Here to Stay

Here to Stay

by Melissa Tagg


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"Melissa Tagg follows up her debut novel with a stellar sophomore read. With her charming wit and engaging prose, Tagg pens a story of hope in God's dreams for us and ties it all together with sigh-worthy romance. Truly a book and author not to be missed."
~Rachel Hauck, award-winning, bestselling author of The Wedding Dress and Princess Ever After

After playing nomad for five years, Blake Hunziker has finally had enough of adventure. Not sure what reception he'll get from everyone back in Whisper Shore, he's stunned at not only a warm welcome from his hometown but also a job offer. The job is his if he can successfully pull off the annual Christmas Festival. If only he knew the first thing about coordinating events...

If there's one thing Autumn Kingsley knows, it's Whisper Shore. For years, she's been stuck running her family's inn when all she wants is to see the world. Now she has a visit scheduled from a potential investor who could take over the inn, as well as a dream job offer in Paris. But with just two weeks to whip the inn into shape, her chance at escape is a long shot.

The Hunzikers and the Kingsleys may not get along, but Blake knows Autumn's the only one who can help him. She agrees to a trade—she'll help with the Festival and he'll help with inn repairs. But what was meant to be a simple deal quickly becomes much more than that when the guy who's done running away joins forces with the girl who can't wait to leave.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780764211331
Publisher: Baker Publishing Group
Publication date: 05/06/2014
Pages: 368
Sales rank: 829,933
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

Melissa Tagg, author of Made to Last, is a former newspaper reporter, current nonprofit grant writer, and total Iowa girl. When she's not writing, she can be found hanging out with the coolest family ever. She's passionate about humor, grace, and happy endings.
Melissa blogs regularly at

Read an Excerpt

Here To Stay

By Melissa Tagg

Bethany House Publishers

Copyright © 2014 Melissa Tagg
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-0-7642-1133-1


If the letter—the one that could change everything—didn't arrive today, she'd stop hoping.

Autumn tucked a runaway strand of auburn hair behind her ear and crept across the Kingsley Inn's rooftop on all fours, the dirty black slate tile smudging the knees of her jeans. Sun warmed the tile under her palms despite the late November chill and a lakeside breeze whispering over her face.

Tarping the roof's leaky spot probably would've been a job better saved for someone less queasy about heights. But she'd had to lay off their handyman months ago, which left her playing amateur fix-it girl. She probably looked ridiculous crawling across the roof, but hey, she'd gotten the job done.

Except ... Wait. Autumn scanned the edges of the roof. Where was her ladder?

Gone. And it didn't take a genius to pinpoint the culprit. "I don't have time for this, Harry." Despite her muttered words, a smile tugged at her cheeks as she fished into her pocket for her phone. Twenty-eight wasn't too old to still appreciate a good prank.

Phone pressed to her ear, she took in her rooftop view while waiting for Harry to pick up. Beyond a span of parking lot and lawn, browning grass faded to a pale ribbon of beach, where the turquoise waters of Lake Michigan tussled with the shore.

She was getting impatient for word about the potential career move of a lifetime, but pretty Whisper Shore wasn't such a horrible place to linger.

If only she didn't feel as if she'd been lingering her whole life.

"Thank you for calling the Kingsley Inn. My name is Harrison. How may I—"

"Can it, Harry." Her focus snapped back to where her ladder should've been. "You can help me by returning my ladder." Her tone flat-lined, but she had to hand it to the deskman. He'd one-upped her but good.

"Ladder? Whatever are you talking about, Miss Kingsley?"

Ooh, she could just picture him two floors below, leaning against the lobby's mahogany check-in desk, all smug-like. Weasel. "Very funny. You should be on that show with the senior citizens who pull pranks."

"Are you calling me old?"

He did have twelve years on her. "Well, if the sweater vest fits ... "

"And now you're making fun of my wardrobe. I hope you're prepared to sleep on that roof tonight."

Phone balanced between her ear and shoulder, she started crawling again ... and reached the edge of the sloping roof just as the sound of car tires crackling over gravel carried upward. Uh-oh. Had her bride and groom arrived early for their appointment?

She swallowed, chalky dread clenching her throat. She'd been steeling herself for this meeting all week long. Dylan Porter. Suddenly the idea of staying up on the roof was all sorts of appealing.

It's been three years. This doesn't have to be awkward.

Yeah, then why the Tilt-A-Whirl case of nerves? "Come on, Harry, let me down. Pretty please?"

"Nineteen years you've known me, and you still can't get it right. Har-ri-son."

On another day she'd have thrown out a few more Harrys just to hear the man whine and threaten to quit like always. Of course, he'd never actually go through with it. Harry had been a fixture at the inn since Autumn's preteen years, landing in Whisper Shore when he'd decided to take a year off college. Sometime in the last decade and a half, he'd stopped talking about going back. His love for the inn nearly matched her own.

As, too, she suspected, did his fears about its future.

But the sound of a car door clinking shut kept her from teasing. Her fiancé awaited.

Scratch that. Ex-fiancé.

"All right. Harrison, Harrison, Harrison. Is that better?"

"Yes, Jan Brady, much better. Give me a sec, the other line is ringing."


The phone clicked before she could finish. She squinted against cascading sunlight, its brightness along with the front lawn's massive cottonwood blocking her view of the parking lot's newest car. If that was Dylan and his replacement bride arriving early, no way did she want to be caught on the rooftop—windblown and in clothes too dingy for the Goodwill pile.

Autumn sucked in a cold breath and inched over to where the porch roof jutted out from the first floor. The drop wasn't so far. Maybe ...

