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Canary Street Press
ISBN: 978-1-335-00513-7
October 10, 2023
Contemporary Romance

Shelter Springs, Idaho – Present Day

Natalie Shepherd grew up in the Shelter Inn hotel, but the memories are anything but good. Her mother passed away when she was young, leaving behind Natalie, her sister McKenna, and their brother Jake. Shortly after their mother’s passing, their father left town, and the siblings grew up being cared for by family members. Sadly, Jake passed away as a young man. As an adult, the last thing Natalie wants is to live in Shelter Springs and has chosen to travel the world as a house sitter. But McKenna, who is married with two young daughters, asks Natalie to come home and help her as she is on bedrest due to a pregnancy. 

On her way to Shelter Springs in a snowstorm, Natalie has an accident. A man stops to help her, and she recognizes him as Jake’s best friend Griffin Taylor. The former Shelter Inn hotel is now an apartment complex where many people, mostly elderly, now reside. This is where McKenna and her family live. Griffin takes Natalie to Shelter Inn, and it turns out that his aunt lives there too. They soon run into each other several times. Or are they being thrown together by those around them in hopes of falling in love? Griffin is a doctor in Shelter Springs and his home is here, while Natalie has no intention of ever living again in this town. 

There are a lot of emotions running high in CHRISTMAS AT THE SHELTER INN. Natalie has pretty much stayed away from Shelter Springs because it holds unhappy memories for her. First, her mother died from cancer, and then her father skipped town rather than take care of his children. Finally, Jake’s death in an avalanche added to her pain. She vowed to travel the world and when it is time to settle down, it will be anywhere but in Idaho. But now McKenna needs her because a difficult pregnancy has forced her sister to take bed rest. McKenna’s husband is busy working and Aunt Liz recently had leg surgery and can’t take care of the kids. Against her better judgment, Natalie agrees to come, knowing that it could be weeks before she can leave.

Natalie learns soon after arriving that McKenna has been in touch with their father. Natalie is still angry at him for leaving their family when he should have been their emotional support. Meanwhile, she jumps into taking care of the kids, which means she is meeting people she once knew. Of course, she is also running into Griffin, and becoming more aware of him as a man. He thinks that she should hate him because he was with Jake when he died. Yet, there is no denying that he is beginning to have feelings for her, even though she has made it clear that she will be leaving Shelter Springs once her sister has the baby. 

Readers will feel the angst and love between the characters. Natalie has chosen to “run-away” rather than stay in a town that only has bad memories for her. McKenna is experiencing worry about the baby she is carrying after the last two pregnancies ended in miscarriage. Griffin was once married and had a baby who only lasted a couple of hours after birth. Then Natalie’s father comes to town. All the painful things he did when he left still linger with her. Can Natalie resolve her feelings for her father? Can she accept that she is falling in love with Griffin? More importantly, will she even give a chance for them to have a future together, even if it means giving up her dreams of traveling?

A tender, emotional tale set around Christmas, don’t miss CHRISTMAS AT THE SHELTER INN.

Patti Fischer

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