THE FOREVER CHRISTMAS TREE Sandra Hill
A Bell Sound Novel , Book 1
Avon Books
ISBN: 978-0-06-285407-0
eISBN: 978-0-06-285408-7
October 2018
Holiday Contemporary Romance

Bell Cove in the Outer Banks of North Carolina

The publicity sheet that came with the advance copy calls this book a romantic comedy. The story is mostly light of heart, but it has some deep characterizations and several seriously hot love scenes. While the whole town is of interest, the tale mostly focuses on Ethan Rutledge, a Christmas tree grower and marketer, and Wendy Patterson. The two of them have been best of friends since childhood and eventually became lovers destined for a life together. He planned to become a veterinarian and she a doctor like her father.

However, before the two left for college, Ethan made a mistake. He drank too much one night and impregnated a girl who had a crush on him. He then felt he must marry Beth Anne to take care of his child. Wendy was devastated and left town, ending up as a Navy SEAL. Twelve years later, she takes advantage of a leave and decides to go home to visit her Aunt Mildred, her only remaining family. She invites a small group of her SEAL mates to come with her. Ethan is now a widower living with his grandmother and his much loved eleven and a half year-old daughter.

Bell Cove was founded many years ago by Italian immigrants who built a bell factory on the island. The residents are like one big family who celebrate the Christmas season. Altogether, it's an enjoyable read. Give yourself a treat and make it a part of your holiday.

Jane Bowers.