It’s Christmas time at Solace Lake Lodge, but a series of thefts threatens everyone’s holiday spirit.
An emergency brings Drew Barnes to Solace Lake Lodge, an inn deep in the Minnesota woods owned by his aunt and uncle. He’s sure desperation is the only reason they’d allow him to fill in as their bookkeeper. No one in his family has believed in him since his mistake got him fired from his previous job. Soon after he arrives, Drew is disheartened to discover a series of thefts and financial irregularities. The last thing he wants is to be put in the middle of another crime.
Sous chef Celeste Bishop has made a good life for herself and her nine-year-old daughter in the three years she’s worked, and lived, at Solace Lake Lodge. After being unfairly fired, this was the only job she could get, and she’s grateful her gamble on the lodge paid off. The only sticking point is the isolation since she never learned to drive. How can she show her daughter independence when she’s always relying on others?
Drew sees Celeste’s frustration and offers to teach her to drive. A powerful attraction ignites between them, and soon deeper, stronger emotions blossom. Drew is all in, but Celeste resists her feelings. She’s nine years older than Drew. An interracial relationship didn’t work for her parents. And loving Drew feels like a betrayal of her deceased husband.
As Christmas approaches, the thefts escalate. Can Drew stop the thief and redeem himself in his family’s eyes—and his own? And can he convince Celeste they deserve the gift of a happily ever after this Christmas?
Between The Pages
This is the fourth book in the Love at Solace Lake series, but you don’t have to read the previous books to read this one. This story stands well on its own with a budding romance between Drew and Celeste, who are strong leading characters. The rest of the cast is enjoyable, especially Celeste’s daughter, Hope who is so sweet, I would have liked to see her in more scenes. The author wrote a compelling story filled with heavy emotions of family drama, loss, and insecurities. Also written well was the discrimination of race and disability. Added to the romance is a little mystery of someone stealing and hacking into the lodge’s computer. The mystery was a fun bonus and propelled the read to a satisfying ending. The beautiful cover and story will definitely put you in the Christmas spirit.