All Kate Taylor wants is to make her family’s candle company the success it once was. As the main attraction in Baryberry, she can’t even begin to imagine the damage it would inflict on the town if it shuttered. However, money is getting tight and the warning signs are piling up … So after her aunt hires Wesley Adams, a soon-to-be major player from a Manhattan financial firm, to offer his analysis, Kate’s willing try do almost anything to increase revenue. But as Wes begins to fall for the Christmas-centric town and Kate along with it, the last thing he wants is for hard business decisions to come between them.
Some books feel like a blanket—they’re warm, comforting reads that pack in a bundle of emotions. Christmas in Bayberry is much like a blanket book, only add in a roaring fire, a mug of hot chocolate, and a plush chair for good measure. Really, it’s the height of cozy.
Author Jennifer Faye has managed this by raising the stakes while letting up on the tension. Yes, the candle company is in a mess. Yes, Kate is so wrapped up in financial worry and selfless devotion to her town that she has zero time for a personal life. Yes, Wes is so focused on his financial job that at the first bit of small town kindness he practically dissipates in a cloud of emotion. But these characters—and, in turn, the warmhearted town they inhabit—are so genuine, so sincere, that they all just have to reach a happy ending.
That’s not to suggest that there’s no tension, or that the book inevitably breezes on by. Faye knows how to jam up the otherwise festive spirit, and a fun cast of quirky secondary characters keeps the main duo on alert. Most of this is propelled by the blooming romance between Kate and Wes, and Faye finds plenty of charming moments to pull them together.
Like so many of Hallmark published books, Christmas in Bayberry feels cinematic. Tight dialogue. Quick scenes. Relaxed drama offset by uplifting fun. Perhaps best of all, it taps into that Hallmark Christmas tone, laying on the rich holiday cheer, gorgeous setting, and pure fun.
Note: I received a free ARC of this book from the publisher through NetGalley.