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  • Writer's pictureCaitlyn Lynch

Blog Tour and Book Review: Winter at Wishington Bay by Maxine Morrey

Eighteen months ago, Sophia Jones finally walked out on her unhappy life.

With a tricky divorce ongoing, money is tight and so when friends offer her a housekeeping job while they’re away travelling, she accepts.

Nate McKinley is hesitant when his brother, Gabe, offers him the use of their home in the picturesque village of Wishington Bay. But he has a book to a write and an imploded marriage to recover from, so maybe a change of scene is exactly what he needs.

As Wishington Bay works its magic, friendship blossoms between Sophia and Nate. For Nate, finally feeling able to be himself with someone who is honest and down to earth is a revelation.

But Sophia has a secret and a jealous colleague is determined to blow her cover. Can she really keep her old life in the past or is it destined to destroy this new, happy one too?

Take a trip back to Wishington Bay this winter and find out…

A deliciously heart-warming and romantic read, perfect for a cosy winter’s evening, from the author of the bestselling Winter’s Fairytale.

My Review:

I’d define this as a cozy contemporary romance… it’s got a lot of the elements you’d find in cozy mystery like cutesy scenery and events, adorable animal characters - but is romance-based rather than a mystery. Yes, the heroine Sophia is hiding something, but realistically it’s just because she wants a quiet life, and considering the way it’s eventually revealed she was demeaned and diminished by both her family and then her husband, I didn’t blame her in the least.

Nate’s also in Wishington Bay to escape; with a book deadline looming and an extremely high maintenance not-quite-ex-wife to manage, it’s honestly not at all convenient for him to be unexpectedly attracted to Sophia, which is why he’s a complete grump to her at first. Soon the sparks of attraction are flying, though Nate doesn’t know Sophia’s secret. And we all know that keeping major secrets at the start of any relationship is the kind of bad idea that’s bound to come back to bite you.

This was fairly cute, but there were a few things that I found frustrating. The character Corinne seemed to have the same scene repeated about five times - she’d flirt with Nate, be rude to Sophia, repeat - and after the second time, I was thinking, enough already. Move on and tell a different part of the story. The story got a bit saggy in the middle because of that scene constantly getting rehashed; it would have been better to cut some of that and write some more in around the black moment, because honestly I think that, and the finale, were very much rushed through.

A sweet story in a lot of ways, I enjoyed that the protagonists were a little older - late thirties/early forties - and I liked the dynamic between the two of them. There was very little to dislike about either Nate or Sophia, they were two nice people who deserved to find happiness, but I also felt there wasn’t much real conflict in the story, which is why it fell a little flat for me. I’ll give it four stars.

Disclaimer: I received a review copy of this title via NetGalley and Rachel’s Random Resources.

Author Bio – Maxine Morrey is a bestselling romantic comedy author with eight books to her name including Winter’s Fairytale and the top ten hit The Christmas Project. She lives in West Sussex. Her first novel for Boldwood, #No Filter, was published in November 2019.

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