The idea of buying a beach cottage and renovating it all summer has always appealed to me: Painting the deck rails white, power washing the cedar shingles, planting hydrangea, gutting the tiny kitchen and installing beachy-chic cupboards. How great would it be to paint the walls sea beeeze blue, shop for the right outdoor pillows at HomeGoods and commission a beach scene mural? The great thing about The Summer House is you get to have all the fun of a beach cottage reno… without all the work… and with a handsome guy taking you to lunch all the time… and finding an old diary… and a wonderful artist who just needed to reacquaint himself with his muse.
See, we might not get all that in real life – not in one summer anyway, but Callie and Olivia do. They share their summer with us, beach cottage, romance, family secrets, happily ever afters, and all.
This book is EXACTLY WHY I put so much stock in endings. For example, I loved Outlander but hated the ending. In fact, the ending RUINED the whole book for me.
Christmas Wishes and Mistletoe Kisses, however, had such a lovely ending that it redeemed a book I almost gave 2 stars. That’s me being honest, not mean!
Christmas Wishes started out slow, but I’m a sucker for a merry Christmas story, so I marched on. The middle was more interesting, but also contrived. I mean, how many “accidental” ways are we going to get Nick and Abbey in the same room?
And then came the last third of the book. The third where I was so invested I could feel the scarf on Abbey’s neck, I could hear Nick’s mom’s crazy voice, I could see the excitement in Max’s eyes. I cried, people. Cried!!!
So, ultimately, I’m glad I read Christmas Wishes. Hale wrote a wonderful hero in Nick, and gave him realistic charm. Abbey being a nurse / designer was a fresh take on the young-woman-figuring-out-life trope. Most importantly for me: a happily ever after in the best way possible.