Category Archives: Haven Point Series

Review: Snowfall on Haven Point by RaeAnne Thayne

Title: Snowfall on Haven Point by RaeAnne Thayne
Haven Point Series Book Five
Publisher: HQN Books
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Length: 384 pages
Book Rating: B+

Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley

Summary:

There’s no place like Haven Point for the holidays, where the snow conspires to bring two wary hearts together for a Christmas to remember

It’s been two rough years since Andrea Montgomery lost her husband, and all she wants is for her children to enjoy their first Christmas in Haven Point. But then Andie’s friend asks a favor—to keep an eye on her brother, Sheriff Marshall Bailey, who’s recovering from a hit and run. Andie will do anything for Wyn, even park her own misgivings to check on her grouchy, wounded bear of a brother.

Marshall hates feeling defenseless and resents the protective impulses that Andie brings out in him. But when a blizzard forces them together for the holidays, something in Marshall begins to thaw. Andie’s gentle nature is a salve, and her kids’ excitement for the holidays makes him forget why he never wanted a family. If only he and Andie can admit what they really want—each other—their Christmas wishes might come true after all.

Review:

With a heartwarming small-town setting, two adorable children and a wonderful pairing of a widow and a sheriff, Snowfall on Haven Point by RaeAnne Thayne is an absolutely charming holiday romance. This fifth installment in the Haven Point series can easily be read as a standalone, but I highly recommend the previous novels as well.

The past two years have been quite challenging for Andrea “Andie” Montgomery but she is determined to make this Christmas memorable for her children, six year old Chloe and four year old Will.  A policeman’s widow who was betrayed in the worst possible way by her late husband’s partner, she refuses to let the events of the past define her.  When her good friend Wynona asks her to help out with her injured brother, Sheriff Marshall Bailey, Andie is reluctant to spend time with the gruff man who makes rattles her every time she sees him.  With her kids by her side to act as a buffer, she quells her nerves long enough to deliver meals to her housebound  neighbor.  Watching the gentle way Marshall interacts with Chloe and Will provides Andie with a new perspective of the taciturn sheriff and she is shocked to discover she is attracted to him.  Is there more to her sudden interest in Marshall than just attraction?  If so, will Andie risk her heart on another man in law enforcement?

Andie has had more than her share of tragedy in her life but she has proven to be surprisingly resilient in the face of adversity.  Nothing is more important to her than her kids and their happiness and she hopes this Christmas will help them recover from the traumatic events from a few months earlier.  Although she is good friends with Wyn, she and Marshall have not spent much time in other’s company. Despite her anxiety when she is around him, Andie refuses to be intimidated by his insistence he does not need her help. This provides her the opportunity to really take charge of her fears and as a result, she truly begins to heal from the misfortune she has experienced and she becomes much stronger and secure.  However,  she refuses to relinquish her desire to protect herself from future heartbreak so Andie refuses to give in to her growing feelings for Marshall.

Marshall is a workaholic whose devotion to his career is admirable but his long hours leave him little time for friends or family.  Not wanting to admit to any weakness, he never stops trying to push Andie away but she gently yet firmly ignores his request to let him deal with his injury on his own.  Suddenly and inexplicably, Marshall finds himself looking forward to visits from her and the kids but he is sure this is due to the extended amount of time on his own. He has plenty of distractions to keep him occupied but Andie is never far from his thoughts.

Despite the somewhat rocky beginning to their relationship, Marshall and Andie have a mutual respect for each other and their uneasy friendship is underscored by an unexpected mutual attraction.  Andie is quite observant and she sees more than Marshall is comfortable with, but she quickly becomes a trusted confidant as he tries to work through the complications in both his personal and professional lives.  As Andie spends time with Marshall, she realizes that she will eventually begin dating again, but she clings to her assertion she won’t become involved with another cop.  There is a little bit of a push/pull between them as they grow close only to have their unresolved issues prevent them from fully committing to one another.  Marshall is the first to envision a future together but will he convince Andie to give him a chance despite her fears?

Snowfall on Haven Point is an absolutely marvelous addition to the Haven Point series.  The characters are multi-faceted with realistic strengths and weakness. The novel is well-written with a slight suspense element in addition to the developing relationship between the lead protagonists. The romance between Marshall and Andie is believable and despite the obvious chemistry between them, their interactions are limited to some very steamy kisses.  Old and new fans of RaeAnne Thayne are going to love this sweet holiday romance that takes place in a wonderfully inviting, close-knot community.

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Filed under Contemporary, Harlequin, Haven Point Series, HQN Books, RaeAnne Thayne, Rated B+, Review, Romance, Snowfall on Haven Point

Review: Evergreen Springs by RaeAnne Thayne

evergreenTitle: Evergreen Springs by RaeAnne Thayne
Haven Point Series Book Three
Publisher: HQN Books
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Length: 384 pages
Book Rating: B+

Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley

Summary:

Celebrate the magic of Christmas in Haven Point with New York Times bestselling author RaeAnne Thayne, where hope, home and happily-ever-after are as close as your holiday stocking… 

Christmas is the last thing on Cole Barrett’s mind this year. He’s barely hanging on trying to care for his two grieving children since his ex-wife died in a tragic accident. For the reclusive Cole, this is no time for gift-giving and celebration—and certainly not for a sunny-natured optimist to blow into his screwed-up life.

Physician Devin Shaw has long researched the curative powers of Lake Haven’s mineral waters. Unfortunately, the hot springs are on Barrett property, forcing Devin to strike a bargain with the ranch’s attractively gruff owner: she’ll give Cole’s children a magical Christmas, and Cole will allow her patients access to the springs. But can she work her holiday magic to heal the Barrett family’s battered hearts—and her own?

Review:

Evergreen Springs is a beautiful story of redemption, forgiveness and second chances. This latest release by RaeAnne Thayne is a heartwarming holiday romance that is sure to delight old and new fans of the wonderful Haven Point series.

Devin Shaw is a caring and compassionate doctor who wants to fix every problem she encounters. So when she meets rancher Cole Barrett and his two adorable children Jazmyn and Ty and realizes they could use some short term assistance, she is quick to volunteer her help. She is immediately drawn to the taciturn cowboy but he is very closed off and reluctant to accept outside assistance. The two strike up a deal and Devin slowly but surely works her way past his formidable defenses. But will Cole’s inability to forgive himself for past mistakes ruin their chance at happiness?

Nothing much ruffles Devin’s calm demeanor. She is incredibly patient, cool under pressure and positively radiates serenity. All of these characteristics make her absolutely the perfect person to help Cole and his two children. Without knowing anything about the family except they need help, she swiftly reaches out to her sister ( who also happens to be the town’s mayor) and together, they come up with a plan of action to provide them assistance. Stepping in to help care for the grieving children is a little bittersweet given her circumstances, but Devin has such a big heart that it is impossible for her not to care for them.  She is never put off by Cole’s gruffness or aloofness and she never quits trying to convince him to stop letting his past define him.

Cole is completely out of his depth with his kids but there is never any doubt how much he loves them. He has a very troubled past and while he has completely turned his life around, he refuses to forgive himself for his transgressions. Although he is very devoted to his sister, Cole stubbornly refuses to let his estranged father back into his life. He tries to distance himself from Devin but she slowly makes him realize that his children’s needs are more important than his self-imposed isolation. Cole gradually opens up to her but because he continues to define himself by the man he used to be, he pushes her away as their feelings for one another deepen.

An uplifting story of healing, Evergreen Springs is also a sweet romance that is heartfelt and engaging. The characters are complex and appealing with realistic shortcomings and believable issues to overcome. This captivating addition to RaeAnne Thayne’s Haven Point series is a thoroughly charming novel that fans of small town love stories are sure to love.

