Review: A Christmas by the Sea by Melody Carlson

"Yes. It's all rather magical." (115)

Title:  A Christmas by the Sea
Author: Melody Carlson
Publisher: Revell
Release Date:  September 4, 2018
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
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Wendy couldn't believe she was standing here discussing toilets with a perfect stranger. Not
that he was perfect--although he was rather attractive. But he was obviously enjoying her discomfort a bit too much.

He eased the bulky box from the shelf and onto the floor, leaning it against his leg. "So . . . you're new in town?"

"Not exactly." She watched as he easily picked up the container. Was he trying to be friendly or actually hitting on her?

When Wendy Harper inherits her family's beachside cottage in Seaside, Maine, she sees it as a way to finally pay off the debts that have mounted since her husband died. Her twelve-year-old son Jackson sees it as an exciting new start in a life that has grown rather gray without his father.

Before it can be sold, the neglected property must be renovated. Wendy and Jackson move in--temporarily, she reminds him--in order to fix the place up before Christmas. But the charming town, along with local craftsman Caleb Colton, pulls on Wendy. She knows that the most responsible thing to do is to sell the cottage and return to Ohio, but the lure of the sea--and a fresh start--is hard to resist.


Every time this year, as Fall draws near, I look forward to the change of color in the beautiful view of Fall foliage, and into the brisk cool air where reading is perfect inside and out, all cozy and warm. And during this time, when Christmas stories make way into bookstores, I always look forward to the sweet stories of Christmas miracles and magic. The moment I saw Melody Carlson's A Christmas by the Sea, I knew it will be on my must read list. I haven't missed a Christmas story by the author these past few years, and it's not about to change anytime soon.

A Christmas by the Sea brings readers to Maine, where what seems to be a dilapidated house may just turn into the home of our characters' hearts. Add in the sweet friendship turned romance, and we have a story that is as sweet and delightful as the cover suggests. Though I did find the ending a bit rushed, and therefore anti-climatic in many ways, it does tie everything up neatly for its length. Heartwarming with a dose of reality mixed in, A Christmas by the Sea should definitely be your next read. 

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the author/publisher. I was not required to write a positive review, and have not been compensated for this. This is my honest opinion.

For my review policy, please see my Disclosure page.


Melody Carlson is the award-winning author of more than two hundred books with combined sales of more than six million. She is the author of the bestselling The Christmas Bus, The Christmas Dog, Christmas at Harrington's, and The Christmas Cat.  She received a Romantic Times Career Achievement Award in the inspirational market for her many books, including the Diary of a Teenage Girl series and Finding Alice.  She and her husband live in central Oregon.  She is the winner of a Romantic Times Career Achievement Award in the inspirational market for her many books, including the Diary of a Teenage Girl series andFinding Alice. Melody and her husband live in Oregon.

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  1. Annie, Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

  2. Such an enchanting cover. I'm looking for some holiday reads and this sounds lovely:)


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