Beau will go to the ends of the earth to keep Eden safe. But who’s going to protect his heart from a woman who can’t seem to trust again?
Speeding north through rural Maine, Eden Martelli wonders how her life came to this—on the run with her mute five-year-old son dozing fitfully in the passenger seat. When a breakdown leaves them stranded in Summer Harbor, Eden has no choice but to stay put through Christmas . . . even though they have no place to lay their heads.
Beau Callahan is a habitual problem solver—for other people anyway. He left the sheriff’s department to take over his family’s Christmas tree farm, but he’s still haunted by the loss of his parents and struggling to handle his first Christmas alone.
When Eden shows up looking for work just as Beau’s feisty aunt gets out of the hospital, Beau thinks he’s finally caught a break. Eden is competent and dedicated—if a little guarded—and a knockout to boot. But, as he soon finds out, she also comes with a boatload of secrets.
Eden has been through too much to trust her heart to another man, but Beau is impossible to resist, and the feeling seems to be mutual. But as Christmas Eve approaches, Eden’s past catches up to her.
Praise for Falling Like Snowflakes:
“Hunter is a master romance storyteller. Falling Like Snowflakes is charming and fun with a twist of mystery and intrigue. A story that’s sure to endure as a classic reader favorite.” —Rachel Hauck, New York Times bestselling author
“If you enjoy romance blended with suspense, you’re going to love Denise Hunter’s latest novel. Falling Like Snowflakes will make your heart race twice over—from dread of the bad guys and from the joy of watching Beau and Eden fall in love.” —Robin Lee Hatcher, bestselling author
“Denise Hunter writes the most complex, fascinating, and yummy romances out there! Falling Like Snowflakes has it all: a vulnerable young woman on the run with her child, a hunky hero with the guts and determination to help her, and a rugged setting along the coast of Maine. This is a novel you’ll reread again and again.” —Colleen Coble, USA Today bestselling author
“A handful of authors dominate my must-read list, and Denise Hunter is right at the top. Falling Like Snowflakes is a taut romantic thriller that will warm you to the core.” —Julie Lessman, award-winning author
“Falling Like Snowflakes is a story of letting go, finding home, and discovering who you really are. It’s a story that highlights the importance of community and faith within a romance that will warm your heart. You’ll discover winter in Maine—and find yourself ready to vacation there when the snowflakes fall. And maybe along the journey, you’ll discover the freedom of letting go and trusting God.” —Cara Putman, award-winning author
- Full-length romance novel
- Includes Discussion Questions for Book Clubs
- First book in the Summer Harbor series
- Book One: Falling Like Snowflakes
- Book Two: The Goodbye Bride
- Book Three: Just a Kiss
About the Author
Denise Hunter is the internationally published bestselling author of more than 25 books, including A December Bride and The Convenient Groom, which have been adapted into original Hallmark Channel movies. She has won The Holt Medallion Award, The Reader's Choice Award, The Carol Award, The Foreword Book of the Year Award, and is a RITA finalist. When Denise isn't orchestrating love lives on the written page, she enjoys traveling with her family, drinking green tea, and playing drums. Denise makes her home in Indiana where she and her husband are rapidly approaching an empty nest. To learn more about Denise, visit her website DeniseHunterBooks.com; Facebook: AuthorDeniseHunter; Twitter: @DeniseAHunter; Instagram: deniseahunter.
Read an Excerpt
Falling Like Snowflakes
A Summer Harbor Novel
By Denise Hunter
Thomas NelsonCopyright © 2015 Denise Hunter
All rights reserved.
It was amazing, the depth of courage a mother could find when the life of her child was on the line. Eden Martelli frowned at the map on the console beside her. She was somewhere northeast of Bar Harbor, following the coastline on Route 1. She'd made a wrong turn somewhere — it was starting to become a way of life.
She focused on the highway that stretched ahead, the weight of fatigue pushing on her shoulders. How many hours since her last catnap? It would be heaven to stretch out on a hotel bed for a few hours.
Micah slept against the passenger door, his lovey, Boo Bear, clutched in his arms. He had his days and nights mixed up. She wished he could see the pretty harbors and the colorful lobster buoys that dotted the water.
She checked her rearview mirror. The green minivan had been behind them since Ellsworth, a young woman driver with two kids in the back.
The engine made a loud clunking sound, and Eden frowned at the gauges. She had half a tank of gas, and the motor wasn't running hot. The Buick was twenty-three years old, just two years younger than she was. She'd picked it up for a grand in Jacksonville, Florida. It wasn't much, but then, it only had to get them to Loon Lake, Maine.
She'd risked a phone call to Karen on a burner phone that she'd since trashed. The woman had been surprised to hear from her. They hadn't spoken since Karen and her daughter had moved to Sacramento during Eden's senior year. Karen had been like a mother to her. Her property up in Loon Lake was sitting empty, she'd said. She was thinking of selling it. "Of course you can stay there awhile. No, I won't mention it to anyone."
So they had someplace to go. A place no one knew about. And they were almost there. She'd get them new identities, new lives.
