Christmas Holiday- REVIEW- Christmas at Solace Lake: Love at Solace Lake Book #4 – Jana Richards

Christmas at Solace Lake Book Cover Christmas at Solace Lake
Love at Solace Lake Book #4
Jana Richards
Small Town, Holiday Romance, Interracial Romance
Jana Richards Books
Oct 18, 2023


An emergency brings Drew Barnes to Solace Lake Lodge, an inn deep in the Minnesota woods owned by his aunt and uncle. He’s sure desperation is the only reason they’d allow him to fill in as their bookkeeper. No one in his family has believed in him since his mistake got him fired from his previous job. Soon after he arrives, Drew is disheartened to discover a series of thefts and financial irregularities. The last thing he wants is to be put in the middle of another crime.

Sous chef Celeste Bishop has made a good life for herself and her nine-year-old daughter in the three years she’s worked, and lived, at Solace Lake Lodge. After being unfairly fired, this was the only job she could get, and she’s grateful her gamble on the lodge paid off. The only sticking point is the isolation since she never learned to drive. How can she show her daughter independence when she’s always relying on others?

Drew sees Celeste’s frustration and offers to teach her to drive. A powerful attraction ignites between them, and soon deeper, stronger emotions blossom. Drew is all in, but Celeste resists her feelings. She’s nine years older than Drew. An interracial relationship didn’t work for her parents. And loving Drew feels like a betrayal of her deceased husband.

As Christmas approaches, the thefts escalate. Can Drew stop the thief and redeem himself in his family’s eyes—and his own? And can he convince Celeste they deserve the gift of a happily ever after this Christmas?

CHRISTMAS AT SOLACE LAKE by Jana Richards is the fourth book in the Love at Solace Lake series. If you enjoy holiday romance with a small town feel, and you relish a mystery to solve, you'll love Drew and Celeste's story!

Reviewed by Linda Tonis
Member of the Paranormal Romance Guild Review Team

When Drew Barnes gets an emergency call from his Uncle Ethan to fill in as the accountant for the Solace Lake Lodge he is surprised. Ethan’s wife is pregnant with twins and has been ordered bed rest till the birth. It is her job he will be taking over till she has the twins and returns to work.

When Drew’s first full-time job ended in disaster due to mistakes he made he was sure his family had never gotten over the fallout so filling in for his aunt he hoped to reclaim his confidence and prove he was more than capable of doing this job. His eighteen-year-old sister Carrie is working in the kitchen so that is another plus to working at the lodge.

It has been years since Drew was at the lodge, but he still remembers most of the staff especially Celeste Bishop the sou chef. It is almost Christmas, and everything should be joyful and problem free, but unfortunately it isn’t. Food begins disappearing out of the kitchen, expensive food, invoices appear to be fraudulent, and vendors are asking for their money which the books show were paid. And then there is the problem that arises with Carrie and Celeste.

Carrie’s problem is not a concern to her but to Drew, it is what he considers major. Her boyfriend, Ryan, is ten years older than her in addition to one insurmountable problem Drew can’t get past, he is a paraplegic. Drew doesn’t hold back in his comments to Carrie about what life will be like for his young sister married to a man who will need to be cared for, sex will be an issue and the more Drew lets his disapproval fly the more he winds up driving his sister away.

Celeste is black, has a daughter and grew up with a white father whose family eventually destroyed her parents’ marriage. All her life she heard about the horrors of interracial relationships and after the death of her husband has stayed away from any relationship choosing her daughter over anyone or anything. When Drew shows interest in her she doesn’t hesitate to turn him off, wanting nothing more than friendship.

Issue number three is the thefts and hacking of their accounting records. They have also been informed by one recent visitor that their charge card had been used by someone at the lodge since it was the only place it was used.

So, it is Christmas time and Christmas magic, and joy seems to be absent from the lodge and all who work there. Three situations that must be addressed and hopefully resolved, two of them involving family and a chance of happiness and one finding a thief who is costing the lodge thousands of dollars and their reputation.

Romance, surprises, secrets and the all too familiar problem of interracial relationships. Prejudice is a never-ending problem, but Drew proved it is not only related to racial differences but also to people with disabilities. Okay I mentioned all the problems, but it is Christmas time and Christmas magic does make a visit to the lodge and there are HEA’s how can we have a Christmas story end any other way.

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