Title: Celebration at Christmas Cove
By: Carrie Jansen
ISBN: 9780593336748 (ISBN10: 0593336747)
Brought to you by OBS reviewer Andra
Travel magazine writer Celeste Bell is in a terrible mood. Not only was her flight to the Caribbean diverted to a Massachusetts island, now it looks like she’ll have to spend Christmas there. Single and still mourning the loss of her mother a year earlier, Celeste is desperate to avoid any emotional entanglements and all holiday festivities. She just doesn’t feel like celebrating.
But that’s exactly what community center director Nathan White and his young daughter, Abigail, want to do. Nathan is entirely focused on making sure that his daughter has a happy Christmas, especially with the knowledge that if he can’t raise money for the community center soon, it will close and they’ll have to leave the island. When he meets Celeste, Nathan begins to feel a connection and wonders if he’s brave enough to risk his heart once more.
Thawing their frozen hearts and saving the community center will require a Christmas miracle. But ’tis the season…. (Goodreads)
Celebration at Christmas Cove is a delightful romance that will get you primed for some holiday fun. As an introduction to the writing of Carrie Jansen, I am happy to report that I was immediately immersed in her story telling and delighted as to how the story unfolded (and ended ☺).
Celeste Bell – one of the main protagonists – is a travel writer, without family and /or loved ones that she wishes to be with over the holiday season. In fact, we learn that Celeste’s mother passed away just before Christmas the prior year – so you know this holiday will be very hard for her. Celeste is so looking forward to her winter writing assignment about the Christmas Carnival in the Caribbean… at least until she was bumped from her flight… and then decided to take a flight to the Caribbean with a brief layover on Sea Spray Island. When she took this route – little did she know that her plans would be royally foiled! Of course – plans are made to be disrupted and as it happens – the brief layover on Sea Spray Island turns out to be anything but brief. Here Celeste meets Nathan – the brother of the innkeeper where Celeste is staying while being grounded due to weather.
Nathan White runs the community center, which may or may not have to close after the current year due to funding issues. So of course, Nathan is focused on getting more funding AND making this Christmas the best for his daughter Abigail in the event that this is their last Christmas on the Island. And of curse – Nathan is also on the shy side when it comes to romance. There is a past…which the reader will find out about!
Needless to say, being a romance novel, Celeste and Nathan meet and … of course they are attracted to each other. And they have more than just romance…Celeste can help with Nathan’s challenges in garnering funding to keep the community centre open past the new year.
I really enjoyed the slow”ish” progression of the romance. It seemed that both Celeste and Nathan were careful and focused on the intricacies of a relationship with a child involved – for which I am very happy.
Also – this is a new arena for Nathan as he is a widower and finds dating hard to navigate, especially with a young child. The small town feel and closeness of the island inhabitants also gave the story a “warm” vibe – at least for me. The celebrations that happen on the island are so island inhabitant centric – bringing a close knit vibe to the story.
At first, I was wondering why the main female protagonist was such a grump towards the holiday season, but when I learned that she had only lost her mum a year ago and that she had no one else to share the holidays with – I understood. It did take her a wee bit to soften up towards the quaint town on the island. Luckily, there were some chuckle worthy moments while Celeste was getting comfortable on the island. I enjoyed wading through her stuff and seeing her transformation into the softer version of Celeste.
There are a number of other characters which truly make this story well rounded and interesting. For one – the other inhabitant of the B&B that Nathan’s sister and brother-in-law own. His story is interesting and crucial to the storyline! And let us not forget Nathan’s sister
If you are a fan of romance, especially during the holiday season then I suggest picking up this book and giving it a read. You will not regret the time spent on Sea Spray Island. I know I will be on the look out for more titles by Carrie Jansen.