Because of Joel’s impossible situation, twenty-one-year-old Rose must sacrifice everything. As days pass into years in the midst of the beautiful hills, the laughter of children, and God’s providence—is it too much for Rose to hope for love in return?
An amazing journey toward love and belonging, filled with the wonder of the season of Christ’s birth.
When Old Order Amish Rose Kurtz is asked to leave her family, travel deep into West Virginia, and help Joel Dienner with his children in the wake of tragedy, the quiet young woman recognizes a home where she might find kindness instead of criticism and hope replacing harsh words. She agrees to stay in Forest Hill and become Joel’s wife for the sake of his family needs, but their marriage is to be a partnership, one built from need, not love and affection.
As the years pass, Rose continues to beckon Joel to join life again, to take joy in his growing children, and to awaken his heart to the possibility of new love. Joel hopes that Rose can move beyond deep-rooted hurts to see the beautiful Christmas ahead, their season. But will the arrival of a beautiful widow and a series of misunderstandings reverse how far Rose and Joel have come?
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Rose clutched the wooden handles of her embroidered traveling bag, tightening her grip to stop her fingers from trembling. Why had she agreed to do this? She glanced at the hired driver before returning her attention to the view through the car window. Since getting in this car almost five hours ago, she’d watched as the familiar rolling farmlands of Pennsylvania had given way to the mountains of West Virginia. The tree-covered mountainsides were majestic, with every shade of gold and red foliage, but as night overtook the golden wash of the fall day, the beauty was silhouetted by the darkness.
The driver, a woman who looked to be the same age as Rose’s Mamm, lowered the volume of the radio. “There’s a restaurant ahead of us. We can stop if you need to.”
“I’m fine now. Thank you.” That wasn’t true, but Rose would fight her nausea rather than give in to it again. Since leaving her house, they had already stopped at three places to give Rose a chance to get out, gulp in crisp air, and press a damp cloth to her lips.
The driver nodded and turned the radio up, continuing to listen as men discussed how to fix the country.
It seemed odd that there was no one around to criticize Rose for letting time melt away as she just sat here, thinking. She let her thoughts trail back to earlier in the day, when her life was a steady routine of hard work and familiar safety.
She and her Mamm had been getting breakfast on the table—a vat of steamy, brown-sugar oatmeal and panfuls of oven-toasted bread—when Nat Eash knocked on the back door. Her Daed welcomed him and invited him to join them at the table.
Rose grabbed a mug and poured coffee for him and then returned to ladling oatmeal into bowls for her eleven brothers. Her parents were dairy farmers, and she was the lone daughter of the twelve children. Work never stopped, not even when it was Christmas Day or when she was recovering from the flu that had landed her Mamm in the hospital.
The bishop studied her as he sipped his coffee. Finally he cleared his throat. “Hard times come to all of us, and we must help carry one another’s burdens. The Forest Hill community is a small Amish district—only eight families—and they need our help.”
Had she ever heard of that community before? She tried to recall as she filled a bowl with oatmeal and held it out to her youngest brother.
“Do you know where Forest Hill is, Rose?” Nat asked.
The bishop’s direct question to her caught her off guard, and she dropped the oatmeal. Her Mamm and brothers yelling at her unnerved her even more, and her face afire, she was unable to find her voice.
Nat winced. “It’s my fault. Not hers.”
The complaining immediately ceased, and the bishop continued talking about the Forest Hill community and the needs of the strangers who lived there. A young woman had given birth but wasn’t doing well, and she had two other small children. Like many in rural Appalachia, the families in the district were facing hardships, and none of them could move in and help take care of three little ones.
While Rose served her brother a fresh bowl of oatmeal and cleaned up the spill, Nat described the strangers’ needs. But with her rattled nerves and her ongoing prayers, she barely heard him. Dear God, if it’s not a bother, show me what to do, and let Your truth set me free.
“So”—the bishop stood, head angled—“would you be willing to do this?”
She looked to her Daed for some clue as to what the man wanted and what answer she should give.
Her Daed nodded. “She will.”
