Cover Image: Blackberry Beach

Blackberry Beach

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Member Reviews

Thanks to Netgalley for this ARC. 2.5 stars. While this book was only 2.5 stars, there were components I enjoyed of the romance. This story dragged on for me though and I didn’t like some of the characters. I also didn't realize when I requested it that it's the 7th book in a series! I think that made it harder for me to get into it as well. I absolutely love Irene Hannon most of the time but I'm wondering if I should just stick with her mystery books and not read the regular romance ones anymore!
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Another great story from Hope Harbor.  Katherine is ready to find out what exactly she is looking for as she travels to Hope Harbor.  She is feeling overwhelmed when she should be on top of the world and Hope Harbor should be exactly what she needs.  While there she gets teamed up with Zach to help out some children.  It is always interesting to see how two people who don't want to do something interact with each other.  They soon find themselves working together to help out some children and find that they are more alike than they first believed.

I received a copy of the book to read, the review is mine.
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Katherine Parker is a Hollywood star in hiding.  She goes to Blackberry Beach in small town Oregon to go "missing" for a while.  She tries very hard to stay out of the public eye but she keeps running into her neighbor, Zach Garrett, who owns a Coffee Shop in town.  He left the rat race to do something more interesting to him, much to his ambitious father's disgust.  Katherine and Zach both have their own lives and their own career locations but they are fascinated with each other.  How could that work?  

I love the setting of this story and the characters in the story.  This was one of those books I couldn't put down because I have to see how it came out and I never let myself read the last page until I actually get there in the progression of the story.  I love all of Irene Hannon's books.  

I have voluntarily reviewed a copy of this book that I received from NetGalley.  All views expressed are only my honest opinion.
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A return to trip to Hope Harbor is always greatly anticipated. The fictional small town on the coast of Oregon created by Irene Hannon is a special place. I love the small town vibe, the caring and slightly quirky people, and the wildlife that have a magical quality. Fans of the series will not be disappointed in book 7, Blackberry Beach. Love is in the air for more than one couple, and the reader will love the realistic struggles that each face to find their happily-ever-after. This is a must-read!

Blackberry Beach focuses on Kat, an incognito actress escaping from Hollywood craziness and Zach, a former high powered businessman turned coffee shop owner. The attraction between the two is immediate, yet Kat has a lot of decisions to make that potentially will keep them apart. While the reader may not be able to identify with Kat’s movie-star life, her struggle with doing what she loves and finding peace in her decisions will resonate. Zach has already found his purpose, and his unselfish advice marks a man of integrity. I liked these two characters very much! A secondary story follows Zach’s recently retired Aunt Stephanie and part-time barista Frank. This late in life romance — the first for Stephanie and second time around for Frank — is a great parallel and contrast to Kat and Zach’s relationship. Being a reader of, ahem, a certain age 😉 , I appreciated the more mature characters’ chance at love.

As always, this book features elements that fans of the Hope Harbor series love — Charley the taco truck owner, seagulls Gladys and Floyd, and sweet treats woven into the book. In the case of Blackberry Beach, Kat’s truffles will make you crave the chocolatey treat! Hannon plans more return trips to Hope Harbor, and I cannot wait!
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Blackberry Beach. A Book Review.

If you are looking for a relaxing read as we head toward summer, look no further. Blackberry Beach buy Irene Hannon fits the bill. I was drawn to this book by the title and the cover photo, and I was not disappointed.

Blackberry Beach is set in a charming location, the town of Hope Harbor on the Oregon Coast. A somewhat reclusive woman and a handsome coffee shop owner give us the ingredients for a romance with a bit of mystery. This was a delightful read.

Blackberry Beach is my first Irene Hannon novel. It is the 7th in the Hope Harbor series, but it stands on its own. It is well written, with well-developed characters, and I love her descriptions of the scenery. She makes me wish I could visit Blackberry Beach in person. And I can almost taste the blackberries!

Blackberry Beach was a fun read. Christian Fiction at its finest. Many thanks to Net Galley for providing me a copy of this book in exchange for my opinion.
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I loved the characters and the storyline development of this book. It was absolutely one of my favorites so far and I can't wait to delve in to the next one that this author writes. The storyline was simple, enjoyable, and entertaining. The characters were complex while being completely entertaining.
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FTC Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book. These are my honest thoughts.

If you’re in the mood for a fluffy beach read, this book is a great fit. I usually like more depth to the books I read, but every now and then, a beachy read is exactly what I’m in the mood for. That was the case when I picked up Blackberry Beach by Irene Hannon.

One of the best lines (to me) was this gem: “Life shouldn’t be all about accruing money.” It was great to see characters making choices NOT based on money but rather on God’s direction for their lives. This was so refreshing!

The beach scenes were some of my favorites in this story. The view was declared to be amazing, but I wish it would have been described a little more so it could have come alive in my mind. The discussions on the beach and the romantic bits that took place there were heartfelt and entertaining.

