I was asked by author Melissa Tagg if I would be willing to accept a copy of her book, Here to Stay and review it. I was delighted at the opportunity as I had enjoyed her previous novel: Made to Last.
While Here to Stay is a stand-alone romance it picks up a character from Made to Last and tells his story. You can read and enjoy this book without reading the first.
Blake Hunziker has traveled and lived a life of adventure for years as a way to cope with his grief. Finally, he decides to come back home and face the reality that some may still blame him for his brother’s death. No one could hurt him more than he does himself, because he knows the truth. He is surprised by a warm welcome by many and a chilly response from others. In attempt to redeem himself in the eyes of his town, he accepts the challenge of putting together the annual Christmas festival. The only problem is, he can’t do this alone.
Autumn Kingsley has been trying to hold the old family Bed and Breakfast together since her mother signed it over to her after her father’s death. The burden comes at a cost. Stuck in a small town she longs to travel and France has been her dream. Now a job awaits, but the B&B is struggling. Can she keep it going and hand it off to someone who will care for it while she jumps at her chance for adventure. The problem is that she needs a lot of repairs done and cannot afford to hire someone to do them.
Blake comes to Autumn to help with the festival and offers his handyman services in compensation for her help. This makes for a complicated relationship since his parents own her competition and her sister and his brother used to be an “item.” The problem is, she likes Blake, but can’t see giving away her heart which would also mean giving away her dream to leave this town. Blake is staying after having had his adventure. Can he let th woman he comes to love leave for hers?
Melissa is a great story-teller and her romances are complex and have a wonderful realism to them. This book makes me want to go back and re-read Made to Last to read them back to back since characters from the first book show up here. This was a wonderful story and unlike It’s a Wonderful Life where George Bailey gives up his dreams, Autumn and Blake do get to realize theirs.