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Customer Reviews for Harvest House Publishers A Little Bit of Charm, New Beginnings Series #3

Harvest House Publishers A Little Bit of Charm, New Beginnings Series #3

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.
Average Customer Rating:
4.833 out of 5
4.8
 out of 
5
(12 Reviews) 12
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12 out of 12100%customers would recommend this product to a friend.
Customer Reviews for A Little Bit of Charm, New Beginnings Series #3
Review 1 for A Little Bit of Charm, New Beginnings Series #3
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Date:December 3, 2013
Customer Avatar
debwilson
Age:18-24
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
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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Review 2 for A Little Bit of Charm, New Beginnings Series #3
This review is fromLittle Bit of Charm, A - eBook.
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Date:December 17, 2013
Customer Avatar
debwilson
Age:18-24
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
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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Review 3 for A Little Bit of Charm, New Beginnings Series #3
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Excellent Amish novel

Date:September 24, 2013
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Another excellent Amish novel from Mary Ellis. Rachel King follows her dreams of being on her own after her parents die and her two older sisters marry. Rachel loves horses and goes to Kentucky to live with her married cousin. She soon works at a thoroughbred stable where she finds Jake Brady attractive. She learns he is not Amish. She still attends Amish services and singings and Amish young men pursue her. Will she leave her Amish ways for the enjoyment of Jake and the thoroughbred horses she adores?
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Review 4 for A Little Bit of Charm, New Beginnings Series #3
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

A Good Book

Date:September 23, 2013
Customer Avatar
ashley
Location:Canada
Age:Over 65
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
This was a good book. A little slow in a couple spots. But held your suspense to see if it would end the way you will think it will. I recommend this book.
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Review 5 for A Little Bit of Charm, New Beginnings Series #3
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Smittin Again with Charm

Date:September 11, 2013
Customer Avatar
Donna
Location:Somerset, KY
Age:55-65
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
I loved this story. I am never disappointed with Mary Ellis' stories. This one, however, is especially special since I actually live in Somerset, Kentucky. I often visit the Amish communities, and I assure you that these places exist. Not Charm, of course, but the roads, the businesses, etc. are real. It is no wonder that her characters seem to spring to life from the pages. She has done her research! I know you will have trouble putting this book down, just as I did. Mary Ellis does not disappoint; she is truly a gifted storyteller.
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Review 6 for A Little Bit of Charm, New Beginnings Series #3
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Interesting, but a bit slow

Date:September 10, 2013
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
A Little Bit of Charm is the third book in The New Beginnings series. It is not necessary to have read books one and two to understand this novel. It actually has very little to do with those books except a few references to events in the past.
While I found the story charming, it was also a bit slow for me. The conflict was mostly internal, when it occurred. I didn't connect with Jake or Rachel--despite my love for all things horses--which made it hard for me to "get into" their story. Throughout the story, I kept wondering at the believability of the characters' actions and reactions.
All in all I enjoyed the book and look forward to Beth's story, which I assume will be the fourth and final book in this series.
***I received this book from the publisher/author for purposes of review. The above is my honest opinion.***
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Review 7 for A Little Bit of Charm, New Beginnings Series #3
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Heroine Rachel has plenty of charm and surprises!

Date:September 9, 2013
Customer Avatar
KentuckyReader
Location:Glasgow, KY
Age:55-65
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
"A Little Bit of Charm" is the third in a series titled The New Beginnings, which began with a house fire in Lancaster, Pennsylvania that tragically killed the parents of the King sisters. The first book, "Living in Harmony", takes the eldest, Amy and Nora to a stricter Amish community in the fictional town Harmony, Maine. Mary Ellis ably and realistically depicts the family dynamics of her protagonists and their adherence to The Ordnung. These ordinances or series of rules for living an obedient Plain life are determined by each individual Amish Church community throughout the United States and Ontario, Canada and govern all behavior from housekeeping, attire, adoption of some modern conveniences for business purposes to specifics of religious observances. With Amy married and settled and Nora chafing at the unaccustomed conservatism of the tiny Maine community, the second book in the series, "Love Comes to Paradise", introduces the reader to a less rigid Amish community in rural Missouri. Rebellious Nora has followed her heart and moved to be closer to the attractive, Englisch influenced Elam Detweiler, the black sheep brother-in-law of her older sister Amy.
"A Little Bit of Charm" is the third and possibly final book in the New Beginnings series. Author Ellis has prudently left the door open for a future update with the introduction of a fourth, younger sister, the very engaging and outspoken fifteen year-old Beth, who remained behind in Lancaster to be raised by their “Grossmammi” after their parent’s sudden death. The mythical Charm, Kentucky is located somewhere south and central of the very real vibrant community of Elizabethtown. With both sisters married and busy establishing their own homes, Rachel King is eager to seek her destiny in a new community. Densely populated Lancaster, Pennsylvania, the traditional Amish heartland offers fewer opportunities for young Amish. Land prices have skyrocketed as more farms have been sold to developers for upscale suburban homes for Englishers.
Rachel King is closer to a modern heroine than Mary’s previous Amish girls. She does share the deeply rooted Christian fundamentalist Bible based beliefs of her family but is attracted to more worldly work opportunities that lead her to seek employment outside of her Cousin Sarah’s home. Rachel has not taken her final baptismal vows, a lifelong commitment made with the church community and God, typically made between ages 18-22. Because she is still on rumspringe, the traditionally tolerated time during adolescence for exploration that permits life experiences outside the Amish community prior to acceptance of permanent church membership, Rachel is able to take a job at Twelve Oaks Stables. It’s a Christian family owned Thoroughbred stable that offers farm tours, horseback riding and equestrienne training for disabled children. Blonde, blue-eyed slender Rachel cuts a dashing figure in her modest jeans and tee-shirts worn for tours and riding although she retains her plain, long dresses for work in the gift shop. It wouldn’t be “an Amish romance novel” without the introduction of a young farmer or conflict in the form of the handsome young son and part-owner of the stable, Jake Brady who vie for her attention. Jake may be Englisch but is his life sufficiently God and faith-centered to win Rachel’s heart? I’ll leave that for the growing fans of Mary Ellis’ well researched, sensitively written work to discover. Once again, she has written about the crucial elements of honesty and trust in relationships with likeable, realistically drawn characters who work through doubts and conflicts while seeking a simpler, faith based life.
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Review 8 for A Little Bit of Charm, New Beginnings Series #3
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Charmed Yet Again