But the rattling of the metal ladder against the rain gutter conveniently interrupted that questionable plan.

"It's about time, Harry." Autumn dangled one foot over the edge, found her footing on the ladder rung, then the other.

"Can you stall them while I change?" Moments later, her feet thudded to the ground and she turned.

Only it wasn't Harry standing to the side, steadying the ladder while a lawyerly tan trench coat whipped in the wind behind him.

"H-hey, Dylan." The greeting choked up her throat. Really, if ever there would've been a day to call in sick. "The ladder ... you ... thank you."

"Autumn Kingsley." Dylan's smile was as GQ-devastating as ever, and between the perfectly styled blond hair and his chiseled-as-a-statue's jaw, it certainly wasn't a surprise he'd found a new fiancée—only that it'd taken so long.

Look who's talking. She hadn't been on a date since Zach Dawson coaxed her into sharing his blanket at the Fourth of July picnic last summer, then proceeded to spill the entire contents of his paper plate on her. She'd sat there watching fireworks that were supposed to signal freedom, thinking surely the potato salad in her lap was just one more sign she needed to stop wasting time waiting for her life to start in Whisper Shore.

Dylan coughed.

"Um, sorry I'm dressed like this." She glanced at her tattered jeans. Easier than eye contact. "Figured I'd have enough time to change before you got here, but Harry thought it'd be funny to trap me on the roof."

Dylan's baritone chuckle poked at the tension hovering between them. "I thought you two would've run out of pranks by now."

"Well, apparently my creativity is waning. I went old school this morning—salted his tea."

"What were you doing on the roof anyway?"

Autumn plunged her hands into the pockets of her fleece jacket. It wouldn't do to get into the Kingsley Inn's current financial predicament. Dylan didn't need to know that with tourist season over they now had more empty rooms than full—that Autumn had already dipped into her own measly savings once this fall to pay the mortgage. And next month was looking even more dire. The whole thing was embarrassing.

Owning and managing the family inn may never have been her dream job, but even so ... who wanted to fail? It's why booking this wedding reception was so important.

And why she held her breath every day when she checked the mailbox, yearning for the letter from the hotel in France. The one that could breathe life into the hope still lurking along under the surface, the hope that eventually life might hold something more. Travel. Excitement. Adventure.


"Sorry, yes?" She blinked, finally allowing herself to meet Dylan's eyes.

Oh, how she used to gush over those jade irises. But her fascination with Whisper Shore's most eligible bachelor had worn thin the longer they'd been together. The more he'd talked about settling down for the long haul, the more she'd ached for life outside the confines of her hometown.

Ironic, really. She was the one who longed to escape, but Dylan was the one who had gone off to Detroit, found himself a new life and a new bride, while Autumn was still ... stuck.

"The roof. What were you doing up there?"

She shook her head, stray hair tickling her cheeks. "Just checking a to-do off the list. So, where's your fiancée? Mariah, is it?" First things first. She couldn't will the Paris hotel to hire her. But she could nail this reception reservation.

Only now Dylan was the one to look away. His focus landed on the inn.

And she couldn't help following his gaze. The inn used to be the glory of the surrounding shore, its sprawling wraparound porch reminiscent of a Southern plantation. Lattice crawled up one side, and the flowerboxes now filled with fall mums under gangly windows added a homey feel.

But did Dylan notice the way the late-afternoon light highlighted a web of cracks in the three-story building's pale yellow siding? Or how about the white shutters in desperate need of a good painting?

He looked back to Autumn. "Mariah ... isn't coming."

Autumn nudged her chin into the high neck of her fleece. "Do we need to reschedule?"

"No. I already felt bad that we asked you to fit us in the day after Thanksgiving, and now ... "

Dylan shifted his weight, and a knot of worry tangled through Autumn. We need this. Even if that letter finally came and said what she hoped, she still had a responsibility to keep the inn running. "Dylan, it's no problem to reschedule."

"No. I only came out tell you we don't need the appointment anymore." His expression softened, even if his tone didn't. "We won't be holding our reception here."

A testy gust of wind scraped over her cheeks, a dozen arguments jamming in her throat. Dylan had no way of knowing how much she'd counted on booking their reception. On the deposit that could've covered at least a couple repairs.

"Mariah wanted to get married in Whisper Shore since she doesn't have any family in Detroit, and I couldn't help bringing up this place. You have to understand, Autumn, I didn't think you'd still be here. I assumed someone else would be running it by now. After all, you said ..."

His voice trailed as her own words on the day she'd returned his ring came back to her in snippets.

"I have this dream ..."

"If I don't feed this restless piece of me now, I'll regret it later. I know I will."

"I'm sorry, Dylan."

Though spoken years ago, the desire, her dreams, hadn't lost their weight. Circumstances had simply delayed them.

"I know what I said." A sigh dangled from her voice now. "But things changed, and—" her forced chuckle came out garbled and fake—"I'm still here."

"And Mariah doesn't like that. As soon as we got to town, well, you know how people talk here."

Oh yeah, she knew. Gossip made its way from the town a mile down the shore to her lakeside inn with lightning speed.

"I tried to talk Mariah into at least coming out to see the place. But then she caught a glimpse of the Hunziker Hotel."

Her jaw pinched as the unwelcome image of their main competitor's pristine building arose. Small-town charm on the outside, sleek and modern amenities galore on the inside.

Autumn's spirits slumped as the front door banged open and footsteps sounded on the whitewashed porch boards. Harry to the rescue, probably. A little late for that.

