Sophia Rose is back with The Beachside Bed and Breakfast by Hope Ramsay, the fifth standalone romance in the Moonlight Bay series. Come see why you’ll want to curl up with this small town romance.
by Hope Ramsay
Series: Moonlight Bay #5
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Purchase*: Amazon *affiliate
A heartwarming story about family, healing from loss, and finding love, even when you never dreamed it was possible.
Ashley Howland Scott has no time for romance as she grieves the loss of her husband, cares for her young son, and runs Magnolia Harbor’s only bed and breakfast. Ashley never imagined she’d notice—let alone have feelings for—another man after her husband was killed in Afghanistan five years earlier. But slowly, softly, Rev. Micah St. Pierre has become a friend . . . and now maybe something more. Despite her reluctance, Ashley has to admit that Micah is kind, thoughtful, and handsome to boot. All the more reason to steer clear of him. She can’t risk her heart again.
After becoming the center of Magnolia Harbor’s rumor mill once, Micah St. Pierre has no interest in letting the members of the local quilting club play matchmaker for him. Besides, the only woman he’s interested in is the one he can never have. Micah is not allowed to date a member of his congregation, so there’s no point in sharing his feelings with Ashley, no matter how much he yearns to. But the more time they spend with each other, the more Micah wonders whether Ashley is his match made in heaven.
Sophia Rose’s Review
At last, the Reverend Micah St. Pierre and widowed B&B owner, Ashley Scott, are getting their story, and I was all for it after seeing the little sparks of more than friendship coming off this pair since the first book. It was never going to be easy so I was excited to see what long-time enjoyable author Hope Ramsay did with their story.
The Beachside Bed and Breakfast is the fifth standalone contemporary romance story in the Moonlight Bay series. Though, standalone in the strict sense, the series is full of small connections that work best when read in order.
The Beachside Bed and Breakfast is brimming with family heritage, past connections, and other relationship ties in a small town setting surrounding the spotlighted romance. Micah’s St. Pierre roots in the Gullah culture and his issues with his parents play a strong role in his background and choices just as Ashley’s maternal Howland roots are what brought her to Magnolia Harbor to take over Howland House which she inherited from her grandmother after her husband died overseas fighting in the war. The Howlands and St. Pierres have a connection long in their pasts and now in the present.
But, it’s complicated.
Ashley has been grieving her husband’s loss still and has no intention of marrying let alone opening her heart again. Micah is an Episcopalian priest and the church bylaws don’t allow for a priest dating one of his parishioners. He has tried moving on and she has shunted away any pesky feelings and attractions. But, his attempt to choose another woman were a flat fail that caught the attention of his Altar Guild and the ladies get busy matchmaking and her attempt leaves her feeling hollow and irksome particularly now her dad is meddling at the inn and with her imaginative son who believes the ghost of pirate Captain Teal is in the big tree in their yard.
Something’s gotta give.
And, it does, but does it lead to a loving pair or parting for good?
Meanwhile, the St. Pierre’s second brother, Colton, who has made a big deal about remaining untethered and fancy free of relationship ties outside his brothers has taken on a wayward kid with deep issues from his parents’ deaths and his grandmother’s indifference and he has returned his interest to a woman he had a past encounter with. Will the wild brother be able to settle down at last?
Like many small town romances, this one is gently paced and packed full of more going on than the romance- or romances, in this case. The author layered the story with social struggles to anchor it in reality, with character flaws and weaknesses paired with strengths and endearing qualities to make the cast engaging and complex, and brought the series full circle as the old Howland-St. Pierre past and current saga is brought to a close. Parts lagged, and I got frustrated with Ashley and Micah a few times, but overall this book brought the feels and had me cheering for all the main players to get their happy resolve right down to Ashley’s son who faced bullies, his dad’s death, and his ghost. I am unsure if this is the final book in the series, though it sure felt like it and Micah and Ashely finding resolution and healing does seem to cap things off nicely. I wouldn’t say no to more Moonlight Bay, but I am well-satisfied if this was it. Those looking for small town romance with a hint of spice and well-layered backdrop should definitely consider this book and series.
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