The cover was completely gorgeous.  The purple hues were beautiful and complementary, and I loved that Katherine’s sunglasses were highlighted! They played a big role in the story, so it was fun to see they made it to the cover as well. It was fun also to have the pair of seagulls flying in the background of the cover, considering they play such significant roles throughout the entire series. The only alteration I would make is to highlight the blackberries a bit more. They’re hard to see in the bushes at the bottom of the cover. But overall, this was a breezy, fun cover that piqued my interest.

Zach was a great character. I liked that he was mystified by the leading lady from the jump but then dug deeper until he got to know her at different levels. This was handled well with chivalry and respect, which made me feel right at home getting to know these two.

The older-couple romance angle was so sweet! I adored Stephanie and Frank so much and would love to see them pop back around in a future book.

The reunion was great and well written. I can’t say more than that without spoilers, but it was something special.

The coffee shop and chocolate making aspects of this story were delightful and detailed.

There were some things that bugged me about this book too. I’ll briefly touch on them now, but I’ll try to not bemoan the things too much, because this was a fun read overall.

1 | Charley.
Charley is this mysterious Mexican man who always knows too much about everybody. There are no context clues for how he “discerned” the information, so he clearly knows the details by magic of some sort. I’m not sure if it’s supposed to be “divine” or magician or genie type magic, but it drives me nuts every time because it’s completely unrealistic and makes me think these books ought to be labeled as Magical Realism instead of Contemporary Romance.

2 | Magical animals.
Floyd and Gladys (a pair of seagulls), a seal, and a dolphin all acted unlike any of their real-life counterparts that I’ve ever seen. They seemed to follow unspoken directives from Charley (who’s the one who named them). These critters acted unnaturally to me, and they gave me the willies.

3 | Follow one’s heart.
Charley advised a character to follow their heart because it had “never betrayed him.” This is poor advice, considering the Bible calls the heart “more deceitful than anything else” (Jeremiah 17:9). Several characters were stated to follow their hearts when making huge life decisions. I was really disappointed that prayer and seeking God’s will only came into play on one or two big decisions instead of the majority of the time, considering this book is in the Christian Fiction genre.

4 | Actress in disguise.
The whole actress in disguise plot did not work for me at all. In theory, it was great. I love that type of story, so I was really looking forward to this one. In actual application, it wasn’t very well done here. It was inconsistent throughout, sometimes claiming the lady wasn’t famous at all (thus, would not be easily recognized), while other times she was a “rising star” or on the verge of leaving the business altogether (indicating she’d already had a full career). At one point very late in the story, she even admitted “I’m not a household name.” That right there broke the entire actress in disguise plot for me. If she wasn’t a household name, then nobody would have recognized her whether or not she changed her hair color and wore dark sunglasses. Another reason I didn’t believe she wouldn’t be recognized is because in real life, actors and actresses are easily recognized with sunglasses, baseball caps, different hair colors and styles, and without their stage/screen makeup. If this make-believe actress was really half as famous as she claimed, she would have definitely been recognized in today’s tech-heavy society. One last thing about this actress thing. Nowhere through the entire book had she even thought or mentioned that she was considering directing rather than acting… yet, on page 292, she suddenly declared she was “getting more interested in the directing side of the business.” That came as a complete shock, because the whole time through the story, she’d been dragging her feet about making a decision about her first A-list movie role. There had been no previous hint at all about directing being an option.

5 | Awkward name drop.
It’s pretty common in Christian Fiction for authors to name-drop their friends by including titles or names. I’m fairly used to this now. What made this one extremely awkward to me was that Mrs. Hannon name dropped herself: “She held up the new Irene Hannon suspense novel she was reading.”

Overall, this was a cute read. Reality was suspended in a few places, but many readers will be able to better overlook those spots than I. The beachy-ness of the story was exactly what I wanted when I picked up this book, so on that front, I was definitely satisfied.

Content: replacement profanity, alcohol, sexual innuendo, tarot cards analogy, betting/wager analogies, drug abuse, crude sexual phrase, Catholicism
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Blackberry Beach
by Irene Hannon 
Publishing date: April 6, 2021 

This is # 7 in the series and I haven't missed a one.  I really enjoy this author and so do our patrons at our library. 
They like the sweet romances.
Thanks to NetGalley and Irene's publisher for the digital ARC.  I always enjoy reading one of my favorite author's books before it is published. 

5 star
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Since I enjoy Irene Hannon's books, I have read all her books in the Hope Harbor series. This one was one of my favorites.

Katherine Parker has come to Hope Harbor to hide away from an incident over which she had no control but has put her under scrutiny. She uses an alias and has changed her appearance somewhat so she can stay under the radar.  Zach Garret, the local coffee shop owner, has come to Hope Harbor to deal with his own struggles and he becomes intrigued with Kate's reclusive behavior. 

