Cover Image: Christmas in Silver Springs

Christmas in Silver Springs

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CHRISTMAS IN SILVER SPRINGS (Silver Springs Book 6) by Brenda Novak is a full-length Christmas contemporary romance. The story is not a light and fluffy Christmas romance, but a powerful story of finding love after betrayal, forgiveness and redemption. This addition to the series, like all the books in this series, can be easily read as a standalone.

Harper Devlin and her two young daughters leave Denver behind to spend time with her sister’s family in Silver Springs after her ten-year marriage to rock star, Axel Devlin ends in divorce. Harper is finding it difficult to move forward, even with the difficulties and betrayals during the last two years of their marriage. She is surprised by the kindness of a stranger, who sees her sadness and hands her a single white rose and just offers to listen if she needs to talk.

Tobias Richardson recognizes the sadness in Harper’s eyes. He moved to Silver Springs to be close to his brother and his family five months ago, after being released from prison. Thirteen years ago, he was sentenced as an adult after a terrible incident. He regrets everything and even though he has been forgiven by those who lives he changed forever, he is finding it difficult to forgive himself. When he offers Harper his friendship, neither can believe the powerful attraction and desire that rises between them.

As Tobias and Harper’s relationship grows, Tobias is afraid of Harper’s reaction if she learns of his past. But secrets have a way of coming out and when Harper learns of Tobias’ past, he fears he has lost her for good. The truth is not always, black and white and Christmas is a time for forgiveness and love.

This is not your usual holiday romance. It is emotionally deep with angst and heavy topics; the loss of a long-term marriage, fear of a rebound relationship, keeping Tobias’ incarceration a secret, forgiving oneself and moving on. Even with all of this going on, it is a beautiful romance between Harper and Tobias. Both Harper and Tobias were realistically written by Ms. Novak. Harper’s loss of her marriage, the conflicts with her ex and the fear of trusting again set up her indecision. Tobias’ actions as a teenager, the glimpses of prison life and the understanding of others while being unable to forgive himself gave him depth. The sex scenes are short and explicit, but not gratuitous. 

This story is about the many types of forgiveness, redemption and the Christmas season setting adds to the wish for love and happiness for all.
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We are midway into December and it’s only 2 more weeks or so until Christmas. I think it’s safe to say that holiday reading and recommendations are in full swing – unless you’re like me and can curl up with a Christmas novel in the middle of July. Sun, rain, snow – I don’t care what the weather looks like outside or what the calendar says, there’s something delightful in the feel-good formula that most holiday-themed tales will deliver.

Harlequin is hosting a Holiday Blog Tour that began December 1st and I’m thrilled to be a part of it. They were kind enough to offer a number of titles to choose from and {one of} my selections was CHRISTMAS IN SILVER SPRINGS by Brenda Novak.

I liked the characters. Separation and divorce are never easy, I would imagine, and everyone is going to handle it a little different. As in each of Novak’s novels, she did an excellent job with charisma, emotions, and character tension. Her stories also typically have a bit of steamy heat that you can read through or skip past if you desire. Overall, a 7 out of 10 mistletoes – it was quick and easy, but I didn’t quite find the Christmas “heart” I was hoping for, even though there was, of course, romance and growth all set at Christmas. It just didn’t leave me ready to decorate my tree. That being said, it was an overall enjoyable contemporary romance – Harlequin knows what works..
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Brenda Novak returns to the town of Silver Springs in Christmas in Silver Springs, but it works well as a standalone.  It is a wistful, emotional romance told from two points of view - Tobias and Harper. With this dual POV, we know Tobias is keeping something pretty big from Harper, who is still reeling from her divorce. Novak has written strong and vivid characters; multiple storylines twist together but each one has it's own need for healing and acceptance. This is a story about both, as well as one of love and forgiveness. 

While the setting is during the Christmas season, Christmas is not integral to the storyline - it could be set in (and read during) any time of the year.

Another lovely, engaging tale from Brenda Novak.
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Harper Devlin's rock star husband would rather rise to the top in his career and not be a husband and a father. So, Harper takes their two girls to her sister's home for the holidays. Meeting Tobias Richardson is about to changer her life forever. Tobias ends up being just the perfect man for her, and so he finds ways to help her.