She'd pawned her wedding set when they passed through Atlanta. God knew, they hadn't given her what it was worth, but it was enough to buy them time while she got WhiteBox Designs back up and running. She'd had to abandon her clients, but she'd do whatever was necessary to win them back.
A loud clattering sounded, making Eden's heart seize. The noise continued for several moments before blue smoke began billowing from beneath the hood.
No. No, no, no! Leave it to you to buy a lemon, Eden. You're hopeless.
She eased off the accelerator but the clattering continued, and the smell of burning oil reached her nose. She put on her flashers, and a moment later the minivan passed.
There was nothing around but hills and trees. She'd gone through a town awhile back, but if she'd passed a service station, she hadn't noticed. Her mind had been elsewhere for miles, making plans.
So much for that, she thought, watching blue smoke drift past. She spotted a green sign ahead and squinted through the smoke.
Summer Harbor 5 miles, it read.
The sign pointed right, and seeing little choice, Eden took the turn. She hoped the town was big enough to have a garage. She only had fifteen hundred dollars after the purchase of the car, and she was counting on that for her new start.
Her heart clamored inside her chest. This can't be happening. They were so close. The clattering continued, so she kept a slow pace, hoping she wasn't ruining the engine. It began to snow, big, wet flakes splashing onto her windshield, further hampering her vision.
What was she going to do?
First things first, Eden. Find a garage. Get an estimate.
Maybe it was something simple like a loose hose or wire. or something cheap. Maybe a friendly mechanic would take one look at her hollow eyes and her quiet son and have mercy on them.
The two-lane road was hilly and curvy, and the five miles seemed to take forever. Finally, she passed a sign. Welcome to Summer Harbor, Inc. 1895. Houses popped up on the left and right as the road wound along the coast.
The road dipped and leveled as they entered the town proper. Summer Harbor looked like a Christmas postcard with quaint little shops and old-fashioned lamps, all of it glimmering under a fresh layer of snow. She caught a glimpse of the rocky coastline as she rounded a curve, keeping her eyes peeled for a service station.
on a different day, a different time, she might enjoy a visit here. Preferably during the summer when she imagined the wharf bustled with lobster boats and tourists. Though the town had a certain charm even now, primed for a festive Christmas season.
There! She spied a gas station with a tiny garage, tucked down a lane. She turned into the parking lot and shut off the engine. The sudden silence was profound.
She hated to awaken Micah. He hadn't slept soundly since they'd fled. She touched his shoulder, and he startled awake. His body stiffened as reality settled once again on his little shoulders, and his eyes widened in that frightened-doe look she was starting to hate. No child of five should have to endure the things he had.
"Hey, kiddo. We're having a little car trouble. Let's get out and stretch our legs, okay?" She pulled their jackets from her book bag and helped Micah slip into his.
As she headed toward the garage, she pulled her cap low over her newly cut hair, checking over her shoulder as they hustled toward the door. She pulled up Micah's hood and gathered him close.
There was only one guy in the building. He was sitting behind the register with his feet propped on the counter, working his iPhone with practiced fingers. He looked no older than a teenager with his boyish face, though he was making a valiant attempt at a beard.
He looked up, his pale cheeks flushing as his eyes cut to hers. He lowered his feet and sat up straight. "Hi there. How can I help you?"
She gave her best friendly smile. "I'm having some car trouble, and I'm in a bit of a hurry. Any chance someone could check it out?"
"Sorry. our mechanic's off today. He'll be in Monday, though."
Her heart thumped to the floor of her chest cavity. "Is there another garage I can try? I'm really hoping to get back on the road."
He shrugged. "I'm afraid we're it."
She bit her lip. She should've stayed on the main road. Way to go, Eden. Another one of your stupid decisions.
"Well, hey, I can't fix your car or nothing, but I know a little about engines. I could take a peek."
She gave him a grateful look. "Really? Would you? I'd appreciate that so much. Maybe it's just a loose hose or something, and I can be on my way."
He followed her out to the car, Micah hugging close to her side. She explained the thunk and the clattering sound. The smell of burned oil still hung in the air, and a bit of smoke escaped as he lifted the hood.
She bit her lip as she watched him look around. After a few minutes he started the car, listening for a moment before shutting it off and getting back out. "I think you've thrown a rod."
"What does that mean?"
He gave her a regretful look. "It's not good. You'll need to have the engine rebuilt."
"Rebuilt! How much does that run?"
"I'm not really authorized to —"
"Just a best guess. Please. I won't hold you to it."
He sighed, his cheeks flushing. "Normally somewhere between a grand and fifteen hundred."
All the air left her lungs.
"It really depends on the engine, and I'm not qualified to give an estimate. Sorry it's not better news. Wish I could help you."
"Can I drive it like this? If I take it slow?"
"Four, maybe five hours?"
He shook his head. "Driving it'll only cause more damage. And if the rod tears through the side of the engine block, you could have a serious fire on your hands."
Eden sighed. She couldn't risk that. She'd have to wait till Monday for an official estimate, which meant spending two nights here.
"Looks like you'll be stuck here through the storm."
