AUTHOR: Melissa Tagg
PUBLISHER: Bethany House Publishers
Blake Hunziker has played nomad for five years and landed in his fair share of trouble too. But now he's finally returning to his hometown--the Lake Michigan tourist town of Whisper Shore. Counting on a not-so-warm welcome, he's surprised at not only a positive reception but also a job offer. Determined to settle down and prove himself responsible, he agrees to the catch that comes with the job offer--coordinating the annual Christmas festival--even though he has no idea how he'll pull it off.
Autumn Kingsley, inn owner and experienced organizer of the Christmas festival, has always dreamed of traveling the world. Now she has a job opportunity in Paris and a surprise potential investor coming to town who just might take on her family's inn and finally leave her free to go. The only problem is that she has just two weeks to whip the inn into shape.
Their families have a long history of not getting along, but when Blake comes to Autumn for help with the festival, she actually agrees...in exchange for his help with the repairs to her inn. They may have struck a simple deal, but complications are quick to pile on when the guy who's had enough of running away and the woman who can't wait to leave join forces.
I absolutely love this book. The characters are three-dimensional, and the small town they both cherish feels like home. I related to the fears of the townspeople as they watched their tourism-based economy shrink. It is happening everywhere, including where I live. So when they pin their hopes on Blake (AKA Blaze) and Autumn, even though their family history is well known, I feel their desperation. And the dreams that propel the two main characters into situations they’d rather avoid. As their relationship bounces from crisis to crisis, the author brought me right into the middle of it all. And it was a wonderful journey.
The publisher offered me an e-copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion. It’s a pleasure to say that I hope to read more from Melissa Tagg, and I give Here to Stay five stars.