With her wedding business thriving, Annie Kauffmann could never leave her beloved Amish community. So when handsome Amish cowboy Levi Lapp tries to convince her father to move the family to Texas, she must put a stop to it. If Annie finds Levi a wife, he might forget his dream of moving…but can she keep from falling for him herself?
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Annie Kauffmann thought she'd just experienced a perfect day — business had gone well, the fall weather was exquisite and each member of her family was happy and healthy. She leaned her bicycle against the tree in the front yard and ran up the porch steps. Her mother was sitting in a rocker, knitting a baby blanket for her next grandchild. She had twelve and counting. If her mother was sitting, she was knitting — blankets, sweaters, caps and mittens.
"Gut day?" she asked.
"Ya." Annie sank into a rocker, smoothing her apron over her dress and sinking back with a sigh. "I confirmed two more weddings."
"Your catering business is growing."
"It is. The gut thing about these is one is for December ..."
"Not many winter weddings, so you must be speaking of Widow Schwartz."
"The same. The other is for later this month."
"You had an opening this month?"
"Ya, since you know ... Jesse's was cancelled."
"Real shame that Emma changed her mind. I believe she'll regret that."
"Maybe not though, Mamm. Maybe not."
Annie was suddenly aware of voices in the house — her father and another man. She peeked out over the porch railing, wondering whose buggy she had missed, but there wasn't one there.
"Who is Dat talking to?"
"I believe his name is Levi."
"Nein. Levi Lapp."
"I don't know a Levi Lapp."
"He's new here."
"Did he walk?"
"I imagine he rode a bus to town, but he walked here today to see your dat."
"Who does he know in Goshen?"
"He's staying with Simon King."
"Is he related to Old Simon?"
"I'm not sure."
Now Annie's curiosity was thoroughly piqued. "I think I need a glass of lemonade. Can I get you anything?"
Mamm smiled, not fooled for a minute. "Of course, dear. I would love that."
Annie stepped into the coolness of the house. Though it was September, the temperatures had remained warm, and the cool living room was a relief after her bike ride from town. Her father and Levi Lapp were in the kitchen, which would work perfectly. She straightened her apron, made sure her kapp wasn't askew and walked into the kitchen as if she had no idea she was interrupting.
She aimed for a casual stride but stumbled when she spied the man in a cowboy hat. A cowboy hat? She shook her head as if that would clear up what she was seeing.
"Annie. I'm glad you're home. I want you to meet Levi ... Levi Lapp."
Levi tipped the cowboy hat, revealing blond hair that curled at his collar. "Howdy, ma'am."
Had she fallen asleep and landed in a Western? "I'm Annie."
"It's nice to meet you."
"And you, as well. I was just fetching two glasses of lemonade. Don't let me interrupt ..."
"Levi's from Pennsylvania — the Lancaster Plain community."
"Ya? I imagine it's cooler there." She didn't care about the weather in Pennsylvania, but she couldn't exactly ask about the hat.
"It was cooler when I left. Now Texas, where I plan to go, is still much warmer. They have days in the eighties right through November."
"Texas?" Annie had pulled two glasses from the cabinet. At the mention of Texas she turned toward Levi, holding the glasses and trying to remember what she was going to do with them.
He wasn't ugly exactly, only odd looking because of the hat. He seemed to be tall and on the thin side, had a healthy tan and broad shoulders. His blue eyes twinkled as if he understood her confusion and was enjoying it.
Annie raised her chin a fraction higher. "I wasn't aware there were Plain communities in Texas."
"Oh, ya. There's one in Beeville, which has been there nearly twenty years. Only a few families, though."
"And you're going there?" It was really none of her business. She placed the glasses on the counter and walked over to the propane-powered refrigerator. Removing the pitcher of lemonade, she held it up, but her dat waved her away, and Levi didn't seem to notice. A dreamy expression had come over his face. It was as if he'd been transported to another place. She'd seen that look before — usually on a man who was smitten with a girl.
"Not to Beeville, to Stephenville."
"But you said ..."
"There's no community there now, but there was. It's where I grew up."
"You should hear the stories he tells, Annie." Her dat leaned back and crossed his arms. "Rolling hills, space for a family to grow, cattle and horses ..."
Now she was noticing the starry look in her dat's eyes. She'd seen that before. The last time, it was because he was dreaming of moving to a pig farm in Missouri that he'd read about in The Budget.
So that's what this was.
Another one of his daydreams.
Nothing to worry about there. This Levi fellow would probably be gone by the end of the week.
"Gut people too," Levi added. "Texans are quite friendly toward Plain folk."
Her dat thumped the table. "Sounds wunderbaar. Just what I've been thinking of."
Annie didn't answer that. What was the point? This was the way Dat's crazy ideas went. By next week he'd have moved on to raising exotic animals or trying a new crop. She loved her dat, loved everything about him, but she'd learned long ago not to worry about his wild ideas. She had a business to run — a thriving wedding catering business here in Goshen, Indiana. The last thing she needed to concern herself with was pulling up roots and moving to Texas.
Instead, she poured the lemonade into the glasses, smiled at her dat and the Amish cowboy sitting at their table and said, "I'll leave you two to your discussion, then. It was nice to meet you, Levi."
He tipped the ridiculous hat again and smiled as if she'd said something witty. Not just a cowboy, but a charming one to boot.
Levi spoke with Alton Kauffmann another fifteen minutes. When his wife, Lily, came in and started making dinner, he knew it was time to go.
She smiled at him as she pulled what looked like the mixings of a ham casserole from the refrigerator. "It's nice meeting you, Levi. I hope you'll come visit again."
"Oh, he will," Alton said. "The bishop has come up with a work schedule for Levi, since he's new to the area. He'll be helping me here two afternoons a week — Wednesdays and Fridays."
"We'll expect you to stay for dinner on those days ... if you can."
"Danki. I appreciate that."
Alton said something about checking on the horses, so Levi let himself out the front door. Annie was sitting in one of the rockers, writing in a journal. She didn't immediately notice him, and so he was able to study her for a minute.
Young — she couldn't have been over twenty.
Pretty — not that he was interested. He was here to recruit families to move to Texas, not court a woman.
Focused — she still hadn't looked up.
Levi cleared his throat. "Pretty place you have here."
"Ya, it is." She finally glanced up.
"Danki." "Reminds me a little of Texas, the way the hills stretch out to the west ..."
He could still see it in his mind. He wished he had pictures to show her, but of course being Plain they didn't usually fool around with cameras, even the ones on cell phones. He had a few Texas magazines that he'd brought with him. He'd have to remember to bring one over the next afternoon when he came to help Alton.
"You were awfully intent on what you were doing there." He nodded toward her journal.
"Oh. I have a catering business ... for Plain weddings.
I keep all my notes and calendar in here."
"That's interesting. I've never met an Amish businesswoman before."
"Really? You've never purchased something from a local bakery?"
"Oh, ya. Sure."
"Or bought fresh jam?"
"Peach and strawberry." He moved to the rocking chair beside her, placed the knitting basket that was in it on the porch floor and sat.
"All run by women entrepreneurs I would imagine ... Plain women entrepreneurs. You can find them in nearly every bakery and fruit stand — not to mention quilt shops and yarn shops. They are also house cleaners and most of our teachers. Schoolhouses aren't a business, but you get my point."
"I do. Obviously, this is a subject you've given a lot of thought."
She raised her chin like she had in the kitchen. It almost made him laugh. She was a spunky one.
"I've offended you, and I'm sorry. It wasn't my intention."
She considered him a minute and then closed her journal. "It's possible I'm a little sensitive about the topic, being an entrepreneur myself."
"So tell me about your business."
"Not much to tell. I cater weddings."
"I thought ..."
"That the family of the bride cooks the food? Ya. A lot of people think that. But when you consider that most of our weddings have over 400 guests ... well, the mothers of the bride and groom have an increasingly difficult time cooking for a gathering of that size."
"Maybe they could invite less people."
"And put me out of business? No thank you." Her tone was serious, but she smiled at his joke. "How did you land in Goshen? We're a good ways from Lancaster, Pennsylvania."
