Monday, June 24, 2013

Christmas in Apple Ridge

Christmas in Apple Ridge: Three-in-One Collection: The Sound of Sleigh Bells, The Christmas Singing, NEW! The Dawn of ChristmasChristmas in Apple Ridge: Three-in-One Collection: The Sound of Sleigh Bells, The Christmas Singing, NEW! The Dawn of Christmas by Cindy Woodsmall
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Paperback, 576 pages
Published October 9th 2012 by WaterBrook Press
ISBN 0307730999 (ISBN13: 9780307730992)
Series: Apple Ridge omnibus 1-3

The Sound of Sleigh Bells - Beth has held guilt within her for a very long time, but when she discovers an intricately carved piece of wood on a business trip, she feels her soul once again is alive. What she doesn't realize is Jonah is not really an old man as his friend affectionately calls him. After several letters back and forth, Jonah knows he must tell her the truth, but will Beth be able to accept him once she sees he's not old?

As with the middle story in this collection, I was a little leery when I first started reading this one as I read that it was slow to get in to. However, I felt drawn in from the very beginning. Cindy did a great job of leaving a bit of mystery as to what Beth had done that was so horrible. And Jonah was such a wordsmith with his letters to Beth, it really touched my heart. I loved how he "knew" her and what would stir her soul without really truly knowing who she was. It was definitely a relationship that you could see God's hand in. And the humor throughout, but especially in the last few lines, just beautiful! I was left grinning from ear to ear!

The Christmas Singing (Previously reviewed) - Mattie felt betrayed by her boyfriend, Gideon, and moved to Ohio to start a new life. Now the owner of a successful bakery, Mattie has started seeing Sol, who she "likes." But when a tragedy happens in her bakery, she heads back to Pennsylvania for the holidays. Before long she discovers the reason behind Gideon's perceived betrayal, but is it enough to bring her the joy she's been without for so long.

I will admit, when I first started reading this one, I was very apprehensive. I was reading it for a review and also as part of a group read. Many in the group said it was a depressing Christmas story, so I was very concerned that I wouldn't like it. However, I am so glad I gave this sweet book a chance. Yes, it's a little sad at points, but to me that's what makes it so enjoyable. It's different. I really enjoyed the different story lines, the change of pace, and the sweet, sweet promise that Gideon kept to Mattie, even when they were far apart.

The Dawn of Christmas - Sadie had her heart broke the night before her wedding. To make it worse, no one believes her in regards to what she saw to make her call off her wedding. Trying to hide from the pain and from getting hurt again, she moves in with roommates and begins missionary trips. When she is punished from visiting with family, she takes a night ride that will forever change her.

Goodness, they just kept getting better! This last story was full of so much humor and determination from both Sadie and Levi to never begin another serious relationship, it was truly amusing! Especially the wash line scene that I pictured, oh my, I was laughing out loud! Cindy does such a great job of making her characters seem so real, it just amazes me how easy it is to picture her stories in my mind. I also loved "catching" up with the characters from the previous stories. Just an absolute joy to read and would definitely be a great Christmas read! Great job Cindy!!

I was graciously provided a free copy of this book from Blogging for Books in partnership with WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group to review it. I was not required to write a positive review and the opinions I have expressed are my own.

View all my reviews

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