Nat’s smile hinted of gratefulness, but he also seemed a bit reluctant. Had he hoped she would be allowed to make her own decision? “I’ll have a driver pick you up as soon as possible.” He placed his fingers on the table as if steadying himself. “When the call for help went out to all the districts, I immediately thought of you, Rose, knowing the family couldn’t find anyone better suited.”
Confusion pummeled her. Had she nodded in agreement? She couldn’t remember, but the next thing she knew, she was in her bedroom, and her Mamm was packing the traveling bag. “You listen to me, Rose Kurtz.” Mamm jerked clothes off the hangers and shoved them into the bag. “You mind your tongue and do as you’re told. I won’t have you being an embarrassment. They have no idea how absent minded you are. Do you understand me?”
“Where am I going, Mamm?” Rose sounded more like a child than a twenty-one-year-old woman. Truth be told, she usually felt like a child—unsure of herself, clueless, and with little say about her life.
Her Mamm pursed her lips, looking torn between anger and sadness. “West Virginia, where, I guess, you’ll spend a month helping to look after this family’s two toddlers and newborn.” Her Mamm grabbed underwear from the drawer and thrust it on top of the clothes. “The bishop didn’t need to talk about how suited you are for this. That’s nonsense. There simply isn’t anyone else. Most girls old enough to leave home and do this are married or have someone they’re unwilling to part from for a month.” She put her hands on her hips and sighed. “I have no idea what I’m supposed to do with eleven sons to feed and no help. I guess that doesn’t matter to anyone.”
Did her Mamm consider how unnerving it was for Rose? She’d hardly been outside of Perry County, let alone out of state.
“Rose,” Daed called, “the driver is here.”
Mamm shut the traveling bag and held it out. “Go, and remember what I said.”
Without so much as a hug or an “I’ll miss you” from anyone, Rose got into the vehicle.
A car horn startled her. Rose opened her eyes and sat upright.
“Sorry. Didn’t mean to hit the horn, but we’re here.” She turned onto a driveway.
Even through the darkness of a fall evening, she could tell that the two-story home was fairly new. It seemed contemporary and custom-built and surprisingly stately for an Amish home. The familiar golden light of candles and lanterns poured through every window, and a dozen buggies were parked in the yard.
Nat had said the community was quite small—only eight families. If that was true, every one of them had to be here. If the woman of the house was incapacitated after giving birth during the wee hours of the morning, why had all these people come to her house? It didn’t seem normal.
The driver turned off the car, staring at the house too. “This is it.”
Rose craned her neck, looking at the second story of the house and wishing she didn’t feel so uncomfortable and unsure of herself.
The driver unlocked the doors to the vehicle. “When your bishop called, requesting that I drive you here, I asked about the situation. Let me say that what you’re doing—walking into a stranger’s home and offering to help—is admirable. It’s a tough situation. Young children will want only their mama. But I’m sure it’ll be fine. You seem like a hardworking young lady.”
Why was the driver, who’d said fewer than ten sentences in the last six hours, telling her how hard the next month would be? Rose was Amish, and the Amish knew how to buck up and get things done. Always. What difference did it make how difficult the time would be? Or did this woman know something Rose didn’t?
Rose opened the car door, thanked the driver, and then held on tightly to her traveling bag as she walked up the porch stairs. A baby was wailing, the most pitiful cry Rose had ever heard.
As she lifted her hand to knock, an unfamiliar darkness settled over her, like a mist shrouding her, and the hair on the back of her neck stood on end. She drew a deep breath and knocked. The door opened, and a gray-haired woman carrying a lit candle in a metal candleholder stared back at Rose. The candle fluttered and threatened to go out. The woman seemed mute, and tears ran down her face as the candleholder shook.
The home seemed to rumble with hoarse voices and muted sobs. Rose didn’t want to be here. She turned and looked behind her, hoping the driver was coming in too. Instead she saw bright brake lights as the car pulled out of the driveway.
Rose drew a deep breath, hoping to respond the way a mature young woman should. “I’m Rose.” She held up her traveling bag. “My bishop asked me to help look after the children.”
“Ach, ya, of course that’s who you are.” The woman backed away. “I’m sorry. We . . . we aren’t functioning well right now.”