Levi didn't respond immediately because the actual answer was complicated. He certainly didn't want to go into his family situation with this young woman he'd known less than twenty minutes. And how could he explain how he'd vowed never to return to this area when he was still just a boy? Goshen did not hold good memories for him, but here he was. He decided to go with the simplest, though less complete answer. "My family knows Simon King. He lived with us in Texas, and he's interested in possibly returning."
"Mamm mentioned you were staying with Simon. We call him Old Simon because there are two others in the congregation — Tall Simon and Young Simon. Young Simon is older than Tall Simon but younger than Old Simon." She laughed and then added, "You know how Plain communities are."
"I do, and he's not that old."
"I'm just surprised he'd be interested in moving at his age."
"I suppose that since his wife died, he's a bit lonely. We stayed in contact over the years. When I mentioned that I was raising up a group to start a new community, he was interested."
"How many families do you need?"
"A dozen is the usual number, with at least one church leader."
"And that would be Old Simon?"
"How many families do you have so far?"
"There's myself, Simon and possibly your dat."
Annie covered her mouth with her hands. It took Levi a minute to realize she was laughing. It irritated him, though he couldn't have said why.
"What's so funny?"
"I'm sorry." She pulled her lips into a straight line, and stared down at her lap, smoothing out her apron with her fingertips. Obviously, she was making a huge effort to rein in her amusement.
"No, tell me."
"It's only that Dat ..."
"I hope he hasn't raised your hopes. Mamm says he likes to dream, that it's entertainment for him like some people might read a book. It's harmless enough. We've all learned not to take him too seriously in that regard."
Levi stood and pushed his cowboy hat more firmly on his head, but Annie was now on a roll.
"Once he was going to move us to Canada ... there are Amish communities there, you know."
"Another time, it was a pig farm he was going to purchase, in Missouri, and then there was his idea to raise camels. He checked out a lot of books from the library for that one."
"I would think you'd show more respect for your dat. It seems that you don't take what's important to him very seriously."
"You're an expert on my dat now?"
"I can tell when a man has a dream."
"Ya, like me."
Annie stood as well and moved a step closer. She gazed up into his face. She looked at him in the same way his mother often had, and it only served to increase his irritation even more. There were always some who were closed-minded, who couldn't see the possibilities of a fresh start in a new place.
"I don't mean to be rude, Levi. However, if you're counting on my family moving to Texas, you should know that's not going to happen."
Instead of contradicting her, he said, "I'm glad I'll have plenty of time to speak to your family about this."
"Speak to them?"
"Since I'll be working here two days a week."
"You're going to be working here?"
"It's nice to meet you, Annie. Perhaps we can continue this conversation tomorrow. Your mamm has invited me to stay for dinner."
She crossed her arms and scowled at him as he turned and made his way down the porch steps.
Levi gave her a backward wave, but he didn't look back.
He wanted to. Annie Kauffmann made a pretty picture standing on the front porch with fall leaves pooled at her feet and a cat rubbing against her legs. He didn't allow himself a last glance, though. He knew all about naysayers, people who said it couldn't or shouldn't be done. He'd been stopped by them long enough.
This time, he had a plan.
If things went well, he'd be in Texas by spring.CHAPTER 2
Annie managed to avoid Levi on Wednesday when he came to help her father in the fields. They owned a mere eighty acres, but her dat used every bit of it. He adamantly believed in varying the crops, which increased the amount of work but also improved the harvest. The hay wouldn't be ready to cut for another two months. The sorghum would need to be harvested by the end of October, soybeans after that, and winter wheat had to be planted as well.
There was always work to be done on a farm.
It wasn't unusual for their bishop to arrange for young Amish men from out of town to find some work, and it was true that her father needed help, but she wasn't sure Levi Lapp was the kind of help he needed. Like the first day he'd spent time with Levi, her dat spent Wednesday evening asking enthusiastic questions about Texas over dinner.
"Big ranches there?"
"Some are. The King Ranch is bigger than the state of Rhode Island."
"You don't say."
"Many are smaller family places, though. Like we would have."
Annie and her mamm shared a look, but her mother merely shook her head. They'd been through this before. It was best to let the dream run its course. If this went the way of her dat's other ideas, he'd move on to something else before the end of the week. So she endured dinner with Levi and tried to simply nod and appear polite. Had he swallowed an entire encyclopedia of Texas trivia? She couldn't resist commenting when he laughingly told them about the Texas state mammal.
