Here to Stay by Melissa Tagg ~ Sharing My Review

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About Here to Stay ~ 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.

Sharing My Review~
Oooh, I loved this book. Everything from the ornery secondary characters to the quaint town of Whisper Shore to the funny little “happenings.” And, oy, the romance…

From the very first page, I could almost feel the chilly lake breeze and picture the “pale ribbon of beach, where the turquoise waters of Lake Michigan tussled with the shore.” I got Autumn’s frustration with her predicament, owning and loving Kingsley Inn, but the lack of tourism has drained her bank account. Autumn carries around the weight of a dreamer father who put the lust for Paris in her heart. 

Adventurous Blake, who’s wandered the globe seeking peace, finally returns home to face his past. He worries about how he’ll fit in the small tight-knit community, and if his parents and friends will still blame him for his brother’s death. Understandable since he still blames himself.
It doesn’t take long for Autumn to question what she really wants and for Blake to realize what’s really important.

“We shared an awareness that life’s greatest adventure is love. Loving each other, loving others. And being loved-first by God, then by each other. There’s no better purpose.” ~ Mrs. Satterly

The bad blood between the two families, the Kingsley’s and the Hunziker’s, is almost a modern day Montague-Capulet story, and keeps ramping up the conflict. Tagg balanced some weighty stuff with grace and humor. One minute I was chuckling, the next I was reaching for a tissue. Here to Stay has it all: awesome characters, zippy dialogue, realistic emotions, great story line. If you enjoy romance (not just inspirational!), you’ll want to scoop this one up. 

Oh, and Blake also appeared in Tagg’s first book, Made to Last athe fake hubby of Miranda Woodruff, who makes an appearance here. Totally loved that book, too. If you haven’t read it, you’ll definitely want to pick that one up first. 

Disclaimer: Sending a big thank you to Bethany House Publishers and NetGalley for allowing me the privilege of reviewing Here to Stay and for the free copy I received in exchange for my fair and unbiased review. This opinion is my own, and I received no compensation.