Between You and Me

Between You and MeBetween You and Me by Susan Wiggs
Published by William Morrow on June 26th 2018
Pages: 368
ISBN: 0062425536
Buy on Amazon

Susan Wiggs writes about family, community, love, and tackles real life issues in the process.

Caleb Stoltz vowed to take care of his dying brother’s two children. This meant he had to return to his Amish roots and raise them within the Amish community in Middle Grove, Pennsylvania. Years earlier, Caleb had left the Amish way of life to attend community college and chase his dreams. He works hard on his farm and enjoys life with his niece and nephew and seldom thinks about his life outside of the Amish community. When tragedy strikes, and he makes the decision to have his nephew airlifted to a hospital for medical care, he is thrust back into urban life. At the same time, he faces disapproval from his father, Asa, for placing the injured boy on a helicopter.

Dr. Reese Powell is working at the hospital when Caleb’s nephew Jonah is brought in. Her parents are successful doctors and hope that one day she will join their medical dynasty. She is intrigued to see someone from the Amish community in the hospital. She answers his questions tries her best to make him comfortable.

When the danger appears to be over for his nephew, Caleb finds that he is also intrigued by Reese and enjoys answering her many questions. Coming from two different backgrounds, they form a friendship. Reese does not know much about the Amish way of life and as Caleb educates her, the reader is educated as well. Reese also gets to meet Caleb’s niece, Hannah, who is hiding a secret.

Two different worlds collide in this book and I enjoyed reading about the Amish community. This book dealt with issues such as abuse, shunning, physical rehabilitation, acceptance, following your dreams and your heart. Her characters are faced with cultural/religious issues such as respecting someone’s wishes against receiving medical treatment when it goes against his/her beliefs. The reader also witnesses what can occur when someone does something that goes against their community’s rules. As in her other books, Wiggs stresses the importance of family and friendship. She also addresses what it means to have a duty to your community, keeping your word, and observing traditions.

I enjoy Susan Wiggs books. Her characters feel as if they are real life people and are faced with real situations. Her books are well written and prove to be fast reads for me. I enjoy books that not only entertain me but educated me. This book did both.

Wiggs books are also light on the romance. There are no graphic sex scenes or language. You know if her characters have sex, but she doesn’t go into much detail. I know some enjoy her lighter touch to romance.

Overall, an enjoyable read!

I received a copy of this book from Edelweiss and William Morrow in exchange for an honest review.

Starlight on Willow Lake

Starlight on Willow LakeStarlight on Willow Lake (Lakeshore Chronicles, #11) by Susan Wiggs
Published by MIRA on August 25th 2015
Pages: 384
ISBN: 0778317951
Buy on Amazon
four-stars

I am a big fan of Susan Wiggs’ Lakeshore Chronicles. This is the 11th in the series but can very easy work as a stand alone book.

Faith is a young widow with two children. The man she has been with since she was 17 has passed away and she is constantly struggling to care for her daughters. She learns of a job working for Alice Bellamy a woman recently paralyzed and angry at life. Both are strong women with kind hearts and hit it off even if they don’t always see eye to eye. While caring for Alice, Faith gets to know Alice’s son Mason. Both feel a mutual attraction but there is a minor roadblock – Mason is engaged.

Mason seems to have it all and enjoys working in the city. He is engaged to a woman who shares similar interests as him. He is driven and likes to takes risks but like his mother, has a kind heart. He meets Faith when she is rescuing a man who was just in a motorcycle accident and knows she is the perfect fit for his Mother. But is she also the perfect fit for him.

Mason doesn’t want to be like his father and wants to be true to his morals and value. Faith wants to provide a stable loving environment for her daughters while working for Alice. While watching Faith care for his Mother he begins to question what is most important to him in his life.

What I enjoy about Wiggs writing is her characters feel real. They are likable, flawed, make mistakes, have believable emotions and experience inner turmoil. I also like how her characters go through believable changes. In this book, I enjoyed how Alice began to be more like herself as she got to know Faith’s children and through her interactions with them. As she deals with her fear about being in a wheelchair for the rest of her life, she helps Faith’s daughter deal with her fears. They decide to face their fears together. The family also has to deal with family secrets and personal truths which add to the story and make it more interesting.

