Sunday, September 13, 2015

Twice Blessed

Today was Doozy's bath day.  That dog seems to know when I am going to give him a bath (as all dogs do).  I finally found him trying to get under my parents bed (I could have told him he would never get under there because of all the boxes).  I had to drag him to my side of the house to get him in the tub.  No easy task when the dog is over 50 pounds.  Once he is in the tub he is very docile and just stands there patiently.  He gets even after he gets out.  No matter how much I dry him, he manages to shake water all over!  

Twice Blessed by Barbara Cameron is two Christian Christmas stories in one book.  The first story is Her Sister’s Shadow.  Katie and Rosie Stoltzfus are identical twins who live on their family farm.  They have started their own business called Two Peas in a Pod.  They take the items from their large kitchen garden (also items they buy) to make jams, jellies, and preserves.  Katie is the more outgoing sister while Rosie is quieter and prefers working in the garden.  Katie has always made the big decisions for the pair.  Rosie, though, has decided it is time to live her own life.  She would like different things.  It will be a test to their relationship, but there will be more strain on their relationship as Rosie finds a beau.

His Brother’s Keeper is the second story in the book.  Mark and Ben Fisher are twenty-two years old and they do carpentry work (make beautiful pieces).  Mark is engaged to Ruth Stoltzfus (no relation to Katie and Rosie).  Ben met Ruth first and fell in love with her.  The couple had a little disagreement and Mark was there to comfort Ruth.  A few days before Christmas Mark and Ben are doing the last of their deliveries when a snow storm hits.  A truck veers over into their lane and they are tossed into a ditch.  Neither of them had their wallets in their pockets, so the hospital staff were unable to identify them.  Ruth identifies Ben as Mark because he was wearing the gloves she knitted.  When Ben wakes up, he does not clear up the dispute.  He wants to be able to spend time with Ruth (he loves her).  Mark is in a coma.  What will happen when Mark wakes up or when Ruth figures it out?

I enjoyed both of these short stories, but they were really too short.  The characters were not fully developed and both stories ended abruptly.  In the first story we do not get many details on the girls (including their last names).  I think an epilogue would have been great to finish off the stories and see what happened after Christmas with the two set of twins.  I thought the first book had very little to do with Christmas.  It happened before Christmas and some people were doing Christmas shopping, but that was about it.  His Brother’s Keepers had more Christmas (took place before and during the holiday season) in it which made it more enjoyable.  The book was nicely written and was easy to read (just flowed beautifully).  I give Twice Blessed 3.75 out of 5 stars.  I just felt that both stories needed a little bit more work (a little more character development and eliminate the abrupt ending).  Twice Blessed will be out Tuesday, September 15, 2015. 

I received a complimentary copy of Twice Blessed from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.  The review and opinions expressed are my own.

I hope everyone is having a fun Sunday!  It is a nice sunny day outside after a night of rain.  Tonight is a new Signed, Sealed, and Delivered movie on Hallmark Movies and Mysteries channel (love this series) as well as a new Masters of Sex (not as good this year). Enjoy your day and Happy Reading!

The Avid Reader

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