“I understand.” Rose entered the home and closed the door. Despite the lit lanterns and candles, dimness filled the empty spaces in the large kitchen, living room, and dining area. Adults milled about. A few younger people were huddled on couches in the living room. Somewhere in the house an infant wailed.
A man sat in a chair with two crying children clinging to him. “Ich will mei Mamm!” The older boy, maybe three, cried over and over that he wanted his Mamm. The younger child, who was maybe two, cried loudly, as did the infant Rose had yet to spot.
Rose’s heart sank. Had the young Mamm died? Or maybe she’d had a home birth and was now in the hospital. But wouldn’t the baby be with her?
The man held the boys tight. “Es iss allrecht. Es iss. Ich promise.” As he kissed their heads and promised that everything would be all right, he noticed her for the first time. When their eyes connected, she knew without any doubt . . . His wife was dead, and he was shattered. She doubted he would remember this night or any other for a very, very long time. Grief had a way of enveloping a person’s mind and memory like a thick fog, and most of what happened while a person was inside that fog would be lost in the mist. Or at least that’s what her grandmother had told her.
An older woman entered the room, bouncing the screaming infant. Rose didn’t know a lot about many things, but that was the cry of a very hungry infant. She turned to the woman who’d opened the door. “How long ago did the Mamm pass?”
“She left here in an ambulance at noon and died within the hour. I don’t understand it. She was fine for a while after the baby arrived. As soon as she showed the first sign of hemorrhaging, Joel called an ambulance. They rushed her to surgery, and we were sure they’d save her, but . . .”
“I’m sorry.” Rose wished there were better words at times like this, ones that could bring real comfort.
“Denki.” The woman gestured toward the baby. “We’ve tried to feed her, using every kind of man-made nipple and formula, but she’s refused all of it.”
Dear God, if it’s not a bother, show me what to do, and let Your truth set me free.
Possible solutions poured into Rose’s brain, and she knew what needed to be tried next. “Is there a phone nearby?”
The woman nodded toward the front door. “There’s a rotary phone in Joel’s workshop.” She took a shaky breath. “I’m Sarah Dienner, Joel’s Mamm. What did you say your name was?”
“Rose. Rose Kurtz from Perry County, Pennsylvania.” Rose set her bag on the floor in an out-of-
the-way nook. An Englisch neighbor that Rose occasionally helped with laundry was involved with the La Leche League. If anyone could put Rose in contact with someone near here who could provide clean breast milk, that woman could. “If I could get breast milk and a special kind of bottle, would there be any objection?”
Sarah drew a ragged breath. “You do what you need to, and I’ll see to it that everyone backs you.” She broke into sobs. “Grace’s needs must be cared for. I . . . I’m not sure any of us, Joel most of all, can survive another loss.”
Rose’s moment of confidence disappeared as quickly as it had come. She could mess up pouring milk on cereal. What did she know about newborns, especially one without a Mamm? Rose could picture her own mother wagging a finger in Rose’s face and telling her how miserably she had failed. But this loss would have much greater consequences than just another blow to her self-esteem.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
My thoughts: First, the disclaimer. "I bought my own copy of this book. All opinions are my own." That done, I greatly enjoyed reading THE ANGEL OF FOREST HILL and getting to know Rose and Joel. I hurt for them as Rose dealt with impossible situations, a husband, numb with grief, the deceased wife's mother intent on destroying her life, her mother who listed everything she'd ever done wrong and called her worthless. I hoped Rose would find love and thrive in this story. In some ways, the insecure Rose changed. She became strong and had thorns. But then something would set her back and she'd flounder. It was an adventure watching her take one step forward and two steps back, sometimes on the same day. A good Christmas novella.