"Six to eight inches, they're saying. First of the season." Fuhst. His Mainer accent peeking through. "Snow's supposed to go all night and all day tomorrow. There's a hotel just down the street, left on Main. Good café close by, too, Frumpy Joe's, if you're hungry. The Roadhouse is a bit of a walk, but it has great chowder." He smiled at Micah. "You like snow? We got some nice hills around here for sledding. The inn might have a sled you can borrow."
Micah buried his face into Eden's side.
"Can I leave the car here? And I can get an estimate Monday?"
"Sure, no problem. Let me get your name and number."
"oh ... I'll just stop back by. Thanks again for your help."CHAPTER 2
Beau Callahan grabbed the stack of mail off the sofa and dumped it on the kitchen table. Newspapers to the trash. He grabbed Riley's Red Sox sweatshirt and tossed it over the recliner. Five minutes later, he'd barely made a dent in the mess. How'd the place get to be such a dump?
The door opened and Zac entered, bringing a gust of cold wind and the tangy smell of buffalo wings. Snowflakes dusted his brother's dark, longish hair. Zac was the middle son, a year younger than Beau, but he towered over Beau's six-foot height. He could grow a beard quicker than anyone Beau knew, and he was sporting one now.
"Sorry I'm late." Zac set down the bag and shed his coat.
"Thanks for bringing the food," Beau said.
"Paige had a work crisis. He took her back into town for me."
He'd hoped Paige could make their family meeting. Maybe she wasn't family, but she was close. She'd been Riley's best friend for years, and now she and Beau were an item. It had been awkward at first, dating his brother's best friend, but things seemed to have settled to a new normal.
He grabbed a few cans of Coke from the fridge and carried them into the living room, where he set them on the bare coffee table. What Aunt Trudy didn't know wouldn't hurt her.
Zac scanned the room. "Dude. What happened in here?"
"You do know Aunt Trudy's in the hospital, right? And that Riley and I are getting ready to open the Christmas tree farm?"
"I know, I know. We'll get it figured out. That's why I called the meeting. You need help."
"I can handle it just fine."
"You're always taking care of us. Moving back home when Dad died, quitting your job for the farm. Let us help you for a change."
"I don't mind." The acres of evergreens had been in the family since his great-grandparents had bought the tree farm years ago.
Beau returned to the kitchen for a stack of paper plates and a roll of paper towels. In truth all the worries of the farm sometimes made him long for his days as deputy sheriff. There was something to be said for steady, interesting work. Not that he didn't enjoy running the farm. There were just a lot of pressures that went along with it.
In the living room he settled on the couch and turned on the TV to ESPN where they were previewing tomorrow's Patriots game.
Zac was unpacking the Styrofoam boxes. His face was a blank slate, but that didn't fool Beau. A month ago, a week before their wedding, Zac's fiancée had left town, without so much as a note. Zac hadn't heard from her since and he was completely wrecked. Aunt Trudy always said the Callahan men loved once and loved deeply. For Zac's sake he hoped that wasn't true.
"How you doing?" Beau asked. "I haven't seen much of you lately."
He scowled. "I'm fine. Wish people would stop asking me that."
Zac had thrown himself into his restaurant since Lucy's departure. Beau had gone days without seeing him. They were all busy. He wasn't sure any of them had time for the crisis at hand.
The front door opened, and Riley strode in. He was the shortest of the three brothers, not quite six foot, but he'd gotten their dad's broad shoulders and beefy arms. He shared the house with Beau and Aunt Trudy and helped on the farm during the winter. During the warm months he worked as a lobsterman.
"Hey, guys." Riley turned his nose up in the air. "That smells like heaven." He set his hand on Zac's shoulder, squinting in pity. "How you doing, man? Holding up okay?"
Zac gave Beau a See what I mean? look.
Beau tossed the roll of paper towels to Riley. "He's getting tired of that question."
"Well, it's not every day your fiancée —"
He cut off at Zac's glare. "okay, okay ...," Riley said. "How 'bout those Patriots?"
They dug into the wings, watching the preview of Sunday's game. outside the picture window, sheets of snow obscured the view of the acres of trees. A fine white powder was beginning to stick to the ground.
"Roads getting slick yet?" Beau asked.
Riley nodded as he chewed.
"I hope Paige doesn't stay too late." Paige ran Perfect Paws Pet Shelter. She dropped everything when an animal was in need.
"How's Aunt Trudy today?" Riley asked.
Beau wiped his hands and muted the Tv as a commercial came on. "Looks like she's going to be laid up awhile."
Aunt Trudy was the Callahan brothers' surrogate mom. She'd fallen on the ice yesterday in the Knitting Nook parking lot and fractured her leg. Now she sported a cast and an ugly outlook on life.
"That's why I called a meeting," Zac said. "You're going to need to put in a lot of hours. I know we're all busy, but we need to figure out something."
"I hired a few teenagers," Beau said.
"But you'll still need people who can manage things when you're not there."
"When's Aunt Trudy coming home?" Riley asked.
Their aunt worked part-time at the visitor center, but they depended on her to keep the house running, and on her spunkiness to keep things interesting. She hadn't let them down yet.