"Autumn, you'll never guess who just reserved a room in December." Harry's voice tapered off as he came up beside her, his skinny basketball player frame towering over her. "Dylan," he said, greeting stiff and maybe even a little protective. Sweet and brotherly, if unnecessary.

"Hi, Harry. Anyway, I'm really sorry, Autumn. Mariah knows what she wants. And ... well ..." He shrugged. "She was gung ho to check out the Hunziker Hotel tonight, but their staff is all busy with the welcome home party for the mayor's son, and—"

This time she couldn't hide her flinch. "Wait, what?"

Dylan buttoned his coat. "Some party at Mayor Hunziker's house."

"The mayor's son?" Harry asked. "Who ... ?"

Autumn folded her arms, fingers clenched, as a hundred memories of her sister's pained eyes scraped through her mind. "Dylan's talking about Blake, the younger son. You know, the one who's been in all the headlines, with Miranda Woodruff." Her answer fluttered like a lone leaf clinging to a naked tree.

As if she'd needed one more reason to leave Whisper Shore. Blake Hunziker had finally come home.

* * *

After more than half a decade playing adventurous nomad, was it pathetic that coming home felt like the bravest thing Blake Hunziker had ever done?

Blake turned his car onto Cedar Lane. The years away might've reshaped him, but it hadn't changed this street. It was the same as ever. Bony trees casting craggy shadows in the early evening dim. Brick houses rising from expansive lawns, manicured hedges walling each property. The ashy scent of someone burning leaves.

"All right, Kevin. This is it. Last house on the right."

The mutt in the passenger seat only tipped his head, his straggly brown-and-white hair flopping over his eyes.

"Dude, you need a haircut more than I do." It'd be a miracle if his mother allowed the dog in the house. But Blake hadn't been able to leave the mangy animal where he'd found him, stranded along the highway a good fifty miles from Whisper Shore—skinny and limping. He'd stopped by a couple vet's offices along the way, leaving his contact information in case the owners turned up.

Which had been a pretty good procrastination effort if he did say so himself.

Blake parked in his parents' driveway, exited, and rounded the vehicle. He jabbed one arm into the open trunk of his inherited cherry red Firebird—would it never stop feeling like Ryan's car?—and pulled out his duffel bag, the one that had seen more airports than he could count. He slung it over his shoulder, closed the trunk, and moved to the passenger door.

"Okay, Kev, you get to hang out here for a little while. Just until I see how this is going to go down." He unrolled the window a bit to provide Kevin some air and turned, hesitant resolution thudding through him as he covered the distance to his parents' front door, behind which he'd probably find his father's steely eyes and his mother's disappointed frown.

Because surely they'd seen the interviews when they returned from their international vacation. The tabloid covers. Headlines. TV Host's Husband Exposed As a Fraud.

Yep, he may only have been back in the States himself for a few months, but it had been ... an eventful few months.

A restless wind whooshed over his skin as he reached the door. The hair curling out from under his stocking cap tickled the back of his neck. Was it just him, or was the lion's head doorknocker glaring at him? Like it, too, was angry at Blake for skipping town and taking so long to make his "triumphant" return.

Well, I'm here now, Aslan.

No roar in reply, only the sound of Blake's knock puncturing the quiet. And his heart performing a Riverdance routine. He shifted as he waited, his duffel bag jostling against his thigh. Another knock. Another impatient shuffle of his sandal-clad feet.

Note to self: November. Cold. Shoes. Finally he shrugged, grasped the doorknob, and pushed his way in.

And then stopped two steps into the house, greeted only by the dark marble-floored entryway. What little sun lingered outside the front door did him no good. Someone had drawn the curtains.

Okay, pause. He had called to tell them he was arriving today, right? His mother had answered. Said they were home from their African safari. He hadn't hallucinated that whole conversation, had he? Did they really care so little that he was finally coming home?

"Hello?" He croaked the word, and his bag thudded to the floor. "Helloooo." Singsong this time, sounding like the kid he used to be and not the almost-thirty-year-old playing reluctant prodigal.

A creak. A whisper. And before Blake could make a move, the lights came to life and people, so many people, erupted into cheers, spilling into the entryway from the dining room to the right. His gaze hooked on the Welcome Home banner hanging from the base of the second-floor balcony.

And Mom and Dad, standing in the center of the room. Smiling like ...

Like he hadn't once destroyed their world and then from it, disappeared.

"Whoa." It came out an awed whisper as someone hit the stereo—smooth Miles Davis, his father's favorite. Hands patted his back, chatter sprinkling the room as the party fanned out.


Linus Hunziker stepped forward. His linebacker frame had slimmed since Blake saw him last. The silver that once streaked his temples now covered his head. And when had his father traded in his classic leather shoes for something out of an orthopedic catalogue?

Blake met his father's eyes.

The lines etched around Dad's mouth deepened as he grinned and grasped Blake's hand. "Don't ask. Someday you, too, will fall prey to a bossy podiatrist." The handshake turned into a full-blown hug.

Blake stepped back, numb disbelief finally wearing off. "I can't believe ..."

Mom squeezed in then, nudging Dad out of the way and throwing her arms around Blake's neck. Almost laughably diminutive compared to Linus, Francie Hunziker barely came up to her son's shoulder. Though small, his mother had a fierce side to her. One flash of her brown-almost-black eyes and she'd been able to silence her sons at their wildest. "Hey, Mom," he said over her head.

Dad wound his arm around Mom's shoulders when she moved to his side. Blake pulled the hat from his head, raked his fingers through his shaggy hair—a self-conscious move. He'd expected anger. Maybe tears from his mother. If not because of his disappearance after his brother's funeral, then at least because of his latest stunt. The one that landed him on TV and made his name a household laughingstock.