Is relying on the kindness Tobias offers a smart thing for Harper to do? What about the attraction they both feel? Then there is the fact that Tobias hasn't actually told Harper the fact that his an ex-con. This makes the struggle even harder for Tobias because he knows he must tell her the truth and soon. The fact that Harper's husband makes an appeal for a second chance certainly confuses things.

There is a nice exploration as to why Tobias ended up in prison, and his actions most certainly proved his worth. Reading a character such as his, considering he would likely become the step-parent of two young girls, was really nice.

Although I haven't read any of the previous books in the series, it didn't affect this story. It was so well-written, so encompassing, that I was able to be fully invested all the way through. Not only that, it was a very emotional read as I really felt for Harper and Tobias. There is a small part of me, which is why this review loses one star, where I just wished Harper would let her ex go. But, in the end, it was all handled well and had a remarkable conclusion.

Many thanks to Harlequin and to NetGalley for this ARC for review. This is my honest opinion.
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This review was originally posted on  Books of My Heart
Review copy was received from Publisher, NetGalley. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
3.5 hearts
I am always happy to come back to Silver Springs.  There is, however, an overall theme of people making some bad choices or being in bad situations and having to live with the consequences.  The school is a key part of helping the very young be in a better place and have improved chances in the future.  Their part in the community also highlights the role of compassion and even forgiveness.

The prejudice in Unforgettable You, which I found frustrating and heartbreaking, had characters developing in Christmas in Silver Springs. Tobias made a big mistake as a teenager and paid dearly for it. He regrets what happened, feels terrible and works very hard to always make good choices now.   It's one thing if those making mistakes have no regrets and keep making bad choices. It's another, if there is only one mistake when they were children.  A live & let live, and ignore policy, would be more appropriate than an active destroy their life agenda.

If you are reading the series, some of the information, grudges and issues felt a bit repetitive but at least there was some character progression. Tobias and Atticus have become friends. Tobias is trying to do something exciting for Atticus' birthday which is very cool. Maddux and Jada get excited about it and help with the idea. This progress and development in the characters is one of the best things.

Uriah's son, Carl comes back to town to get money, make trouble and continue to make bad choices. He's older than Tobias by about 10 years but not making any effort to work on improving his life. Tobias is worried about his friend and landlord but doesn't know what exactly he can do.

The romance was not exactly believable. But it was beautiful how Tobias treated Harper with kindness and was truly interested in her happiness. There's a bit of a love triangle with her ex-husband (famous rock star) and that was just unpleasant.  Rock star was a total douche. I was sad Tobias was not more upfront with Harper about his past. My sense of the size of Silver Springs told me it was going to come up, even if Harper was only in town for a few weeks.

These multiple story lines to provide an engaging read. We do get both Harper and Tobias' point of view.  The setting is at the Christmas holidays so there are some festivities and family gatherings. Both Maddux and Tobias are on vacation because of the school break which gives them more time to spend with family and friends.
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This is another cute story by this Author. It's filled with wonderful characters you're rooting for, can sympathize with and care for. 

Brenda has such a way with writing that her stories draw you in until the very end!! 

If you're looking for a Christmas read- grab this one today! 

Will be posting this on my blog: 
And Amazon:
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A very sweet Christmas time story...the characters are good is a little brooding, there's happy but also a lot of wallowing for both characters. I enjoyed seeing old friends from Silver Springs in the story too!
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So much for forever. When Harper Devlin’s rock star husband ditches her on his way to the top, she takes her two daughters to her sister’s place in Silver Springs for the holidays, hoping family can heal her broken heart. But comfort comes in unexpected places when she crosses paths with local Tobias Richardson. The moment Tobias spots Harper, he recognizes a sadness he knows all too well. After spending thirteen years in prison paying for his regretful past, Tobias is ready to make amends, and maybe helping Harper is the way to do it. But offering her a shoulder to cry on ignites a powerful attraction and a desire neither saw coming. Fearing her reaction, Tobias doesn’t reveal his checkered past. He’s falling hard, and if Harper finds out, he’ll lose her for good, especially because her famous ex is now trying to win her back. Secrets have a way of coming out, but maybe this Christmas will bring Tobias the forgiveness—and the love—he deserves.
I’ve seen this author’s name many times over the years but hadn’t had a chance to read any of her books so I was happy to get the opportunity to try this one. This was about two people who have gone through a lot that need each other to find happiness in the end. I really enjoyed the story and highly recommend. 
**I voluntarily read and reviewed this book
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This is the second book I have read in this series. Yes, I know this is the latest and I read book one. I have all the books in the series just need to get reading faster. Maybe I need a month off work to read... hmm.. Anyways back to my review. I really enjoy the Silver Springs stories this one included. Harper is in the middle of a divorce, not by her choice and she is trying hard to get her ex husband back even though he has cheated on her and is living the high frame life as a huge famous singer. Tobias is trying to live a modest and quiet life since being released from jail five months earlier. 