"They have three, actually. The longhorn is the large state mammal. The Mexican free-tailed bat is the flying state mammal. And the nine-banded armadillo is the small state mammal. Those are quite a sight to see. They can run up to thirty miles an hour ..."
"Why would they need to run for an hour?"
Levi seemed to consider the question seriously, and Annie was suddenly sorry she'd asked it.
"I suppose they wouldn't. My point is they're fast, and they can jump straight up too. I've seen them jump ..." he held a hand level with the table. "At least that high. It's something else."
Now she was irritated. In truth, she'd been irritated since he'd sat down and started spouting facts and figures. "Aren't they just large rats with shells?"
"More like an anteater or a sloth."
"Who would choose that for their state mammal?"
"Texans would. In fact, they did in 1927." He said all of this slowly, as if she were a child and couldn't grasp the concept.
Her mother jumped in and started talking about the possibility of rain, and Annie soon lost track of the conversation. Thinking back over what she'd said as she washed the dishes, she was rather proud of herself. At least she hadn't laughed at him. She hadn't openly mocked him, but what was his deal? Why did he act as if Texas were the promised land?
She'd simply have to pray for extra strength to curb her tongue when she was around him.
Friday that wasn't so easy.
On Friday, Levi managed to tax her patience to the limit.
It didn't help that she had a wedding the next day, the florist had ordered roses instead of mums and she'd spent ten hours in the kitchen cooking and shredding chicken. When Levi and her father trotted inside, leaving muddy prints across the floor she'd just cleaned, Annie thought she might flip like pancakes on a griddle. Things went downhill from there.
She placed a dish of chicken potpie in the middle of the table. Beside it was a loaf of fresh bread, butter and a large salad. Her mamm came in asking about the field work, and they all sat down to eat — including Levi. The serving bowls had barely been passed when her dat started in on the Texas trivia points for the day.
"Levi was telling me about Texas longhorns."
Levi held his hands up to his head and then spread them as far apart as possible. "Big longhorns."
"Horns curve outward and can measure up to eight feet in length," her father said. "Sharp on the end, but apparently they're gentle animals."(Continues…)
Excerpted from "The Amish Christmas Matchmaker"
Copyright © 2019 Vannetta Chapman.
Excerpted by permission of Harlequin Enterprises Limited.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I enjoyed this book! It took me a little bit to get into it and I wasn’t connecting with the characters in the beginning, however as soon as Annie and Levi pretended to be “stepping out”, the story really picked up for me. I liked that Annie was a successful businesswoman. I thought it was realistic that she so adamantly did not want her family to move to Texas, however I didn’t like her initial animosity toward Levi. I liked Annie’s relationship with her best friend and business partner. It was fun that others could see the feelings blossoming between Annie and Levi before they could and I enjoyed the chemistry between them. If you like Amish Christian fiction, I recommend this book. I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
3.5 Stars While searching titles on Net-Galley, I found The Amish Christmas Matchmaker, and the book description appealed to me. I requested it from the publisher, and they were kind enough to approve my request to read and review. My opinions are my own and are not influenced in any way. This is the first book I’ve read by Vanetta Chapman, and it’s a heartwarming tale of a young couple who must find their way past a huge obstacle. Annie Kaufmann has a thriving business with her close, English friend as wedding planners. Levi Lapp arrives in Goshen. He convinces families to join him in Texas and form a new Amish community. Annie’s father, ever the dreamer, is eager to agree, and even her brothers find it appealing, as are several others in their community. Land is expensive in Goshen and it will be difficult to acquire additional land. The land in Texas is much more affordable. While Annie is heartbroken, when her plan to Levi to find him a girl to hold him in Goshen, fails. She knows she must stay in Goshen. After all, she has a thriving