Thursday, April 21, 2022

Courting Caleb by Kelly Long

Courting Caleb
Book Summary

In a small Appalachian community with few single men, young Amish women take fate in hand and help forge their own paths to happy marriages . . .
Wanted: An Amish Mail Order Groom. Age 20‑30. Must understand that courting will follow the marriage ceremony in gut order. Seeking one who is reserved, quiet, and bookish.
It worked for her best friend, so why shouldn’t Abigail Mast, the local potter of Blackberry Falls, follow suit and advertise for a groom? But her plan goes awry when 
two men arrive in answer to her ad. The bishop’s unexpected solution: Abigail should court them both and make a decision by Valentine’s Day. Just as the clay she works with reveals its true purpose in time, surely she will discover which man is most suited to be her
husband . . .
Caleb thought his 
bruder was crazy for answering an ad and agreeing to marry a complete stranger. Yet there’s no denying he’s found a gut wife and a happy life. Rather than agree to the unsuitable match his father has made for him, Caleb answers another ad from faraway Blackberry Falls. There he discovers a woman who makes him forget his past—and a rival groom-to-be. Will Gott free all involved to make the right decisions for their heads and their hearts?
My Thoughts

Courting Caleb by Kelly Long is the second novel in The Amish Mail Order Grooms seriesCourting Caleb can be read as a standalone if you have not indulged in Marrying Matthew.  I have mixed reactions to this book.  Courting Caleb is a unique Amish story.  It is told from multiple points of view which can be confusing.  It switches between Abigail, Caleb, Phillip, Mercy, and Joshua (I might have forgotten a character or two who had a POV).  There are quite a few characters in the story.  There is an eccentric bishop (Bishop Kore) who is loud and uses unusual phrases, Birchbark with his magical pack, and Fern the healer with her special ornaments.  I like the addition of the paranormal element, but I wish the author had stopped with Birchbark.  I would love a Birchbark in my village.   I like that Abigail is a potter.  I thought it was unique for an Amish novel.  I was baffled as to the time period of the novel.  At times it felt like it was set in the present day, but some elements made it feel like it was in the late 1800s (with log cabins, no running water).  I was expecting a clean Amish romance novel.  I was surprised by the amount of kissing, touching, and intimate thoughts.  This book definitely crossed the line with the PDA (there was just so much of it).  I like that we get to catch up with Matthew and Tabitha from Marrying Matthew.  Courting Caleb was a miss for me.  I liked the premise of a woman placing an ad for a groom and getting two responses.  I felt that the author tried to combine too many differing elements into one book (the eccentric bishop, the paranormal and fantasy elements, too many characters, various storylines, and the sexual innuendos).  I was looking forward to reading a sweet, clean Amish novel and that is not Courting Caleb.   Courting Caleb is an unusual Amish romance with friendly folks, a boisterous bishop, a groom seeking ceramicist, a sour sister, a magical pack, a helpful healer, and a duo of eager grooms.

Courting Caleb comes out on Tuesday, April 26 and it can be preordered from Amazon*.  The first book in The Amish Mail Order Grooms series is Marrying Matthew (on Kindle Unlimited along with over 50,000 other books).  You can follow Kelly Long on Amazon to receive an email when she publishes a new novel.  Thank you for joining me today and reading my review.  Tomorrow I am featuring A Margin for Murder by Lauren Elliott.  It is the 8th A Beyond the Page Bookstore Mystery.  There are so many new books coming out on April 26.  I hope that you have a calm day.  Take care and Happy Reading!


The Avid Reader 

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