Tag Archives: Interviews and Reviews

Blackberry Beach by Irene Hannon

Irene Hannon’s newest Hope Harbor story (releasing April 6th) is Blackberry Beach. Even though I didn’t know this was part of a series, it still works well as a standalone.

Hope Harbor “harbors” the picturesque and enchanting Blackberry Beach, home to several idiosyncratic and unconventional people and birds. Needless to say, they were some of my favorite characters!

I would love to stop in at The Perfect Blend coffee shop and talk with the owner, Zach Garrett, and sample his fantastic blends and desserts. And, oh my, Charlie, the owner of the fish taco stand!  Hannon has created a must-visit, perfect friend. Can you guess that I would love to live there?

Kat, the mystery woman, piques everyone’s interest, especially Zach’s, and uses her wonderful culinary skill to create blackberry and blackberry lavender truffles. So, is Kat a chocolatier? Why is she in Hope Harbor, and what is she hiding?

Hannon is amazingly skilled at creating a place you want to visit and characters you would love to have as friends. Not to mention, she leaves you starving for treats from the Perfect Blend, Kat’s chocolates and fish tacos, even though I have never really cared for fish tacos.

As you can see, Blackberry Beach features mystery and intrigue, along with romance and wonderful doses of Biblical insight.

I received a copy of this book courtesy of Revell through NetGalley and Interviews & Reviews.

Photo of pie by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

Publisher’s Summary

Katherine Parker is on the cusp of having everything she ever wanted–fame, money, and acclaim. So why isn’t she happy? In search of answers, she comes incognito to Hope Harbor on the Oregon coast for some R&R. Maybe in her secluded rental house overlooking the serene Pacific she’ll be able to calm the storm inside.

Coffee shop owner Zach Garrett has found his niche after a traumatic loss–and he has no plans to change the life he’s created. Nor does he want to get involved with his reticent new neighbor, whose past is shrouded in mystery. He’s had enough drama to last a lifetime. But when Katherine and Zach are recruited to help rehab a home for foster children, sparks fly. And as their lives begin to intersect, might they find more common ground than they expected . . . and discover that, with love, all things are possible?

Bestselling and award-winning author Irene Hannon invites you to come home to Hope Harbor–where hearts heal . . . and love blooms.

The Christmas Swap By Melody Carlson

I have read many Melody Carlson Christmas stories, and they have all been cute and endearing, so it was with great anticipation that I signed up for The Christmas Swap.

The story’s premise is based on two families and some friends swapping homes. One family goes from Colorado to Arizona and the other family with a few friends travels to Colorado from Arizona. We read little about the family in Arizona as the focus of the story is the family and friends in Colorado.

Emma Daley is endeavoring to make a living as a teacher while striving to become a musician, too. Her best friend, Gillian Landers, was born with a silver spoon in her mouth, and therein lies the problem.

The story shows the overindulged, selfish, demanding and obnoxious brattiness, for lack of a better word, of Gillian and her family and friends, though her father seems less inclined to act entitled. I kept thinking, if I had a friend like Gillian or the Landers, I would have dropped them like hot potatoes years ago!

I had a hard time getting into the spirit of the sequence of events, as the constant bickering and entitlement portrayed by the Landers was so off-putting.

The overall story had many appealing moments, some quite engaging. But the story just wasn’t for me. Nonetheless, you may thoroughly enjoy it!

I received this book courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Revell, through Interviews & Reviews. However, I was under no obligation to post a review.

Publisher’s Summary

All Emma Daley wants this holiday season is a white Christmas. But the young teacher and struggling musician sure can’t find that in sunny Arizona. Luckily, there’s someone living in a perfect mountain home in the Colorado Rockies looking to make a vacation trade this year.

Tyler Prescott is an in-demand songwriter and talented musician who put his own singing career on hold to write songs for celebrity acts to perform. When his mother convinces him to do a vacation trade for Christmas, he never imagined one of the houseguests would be so sweet–or so strikingly pretty. Naturally, he decides to stick around, and, to get better acquainted, he poses as the house’s caretaker. But when Emma’s friend Gillian discovers his true identity and sets her sights on him, things
get . . . messy.

Fan-favorite Melody Carlson is back with another delightful Christmas tale to warm your heart on those cold winter evenings.