Review: A Christmas Courtship by Shelley Shephard Gray

Title: A Christmas Courtship by Shelley Shephard Gray
Berlin Bookmobile Series Book Three
Publisher: Gallery Books
Genre: Contemporary, Romance, Amish
Length: 320 pages
Book Rating: B+

Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley


In this endearing Christmas tale, a bookmobile librarian knows just the novel to help an Amish bachelor woo his next-door neighbor in the latest installment of the “charming” (Carla Laureano, RITA Award–winning author of Five Days in Skye) Berlin Bookmobile series.

A solitary sort, forty-two-year-old Atle Petersheim spends his time hard at work in his wood shop. But as the days get long, he realizes just how lonely he’s become. When his longtime crush, Sadie Mast, a widow and mother of three, asks him to help her build a room in their barn for her son Cale, Atle can’t say no. Eager to pursue Sadie at last, he turns to bookmobile librarian Sarah Anne Miller for courting advice. More than happy to help, Sarah Anne decides the best way to learn about love is through books—romance novels to be precise.

Between completing holiday orders for her flourishing food business, helping Cale navigate a dramatic new relationship with his boss’s daughter, and coming to terms with the trauma her late husband had inflicted upon her and her children—not to mention Atle showing up at her door with flowers—Sadie is in over her head. Though Atle’s efforts are initially clumsy and his declarations a bit awkward, Sadie can’t help but be charmed by him. He’s patient and kind…and at times even seems to know far more about romance than he’s let on.

Another delightful romance about the “transformative powers of love, hope, and faith” (Publishers Weekly), A Christmas Courtship is the perfect holiday read.


A Christmas Courtship by Shelley Shepherd Gray is a heartwarming Amish romance. Although this newest release is the third installment in the Berlin Bookmobile series, it can be read as a standalone. But I highly recommend the previous books as well.

Forty-two-year-old Atle Petersheim is a bachelor who is interested in getting married. He finds assistance in an unlikely place when he asks bookmobile librarian Sarah Anne for advice. Atle has long been interested in Sadie Mast and he would like to court her. However, Atle finds himself tongue-tied in her presence.  Will spending more time together as he works on a Christmas present for her oldest son Cale provide them the opportunity to get to know each other better?

Sadie’s baking business is really taking off so she is finally able to afford some extras. She feels guilty for relying on Cale to help with the family finances so she wants to surprise him with a room of his own as a  Christmas gift. She has always liked Atle and she is enjoying having him around the house. The more time she is in his in company, the more she appreciates his quiet strength. But have she and her children fully come to terms with the trauma they endured while her husband was still alive?

Cale works full-time on Hope Overholt’s family farm. He is quite charmed by Hope but he is reluctant to take their relationship any further than friendship. Cale makes a decision that inadvertently results in the chance to work with Atle. Will he and Hope finally be able to officially begin courting?

A Christmas Courtship is a heartfelt romance of healing and love. Sadie and Atle are wonderfully drawn characters with relatable strengths and all too human foibles. Sadie’s children are delightfully imperfect and a great help to their mamm. The storyline is endearing and quite engaging. Shelley Shepherd Gray brings this sweet romance to an uplifting and gratifying conclusion. A wonderful addition to the Berlin Bookmobile series that old and new readers are sure to enjoy.

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