One of the special perks of being a book blogger is the opportunity to start my Christmas season early by reading some wonderful Christian Christmas fiction months in advance. This week I was happy to escape for a few hours into Cindy Woodsmall’s Christmas novella “The Angel of Forest Hill”, a sweet Amish romance.

Rose Kurtz is a young Amish woman who has lived a difficult life as the lone sister of eleven brothers. Her self-esteem is at rock bottom and her soul longs for kindness when she is asked to help out a family hours away. When she arrives Rose learns that Joel Dienner’s wife has just died, leaving him with a new baby and two other small children. At the bishop’s suggestion, Rose agrees to marry Joel in order to help care for the children without causing a scandal. The story progresses over several years with highlights of her life with Joel’s family and the development of their relationship.

“The Angel of Forest Hill” is an emotional story of a deeply wounded young woman and a grieving husband. I enjoyed watching Rose bloom under Joel’s kindness and being away from her mother’s demeaning comments. The difficulty Rose and Joel had communicating their feelings was quite believable under the circumstances although frustrating at times. I loved how the story was resolved with forgiveness and restoration at the end.

Such a fitting story for the Christmas season. Be sure and pick up a copy for a cozy evening by the fire.

A free copy of this book was provided for review by Blogging for Books. A favorable review was not required and all views expressed are my own.


When Old Order Amish Rose Kurtz is asked to leave her family, travel deep into West Virginia, and help Joel Dienner with his children in the wake of tragedy, the quiet young woman recognizes a home where she might find kindness instead of criticism. Hope replacing harsh words. She agrees to stay in Forest Hill and become Joel’s wife for the sake of his family needs, but their marriage is to be a partnership, one built from need, not love and affection.

As the years pass Rose continues to beckon Joel to join life again, to take joy in his growing children, and to awaken his heart to the possibility of new love. Joel, too, hopes that Rose can move beyond deep-rooted hurts to see the beautiful Christmas ahead, their season— and Joel’s longing for more than friendship. But will the arrival of a beautiful widow and a series of misunderstandings threaten to reverse how far Rose and Joel have come?

Filled with deep emotion and the wonder of the season of Christ’s birth, The Angel of Forest Hill invites readers experience an amazing journey toward love and belonging.

Read an excerpt of The Angel of Forest Hill 


cindy-woodsmallCindy Woodsmall is the New York Times and CBA best-selling author of more than a dozen novels. Her connection with the Amish community has been widely featured in national media outlets from ABC Nightline to the Wall Street Journal and a National Geographic documentary on Amish life. Cindy and her husband reside near the foothills of the North Georgia Mountains.

Visit Cindy on her blog at