Review: Snowfall on Lighthouse Lane

Seriously, the Pacific Northwest is seeming like the place to be thanks to the romances I’ve been reading. I recently finished Snowfall on Lighthouse Lane by Joann Ross, which is book two in her Honeymoon Harbor series and takes place in the Pacific Northwest. Two books in, and I am such a fan of this series.

Snowfall on Lighthouse Lane by Joann Ross

Published October 30, 2018 by HQN Books

5/5 Stars

Thank you to Little Bird Publicity for sending me a copy. All opinions are my own.

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Plot Summary:

Lose yourself in the magic, charm and romance of Christmas in the Pacific Northwest as imagined in JoAnn Ross’s heartwarming Honeymoon Harbor series.

Growing up on the wrong side of the tracks, Jolene Harper is forever indebted to the mother who encouraged her to fly—all the way to sunny LA and a world away from Honeymoon Harbor. Although Jolene vowed never to look back, returning home isn’t even a question when her mom faces a cancer scare. Which means running into Aiden Mannion all over town, the first boy she ever loved—and lost—and whom she can barely look in the eye.

Aiden’s black-sheep reputation may have diminished when he joined the marines, but everything he’s endured since has left him haunted. Back in Honeymoon Harbor to heal, he’s talked into the interim role of police chief, and the irony isn’t lost on the locals, least of all Aiden. But seeing Jolene after all these years is the unexpected breath of fresh air he’s been missing. He’s never forgotten her through all his tours, but he’s not sure anymore that he’s the man she deserves.

Despite the secret they left between them all those years ago, snow is starting to fall on their picturesque little town, making anything seem possible…maybe even a second chance at first love.

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My Thoughts:

Joann Ross has struck me again. This book was so good. This is Aiden and Jolene’s romance. These two have history, years of words unsaid and built up feelings and emotions. They are complicated when they don’t have to be.

Jolene was a strong, well written character, with a life she has worked hard to achieve. It has always been her and her Mom, so when Jolene learns of a possible cancer scare her Mom is going through, she rushes home. Joann Ross did such a wonderful job writing Jolene and her Mother’s, Mother/Daughter relationship. She captured the fear of a daughter who may possibly lose her mother and the frustration felt by the mother who doesn’t have answers and has her moments where she wants to process what is going on. Their closeness was a wonderful aspect to this story.

Aiden is a guy with a lot going on. He has recently taken the job as the Chief of Police, which he didn’t want at first, but is actually good at and grows to love. Obviously him being young causes some bad blood amongst a few guys on the force, not to mention a lot of people consider him joining the marines as having “left,” and they just don’t think he deserves the job. There is the internal struggle of feeling like he has to prove himself and ensure his crew are doing the right thing. Aiden is also followed by Bodhi, the ghost of his partner from his last police assignment in California. I can see Bodhi’s character possibly turning some people off to this story, but in a way he represented for me, Aiden grappling with the fact that he can’t take back what happened the night that he died and can’t bring him back. There is definitely some unfinished business when it comes to Bodhi though and I really liked this added subplot.

The romance between Aiden and Jolene was so sweet. Their love for each other goes back to when they were younger, but they never really took it to the next level. This is their chance. They are both back home. Both single, and it is apparent the feelings are still there, but Jolene is only home temporarily. I loved seeing these two who already feel so deeply for each other, explore their feelings more. I loved seeing them give each other a chance. These are two people who have spent so many years apart and had moved on with life, but at the same time, not really. They always knew who their heart belonged to. I loved it. I seriously want more from Joann Ross in this small town of Honeymoon Harbor.

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Review: Heron’s Landing

Heron’s Landing by Joann Ross

Book 1 in the Honeymoon Harbor series

Published June 1, 2018

HQN Books

5/5 Stars

 

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Plot Summary:

There’s no place to fall in love like the place you left your heart

Welcome to Honeymoon Harbor, the brand-new, long-awaited series by beloved New York Times bestselling author JoAnn Ross, where unforgettable characters come face-to-face with the kind of love that grabs your heart and never lets go.

Working as a Las Vegas concierge, Brianna Mannion is an expert at making other people’s wishes come true. It’s satisfying work, but a visit home to scenic Honeymoon Harbor turns into a permanent stay when she’s reminded of everything she’s missing: the idyllic small-town charm; the old Victorian house she’d always coveted; and Seth Harper, her best friend’s widower and the neighborhood boy she once crushed on—hard. After years spent serving others, maybe Brianna’s finally ready to chase dreams of her own.

Since losing his wife, Seth has kept busy running the Harper family’s renovation business and flying way under the social radar. But when Brianna hires him to convert her aging dream home into a romantic B and B, working together presents a heart-stopping temptation Seth never saw coming. With guilt and grief his only companions for so long, he’ll have to step out of the past long enough to recognize the beautiful life Brianna and he could build together.

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My Thoughts:

I loved this book so much. I’ve been reading some really good stuff over the past few months, yet at the same time, it started to feel like although I’m reading some good stuff, there wasn’t anything special. Then I read Heron’s Landing by Joann Ross which I literally bought on a whim after seeing it out of the corner of my eye in the grocery store check out aisle.

Dammit, what is my deal with people grieving? I don’t know why, but I love a character who is grieving the loss of someone. I think it just makes them so relatable and if written well you find yourself truly rooting for them. In Heron’s Landing, that character is Seth.

Seth’s wife was killed while serving in Afghanistan. First, I have to give Joann Ross props for this: usually if there is a military love interest or spouse, it’s always the guy, as if women don’t serve. I was very happy to see in this case, although she has passed away, the service member was the wife.

Growing up, Brianna always had a crush on Seth. He was a friend of her older brothers so he was always around. Everyone had an idea that the two were perfect for each other and then one day, a new girl shows up at school, Zoe, and Seth is in love with her from the moment he sees her.

I am a sucker for stories involving Bed and Breakfasts. I loved that Brianna moves home to open one, and damn I love a good returning home story. A good breaking out, leaving home story is wonderful, but there is something cozy and realistic about having to go back to where it all started.

I loved the romance not only between Seth and Bri, but also Seth’s parents. His Mom has served his Dad with divorce papers and he’s so stubborn there for a while until he realizes how serious she is. He realizes he could truly lose her if he doesn’t get his crap in gear.

What I loved about Seth and Brianna’s romance is that it is so apparent the two have feelings for each other, but there is always this “ghost,” in the room. Seth really feels guilty at even just the thought of moving on from his wife. He really has to come to the understanding that his love for Zoe will never go away and never be replaced but that it’s okay to love someone else. He isn’t the one who died. He still has a life to live.

I liked that Brianna didn’t pressure him. She loved Zoe too. I also thought it was very big of her as a woman to have this love for Seth, and the moment she realized his heart was in Zoe’ hands when they were younger, she was totally okay with it because she saw how happy he was.

The setting was a definite plus too. I am completely falling in love with a place I have never been, with a lot  of my favorite romances thus far, taking place in the Pacific Northwest. The small towns in this region of the United States created by these authors really add the perfect icing to the cake in my opinion. Falling in love in a wonderful setting, I love it.

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