Annie Rains comes to the blog today with the first in her Sweetwater Springs series – a story of hope, change, loss and finding purpose and love in North Carolina in
Christmas on Mistletoe Lane
The Sweetwater B & B has been on the decline for the past several years, but has new hope and a new owner in the form of Kaitlyn Russo. Inheriting the inn from her grandparents, she’s left a ‘situation’ in New York, and packed everything in her new-used car and headed south. She’s arrived in Sweetwater Springs hoping to make a new start and be in charge of her own destiny, ignoring the gossip in New York and her parents’ displeasure. Arriving in the dusty and rather run-down inn, she’s planning on plenty of work and elbow grease to get the inn up and running. But the first hiccup in her plan arrives that first night in the form of Mitch Hargreaves. Local boy who left town at 18 to join the military, with plans to settle the issue of his ‘inheritance’ from Mable and head to a security job in Virginia – breezing in and out of Sweetwater Springs without running into anyone from his past.
Half owners of a non-functioning inn, the terms of the will state that Katie and Mitch have to run the inn, together, for two months- or it will go to a charity. Mitch isn’t happy with the plan – he doesn’t want to stay. And Katie is busily trying to figure out a way to protect her own legacy in the inn while not allowing Mitch to scupper her plans, all while she tries to ignore the current between them. When his planned move to Virginia gets delayed until after the new year, and Mitch’s visit home finds his mother looking ill enough to worry him – he agrees to work with Katie on fixing up the inn, all while making it clear he’s leaving in two months, and won’t get ‘involved’ in more than the ‘outside work’.
Oh this was sweet and clever – Mable (the strangest way to spell that name I’ve ever seen) has a plan – always wanting to match up Katie and Mitch – but neither ever were around at the same time. Katie’s memories of the inn are from odd weeks spent during the summer, while Mitch was a frequent visitor with the couple, learning stories and helping out. With his mother Gladys more than willing to help out, and Katie’s best friend Josie pulling some strings as the editor of a national magazine, while the inn is given a facelift and Katie’s design ideas are set free, the guests start arriving and never stop. Both Katie and Mitch have pasts that have aftereffects – an accident as a teen sent Mitch away from the town with a promise to never return, and her dream job as interior designer to the stars went up in smoke when she was harassed and later fired on the word of a ‘star’. But there’s something that calls to them both- if only they can work past the hiccups and Mitch’s constant “I’m not here for long” refrain. Katie is a natural hostess – and the guests are all happy with their stay, the holiday events of the town offering plenty of community feeling, and the community is one that takes their own into their hearts and under their wing. Rains managed to make these two very disparate people join in the one thing that everyone wants – to belong and feel wanted, and with a few hiccups along the way, they find their way to new possibilities and potential.
Title: Christmas on Mistletoe Lane
Author: Annie Rains
Series: Sweetwater Springs #1
Also in this series: Springtime at Hope Cottage, Snowfall on Cedar Trail, Starting Over at Blueberry Creek, Sunshine on Silver Lake
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Holiday Themed, Small Town, Southern
Published by: Forever
Published on: 25 September, 2018
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Heat: Get Your Copy: Amazon ♦ Barnes&Noble ♦ iTunes ♦ Kobo ♦ IndieBound ♦ Google
This USA Today bestselling author invites you to the delightful small town of Sweetwater Springs where the magic of Christmas brings to strangers together in this "story you won't forget" (RaeAnne Thayne, New York Times bestselling author).
Christmas is coming to the North Carolina mountains, and the air is fresh and crisp and filled with promise. After the devastating loss of her job in the big city, the small town of Sweetwater Springs feels like heaven to Kaitlyn Russo. She's inherited her grandparents' charming (if a little rundown) bed and breakfast, and it's just the new lease on life she needs. Only "heaven" comes with a catch-and a handsome and completely infuriating one at that.
After what he hopes will be a quick trip, Mitch Hargrove wants nothing more than to put his hometown in the rearview mirror. But his plans get derailed when he learns he's now half-owner of the Sweetwater B&B. The fact that he's given only two months to make the inn a success is a huge problem, but it's his pretty-and incredibly headstrong-partner who's the real challenge. With the holiday fast approaching and a grand re-opening looming, will Mitch keep running from the ghosts of Christmas past . . . or will he realize the true gift he's been given?
Includes the bonus short story "Midnight Clear" by Hope Ramsay!
A copy of this title was provided via Publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.
Reading this book contributed to these challenges: