Holiday Kisses by Anna J. Stewart

Posted April 8, 2021 by Marsha in Contemporary Romance, Harlequin, Harlequin Heartwarming, Owned, Series, Small Town Romance / 0 Comments

His family’s honor is at stake…

And she holds the key

Calliope Jones, Butterfly Harbor’s free-spirited organic farmer, is the most vocal objector to Xander Costas and his design for the butterfly sanctuary that he hopes will save his family’s architectural firm.

Strangely, it’s Calliope who shows him what the town, and he, really need. Calliope makes Xander listen with his heart. And soon his heart may be telling him to stay with this extraordinary woman!

Titles in the Butterfly Harbor series include – The Bad Boy of Butterfly Harbor – Recipe for Redemption – A Dad for Charlie – Always the Hero – Holiday Kisses – Safe in His Arms – The Firefighter’s Thanksgiving Wish – A Match Made Perfect – Bride on the Run – Building a Surprise Family  – Worth the Risk – The Mayor’s Baby Surprise –

 

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Title:  Holiday Kisses
Series:  Butterfly Harbor #5
Author:  Anna J. Stewart
Genre:  Contemporary Romance
Publication Date:  April 1, 2019
Rating:  4.5 stars

I try very hard to not have a favorite story within a long series, after all, I’ve immersed myself in the world so I’m invested in all of the residents of that particular world already.  Yet.  I’ve been drawn to Calliope Jones from the very beginning.  She’s always (up until now) been on the fringe of this world, a vital part but not the main player… until now.  Calliope is a woman who knows herself, understands her connections with nature, the earth, the plants, the animals, and especially the butterflies that make their way to Butterfly Harbor.  She’s definitely a bit mystical, perhaps even magical, she’s strong, devoted, and a woman who isn’t afraid to take on the tough situations – in her own way.  She’s about to need that talent when Xander arrives in town to build the butterfly sanctuary… and he is totally clueless as to what is needed for the butterflies or for the town itself.

Holiday Kisses is the fifth title in the Butterfly Harbor series, and this one touched my heart and imagination in ways that defy explanation but were definitely felt throughout this story.  So, yeah, this one is probably my favorite of the series (if I had to pick just one).

Xander may be a big deal businessman, but he’s also a bit lost in so many ways.  He has thrown himself into designing this little tiny town’s butterfly sanctuary as a way to salvage his family’s reputation and in some ways, the company.  The problem is that Xander has no idea of what the butterflies mean to this town, especially to his strongest critic of his design, Calliope.  His modern, sterile, lifeless design doesn’t fit, won’t serve the purpose of the sanctuary’s needs and he’s about to be taught a lesson in letting go and letting nature in.

I happen to enjoy watching a lost, clueless hero find his purpose through the love of one special woman.  And that fits Xander and Calliope perfectly.  I loved watching him open up and really see the world around him.  It was, frankly, a joy to watch one stubborn, overworked, overtaxed, stressed-out man find his home in this town with this woman.  We’ll learn more about Calliope and her younger sister, Stella’s background, and it is heartbreaking in many ways while showing just how Calliope became the strong woman with her own inner peace today.  Certainly, she’ll have doubts and questions but at her heart, Calliope will do what she’s always done… be strong and accept what nature brings.  If I hadn’t already loved Calliope before, I definitely would have now.

The residents of Butterfly Harbor will once again play major parts, and we’ll run into old friends (and one annoyance) throughout Holiday Kisses.  I had such a good time in this story full of laughter and pain, joy and sorrow, confusion and commitment.  Laughter burst out of me at unexpected times, and I certainly got emotional at several points.  If you love a really good, realistic romance with people you can relate to, and understand their reasons… then not only this series but particularly this story is perfect for you.

I own a Kindle edition of this title.

Available in paperback or for your favorite e-reader, mine is the Kindle.

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