Sunday, November 27, 2016

My Review: One Enchanted Eve

" . . . It's that any control I've ever thought I had is flimsy and fake.  A false comfort when what I really need is to learn to trust a God who offers something better than answers . . . . Hope."  - Drew Renwyke


After years of mistakes and regret, Colin Renwycke finally has a plan: Hone his baking talent at the Denver Culinary Institute and embark on a new career as a pastry chef. If he's lucky, he might even manage to earn back his family's respect. But despite his skills in the kitchen, Colin's a mess in the classroom and his ongoing disasters are proving too much for his prickly instructor. If he loses his spot at the school, he's out of backup plans.

Culinary school instructor Rylan Jefferson has the chance to reclaim her dream of running her own bakery. But she only has until Christmas Eve to come up with the perfect recipe to impress an eccentric investor. She has no time for holiday parties or family plans . . . and especially not for the unruly student baker who couldn't follow a recipe if his life depended on it.

But Colin has the one ingredient Rylan needs most—talent. Lots of it. And when he makes a proposal that just might solve both their problems, Rylan can't say no—even if it does mean traveling all the way to Iowa. It just might be that the snow-covered plains and a charming small town full of postcard Christmas cheer are exactly what her hungry heart needs . . . along with a man who is much more than he seems.

About the Author:
Melissa Tagg is a former reporter, current nonprofit grant writer and total Iowa girl. She writes romantic comedies in the banter-filled style of her favorite 1930s and 40s classic films. The second book in her popular Walker Family series, Like Never Before, was named by Publishers Weekly to their spring 2016 "Religion and Spirituality" Top 10 list. When she's not writing she can be found hanging out with the coolest family ever, watching old movies, and daydreaming about her next book. Melissa loves connecting with readers at and on Facebook and Instagram.

My Review: 5 stars
If you’ve had the pleasure of reading One Enchanted Christmas, then you will probably remember Colin Renwycke, the hero for this story.  I’ve been anxiously awaiting this book and another chance to return to Maple Valley and the unique cast of characters therein.  Colin is the prodigal brother and as this story starts out, we find him in the middle of yet another mess and trying to charm his way out of it, as always.  Only this time he contends with Rylan Jefferson, who doesn’t really have anything to lose by kicking him out of her cooking class.  Except that is, the extra work his “experiments” bring.  Can you say “sparks”?  I love how Ms. Tagg starts her books off with with something funny/embarrassing and just keeps it going from there.  I found myself smiling or laughing so often that I was probably getting a few strange looks, but was too engrossed to notice.
Ms. Tagg’s writing is excellent, as always.  I actually think I’m kind of running out of things to say on this, because I’m sure I’ve covered everything over my previous reviews.  Anyhoo, her descriptions drew me right into the story and I loved how she brought everything to such colorful life.  I could almost imagine being part of the the kooky town snowman building contest and seeing the lights twinkling on the bridge (courtesy of the cover) and going sledding and walking into The Red Door for coffee with Rylan.  I love this fictional town Ms. Tagg has created and always jump at any chance to visit again.
With Colin being the “prodigal brother” there are obviously several issues there and I really appreciated how the author handled them with a care that isn’t always seen in novellas.  She also tackles the incredibly difficult topic of having a family member with Alzheimer’s disease, something that made my heart break for them.   For Rylan, her story focuses on stepping outside of her comfort zone and taking chances - with cooking, but also with life.  I really enjoyed watching this theme play out through the story and seeing her learn what it means to be all in.  And also the audacious things Colin talks her into that adds another level of fun to the story.  I loved taking this Christmas trip with them and am sure I’ll join them again soon.
I highly recommend this story to anyone who enjoys contemporary romance filled with humor and characters you can’t help but love.

Thank you so much for stopping by!  I hope you enjoyed my review!  Oh, and I have to share that One Enchanted Eve is presently one sale for only $.99 on Amazon and Barnes & Noble (and probably IBooks or whatever Apple's reading app is called)!  So, if you haven't had the opportunity to read any of Melissa's books yet, now's your chance!  Oh, and if you haven't read One Enchanted Christmas (the first novella in this collection) it's also only $0.99!  You can find the links for both books below.  :)
Have a delightful day!

One Enchanted Christmas (book 1):

One Enchanted Eve (book 2):

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