Saturday, May 3, 2014

Here to Stay by Melissa Tagg

Here to Stay

Sometimes our goals aren’t really what we want, or where we want to be. And that can take a while to figure out. 

Let’s begin with the summary:

After playing nomad for five years, Blake Hunziker has finally had enough of adventure. Not sure what reception he’ll get from everyone back in Whisper Shore, he’s stunned at not only a warm welcome from his hometown but also a job offer. The job is his if he can successfully pull off the annual Christmas Festival. If only he knew the first thing about coordinating events...

If there’s one thing Autumn Kingsley knows, it’s Whisper Shore. For years, she’s been stuck running her family’s inn when all she wants is to see the world. Now she has a visit scheduled from a potential investor who could take over the inn, as well as a dream job offer in Paris. But with just two weeks to whip the inn into shape, her chance at escape is a long shot.

The Hunzikers and the Kingsleys may not get along, but Blake knows Autumn’s the only one who can help him. She agrees to a trade--she’ll help with the Festival and he’ll help with inn repairs. But what was meant to be a simple deal quickly becomes much more than that when the guy who’s done running away joins forces with the girl who can’t wait to leave.

And now, my review:

How fun to pick up from Melissa’s debut novel with Blaze—a favorite character—and dive into his story! (By the way, even if you haven't read book one—Made to Last—you can jump right into this novel without feeling lost.)

Autumn’s mother handed her the family’s inn, leaving its operation—and debt—in Autumn’s hands. She takes this responsibility seriously and has even delayed launching into what she’d really like to do with her life. But as we open this story, we find the opportunity she’s been waiting for, the one that will take her across the ocean, is now hers.

Enter the hero: Blake has a tender heart. He’s made some mistakes, and he regrets some things from his past. He’s believing lies and carrying something he doesn’t have to carry. Readers will relate to that. Blake’s back in Whisper Shore ready to stay. He never plans to fall in love.

Melissa is great at writing romance. She kept me turning pages to see what would happen. I loved the hero’s characterization, and I respected Autumn’s choice to carry on the family business. She was strong and likable. Blake brings Autumn out of her comfort zone, which I liked because if anything went wrong he’d be right back in that place of blaming himself. The setting was beautiful—in Michigan, along Lake Michigan.

The author also threw in a few twists and some humorous fiascoes, which I enjoyed. Ooh, and we got a cameo from the heroine in book one—Miranda Woodruff (with whom Blaze had pretended to be married for the sake of her show).

I enjoyed the themes of forgiveness (even forgiving oneself) and going “home.”  Of learning people don’t always perceive us as we think they do, and for Blake that was a very good thing. Of discovering a new dream.

I really enjoyed this book! 

Highly recommended!

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