This ... happiness? So not in his crystal ball.


Excerpted from Here To Stay by Melissa Tagg. Copyright © 2014 Melissa Tagg. Excerpted by permission of Bethany House Publishers.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Here to Stay 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 38 reviews.
Nutz2read More than 1 year ago
Outstanding new book from Melissa Tagg! Here to Stay is Melissa Tagg’s sophomore novel, after Made to Last. It follows Blake “Blaze” Hunziker, who we met in the previous book. I was very interested in reading this book when I first heard about it, even though I still hadn’t read Made to Last - after finally reading it, I was so excited! I loved Blake in the first book and couldn’t wait for him to get his “Happily-Ever After.” Melissa instantly drew me into the story and brought the town of Whisper Shore to life! I loved the old-time feel to it, kind of like it belonged to another era, and all the quirky characters she created breathed life into a town I can only see in my imagination. The descriptions were wonderful and she has almost poetic and definitely quote-worthy dialogue, which was undoubtedly my favorite part. She had me laughing out loud and on the edge of tears in turn. The characters are amazing, too! They leapt off the page and right into my heart. They are wonderfully down-to-Earth and when the book ended it felt as though I was saying “goodbye” to new friends. I will definitely be “visiting” them again! Autumn Kingsley is the heroine in Here to Stay and Blake’s leading lady. I thought she was perfect for him, family rivalry aside. She brought out the best in him, as any good relationship should. I connected with her at once and fell more in love with her with every page I read. She’s the kind of lady you’d love to have for a best-friend. Autumn longs for a life of adventure, the kind her father always told her stories about, and a chance to experience life outside the small town she’s always lived in. But first she feels compelled to take care of her family’s legacy and her employees/friends. In her desire for freedom she faces many “what-ifs,” and questions about what the right move is. I love this quote from her sister, Ava: “Maybe the real freedom in in letting go of the “what-ifs.” Choosing hopeful expectation over worry that life is going to shortchange you.” - Ava Kingsley, page 374 Blake Hunziker is the hero and I must confess that I’ve loved him since Made to Last - I might even like him just a teensy-tiny bit more than Matthew Know, who was the hero in that book (sorry Melissa, I know he’s your favorite). He is funny, sweet, strong, and crazy. He is the kind of fictional character that makes you wish he was real, but if he was, he’d be taken anyway. We knew from meeting him in Made to Last that he is haunted by something in his past and is still hurting from it. He goes back home to Whisper Shore, searching for forgiveness and a place to belong. While he is still the funny, joke cracking guy, there is a new depth to him. We see a new side of him, a deeper insight and understanding of who he is, and why. I loved getting to know this new Blake, who’s a little more serious, but still takes life as it comes, grinning most of the way. I really enjoyed Blake and Autumn’s relationship. It was very sweet and easy. It started out as a friendship and slowly changed to something more. Nothing felt stilted or forced and I loved their banter as they joked and just enjoyed the moments. The spiritual side of the book was as well done as everything else. Melissa doesn’t overwhelm the story, or take away from anything, but rather carefully weaves it in. It flows smoothly throughout the novel, sometimes in the background, sometimes the forefront, but always there. The story wouldn’t have been the same without it.Autumn feels forgotten by God and wonders if He still notices her. I don’t know anyone who hasn’t felt that way at some point. I loved the moment when she finally realizes that He’d be there for her all along. Blake, on the other hand, carries an enormous burden of guilt and feels unworthy, like he has disappointed everyone, including God. He is also struggling with a grief that he hasn’t faced, hasn’t allow to heal. I really appreciated how she handles his grief, shining a light on his battle with it, but not in any way glorifying it. Instead when he ultimately has it out with God, we are left with a wonderful conversation with his dad and a reminder that God will heal any wounds, if we only ask. One of my favorite quotes from this interaction is, “In my most broken state, God saw me. I believe He even grieved with me. And then He started putting me back together, slowly, piece by piece. His heartbeat pulsing inside me when my own was broken.” - Linus Hunziker, page 325 This is where I typically have my complaints about a book, but I honestly don’t have any. I can’t think of anything I didn’t like about it, which is a bit of a rarity for me. I actually loved everything about this book, from the characters, to the dialogue, to the descriptions that brought everything to life. From the sweet romance, to the even sweeter sigh-worthy ending, it is a wonderful book. I highly recommend Here to Stay if you enjoy fun books with quirky characters, sweet romance, and happy endings. I received a copy of this book through The Book Club Network for my honest opinion, which I have given. I was not required to write a positive review and have not been compensated for it in any way. All opinions expressed are my own. *All quotes were used with permission from the author and publisher.
LoraineN More than 1 year ago
What an enjoyable story with great characters, wonderful humor, movie worthy moments, and an inspirational thread peeking through. I loved the chemistry between Autumn and Blake. But how would they get together when their families rivaled the story of Romeo and Juliet and their end goals were so completely different? I asked that and I loved how the author answered that question. (Full review at my website).
lolly-pops More than 1 year ago
HERE TO STAY is the second book in Ms. Tagg's Where Love Begins series, but it easily stands alone. I fell in love with Blaze in Ms. Tagg's first book Made to Last and couldn't wait for his story. It did start out rather slow, but by the middle my interest was piqued and didn't let go until the end of the book. I enjoyed getting to know Blaze (Blake) and Autumn, their hopes and dreams, and still loved Blaze just as much when this story ended. He was a hurting, but real hero. Sweet, and kind, and misunderstood. I enjoyed this book much more than I did the first book in the series, and am looking forward to future stories by Ms. Tagg.
WishEnd More than 1 year ago
