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Christmas at the Shelter Inn

Tekijä: RaeAnne Thayne

JäseniäKirja-arvostelujaSuosituimmuussijaKeskimääräinen arvioMaininnat
484540,037 (3.5)1
Fiction. Literature. Romance. HTML:"[Thayne] engages the reader's heart and emotions, inspiring hope and the belief that miracles are possible." Debbie Macomber, #1 New York Times bestselling author
Come home to Shelter Springs this Christmas, where hearts are warm and hopes are bright...
Growing up at the Shelter Inn hotel, Natalie Shepherd envied guests who could come and go as they pleased. So when it was time to finally leave for college and put the lush green mountains around Shelter Springsalong with the cloud of loss that seemed to follow her familybehind her, she swore she'd never come back. But now her sister McKenna needs a favor. On pregnancy bed rest at doctor's orders, McKenna needs a helping hand with her two young daughters and someone to take over the inn during the hectic holiday season, and Nat can't refuse. And just when things can't get worse, she runs into her late brother's best friend, Griffin Taylor...
Griff has mixed feelings about Natalie's return. She's just as beautiful and full of life as he remembered, but there's a secret he's carried for years about her brotherand the guilt is eating away at him. Still, Christmas in this small town is filled with treasured traditions and new adventures that hold the promise of something sweet and lasting. From matchmaking seniors to rambunctious nieces, it seems everyone is hoping Nat and Griff will put loss behind them and find a happy new beginning...
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näyttää 4/4
On par with the romantic women's fiction genre. The main characters consistently fret over a relationship that is obviously going to work out just fine. The setting in a senior living center adds some humor and variety. ( )
  bookappeal | Dec 1, 2023 |
I received this book for free, this does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review

She disliked the holidays anyway and she especially disliked being here, filled with memories and ghosts and regret.

After she receives a text that just says “Help” from her younger sister, Natalie knows she needs to go back home. McKenna has been put on bed rest for the rest of her pregnancy and with an aunt that is recovering from a leg injury, Natalie is needed to help McKenna with her two little girls and the family's business, the Shelter Inn. Ever since Natalie's mom and older brother died and their father abandoned them, Natalie has been a nomad traveling the world, finding it too painful to be at home with all the memories. Now, this Christmas season, she's going to have to confront those painful feelings and the growing ones for her brother's bestfriend who keeps finding ways to rescue her.

If she wasn’t careful, she might find herself falling head over heels for Griffin.

Christmas at Shelter Inn was a story that definitely delivered the festive atmosphere but it also definitely dropped trauma after trauma; I'm talking the old tv show Party of Five trauma levels. Any and all content and trigger warnings for what felt more like book club fiction (if your book club is full of holiday masochists) than romance. Natalie left home because of a painful childhood of having her mother die of breast cancer when she was sixteen, having her father take off to Alaska because of his grief and basically abandoning his three kids to their mother's aunt, and an older brother that became an alcoholic because of his grief and ultimately died in an avalanche. If you're not satisfied with that barrel of laughs, the love interest for Natalie, Griffin, is semi-shunned in town because his alcoholic father killed not only himself but four teens in a drunk driver incident and is divorced after he and his ex-wife went through the death of their baby being stillborn.

She laughed and he thought how lovely she was, there in the wintry moonlight.

So, yes, these two have a lot of baggage and emotional trauma to work through but Natalie gets the load of page time with Griffin's side not really coming in until the latter half of the story. Weaved around all these trauma issues are elements of that festive atmosphere I mentioned, shopping at a Christmas Market, watching a choir sing carols, snowy walks, the joy of putting up inflatable decorations, and hot chocolate and cookies. It was cozy atmosphere with holy god that's traumatic, especially when you add in the fear of miscarriage because her sister experienced two prior ones, Natalie thinking her sister's husband is wanting to abandon his family, Natalie's friendship issues with Griffin's younger sister who also dated her deceased older brother, and then Natalie's father showing back up to spend Christmas with them.

He looked down at her, his blue eyes suddenly warm. For one glittery, breathless moment, he looked as if he wanted to kiss her. He might have even leaned down slightly before he seemed to check the movement and step away.