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Filed under Contemporary, Evergreen Springs, Harlequin, Haven Point Series, HQN Books, RaeAnne Thayne, Rated B+, Review, Romance

Review: Redemption Bay by RaeAnne Thayne

redemption bayTitle: Redemption Bay by RaeAnne Thayne
Haven Point Series Book Two
Publisher: HQN Books
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Length: 384 pages
Book Rating:

Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher

Summary:

New York Times bestselling author RaeAnne Thayne brings you back to Haven Point—a place made for second chances…

McKenzie Shaw would do anything for her hometown of Haven Point. It may be small, but it’s never let her down…unlike gorgeous, infuriating Ben Kilpatrick. He was her childhood hero until he closed his family’s factory, leaving the town’s economy in shambles. Now his tech firm is considering opening a local facility. For Haven Point’s sake, McKenzie has to grit her teeth and play nice.

What could a town filled with painful memories ever offer Ben? Yet seeing the town through the eyes of McKenzie—its fiery young mayor—he suddenly has his answer. If only he can resolve the animosity crackling between them, Ben may have found the place where he can build ties and find healing…a place where love arrives when it’s least expected.

Review:

Redemption Bay is the latest addition to RaeAnne Thayne’s heartwarming Haven Point series. In this delightful outing, mayor McKenzie Shaw is dismayed to learn that Ben Kilpatrick, the man she holds responsible for destroying the town’s economy, is renting the house next door. She tries to rein in her long standing animosity when she discovers he is scouting locations for a new business and that Haven Point is on the short list of possibilities. However, letting go of the past is not easy for neither McKenzie nor Ben but a looming disaster provides both of them with unexpected clarity that changes the course of their relationship.

McKenzie loves the close-knit town she calls home and she has never forgiven Ben for closing down the business he inherited after his father’s death. His lack of attention to his other properties also contributed to the town’s economic loss and although he has sold the property, most of the townspeople share McKenzie’s hostility toward him. When his friend and business partner insists Ben return to his old hometown to see if it is viable option for a new venture, he reluctantly agrees although he has serious reservations about opening a facility in Haven Point. Despite her lingering resentment, McKenzie insists on showing him all of the good things that the town has to offer and Ben finds himself enjoying her company and experiencing the local community through her eyes. Can McKenzie convince Ben to let go of the painful memories that haunt him and give Haven Point a second chance? Or is she doomed to have her heart broken by the man she is beginning to fall in love with?

McKenzie is relentlessly upbeat and positive in every situation. Even when faced with some of the town’s grumpiest, disgruntled citizens, she remains cheerful and good natured which probably explains why she is a little disconcerted by her continued bitterness toward Ben. She makes a concerted effort to give him the benefit of the doubt and since she not only loves Haven Point, but completely believes that the town is the best choice for his new business, she graciously offers to escort him to the community’s upcoming events. She is dismayed to discover her childhood crush on him has matured into attraction but since Ben is adamant he will not return permanently, McKenzie refuses to act on her feelings.

Ben’s childhood was anything but happy and he could not wait to leave Haven Point behind. He is a successful businessman who works long hours, leaving himself little time to dwell on his painful past. Ben is closed off, rather unemotional and makes his business decisions based on logic not instinct or sentiment. When his mom reveals shocking information about his past, Ben begins to see long ago events from a completely different perspective, but will this change his mind about Haven Point? More importantly, as he begins to make peace with his past will he allow McKenzie into his heart?

Although a bit of a slow starter, Redemption Bay is an engaging novel with an appealing cast of multi-faceted characters. The romance between MckKenzie and Ben is very sweet and as their feelings for one another deepen, they begin to heal from the hurts from their respective pasts. This heartfelt and uplifting love story is an absolutely outstanding addition to the Haven Point series and I highly recommend it to readers of contemporary romances who enjoy homespun stories with a small town setting.

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Filed under Contemporary, Haven Point Series, HQN Books, RaeAnne Thayne, Rated B, Redemption Bay, Review, Romance