4.5 Stars I thoroughly enjoyed reading Here to Stay! It had that small-town charm, relate-able and fun characters, a sweet romance, some soul searching, plenty of humor and swooning, and a perfect ending. I really loved these imperfect characters and the whole feud between the two families. It was fun to see the sparks fly (in more than one way) and see two people work together to make Christmas for their little, picturesque town one that they'll never forget. There were so many sweet, heartfelt moments as well as some that made me lough out loud. Who would ever think a bathroom tub would land in a dining room? And then the way Blake stepped up and was there for Autumn... Yep. Love them both. If you enjoy reading Christian romance or romance in general, definitely grab this one. It definitely left a smile on my face. Content: Clean Source: I received a complimentary copy from the publisher, which did not affect my review in any way.
MrsTina42MR More than 1 year ago
Here to Stay, book 2 Where Love Begins series***** by Melissa Tagg Autumn Kingsley is owner and manager of her family's inn, Kingsley Inn. However, Autumn has dreamed for years of moving to Paris. She finally lands her dream job in Paris but wants to fix up the Inn, hire a manager and make sure her employees continue working at the Inn before she moves. The Inn needs lots of repairs and the mortgage is way behind, how will she be able to do the needed repairs in the short time she has before moving? And what about the overdue mortgage? Then the bank sends her a notice regarding the overdue mortgage, now what will she do? Blake Hunziker has been away from home for 5 years, traveling around the country trying to find peace. He finally returns home to Whisper Shore, but is unsure of the reception he will receive by his parents and those in town. He is surprised by the unexpected reception he received when he arrives at this parents home. Even more surprised when he is offered a job, that is if he can pull off the upcoming annual Christmas festival. What does he know about putting on a festival? It was suggested he ask Autumn to help him as she has been helping with the festival for years. Ask Autumn to help him? Not a good idea since the Kingsley and Hunziker families have had a “feud” going for years. This story is filled with humor—like when Autumn was stuck on the roof from a prank—making me chuckle. I was glad to see healing and forgiveness from the choices of the past and subsequent consequences, regrets, grief and hurts that followed in the characters lives—not just the main characters but secondary characters as well. Of course there is a sweet romance, a romance that builds slowly as Autumn and Blake work around their past, not knowing if a future is even possible. It was great to see “love in action” portrayed clearly as the story developed. I also liked that Blake and Autumn learn to allow God to direct their paths in life and in all areas—to trust God and not seek others approval. I have not read the first book, (Made to Last) in this series but plan to after reading Here to Stay. Great book! ~~I won a copy of this book from the author for my honest review~~
JustShawna More than 1 year ago
Here to Stay by Melissa Tagg BOOK DESCRIPTION: After playing nomad for five years, Blake Hunziker has finally had enough of adventure. Not sure what reception he'll get from everyone back in Whisper Shore, he's stunned at not only a warm welcome from his hometown but also a job offer. The job is his if he can successfully pull off the annual Christmas Festival. If only he knew the first thing about coordinating events... If there's one thing Autumn Kingsley knows, it's Whisper Shore. For years, she's been stuck running her family's inn when all she wants is to see the world. Now she has a visit scheduled from a potential investor who could take over the inn, as well as a dream job offer in Paris. But with just two weeks to whip the inn into shape, her chance at escape is a long shot. The Hunzikers and the Kingsleys may not get along, but Blake knows Autumn's the only one who can help him. She agrees to a trade--she'll help with the Festival and he'll help with inn repairs. But what was meant to be a simple deal quickly becomes much more than that when the guy who's done running away joins forces with the girl who can't wait to leave. MY REVIEW: This book is downright good contemporary Christian. It does have a couple of non detailed kisses in it, but other than that, it's completely clean. Melissa Tagg has a good sense of humor which she incorporates into her characters. Her characters are down home people with a little "family feud" that makes them thrilling and makes this book irresistible. She throws a little "drama" in there and whala! an amazing book. I would definitely recommend it to someone looking for a good read! I couldn't put it down and read the whole thing in a day! I have received this book from the publisher for my honest opinion and review. I have received no monetary compensation for this book or review. My reviews have been left on Deeper Shopping, Barnes and Noble, Amazon and Goodreads.
J_Augustine More than 1 year ago
A wonderful sequel to Made To Last! I loved getting to hear more about Blake, or maybe as he is better known, Blaze. I enjoyed the quirky romance of the first book and Melissa Tagg serves more of the same delicious writing in Here To Stay. Humor is lovingly balanced with the harder issues in life. Both Autumn and Blake have things in their pasts, things they need to forgive others for, things they need to forgive each other for, and things they need to forgive themselves for. An entertaining and thoughtful read, Here To Stay is another winner from Melissa Tagg. If you love contemporary romance with humor and some poignant moments definitely check out Melissa Tagg's Here To Stay! (I received a copy of this book from the publisher through TBCN in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are entirely my own.)
kp68 More than 1 year ago
In Melissa Tagg's latest book, Here to Stay, you will meet Autumn Kingsley and Blake Hunziker. Autumn is ready to leave her hometown of Whisper Shore to live and work in Paris, France: a place where she has always dreamed of living. Blake is returning home to Whisper Shore, after four years of running, following his brother's tragic death. Autumn and Blake team up to put on the town's annual Christmas festival. Blake has agreed to help Autumn repair her inn, in hopes she can sell it. Autumn will help Blake prepare for and put on Whisper Shore's festival, in hopes that people will gladly welcome him back to town after his past misdeeds! God is at work in both of their lives both to heal past hurts and to grow new dreams! This was an enjoyable read. I was touched by the storyline about how Blake deals with the circumstances surrounding his brother's death.
loriweller1 More than 1 year ago