Novak has her readers following both these characters and getting to know them pretty well. I really started to feel for both of them and sometimes actually found myself upset with Harper because I have been through a rough relationship with a cheater/liar/all about him kinda guy. I wanted to yell at her "things are not going to change he is just feeling threatened that you might actually have a great life without him!" so it did take me a little longer to read this one than I thought it would. I had to walk away sometimes as I still get triggered by certain topics. 

The relationship Tobias and Harper start to form is amazing and both of them are having a hard time realizing then deserve each other and a happy relationship. Tobias can't figure out how to tell Harper about his past without scaring her away so he keeps quiet. Super easy to fall for these characters and hope for a happy ending. A great story about forgiveness and rebuilding a new life. 

I give this book a 4 out of 5 stars. I look forward to reading the rest of the series and more from this author.
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Forgiveness and Starting Over at Christmas

Tobias Richardson is trying to get his life in order. He spent thirteen years in prison for shooting a boy when he was a teenager. Now he’s back in Silver Springs. He has a job and his brother’s family is supportive. Still, it’s hard because some in the town are not ready to welcome him back. 

Having a meal in the local diner he sees a woman with sad eyes. Harper Devlin is spending Christmas with her sister. She’s trying to move on from the marriage she thought would be forever. She supported her rock star husband when he was struggling to get noticed. Now he’s famous and wants to walk away from Harper and their two children. 

Tobias and Harper become friends and could be more, but each is struggling with a problem. Tobias is afraid he’ll lose her if he tells her about his background. She’s torn because while the divorce is almost final, her husband is now talking reconciliation.

This is a heart warming story and the Christmas season is a perfect backdrop for two people who are trying to start over. Harper is understandably torn between her husband and the relationship she’s developing with Tobias. I thought her struggle was very realistic. 

I could understand Tobias not wanting to broach his past when he’s unsure of where he stands with Harper, but it felt like it went on too long. Both are excellent characters. You can’t help but wish them well. I loved the ending. It pulled the story together perfectly. 

I received this book from Harlequin for this review.
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Quite a sweet tale of romance between two saddened souls who found their safe harbor in each other. 

Tobias had served a prison sentence due to a mistake in his teens. Harper's rock star husband wanted to divorce her. And Silver Springs was the perfect backdrop  for those hearts to meld together until the husband returned. 

My first book by author Brenda Novak, I was enticed by the story line. The author certainly kept the story going in most parts. The struggles of life were well depicted. Insecurity could hit any of us. I felt really sorry for Tobias who couldn't seem to forgive himself. The divorce had certainly messed up Harper's head. 

The entire story revolved around the ebb and flow of thoughts between the two main characters. The characters were broken and needed to heal themselves. The romance and love soon blossomed when they began to forgive themselves and realize a few truths.  The writing certainly evoked the emotions. 

This was a story of second chances in life when forgiveness was abound. The book was a part of the series though could be read as a standalone. Overall, I would call it a sweet second chance romance.
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(This review was commissioned by Harper Collins.)

Gorgeous writing? Check. 

Vivid, strong (and refreshingly mature) characters? Check.

Handsome and caring leading man and decent competition for the main character's affection? Check. Check.

Christmas in Silver Springs is a sweet story of a woman, Harper, in the midst of uncoupling with her very famous husband, Axel (I ignored this to the best of my ability but in my head he was strawberry blonde, screechy, and wearing a bandanna the whole ride through this book) when she meets Tobias; Tobias of the gorgeous eyes, sweet heart, and sketchy past. Tobias who picks up on Harper's need for a friend and shows up in such a big way- right up until Axel shows up, too, wanting his family back.

