This was cute and Christmasy, but unfortunately will probably not be memorable for me. I appreciated the conflict, even though there was a third act break-up and we all know how we feel about third-act-break-ups. Really enjoyed the audio narration, though.
Not sure but I think this is my first experience with Michelle Major. I can firmly attest that it won’t be my last. The stars of THE CHRISTMAS CABIN are immensely complicated and yet humanly simple. What does everyone want. To be loved, trustworthy, valued, and most importantly safe and secure. Life doesn’t present itself in terms of guarantees. It is truly a work in progress.
Lauren’s life has been a series of stops and starts. Her father only knows one speed and that has always been critical, demanding, and unforgiving. So of course Lauren found herself continually testing the waters and found herself floundering. The one bright spot was her teenage daughter Hannah. To protect Hannah, Lauren separated herself emotionally and physically from her family that consists of her demanding father, a stepsister Kayla, and a brother Brody.
Lauren finds herself back home after a lengthy absence to help with a holiday experience at the summer camp she had attended. Not much has changed in Magnolia after all these years. Things and folk have aged. Some gracefully and others not so. Her father is part of the latter. Her once teenage love is still amazing. So being there is filled with complicated feelings.
The exchanges between Lauren and Hannah are definitely some of the best. Two strong, intelligent females who absolutely adore each other. Even through the occasional eye roll you can see how Hannah loves and respects her mother who single-handedly raised her.
At first Hannah is slightly belligerent that she has been kept apart from Lauren’s family. You know that expression – because I’m the mom. Well for the most part Hannah gets that but of course being a teen opens a small gap. Not to worry though. Hannah is smart and observant.
Lauren is going to have to come to grips with her choices. Is there a way to mend fences and start new relationship or even better fire up some old ones. Time will tell. Her time in Magnolia has an expiration date. Lucky for us Lauren is up to the task.
THE CHRISTMAS CABIN is a gracious look at family dynamics that don’t always fall in line. Michelle Major carefully created her characters with very human foibles. The dialog moves smoothly along with the plot. Michelle Major makes you feel as if you are right in the scenes with her characters. Aloud responses are to be expected. All makes for an amazing read.
The Christmas Cabin
The Carolina Girls #6
Michelle Major’s new novel in her Carolina Girls series is all about going home again, second chances, forgiveness, and Christmas miracles. The novel has multiple stars but the headliners are definitely Ben and Lauren who readers once they learn about them will be cheering them on and wanting to smack them upside the head for their thickheadedness. Then there’s Hannah who is Lauren’s teen daughter, she’s a spitfire with a heart of gold doing typical stupid teen things and Kayla who is not Lauren’s evil stepsister although that’s the role she’s always played in Lauren’s mind. Readers however will see the real lonely, only wants to fit in and be a part of a family even a dysfunctional one Kayla. The story shows off Michelle’s marvelous storytelling ability and her way of weaving her story from a hopeless beginning to a hope filled end. The story reads well on its own although all the books in the series are fantastic so give them all a try. Fans of this wonderful author or the novels of Sarah Morgan or Jill Shalvis will love this novel.
Growing up in picturesque Magnolia North Carolina was no picnic for Lauren Maxwell between her domineering wealthy father, suck-up stepsister and the boy who broke her heart she couldn’t wait to get out of town. But now years later when her younger brother is getting married and wants her back home for the wedding. So she packs up her teenaged daughter, swallows her pride books a room at her old summer camp stomping grounds and vows to deal with the past to return home to see her beloved brother Brody tie the knot.
Ben Donnelly has spent years trying to rebuild his family’s name and reputation and okay he had to sell the summer camp that meant so much to him growing up and partner with the devil aka his ex-father-in-law Robert Maxwell to do it, but he thinks it’ll be worth it. That is until the girl who stole his soul charges back into town just as bossy and as beautiful as ever and throws a wrench in the deal.
Can these two lonely hearts find a Christmas miracle and find their way back to each other or will their stubbornness and inflexibility keep them apart.
If you are a fan of the Hallmark type Christmas stories, you won’t want to miss The Christmas Cabin by Michelle Major. When single mom, Lauren Maxwell, returns to her hometown (after more than a decade) to attend her brother’s wedding, she must confront the issues that caused her to leave all those years earlier.
This heart warming tale of reunions, regrets and restarts, is an easy read with relatable characters.The theme of Christmas miracles and never giving up on your dreams, makes this the perfect book to curl up with by the Christmas tree this season.
Every so often you get a book that you are so into that it feels like the insides under your skin is crawling, or maybe like adrenaline is racing through your system. That's how I felt from the second I started this book till the end.
So many emotions I had to deal with while reading The Christmas Cabin. I was pissed, sad, happy, then pissed again. I spent a lot of time being pissed. Ha! The funny part is that it wasn't just one person within the story that made me mad. It was almost every character that pissed me off. We all really need to learn to take to each other.
If feel like that author did a great job of showing us a dysfunctional family and what happens to them and the people around them. An uncaring, cold father set his children on a path of jealousy, dislike and distrust.
What I loved about this story is that I knew that at least one of the sisters was going to find their happily ever after so all the stuff up to the ending is just gravy. So much of this story you need to learn for your own, so I won't give too much away. I was happy that the sisters started to work on their relationship. They both had some backsliding but isn't that how family is?
