Maggie Blackbird

Romancing Canada's Indigenous People

Today, I’m hosting author Charlotte Hubbard’s latest release Family Gatherings at Promise Lodge, an Amish inspirational romance.  Be sure to read my review.  And don’t forget to enter the Rafflecopter giveaway.


Title: Family Gatherings at Promise Lodge
Author: Charlotte Hubbard
Genre: Amish Inspirational Romance
Publication Date: February 28, 2023
Length: 368 Pages
Publisher: Kensington Zebra

Blurb:  In the year since he lost his wife in a tragic accident, Lester Lehman has found healing and purpose—helping construct Dale Kraybill’s new bulk store, enjoying the Kuhn sisters’ hearty meals, and settling in a tiny, built-for-one lakeside house. Falling in love again is surely not on Lester’s mind. Yet despite his firm “no,” two available ladies have set their kapps on the handsome widower—in a boisterous rivalry that weaves mayhem among Gloria’s wedding festivities.

A welcome escape comes from a fresh-faced newcomer. Marlene Fisher disarms Lester with her witty quips on his romantic predicament, while her sparkling eyes inspire surprising thoughts of a shared future. But the heartbreak that brought Marlene to Promise Lodge runs deep, and the pretty maidel believes she’s not meant to marry. In a season of vows to love and honor, scripture holds the key to building their happiness together: love is kind, and above all patient.

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Audio (Narrated by Susan Boyce):

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Fully awake now, Lester swung his feet to the dock. When he could get a word in edgewise, he needed to deflate Agnes’s high-flying hopes in a hurry, because in her vivid imagination, she was already standing before the bishop with him, repeating her wedding vows. As he opened his mouth to speak, however, another urgent female voice hailed him.

“Lester! Lester Lehman, it’s me—your Elverta!  I read about Gloria’s wedding in the paper, so it seemed like the perfect reason to come and see you!”

Lester moaned. His sense of freedom, peace, and unencumbered living had just hit another serious snag.

As the national newspaper for Plain communities, the Budget was a wonderful way to keep track of far-flung friends and kin, but he suddenly wished that Gloria—and Rosetta Wickey, their community’s original scribe—hadn’t been quite so descriptive in detailing the Lehman family’s relocation. The tiny town of Promise, Missouri was out in the middle of nowhere, yet Agnes and Elverta had apparently followed every line of the newspaper’s weekly reports right to his doorstep.

As Elverta Horst, dressed in deep green, strode toward his dock, her tall, skinny, ramrod-straight body reminded Lester of a string bean. He knew better than to express that opinion, of course, because the woman he’d broken up with to begin courting his Delores had never been known for her sense of humor.

“Wh-who’s this?” Agnes asked him under her breath.

Never one to beat around the bush, Elverta stopped a few yards from the dock. She glanced at Lester before focusing on the flustered woman beside him. “And who might you be?” she demanded with a raised eyebrow.

Lester answered as indirectly as possible, because he knew these women would soon find out every little thing about one another. “Elverta, this is Delores’s best friend, Agnes Plank. She lives down the road from our former home in Sugarcreek,” he explained hastily. “And Agnes, this is Elverta Horst—”

“And I was engaged to Lester before he took up with Delores,” Elverta put in purposefully. “First loves are often the strongest, ain’t so? The flame may flicker through the years, but it never really goes out.”


I enjoy a good Amish read and this book did not disappoint.  It’s more than a romance.  This book is about community, family, and love.

Lester Lehman lost his wife and son in a tragic accident.  After a year, he’s determined to move on.  What he doesn’t expect, is a new lady to arrive that will steal his heart.  The problem is that she’s much younger and has vowed never to marry.

Marlene Fisher, and her brother, have left their home after caring for their ailing parents for years.  They are also determined to start fresh, but Marlene has a few secrets why she refuses to marry.

When both meet, it isn’t insta-love or insta-attraction.  What they find attractive about one another is how refreshing each other is from what they are currently experiencing or have experienced in the past.  Poor Lester is being swarmed by two women who won’t take no for an answer.  One is his wife’s best friend, who believes she is sent by God to care for Lester. The other is an ex-sweetheart who wants a second chance.  But both women show their true colours while in hot pursuit of poor Lester.

There are hidden sub-plots happening in this story that tie in with the main plot of Lester and Marlene that I really enjoyed.  Each subplot peels back the layer of Marlene and Lester’s backstories and what shaped them into the people they are today that I really enjoyed.

Then there is Marlene’s brother who also suffered tragedy and is a big reason why Maggie won’t marry.  She’s determined to care for her big gentle giant the way she cared for her parents.  But God has other plans that Marlene doesn’t quite see.

I must say I loved how everything worked so well together and created answers and even closure for the main characters.  Even their gentle romance was well executed with warmth, friendship, and respect.

The secondary characters added a big pop of colour to fleshing out the community and even gave me a fantastic look into Amish culture.

As I said, this is more than a romance.  It’s life lessons, faith, hope, and God’s true will.  The author did a wonderful job bringing this together without any preaching.  Just a community of people who use their faiths and beliefs to find direction in their lives.

I highly recommend this novel.  It’s a beautiful story told with beautiful characters.


In 1983, Charlotte Hubbard sold her first story to True Story. She wrote around 70 of those confession stories, and she’s sold more than 50 books to traditional or online publishers. A longtime resident of Missouri, she’s currently writing Amish romances set in imaginary Missouri towns for Kensington. She now lives in Omaha, NE with her husband and their Border collie, Vera.

Follow Charlotte:  Website | Facebook


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4 thoughts on “Charlotte Hubbard – Family Gatherings at Promise Lodge

  1. I must put this book on my TO READ LIST! Nothing beats an Amish book!


  2. Janet Dowel says:

    The book sounds awesome! Thank you for the chance!


  3. Charlotte Hubbard says:

    Thanks for featuring my book on your blog today–and special thanks for your wonderful review!


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