Saturday, March 5, 2016

What was I thinking?: The Prairie State Friends Series, Book 2

- This is an ARC book - Available Formats through Amazon: Paperback - Pages: 320; Kindle Edition - File Size: 1632 KB; Audible - Unabridged; Audio CD - Unabridged | Expected Release Date: August 1, 2015 | Publisher: Barbour Publishing, Inc. : Shiloh Run Press; Gld edition | Obtained: NetGalley

"The Gift" [The Prairie State Friends Series, Book 2] by Wanda E. Brunstetter

What was I thinking? : As stated above I received this novel through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. When I first saw the novel I was intrigued by its cover and book description, therefore I felt confident that I would enjoy this novel as I have with other Amish romances. Sad to say I was wrong... yet while I didn't love this novel my goal is to always promote the book that I've read, if you don't like my review make sure to check out the extras posted to promote the novel underneath it. So, here we go...

Author's Book Description : Publisher’s Weekly, CBA and ECPA Bestseller

Follow the heart-wrenching story of Adam Beachy, whose mother walked out on him and his family—and away from the Amish faith. Now he balks at the idea of ever marrying and having a family of his own. But when tragedy strikes, Adam is suddenly a father figure to his three nieces and finds himself needing a wife. Despite their differences over her practice of reflexology, Leah Mast seems the best option to fill that role. Can they make it work in a modern-day marriage of convenience?

My Book Review : 1.5 out of 5 stars. A continuation from Ms. Brunstetter's "The Decision," focuses around Leah and Adam. Leah practices reflexology, which she learned from her grandmother and considers it a gift she can give to others. Adam is a confirmed bachelor, with plans to stay that way, and owns the local hardware store. Neither really like each other because of their view on reflexology. However, when a freak accident leaves Adam's three nieces in his care both Leah and Adam's lives will be forever changed ... but will those changes be for all the better?

Okay while I didn't love this novel, I have to get these facts straight...
  • FIRST -- This is the first time I've read a book by Ms. Brunstetter.
  • SECOND -- I have read Amish romance novels before and really liked them.
  • THIRD -- When choosing this novel to read/review I was hoping the novel would be a little like Patricia Davids' "Katie's Redemption" as the "heroes" from both novels have slightly similar backstories.

While I'll admit that Adam's childhood is deeply sad it has turned him into a harsh man who doesn't know how to deal with social interactions well. In addition, he seemed like a dense and uncaring character that it was hard to believe him when he tried to act sincere. Nevertheless, as this novel progressed and who Adam's mother was became revealed (which I had already guessed prior to it coming out) you find out that some of Adam's attitude/behavior might be inherited from his parents as his mother seems dense too I mean just read this quote from her...
What if she located the place where the wedding was being held and found out that she wasn't welcome? ~ Adam's Mother
Basically, Adam's mother's plan was to show up uninvited to his wedding, which knowing their tremulous relationship wasn't a good idea. Between Adam and his mother, I felt like giving up on this novel more than once.

What made me stick with this novel was Leah, her family, and her friends. Leah is sweet, kindhearted, and a good woman. I would have loved having her as a friend and learning a bit about her reflexology was cool too. In addition, I was very sad to hear that one of Leah's friends pass away as I had come too really like her in this novel.

As this was the first novel from this series that I've read, I will say that some of the multiple subplots threw me for a loop. The scenes from Elaine and Priscilla's POVs seemed a bit strained, while the POV's from Adam and his mother made me want to pull my hair out half the time, whereas the scenes from Leah's POV mostly made me happy.

Overall, if you are not a fan of Ms. Brunstetter's before looking into this novel (like me) than I DO NOT recommend it.

Purchase This Book and/or The Other Books From It's Series Here : Shop Your Local Bookstores (IndieBound - Paperback) : The Decision (Book 1) | Shop Your Local Bookstores (IndieBound - Hardcover) : The Decision (Book 1) | Shop Your Local Bookstores (IndieBound - Compact Disc) : The Decision (Book 1) | Shop Your Local Bookstores (IndieBound - Paperback) : The Restoration (Book 3) | Shop Your Local Bookstores (IndieBound - Hardcover, Large Print) : The Restoration (Book 3) | Shop Your Local Bookstores (IndieBound - Compact Disc) : The Restoration (Book 3) | Shop Your Local Bookstores (IndieBound - MP3 CD) : The Restoration (Book 3) | Amazon (Kindle) : The Decision (Book 1) | Amazon (Kindle) : The Restoration (Book 3) | Barnes & Noble (NOOK Book) : The Decision (Book 1) | Barnes & Noble (NOOK Book) : The Restoration (Book 3)

Shop Your Local Bookstores (IndieBound - Paperback) : The Gift (Book 2)

Shop Your Local Bookstores (IndieBound - Hardcover, Large Print) : The Gift (Book 2)

Shop Your Local Bookstores (IndieBound - Compact Disc) : The Gift (Book 2)

Shop Your Local Bookstores (IndieBound - MP3 CD) : The Gift (Book 2)

Amazon (Kindle) : The Gift (Book 2)

Amazon (Paperback) : The Gift (Book 2)

Amazon (Audible) : The Gift (Book 2)

Amazon (Audio CD) : The Gift (Book 2)
The Gift
Barnes & Noble (NOOK Book) : The Gift (Book 2)
The Gift
Barnes & Noble (Paperback) : The Gift (Book 2)
The Gift
Barnes & Noble (Audiobook - CD) : The Gift (Book 2)

Amazon (Kindle) : The Prairie State Friends Series
Amazon (Paperbacks) : The Prairie State Friends Series

My Previous Mention(s) of this Author's Books/Characters : Second Sentence Saturday: The Gift

Author's Novel Extras :

Author's Series Extras : The Prairie State Friends Series - Overview

Author's Book Trailer :

Book Teaser(s) :
He might be the most attractive single Amish man in Arthur, but as far as she was concerned, he had the personality of a donkey. ~ within Chapter 1
Leah suppressed a giggle. "I seem to be falling a lot lately whenever Adam's around."
"What do you mean?"
"I saw him at Rockome Garden Foods the other day and managed to slip in honey that got on the floor when he dropped a jar of the stuff."
"Oh no! Maybe it's a sign that you're meant to stick together." Priscilla snickered. ~ within Chapter 8

Book Preview(s) :
For more information on this book, series, and/or any other books by Wanda, then please check out her Amazon Acct.

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