Ok, so I can't say enough how endearing the town of Silver Springs, CA is or how much I enjoyed the fact that Harper is far from a damsel in distress;  she has a solid support system that cares about her and if anything, she contains, amazingly, what could be dramatic reactions to losing the man she deems repeatedly the love of her life, and broods as hard as she can when her kids aren't present which earned her my respect; and the interactions between Tobias and Harper are fantastic, charged, sweet, heady. The way romances are supposed to be- tempered by the will they or won't they push pull of Axel coming back into the picture regretful and wanting to work it out. 

Sweet and loaded with heart, this is a great story for anybody who wants to read a romantic tale next to their glittering Christmas tree.
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Harper is heartbroken because of the end of her marriage with pop star Axel Devlin. Willing to move on 
and not letting the past spoil hers and her daughters' Christmas, she goes to her sister's house in Silver
Springs. She is not yet ready to move on but upon meeting the gentle Tobias and realizing how desirable 
she is still, she decides to get involved with the mysterious man.

Tobias has spoiled his youth because of a mistake and now that he is trying to restart his life, to recognize
the pain in Harper's eyes can be very dangerous to his heart but even so he lets himself
 take for his feelings for her, even though he thinks he doesn't deserve her and that everything will end in a
blink of an eye.

Tobias has a great group of friends and  perfect brother who love him and are capable of everything for
 him and when he needs, will show how special he is and deserves a second chance.

Although the story is not quite a Christmas story, the way the writer reinforced the second chance idea
it was quite strong showing how well the Christmas spirit can touch the hardest hearts and operate
true miracles.

 3,5 /5 stars
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Very good romance with just a touch of suspense. Brenda Novak never disappoints. Loved the seasonal theme. Can’t wait until the next Silver Springs story!
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Harper and Tobias are at best a mis-matched couple. Tobias is an ex-con and Harper the soon to be ex-wife of a rock star. That part range true. Rock stars often make very bad marriage partners. The romance was sweet but I just kept waiting for the next shoe to fall. Seems Tobias has not revealed his past. At time it seemed I was reading just to find out when it would happen.
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I love this series and puts you in a Christmas mood. Ms. Novak always hits you deep in the heart.
If you haven’t started the series I suggest you do. 
Small town of Silver Springs where people care about each other. 
Loved it.

Thank you Netgalley for letting me read this book.
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FINAL DECISION: This is a book about rebuilding. Both Tobias and Harper are starting new lives. I found their struggle emotionally satisfying although I really didn't like that Tobias kept his secret for so long. That was a bit annoying even though I understood his character's motivation. I just think that they needed more time to process the truth so I docked the book a little.

THE STORY: Tobias Richardson has just been released from prison after serving a long sentence for shooting someone when he was seventeen. Tobias is determined to turn his life around and moves to Silver Springs to be with his brother. When he spots a woman he is instantly attracted to, he notices that she seems sad and gives her a rose. Harper Devlin is on the verge of having her divorce from her rock star husband finalized. After a decade of marriage, he wants his freedom to explore his superstar life and has left Harper and their two children. But Tobias can't bear to tell Harper the truth about his past and Harper isn't sure her marriage is over which complicates the relationship these two keep wanted to explore.

OPINION: A book about forgiveness and starting over, I thought that the multitude of relationships that were about forgiveness worked tremendously well for me.

Tobias is a man literally starting his life again after spending all of his adult life in prison. While he is strong, he also has a soft heart. I loved how kind he is to Harper even when she was hurting him with her behavior. He is always concerned about her feelings even to his own detriment because he wants her to be happy. He also doesn't really feel that he deserves happiness.

This book is about layers and various types of forgiveness. Ultimately, Tobias must forgive himself in order to seize his own happiness.

Harper is having to find her own footing after her husband asked for a divorce in order to live the good life of a rock star. He'd rather sleep with groupies than spend time with his wife and children. We meet her right as her divorce is becoming finalized and her relationship with Tobias helps her find herself. Things are complicated by the tug and pull of her ex-husband who wants another chance. Harper is torn between a new relationship and keeping her family together.

I found her bouncing back and forth frustratingly realistic, but I was annoyed by her because she really was hurting Tobias with her actions.