Here to Stay follows Made to Last by Melissa Tagg. But you do not need to read the first to enjoy the second book. Here to Stay is a contemporary romance with plenty of realistic everyday occurrences. The story follows Blake and Autumn and the decisions they need to make concerning their future, both individually and together. I hope Melissa has another one to follow in the works!I received the book from the Book CLub Network in exchange for my honest opinion. 
Heidi_Reads More than 1 year ago
Even though Blake is a character we are introduced to in the author's previous book, I feel like we learn so much more about him and his backstory in Here To Stay. He struggles with a tragedy in his past and it's only by returning home that he is able to reconcile himself with it and find a measure of peace. Autumn is a likeable character with her own struggles of following her dreams or staying loyal to her family and legacy. Secrets are revealed throughout the novel and it seems like these two will never be together... until finally everything falls into place :) (Thank you to Bethany House Publishers for providing a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review)
WonderousReviews More than 1 year ago
There is so much I want to say about this book!! I'll try to tone it down though! While this was the first book I've read by Melissa Tagg, it certainly won't be the last. I fell in love with this book , Whisper Shore, and the irresistable Blake Hunziker! Blake and Autumn were both fantastic characters and Ms. Tagg did a phenomenal job with their character developement as well as that of the other minor characters, I really enjoyed her writing style. Blake was pretty amazing. He had a naturally fun loving nature, but he also had this vulnerable side that just made him so real and likeable, then his caring side that came out at the best times, and the courage that it took him to stop running from his past and come back home! And then there was his nickname for Autumn - I found it so endearing and cute! Autumn was his opposite in some ways - always wanting to do what's best for those around her, determined and responsible, cautious, and definitely sarcastic and funny! Get them together? Your in for a blast - they're perfect for each other they just don't know it! Combine them with the awesome other characters - a girl with down syndrome, a past teacherm, their families, etc, and you're in for an awesome ride! And don't forget to add in hilarious moments and great conversations between the characters! From hilarious verbal sparring to more series issues such as guilt, loss, family issues, prejudice, and the past, realizing what your true dreams, etc., this book had it all. I found myself laughing on muliple occasions, unable to put the book down. I stayed up late because I was so into it, cried at times and said awww as my heart swelled and left a smile on my face. It was very well writen, and a book that I highly recommend! I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are solely my own.
ARS8 More than 1 year ago
What happens when the prodigal, who comes home and is ready to settle down, and the girl, who has followed the rules and is ready to get out of town, fall in love? Autumn Kingsley has been trying to keep her family’s inn afloat since her mother had gifted it to her on her birthday years ago. Blake Hunziker has arrived back in town after being gone for years and is ready to be part of the community he ran away from. His parents welcome him home and would like him to help his father with their hotel. With past circumstances and hurts crushing them both, Autumn and Blake strike up a partnership where he will help her fix up her inn for a very important investor and she will help him organize the Christmas festival for their dying little tourist town. As they begin to work together and ultimately rely upon each other, a “forbidden” romance develops between them. Their families have been feuding for years with their competing businesses and with other history between them, neither think they have a chance with each other. Not only that, but Autumn has a chance of a lifetime- to move to Paris and finally get to pursue her dreams. Are Autumn and Blake’s dreams what they really want, or is there something bigger and better for them both? I really enjoyed this first read of mine by Melissa Tagg. I received this book from The Book Club Network, Inc. (TBCN) and the opinions are my own.
Gabrielle-Meyer More than 1 year ago
Melissa's book, Here to Stay, is her second novel and it tells the story of Blake Hunziker, who we first met in Made to Last. I was really looking forward to reading Blake's story, because I fell in love with his character in Made to Last--and this story did not disappoint! If you haven't picked up one of Melissa's books, I urge you to get one soon. Melissa has such a fun, spunky voice and her characters are so realistic and charming. The heroine in Here to Stay runs a historic inn, but her dream is to see the world. The hero has just come home from globe-trotting, and he wants to finally settle down and stay in one place. As their lives are brought together by a community event, we watch this unlikely pair fall in love. But how can either one give up their dream? I especially loved the setting for Here to Stay. It's a small, lakeside town called Whisper Shores. Melissa did a wonderful job bringing the community, and it's citizens, to life. By the end of the book, I felt like I was a member of the Whisper Shores community. Melissa's story is funny, yet poignant, and you will experience all the joys and sorrows along the way. I highly recommend this book if you enjoy a romantic comedy.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved Loved Loved this book!  I loved it as much if not more than the first one “Made to Last.”  I was immediately drawn into the story.  Laughed with the characters, cried with them.  Read the entire book in just one day!
Blooming-with-Books More than 1 year ago
Here to Stay By Melissa Tagg Autumn Kingsley has a dream and has had it for years, but life keeps getting in her way.  She should have gone to see the world years ago. Instead she's stuck in Whisper Shore, Michigan, running a family owned inn that is falling down around her in a dying town. Blake Hunziker has spent the last few years of his life running.  Running from the guilt.  Running from the pain.   But now he's decided to return home and his parents wrath.  But his parents don't respond the way Blake expected  - in fact he feels almost like the prodigal son.  He's sure to mess something up again - after all that's what he does and someone usually gets hurt in the process. With less than a month until the traditional Christmas Festival is suppose to start (giving Whisper Shore a much needed tourist boost) the long-time events coordinator quits.  Soon Blake and Autumn find themselves planning a Christmas Festival that will be unlike any that Whisper Shore has ever seen.  But there are a few bumps along the way - such as the feud between the Kingsley and Hunziker families. Here to Stay is a delightful book that I'm glad I was convinced to read.  I was convinced during the monthly online chat between readers and authors that TBCN organizes one Monday evening a month.  And I'm not sorry that I agreed to read and review this book.  There are several stories threading throughout the book. The tragic loss of a loved one.  The pressure of family expectation.   The desire to achieve one's dream.  And the bonds of family and friends.  These are seamlessly woven together in a story you won't soon forget. My only regret is I picked it up at 1 am to glance at it and instead spent the night reading instead of sleeping, but it was that good and I really wanted to know what happened.  (Now I have to get a copy of Melissa's previous book Made to Last so I can read more about Blake!) I received a copy of this book from Bethany House/Melissa Tagg through TBCN in exchange for my honest review.  
