Title: Huckleberry Spring by Jennifer Beckstrand
The Matchmakers of Huckleberry Hill Series Book Four
Publisher: Zebra Books
Genre: Contemporary, Romance, Amish
Length: 352 pages
Book Rating: B
Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley
Nothing gives Anna and Felty Helmuth greater satisfaction than seeing their grandchildren happily married–except for planning their next matchmaking venture. And as springtime comes to Huckleberry Hill, Wisconsin, the air is filled with promise. . .
Ever since the Helmuths’ grandson, Ben, abruptly broke his engagement and moved to Florida, Emma Nelson has kept busy tending her vegetable garden and raising award-winning pumpkins. She can put her heartache aside to help Ben’s Mammi with her own pumpkin patch. At least until Ben shows up to lend support to his ailing Dawdi. . .
Gardening side by side with pretty, nurturing Emma is a sweet kind of torture for Ben. She could have her pick of suitors who can offer what he can’t, and he cares too much to burden her with his secret. Leaving once more is the only option. Yet Emma’s courage is daring him to accept the grace that flourishes here, and the love that has been calling him back to Huckleberry Hill…
Jennifer Beckstrand whisks readers back to Bonduel for another very entertaining and thought-provoking installment in The Matchmakers of Huckleberry Hill series. Huckleberry Spring is a second chance at love romance that is a very fun read but there is also an underlying seriousness to the plot that gives the story depth and substance.
In the months since Ben Helmuth inexplicably ended their engagement, Emma Nelson has put on a happy face for everyone around her, but her broken heart is nowhere near healed. Emma is a sweet, obedient girl who is a bit accident prone and endearingly inept at cooking and sewing. Since her break up, she has concentrated very hard on keeping out of trouble and perfecting her household skills. The one area of her life which needs no improvement is her green thumb, so when Ben’s grandmother asks for her gardening assistance, Emma reluctantly agrees since she knows she won’t run into her ex-fiancé. Or so she thinks…
As soon as Ben ended his engagement, he immediately moved to Florida and has never returned to Bonduel. Although the reason for the break up is well-intentioned, he is completely unaware of how badly everyone misconstrued his actions and the effect this has on Emma and her relationships with his extended family. Both Emma and Ben are very kind and giving people, but Ben has a bit of an over-developed sense of responsibility and his pride will not allow him to accept help in return. While he knows he cannot (or so he believes) reunite with Emma, he comes up with another well-intentioned but misguided plan to fix things for her, but this leads to further misunderstandings and heartache between them.
Ben and Emma are quite the star-crossed pair but Emma is the most sympathetic of the two since she is in the dark about what lead to their break up. She spends a lot of the story in tears because Ben continues to hurt her off and on as their paths continue to cross. Her clumsiness and her mother’s impatience with her make it easy for her to take on the blame for, well, everything, so it is easy to overlook her crying. While it is true that Emma finds herself in some very precarious situations, Ben is guilty of overlooking some of her strengths. There is much, much more to Emma than people believe and it is so gratifying when they begin to realize it.
Matchmaking grandma Anna has her hands full trying to bring Emma and Ben back together. Her harebrained scheme relies an awful lot on her poor husband Felty undergoing quite a few medical procedures. Of course, Felty is a good sport and goes along with whatever she suggests, but keeping in his assigned role is not easy for the active octogenarian. Felty is the first one to see what Ben is trying to hide but will his advice to his grandson fall on deaf ears?
Huckleberry Spring is another heartfelt addition to Jennifer Beckstrand’s The Matchmakers of Huckleberry Hill series. It is sweet romance with delightfully lovable characters that imparts an important and practical message that is easy to relate to. All in all, a very lovely story that old and new fans of this series are going to love.