Synopsis: Christmas has always been a special time for Noelle Parker. Winter evenings spent with family and friends, drinking hot chocolate and eating cookies at her family’s cozy bakery have shaped her love for all things festive. But this year everything is changing…
The beloved bakery is facing closure and Noelle needs a miracle to save Christmas.
Determined to raise funds for the family business, Noelle sets about revamping the bakery while juggling a surprise new job, caring for the elderly and cantankerous William Harrington in his luxurious, sprawling mansion.
As Noelle melts the frostiness of the house with cake baking, snowball fights and glittering decorations, she helps William to reconnect with a romance that has spanned decades and unexpectedly finds herself falling for his grandson - the gorgeous but mysterious Alexander Harrington…
In the countdown to Christmas, can Noelle save the bakery, reunite a family andcreate some magical memories of her own along the way?
Synopsis: Callie Weaver and best friend Olivia Dixon have finally done it: put their life savings into the beach house they admired through childhood summers, on the dazzling white sand of North Carolina’s Outer Banks. They’re going to buff the salt from its windows, paint its sun-bleached sidings, and open it as a bed and breakfast.
Callie’s too busy to think about her love life, but when she catches the attention of local heartthrob Luke Sullivan, his blue eyes and easy smile make it hard to say no. He’s heir to his father’s property empire, and the papers say he’s just another playboy, but as they laugh in the ocean waves, Callie realizes there’s more to this man than money and good looks.
Just when true happiness seems within reach, Callie and Olivia find a diary full of secrets... secrets that stretch across the island, and have the power to turn lives upside down. As Callie reads, she unravels a mystery that makes her heart drop through the floor.
Will Callie and Luke be pulled apart by the storm it unleashes, or can true love save them?
Kat's Rating: 4/5
Kat's Review: That picture on the front of this book, well it sums up this story perfectly. Callie Weaver has invested everything she has into the Beach house in the Outer Banks. I'm a fan of Jenny Hale and I must say that this latest book was just what the doctor ordered for me. Jenny Hale manages to do a wonderful job of describing this quaint town with it's stunning white beaches and I could almost picture the house that Callie is renovating. Her and her childhood friend Olivia want to reopen the house as a Bed and Breakfast. Olivia's Grandmother Glady's lives across the way and with her help and support they start the arduous task of getting it all ready for the end of the Summer.
Callie was a reserved character but one that I liked. Her tentative attitude towards people she doesn't know that well is endearing and as a reader it's nice to share her journey while she takes some chances with her career as well as her personal life. Callie runs into a guy whilst out shopping and circumstances throw them together. She has no idea at first that there is more to Luke Sullivan that the press make out. To the press he is just a Playboy and a man who seemingly does little more than flaunt his wealth. At first I have to be honest and say I wasn't overly enamoured with Luke, but as the story progresses you soon see there is a lot more to him than meets the eye.
Callie's story also sees her stumble across something that could tear people's lives apart and she doubts what she should do. I loved reading about Callie and Olivia's friendship and although Callie was the lead character it was nice to see Olivia's life changing too in the background. The story progresses and eventually Callie realises that she needs to take a huge chance and just wonders whether in doing so she will jeopardise everything she has worked for.
Overall this was a hugely enjoyable book and would make a perfect beach read. Jenny Hale has managed to capture my attention with every book she has written and manages to take me away from it all, so much so I could almost imagine standing on that beach. Her last book remains my all time favourite but this was still a great read and an author I would highly recommend.
So, I realised rather belatedly that I hadn't done my 'best of' lists and surprisingly the Crime and Thriller genre was easy. This genre? Not so much! I realised that there were numerous books I had LOVED this last year and managed to get the first draft in at 16 books. Thankfully I realised that I had read 3 books by the wonderful Nigel May and all 3 were excellent so I managed to knock another 2 off, and then slowly by going over each one I managed to narrow it down! So here goes, in no particular order is my top ten books from last year, and all well worth a read!