You'll love Lauren and Ben. I felt for them both. They felt for them both. they are so young when they fall in love and they both wanted to do nothing but spend the rest of their lives together but like so often with young love it didn't work. Thankfully some of us get a second chance.
You enjoy watching them fall in love again. Not that I think they every fell out of love. I enjoyed how they worked through their past and was able to start something new. Nothing is easy in this book, but I think that's what made it so much better for me. In the end the people who are important work out what needed to be worked out. This one will be perfect for the holidays!
Heartfelt holiday goodness! If you're anything like me, you're always game for a return trip to Michelle Major's beloved Magnolia, North Carolina where love seems to find them when they are least looking ... and what better time than for a magical holiday wedding? The drama is high, the characters are easy to relate to and the turmoil will keep you turning page after page. I enjoyed my trip to Magnolia as always!
Laurel and Ben were easy to like and their friction was entertaining. I especially liked his kind heart and willingness to put it all on the line for those he loved.
Kayla and Scott were also fun to get to know. I felt for her quite a bit for how she had to try to fit into the family as a step-daughter/sister and once Scott came into the fold and turned her head, it was great to see her shine.
I recommend this book to anyone that enjoys a small town holiday romance filled with strife and family interaction with a whole lot of heart thrown in the mix.
THE CHRISTMAS CABIN – Michelle Major
The Carolina Girls, Book 6
Canary Street Press
October 24, 2023
Magnolia, North Carolina – Present Day
Lauren Maxwell couldn’t wait to leave Magnolia after she became an adult because of her difficult childhood living with her father. But now she is a single mother of a belligerent teenage girl and is back in town to help plan her brother’s wedding to a woman she’s never met. Lauren made reservations online at the only place that held joy for her in Magnolia, a cabin resort. But when she arrives, she learns that the place is shut down and in much disrepair. And she comes face to face with her first love, Ben Donnelly, who also happens to be her ex-husband.
Ben and Lauren married at eighteen, mainly because she wanted to get out of her domineering (and filthy rich) father’s home. But while she wanted to leave Magnolia behind, Ben felt obligated to stay because his alcoholic father nearly died, and the man decided he was ready to get sober. Lauren later sent Ben the divorce papers. He has purchased the cabin resort from his mentor, but what Lauren doesn’t know is that he is in a partnership with her father to tear it down and build McMansions along the beach shore.
Shortly after Lauren’s arrival, her stepsister, Kayla, who was adopted by their father, contacts her. However, Lauren dislikes Kayla because she feels the woman is a goody two shoes who is their father’s favorite. All Kayla wants is for Lauren to like her. She hates what their father does in demeaning people and wishes that she could push back at him. Right now, he is demanding that she work her wiles on next-door neighbor Scott about acquiring his land next to the cabin resort. Kayla contacts Scott and agrees to go on a date with him. Both know that she will be pitching a deal for the land, but they soon grow attracted to each other.
In THE CHRISTMAS CABIN, the relationship between Lauren and Kayla is fraught with tension as Lauren makes it clear that she doesn’t like her. Meanwhile, Lauren’s daughter Hannah pushes her to meet the grandfather she’s never met. The meeting is just as Lauren expected: her father puts her down by telling her that she is a failure. However, Hannah decides that she likes her grandfather’s mansion and wants to stay there. Lauren can’t get her daughter to change her mind so finally agrees. Despite Lauren’s hatred of Kayla, the woman promises to keep an eye on Hannah. With Hannah no longer staying with Lauren at the cabin resort, it gives time in this tale for her to get reacquainted with Ben. She needs his help fixing up the rec room at the cabin resort because that is where the wedding will be held. Speaking of the wedding, Lauren meets the bride and alarms immediately sound. Is she just being overly protective of her baby brother Brody?
As readers probably can figure out, there is a lot going on in THE CHRISTMAS CABIN. Ben didn’t know how to tell Lauren about what will happen to the cabin resort, especially about his partnership with her father. As a last hurrah, she decides to throw a Christmas bazaar with fun activities at the cabin resort. Soon, everyone is pitching in to help. Her father continues to berate everyone around him. He loves no one except himself. In this tale, Kayla and Lauren slowly repair their relationship, mostly due to their mutual disdain for their father and their love for Brody. Ben and Lauren get reacquainted, but she will be leaving right after Christmas when the wedding is over.
Will Lauren end up staying in Magnolia? Will the McMansions be built, or will Ben figure out another way to save the cabin resort? Can Kayla and Lauren find love and happiness? It’s Christmas time and readers will enjoy a feel-good tale in THE CHRISTMAS CABIN. An enjoyable tale you won’t want to miss.
Romance Reviews Today
I enjoyed this book. It was fun,light hearted and romantic. I loved Hannah. I think she's sweet with a rebellious streak. I also loved the bonus story at the end. I'm grateful that netgalley and the publishers let me read this in exchange for an honest review.
Lauren couldn't wait to leave Magnolia, South Carolina behind and she did. She's been living life as a single mom up North long enough to raise a teenage daughter. Now her younger brother needs her help with his impending marriage. She will do it for him but plans to avoid her manipulative father, ex, and perfect stepsister. Not so easy! And then there is the camp she loved as a child that needs to be rescued.
Thanks to NetGalley for providing an eGalley of this title.