Date:September 2, 2013
Customer Avatar
Cindy
Location:Tennessee
Age:55-65
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
I am never disappointed at the depth I find in the writing of Mary Ellis. Her ability to clamp hold of the community of the Amish, to understand them and their ways, and to convey that, leaves me not only enjoying a wonderful read but feeling like part of the community.
A Little Bit of Charm is none the less. Ellis draws the reader into the life of Rachel King, a woman searching to regain personal happiness after severe loss. When she steps out in faith to leave Lancaster County for the rolling hills of Kentucky we begin a close knit relationship with Rachel, agonizing with her decisions and cheering with her decisions. Mary Ellis has done it again. - Cindy Sproles, ChristianDevotions.us, Executive Editor
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Review 9 for A Little Bit of Charm, New Beginnings Series #3
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

A different Amish story

Date:August 22, 2013
Customer Avatar
Terri
Location:Wisconsin
Age:45-54
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Rachel loves horses and leaves her home in Lancaster County in her desire to work with Thoroughbreds. She finds a job she loves in Charm, Kentucky. Equally enticing is her boss, Jake Brady, and he likes her. She shouldn’t encourage him. After all, he’s and Englisher and she’s happy being Amish. Surely being friends is okay, and maybe a kiss or two. She visits the Baptist church with Jake and is entranced. Baptist, Amish, they’re both Christian. Why should it matter which church one attends?
Jake wants nothing more than to have a Kentucky Derby winner, and he risks his family’s financial security to train Eager to Please. He doesn’t have patience for his dad’s faith, but he’ll attend church if it means spending time with and impressing Rachel. Time spent in Florida among other racehorse owners shows him he doesn’t want to be like them. He’s already become greedy and full of himself, and now thoroughly ashamed.
Take-away thought: the Amish lifestyle makes it easier to stay on a righteous path. Those in the modern world find it harder to stay focused on God.
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Review 10 for A Little Bit of Charm, New Beginnings Series #3
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

As great as the first two in the series

Date:July 10, 2013
Customer Avatar
Cheri S
Location:Battle Creek, MI
Age:35-44
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
I had the privilege of reading A Little Bit of Charm, book #3 in The New Beginning Series by Ms. Mary Ellis. Wow - I have so thoroughly enjoyed getting to know Amy and Nora, from book #1 and #2, and this book about Rachel’s journey was just as spectacular. I love how Ms. Ellis has created such unique personalities for each and every one of the sisters, as though they were a real family down the street where I live.
When I started reading this book, I was amazed how once again God did it. The theme of God being the great provider and looking to Him for wisdom was exactly what I needed at this particular time in my life. One of the struggles experienced in the book was mirrored in my personal life and it was such comfort to hear words of encouragement being spoken to fictional characters that applied to my own life. Just as God comes through in fiction, He comes through in real life as well. When we trust and obey, God works all things out for His good. It may not always look the way we think it will, but it definitely is the best solution.
Ms. Ellis’ writes characters and communities I wish I belonged too. They aren’t perfect, but in their imperfections, they are entertaining, encouraging, hopeful, and enjoyable. I love how she reminds the reader we are all loved by God equally, whether living as Englishers or choosing to be set apart as Mennonite or Amish. She gave a great portrayal of all three different congregations working, fellowshipping, and mingling together peacefully while still maintaining their separate lifestyles. That gives hope for a world in which people can be accepting of each other while we worship the same God.
I can’t wait to discover more about Beth, the last King sister, in book #4 as well as continue the journeys of Amy and John, Nora and Lewis, and now Rachel and her husband. I wasn’t ready for the story to be over and I wasn’t ready to say goodbye. I’m glad I have one more book to continue on with a family I have definitely grown to love. I have so enjoyed getting to know this family and their love for each other and most importantly, their love for God.
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Review 11 for A Little Bit of Charm, New Beginnings Series #3
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Great book!

Date:July 9, 2013
Customer Avatar
Tammy Courts
Location:Covington, Kentucky
Age:45-54
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Another great book by Mary Ellis -- from the very beginning to the end!! It was hard to put down once I started reading! Beautiful description of the horses and the love for them in Kentucky. Although Rachel and Jake are from different worlds, it shows that we love and serve the same God! Left me wanting more!
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Review 12 for A Little Bit of Charm, New Beginnings Series #3
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Awesome!!!!! A MUST READ

Date:July 3, 2013
Customer Avatar
Anonymous
Location:Fond du Lac WI
Age:55-65
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Mary Ellis has another "Great" book. Once you start this book you will not want to put it down until the very last page then you will want it to go on some more. Even if you did not read the first 2 books you will be able to follow this story, it is fantastic. If I could give this more than 5 stars I would. This book show you that there is Power in Prayer and that God is always there for you.
You will fall in love with all of the characters and wish you were there. I loved Rachel and Jake. Rachel really sound beautiful inside and out, and you will also love Jake. I recommend this book to everyone who loves a Great Christian book.
And the Chicken recipe a the end is Awesome ;~))
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