(A Bell Sound Novel)
September 25, 2018
Blurb: The Christmas bells are chiming across the Outer Banks town of Bell Cove, North Carolina, but there’s one local ‘grinch’ who’s not listening . . .
He’s got bad-boy looks and a Bah Humbug attitude, so when the local paper asks the villagers to vote on the “Biggest Local Grinch” as a fund-raising project, Ethan Rutledge isn’t surprised to hear he’s made the ballot. He might own the local Christmas Tree Farm, but the holiday hasn’t been welcome in his home since Wendy Patterson left him heart-broken twelve years ago.
But now Wendy’s back, fresh from a tour of duty as a female Navy SEAL. She’s bold, beautiful, and has five Navy buddies trailing after her—as if she needs a bodyguard! And what’s all this about them wanting to start a treasure hunting company right here in Bell Cove’s failing bell factory? Then Wendy learns about how Ethan’s been nurturing the one thing he has to remember her by: a gorgeous Norway Spruce tree.
Can the magic of Christmas and the spirit of the town help rekindle the romance between two people who thought they’d left love behind years ago?
SASCHA DARLINGTON’S REVIEW
The Forever Christmas Tree is the first in Sandra Hill’s new series, Bell Sound, which takes place in one of my favorite locales in the world, the Outer Banks of North Carolina. The location, by the way, has been created with extreme artistic license, which is okay because there is still mention of some favorite spots that do exist.
Sandra Hill’s narrative is fast-paced and snarky, and since it’s told in third person, some passages read as if they are interjections by the author and not the character–hard to tell. However, the snark and humor is done at such a pace that the reader does not ponder that long.
The Forever Christmas Tree also incorporates one of my favorite tropes, the second chance romance, which is also one of the hardest tropes to pull off well. I think Hill did a great job of bringing back together Wendy, the woman who had her heart-broken twelve years earlier, and Ethan, the man who in a snit became drunk and allowed lust to overwhelm his heart and brain.
Wendy returns home to Bell Cove on leave with several of her SEAL colleagues to find that her Aunt Mildred has turned their home into a dance studio and senior boardinghouse. With an abundant good cheer and humor, the situation works with the seniors and SEALs working together to make a fabulous holiday.
In tandem, the town of Bell Cove needs to raise some funds so that needed work can be done, such as fixing the electricity so that the Christmas lights will function and not blackout the town. The idea of voting for the Grinchiest person arises and takes hold, which has the added benefit of making some people kinder to each other.
While Hill’s writing is not conventional and takes a bit to get used to, if you are looking for a fun, sexy Christmas story with an equal amount of humor and sentimentality and snark, don’t forget the snark, you might want to consider The Forever Christmas Tree. Jump in with the first book in the series!
I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
4 out of 5 butterflies
To celebrate the release of THE FOREVER CHRISTMAS TREE by Sandra Hill, we’re giving away two paperback copies of Frankly My Dear by Sandra Hill!
GIVEAWAY TERMS & CONDITIONS: Open to US shipping addresses only. Two winners will each receive a paperback copy of Frankly, My Dear by Sandra Hill. This giveaway is administered by Pure Textuality PR on behalf of Avon Romance. Giveaway ends 10/14/2018 @ 11:59pm EST. Avon Romance will send the winning copies out to the winner directly. Limit one entry per reader and mailing address. Duplicates will be deleted. CLICK HERE TO ENTER!
About Sandra Hill
SANDRA HILL is a graduate of Penn State and worked for more than ten years as a features writer and education editor for publications in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Writing about serious issues taught her the merits of seeking the lighter side of even the darkest stories.