Here to Stay - My Review  | The Engrafted Word

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.

Here to Stay - My Review  | The Engrafted WordI 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.



Blake Hunziker has played nomad for five years and landed in his fair share of trouble too. But now he’s finally returning to his hometown–the Lake Michigan tourist town of Whisper Shore. Counting on a not-so-warm welcome, he’s surprised at not only a positive reception but also a job offer. Determined to settle down and prove himself responsible, he agrees to the catch that comes with the job offer–coordinating the annual Christmas festival–even though he has no idea how he’ll pull it off.

Autumn Kingsley, inn owner and experienced organizer of the Christmas festival, has always dreamed of traveling the world. Now she has a job opportunity in Paris and a surprise potential investor coming to town who just might take on her family’s inn and finally leave her free to go. The only problem is that she has just two weeks to whip the inn into shape.

Their families have a long history of not getting along, but when Blake comes to Autumn for help with the festival, she actually agrees…in exchange for his help with the repairs to her inn. They may have struck a simple deal, but complications are quick to pile on when the guy who’s had enough of running away and the woman who can’t wait to leave join forces.


Here to Stay - My Review  | The Engrafted Word

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Melissa Tagg, author of Made to Last and Here to Stay, is a former reporter and total Iowa girl. In addition to her homeless ministry day job, she is also the marketing/events coordinator for My Book Therapy, a craft and coaching community for writers. When she’s not writing, she can be found hanging out with the coolest family ever, watching old movies, and daydreaming about her next book. She’s passionate about humor, grace, and happy endings. Melissa blogs regularly and loves connecting with readers at

In case you missed it, here’s my interview with Melissa from a few days ago.  There’s still time to enter her giveaway too! 😉