The Inn at Blue Hollow Falls
By Donna Kauffman
Publisher: Kensington / Zebra
Release Date: October 31, 2017
Reviewed by Janga
Stevie Franklin is using her vacation time from her job at the U. S. Botanic Garden in Washington, D. C., to visit Blue Hollow Falls, Virginia, to help Sunny Goodwin, her best friend and former colleague, start her new business in the historic greenhouse she inherited (Blue Hollow Falls). But when frozen pipes at Sawyer’s home lead Sawyer and Sunny to seek refuge with Addie Pearl, Stevie ends up at the local inn, owned and operated by Noah Tyler, who is the embodiment of Sunny’s promise that hot lumberjack-types can be found in Blue Hollow Falls.
Noah, a native of Ohio, moved to Virginia to attend William and Mary and became so captivated by the region that he never left. When he found the old mill at Blue Hollow Falls and began renovating it, he knew he had found his place. Two and a half years out of a long-term relationship that ended without drama, he is ready to find someone special. Stevie may be just the person for whom he is looking. He just needs to convince her of that.
Kauffman’s Christmas novella is sweet, funny, and filled with good cheer all around. Stevie was a likable character as Sunny’s bestie in Blue Hollow Falls, and she is even more heart-winning as the heroine in this story. And I adored Noah, a beta hero extraordinaire. How can a romance reader resist a hunky hero who has a sense of humor, loves his extended family, sings “Winter Wonderland” without embarrassment, and can cook when he needs to do so? Stevie and Noah are also winners as a couple. They give new—and literal—meaning to the term “striking sparks off each other.” Moreover, they are essentially the same kind of person, a fact that Stevie recognizes: “He was a man who thought about things, who lived his life with purpose, was forward looking, and embraced his world with passion. She did the same thing.” It was easy to believe in them and to root for their HEA,
There are other things I loved about the story, including, but not limited to, the snow storm (which makes for a nice twist on a “cabin romance”), the setting (always a strong point with Kauffman), and glimpses of Sunny and Sawyer’s HEA in progress. If you are looking for adventure, action, and angst, this novella is not for you. But if you like character-driven tales with humor, heart, and a bit of heat, I predict you will enjoy this holiday novella. It has given me one more reason to expect the Blue Hollow Falls series to become a favorite. I have already starred the release date of Bluestone & Vine (June 26, 2018) on my book calendar and am eagerly anticipating Seth’s story.