business. A strong attraction between Annie and Levi develops as she plays matchmaker, but since he plans to go to Texas, it can never be allowed to grow. Can Levi and Annie find a way beyond their differences or are they too great to overcome? This is a romance between two individuals whose strong faith guides their decisions. The pacing is a tad slow in the first half of the book, but it moves better later on. There is no doubt that Ms. Chapman has studied the Amish community and their language. She uses just enough to give it a strong sense of what it is like in an Amish community. I enjoyed that aspect of the story a great deal. Annie Kaufmann’s character is different from most Amish heroines. While her faith and family are very important to her, she’s also driven to succeed with her business and will not consider setting it aside when her family makes the decision to move. Her stubbornness keeps her from seeing what God has in store for her. It took me a good part of the book to warm to her character, but by the end of the book, I ached for her hurting heart. Levi Lapp is a great hero. I liked him from the beginning. His drive to honor what he sees as God’s will in his life is admirable. His passion for his goals is very persuasive, and I was not surprised when he convinced many to join him. He wants Annie but knows she will never come with him. I felt his pain and confusion when he realizes, he must choose between his life long plan to move to Texas and the girl he has grown to love. The romance between Levi and Annie is sweet and typical for this sub-genre. The part where Annie tries her hand at matchmake is amusing. I enjoyed how their love story played out, and I truly wanted them to find their happy ending. If you enjoy Amish fiction with engaging characters and an interesting plot, then you will like The Amish Christmas Matchmaker. While the Christmas theme is not strong in this book, it’s still a heartwarming story. There’s a good bit of conflict between the main characters, which is resolved in a most satisfying way. Happy reading!
This was such a creative and unique story! I honestly did not know how things would wrap up at the end of the book. I knew there would be some sort of happily-ever-after, of course, but the author really kept me wondering with this one. Annie and Levi, were two people who didn’t realize that they were falling in love with each other in the midst of arguing over Levi’s dream to move a group of Amish families to Texas. I found myself flipping back and forth between who I thought was “right” in their disputes. I loved the way the author showed both weaknesses and strengths for whether Texas was in God’s plan for Levi. There were also some twists that kept me anxiously turning pages. I really enjoyed this story! (4.5 stars) I received a complimentary copy of this book. All opinions are my own.
I really enjoyed this book because it has everything I look for when I’m browsing for books, be it online or at my local bookstore. In this delightful story a high spirited Amish entrepreneur meets a wonderful Amish cowboy and plenty of hijinks are determined to follow. With family at the heart of this story how can both Levi and Annie make plans while they’re falling in love when their individual dreams are destined to tear them apart? An exceptionally wonderful read for fans of sweet and wholesome Amish and Christianromance. I read an early copy of this book through NetGalley and all opinions expressed in my voluntary review are completely my own.
I think that the only author of whom I have read every single book written by them, is Vannetta Chapman. That alone says something about this book. Yes, I have enjoyed this author's books very much over the years. I don't want to miss a single one. This book delivered. I loved how she incorporated her state into the story, which added lots of interest to me. It was a sweet romantic book with just the right amount of characters, not too many to get you confused as to who was who. It had a definitive story-line, which I really enjoyed as Levi, in Stetson and cowboy boots, attempts to convince them to settle in a far-away settlement that he wants to start. I love how God seems to move in his life to set him onto the path he needs to follow and how Annie is a feisty, high-spirited gal with determination and spunk. A well-written and very enjoyable read. I received an ARC copy of this book. All thoughts are my own.
