Shelley Noble comes to the blog today with a Whisper Beach holiday novella, a new to me series from this author. Please read on for my review of
Christmas at Whisper Beach
Not having read the Whisper Beach series, this was a new story to me, with new characters all preparing for the Christmas Holiday. Vanessa Moran has returned to Whisper Beach after a long absence, and finally, sorta-kinda committed to her relationship with Joe Enthorpe. Or we are meant to see she’s committed: living in an small 2 room suite in his parent’s house, starting a branch of her “organizing” business in town, working with the Enthorpe’s new vineyard venture. But for me, NOTHING about Vanessa seemed settled or even remotely connected to any desire to ‘build’ a new life: she’s always running from emotions and difficult situations, she’s not sharing her concerns, her worries or her questions, and her need to have everything neat, organized and without surprises was frustrating. Joe was a man who obviously loved her (as do his family) and although he may have some moments that are bone-headed, this is one of the good guys. But – for me, the whole story (and enjoyment from it) came from his mother and his grandfather – these two have seen much, don’t get rattled, and are affectionate and observant: not tiptoeing around Van and her rather mercurial moods and reactions.
It’s obvious that Vanesa has some major issues that she refuses to deal with – issues that come up in her uncertainty about stating her mind, making a move and even making decisions about her own life. If the story had kept revisiting her own dithering – I would have stopped reading: she passed the point of empathy for me early on – in her refusal to meet and tackle her issues as they popped up, rather than just run away. Fortunately, the Enthorpes stepped in, from the mother’s openness and quiet support to their opening their home (and celebrations) to 3 young children while their mother was in hospital – providing Christmas traditions (baking cookies, trimming trees, shopping for gifts) to the solidity of a family and the gentle (and forthright) correction of young Owen’s misbehavior, while allowing him the company of men doing “man things”. In just over one hundred pages, I came to appreciate the Enthorpe family and the traditions they hold dear at Christmas – opening their home and hearts to those who needed a bit of gingerbread and holiday cheer.
Title: Christmas at Whisper Beach
Author: Shelley Noble
Series: Whisper Beach #1.5
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Family Saga, Holiday Themed
Published by: William Morrow Impulse
Published on: 17 October, 2017
Source: Publisher Via Edelweiss
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The holidays always seem brighter at Whisper Beach
Van Moran is ready for happily ever after, even if she’s not quite convinced she can get it. After finally opening a second branch of her company in Whisper Beach, she’s enjoying her new romance with Joe Enthorpe, the local vineyard owner. She may never have a traditional family, but she won’t let that stop her from having a joyful Christmas.
Joe is ready to spend a very merry Christmas with Van and his always rambunctious family. But when the mother of a local boy becomes tragically ill, Joe invites him and his sisters to stay at the vineyard. Everything soon begins to unravel as Joe fears the complications will drive Van away and he’s desperate to keep their relationship from crumbling.
But with every Christmas comes a miracle and soon, Van and Joe learn that it isn’t always about the family you make, but the one that lives in your heart.
See the Whisper Beach series on Goodreads
A copy of this title was provided via Publisher Via Edelweiss 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: