Thursday 24 July 2014

Book Review: ‘Here to Stay’ by Melissa Tagg

Amazon blurb:

After playing nomad for five years, Blake Hunziker has finally had enough of adventure. Not sure what reception he'll get from everyone back in Whisper Shore, he's stunned at not only a warm welcome from his hometown but also a job offer. The job is his if he can successfully pull off the annual Christmas Festival. If only he knew the first thing about coordinating events...

If there's one thing Autumn Kingsley knows, it's Whisper Shore. For years, she's been stuck running her family's inn when all she wants is to see the world. Now she has a visit scheduled from a potential investor who could take over the inn, as well as a dream job offer in Paris. But with just two weeks to whip the inn into shape, her chance at escape is a long shot.

The Hunzikers and the Kingsleys may not get along, but Blake knows Autumn's the only one who can help him. She agrees to a trade--she'll help with the Festival and he'll help with inn repairs. But what was meant to be a simple deal quickly becomes much more than that when the guy who's done running away joins forces with the girl who can't wait to leave.

My review:

So glad I read this book. While an easy-to-read romance, ‘Here to Stay’ is by no means shallow. Blake Hunziker and Autumn Kingsley both have their issues and Melissa Tagg explores them with honesty and sensitivity.

Usually it’s the female character I bond with the most, but, interestingly enough, not this time. I think it was because I already felt a connection with Blake after reading Melissa’s debut novel Made to Last. (While it's not essential to read this one first, I'm glad I did).

I really wanted to know Blake’s story. Don’t get me wrong, Autumn Kingsley is a well-crafted and lovable character too. She’s got grit and determination and a great sense of humour. I really liked her.

Blake, for reasons which unfold throughout the story, has been an adventurer and a wanderer but all that has changed. He wants to belong, have a normal life, have a purpose. Autumn Kingsley on the other hand, feels stifled by family issues and a small-town existence, – a job offer in Paris is exactly what she wants and she's going, no matter what. So when the chemistry between her and Blake can't be ignored any longer, it causes a fair amount of angst for Autumn. And the pair of them already have a major problem to deal with – the animosity between their families has been there for years and for painful and valid reasons.

I loved this book. It had all the things that appeal to me. Romance, obviously, but also family dynamics, hurdles to overcome and a load of humour. The banter between Autumn and Blake is terrific – it had me reading with a smile. The Christian element is there, but never preachy and to my mind, comes across very naturally. Here to Stay is a book I can recommend without hesitation.

About Andrea Grigg

Andrea writes contemporary romance. Her second novel Too Pretty will be released on August 1 by Rhiza Press. Her first novel A Simple Mistake was a finalist in the 2012 CALEB Awards.

Andrea would love to hear from you via her website or Facebook page:


  1. So glad you are loving Melissa's books, Andrea! I've only read "Made to Last" so far, but your review has me itching to read its sequel! I loved the character of Blaze in the first book even though he was a secondary character, and it left enough of a mystery about him for his own story to be told. Cannot wait to read it now!

    1. I re-read 'Here to Stay' before writing the review and enjoyed it even more the second time. I'm glad to see there's a third one coming, as there's another character introduced in this one who I was curious about.

      You felt exactly the same about Blaze/Blake as I did! Why am I not surprised?

  2. Hi Andrea,
    I've heard many good things about Melissa Tagg, but haven't read any of her books yet. I think I may add both 'Made to Last' and 'Here to Stay' on my reading pile asap. I love feel-good romances which have a bit of depth.

    1. Those TBR piles never go down, do they? I think you'll enjoy them, Paula. 'Here to Stay' is quite funny, which sold it for me. Love a bit of humour :) Thanks for commenting.


Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.