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Christmas at Solace Lake by Jana Richards is a Kindle Unlimited pick #smalltownromance #ku #giveaway

Title: Christmas at Solace Lake

Author: Jana Richards

Genre: Contemporary small town romance

Book Blurb:

An emergency brings Drew Barnes to Solace Lake Lodge, an inn deep in the Minnesota woods owned by his aunt and uncle. He’s sure desperation is the only reason they’d allow him to fill in as their bookkeeper. No one in his family has believed in him since his mistake got him fired from his previous job. Soon after he arrives, Drew is disheartened to discover thefts and financial irregularities. The last thing he wants is to be put in the middle of another crime.

Sous chef Celeste Bishop has made a good life for herself and her nine-year-old daughter in the three years she’s worked, and lived, at Solace Lake Lodge. After being unfairly fired, this was the only job she could get, and she’s grateful her gamble on the lodge paid off. The only sticking point is the isolation since she never learned to drive. How can she show her daughter independence when she’s always relying on others?

Drew sees Celeste’s frustration and offers to teach her to drive. A powerful attraction ignites between them, and soon deeper, stronger emotions blossom. Drew is all in, but Celeste resists her feelings. She’s nine years older than Drew. An interracial relationship didn’t work for her parents. And loving Drew feels like a betrayal of her deceased husband.

As Christmas approaches, the thefts escalate. Can Drew stop the thief and redeem himself in his family’s eyes—and his own? And can he convince Celeste they deserve the gift of a happily ever after this Christmas?


Celeste woke with a start in the unfamiliar room. Then she felt the weight of Drew’s arm around her waist and the events of the previous evening rushed back. She remembered kissing Drew, making love with him. It had been wonderful, magical even.

Dear God, dear God, dear God.

She was scared as hell. Had she made love with him because he was in pain and she wanted to comfort him or were her feelings deeper, stronger?

No, no, no. She couldn’t have feelings for Drew. She just couldn’t.

Drew stirred and when she turned her head to face him, his eyes opened. He gave her a sleepy, sexy smile. “Good morning, beautiful.”

“Good morning.” Celeste leaned over his shoulder to look at the clock on the night table. “It’s only five am. Go back to sleep.”

His hand tightened at her waist. “Are you leaving?”

“Yes. Before people start coming to work. They might wonder what I’ve been doing if they see me walking out of the woods so early in the morning.”

She kept her tone light, but her attempt at humor fell flat. Drew stared at her, and even in the dim light she could see the hurt in his eyes.

He removed his arm from around her waist and sat up. “Yeah, you wouldn’t want anyone to think you were here with me.”

“Drew, I just meant—”

“It’s all right.” He moved to the opposite edge of the bed, his back to her. “I understand you have to go.”

He lowered his head, his elbows braced on his knees. The dejection in his pose tore at her heart. She couldn’t leave him like this. She crawled across the bed to him and pressed against his back, wrapping her arms around his neck and resting her head on his shoulder.

“Drew, last night was amazing, truly. Please believe me when I say making love with you was very special. But it can never happen again. I’m not who you need. You deserve someone wonderful. I know that’s not me because I’ll never feel more than friendship for you. I’m sorry, but I don’t feel the way someone should feel going into a relationship. I don’t think I ever will.”

Her voice hitched on her last words. She buried her face into the crook of his neck.

God help her, she never wanted to let him go.

Fear made her tighten her hold. She’d been in love before but, in the end, it had brought such pain. He deserved someone who loved him with everything she had, her whole heart. Celeste had nothing left to give him.

She kissed Drew’s neck one last time. “I should go.”

He grasped her arms, preventing her from leaving but then with a sigh, he dropped his hands. Her heart filled with regret as she left the bed.

Neither of them spoke as they picked up their clothes from the floor and slipped them on.

Drew followed her to the front door. “I’ll give you a ride.”

“There’s no need. I can walk.”

“It’s dark and cold. I’m not letting you walk alone.”


“Can’t you let me do this one small thing for you?”

Though she wanted to get out of the house as quickly as possible, the pain in his voice stopped her. Celeste swallowed. “All right. Thank you.”

They drove the short distance to the lodge in silence. Drew pulled up to the entrance to her apartment and put his car into neutral. He turned to look at her. “Thank you for letting me know Carrie was safe.”

“I thought you’d want to know. Are you going to work today?”

“Yeah. I can’t hide forever.”

“Good. I guess I’ll see you later then.” She set her hand on the door handle.

“When should we schedule your next driving lesson?” Drew asked.

She turned to look at him. “You’re sure you still want to do that?”

“Yes, I’m sure.” He reached for her gloved hand. “We’re friends, and I promised my friend I’d help her learn to drive.” He squeezed her hand before letting go, the expression in his dark eyes unreadable. “At least, I hope we’re still friends.”

A strange combination of relief and loss swirled in Celeste’s gut. “Of course, we’re still friends. Always.”

Buy Links (including Goodreads and BookBub):

What makes your featured book a must-read?

CHRISTMAS AT SOLACE LAKE is a holiday romance that can be read all year round. Though it’s a Christmas story, it’s so much more. I examine themes of family love—love between a mother and child, between siblings, and between parents and their adult children. The way we think of people with disabilities is also explored, as is the idea of interracial relationships. My characters, Celeste and Drew, struggle to come to terms with grief and self-forgiveness. And to top it off, there’s a mystery to be solved! CHRISTMAS AT SOLACE LAKE will entertain you and make you think.

Giveaway –

Enter to win a $40 Amazon gift card:

Open Internationally.

Runs November 7 – November 16, 2023.

Winner will be drawn on November 17, 2023.

Author Biography:

Jana Richards has tried her hand at many writing projects over the years, from magazine articles and short stories to full-length contemporary romance, paranormal suspense and romantic comedy. She loves to create characters with a sense of humor, but also a serious side. She believes there’s nothing more interesting then peeling back the layers of a character to see what makes them tick.

When not writing up a storm or dealing with dust bunnies, Jana can be found pursuing hobbies such as golf (which she plays very badly) or reading (which she does much better).

Jana lives in Western Canada with her husband Warren and two senior cats named Layla and Leelou. You can reach her through her website at

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1 comentário

N. N. Light
N. N. Light
08 de nov. de 2023

Thank you, Jana, for sharing your book in our Kindle Unlimited Bookish Event!

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