Friday, December 21, 2018

#BookReview for Winter at the Beach by Sheila Roberts!! @_Sheila_Roberts #WomensFiction #Contemporary @pumpupyourbook @HarlequinBooks #booklovers #review #books

WINTER AT THE BEACH by Sheila Roberts, Women's Fiction, 384pp., $5.98 (paperback) $6.99 (kindle)


Author: Sheila Roberts

Publisher: Harlequin/Mira

Pages: 384

Genre: Women’s Fiction

Jenna Jones, manager of the Driftwood Inn, a vintage motel in the
Washington beach town of Moonlight Harbor is convinced that a winter
festival would be a great way to draw visitors (and tourist business) to
town during those off-season months. Everyone in the local chamber of
commerce is on board with her Seaside with Santa festival idea except
one naysayer, local sour lemon, Susan Frank, who owns a women’s clothing
boutique in town. The beach gets hit with storms in the winter, no one
will come, too close to Christmas. Blah, blah. What does Susan know?

It turns out that Susan knows a lot. A big storm hits during the
weekend of the festival, wreaking havoc with the parade and producing
power outages all over town. Including at the Driftwood Inn.

Jenna finds herself with a motel filled with people, all with no
power. What to do? Enlist the help of friends, of course. Her friends
take in many of the stranded visitors, and Jenna and her Aunt Edie take
in the others, stuffing them into Aunt Edie’s house next door to the

All the guests come with their own unique stories. The last thing
Taylor Marsh wanted was a getaway with her husband. His refusal to give
up on his dying business is taking them down financially and killing
their marriage. But her sister Sarah (she who has her financial act
together and never lets her sister forget it) insists this will be fun
for both their families. It will only be fun for Taylor if her husband
gets eaten by a giant squid. Then there’s Darrel Wilson, who planned the
perfect anniversary getaway for his wife, who’s been undergoing chemo.
So much for the perfect anniversary. And the sisters, Lisa and Karen,
who can’t seem to go on a sister outing without it turning into a Lucy
and Ethel adventure. Unlikely roommates, all of them. But perhaps each
one has a valuable lesson to share with the others. And perhaps, what
looked like a disaster will prove to be the best holiday adventure of



Jenna Jones, who manages a vintage motel, the Driftwood Inn, is sure her
idea for a holiday festival will bring business to her Washington
coast beach town of Moonlight
Harbor. Let’s see how her proposal goes over with the Moonlight Harbor Chamber of Commerce…

 “Okay, that takes care of old
business,” Brody said. “Now, I think Jenna has some new business.”

Oh, boy. She could hardly wait to see what Susan would have to say about

She cleared her throat. “Actually, I have a suggestion for a way to bring
down more visitors during our slow time.”

“We’re all for that,” said Patricia Whiteside.

Susan clamped her thin lips together and gave Jenna a look that dared her,
the newbie, to come up with something.

Jenna’s nervous twitch put in an appearance. Don’t blink. She blinked
one last time and cleared her throat again. “Well, I was just thinking about
other towns I’ve visited in the past and one that came to mind was Icicle

Susan rolled her eyes. “The cheesy German town.”

“A lot of people find it charming,” Jenna said. “It’s awfully pretty, and
they’ve done a great job of making themselves as authentic as possible. They
always have something going to get people up there. In fact, I did some
research online. They have festivals all year long, including a chocolate
festival. Their tree-lighting ceremonies on the weekends in December bring in
thou- sands of people.”

“So, are you proposing we have a tree-lighting ceremony?” Susan mocked.

“No, but I am proposing we have a holiday festival.”

“We just had a festival in August in case you forgot,” Susan said snidely.

What was with this woman anyway? The town had done a good deed by putting on a festival to help Jenna raise money to restore the Driftwood after she
experienced a financial setback. It had been such a success that the chamber
had decided to make the Blue Moon Festival a tradition, with proceeds going to
help other businesses in town in need of assistance. Jenna had benefited and
other local businesses would as well, and Susan resented it? She was a crab in
the pot. If she couldn’t succeed, she didn’t want anyone else to, either. And
everyone knew her shop wasn’t doing that well, especially now that Courtney was selling her own designs over at the Oyster Inn.

Well, pooh on her. Jenna handed papers to both Tyrella and Brody to start
passing around the table.

 “People love festivals. Remember how many came down for the Blue Moon one?”

“That was in the summer,” Susan reminded her.

“I know. But people also love holiday festivals. We’re looking for ways to
get visitors down here in the winter. Why not put together a giant holiday
party in Moonlight Harbor?”

Patricia Whiteside was reading Jenna’s handout. “Seaside
with Santa, that’s cute. And I like all the suggestions you’ve made for
activities. I really like the idea of making use of the pier.”

“The weekend before Christmas?” Susan objected, frowning at her handout.
“Who’s going to want to come to something then? People will be getting ready to go see family, and they’ll be finishing up their shopping.”

“Why shouldn’t they finish it here?” Jenna argued. “We have all kinds of
cute shops. We have great places for them to stay while they shop and plenty of
restau- rants where they can eat. They may even want to stay here for the
holidays. All we need is an event to lure them down. A festival could do it.
And who doesn’t like a parade? Look how many people turn out for the Macy’s
Thanksgiving Day parade.”

