Romance is one of my favourite genres, although I am not a fan of steamy ones. All three of these stories are sweet, happily ever afters. There is a bit of steam in Why Not Tonight, but not too much. All were very enjoyable and I recommend them all.

Why Not Tonight (Happily Inc #3) by Susan Mallery, Tanya Eby (Narrator)

Published September 18th 2018 by HarperAudio

4 Stars: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

This is the third book in the Happily Inc. series by Susan Mallery, but I am not caught up on all the backlist books in this series. This story once again shared the story of one of the Mitchell brothers, this time, Ronan. Ronan found out that the woman that he thought was his mother, was not his birth mother and it tore him apart. He fled to Happily Inc. where he became a recluse. He is a talented artist, and Natalie Kaleta, who works at the gallery, is concerned about him. She heads up to his secluded home to check on him in a storm, and gets stranded by a mudslide. She had a crush on the handsome artist, and spending time with him pushes that crush into something more. Although Ronan is attracted to the cheerful, sweet, Natalie, he refuses to act on those feelings as he doesn’t want to bring his darkness into her life. Natalie is not about to give up and pushes him to talk about his feelings and forgive his mother for something that was really nothing more than doing what she did for love.

I really like Natalie’s character. She is also an artist who works with paper, but is so busy working at the gallery, she doesn’t have much time to work on her own art. She works hard to make ends meet, and struggles. Ronan sees her talent and tries to encourage her, as well as her friends. It was great to see her blossom, and become more confident in her artistic skills. Ronan is a stubborn artist, more like his father than he cares to admit. I was not happy with the way he treated Elaine, his mom, but Natalie and his brothers wouldn’t let him get away with it. The secondary characters are all wonderful. I enjoy seeing the characters that have been in the previous books and finding out what has happened in their lives. The small town atmosphere and the wedding planning are also very enjoyable. This book has a lot of laughs, which helped to balance some of the angst. Of course this book and series are romances, so there is the inevitable relationship building, hurdles to get over, baggage that must be shared and dumped with some angst. There will be a happily ever after, and I enjoyed the journey to get to that point. The Happily Inc. series is very fun, enjoyable and at times a bit steamy, but always entertains me. Tanya Eby narrates a lot of Susan Mallery books and once again does a nice job with the story. She gives voice to the various characters and uses expression and tone to add emotion to the story. Overall an enjoyable story to listen to.

An Amish Quilting Bee: Three Stories by Amy Clipston, Kathleen Fuller, & Shelley Shepard Gray, Lauren Berst (Narrator)

Published December 7th 2021 by Zondervan, Brilliance Audio

4 Stars: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

An Amish Quilting Bee contains three stories that all have a quilt as an important part of the story. Patchwork Promises by Amy Clipston is the story of Colin Zook and Joanne Lapp. Colin and his grandmother are the only family they have left. After a fire destroys their home, Colin is also dealing with his grandmother’s advancing dementia. When Joanne hears that she is distraught about the loss of her family heirloom quilt, she recreates it. She also spends time with them to help wherever she can. As they spend time together, they begin to develop feelings for one another, but both of them are sure the other does not share their feelings. ‘A Common Thread’ by Kathleen Fuller introduces us to Susie Glick and Alex Miller. Susie is on the bus returning from a shopping trip to purchase quilt materials, when she ends up sitting next to Alex. They share a conversation with one another and become friendly. Alex left Middlefield to travel and after three years, he has returned, ready to be baptized and take his place in the Amish Community. As Susie becomes interested in Alex, her family and friends in her quilting circle try to discourage her, sure that he is going to leave once again. Susie is convinced they’re wrong, but just as they start dating, Alex tells Susie he has to leave, but saying he will return. Can Susie trust him to come back to her? Stitched Together by Shelley Shepard Gray is Rosie’s story. She is a wonderful quilter who is hoping to create a gorgeous quilt for the Pine Craft Mennonite Quilt Sale. It is a very difficult and complicated quilt that needs a lot of time and attention. When her sister ends up in the hospital, she has to help her family with their two children. At the same time her brother-in-law’s brother comes to town and stays to help the family as well. Rosie and Tim begin to develop a relationship with each other, but the quilt and the children get in the way. Rosie gets angry when things happen to the quilt, until she begins to realize what is really important.

I really enjoyed this book and all three stories it contained. The three authors are all very well known in the Amish Fiction/Romance genre and they did not disappoint with this anthology. There were frustrations, anxiety, self-reflection, family love and romance in each story that was sweet and emotional. I often find novellas lack a detailed plot and storyline, but all three of these stories gave me an well-written and plotted story with great character development. If you enjoy Amish Romance, especially with family relationships, then I recommend this one. The quilting storyline is a nice bonus. Lauren Berst does a very good job with this book. Her voice and expression added enjoyment to each of the stories, as well as giving voice to a variety of characters.

The Best of Me (Blessings, Georgia #13) by Sharon Sala 

Published April 26th 2022 by Sourcebooks Casablanca

4 Stars: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

This is the 13th and final book in the Blessings, Georgia series. I am sorry to say goodbye to the characters I have gotten to know and care about. Blessings is a small town where troubles souls end up, and are welcomed with open arms. In The Best of Me, 8 year old Carlie is brought to Blessings to meet up with Ruby Butterman. Carlie’s mother lived in Blessings years earlier and worked for Ruby. Knowing that her days are numbered and there is no other family, she has papers drawn up for Ruby to be Carlie’s guardian when she dies. Shortly after arriving in town, she dies in the Sheriff’s office. Ruby and Peanut are called by the Sheriff and are surprised to hear what awaits them. Not being able to have children of their own, they agree quickly and happily to be Carlie’s guardians. How will Blessings and the community help Carlie get over the loss of her mother and feel part of a family?

I loved this final book in the series. Ruby has been there since the first book and although she was happily married, it was awesome to see her complete her family. Carlie is such a sweetheart. She knows her mama is gone, and that she made arrangements for Carlie to be cared for, but she is constantly trying to “earn” her place in the Butterman family. I really enjoyed seeing the interactions between Carlie and Peanut, it was adorable, especially as Carlie never had a father. As with all the books in the series, the community rallied around Ruby to support her in this new chapter of her life. There is always more than one storyline in these stories and this one was interesting. A co-worker of Carlie’s mother wanted custody of her, and was willing to go to court to challenge Ruby’s guardianship. He has an interesting past and motive, which added a bit of intrigue to the story, but for me, it could have been left out. This was a sweet, enjoyable story that ended happily and brought the series some closure. I am sad to say goodbye to all these characters, but am looking forward to seeing what Sharon Sala comes up with next.