hill. He delivers her Christmas goodies, writes poetry for her, and sings Christmas songs. When he finally realizes he loves her, he’s going to have to use both Christmas goats and every trick in the book to convince her to marry him. It’s a fun, heartwarming, wonderful-gute Christmas romance.
“A Christmas Bakery on Huckleberry Hill” is in The Amish Christmas Kitchen novella collection, and it will definitely get you in the Christmas spirit. Enjoy and Merry Christmas!
To celebrate her tour, Jennifer is giving away three copies of Huckleberry Christmas. Enter via the PromoSimple form below. Be sure to comment on this post to earn 9 extra entries in the giveaway!
Follow along with the Celebrate Lit blog tour to see what others are saying!