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Forever Hilltop Two-in-One featuring An Unlikely Blessing and Surprising Grace Paperback – May 1, 2012
Intrusion: A Novel
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Top Customer Reviews
The town isn't exactly Mayberry, or anything Alex had imagined. The people tend to meddle in other's affairs. And the single women like the idea that Alex is single too, bringing him plenty of food to eat. Alex doesn't really know how to react to this as he is still getting over a failed relationship.
In the sequel Surprising Grace, Alex Armstrong is adjusting as pastor of Hilltop Church, and adjusting to the odd ways and rituals of the town. His lost love soon returns, and Alex must choose between her and his parishioners.
Forever Hilltop is a charming and sometimes funny read that reminds me of the old movies The Egg &I and Angel in My Pocket. The main character Alex is very likeable and as a reader I felt he was relatable in some ways as he tries to connect with his parishioners who are dead set in their ways. The author did a remarkable job creating a believable small town filled with quirky characters throughout. Both books are cute and clean-cut that most Christian readers and generic readers will enjoy.
In An Unlikely Blessing, city pastor Alex Armstrong, accepts a two-pulpit (dual churches) post in rural North Dakota fearing his biggest challenge will be boredom; however his perspective changes before he even reaches town. At the edge of the city limits he encounters an ancient farmer, a tipped pick-up truck, a runaway sow with piglets and several members of his future congregation. It isn't long before he realizes life is going to be very different than he'd anticipated. Then he discovers that sometimes rural life can be too interesting -- especially for a well-respected, eligible bachelor in a town with an abundance of marriage-minded women.
In Surprising Grace, Natalie, Alex's former fiance, the woman who broke his heart and was a large part of the reason he accepted a parish in Hilltop Parish, North Dakota, has had a change of heart and wants him back -- but she doesn't want Hilltop Parish. Alex has to choose between everything he's always wanted, and the new life he's forged in Hilltop Township. To complicate matters, there's a burglar on the loose, the township's only doctor is leaving the area, and one of the town's spinsters, without any encouragement, has pegged Alex as her future husband.
My children sometimes accuse me of being nosy. I like to hear people's stories and appreciate optimistic, friendly, original people with wonderful family stories. Judy Baer's rural characters stand out. Initially, some of the characters seem to be uncommunicative, quiet men; their reticent personalities made me want to hear more about them. Many readers will appreciate this peaceful, but often uplifting, funny story.
*Complimentary copy received for this review, does not affect my opinion in any way*
The first in the series was nice enough but sometimes just a little bit slow. I rhink that sometimes the first book in a series can tend to be this way because it is the introduction to all these characters. I will give Judy Baer credit for assembling a motley crew that cover the entire gamut of church personalities. You would think that a little town would be boring, but that cannot be said of Hilltop!
This becomes all too clear in the second of the series. By the end of the book, Pastor Alex has more drama in his parish than a dog has fleas. I found this second book a delightful continuation, and the relationships I had begun with the characters in the first book continued even more into this second book.
The second book had everything that makes a good story: romance, love triangle, theft, mystery, and a vicious love triangle (kind of). I was quite pleased with Pastor Alex's decisions throughout the book (no spoilers from me) and his total reliance on God. And yet even the pastor wavers now and then!
In conclusion, this is a lighthearted summer read that will resonate with most. I can hardly wait to read the next book in the series!
I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. I was not financially compensated, and all opinions are 100 percent mine.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I enjoyed this book, it is well written.This has done a good job of the story line which is very encouraging to me.Published on May 12, 2014 by Marvin Rear
I enjoy books that give me believable characters.... My husband and I served in a 2 point charge, and I felt like I was visiting home! So enjoyable...Published on April 4, 2014 by BettyA
I read this book and enjoyed it so much that I wanted to be sure that I had my own copy. It is refreshing and makes me smile at it's periodic humor. The characters are like family.Published on May 10, 2013 by Joan Burgess
This was a very uplifting, interesting book. The story was fun and happy-sad. Cannot wait for the next one, will read it when it comes out.Published on April 16, 2013 by Wendy thompson
Both my Mother & I really enjoyed reading the book "Forever Hilltop Two-in-One featuring An Unlikely Blessing and Surprising Grace". Read morePublished on October 20, 2012 by B'Ville
I think it's fair to say that there is a little bit of the people of Hilltop in all of us. That is what Alex Armstrong gets to see as he settles into the new place, and that is... Read morePublished on June 5, 2012 by Cyrus Webb
In Forever Hilltop I fell in love with the preacher named Alex. I smiled so much while reading this story that my husband and kids kept asking me what was going on now? Read morePublished on May 25, 2012 by kenziekylanmom1
FOREVER HILLTOP features two of award-winning author, Judy Baer's books in one novel.
In An Unlikely Blessing: Alex Armstrong is a former college professor in his... Read more