A love story like non other. Rose is 21 and the decision is not hers to make she is being sent off to help a family in need, in a community of 8 families. When she arrives theres to be more going on the what was explain to her and she thrown into taking care of a new born, and two other children. Things seem to go away when it appears that Joel needs her to stay on as a partner but nothing more. Joel is heart broken of the loss of his one an only beloved. He has three kids to tend to and his father tells him he either needs to marry Rose or move on with life and figure out how to handle three kids on his own. He see no other choose but to marry her only in name alone. When four years later things go array and there marriage is not thrown into question and Rose and Joel are left wondering whats next. Will they be able to find what they are looking for or will this be the end for them? Oh my goodness did I love this book, I started in at around midnight and could not put it down I needed to know what was going to happen. I loved Rose and her gentle spirit, she is broken on the inside and searching for healing and she loves deeply. I love how in this story while in some place it may have seemed rush the relationship between Joel and Rose and the kids seemed genuine and you felt you were getting a letter from a friend. I really had not problem with anything in this book. Its the sweetest love story and perfect for any time of year but perfect right now at Christmas with us being reminded what Christmas is all about. You seriously can not go wrong with this wonderful book.
A lovely story about finding yourself, love and forgiveness. I highly recommend this sweet story.
Short story by Cindy Woodsmall, set in a West Virginian small close knit Amish community. A quick easy read, that brushes on many elements leading you to question Amish society, without delving in too deep. The authors approach leads me to wondering on her own personal outlook of this way of life. It's not always favorable and has a negative undertone in parts. Rose, has grown up in a large family with only brothers, and high expectations and harsh, verbally abusive treatment from her mother. An opportunity arises to leave her Pennsylvania home & assist a young widower, in need of help with his 3 small children. I had expected this to be an arranged marriage set up, but since marriage isn't suggested for a while, it never really made sense to me why Rose was shipped off there so fast. Joel, hard working and successful widower, must find a way to keep moving forward despite the tragic loss of the love of his life and agrees to marry Rose in order to provide childcare for his children. It's a marriage in name only, and even though as the years progress, their friendship blossoms, doubts pursue Rose constantly over the sadness of what she may never have. Joel is a likable kind character, who, fails to communicate his feelings well, though has patience galore for Rose and her overwhelming insecurities. Understandably Rose struggles to believe words of affirmation, in that she is loveable, and it's not helped along by the deceased wife's mother, or the new widow in town. Some elements of this story fell flat, or presented the opportunity for good development, but didn't materialize. I liked that Rose had an 'Englisch' friend to provide supportive input on marriage, and kindly took care of her. Having someone she knew with a car proved helpful in the timeline of events, when buggy travel wouldn't have made the plot work. Overall, it's a good story, of discovery, mostly for Rose of her true value. She must receive apologies though in order to finally work through it, which was a little disappointing. Often in life, we never receive that kind of remorseful grace offered by those who intentionally hurt us, and finding our way through it sometimes has to be figured out with only Christ as the source of peace. It was nice that Rose could get those apologies from her Mamm & Erma, but I would have liked for her to realise her value without it. She's written as a beautiful character, with so much love to give. I especially loved the gift from Erma though, and the message it sends to not only Rose but to the reader hopefully. The cover is gorgeous, and is the reason I chose this book. I received this complimentary copy from Blogging for Books & WaterBrook. This is my honest review.
Words. They can cut to the core of who you are, even if they aren't true. We tend to focus on the negative ones instead of the positive things people say about us. If we don't stop it, it will force us to put up a wall between ourselves and the people we love in an effort to not be hurt by those who love us the most. At least that was what Rose Kurtz believed. When the offer to leave her home and tend to an Amish family in a small community who needed someone to care for their children, Rose was offered up. Her community and family never dreamed it would be forever, but for Rose it was a chance to make a name for herself against what her mother and father said to her. That she never was good enough for anything including finding love. She was better off tending to her parents farm and household, caring for her 11 brothers than finding love anywhere else. So when the opportunity came, Rose went. She never imagined she would walk into a home on the night the wife and mother died after childbirth. Even after a few weeks she imagined going home to a life she didn't want to be a part of. Here at least in the Dienner home, caring for Joel, and his three children, she felt she had a sense of purpose. However when Joel and his father came up with a plan for Rose to remain in the home, she never imagined marriage as a contractual agreement to care for his children would be the one she dreamed of. At least it prevented her from having to go home to a life she hated, and here she could raise and care for Joel's children as if she was their mother. But when another widow shows us and garners Joel's attention, Rose believes that the feelings she had been developing for him is just another sign she isn't supposed to have a future. She wonders if there is hope for her at all and if love is just something for others but not for her. After 4 years of marriage with Joel, what did she expect? That he would honestly develop feelings for her? I received The Angel of Forest Hill by Cindy Woodsmall compliments of WaterBrook Multnomah Publishers. This is such a wonderful feel good Christmasy novel that reminds us all what it means to feel loved by those in our lives. I could relate to Rose's character the most because I dealt with the same self esteem issues growing up, wondering if anyone could love me. The best part is how Joel and Rose work on building their ability to communicate around the walls they put up to protect themselves and realize while they were keeping people from hurting them, they were also keeping themselves from the love they needed and deserved. There are also some amazing recipes tucked in the conclusion of this wonderful novel and well worth a 5 out of 5 stars in my opinion.
