Title: Snowflake Bay
Author: Donna Kauffman
Release Date: September 29, 2015
Genre: Holiday Fiction
There’s no place like seaside Blueberry Cove, Maine, at Christmas–and there’s nothing like a wedding, the warmth of the holidays, and an old crush, to create the perfect new start…
Interior designer Fiona McCrae has left fast-paced Manhattan to move back home to peaceful Blueberry Cove. But she’s barely arrived before she’s hooked into planning her big sister Hannah’s Christmas wedding–in less than seven weeks. The last thing she needs is for her first love, Ben Campbell, to return to neighboring Snowflake Bay…
As kids, Fiona was the bratty little sister Ben mercilessly teased–while pining after Hannah. But Fi never once thought of Ben like a brother. And that hasn’t changed. Except Fi is all grown up. Will Ben notice her now? More importantly, with her life in a jumble, should he? Or might the romance of the occasion, the spirit of the season, and the gifts of time ignite a long-held flame for many Christmases to come…
Something old might just become something new…
Includes a wedding cake recipe!
I’ve read some of Ms. Kaufamn’s other genres–though apparently so long ago, it was pre-my-using-Goodreads (SO long ago, I know! Those days are nothing but a hazy memory…) so I’m not sure exactly which ones. Some of her more steamy contemporaries, I know, and at least a few of the modern-fairy-tale series. I didn’t even realize she’d jumped on the small-town contemporary romances, but I was definitely game!
Snowflake Bay is such an adorable book, and with a Christmas theme to boot! After finishing it, I’m almost ready to deal with the snow (don’t anyone DARE tell Mini-Moe #2) and absolutely ready to put up the tree (Ditto! I mean it, too–she’s already been singing Christmas songs. Loudly. And slightly off-key.) Plus, it is an unrequited teenage love/friends to lovers book, so yeah. Wins all around.
I absolutely loved Fiona and Ben. Fi is just so adorable–a classic middle sister (not exactly child, since there’s four of them, but close enough) she’s always trying to keep the peace and smooth things out for the siblings around her. And she’s been in love with her older brother’s best friend forever. Not only didn’t he have a clue, but he was openly “in love” with her older sister, Hannah, for their entire adolescence.
Yep–the one who was the heroine of book one in the series ( Sea Glass Sunrise ) and who’s planning her wedding (with Fiona’s help) in this one. So obviously THAT romance isn’t going anywhere.
Fortunately for Fiona.
Making her an even more endearing heroine, Fi’s also slightly accident prone–especially if diabolical clothing’s involved and Ben’s in the vicinity. The scarf incident when they meet for the first time in years, when he offers to extricate her from its clutches with bolt cutters? Too funny. Many, many chapters later when she is (literally) trapped in ugly bridesmaid dress revenge hell and talking to Ben about it on the phone? Even funnier. And not just because chain saws are mentioned. I just love this couple, and Ms. Kaufman’s way of writing them.
And Ben…the poor guy is quickly forgiven (well, by me anyway, which isn’t quite the same as Fiona doing so–but she comes around pretty quickly too, especially when he lays a toe-curling kiss on her to ease it along) for his years of cluelessness where Fiona’s involved. Once he starts to see her as an adult and as a person of interest, he can’t unsee it. Fortunately, Fiona’s far from over her crush on him. Also fortunately, older brother Logan’s (mostly. usually. he’s pretty sure…) okay with it.
The two move fairly slowly, considering–and with the busiest time of the year happening for Ben (he’s just taken over the family Christmas tree farm) and some family issues for Fiona, they spend a good chunk of their early days–and some middle days too–mainly in phone calls and texts rather than actively seeing each other.
They totally make up for it later. 😉
Instead of a true relationship black moment, they have more of a personal crisis/decision point, which I liked–it’s hard to imagine either one of them going overboard in a dramatic blowup, and it would have felt contrived. Instead their relationship felt like it was a perfect progression for the two of them, considering. And the big question/answer to their shared dilemma moment? Oh-so-perfect, at least for these two.
Ms. Kaufman gives us a tantalizing peek into youngest sister Kerry’s story at the end–can’t wait!
