My rating: 4 stars / I really liked it
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.
Even though Blake is a character we are introduced to in the author's previous book, I feel like we learn so much more about him and his backstory in Here To Stay. He struggles with a tragedy in his past and it's only by returning home that he is able to reconcile himself with it and find a measure of peace. Autumn is a likeable character with her own struggles of following her dreams or staying loyal to her family and legacy. Secrets are revealed throughout the novel and it seems like these two will never be together... until finally everything falls into place :)
(Thank you to Bethany House Publishers for providing a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review)