Saturday, October 15, 2022

Review: Season of Love by Helena Greer

Season of Love by Helena Greer
Publisher: Forever
Genre: Female/Female Contemporary Romance 
Season of Love cover
ISBN: 9781538706534
Release Date: October 11, 2022
Source: Publisher
Buy it here: Amazon | B&N | Kobo | Audible

Thanks to her thriving art career, Miriam Blum finally has her decoupaged glitter ducks in a row—until devastating news forces her to a very unwanted family reunion. Her beloved great-aunt Cass has passed and left Miriam part-owner of Carrigan’s, her (ironically) Jewish-run Christmas tree farm.

But Miriam’s plans to sit shiva, avoid her parents, then put Carrigan’s in her rearview mirror are spoiled when she learns the business is at risk of going under. To have any chance at turning things around, she’ll need to work with the farm’s grumpy manager—as long as the attraction sparking between them doesn’t set all their trees on fire first.

Noelle Northwood wants Miriam Blum gone—even if her ingenious ideas and sensitive soul keep showing Noelle there’s more to Cass’s niece than meets the eye. But saving Carrigan’s requires trust, love, and risking it all—for the chance to make their wildest dreams come true.

Season of Love is a heartwarming story of love, loss, and the family you make. Helena Greer’s debut novel manages to give off a good amount of holiday sparkle while having its characters deal with grief.

After the death of her great-aunt, Miriam Blum returns to Carrigan’s (her aunt’s Jewish-run Christmas tree farm) to sit shiva and come to terms with her loss. It’s been ten years since she left Carrigan’s and though her beloved cousin now runs the place, there’s also a new face: Noelle Northwood, the farm’s manager who clearly doesn’t want her there. Noelle can’t understand why Miriam would ever have turned her back on Carrigan’s, nor why she cut herself off from her aunt and cousin. Carrigan’s is Noelle’s home and some fancy artist flying in to reopen old wounds for her beloved made family is not something she wants to put up with. But Miriam isn’t at all what she expected and her reasons for staying away come from a place of trauma. When the will is read and Miriam is named one of the new owners of Carrigan’s, she and Noelle have to find a way to work together.

Noelle is big, butch, and loyal to her loved ones. She’s a recovering alcoholic who has put dating on hold while she tries to protect all that she holds dear. Carrigan’s is in danger of going under and that has to be her top priority, not some gorgeous artist who is a flight risk. Miriam grew up with an abusive father who nearly broke her. She separated herself from her past and has built a life in Charleston that is safe. She doesn’t want to deal with her trauma, but her aunt’s death has forced her to come to terms with the past. Miriam is bright, talented, and smart. She’s determined to save Carrigan’s and that means she has to go toe-to-toe sometimes with her cousin, Hannah, and Noelle. Miriam and Noelle both have lessons to learn and it was great seeing them come into their own. Noelle is slow to trust and wary of being hurt. Miriam has to come into her own and stop hiding from the parts of her that need to heal.

The romance between Miriam and Noelle is often fun and flirty. The attraction is delightful and their interactions when they’re flirting are charming. There is a lot of push-pull for reasons I’ll leave readers to find out. Greer made every bump in the road worth it, however, for a happily ever after that is sweet.

There’s a lot to love about Season of Love. It made me smile that a Jewish family ran a Christmas tree farm and I loved that Greer authentically incorporated Judaism into this story. The supporting cast is also well worth talking about. Everyone at Carrigan’s is interesting and well-drawn, endearing and flawed at the same time. The only downside of this story is that it does move rather slowly, especially the first half of it. The pacing did make it easy for me to put this book down but aside from that I really enjoyed Miriam and Noelle’s story. The ending of Season of Love is warm and satisfying and I’m very much looking forward to Hannah and Blue’s book.

FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.