The countdown to Christmas is usually a magical time, but Elana James is fed up with living on a building site! The renovations on her beautiful cottage – like her heart – have been frozen in limbo ever since she was unexpectedly widowed. Elana calls in a professional, Luke Stevenson, to help finish the cottage, so her little girl can send letters to Santa up the newly-repaired chimney. Luke’s kind, capable and sexy – but he’s
also ten years younger than Elana. So why has her heart decided it’s finally time for a thaw?
My initial take away from Christmas at Bay Tree Cottage is that I am spoiled. I live in a completely finished, warm, cozy house and I take it for granted. Poor Elana has been living in a half-finished cottage for quite some time and, at least in the beginning of the story, there is no end to the renovations in sight. I have lived through 3 basement finishings, a kitchen remodel and lots of little home renovation projects and there is NO WAY I would choose to live in a house during a whole-home renovation. Nope. I’d go insane and my family would throw me out into the street. I’d have to go live with Sissy.
Yay! Free chef for me! The upside of the renovation is, of course, Luke the handyman, who after a nice loan from Elana’s parents is hired to do some jobs. Both Elana and Luke have gone through hard situations and Luke seems like an old soul. I kind of like the idea of their age difference, because Elana is no cougar, but rather a beautiful woman who can say, “Hey, girl! Still got it!” Kinda like me.
We won’t discuss the age difference between you and Elana, Sissy. Except to say that it’s larger than that of Elana and Luke… I loved the paranormal aspect of Christmas at Bay Tree Cottage. You see, Elana’s little girl Maya still sees and talks to her deceased father. No one believes her, but it’s real. He helps her heal from his death and be ready to move on. I wish that Linn Halton had included a bit more of this ghostly side story, but I loved what we got.
And there is a twist that you do not expect! A sad one. Not a death one, just a relationship thing. Maya has some specific Christmas wishes that she writes in letters and sticks in the chimney. These wishes seem unattainable and maybe they are and maybe they are not. You’ll have to read it to see. And things aren’t wrapped up in a nice fluffy bow like a lot of Christmas romances. Christmas at Bay Tree Cottage makes its characters work for their happily ever after.
But there is one, never fear. A happily ever after, I mean. We forgot to mention that Luke has a child too – an adorable little boy named Joe. The situation between Luke and Joe’s mother is a tricky one but there’s an HEA there, too. I mostly read this book whilst tucked up in my warm cozy bed, pretending that there was a raging snowstorm outside. It’s a perfect get-you-in-the-Christmas-mood novel.
You will want to put Luke’s ex, Anita, on a fast train to somewhere far away. She’s that annoying. But Luke and Elana are delightful, both in their own right and as a potential couple. In fact, the whole of Christmas at Bay Tree Cottage is a lovely, satisfying holiday read. Guaranteed to fill your heart with Christmas cheer.