Beau shifted. "The doctor's hoping she'll be able to recover in a rehab center."
Riley gave a puff of laughter. "Bet she loved that idea."
"Yeah, it didn't go so well. But she'll need twenty-four-hour care, and we sure can't do it with the season almost here."
"How long will she be in the rehab center?" Zac asked.
"If insurance approves it, several weeks. Her leg needs a lot of therapy."
"There goes Thanksgiving," Riley said.
Beau shot him a look. "Did you really just say that?"
"What about the visitor center?" Zac asked.
Beau shrugged. "They'll probably just shut it down till she's back on her feet. It's the slow season anyway."
"I can put in some hours early in the day and on Mondays," Zac said. "I know evenings and weekends are busiest, but that's peak hours for the restaurant too."
Beau had a feeling staying busy was a priority for Zac right now.
"That's all right. That'll give me time to keep up with the business end and visit Aunt Trudy."
"I'll work as much as you need me," Riley said.
"You're still going to need more help."
Zac was right. Beau needed to staff the gift shop, needed people to handle the tree shaker and assist customers with loading. And he needed enough employees to work shifts.
"I have a couple interviews this afternoon. And I was hoping Paige could help out," Beau said. "Might be good for her to be on the farm, get a feel for the business."
"Paige has her own business to worry about," Riley said, his voice gruff.
Zac gave Riley a strange look, then popped open his Coke and addressed Beau. "You two getting serious?"
"Heading that way. Heck, she's practically part of the family anyway." Beau had an instant gut check. They'd gotten off to a pretty good start, but things had been kind of ... off between them lately. They were just busy, that was all.
Riley stood, wiping his hands. "I have to go."
"What?" Beau said. "You just got here. We're having a meeting."
Riley shrugged into his coat. "Forgot I promised old Mrs. Grady I'd look at her hot water heater. Sounds like you got it all figured out anyway."
Wind tunneled through the room on Riley's exit. The door clicked shut behind him, and a moment later his truck started, the engine revving low.
"What's his problem?" Beau asked, frowning as his truck receded down the drive.
"Probably just tired." Zac reached for another wing. "Don't worry, he'll be fine."CHAPTER 3
Eden hoisted the book bag higher on her shoulder. The wind picked up, blasting her with frigid air. Cold seeped through her thin jacket, chilling her to the bone. She knew Micah was no better off. They weren't prepared for Maine's brutal winter. Weren't prepared for any of this.
Her empty stomach twisted hard. There was nothing she could do about her car for the moment, but she could do something about their hungry stomachs. Spying a diner up the sidewalk, Eden headed toward it.
The sign on the glass window read Frumpy Joe'S CaFé.
"Brrr! It's cold out there," she said to Micah as they entered the restaurant. The smell of grilled burgers wafted over, and she inhaled deeply. "Doesn't that smell good?"
The restaurant bustled with the lunch crowd. Servers ran about in green aprons, filling coffee mugs and balancing trays. All the booths were full, but there were a few open seats at the counter.
Through the kitchen pass-through, a man in his fifties called out orders as he flipped burgers and dropped fries. A gray ponytail hung from his white paper hat, and a pair of wire-rimmed glasses perched crookedly on his nose. Eden wondered if he was Frumpy Joe.
Micah's eyes darted around as he clung to her leg and to Boo Bear with equal fervor. At a server's nod, Eden pulled Micah to the empty stools closest to the door, casting another look around the place.
A young family of three, a gray-haired businessman squint- ing at the Harbor Tides, two middle-aged women laughing loudly. A scruffy-looking man stared back from a couple stools down. He leaned forward, his beady eyes sweeping over her.
She looked away as a shiver passed through her. He's nobody, Eden. Just a random creepy guy. Her grip tightened on the menu.
They ordered, then used the restroom while they waited for their food to arrive. Eden's mind was awhirl with plans. She'd check them in to the cheapest motel Summer Harbor offered, and over the next two days they'd both catch up on their sleep. It wasn't ideal, but she'd been so careful. Surely it was safe to lie low a couple days in this off-the-beaten-path town.
Excerpted from Falling Like Snowflakes by Denise Hunter. Copyright © 2015 Denise Hunter. Excerpted by permission of Thomas Nelson.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
What is your definition of "safe"? Life without fear? Eden is hoping that if she runs fast enough, far enough, she can outwit the persons who want to kill her and her son, Micah, who witnessed his father's murder. After a lifetime of fear and being under others' thumbs, she is determined to control the variables of her life and to finally feel "safe." A series of events - a blown engine, a stolen duffle bag, an unexpected romance - all conspire to unravel her carefully constructed plans. What I liked about this book was the chemistry between Eden (known as "Kate") and Beau. Emotionally and physically, they were tenderly and almost unwillingly drawn to each other. Also, the tension created by Eden's worries and flashback-style memories made her danger feel very real. I found my heart racing, and as Eden and Micah fled from the murderous Mr. Langley, I actually heard myself urge Micah to "HUSH!" out loud. Another strength of this book was that the author didn't immediately bring things to a sugar-coated sweet ending after Kate and Micah's rescue. Denise Hunter spent time working through Kate's fears and dealing with her need to control her life. Beau also grows as he moves beyond his initial physical attraction to "Kate" and gives her room to examine their relationship, even when it means watching her drive away to start a new life at an unknown location. They both have to turn their fears over to the Lord and trust His leading for their futures. Denise Hunter is a great author, and though I read this first book of the Summer Harbor series second, it didn't spoil the enjoyment of it at all. I am already looking forward to the third and final volume being published this September. If you like clean romance and intriguing mysteries, this series is for you!