The only part of this book that bothered me is that Tobias waits too long to tell Harper about his past. That might have been okay, but I didn't really feel like the reality of his past was confronted by these two as they get together in the end. I needed more exploration of their relationship when they are together and honest with one another. But that was a small complaint about what was overall a satisfying story.

This book has a beautiful ending which stayed with me long after I finished the book.

WORTH MENTIONING: I didn't like Atticus much after UNFORGETTABLE YOU, but he has been redeemed for me in this book. I hope we get his story soon.

CONNECTED BOOKS: CHRISTMAS IN SILVER SPRINGS is the sixth book in the Silver Springs series. It operates as a standalone although I think there is more depth to the story (involving the side characters) if the reader has read UNFORGETTABLE YOU (which is about the hero in this book's brother).

STAR RATING: I give this book 4.5 stars.
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With this being the 6th book in the series and I previously not reading the others in the series this may affect my review.
Harper goes to Silver Springs with her two daughters to visit family after getting her heart broken and her marriage ending. She does have hope that they will get back together. 
One day she meets this handsome stranger named Tobias. He was in prison and now that he was released, he is getting his life back on track. He has a job and his family does forgive him what had happened.
Tobias and harper have a slow burn romance, they both have there flaws but they both stood by one another through it all. It did take Harper a little longer that I would have liked to realise that Tobias was the right guy for her. I know that it must go with the flow of the story bout I would have liked it to be a little bit sooner that’s just my opinion.
All in all, I did enjoy this book, I do feel like this can be read as a standalone not having read the pervious books in the series.
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I look forward to returning to Silver Springs and the newest book in the series was worth it. A good story of renewal and redemption, for Tobias and Harper. He served a 13 year prison sentence for a terrible accident that occurred when he was only 17 after experimenting with drugs, as most teens do. 

Harper is spending time with her family days before her divorce becomes final. She's struggling with moving on and if it is the best option for her daughter's or can she believe her ex has changed and try sgain. After an explosive encounter between Tobias and her ex Axel, she realizes Tobias provides safety, security, and calm. BUt, Axel discovers Tobias' history and it appears all is ruined. Harper realizes Axel will never change, and Tobias at 30 is not who he was at 17.

Although part of a series, the book can be read as a standalone and I recommend that you do read it! I received a free ARC eBook from Net Galley and the publisher for my honest opinions.
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Harper has come to Silver Springs with her two girls to spend Christmas with her sister and her family. She is dealing with a broken heart after her marriage has ended. She and Axle have been together since they were teens, but when he hit it big in the music business, he began cheating and has filed for divorce. Her divorce will be final in a few days and she has done everything to make it amicable for the sake of her children. She doesn't know what she is going to do, but still hopes they might work things out. When she meets a handsome stranger, who gives her a rose with no strings attached, she has not idea where it will lead. Tobias has done his time in prison and is now back in Silver Springs trying to put his life back together. He has a stable job and has his family close by. His friends and family have forgiven him for the terrible incident that sent him to prison but can Tobias forgive himself? As they run into each other a few more times, they begin to care deeply for one another, but there are so many roadblocks, will they be able to get beyond them?

This is the sixth book in the series, but the first one I have read. I had no trouble enjoying this story as a standalone and getting to know the characters. Both Harper and Tobias were flawed. They both had doubts, guilt and issues with self-esteem. The way Tobias' friends and family supported him was wonderful. They stood beside him, tried to build up his self-respect and push him to forgive himself and pursue his dreams, especially Harper. Harper also had her family trying to push her to pursue what she really wanted, even if it was Tobias, an ex-con. Harper wanted to save her family, mostly for the sake of her girls, but that was one thing that frustrated me with her character. He had treated her terribly and she was willing to go back to him and put up with his terrible cheating and treatment of her. I was happy when she finally realized that he was not the man for her. I did not know what happened in Tobias' past and was glad when it was finally revealed, and understood why he carried so much guilt. Watching Harper and Tobias fall in love, get torn apart and find their way back to one another was a wonderful story. This is not just a romance, but a story of loss, betrayal, heartbreak, friendship, guilt, forgiveness and second chances. I will try and go back and read the previous books to find out about the other characters and their stories. I recommend this one to anyone who enjoys contemporary romances, especially those with second chances and New Beginnings.
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