bookgirl_2134 More than 1 year ago
This is book two in a series and coincidentally is also the author's second book.  Her style is gentle and clean, which was very refreshing and perfect for a simple summer read!  The predominant theme is the parable of the prodigal son and tells the story from both perspectives. The one who  stayed behind and the one who left but returns. You won't regret time spent in Whisper Shore and I'm looking forward to returning... I  received a copy for review from NetGalley, but my thoughts are mine alone. 
inspiremichelle More than 1 year ago
Here to Stay by Melissa Tagg Here to Stay is a great contemporary Christion fiction. Autumn Kingsley sets aside her dreams to run the family inn when all she has ever wanted was to see the world. The prodigal son, Blake Hunziker returns home after traveling the world over. Tired of running he comes home to put down roots. Autumn and Blake’s families remind me of the Hatfields and McCoys but they put aside their families differences and team up to save the town by co coordinating the Christmas festival. You are sure to fall in love with the homey town of Whisper Shore and the characters too. This novel is well thought out, the characters are well developed, full of wit and heartwarming romance that will keep you turning the pages. Here to Stay is the second book by Melissa Tagg, but her first, Made to Last will find it’s way into my to be read pile. I give Here to Stay five stars. I want to thank the author Melissa Tagg and publisher Bethany House for bringing good clean Christian books like this one to readers like me. I would also like to thank The Book Club Network Inc. for providing me with this book in exchange for my honest review.
Fitzysmom More than 1 year ago
Tall, dark and handsome Blake Hunziker has finally found his way home. He's tired of aimlessly wandering and is looking to settle down and make amends for his abrupt departure. But the level of anger that the town of Whisper Shore surprises even him. To begin the healing process he agrees to head up the annual Christmas festival but soon realizes he's bit off a bit more than he can handle. Autumn Kingsley is stuck. Stuck taking care of the inn that her parents have handed over to her. She feels obligated to make a go of it, but she has hopes and dreams of her own that don't include staying in Whisper Shore. When her ticket out arrives she is thrilled but feels torn about abandoning the family business. Even though the Kingsley's and Hunziker's don't mix at all, Autumn and Blake join forces to conquer their respective obligations. Blake agrees to help Autumn spruce up the inn so the investment company that is interested in it will find it more appealing. In return Autumn agrees to help Blake pull off the annual Christmas festival. Knowing the volatility of their two families, it really is a disaster waiting to happen.  The plans the two of them have for their lives seem to be set, but then God intervenes and shows them a completely different plan. Watching it all unfold was a delightful journey. It reminded me of the verse that says, "Man makes his plans, but God guides his steps."  This was a great follow up story to Made to Last. I'm looking forward to reading the rest of the series as it comes along. Melissa Tagg is an author that I would recommend that you take note of. Her writing style is witty while retaining a depth to her message that our hopes and dreams always pale in comparison to that of God. I received a copy of this book to facilitate my review.
Smilingsally More than 1 year ago
I quickly connected to the protagonist, Autumn Kingsley. She's a woman of today--strong, opinionated, and quite capable. In fact, she entirely runs her family's inn. However, she's always dreamed of traveling, especially to Paris. Enter Blake Hunziker, who I "met" in the first of this series, Made to Last. I was happy to get to know him even better! (The author has the technique of writing characters so real that I feel as if I actually know them!) Like Romeo and Juliet, the romance tugs back and forth. It is well balanced. This is an enjoyable read with a happy ending. Although this is the second in the series, it easily reads as a stand alone novel. Try it; you'll like it! Thank you to Amy Green at Bethany House Publishers for my copy.
RoxanneSherwoodGray More than 1 year ago
Here to Stay is a heart-warming romantic comedy about hopes and dreams and discovering God’s best is often right in front of us. 
MelissaF More than 1 year ago
I love this story. This is Melissa’s second book and I have to say I think I liked this one even better than the first, and the first was very good. Melissa’s snappy dialogue and clever writing is all over this book. Something about these two characters, Autumn and Blake, were so endearing to me. I guess because they were both flawed but so likeable. Of course I love that this book was set on the shores of Lake Michigan since I am a Michigan girl myself:) I could just smell and picture the lake so clearly. Blake is a return character from Melissa’s first book but you won’t feel the least bit lost if you didn’t read her first one and pick this one up. She does a great and natural job of getting the reader up to speed. I just kept wondering how could these two ever make it work, since Blake returned to he could stay and Autumn is just waiting to leave. Who would stay or who would go? Melissa also had some great story questions and things that happened in the past to these two characters that will keep you reading so you can see what took place in their lives. A lot of brokenness and hurt. A great contemporary romance that is sure you make you want to visit the Lake Michigan shores. A copy of this book was given to me by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
busymomoftwo More than 1 year ago
