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Reviewed by Deborah Stone for Readers' Favorite
Moostletoe: Moose Creek Book 1 by Jan Elder is a delightful romance and more. Samantha Evans has been assigned to her first pastorate in the small town of Moose Creek, Maine. Off to a rough start, she discovers that her childhood friend, Eric Palmer, is also living in Moose Creek. Eric is now a Ranger and his job is to keep track of the moose in the area. The two immediately reconnect and their childhood friendship moves on to a more adult relationship. After a bad relationship, Eric has sworn off women, but Sammie stirs something in him. As Samantha works hard to fulfill the duties of being the new, young and single female pastor, Eric introduces her to his world and it doesn't take long for people to talk and for love to blossom, even in the wintry cold of Maine. Will Samantha be asked to stay or go when it is time for the church board's review? Does being a single, attractive female prevent her from being a godly woman capable of leading this church? If she is not asked to stay, what will that mean for her blossoming relationship with Ranger Eric?
Jan Elder gives us a believable and entertaining story of rekindled friendship that grows into much more. Throughout her times of loneliness and uncertainty, Samantha relies on God as her source of strength and direction. Her Christian commitment and values are maintained as she waits and relies on God's faithfulness. Although this is a romance story, Jan Elder also delivers a story of faith and faithfulness, both from us and from God. There are tender moments when Samantha is spending time alone with God that are very touching and inspiring. Her characters are relatable and believable. Well defined characters and scenes allow you to visualize each scenario and enjoy it all to the fullest. Although I felt the ending was abrupt, perhaps because I wanted the story to go on, I thoroughly enjoyed this book and look forward to reading more from Jan Elder.