Synopsis: Snowflakes are falling, there’s carol singing on every corner, and Leah Evans is preparing for a family Christmas at her grandmother’s majestic plantation house in Virginia. It won’t be the same now that her beloved Nan is gone, but when Leah discovers she has inherited the mansion, she knows she can give her daughter Sadie the childhood of her dreams.
But there’s a catch. Leah must split the house with a man called David Forester. Leah hasn’t heard that name in a long time. Not since they were kids, when Davey was always there to catch her.
Now David is all grown up. He’s gorgeous, successful, and certain of one thing: Leah should sell him her half of the house.
They can’t agree, but as they share memories over wine by the log fire, Leah notices a fluttering in her stomach. And by the look in his eyes, he’s starting to feel it too.
Will it be Leah or David who must give up their dreams? Or, with a little bit of Christmas magic, will they finally understand Nan’s advice to them both about living life without regrets … and take a chance on true love?
Synopsis: They say falling in love is easy. But what if you know it’ll break your heart?
For Emily Tate, returning to her charming childhood home Oyster Bay is like coming up for air after the fast pace of her city life. At the farm her grandfather built, surrounded by sister Rachel’s chatter, Gram’s butter biscuits and the soft, white sand, Emily is reminded exactly who she is and what she holds most dear.
When Emily starts work at elegant Water’s Edge Inn, Charles Peterson, the handsome new owner, asks for her help. He wants to expand and needs Emily to teach him the local ways, so he can convince the planning commission. Emily vows to make him fall in love with her hometown, just the way it is.
At work, Charles is reserved and serious, yet once Emily has him kicking off his shoes in the sand and sailing across glistening Chesapeake Bay, she sees another side to him, and their easy rapport feels like the start of something big.
But when it becomes clear Charles’s plans for the inn involve bulldozing Oyster Bay, Emily is heartbroken. Will she lose her home and Charles all at once, or can she save Oyster Bay, and give true love a chance?
Synopsis: Single mother Abbey Fuller loves her family more than anything, and doesn’t regret for a moment having had to put her dreams of being an interior designer on hold. But with her son, Max, growing up, when a friend recommends her for a small design job she jumps at the chance. How hard can it be?
Nick Sinclair needs his house decorated in time for his family’s festive visit – and money is no object. What he doesn’t need is to be distracted from his multi-million dollar business – even if it is Christmas.
When Abbey pulls up to the huge Sinclair mansion, she has a feeling she might be out of her depth. And when she meets the gorgeous, brooding Nicholas Sinclair, she knows that she’s in real trouble…
With the snow falling all around, can Abbey take the chance to make her dreams of being a designer come true? And can she help Nick to finally enjoy the magic of Christmas?
Synopsis: They say there's always one summer that changes you... For Faith the one summer she can't forget is when she fell in love as a teenager - only for her sister, Casey, to steal her man. Now, at the request of her beloved ninety-year-old grandmother, Faith has agreed to a family holiday - at their childhood beach house, where it all began. Faith hasn't seen her sister in years but is finally ready to forgive and forget, enjoy the sunshine and relive happy memories. What she's not ready for is meeting Jake Buchanan - the owner of the beach house - or the long-forgotten feelings he ignites in her. Can Faith overcome the hurt of the past, rekindle the close bond she had with Casey and make this summer THE ONE to remember?
Carrie Blake loves her job as a nanny but, while her friends are settling down, all of Carrie’s spare time is spent with other people’s families. Though it breaks her heart, her New Year’s resolution is to embark on a new career and fix her love life. As Carrie starts her last job, she’s sure she’ll be going out on a high – the house is amazing, the kids are adorable, and she’s in charge of decorating the tree! The only problem could be her boss… single-dad, Adam Fletcher might be both handsome and successful, but he’s always working. Doesn’t he realise he’s missing out on precious moments with his son and daughter? As Adam’s family arrive for Christmas including his sensitive sister, Sharon, and his fun-loving elderly Grandpa, Walter, Carrie realises that she might just have found the perfect allies in her quest to persuade Adam to loosen up. There’s still time for Carrie to make this the best Christmas ever… after all, Christmas is the time for miracles, isn’t it?