If you are like me, once the cool, crisp days of Fall arrive, my mind turns to the indoor activity of reading, all curled up and cozy next to a fire, with a cup of tea or hot cocoa at my side. And the type of book I’m most likely to be reading is a Christmas Amish novel. Today’s review is A Simple Christmas by Charlotte Hubbard, part of the Simple Gifts series. I find reading Christmas Amish novels so relaxing at this busy, rushed time of year. It takes me to a simpler yet spiritually rich place and time.
The Simple Gifts series of Amish novels are filled with heartwarming characters in small-town Willow Ridge, Missouri. A Simple Christmas opens with Rosalyn Riehl happily working at Simple Gifts, a shop owned by Nora Hooley. Rosalyn is a young, single Amish woman, modest, hardworking, and cheerful when she is not under the thumb of her cantankerous father. Into the store walks Marcus Hooley, cousin to Nora’s husband. He is a young man with a no-good past. Marcus was formerly Amish but has gone over to the English and now reluctantly is trying to find employment in small town, Willow Ridge.
Marcus trains horses and is good at his craft, however, he seems to make mistake after mistake in his private life. He’s tired of losing jobs and relationships and hopes that his horse training job with Wyatt McKenzie in Willow Ridge will stick and he can finally settle down. Despite his wild ways, Marcus is attracted to sweet, innocent Rosalyn. He embarrasses himself by telling her in front of her sisters, “Horses and women. I can have them eating out of my hand at the drop of a hat.”
What follows are snowy sleigh rides and sweet romance between Marcus and Rosalyn. A Simple Christmas has other storylines intertwined with the story of Marcus and Rosalyn and catches us up on the other townspeople of Willow Ridge. This is the third novel in the Simple Gifts series. I heartily recommend that you read the entire series for the most enjoyment. Make sure to have a few gingerbread cookies next to your cup of tea or hot cocoa when you curl up fireside to start reading A Simple Christmas. It’s the best way to relax and enjoy this lovely book.