Wednesday, October 11, 2023

Review - - Christmas at the Shelter Inn

Christmas at the Shelter Inn
by RaeAnne Thayne
Publisher: Canary Street Press
Release Date: October 10, 2023
Reviewed by PJ

Come home to Shelter Springs this Christmas, where hearts are warm and hopes are bright…

Growing up at the Shelter Inn hotel, Natalie Shepherd envied guests who could come and go as they pleased. So when it was time to finally leave for college and put the lush green mountains around Shelter Springs—along with the cloud of loss that seemed to follow her family—behind her, she swore she’d never come back. But now her sister McKenna needs a favor. On pregnancy bed rest at doctor’s orders, McKenna needs a helping hand with her two young daughters and someone to take over the inn during the hectic holiday season, and Nat can’t refuse. And just when things can’t get worse, she runs into her late brother’s best friend, Griffin Taylor…

Griff has mixed feelings about Natalie’s return. She’s just as beautiful and full of life as he remembered, but there’s a secret he’s carried for years about her brother—and the guilt is eating away at him. Still, Christmas in this small town is filled with treasured traditions and new adventures that hold the promise of something sweet and lasting. From matchmaking seniors to rambunctious nieces, it seems everyone is hoping Nat and Griff will put loss behind them and find a happy new beginning…

PJ's Thoughts:

What a lovely, feel-good story. If this one doesn't put you in the holiday spirit, I don't know what will. 

Thayne has once again assembled a cast of characters who drew me into their lives and their hearts with ease. They are intriguing, fully-developed characters with life experiences that give them complex layers, making them both realistic and relatable. I love the attention she gives in creating them, all of them, regardless of age or importance to the story. Actually, they are all important, just in varying degrees. That's another of Thayne's gifts; creating a community of characters who all contribute - in ways small and large - to the richness of the overall story. 

There's plenty of humor in the journey - how could there not be with two adorable, rambunctious, high on holiday spirit little girls - but this is also a story with significant emotional depth. As in real life, it's rarely all one and none of the other. Thayne blends the two smoothly, eliciting both laughter and tears while guiding these characters through grief, guilt, forgiveness, growth, new beginnings, and love. It's a story that left me with a smile on my face and happiness in my heart. I'm eager to read it again. 


  1. I thank you for this review. I have not read anything by Ms Thayne. But, have always looked at descriptions of her books and recognized that she writes stories I would love. Thanks again for the review.

  2. I love her books. Patoct

  3. *swoons* must locate a copy for myself. I am in the Christmas mood for books this year. --Hellie

  4. Thank you for the review. This one sounds perfect for my keeper shelf.