Rating: 4 stars / A-
I received a complimentary copy in exchange for an honest review.
USA Today bestselling author of the Bachelors of Blueberry Cove series, Donna Kauffman has been gratified to see her books get rave reviews in venues ranging from Kirkus Reviews and Library Journal to Entertainment Weekly and Cosmopolitan. She lives in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains in western Virginia, where she is presently applying her crafty DIY skills to decorating her new mountainside abode. Well, when she isn’t busy trying to keep the bears from hanging out in her flower and vegetable garden all day and night! With her new Brides of Blueberry Cove series, Donna’s been having a blast applying those same restoration and design skills to doing some fictional wedding planning. Of course, if that means haunting all those lovely antique shops and flea markets that are so plentiful in her new neck of the woods, well, it’s a sacrifice she’s willing to make. When she’s not finding ways to take her love of all things rustic and vintage and give them a fabulous seaside, coastal Maine wedding party twist, she loves to hear from readers!
You can contact her through her website at www.donnakauffman.com.
Title: Just Want Somebody to Love
Author: Keri Ford
Release Date: October 13, 2015
Publisher: Lyrical Shine
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Swept off her feet by a charming restaurateur, Whitney Chester envisions a delicious happily ever after—until her prince turns into a total toad. There’s no way she’ll agree to another date with Justin Rawlings, despite their unforgettable night together. But when Justin insists on helping out on her family-run farm in exchange for another chance, it’s an offer Whitney can’t refuse…if only to get revenge on her sweet-talking suitor.
Justin needs a girlfriend to prove to his business partner that he isn’t all work and no play. Romancing Whitney should have been pure pleasure, if a work conflict hadn’t caused him to stand her up. Now he’s determined to win her back—and win his partner’s approval of their restaurant expansion. Keeping Whitney by his side until the deal closes should be easy—if he doesn’t do something foolish. Like fall in love with the small town beauty…
Keri Ford brings sexy contemporary romance to the American South. With a sprinkling of men in suits and women in high heels, you’ll most likely find four-wheeler riding, ball cap wearing fellas trying to sweet-talk sundress wearing ladies in Keri’s books. Raised in the country in South Arkansas, Keri shares this flavor of life in her books. Glass of sweet tea at your elbow while you read is not required, but strongly recommended.
Keri is represented by Louise Fury and Victoria Lowes of The Bent Agency. She’s multi-published, including the popular Through The Wall from An Apple Trail Novella Series. Her full length series in Bella Warren, Arkansas continues in 2015 from Lyrical Press. Be on the lookout for a new town—Turtle Pine, Alabama, coming soon! To keep up with this busy author, join her newsletter to catch all her new releases.
Title: Seeking Carolina
Author: Terri-Lynne Defino
Release Date: October 27, 2015
Publisher: Lyrical Shine
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Johanna Coco is finally home in Bitterly, Connecticut, to attend her beloved grandmother’s funeral—only to be confronted by the very reason she’s stayed away to begin with–Charlie McCallan. Her high school sweetheart is now divorced, and no longer the skinny boy Johanna once loved. Hometown handsome and dependable as always, Charlie is the kind of man she needs to lean on as she and her sisters grapple with their grief—as well as the mystery of their long-missing mother, Carolina. But Johanna’s heart isn’t only haunted by her ghosts; it’s haunted by what happened between her and Charlie…
Charlie is determined to do things right this time, and he has to do it before Johanna vanishes from his life again. First he needs to prove to her that the past is past, and they can overcome it–no easy task when he’s up against the ghosts lingering in her life, trying to convince her that happily-ever-after is not in the cards for any of the catastrophe-prone Coco sisters, least of all Johanna. But her fearless first love is ready to do whatever it takes to win her back—ghosts be damned.
Writer, cat-wrangler, sparklequeen. My first fantasy novel, Finder, was published by Hadley Rille Books in October, 2010, followed by: A Time Never Lived in 2012, Jingle in 2013, and Beyond the Gate in 2013. October 2015 will see the release of Seeking Carolina (first in The Bitterly Suite) from Lyrical, an imprint of Kensington Publishing, my first step into contemporary romantic fiction.
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Visit Teri-Lynn’s website.