Monday, November 6, 2023

Christmas at Solace Lake by Jana Richards

 It’s Christmas time at Solace Lake Lodge, but a series of thefts threatens everyone’s holiday spirit.

 About the Book: An emergency compels Drew Barnes to return to his family business, the Solace Lake Lodge, an inn deep in the Minnesota woods. Certain desperation is the only reason the family would ever allow him to fill in as their bookkeeper. No one has believed in him since a mistake got him fired from his previous job. Soon after he arrives, Drew is disheartened to discover thefts and financial irregularities. The last thing he needs is to be thrust into another crime related crisis.

After an allegation of sexual harassment led to her being fired—then virtually unemployable in her chosen profession—the only job sous chef Celeste Bishop finds is with the Solace Lake Lodge. Grateful to the Barnes family for taking her on, she’s made a good life for herself and her nine-year-old daughter in the three years she’s worked, and lived, at the lodge.

Soon after meeting, a powerful attraction ignites between Drew and Celeste. He’s all in, but she resists her feelings. She’s leery of their age difference; plus, an interracial relationship didn’t work for her parents. As Christmas approaches, the thefts escalate. Drew must stop the thief and redeem himself in his family’s eyes—as well as his own. He must also convince Celeste they deserve the gift of a happily ever after this Christmas.

 Our Review: Author Jana Richards demonstrates an in-depth appreciation for social issues by infusing them into the plot lines of her Solace Lake stories. In Christmas at Solace Lake, she has tackled the limitations faced by those with physical disabilities, the intricacies of interracial relationships and cyber crimes—how they are perpetrated as well as how their effects on businesses both large and small. Richards weaves each of these issues effortlessly into the romance between two people who have suffered due to things beyond their control. Emotions keep this story moving; the characters are multi-layered and very well drawn.

Based on a scale of 1-5, Christmas at Solace Lake, merits a 7.

Kat Henry Doran, Wild Women Reviews