Member Reviews

I am here for holiday romances and this one was like a cozy blanket. Nola returns to her hometown to prepare "The Castle", her grandmother's estate for sale. While home some chance encounters occur with Tanner who has made it his mission to remind Nola about the charm of Heart Lake. Will he be successful in doing so? You will have to read the book to find out but this book does not lack in wit and charm between the two! Heart Lake was the perfect setting for this book! Thank you to NetGalley and Forever Pub for the advanced copy of this book! All thoughts and opinions are my own!

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This book is a Hallmark Christmas movie but in word format. And with more sex in it because I think we all know how chaste those Hallmark movies can be. :)
This book was light-hearted and fun to read. It hit some of my fave tropes: grumpy/sunshine, best friend's older brother, city girl returns to her small hometown, forced proximity, etc.

Magnolia, aka, Nola, inherited her beloved grandmother's house, nicknamed "the Castle" and returns home for Christmas to clean-out the place as she intends to sell it to raise money to start her own consulting firm. She clashes with Tanner, her best friend's older brother who never left their hometown of Heart Lake and thinks Nola is betraying her family and town by selling the house to a developer who wants to raze it and put up condos. Of course, because it's Christmas, Nola gets hit with waves of nostalgia, reminders of the joy of living in a small town, and the fun of being with her best friends and honourary niece and nephew, forcing her to rethink her plans, all while getting to know Tanner better.

What I liked: see first sentence of this review. I'm a sucker for the Hallmark Christmas movies and I could easily see this one being made into a movie. I felt that Nola was a relatable character. She didn't have all the answers, she was confident but wasn't cocky/arrogant, she acknowledged when she got something wrong. Tanner was also a good character - very devoted to his family, friends, and hometown. I felt that even when he was frustrated with Nola and her plan to sell, he didn't try to force her and bully her into doing something she didn't want to do.

Things that surprised me: how quickly things accelerated between Nola and Tanner. It was 0 to 100km/h in a single page! That's not necessarily a bad thing, but I would have liked more build up.

While reading it, it felt like the book was a set-up for a series with Nola's best friends, Amanda and Rosie. This theory proved to be correct when, at the end, there is a note that the next book in the series will be released in summer 2023. I will definitely add it to the TBR to find out what else happens in Heart Lake.

Thanks to NetGalley for an eARC of the book in exchange for an honest review.

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I enjoyed this book. Set in picturesque Michigan it has small town charm with big city problems.
I was distraught that Nola wanted to sell her grandmother’s big house to developers. That just made my blood run cold.
I liked that Tanner worked with his hands and was a total grumpy bear. I would have kicked his rear end to the curb after his verbal assault.
These two need to wake up, but will it be in time?
There is a HEA or I wouldn’t read it 😜

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This was like reading a hallmark movie. I loved it! So festive, it had your typical snow fights, snow man building, city girl, country boy, hot chocolate drinking, don’t realize you’re in love with each other feel! Which basically is everything I love in a Christmas book. So needless to say I absolutely loved this book!

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This read like a fairly standard Hallmark movie. There was a formula and you had to suspend reality a little bit to actually get into the story, but it was enjoyable for what it was.

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A perfect holiday romance with characters that grow out on you with their love for each other and some friends that are as medley as trustworthy.
I think this would make a perfect hallmark movie for the winter season. The small town vibe full with second chance romance plot and the added side characters, will make for a great time spend in front of your screen.

Very grateful to the publisher for my review copy

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What a fantastic small town story. Nola returns to Heart Lake to ready the Castle, her Gigi’s home, to sell to a developer. She has plans to use the funds to start her own consulting business. Everyone wants her to stay, even her high school crush, Tanner. Tanner is Rosie’s, her best friend, older brother. If you’re looking for a feel good Christmas read with mostly wonderful characters, you won’t go wrong by choosing this book.

I received a complimentary copy of this book and this is my voluntary and honest review.

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If you’re looking for your next Hallmark type holiday romance then look no further. Cute and Christmas-y with just a touch of spice, this will give you all the holiday vibes.

Nola inherits her grandmother’s home and heads back to her hometown to clear it out and get it ready for sale. She has big plans for the money from the sale. She’s burnt out from her job and wants to start her own business in Chicago. So when she’s back and reconnects with her high school crush Tanner and sparks fly while snowed in during an epic snowstorm, Nola reconsiders her decision to keep or sell her grandmother’s property. There are fun supporting characters and there is a truly laugh out loud scene with Tanner’s dad that you won’t forget quickly!

If you’re a fan of small town romance, second chance romance or Hallmark movies, this book is for you.

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I liked the small town of Heart Lake, Michigan, especially during the holidays.  I felt right at home reading this book about Tanner, his sister, Rosie, and her best friend, Nola.  The friendships, the characters, the Victorian house, known as The Castle, and romance all pulled me into the book and did not let me go.
I really enjoyed the banter and disagreements between Nola and Tanner. They make the story very interesting.  I also enjoyed the humor in the book too.  It was the perfect holiday book for me.  I received an advance copy of this book and I willingly choose to write an honest review.