This is such a feel-good book to read for Christmas. It is an Amish setting which adds to its charm. This was a quick read, which I enjoyed reading so much that I finished it within two days. It is one that will stay with you, in a good way. Rose Kurtz is the only girl in her large family. She did not have a pleasant childhood and is asked to go to another community to help out a family. This makes her with that the new place is filled with love. When she gets there, the man of the house, Joel Dienner, has just lost his wife and he now has two little children and a baby to take care of. Rose agrees to stay and marry Joel, not because she loves him but because there is a need. The arrangement works out until Rose become jealous of a pretty widow in the next town. This trouble is worked out through the remainder of the book. I felt connected to Rose, not because I have had that kind of life, but because the author's style is such that it makes this possible. I feel like anyone that is like me and enjoy reading Christmas fiction, especially this time of year, will enjoy picking up and delving into this book. I hope each reader feels the same as I when finished. I was given this book by Blogging for Book in exchange for my honest review. I am very glad that I received and read this book for them. Merry Christmas! HUGS!
Cindy Woodsmall's The Angel of Forest Hill is a sweet Amish Christmas romance that could be enjoyed at any time of the year. Rose and Joel are both interesting characters with deep needs and concerns in which each can be of benefit to the other. Joel's difficulties surface in the form of extreme tragedy from the very beginning of the story. The fact that Rose has hurts and scars is evident early on, but the depth of her struggles comes to the surface at a little slower pace. Their story involves a slow-blossoming love born out of practical circumstances rather than any initial spark of romance. There are themes in the story that are probably unique to the Amish way of life. Much of the plot, although in the Amish setting, has to do with personal issues that could come up in situations that any of us might face from time to time. Trust (or lack thereof), emotions (positive and negative), and communication are areas where Joel and Rose have to learn important lessons. Cindy Woodsmall hits those topics by way of a very engaging story. If you are a fan of Amish fiction, and especially if you are already familiar with Cindy Woodsmall, you know to expect good things from her. You should not be disappointed with this quick Christmas read. Thanks to Blogging for Books for providing a copy of this book. I was delighted to share my own thoughts in this review.
Cindy Woodsmall delivers again in page-turning Amish quick read, THE ANGEL OF FOREST HILL. Rose Kurtz is treated more like unappreciated help than like the only daughter in a family of 12 children. When news comes that a man in a small Amish village in West Virginia needs help to raise his now fatherless three children, Rose goes and does not miss her harsh home environment one bit. She arrives to a screaming newborn and 2 disheartened children of a lonely widower, Joel Dienner. When it is time for the relatives to leave, the dilemma hits them square in the face that Rose cannot stay in the same house - unless they marry. Thus begins their no romance business arrangement of forming a “family.” Four years later, they still have separate bedrooms, Joel has learned to smile again, and his former mother-in-law is sure he married the wrong woman. Then she finds out the marriage has not been consummated, so she is ready to have the church put an end to this arrangement so a better Old Order Amish woman can be the stepmother of her grandchildren. There are a few problems with this. One, the two actually have developed tender feelings for each other, but neither has shared this with the other due to their arrangement. THE ANGEL OF FOREST HILL was short, but deep in content. Two people were dealing with the sorrow of the loss of a loved one. Children missed their birth mother. Even in the “Christian” home, a daughter was emotionally and verbally abused. A man and a woman live lives of kindness, sometimes misunderstood, but caring and growing day by day. Can a child forgive a parent and family who treated her in an abusive manner? Can Ruth Kurtz ever have a life filled with human love? I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.
