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A Christmas by the Sea by Melody Carlson

A Christmas by the Sea (2018)

by Melody Carlson

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7134257,748 (4.01)5
When Wendy Harper inherits her family's beachside cottage in Seaside, Maine, she sees it as a way to finally pay off the debts that have mounted since her husband died. But the neglected property needs renovation before it can be sold, so Wendy and her young son Jackson move in to fix the place up. Soon the town-- and local craftsman Caleb Colton-- make it difficult for Wendy to resists their charms.… (more)



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Yay for another new Christmas novella! It may only nearly be autumn, but I can’t help getting excited for the imminent holiday season. And reading Melody Carlson’s A Christmas by the Sea is a delightful way to spark that spirit early.

When she inherits a Maine cottage, Wendy Harper sees it as a blessing: After renovations and repairs, its selling price could cover her financial burdens and debts. So, she and her son move to the cottage temporarily to take care of the work themselves. Only, the cottage’s charming, seaside town holds more allure than Wendy expected.

A Christmas by the Sea is a quick, heartwarming read for Christmastime, perfect for a reader in need of romance, family, and new beginnings.

Thanks to Revell Reads, I received a complimentary copy of A Christmas by the Sea and the opportunity to provide an honest review. I was not required to write a positive review, and all the opinions I have expressed are my own. ( )
  hes7 | Oct 2, 2019 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I really don't have any complaints about this book. It turned a bit religious...but it is a holiday book. Although I was looking more for a secular holiday book. I do wish it was longer though! ( )
  gkmiller4 | Jun 29, 2019 |
The appeal of romance is practically universal. It’s a significant element in most genre’s: science fiction, western’s, action, adventure, mystery. Occasionally I’ll even pick up a book I know is an overt romance such as Melody Carlson’s “A Christmas by the Sea” for a quick, easy, uplifting read.

Unfortunately, Carlson’s cloyingly sweet approach is so over-the-top it lacks verisimilitude and becomes irritating. The exaggerated emphasis on “faith,” in which ”God will provide” is viewed by talented, intelligent people as the answer to real problems will further diminish the reading pleasure of readers who do not perceive that as the answer to all of life’s challenges.

Another exaggerated aspect of the plot is Wendy’s inability to set reasonable limits with her son, Jackson. Time after time she resolves to explains the reality of their financial situation to him, only to back off in the face of his manipulative behavior. Carlson provides a good illustration of mildly dysfunctional parenting.

Nevertheless, “A Christmas by the Sea” will appeal to readers who are willing to look past these shortcomings. Sometimes we all have had enough of “reality” in our lives and value the opportunity to spend some time in a day-dream world. “A Christmas by the Sea” may be an attractive choice for a rainy Saturday afternoon in front of the fireplace. ( )
  Tatoosh | May 2, 2019 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I very much enjoyed "A Christmas by the Sea", a charming holiday novella from author Melody Carlson. The characters are engaging, and although the storyline is poignant, it is written with genuine warmth. A widow with a pre-teen son, Wendy Harper is at a crossroads in her life. Traveling from Ohio to Maine to check out her inheritance of her family's beach cottage. with hopes of selling it, seems like a good way to resolve her financial problems. First, she has to renovate the cottage to make it saleable, and second (and most important), she has to make sure that her son, Jackson, understands that they can't stay to live in the little village of Seaside, Maine. They both soon fall for the way of life by the shore and the homey atmosphere of the cottage. Making things even more appealing for them both is meeting local business owner Caleb Colton, who befriends Jackson and sets Wendy's heart aflutter. As time passes, more reasons pop up to extend their stay through the holidays. Jackson even adopts a stray dog--or did the dog adopt Jackson? Mutual admiration grows between Wendy and Caleb, but can she leave behind the life she knows and take a chance on a bright and shining future full of happiness? "A Christmas by the Sea" is a heartfelt holiday tale from the talented Melody Carlson.

Book Copy Gratis Revell Books via Library Thing ( )
  gincam | Mar 21, 2019 |
Every Christmas season I look forward to Melody Carlson's newest holiday book. It was a quick story (only 167 pages) but it was packed with emotion, family love, and second chances. Wendy and her son are struggling financially after her husband died several years ago from cancer. Left with medical bills and student loans, finding out that she had inherited her grandparent's beach house seems like a true blessing. Heading to the small town of Seaside, Wendy plans on fixing it up the cottage and quickly selling it and moving back to Ohio. What she doesn't plan on is that her son Jackson will fall in love with the cottage, the town and the people. A friendly and slobbery dog rounds out the picture of the new home that Jackson is hoping will be theirs. With the help of local craftsman, Caleb, Wendy tries to make a living using her craft skills and shells she and Jackson find so she can remain in Seaside. When Jackson finds out that his mother wants to move back to Ohio, he does what an adolescent does, he tries to force his mother's hand. Will Wendy be able to financially support her small family with the crafts she makes or will she and her heartbroken son have to return to Ohio?

This is a sweet story of family, second chances, independence and romance. What could be better than spending the holiday season in a gorgeous beach town that feels like home and the bonus of a new possible romance for Wendy. Can God answer their prayers to be able to start a new life in this small town that feels more like home than Ohio ever did. The story flows beautifully and is well paced. The characters in the story are all helpful in trying to get Wendy and Jackson to stay, all except for the pretty Crystal, who seems to have her own feelings for Caleb. This is a beautiful story about spiritual and personal growth. A magical Christmas story that can be read in a day by a warm fire. The publisher, Revell, provided me with a copy of this book to read. The rating, opinions and ideas are my own. ( )
  Carlathelibrarian | Feb 5, 2019 |
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Wendy Harper never considered herself a deceitful person.
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