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Dreaming of a Heart Lake Christmas, by Sarah Robinson, is the story of business consultant Nola Bennett and the opportunity her dear Gigi left to her in the will. Now back in Heart Lake, Michigan, from her current Chicago home, Nola will spend the holidays back in her hometown while preparing Gigi’s home, the lakefront “Castle”, for sale. The money earned will allow Nola the funds to start her own woman led business consulting firm, a rarity in that sector.

A huge plus to this time in Heart Lake is the time she will be able to spend with her childhood best friend, single mother Rosie Dean, and her beautiful godchildren Becca and Xander. Unfortunately, this will also put Nola back in the presence of Rosie’s older brother, Tanner. For whatever reason, Tanner has always been a thorn in Nola’s side.

This is such a well plotted story of reconnections, second chances, and discovery. I very much enjoyed this story and it’s well drawn characters. I certainly do recommend this book!

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She left her heart in her hometown! Nola returns home to sell her beloved grandmothers home, the Castle. With the money, she will be able to return to Chicago to start her own business. But her best friend's brother, her school crush, just might cause her to rethink her plans! Really looking forward to more of Heart Lake storirs. Who is Rosie's children's dad? Amanda and Blake? Also, Gigi seemed to have a secret past!
Thank you, NetGalley!

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Well, it's that time of year again. The time when I start reading holiday ARC's. I'm starting off the season with Dreaming of a Heart Lake Christmas. Sarah Robinson is a new author for me so I was very excited to find a new author who likes to write small-town romance.

There are many things that I enjoyed about this story. I like her friends and found them to be funny and very loyal. I kinda feel like they are better friends to Nola than she is to them. Sometimes you have to remember where you came from. I will say she is a great godmother.

I think you'll like Nola but get tired of her single-minded thought of selling her grandmother's home and getting back to Chicago. Okay, that might have been only me but I at times wanted her to stop with it. I understood her feelings but felt that point was bigger than the romance.

I love Tanner. He's such a great son, brother, and uncle. You won't be able to not love him. He works hard and has put everyone first before himself. He's even put off his own dreams to make his father happy.

In a way, these two are very good for each other. Nola needs someone to help her learn that being the biggest isn't everything. Sometimes it's about doing good work. And Nola helps Tanner learn to reach for his dreams and push himself.

As a whole, this is a sweet story but very low on the romance part. I personally would have liked more romance. I understand that they know each other already so you don't have that part but at times I didn't even feel any heart between them. I needed more. The funny part is that I pretty much loved the characters so that's what made me keep reading. I feel that's very important in the books I read. I can overlook some things, not liking the characters isn't one.

Since I did like them so much I will be reading the next book. I want to know what and who Nola's friends will get with.

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Dreaming of a Heart Lake Christmas by Sarah Robinson is an endearing little romance between two life-long frenemies: Tanner and Nola (Magnolia). Nola has returned to Heart Lake from her life in Chicago to pack up her grandmother’s home after her death. She plans to sell it and use the money to start her own business. She is tired of being used by her boss. One of the first people she tuns into is Tanner, her friend Rosie’s big brother. As usual, he has a snarky comment to make. It’s been like this between them for years. All is moving along with the sale of the house until the big snowstorm hits. Nola had been so sure she could take care of herself, but when the electricity goes out and it turns out she really doesn’t know how to start a fire, things are looking dire. Guess, who shows up? He and Rosie had both been worried about her. There’s a fire in no time and so much more. Their pent-up feelings explode into a memorable night for both of them. But, she’s going back to Chicago, right?

Robinson has put together a predictable, but very entertaining story about two pretty stubborn people. They are both so entrenched in what they have been doing that they can see little else. Tanner is the all-around good guy. He takes care of his family and is always available to help. Nola is the city girl with a career. It is what she has wanted since high school. The plot is a simple one, but effective. They both change their perspectives and that simple act opens a new world for them. There are additional interesting characters in this world Robinson has built: Rosie, the single mom; Amanda, the interior designer; Marvel, the not quite aged-out hippie. All have their stories to tell and they will be good ones. Fun read!

I was invited to read a free e-ARC of Dreaming of a Heart Lake Christmas by Forever, through Netgalley. All thoughts and opinions are mine. #Netgalley #Forever #SarahRobinson #DreamingOfAHeartLakeChristmas

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Dreaming of a Heart Lake Christmas by Sarah Robinson s a best friend’s brother story taking place in Heart Lake, Michigan. Nola Bennett has returned to set up selling her late grandmother’s historic house. The home selling is one thing she would like to check off her list n preparing to start her own consulting company. Spending time with her old crush Tanner Dean was not so much on that list.

A couple that has different views on the house and on life in general, these two were bound to clash. Underneath it all is the still strong attraction. It takes family meddling and changing n relationships to bring this developing romance to a point where they can hope for a future together.