I have really come to love Denise Hunter's books...especially when she chooses a family and writes about all of them! It's like revisiting old friends each and every time a new book comes out. The little bit I got to know about the Callahan brothers intrigued me, and I cannot wait to delve into each of their lives. Falling Like Snowflakes focused on the oldest Callahan, Beau. I like him because he reminds me a lot of me. He's a problem solver, of everyone else's problems but his own. His flaws and faults are endearing. Eden's story is intriguing. I cannot imaging running and looking over my shoulder. I would be a hot mess. She handles it like a champ, for the most part. While I loved the main characters and supporting characters (Beau's brothers Zac and Riley, Paige, and the Callahan's ornery aunt Trudy), there was something missing from the story. I can't quite put my finger on it. The romance and suspense added to the plot, but I might have been looking for more depth in the characters. The spiritual aspect of the story was spot on. Denise Hunter excels at taking a story and weaving in the spiritual message she wants to get across to readers. In this case, Eden's dad sums it up when he says, "When you can't trust others, and you can't trust yourself, you can always trust God. He'll carry you through whatever comes your way." Watching Eden and Beau come to this realization was beautiful. Overall, I really enjoyed this book. I cannot wait to delve further into life in Summer Harbor with the swoon worthy Callahan brothers. *I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through the BookLook blogging program in exchange for my honest review.*
This is a nice holiday read. It's not brimming with over the top holiday cheer, but instead offers a cozy balance of wit, small town charm, a slow-burn romantic interest, and a dash of mystery. Perfect for those who like their suspense on the more mild side of things...sort of in the thriller-lite vein of a Hallmark Mystery Movie. The bad guy scenes got a little cliche at times for my liking, but the Callahan brothers are so likeable in this series that minor eyeroll moments can easily be forgiven. For those in book clubs, discussion questions for this story are offered at the back of the book. I've been reading these out of order, which -- I thought I would mention -- works fine, as each book focuses on a different Callahan brother (of three). But looking back, there are some minor chronological aspects -- mainly with the storyline of Riley's military service -- that will flow better if you read in order.
(4.5 Stars) I can't even imagine being on the run and constantly looking over my shoulder, as Eden is forced to do, but she handles herself and life so well. Me? I would be a complete mess! I love reading suspense, but there's no way I could actually live it. I thought that Ms. Hunter did a fabulous job in weaving together a great suspense with some fine, clean romance. Eden's controlling husband is dead and when witness protection failed, she's on the run. I really loved how strong and resourceful Eden is. She's got a true mother's heart and will do whatever it takes to protect and provide for her son. When Beau helps her out, by providing her a job, she's unable to resist his manly charms and true goodness. Good thing he's taken! I absolutely adore Beau! He's a protector and as head of his family and a strong member of the community, he's got a lot going for him in solving some secrets--especially surrounding his new employee. He's definitely persistent, but in a steady and kind way. I love a story with a good supporting cast. Paige, Beau's girlfriend is such a sweet woman and even grumpy Aunt Trudy grabbed a place in my heart. Of course, Beau's brothers are amazing--I'm hoping that Riley and Zac will get their own stories. My only issue is a slight inconsistency. Eden is very good at deciphering a person's personality and aura, yet she married a jerk. It was hard for me to understand why, except that she was desperate and young. Aside from that, I was completely happy with the story from start to finish and I'm looking forward to more! Content: mild violence (vague and matter-of-fact descriptions of murder, spousal abuse, moments of peril); mild-moderate religious elements (the characters are obviously religious, but there's no preaching); no language; mild romance (kissing). Clean for an adult reader! *I received a copy from the publisher, through Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review*
I can't tell you how much I have come to love Denise Hunter's stories and how I am always excited to start a new adventure with her! The start of her Summer Harbor series was not a disappoint! As each of Denise Hunter's books go, they are always filled with fantastic, lovable, and relatable characters! The camaraderie that Beau and his brothers, and the people of Summer Harbor, shared warmed my insides to the core. But I think I related most to Eden/Kate. That it was not her fear of trusting other people but of trusting herself. After the emotional trauma she endured, she lost her self worth, her identity and she couldn't trust that she wouldn't lose herself again. I have felt, still struggle feeling that way at times. But the lesson being learned is that that fear can keep God's greatest gifts from us! The story was exciting, almost thrilling at some points, and perfect for the cool winter months. I can't wait to read the next two novels! I give this book a 5 out of 5! I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for this honest and unbiased review as part Thomas Nelson’s blogging for book program.