Annie Kauffman is coming into her own with a thriving catering business, and she is thriving in Indiana. Levi Lapp comes strolling in with his Stetson hat, appealing to her father's adventuring spirit, he convinces him to come back with Levi to Texas to start an Amish Colony there, which means that Annie would have to go to Texas as well. A friend suggests that if Annie helps him to find a wife, so that he won't want to move. But the more time they spend together, the more Annie is confused and wonders if she can continue with her plan and stop herself from falling for him? Annie doesn't want to move to Texas, she loves her life in Indiana. She is a clever, business minded woman who has worked hard to make her dreams come true. She challenges Levi's ideas, forcing him to troubleshoot problems that he had never anticipated. Levi loved growing up in Texas and he wants to return, the colony that he was previously a part of failed due to a terrible drought. Annie's questions only prepare him more for Texas, by making him think up solutions to possible problems. Overall, a charming, original Amish romance. I really liked the interaction between the characters, and how Annie and Levi start from such differing perspectives. A really enjoyable read from beginning to end! I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
The Amish Christmas Matchmaker by Vannetta Chapman is the fourth novel in Indiana Amish Brides series. Each book in this series can be read on its own, but I have found each one a pleasure to read. I thought The Amish Christmas Matchmaker was a unique and creative story. Annie Kauffmann co-owns Plain & Simple Weddings with Englischer, Priscilla. They provide the wedding meal for Amish weddings with their portable kitchen and are quite successful. Then Levi Lapp wearing his cowboy boots and hat comes to town and starts touting Texas to recruit Amish families for a new settlement. When Annie sees that gleam in her father’s eye, she knows he is considering the move. Annie sets out to derail Levi by convincing him to go out on dates with some of her friends. Annie hopes he will fall in love and forget about faraway Texas. I had to laugh at Levi with his cowboy hat and boots spouting numerous facts about Texas. Thanks to Vannetta Chapman’s word imagery, I could picture him in my head. This is such a cute story featuring two very different people, but they do say that opposites attract. We see the importance of praying for guidance and listening to God. Sometimes we get so caught up in an idea, that we forget to see if it is what God wants for us. The Amish Christmas Matchmaker is an engaging story that will hold your attention until you turn the very last page. I appreciated the epilogue which nicely wrapped up this cute story. The only thing I felt was lacking from this charming tale was the feeling of Christmas. The Amish Christmas Matchmaker is an amusing Amish romance with Texas trivia, wondrous weddings, fabulous food along with one willful woman and a fanciful fellow.
Annie Kauffman has a plan and that plan does NOT include moving. When Levi Lapp comes to Goshen to recruit families for a new settlement in Texas, her fear is that her father will finally give in to his wanderlust dreams. If he does, where will that leave her? She comes up with a scheme to get Levi interested in a woman, any woman, in her community. He agrees to three dates and after three dates, she will stop throwing roadblocks in front of his plans. Levi has dreamed of returning to Texas ever since the community that was there had to fold. His life went from happy and carefree in Texas, to uncertain and sad - first in Goshen, then in Lancaster. He has decided that the time is right to make an effort to take a group back to Texas. He's been told that he needs to get commitments from 10 to 12 families and three ministers. Just when he believes he's finally on his way, Annie starts throwing wrenches into the works. How can he make her see that his dream could be a good thing? As Annie and Levi interact in the story, it's obvious to everyone except Annie, that they are perfect for each other, but they have a Texas-sized hurdle to overcome, and as we all know, everything is bigger in Texas! What will it take to make each of them see the other through the eyes of love? I always love Vannetta Chapman's stories, and this one had many things to recommend it. From the Stetson-wearing, cowboy boot shod hero, to the "I'm NEVER moving to Texas!" heroine who owns and runs a wedding "food truck", nothing was business as usual for an Amish-themed book. I liked the unexpectedness of those elements. Readers of Amish fiction will enjoy this story. I know I did!
Vannetta Chapman’s creativity with an Amish matchmaker who had a catering business brought a twist to her Indiana Amish Brides series with Love Inspired. Annie Kauffmann and her English partner were busy with weddings. Their business was doing well and she didn’t consider having a courtship herself. Levi Lapp was full of himself with his cowboy hat and boots coming to Goshen. Levi was working at the Kauffmann farm part time while busy recruiting Amish families to join him and move to Texas. His childhood dream of living there was his focus. Annie knew the only way to rid him was to find a match for him. She had no desire to leave Indiana for Texas with her business growing. The ups and downs proved challenging then an accident that threaten a life might be a blessing in disguise. This was a delightful story which shows how opposites might attract when they pay attention to their hearts and God’s will for their lives. I’m glad there was an epilogue three years later to show how the characters were doing. I received a complimentary copy of the book from the author. I was under no obligation to write a positive review, but have expressed my sincere thoughts. I’m never disappointed when I read one of Chapman’s books.
This is a different twist on an Amish story, and yes, I enjoyed it. That being said I knew the ending early on, but it was an interesting journey getting there, and a few surprises. When the person you love is almost taken from you, sometimes you wake up and realize what is really important! I did love the epilogue at the end of the book, it really makes me want to carry on in the lives of these characters. I received this book through Net Galley and the Publisher Harlequin, and was not required to give a positive review.