The romance is sweet with a touch of steam, some drama, some angst, and plenty of family to go around. Read today for a wonderful Christmastime feeling.

An ARC of the book was provided by the publisher through NetGalley which I voluntarily chose to read and reviewed. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

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Nola was around Tanner's family her whole life as his sister is her best friend. She's godmother to her friend's twins, supporting the family when their mother died , but never doesn't s lot of alone time with Tanner. He was always at the forefront of her mind but they always seemed to argue and fight.

Well this Christmas as she's returned home to their small Michigan tien to sell her grandmother's house she reconnects with friends. She and Tanner start a relationship but aren't sure what the future holds. She's enlightened along the way and she and Tanner are willing to give up so much for each other. Will he leave the family business and move to Chicago or will Nola decide to stay in town?

You'll want to read this feel good holiday story to find out. It's worth it!

An ARC was provided to me from the publisher and Net Galley. The thoughts expressed in this review are my own.

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3.5 out of 5 stars!

Unhappy at her workplace, the heroine is eager to start her own business. The heroine hopes that the sale of her late grandmother's estate will fulfill that wish. As the renovation continues, the heroine ends up being stuck when an unexpected snowstorm comes through her hometown. During this prolonged visit, she reunites with the woodworker hero, her high school crush. As the two reconnects during this holiday season, their relationship changed. Will the new change to their relationship lasts longer than the holiday season?

This is an enjoyable holiday romance book by Sarah Robinson. This book has a small-town setting with entertaining characters. I enjoyed reading about most of the characters. Other than the couple, the hero's twin nephew and niece were adorable, and the dating status of a few senior characters were entertaining. The troubles that cropped up in the book weren't too much and the holiday vibe remained intact. The book also needed some more details in parts of the story in my eyes, but they weren't detrimental to enjoying the book. Overall, it's an enjoyable holiday romance read.

**Thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for the review copy. All opinions and thoughts in the review are my own.**

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We all want to be home for the holidays, but what if home really doesn't feel like home anymore?
Nola Bennett needs to sell “The Castle" her grandmother's historic house in Heart Lake since she has passed. Coming back to her hometown with all it's memories of the good times in this small charming town,her best friend who still lives there and the many memories of visiting with her grandmother, not to mention this is where her first love still lives . None of these memories should deter her from what she needs to do, sell the house and be on her way back to the big city where she has moved on with an important job and no thoughts of this small town life.
This charming Hallmark like plot was such a fun read. The setting was atmospheric and romantic. Loved the setting of the snow storm.
Nola wants to run back to the big city as soon as she takes care of business but Tanner Dean her previous flame is the nostalgic type wanting her to stay in this small hometown of theirs,remember the good times and not sell the "Castle". A whimsical,small town charming romance full of plenty of heartwarming scenes and Christmas charm. Now this is definitely worth a second read this holiday season.

Pub Date 27 Sep 2022
I was given a complimentary copy of this book.
All opinions expressed are my own.

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Dreaming of a Heart Lake Christmas was a great read by Sarah Robinson. Nola Bennett wants to raise enough money to start her own business. She needs to sell her grandmother’s historic house and go back to the city. Heart Lake’s most eligible bachelor is insisting that she hangs on to the property. He just so happens to be her high school crush as well. Woodworker Tanner Dean just wants peace and quiet for Christmas. He tries to persuade Nola to keep the house while they are extremely attracted to each other. I enjoyed reading this book and can’t wait to read more by the author.

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I'm a sucker for a Christmas romance. They get me everytime and it's a guilty pleasure. This was the perfect one to get this season's holiday books going!

Friends to lovers, sister's best friend, holiday themed, it checked all the tropes I enjoy. Nola and Tanner had a relationship that just needed built on and it was done very well. Fast paced and a truly easy read. I was halfway done before I realized, and books that do that to you, while you can't deny the hold they have.


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What a wonderful story. A perfect story for a Hallmark movie!

Going home for the holidays, well for some people it is about family and relaxation but for Nola Bennett she is going home to go through her grandmother's house. The house, The Castle, as it is called was left to Nola after her grandmother passed away, all Nola wants to do is go through the contents and then sell it. Nola lives in the city now, Chicago, and she wants to start up her own business. But things don't go as Nola plans.
Connecting with old friends and her best friends brother, who irritated her in high school still irritates her now. What to do when a big snowstorm hits Heart Lake and Nola pretends she knows how to light a fire to keep herself warm but Tanner comes over just to check on her and it is a good thing....can someone say chemistry ignites as well as the fire in the hearth!

The characters are wonderful and I found myself laughing out loud a few times. The story was flawless and it kept my interest right to the end. I look forward to reading other books by Sarah Robinson.

Thank you to NetGalley and Forever (Grand Central Publishing) for allowing me to read an advanced digital copy of this book for an honest review! These are my words and my words only

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