About the Book (from the author's website)
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.
Ultimately, Here to Stay is a very heartwarming story about two characters who think they understand their needs and desires...but start to open their eyes and hearts to a future that looks much different than they expected. The setting of a cozy lakeshore town is enjoyable to visit through the pages, especially with the heroine (Autumn) running an older inn. And this is a great read for the holiday season, as the majority of the book takes place in the late fall and early winter, leading up to Christmas and the town's Christmas festival.
Possibly due to my mood or current preferences, I didn't feel 100% invested or engaged in the story. But the characters are definitely endearing, and there is a good amount of sweetly romantic scenes and cute/funny/difficult challenges for those endearing characters to face. I liked the growth of relationships and the thoughtfulness and love both Autumn and Blake show to others (and each other) on different occasions and in different ways.
Here to Stay is a lovely contemporary romance showcasing Melissa Tagg's talent in creating sweet settings and characters. While perhaps not a favorite for me and a little less exciting than the premise of her first book (Made to Last), I still enjoyed my visit as a reader-tourist to Whisper Shore.
*With thanks to Bethany House for providing me with a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are my own.*