I found the romance to be fairly weak without much depth, as the focus was more on Natalie's issues. Around the midway point, they kiss (only a few kisses for steam here) but Natalie doesn't see a reason to invest in the relationship because she can't wait to leave home and the pain it causes her to be here. Griffin does have povs but they're mostly him thinking about how to put a stop to his grandma trying to set him up with Natalie but also thinking he's attracted to Natalie. The second half becomes Natalie coming to terms with the past (catching her father kiss someone that threw her and me into a tailspin) and accepting that she has feelings for Griffin. The last fifteen percent has both saying they love each other but I can't say I bought into it, there was no real building blocks for their relationship.

People did change, she thought as they returned to the party. Maybe she had changed. Maybe the perfect life she had created for herself no longer met her needs as it once had. Maybe, just maybe, she was ready for something else—if she could find the courage to reach for it.

Along with the ending I love you, there's a snowstorm that creates some havoc, a situation that leads to our doctor Griffin being able to finally work through his pain of losing his child, and an epilogue that shows a future happily ever after. The romance felt a distance second place to the issues Natalie had to work through and there wasn't enough depth to the main couple's relationship for me. However, if you're looking for the combo of festive atmosphere and trauma (they could be out there!) consider this the snow globe of trauma you'd want to be in. ( )
  WhiskeyintheJar | Nov 27, 2023 |
Nat’s sister sends her a text, Help!, and Nat comes running. McKenna is in the late stages of her pregnancy and is on doctored ordered bed rest. Nat is going to help with her two young nieces while the dad is working overtime. She also needs to assist her aunt with running the Shelter Inn, a place for senior living. On her way there in a rental car, Nat slides off the road in a storm. She is rescued by a handsome man who turns out to be a doctor as well as an old family friend. And then we get into the best part of the story. Old secrets, past hurts, past and current attractions, reconnecting with family, and more all are seamlessly woven into this delightful and heartwarming Christmas story. The characters are well developed and real, complete with good facets and some flaws. The story unfolds with beguiling aspects, keeping up readers’ interest. This well written tale is good Christmas entertainment. ( )
  Maydacat | Nov 20, 2023 |
RaeAnne Thayne certainly knows how to create stories with small-town charm and engaging characters. She has done it again with her book, Christmas at the Shelter Inn. The characters were well-drawn with just enough angst to tug at your heartstrings and make the story interesting. Natalie and Griffin were wonderful main characters, and they were surrounded by many delightful secondary ones, including Natalie’s nieces, Griffin’s grandmother, and a whole host of senior citizens at the Shelter Inn. This is a tale of family, forgiveness, and second chances. If you love small-town heartwarming Christmas stories, you’ll enjoy this one.

I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy. All opinions are my own. ( )
  swissgranny | Oct 27, 2023 |
näyttää 4/4
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Fiction. Literature. Romance. HTML:"[Thayne] engages the reader's heart and emotions, inspiring hope and the belief that miracles are possible." Debbie Macomber, #1 New York Times bestselling author
Come home to Shelter Springs this Christmas, where hearts are warm and hopes are bright...
Growing up at the Shelter Inn hotel, Natalie Shepherd envied guests who could come and go as they pleased. So when it was time to finally leave for college and put the lush green mountains around Shelter Springsalong with the cloud of loss that seemed to follow her familybehind her, she swore she'd never come back. But now her sister McKenna needs a favor. On pregnancy bed rest at doctor's orders, McKenna needs a helping hand with her two young daughters and someone to take over the inn during the hectic holiday season, and Nat can't refuse. And just when things can't get worse, she runs into her late brother's best friend, Griffin Taylor...
Griff has mixed feelings about Natalie's return. She's just as beautiful and full of life as he remembered, but there's a secret he's carried for years about her brotherand the guilt is eating away at him. Still, Christmas in this small town is filled with treasured traditions and new adventures that hold the promise of something sweet and lasting. From matchmaking seniors to rambunctious nieces, it seems everyone is hoping Nat and Griff will put loss behind them and find a happy new beginning...

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