This book is great for romance lovers! I really like the characters and the suspense built into the story. I really like Beau and his heroic and gentlemanly ways. The theme of the story is about second chances and fresh starts. My favorite character was Aunt Trudy, though the quirky aunt character is overused a bit. The physical attraction part is overplayed a bit sometimes, good writing doesn't always need to be so obvious about it, but dialogue is good between the two and I enjoyed that part. It was very exciting at the end for sure and I look forward to reading the stories of the other brothers too! I received my copy in exchange for an honest review.
My Thoughts: Denise Hunter has once again touched my heart with her great story. Eden Martelli's story was thought-provoking and heart touching. I wanted to reach out and smother little Micah with love and normalness. This story is gut-wrenching because it could easily come from today's headlines on any day of the week, in any state of the U.S. While the story was a bit predictable, in how the love interests were going, it still was a captivating read. The setting is a Christmas tree farm, but it kind of fell into the background with all the other stuff going on, I would have loved for the farm to have been more of the story. One thing I did take away from this story: We get things in our heads, hearts, and minds that we think will satisfy all our needs.(ie for Eden it was the cabin and freedom) Only God can truly fill our voids and recognizing that is vital for any person to live a mentally healthy balanced life. The book was a wonderful holiday read, 4 stars from this reviewer. This book was provided for review purposes only, no payment was received for this review.
This is a story that will truly touch your heart like it did mine. Wonderful writing, a new series, but Denise Hunter is up there at the top of my list of great authors. Moving, emotional, and you truly feel the pain of our heroine. Excellent read!
Such a great story! I seriously don't know how Eden kept it together in her dire circumstances. She is the consummate survivor and mama bear, doing whatever it takes to keep her son safe. Her past is revealed in bits and pieces so there is a feeling of suspense involved. Beau has a lot on his plate with his work, his family, and his love life. Even though it seems like he rescues Eden, she is also rescuing Beau's family during their own crisis. Their relationship is platonic since Beau is her employer and has a girlfriend (that his younger brother is suffering unrequited love for), but as they rely on each other their friendship grows and attraction flares. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this complicated story and seeing how things worked out. Beau and Eden are great together and I also can't wait to read the stories of his brothers since we got to know a little about their past and see the direction of their paths... (Thank you to BookLook Bloggers and Thomas Nelson Publishing for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review)
Denise Hunter has another winner in 'Falling Like Snowflakes' and her readers have 2 more books in this series to look forward to! I've always enjoyed her books and enjoy recommending them to others. This book is set in Summer Harbor, Maine. We meet the Callahan family and this is Beau's story, along with Eden's. Eden is running from tragedy with her son Micah, who has given up speaking because of a horrible event that happened to him. She is hoping to get to a place a friend has loaned her when her car breaks down just outside Summer Harbor. Eden finds a job and resigns herself to stay through Christmas to save the money to replace the engine in her car. Eden trusts no one, not even Beau Callahan. Beau is trustworthy, but Eden refuses to trust him. She's seen too much and been through worse. But her past catches up to her as Christmas approaches. Can Beau keep her safe? Will Eden allow her fears to totally engulf her, choking out any hope of happiness ever? Wonderful book with a great spiritual message. I look forward to the next one.
Falling Like Snowflakes is the first book in Denise Hunter’s new Summer Harbor series. Since I fell in love with Denise’s writing when I read her Chapel Springs series a couple of months ago, I knew this book would be one I would love, so that’s why I went on ahead and ordered it. What I didn’t expect, however, was for it to be quite that good! I mean, I already knew she was an amazing writer, but I just wasn’t expecting such a wonderful book! Although Dancing with Fireflies is still my favorite novel she’s ever written, Falling Like Snowflakes comes in at a very close second. Eden Martelli is such an amazing heroine! Brave and strong, she would do anything to keep her little boy—Micah—safe, no matter the cost. Although she is a bit stubborn at times and only accepts help for Micah’s sake, and only then because she has no other choice, she really does want what’s best for her son, and freedom for the both of them. Running from a tortured past, Eden and Micah end up in Summer Harbor after their car breaks down on the freeway and the repair time and costs force them to stay put until Christmas is over. Eden is frustrated at the delay, longing to be somewhere she can finally feel safe, but as she settles in to her new temporary job helping take care of Summer Harbor native Beau Callahan’s aunt, she begins to find more than she expected in the small, rural Maine town. Could the peace and freedom she’s been longing for be closer than she thought, or will her fear keep her from trusting the man who would do anything to keep her safe? Beau Callahan is by far one of the most swoon-worthy heroes I have ever encountered. Tall, strong, and handsome, he fills the protective big-brother role perfectly, and I loved reading about the way he brought his brothers together after their parents died. Always sweet and caring, Beau does so much for Eden to make sure she has what she needs, and the way he interacts with Micah is just the most precious thing. As always, I loved reading about how the sparks flew between him and Eden, and the bar was raised once again for my own future hero based on what an amazing guy Beau turned out to be. Something I really loved about this book was the tie-in it had to the Chapel Springs series. Beau and his younger brother Zac both made appearances in the last novel in that series—Married ‘til Monday, which was about their cousin Abby and her almost ex-husband Ryan—and I was pleased to find the Abby showed up multiple times in this story. Another thing that I enjoyed was the suspense packed into this novel. Near the end, it really gets your heart racing as you wonder how everything will ever begin to work out. And the love story—just thinking about it makes me want to swoon—but wait, did I mention that already? Anyway, Denise knocked it out of the park with this heartwarming, touching, action-packed (though some of the action was more like sparks flying across the room, wink wink) novel that well earns all five bookshelves. Now I cannot wait for the next one! (This review is from my blog, spreadinghisgrace.blogspot.com)
