Monday, December 2, 2013

A Little Bit of Charm

by Mary Ellis
Harvest House Publishers

A Little Bit of Charm, the third book in bestselling author Mary Ellis's New Beginnings series, is about fresh starts...and how faith in God and His perfect plans provide the peace and joy all long for.
After the death of her parents and then watching both of her older sisters find happiness in homes of their own with husbands who adore them, Rachel King yearns for a new beginning. Her cousin Sarah lives near a thoroughbred stable in Kentucky, and working around beautiful horses is Rachel's dream come true. She leaves Lancaster County to find a job at Twelve Elms Stables and believes God has answered her prayers.
And then she meets Jake, an attractive and charming Englisch man. At first she refuses to go out with him, but he eventually convinces her to give him a chance. When Amish men who also wish to date Rachel start encountering strange mishaps, she wonders if Jake is really who he seems to be.
What does a young woman do when her heart is pulled in two directions?
My Review:
The over-used story line of Amish-girl-meets-Englischer-boy never fails to amuse and captivate my attention, this novel was no exception. While I was pleased with the entertainment value, the overall character development, and the Amish setting, there were a couple things that I just couldn't get past.

First, what is an Amish girl doing riding horses in Englisch clothes and hanging out with her boss? Young Amish teenagers can run around all they like (or so it is portrayed in novels) but I can't see how hanging out with your male boss as a single young woman is just okay with everyone, no questions asked.

Second, I love learning new things in the books I read. But the glaring inaccuracies about how horses are trained, etc, was bad enough that even I knew better. I appreciate Ellis's original idea of putting an Amish girl on a horse farm. But sometimes even the most epic plans fail, and it just didn't work. Ellis's writing was wonderful as always, however, with great characters/personalities throughout.

Lastly, I was confused by the nurse trying to get the children vaccinated against polio. I was quite in the dark what that was about, and I couldn't find a reason why that was included. My final conclusion is that as I did not read the first two books, it is altogether possible I missed some vital information along the way. Four out of five stars because Ellis still made a disaster plot entertaining and an interesting story. 
This book was provided by the publisher for free in exchange for an honest review. 

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