Library Journal Review
When Josie Avery takes the chef's position at the Caribou Lake Lodge in tiny Ponder, AK, she's only marking time before she accepts her dream job as sous-chef at a trendy restaurant in Seattle. But her arrival and their growing friendship are a sea change for Ponder native and master swordsmith Palmer Saxon, who's been trying to get up the courage to ask Josie to marry him. Reluctantly, she turns him down only to end up missing the last ferry out of Ponder until spring, a situation that could cost her the new job if she doesn't find another way to get there. With Palmer's assistance, she makes it out only to find that the job is not what she'd hoped for and she's missing Alaska-and Palmer-far more than she imagined. Lively dialog, likable characters (a crusty old codger with a 150-year-old sourdough starter is memorable), and stunning descriptions are pluses. VERDICT Life in the Alaskan wilderness takes on new dimensions as a well-matched pair discover the importance of love in this tender romance lightly brushed with holiday magic. Macomber (Cottage by the Sea) lives in Port Orchard, WA. © Copyright 2018. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Publishers Weekly Review
Macomber (Cottage by the Sea) brings her signature charm to this appealing tale of an aspiring chef and a taciturn, small-town sword maker. When lifelong Seattleite Josie Avery takes a short-term cooking job in remote Ponder, Alaska, she's simply marking time until her job as a sous chef at a hot new Seattle restaurant begins. Meanwhile, lifelong Alaskan Palmer Saxon is perfectly content in his tiny lakeside community north of the Arctic Circle-until he falls head over heels for its temporary resident. Creating picture-perfect small towns packed with salt-of-the-earth characters is Macomber's forte, and her foray into the wilds of Alaska is no different as she explores Josie and Palmer's deep feelings for each other. Macomber takes the risky step of beginning the novel with Josie declining Palmer's marriage proposal, making it work by skillfully illustrating how life can surprise and delight even the most planned-out of futures-and how dreams can backslide into nightmares. A quirky cast of supporting characters-particularly Palmer's gruff, always-hungry sidekick, Jack-add color, and an expected happily-ever-after provides a resoundingly satisfying coda. This charmer will please Macomber fans and newcomers alike. (Oct.) c Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Booklist Review
Cooking at the lodge over the summer in the tiny, remote town of Ponder, Alaska, changed Josie's life. She enjoyed making meals for the locals and visitors and going for walks with the handsome Palmer, but she must catch the last boat to Seattle before fall and her awaiting chef position. When Palmer proposes, she is so surprised and disoriented, she misses the boat. She is able to get a plane a few weeks later, but by then she realizes that she is in love with Palmer, and they grow ever-closer during their extra time. The long-distance relationship is hard with her very demanding job, inspiring Palmer to head to Seattle. Palmer's proposal is funny and awkward, and the path to their happily-ever-after has surprising yet realistic twists. Macomber's descriptions of the Alaskan town and Josie's culinary adventures add fascinating details to this thoroughly charming holiday romance.--Amy Alessio Copyright 2018 Booklist