The Amish Christmas Matchmaker by Vennetta Chapman is the 4th of the Indiana Amish Brides series that is a great stand alone read. It's never too early to read a lovely Christmas love story where the focus is the family, the community and most of all "Gotte". Annie Kauffmann has a successful wedding-catering business she runs with her English friend. Annie is kind, giving, and sees her role as being able to help the families in her community, with which she had developed deep roots, in the Amish community of Goshen, Indiana. She finds that her work not only brings her financial security to provide for her family, but that her work is actually a service needed in their community so that families can enjoy themselves and not worry about cooking, preparing and cleaning up. Enter Levi Lapp, a handsome Amish cowboy, who comes into town to convince families to move to Texas. He believes that Texas is a physical place for him where he remembers a time in his childhood he hold so dear when everything was good, simple and a place that he will always remember to bring him joy. Annie's father and brother were convinced on the move to Texas. Annie and Levi did not see eye to eye on the changes that is bound to happen. Chapman's portrayal of their characters with their lively banter is brilliantly told with binding them together through love, trust and prayers. Chapman writes a very charming and sweet romance that I truly enjoyed that made me smile. I highly recommend this book for a fantastic Christian romance read. Thank you to Love Inspired, Author Vannetta Chapman and Justread Tours for the opportunity to read and provide my honest and objective opinion on this book.
My Thoughts on The Amish Christmas Matchmaker: The Amish Christmas Matchmaker is such a fun read! You get these two headstrong characters with opposing views coming together to “fool” others! This is the first Amish romance book I’ve read by Vannetta Chapman and it’s definitely a great one! I’ve read her Christian suspense books and have really enjoyed those so I was excited to try this one out. I love the idea of an Amish wedding service. So much work leads up to them from all the books I’ve read. I can’t imagine how much stress that would be though. Levi is determined to make it to Texas with a new Amish settlement. The only thing standing in his way is Annie. She does not want her family to go. After all, she is not going. She’s got a thriving business and the idea of moving it or herself is not on her agenda. However, her father is really interested in the idea. She’s sure it’s just a passing fancy like all of his other ideas. But she’s not going to give it a chance to become more! Annie is determined to make sure the move doesn’t happen. Her plan involves setting Levi up with an eligible Amish girl so he decided to live and stay here. It might backfire a bit when her parents assume they’re interested in each other, actually her whole community does. So they decide to go on some dates together just to make people see how not suited they are! Great book! I really enjoyed getting to know the characters and am now putting the first three books in this series into my reading list. The author’s style is great. You feel like you’re watching a movie play in your brain. I love these shorter fun books that make you feel like you’re right there. Highly recommend this book. I have voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from JustRead Publicity Tours. All views expressed are only my honest opinion. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way. All opinions expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC regulations.
Favorite quote. “It is in the LORD’S hands and I am good with that.” One of my favorite quote in the book. Dreams! Everyone has loads of that. But what happens when we are so subsumed by our dreams that we don’t see any other thing and we ignore or fight God’s plans for our life? That was the story of Annie and Levi. They both had dreams and plans for how they wanted their lives to turn out but God had plans for them and it was so beautifully crafted out in this book. I loved reading about how she built her business and enjoyed doing what she did; bring a great help in making one of the most beautiful days in people’s lives a success. Her strong and independent spirit was so endearing to read about. Her love and protectiveness over her family was sweet to read about. The banter between her and Levi was just hilarious and sweet. They thought they were opposites, but that’s what made them compatible. I loved reading about how Annie chose to pray and commit things into God’s hands instead of worry. Prayers were a great part of her life and very important. Levi came into town dreamy and full of his own happy ending until he butted heads with the witty Annie. I loved reading about his determination to follow his dreams even when things seem to be moving the opposite direction especially the women he loved. I enjoyed reading about how the both of them learnt to lay down those weapons and allow love take it’s course, most especially allow God plot and unveil his plans for them. This was a very beautiful Amish story for me to read. I’ve always been careful of reading Amish books because of the language but this was pretty easy for me to read and understand. I loved the focus of the book; fulfillment of dreams and allowing God’s plan take precedence. The while Christmas theme in it made it all enjoyable. I recommend this book to everyone who loved Christmas stories and a lesson in allowing God fulfil his plans for one’s life. I received a copy of this book for my honest opinion. All opinions expressed here are mine.