“Look at the floats they have in that parade,” Susan countered. “What sort
of floats would we be able to put together down here?”

“Okay, maybe not the most impressive parade ever,” Jenna admitted, “but I
bet we could come up with some- thing.”

“I could get some of my employees to dress up as mermaids,” said Kiki, “and
stick ’em on a flatbed truck strung with fake seaweed.” She grinned, clearly
taken with her idea.

“We need more for our Moonlight Harbor Queen and her princesses to do,” put
in Nora. “They love riding in those old convertibles. You’ll let us use your
vintage Caddy, right, Ellis?”

“Well...” Ellis hesitated. “If it rains...”

“Which it probably will,” said Susan. “Come on, people, be practical. You
know what it’s like down here in the winter, all wind and rain.”

Patricia pooh-poohed that objection. “We’ve survived plenty of storms.”

“Well, I think it’s a bad idea,” Susan said, scowling across the table at

Maybe it was. Jenna’s left eye began to twitch.

“I think it sounds great,” said Elizabeth MacDowell. She and her twin
sister, K.J., were new members of the chamber. They’d opened their arts and
crafts store, Crafty Just Cuz, in September, and it was already one of Jenna’s
favorite places to hang out.

“We do need more business in the winter,” said Cindy Redmond. “There’s no
getting around it. And doing something for the holidays could be fun. I say we
give it a try,” she added, and Jenna’s eye stopped twitching.

“We’d have to get moving right away,” Nora said, pulling another sheet of
paper from her yellow tablet. “Who can help?”

“I can,” said Ellis.

“Me, too,” Brody said, smiling at Jenna. “Jenna, it’s your idea. You’ll have
to chair the committee.”

“Me?” she squeaked. Not that she couldn’t take charge. She was a firstborn,
and Responsibility was her middle name. (Although her sister, Celeste, would
probably argue that her middle name was Bossy.) She didn’t have a problem with rolling up her sleeves and getting to work, but she also didn’t want to offend old-timers like Susan Frank. “I’m sure someone else...” she began.

“Your idea, you have to do it,” Susan goaded.

Jenna raised her chin. “I can do it.” She’d survived rehabbing the Driftwood
Inn. How much harder could it be to organize a festival?

In three months. Blink. Blink, blink, blink.

“Do I have a motion that we sponsor a Seaside
with Santa Festival for the weekend before Christmas?” Brody asked.

“So moved,” said Ellis. “I’m with you, kid,” he told Jenna.

“I’ll second,” Nora said and reached across the back of Tyrella’s chair to
give Jenna’s shoulder an encouraging pat.

“All in favor?” Brody asked.

“Aye,” chorused almost everyone.


“Nay,” Susan Frank said. “I’m telling you all, this is a bad idea. Make sure
you put that in the minutes,” she told Cindy.

“Motion carries,” said Brody. He smiled down at Jenna. “Looks like we’re
going to be putting on a holiday bash.”

“Holiday disaster,” Susan grumbled from her side of
the table.

What did Susan know? Blink, blink, blink.


My Opinion:

I really enjoyed this contemporary and loved going back into Jenna's life to see what was happening to her now. This starts out as the businesses in Moonlight Harbor aren't doing as well as they could be and Jenna has an idea. She comes up with a festival to get some people into the little town for Christmas and help them all earn some money. Her ideas are good and she really is trying to do the right thing by all the business owners in Moonlight Harbor. She gets some slack but that is to be expected not everyone is going to love every idea. But, at least Jenna tries. MORE than I can say for some of the residents. This book was a little different as it brought in new characters and we got to see a bit into their lives and how people deal with their problems. 

We get multiple POV's from the different hotel residents that are/do stay at the hotel during the festival. This author pulls this together nicely and I am never left wondering who is talking or what is going on. I did not in any way feel lost. I do perhaps want some cookies from Aunt Edie. =)

Of course, there are lots of things happening in this little town and when things go haywire at the festival it's up to Jenna to come up with the solutions to them. I love that she has such great friends and that everyone pulls together when it really matters. This book is cute, funny, and just an overall great read! 

I give this books 4.5 of 5 stars!

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book for an honest review. This in no way influenced my review of the book. All opinions are my own. Thank you to the publisher and author for a chance to read this novel.

USA Today best-selling author Sheila Roberts has
seen over fifty books, both fiction and non-fiction in print. Her novels
have appeared in many different languages and been made into movies for
both the Lifetime and Hallmark Channels. She writes about things near
and dear to women’s hearts – love, friendship, family and chocolate.

Her latest book is the women’s fiction, Winter at the Beach.

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  1. I love her project to save the town businesses and all the goings on at the hotel. Sounds like a good one.

  2. Sounds like a great book! Definitely putting it on my to-read list!

  3. Stories about interpersonal conflicts are always entertaining.

  4. The cover is beautiful! Sounds like a good book.

  5. This book sounds like a great read, I do have to say I love the title on this book and cover is really pretty!

  6. I need to read this! Her books sound great

  7. This is a new author for me. It sounds like the characters are strongly developed, which is a plus.

  8. This sounds like a great one that I would really enjoy!


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