Autumn Kingsley is tired of running the family’s failing inn business in Whisper Shore and dreams of working in a plush hotel in Paris, France. Complications with her family and the uncertainty of a potential investor for the business, however, create problems for her ideal move. Blake Hunziker, meanwhile, has recently returned after running away from a family tragedy years ago. He is nervous about the reception of his family and friends in the small town of Whisper Shore, but is determined to stay permanently, his nomad life much too empty for him. When he is asked to pull together the town’s Christmas festival, he asks Autumn to help him out, knowing she is an expert on all things Whisper Shore. The tension between the two families, however, has not faded with time and proves to be a hindrance to their growing friendship. Both must find common ground despite their differences and work to bring healing to families and friends on the shore of Lake Michigan.
Here to Stay has such delightful characters, allowing the reader to fall in love with the wonderful personalities of Autumn, Blake, and many of their friends and families. There are themes of forgiveness, hope, and trust woven throughout the artfully told story. Humor and romance are sprinkled amongst a plot with good depth and engaging prose. Although the title itself may hint at a predictable ending, the book has enough creative storylines to keep it interesting. One small portion (Blake’s relationship with the TV star) is a little bit confusing at first, but this may be better understood if the reader has also read Melissa Tagg’s Made to Last. Overall, the novel is sweet, enjoyable, and a recommended read!