Grab a hot beverage and fall into Falling like Snowflakes! What I liked: Meandering through the love-triangle, family drama, and secrets in Falling like Snowflakes is the perfect way to spend an afternoon! Beau is a terrific character. He’s a protector and constantly struggles with allowing those around him to live their own lives. Eden, on the other hand, comes from smothering relationships and needs freedom. Watching her fight against her attraction is quite entertaining! Falling like Snowflakes paints an amazing picture of how we can easily allow fear to manipulate our lives. It’s a delightful way to learn a lesson! :) What I didn’t like: It’s not so much a “Christmas Read” as a winter read that includes some Christmas celebrations. More… Author: Denise Hunter Source: Netgalley Publisher & Date: September 8th 2015 by Thomas Nelson Genre: Contemproary Christian Romance & Suspense ISBN: 0718023714 (ISBN13: 9780718023713) Pages: 336 Grade: A+ Ages: 16+ Steam: No steam but some topics that may not be appropriate for all. Setting: Summer Harbor, Maine Series: Summer Harbor #1
And so begins a new series by the great Denise Hunter. I've loved all her books so far and Falling Like Snowflakes was no exception. Great romance, a heroine with a heartbreaking backstory who is slowly finding her feet, a ruggedly charming male lead, and all the snowy appeal of a new small-town setting. Eden and her son are running for their lives. When their car breaks down in Summer Harbor it seems like nothing but bad timing and even worse luck, but it does result in them meeting the Callahans - three brothers and their much-loved but ornery Aunt Trudy. Beau Callahan is in need of someone to look after his aunt while she recovers from a fractured leg. Beau is busy managing the family's Christmas tree farm, and Eden is in desperate need of a job and somewhere to stay. As Eden and her son are enveloped by the Callahan family they learn what safety feels like, but danger is following closely behind them. The romance builds slowly in this book. Beau has a girlfriend for the first third of this book, so it's not until about halfway through that the romance between Beau and Eden starts to develop. There is awareness, of course, but Beau is initially taken and Eden is set on never falling for another man as long as she lives. It's also at the halfway point that we start to learn more about what Eden is running from. It's a heartbreaking story and pretty dramatic. While there is plenty of suspense in this story, a lot of the crime-fighting details are glossed over so this book remains a romantic contemporary rather than a romantic suspense or crime-fighting mystery. There are a few cameo appearances of familiar characters, both from Denise Hunter's previous books and from Colleen Coble's books, which will please fans. However, this book is the first in a new series and can be read as a standalone. I'm going to presume that the Summer Harbor series will continue the story of the two other Callahan brothers, Zac and Riley. No complaints here. Zac and Riley present great story potentials, one heartbroken after his fiancé jilted him and the other who has joined the marines to escape his unrequited love of his best friend. I love how Denise Hunter's characters are complex and flawed and how, over the course of a series, the cast become like old friends. I can't wait to read more of this enjoyable series. The publishers provided a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Loved this book! One of her best! Love scenes were perfect! Loved the way Beau prayed over Eden! Totally wholesome and very romantic! Can't wait for the other books in the series!
Eden and Beau make a wonderful couple with honest conflict keeping them apart. I love how Beau takes to her son and we see a gentle side to him. It also allowed us to see Eden begin to slowly trust again--it's one thing to trust her own heart with a man, but her son's heart? This dynamic allowed growth in their relationship that was authentic and sweet. The other aspect I enjoyed was getting to know all the Callahans and catching the first glimpses of what is sure to be their stories. I like the slow build-up of the secondary characters as it makes me anticipate the arrival of their books as well. All in all I highly recommend Falling Like Snowflakes. If you've come to love Hunter's books, you'll not be disappointed in this read. If she's new to you, you'll find yourself searching for other titles by her once you've finished.
A wonderful start to a new series! An engaging, heartfelt story, characters with real issues, and some intense moments kept me reading on to see how it would end. Loved the Chapel Springs series, so it was nice to recognize a few mention of tie-over characters from it. The underlying faith message, and theme of handing your fear over to God was uplifting. A few sigh-worthy moments will please romance readers too. Descriptions of the beautiful Maine coastal setting make me want to go for a visit, and maybe stop for a bite to eat at Frumpy Joe's Diner along the way. Recommend for Christian romance fans who enjoy a little suspense in the mix. Look forward to reading more about the Callahan brothers in the next books of the series! (Thank you to NetGalley and Thomas Nelson Publishing for the book provided in exchange for my honest review.)