Was the story predictable? Yes, of course it was. It’s a no-brainer. I knew how it would end but the journey of getting there is what make Wiggs books enjoyable to read. It is also nice to get a glimpse of other characters from previous books. They pop up for a girls night out but it is nice to see them interacting. Overall a very nice addition to the Lakeshore Chronicles.

four-stars

Snowfall at Willow Lake

Snowfall at Willow LakeSnowfall at Willow Lake (Lakeshore Chronicles, #4) by Susan Wiggs
Published by Mira Books on February 1st 2008
Pages: 439
ISBN: 0778324931
Buy on Amazon
three-half-stars

This was a very light hearted read about a woman, Sophie, who decides after being the victim of a terrorist act, to put her family first and moves back to the states to be near her children. On the night she returns she hits a deer, gets stuck in a ditch and is saved by the handsome local Vet, Noah. This becomes a boy meets girl (older girl) story. The couple feel lust, give in to lust, fall in love, argue about their age difference as Sophie is reconnecting with her children. I have not read other books in this series, but this was a good stand alone book for me. Very fast and enjoyable read. This would make a great beach/vacation/plane, etc. book

three-half-stars

The Beekeeper’s Ball

The Beekeeper’s BallThe Beekeeper's Ball (Bella Vista Chronicles, #2) by Susan Wiggs
Published by Harlequin MIRA on June 24th 2014
Pages: 368
ISBN: 0778314480
Buy on Amazon
three-stars

Susan Wiggs writes books that are very easy to read – and read fist. This is the second book in the series. It was nice to revisit the characters we met in The Apple Orchard and see how their characters developed.

Isabela has come home. She is a celebrated chef who wants to start a cooking school in her childhood home.

Her love interest, Cormac shows up. He has been in some scary places in the middle east and has come to Bella Vista to write Isabel’s grandfathers biography.

As per romance novels dictate, there is angst between them to go with the yearning and lust that go along with it. We all know how these books are going to turn out but in Wiggs hands, I enjoy the journey.

three-stars

Return to Willow Lake

Return to Willow LakeReturn to Willow Lake by Susan Wiggs
Published by Harlequin MIRA on February 26th 2013
Pages: 384
ISBN: 0778314995
Buy on Amazon
three-stars

Another good Susan Wiggs book. I find Susan Wiggs books to be very fast reads. I really enjoy this series and the characters even though I am reading the book a little out of sequence. I like how the characters pop up in other books as these characters are involved in each other’s lives. My only complaint about these books is the fact that she spends the entire book having these characters fall in love or admit that they have already fallen in love, and then have them jump right into getting married. There is approx. 200-300 pages of angst and then wham they are in love and immediately married. That part feels a bit rushed to me. But again, I really enjoy this series. They are nice escape books – great for rainy days, snowy days, airline travel, beach reads, etc.

three-stars

Candlelight Christmas

Candlelight ChristmasCandlelight Christmas (Lakeshore Chronicles, #10) by Susan Wiggs
Published by Harlequin MIRA on October 29th 2013
Pages: 336
ISBN: 077831474X
Buy on Amazon
four-stars

Another great book in the Lakeshore Chronicles.

Single Dad Logan O’Donnell wants to make the holidays perfect for his son Charlie. Logan loves spending time with his son but it is difficult when his ex-wife lives in another state and it is more upsetting to him when he learns his son will be moving to Japan. I found this story of Logan to be very sweet and touching. I liked Logan from the other Lakeshore books but this gave a whole new dimension to him which was nice to see. I really liked finally getting to see him interact with his son and with his other family members. It was nice to also see him finally meet the right woman for him. The romance with Darcy was predictable but still touching. This was a fast read. I read the book in less than 24 hours as it was hard to put down. Another great book by Wiggs.

four-stars