“The Angel of Forest Hill” by Cindy Woodsmall is a wonderful holiday book. Of course, Ms. Woodsmall is a great writer of Amish romance fiction and this book is one of those. Rose Kurtz is the only daughter of twelve children in the Kurtz family. She has been doing the work of a grown woman since she was seven. Her mother is definitely NOT the motherly type, mostly finding fault with everything that Rose does and is. Rose has learned to keep her emotions and concerns to herself, saying nothing, which spares her further condemnation and humiliation. The bishop of the Amish community comes to the Kurtz’ farm and asks if Rose would be willing to help out another Amish family in Appalachia. The mother is not recovering after the birth of her third child, the other two being toddlers. The father needs help that the community cannot continue to give him, so after being with the children for a few weeks, Rose is asked to marry Joel, but have a marriage in name only. The story continues and after a few years Joel finds that he is in love with Rose. Before he can talk to her and convince her that their marriage should be a true one, the community gets involved and things get out of hand. The resolution to their dilemma is simple and it is satisfying when they find they are of the same mind. I received a complimentary print copy of this book from Penguin Random House. No review positive or otherwise was required – all opinions are my own.
As with all of Cindy's books, I just wish they were longer. And that she wrote more of them. My very first of her books was an Oprah Book Club pick. I've been hooked ever since!
This was a sweet story that was a quick read for me. There are a few time jumps in the book to move it along and not make it into a long novel. As the story moves forward the reader gets glimpses into how things are progressing with this unconventional family. I thought that the author did a very good job of filling in the reader on what had transpired within the passage of time by reflecting on certain events or the way that Joel and Rose had either moved closer together or farther apart. I really enjoyed the deep emotions tucked into this book, especially after the point that Rose and Joel began to individually realize that they had grown to love their spouse. There were plenty of ups and downs and misunderstandings that came from misreading each other and from meddling family members. The Angel of Forest Hill was an enjoyable story to read as we move closer to Christmas. The only thing I really would have loved in this book would have been for it to have had an epilogue allowing the reader a peek into how life was going for Joel and Rose…perhaps six months or so in the future. I received a complimentary copy of this book. All opinions are my own.
The Angel of Forest Hill by Cindy Woodsmall is a lovely Amish romance. Rose Kurtz is the only daughter in the family. She has eleven brothers and their needs dominate the household. Her mother has never had a kind word for Rose. Then one day the Bishop comes by to ask a very large, life altering favor from Rose. There is a family in need in a small Amish community. Joel Dienner just lost his wife, Florence (died giving birth). He needs someone to help with the children (two children in addition to the new baby, Grace). There are only eight families in this little Amish community. They would love to help, but they all have their own families and responsibilities. Because of the circumstances, Rose would have to marry Joel. Rose knows this is her chance to get away and she agrees. The two marry, but they each have their own bedroom. A year later Joel is finally starting to come alive again. Rose has been a big help with the kids and with Joel’s business. Her suggestions have even helped his business become profitable. Four years later the two of them are still in separate bedrooms. But they are attracted to each other. They spend more time together and get to know each other. Joel helps Rose overcome her fears. Erma, Joel’s former mother-in-law, is very nasty to Rose. Joel talks to her and, unfortunately, lets it slip that Rose and Joel have never consummated their marriage. Erma hot foots it over to the Bishop to tell him. The Bishop (Joel’s father) has no choice but to take this issue to a higher authority. Just when Rose and Joel are ready to move forward with their relationship, they might be ripped apart. Join Rose and Joel in The Angel of Forest Hill. The Angel of Forest Hill is a special book. You will be drawn in right from the beginning. The book is well-written, has good characters, and a beautiful setting. The story is told from Joel and Rose’s point-of-views. I give The Angel of Forest Hill 4 out of 5 stars (I liked it). It is a sweet story, but it does have a predictable ending. The Angel of Forest Hill is lovely book that will help you get into the spirit of Christmas. It is a short novel (208 pages) that can be finished in just a couple of hours. I do wish the author had provided an epilogue. I would have liked to find out how Rose and Joel fared. Did they have kids? Did Rose end up having a good relationship with her mother? There are a couple of recipes at the end of the book.