A complimentary review copy was provided to me. I have been doing a lot of reading lately. It has been simply glorious. Fortunately, I have had a steady stream of choices to get me geared up for summer reading. I recently finished reading Here to Stay by Melissa Tagg. This is her second novel and follows Blake "Blaze" Hunziker, who we met in Made to Last, back to his hometown. In Here to Stay, similar to her first book, Melissa Tagg tells the story from two vantage points. That of Blake Hunziker and Autumn Kingsley. Blake, who we met in the last book, has been traveling and working around the world for the past few years, trying to escape the shadow of his brother's death. He returns home hoping to finally settle down, but unsure how his family and the town will accept him. Autumn is trying desperately to keep her family's inn in good repair and wanting to take off on her own adventure. The two find themselves working together, each seeing the opportunity as a means to an end, but as you might expect, their feelings for each other begin to evolve. The story explores their evolving relationship and even includes visit from Miranda Woodruff from Made to Last. I really enjoyed getting to learn more about Blake's story and his 'mysterious' history that he had made references to in the earlier book. The characters in this book are nicely developed by Tagg and as such, are easy to relate to and I found myself cheering to help them along. The characters come to find strength in their faith and it helps shape their story. This was a nice, sweet romantic story that was a great way to kick off my summer reading experience this year. If you are looking for a fun, romantic story, this is a book that you will want to check out. Of course, I am ready for the sequel already, so I can find out what happens next.
JeanneTakenaka More than 1 year ago
What do you get when you cross a world traveler guy with a never-left-home gal? A story filled with laughter, poignancy and unexpected outcomes. Tagg has crafted a beautiful story of two people who discover what’s really important in life. With her unique voice, Melissa Tagg weaves in humor, heart and creativity.  Blake Hunziker has traveled the world trying to escape things in his past he believes he’s responsible for. When he comes home to Whisper Shore, he wants to become a more responsible man.  Autumn Kingsley’s dreamed of living abroad for years. When she’s on the cusp of being able to live out her dream, everything conspires to make her think she must stay. As Blake and Autumn team up to swap help on projects, each must learn to recognize what’s really important. Each must come to terms with their pasts to discover what their dreams really are.  Favorite aspects of the story: Blake’s character grew throughout the story. He added tastes of adventure to Autumn’s life. I loved that Autumn wanted to pursue her dream and make sure everyone who was important to her was cared for before she left. Tagg added great twists, and her trademark humor is woven throughout the story. I read Melissa Tagg’s first book, Made To Last, and I really enjoyed it. Here To Stay has risen to a new level of excellence. This is a beautifully written story that will have readers laughing and crying. It’s a story of hope that stays with a reader after the last word is read. **I received an advanced copy of this book with no obligation to leave a review. All opinions are my own.
BrittanyMc More than 1 year ago
Here to Stay was one of those books that I had trouble setting down when I needed to accomplish other things! I truly enjoyed every bit of it and the characters found their way into my heart. Having read Made to Last, I was familiar with Blake’s (aka Blaze’s) character. He was a fun addition to Made to Last and toward the end of that book, we got a hint that there was much more to Blaze than meets the eye. Well, in Here to Stay, you truly get to know the real Blaze, or Blake, as the case may be. He is REALLY trying to shake the nickname that has followed him around for years! There is so much to this guy. You get to see his true character shine in this story and can’t help but root for him to be able to let go of his guilt from the past and find his place in this world. Autumn was also a great character. She has felt overlooked and burdened for so many years and just yearns for freedom. When she had to give up on the chance to travel years earlier, she questioned how much God really cared for her and this caused her relationship with God to suffer. She definitely wants to shake the dust of her little town off her shoes and start living her dreams. But, when she begins working alongside Blake, she begins to question the feelings that she is having for him. Is she supposed to forfeit the dream she has been working toward for years? Is God asking her to sacrifice again? This book was so refreshing! It is a feel-good book with great depth. There are hard questions asked and sacrifices to be made. I loved it from start to finish! It is book two in the Where Love Begins series and you will appreciate knowing more about Blake if you read about him in Made to Last , but Here to Stay can definitely stand on its own. I received a complimentary copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for an honest review, which I have given.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I’ve been wanting to read this book for quite awhile now. I’d heard a lot about this author, the cover just made me smile, and the storyline easily drew me in. The quaint town of Whisper Shore makes for such a charming setting, even with its scarred past, and I loved the warm, local folk upon introduction, even with their wounded hearts and painful prejudices. Surrounded by feuding families, past reputations, and conflicting dreams, Autumn and Blake charmed, entertained and surprised me from start to finish. I enjoyed every minute with them, but especially as the depth of the story increased with the page numbers. I loved the style and heartbeat of this book with its fun dialogue and creative descriptions. I found myself smiling and even laughing out loud at many parts. Honestly, I wanted to hug the characters – as well as the author herself – more than once through the story. I really can’t say there was anything I didn’t like. As difficult questions and decisions are placed before the characters, I believe readers will be challenged and encouraged as well. I imagine most will see themselves through one – if not many – of these characters. They’re that real. And what they discover about themselves and God within this story create a beautiful journey and lesson worth remembering. I’m doubtful anyone can come away NOT in love with this book. Lighthearted, romantic, and sentimental, yet also realistic and delightfully complicated, Here to Stay greatly increased my appreciation for contemporary romance and left me wanting to seek out a lot more in this genre. I can’t wait to read more from this delightful author. This review is my honest opinion. Thanks to Bethany House Publishers for my copy.