From the cover, it may seem like The Amish Christmas Matchmaker is simply another Love Inspired series romance, but there’s nothing “simple” about the writing of Vannetta Chapman and this story is one of my favorites. The characters may be Amish, but the message knows no spiritual boundaries. The writing is smooth, flows at a steady pace, and there’s never a dull moment. The Amish Christmas Matchmaker takes place in Goshen, Indiana, with Texas literally becoming the elephant in the room that no one talks about – except that it was talked about in this story, and often. Through Chapman’s intimate knowledge and love for her state, Texas landscapes are so vividly conveyed that I could see them in my mind. It was also fun to learn an interesting nugget or two, such that the name Texas comes from the Native American word for friend or ally. The lead characters of Annie and Levi are well drawn and my connection with them was instant. Annie, who runs a thriving wedding-catering business with her English partner and friend, is seemingly content with making other people’s happily-ever-after unfold. Levi, with his Stetson and cowboy boots, is not your typical Amish guy as he comes into the Goshen community hoping to convince families to move to Texas. Levi yearns for Texas because it symbolizes a time in his young years when life was good and people could be trusted … “It wasn’t that he wanted more. It was only that he wanted something different than what he had.” That Annie and Levi would clash is inevitable and I loved some of the early scenes with their lively banter. Anyone who has had a passionate dream in their heart can identify with Levi, but the problem was that his dream was so strong that he viewed every situation and every person through the lens of what he hoped would happen. Annie didn’t like change, and neither do I! But there comes a point where you have to humbly seek God’s will and trust, laying your dreams at His feet – and that what’s this story so gently conveys. I’ve never given much thought to the Amish practice of silent prayer, but loved how Annie discovered that this forced her to speak to God honestly rather than listening to her father’s voice. Levi might come across as full of himself in the beginning, but their attraction and growing friendship is beautiful to behold. I understood why Levi was so passionate about moving to Texas and why Annie was so determined to stay. While I felt sure things would work out well between them, getting there was so much fun! One of the things I love most about Chapman’s writing is how she effortlessly draws me into the emotions of the characters, making me sense what they feel. This description of Annie is a perfect example: “She clutched her hands in front of her, not because she was afraid, but because she had the sudden urge to reach out and touch him before he disappeared like a mirage that she couldn’t prove had ever been there.” I loved how Chapman brought things together with an ending that was very satisfying. Levi is one of my favorite leading men and the scene where their love is acknowledged – sigh worthy. Highly recommended. I received a copy of this book through JustRead Tours. The opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.
What happens when a stranger appears in town, wearing a cowboy hat and boots, and reveals that his name is Levi Lapp? How does a twenty-four year old Amish woman truly feel about this "Amish cowboy" who greets her with "Howdy, ma'am" and wants her family and other Amish families to leave Goshen, Indiana, and set up an Amish community in Texas? These are the circumstances surrounding Levi Lapp's arrival and Annie Kauffmann isn't about to let him suceed. She and her English friend Priscilla have a thriving Amish catering service and she has worked too hard and too long to make Plain & Simple Weddings a success. Texas is definitely off the radar! The Amish Christmas Matchmaker is the fourth book in the Indiana Amish Brides series and Vannetta Chapman has created some fun and unique characters. Levi Lapp thinks that "Annie Kauffmann might be pretty, but she had a lot of strong opinions that she didn't mind sharing. (p. 33). Annie thinks that Levi is conceited, stubborn, and completely silly in his Stetson hat and cowboy boots and she has to stop him from enticing her father with his tales of Texas. What follows is a fun and romantic story that reminds us that our dreams may be more than we bargained for and they may be different than what we thought! Fans of Amish fiction will love this book and romance lovers will find The Amish Christmas Matchmaker the perfect romance! I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author but a positive review was not required. These are my honest opinions.