The book has a beautiful cover with snow softly falling as a family is being pulled in a horse driven sleigh. This is a delightful story about a family whose father Joel is newly widowed with 3 small' children to care for. He quickly meets Rose a young woman from another state and marrys her. They are in a distant relationship for the first 4 years of their marriage. They spent that much time together and yet still have not been intimate. A healing relationship starts for both of them and their family as they go skating Christmas Eve. on a pond. They work their way thru a jealous situation and several life trials as they learn to communicate better with each other. The book has colorful characters and includes a scene where their rooster Hank chases Rose and the children into the barn. Will a disagreement keep them from spending this coming Christmas together? Also included are several recipes for double chocolate cheesecake and Italian cream cake with a nutty cream cheese frosting.
I am just enchanted by the lovely personalities, hearts, and traditions of the Amish. I felt for Rose Kurtz as she was treated coldly by her mother and then sent away to help out a family in need. Once she arrived at the Dienner house, she faced an uncertain future. The mother of the children had passed away giving birth and she was asked to step into FLorence’s place to tend to the children. The story continued as the family went along in their life and picked up a few years later. Rose was still trying to find her place in the heart of the family and was giving her all to being a good mother to the children. For Grace, Rose was the only mother she had ever known. When strangers appear in the small community and family members begin to interfere in Rose and Joel’s life, it reopens a wound that Rose had thought she was passed. This book had such a lovely spirit. It drew you in with the gentleness and kindness of the characters. I am so glad I read this book. While there were concerns and stresses for the family the book brought the spirit of Christmas to me a little early in the season. I was glad to have been provided this book for review by the publishers through Blogging for Books.
This was a fantastic novella. Rose Kurtz and Joel Dienner get married because Joel's wife has died and he needs someone to help him care for his three very young children. Rose had problems in her home where she grew up so she has trouble getting close to Joel. Joel tries to get it through her heart that he does love her after being together for 4 years. Rose needs to learn that she is worthy of love. I received this book from bloggingforbooks for a fair and honest opinion.
The Angel of Forest Hill is An Amish Christmas Romance written by Cindy Woodsmall. With 200 pages that include two cake recipes, this is the perfect book to get you thinking towards Christmas. Florence Dienner develops complications after giving birth and passes away. Her husband is left with 3 small children to raise by himself. The Dienner's live in a very small Amish community that has no one that can step in to help them, so another Amish community helps out by sending one of their young ladies to help. For Rose Kurtz to stay and help Joel with his children after his wife passes, Joel and Rose must marry. Their marriage is a marriage of friendship and partnership built on the needs of Joel's family. When the church becomes away that it is not a real marriage Joel is confronted with their recommendation to annul the marriage. But over the fours years Rose has lovingly cared for the family and their feelings have moved past those of friendship. Rose was not raised in a loving family situation and she carries those issues inside her, but she is very loving toward Joel and his family. Rose is a very hard worker and puts the needs of others above her needs to the point she only takes a few hours a month to do what she enjoys. She also spends time talking with Joel about his canoe building business and gives him suggestions that help his business. This is a cute story. I really enjoyed reading of Rose's dedication to the family. This is a shorter story that can easily be read in a day, the perfect story to curl up with a cup of hot chocolate in front of the fire place. The story takes you to a simpler life without all the business of the English life. But it also shows the hard work the characters do to provide for their families. I enjoyed how Rose likes some of the English traditions and finds a way to have them in her life, even though they are not allowed by the Amish. I also enjoyed how she spoke English to the children when Amish tradition was not to do that. Even though Rose was raised feeling she was not good enough, the story shows she is a very strong, loving person. I received a copy of this book from Blogging for Books and this is my honest review.