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Covered Bridge Charm

Dianne Christner
Covered Bridge Charm

Carly Blosser has a soft heart for the Mennonite residents at the assisted living facility where she works. So when her plans for a new volunteer program go awry, Carly and co-worker Adam Lapp work to reunite an elderly patient with her first love. But will the young couple ... Read More


Item # 1612838

Carly Blosser has a soft heart for the Mennonite residents at the assisted living facility where she works. So when her plans for a new volunteer program go awry, Carly and co-worker Adam Lapp work to reunite an elderly patient with her first love. But will the young couple find romance instead?
  • Product type: Book
  • Format: Softcover
  • Release Date: Aug 4, 2016
  • UPC: 9781630588977
  • Volumes/Discs: 1
  • Pages: 320
  • Publish Date: Mar 1, 2016
  • Language: English
  • Audience Age Maximum: 0
  • Audience Age Minimum: 0
  • BISAC: "FIC042040"
  • ISBN: 1630588970

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Delightful characters, setting, charm! by Jeanie on 3/31/2016

‘Covered Bridge Charm’ is a charming new novel by Dianne Christner, a seasoned author who understands the lifestyle of Mennonites and the needs of seniors. It is a fun and heartwarming novel, and demonstrates how to work under pressure and more.
Carly works as a Caregiver at a retirement home with assisted and independent living units. Even after several years, she is not one of the Director’s favorite employees. Things just seem to happen when she attempts to try something new. Carly proposed a program to bring volunteers in from the community to give special attention to the residents in assisted living. Even though the director didn’t hand the reins of the program to her, she respected the manager who would.
The director’s nephew, Adam, worked primarily in independent living, so Carly had little interaction with him except for the things her brother Jimmy asked him to do while Jimmy was out on overnight shipping runs. Adam’s Uncle Silas, father of the man she had once seriously dated, asked Adam to kind of pretend to be interested in her so her focus might be changed from work to a life other than work. Adam refused to lead her on in spite of rumors spread about the past. Adam was often frustrated with Carly as he regularly ‘rescued’ her. Adam began to work with Carly on one of her ‘special projects’, and fought a growing attraction. However, Adam’s father planned to make him a partner in their growing family tree farm business, and one of the conditions was that he not get involved with Carly.
Martha, one of Carly’s favorite residents, had her 85th birthday approaching. Carly learned that Martha, a widow, had a secret boyfriend when she was 16. When he went away to serve in the war, she didn’t hear from him and she assumed he had died in battle. Later she married her beloved husband, but she had not forgotten her first love. Carly tried to find Martha’s first beau, if he was alive, or if he were married, and then decide whether to surprise her friend with him.
Carly is a hard-working young woman who would do anything she could for her residents. One begins to know Carly well through descriptions, conversations, and actions, as we do also her Aunt Fannie. Both are easily my favorites. As a Caregiver myself, I really like how Carly interacts with residents. We find out more about Adam over time. We also meet several of Carly’s co-workers and residents. Each of the characters has their own delightful value and sense of humor, even Uncle Silas with his gruff exterior.
The plot is more about Carly and her love for the residents than whether a romance might blossom with Adam. As you can see, the Lord blesses us with many challenging situations, sometimes concurrently. Subtly woven through this novel are spiritual lessons that I appreciated. Learning about Mennonites is very interesting; it is written in such a way as to show how much they have in common with other Christians. I enjoyed reading Carly’s escapades on her pink bicycle and her lop-eared rabbit, Cocoa. There is so much more to this novel than love stories, to me, that is not the primary focus. I highly recommend this novel to older teens and women of all ages who enjoy stories of Mennonite living that include spiritual lessons and a bit of romance.
With a grateful heart, I received a copy of this book from the publisher. All opinions are my own, and no monetary compensation was received for this review.

Independent Spirit makes for Interesting Pursuit by Anne Rightler on 3/10/2016

Covered Bridge Charm by Dianne Christner is titled just right! What a charming book and created with twists and turns to bring readers a book that is most certainly not the typical story of a Mennonite woman. Carly, unmarried at 27, lives alone and works at the Sweet Life Assisted Living Facility. Adam unmarried at 30, best friends with Carly's brother struggles to know where his life is leading. Are the two meant for each other or are there just too many obstacles to keep them apart? An old boyfriend? A new suitor? Interfering fathers? Christner does a delightful job with humor (stuck elevators, lost pets, pink bikes) and an array of quirky, likable characters. The tension of the romantic chase and the various stories of the elderly residents of the Sweet Life Home make this an engaging story not to be missed.

Cute story! by The Avid Reader on 3/6/2016

Covered Bridge Charm by Dianne Christner is a Christian romance novel. Carly Blosser is a member of the Old Holley Conservative Mennonite Fellowship in Sweet Home, Oregon. Carly dresses conservatively but she has a very outgoing personality (she is spunky and has many ideas). Carly’s house is yellow, she has a bunny rabbit for a pet (that she takes with her), and she gets around town on a pink beachcomber bicycle (they are her personal symbols of freedom). Carly is twenty-seven and still single (and accident prone). She was going out with Dale Lapp until he wanted to move to Nappanee (Dale told a different tale and let horrible rumors spread about Carly). Carly works at Sweet Life Retirement Center (in the assisted living facility). Carly cares deeply for the residents (who have quirky nicknames like Klepto) and is always coming up with new ideas for Sweet Life (much to the dismay of Simon Lapp, director of Sweet Life and Dale’s father).

Adam Lapp (thirty) volunteers at Sweet Life by teaching woodworking classes. He also works on his family’s Christmas tree farm. Adam is good friends with Carly’s brother, Jimmy. Jimmy is a trucker and has asked Adam to keep an eye on Carly when he is out of town. Adam had no idea it would be such a big job when he agreed to it. Carly is frequently getting herself into jams (stuck in the Sweet Life elevator), bicycle in a ditch (she goes too fast and tends to close her eyes), or looking into matters she shouldn’t. One of the residents, Martha Struder is depressed and Carly wants to cheer her up. Martha had mentioned a secret boyfriend when she was sixteen. Carly sets out to find him based on clues Martha has provided (a covered bridge). Carly asks Adam for his assistance in locating the man. Of course, spending so much time together leads to unexpected attraction. Come along for the adventure by reading Covered Bridge Charm.

I found Covered Bridge Charm to be a cute novel, but very much a cliché romance novel. Covered Bridge Charm has jealously (and a little violence despite them being pacifists), lack of communication, confusion, and misunderstandings (along with the making up). I give Covered Bridge Charm 4 out of 5 stars. I liked the quirky characters (at Sweet Life). I thought Carly was a little over-the-top, but she was an interesting character (reminds me of myself).

I received a complimentary copy of Covered Bridge Charm from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Activate Your Faith - Phillipians 4:13
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