Falling Like Snowflakes is the first novel in Denise Hunter's latest series, Summer Harbor. You are introduced to Eden Davis and her young son, Micah, on the first pages of this novel. When her car breaks down on the outskirts of the tourist town, Summer Harbor, she has no idea where she can turn for help! As Eden begins searching around town for a job to help her pay for her car repairs, she soon runs into Beau Callahan. It is the beginning of the busy season at his Christmas tree farm and he is desperate to find someone to help care for his aunt, who has just broken her leg. Eden seems like a perfect fit! Watch and see what will bloom as Eden begins to blend in with the Callahan family. After some time watching their interaction, you are not sure who is helping who solve the difficulties life has brought their way! I received this book from Thomas Nelson in exchange for my unbiased review http://penlessreview.blogspot.com/
Speeding north through rural Maine, Eden Martelli wonders how her life came to this—on the run with her mute five-year-old son dozing fitfully in the passenger seat. When a breakdown leaves them stranded in Summer Harbor, Eden has no choice but to stay put through Christmas . . . even though they have no place to lay their heads. Beau Callahan is a habitual problem solver—for other people anyway. He left the sheriff’s department to take over his family’s Christmas tree farm, but he’s still haunted by the loss of his parents and struggling to handle his first Christmas alone. When Eden shows up looking for work just as Beau’s feisty aunt gets out of the hospital, Beau thinks he’s finally caught a break. Eden is competent and dedicated—if a little guarded—and a knockout to boot. But, as he soon finds out, she also comes with a boatload of secrets. Eden has been through too much to trust her heart to another man, but Beau is impossible to resist, and the feeling seems to be mutual. As Christmas Eve approaches, Eden’s past catches up to her. Beau will go to the ends of the earth to keep her safe. But who’s going to protect his heart from a woman who can’t seem to trust again? I have always enjoyed Denise Hunter’s books and this one is no exception. Eden’s character was that of a strong woman who had been victimized by her husband into believing she was a worthless mother. All she could think about is getting her son to safety. But her attraction to Beau was getting in the way of her reasoning. Beau was the strong defender hero of this book. He knew something was off with Eden but he just couldn’t place it. Being a former deputy sheriff he had connections to get answers to his questions. What he found out terrified him. He made it his mission to protect Eden and her son from anyone that came to harm them. The only thing was who, was going to protect his heart. The only criticism I have for this book is that towards the end of the book some of Beau’s and Eden’s kisses got a little heavy and in the epilogue he patted her backside. To me that was just being a little too familiar. It’s a clean book. But I just didn’t care for that. That being said I would recommend this book. And I am anxious to read Zac’s and Riley’s stories. I was given this book by the publisher for an honest review. I was not compensated in any way.
In Falling Like Snowflakes which is book one in the Summer Harbor series, we meet the three Callahan brothers. If you read Married Till Monday you met Beau when Ryan went to visit him. They even hinted to the issue of Beau dating his bothers best friend. Beau is the oldest of the Callahans and feels the responsibility of taking care of them. He has left his job on the sheriff’s department to run the Christmas Tree farm. Beau hires Eden to help out around the house and with his feisty aunt who is recovering from a fall. I loved the secondary storyline with his aunt and the sheriff; it was cute. Beau realizes that Eden is guarded about her past and is concerned that he has her living with his girlfriend. The girlfriend is his brother’s best friend. Then enters Eden who starts making Beau feel things he shouldn’t. Eden is on the run with her son when her car breaks down in Summer Harbor. This causes her to stay over the holidays. Hunter reveals Eden’s past little by little until her backstory is exposed and the danger she and her son are in. There is secondary story of Ryan, the youngest Callahan and his feelings for a girl while she is dating his brother. The mistletoe plays a fun part in the story. You can see my full review at More Than a Review dot com where I rate the level of sex, violence, language and drug/alcohol use in books.
For months I have anxiously awaited the first book in the Summer Harbor series, titled Falling Like Snowflakes. Having read Married ’til Monday from the Chapel Springs Romance series, I was already familiar with Summer Harbor and a few of the main characters. I really liked the way the author set these books up to be two separate series, yet have a crossover connection between the families. To get to the heart of it…I loved this story! I connected with the characters right from the start. My heart ached as I learned about Eden’s painful and terrifying past. She was such a great mom to her son, Micah, and he was a great addition to this book. These two had a lot of baggage and trauma to get past. It was hard to watch Eden make some of the choices that she made toward the end of the book, however, it all tied back to the damage that had been done to her. Overall, she grew so much by the end of this story. Beau was a great leading man. Strangely enough, he was dating someone else for a large portion of the book. I wasn’t sure how I was going to feel about that, but it really worked for this story. It added a lot of conflict as he tried to determine what he was feeling and worked hard to deny the attraction that was beginning to develop toward Eden. These two had wonderful chemistry. I loved the dynamic of the three Callahan brothers and I am very eager to read more in this series. I also thought the light suspense and danger that were present in the story was just the right amount and well-done. I enjoyed this book from start to finish. I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.