Blog Tour – The Cranberry Inn by Barbara Josselsohn

An unputdownable, feel-good Christmas romance about fresh starts, the importance of family and learning how to follow your heart. Perfect for fans of Mary Alice Monroe, Rachel Hanna and Carolyn Brown.

As twinkling lights go up and snowflakes begin to fall,  Laurel Hanover  and her eight-year-old son are going home to the Cranberry Inn in the heart of the Adirondack Mountains. Laurel can’t wait to leave New York behind to help her father run the family business, and make snow angels with her son, even if it’s just for Christmas. But when she walks through the door, she’s shocked to find the inn in disrepair, and a letter saying her father will be gone until Christmas Eve…

No one in town knows where Laurel’s father is, and she doesn’t know whether to be worried or angry – but she won’t let the inn go under, and nothing will get in the way of the perfect Christmas for her son. Seeing the worn-out wooden bannisters, bare of festive lights, she immediately recruits her childhood friend, brooding local carpenter  Joel Hutcherson . They might disagree on whether any walls actually need to come down, but each rip in the carpet makes Laurel more concerned for her father, and Joel is a welcome distraction. And when he admits that Laurel was his first crush, she realises she’s falling for him.

But then Laurel uncovers a card with beautiful, ornate writing amongst her father’s things and learns the real reason he disappeared. And it changes everything. Worse still, she thinks Joel knew the truth all along.

Laurel thought this was going to be the perfect Christmas – that maybe she had found her happy. But now there’s nothing to stop her from running back to New York the moment the baubles come down… is there?

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I received a digital ARC of this book, in exchange for an honest review.

I visited Lake Summers, earlier this year with The Lily Garden, I thoroughly enjoyed revisiting some of the characters from that book and seeing what was new in this gorgeous mountain town.

From the opening chapters, I adored Laurel’s relationship with her son, Simon.  Despite being desperate to succeed as an interior designer, her son’s needs ca`me first.  Family is clearly a huge part of Laurel’s life, and this detail is examined in greater detail as the story unfolds.

The descriptions of the Inn had me imagining a cosy hotel where every need is met, and comfort is king.  In my mind, it was in the vein of an Alpine retreat, complete with roaring fires and seasonal decorations. It always strikes me as peculiar when a building or location work as additional characters, but once again, Barbara Josselsohn has woven a magic thread across this story, and everything feels alive.

The introduction of Joel is an interesting move.  He has a schooltime history with Laurel, but there is an unaddressed hurt that is hinted at.  I loved Joel’s character, in particular his kindness to his deceased ‘Mom’s’ neighbour, Lexy.  Despite being eager to complete his business in town, he takes time to help Lexy come to terms with their shared loss.

Whilst I had a pretty good clue how this story would turn out, I had no idea how it would get to its conclusion.  There were several false starts which could have changed the story, but this tale was in expert hands, there was never any danger of not finding a happy ending. I’m already looking forward to another trip to Lake Summers, and to finding out what’s in store for some more of the wonderful residents.

Author Bio

Barbara Josselsohn is an award-winning journalist and novelist who loves crafting stories about strong protagonists facing a fork in the road. Her novels center around second chances, family relationships and, of course, romance. She is the author of the Lake Summers series set in the fictional town of Lake Summers, nestled in the Adirondacks Mountains, which includes the books The Lilac House and The Bluebell Girls. Before joining with Bookouture, she published The Last Dreamer, a women’s-fiction novel from Lake Union Publishing, along with hundreds of articles and essays in major and regional publications about family, home and relationships. She lives just north of New York City and enjoys escaping to the beach or the mountains whenever she can. Other than writing, her biggest passion is her family: husband, her three kids, and her indefatigable shih-poo!

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