They discover they are actually neighbors and they begin a tentative friendship. There is a definite connection between them and the possibility of a romance is hovering around them as they spend time together. But they are both wounded souls and are wary of getting involved.

The story is well written and I enjoyed catching up a bit with characters from the previous books. Kate and Zach are believable characters and watching them struggle with their feelings for each other and with coming to grips with their respective pasts make for a great plot.  I would recommend this book without hesitation.
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Blackberry Beach by Irene Hannon

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Story Notes

Irene Hannon is venturing into the world of Hope Harbor once again to share with readers the story of Zach and Katherine, two people with similar backgrounds that give them an opportunity to find unexpected love. 

While she is clearly an expert at the suspenseful reads, Irene Hannon is quickly proving she has what it takes to write romantic fiction stories too. This latest in her Hope Harbor series is a wonderful read that gave me a look at how hard life is for actors who hold to true morals in the face of an uncaring industry. Kat has come to Hope Harbor to get away from Hollywood and its crushing pace to reevaluate her future in the field of acting. Hiding away in the beach house along Blackberry Beach gives her the alone space she covets and gives her the small town pace she longs for. As she meets people on the island, albeit reluctantly, she finds that these people have no desire to out her to the world nor plague her with autograph requests. She also meets the charming Zach, the owner and shopkeeper of The Perfect Blend, Hope Harbors coffee shop and local hangout. Spending time with him shows Kat that she is more than just a beautiful face, she has value in her other talents too. The pacing of the story was good and I liked the plot line. It wasn't rushed or super slow and that allowed for just the right amount of details to be given to keep the story interesting. The faith elements were woven into the story in a natural and impactful way, giving some very good depth to Kat and her character. The romance was sweet and beautiful, with enough challenge to it to make it realistic and, hopefully, lasting. I loved the addition of the side romance between Zach's aunt and his part-time employee. It was a good reminder that love is not limited to a certain age group but can be found at any time in life. I will certainly be recommending this delightful read to others in the hope that they will enjoy it as well. 

I received this temporary complimentary E-book from Revell Publishing via NetGalley in order to provide a fair and honest review. I will receive no fiscal compensation for this review and the opinions expressed herein are entirely my own.
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Such a wonderful book! I enjoyed the characters and the well developed story. This book has me reading it in just a few days! Its that good! I highly recommend this book! Thank you for letting me review this book!
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In Irene Hannon's final book of the Hope Harbor series, we go back to the charming Oregon town of Hope Harbor remeeting old characters who bring life to this sweet, friendly small town.  Zach Garret is once again busy running is coffee shop but finds the mysterious woman who always wears her sunglasses intriguing.  Katherine, the mysterious and intriguing new face in town, is on the cusp of fame and fortune, but is not sure if that's her true desire.  

Once again, Charlie, who seems omniscient about everyone in town, makes his appearance as the taco truck vendor along with his array of animal friends who all play a role in the life of Hope Harbor residents.  

Blackberry Beach was a wonderful conclusion to this small town series, and I hated to say goodbye.
Once again, Hannon has created a series full of memorable characters and an unforgettable small town.

**I received a complimentary copy of this book  from the publisher through NetGalley.  Opinions are mine alone. I was not compensated for this review.
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Blackberry Beach has very good themes about trust, forgiveness and mental health but reading through it, is not something that happens over night. It is a slow read with lots of introspective parts. There were some very nice build-ups for the relationships and how they progressed in the book but there was also a lack of pull for me. By pull, I mean the interest to stay up in the late hours reading until I finished the book. This book, I took my time with, got sidelined by daily projects and came back to in a spare moment. It picked up a bit more toward the end but I found that I was frustrated with the character's slow pace. It contradicted my way of solving issues (just a personal preference) but it worked for the characters. This book does have a religious tone so if that is not your cup of tea, I'd suggest looking for another book. Otherwise, I'd say enjoy the book. Take your time and take in the message its trying to share.
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There is just something special about Hope Harbor that makes you want to return time after time.  It could be the lovely scenery or maybe it's Charley's tacos and wisdom. It could be the new couple who are meeting and falling in love, along with the challenges they face, and the way they learn to trust God in the hard things. It's all so perfect and I can't wait to return when book 8 comes out in 2022.  Hopefully once again we'll see bits of Katherine and Zach and the other couples who have laid the foundation for this idyllic coastal town. Having an "older romance" between Zach's Aunt Stephanie and his barista Frank was wonderful too.  It's nice to see books that aren't just about 20-somethings. 

Blackberry Beach can definitely be read as a stand alone but it's so much richer if you read the whole series.

Thank you Netgalley for the opportunity to read and review.  All opinions are my own.
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Every time I read an Irene Hannon book I never want to leave!

Except maybe her suspense. 😉

The Hope Harbor series is a wonderful series, I’ve only read four of them and in a series with more than five or six books they can get boring but that isn’t so with Hannon’s work.

The hope, the heart, and the sweetness of Blackberry Beach was just so wonderful, I loved reading every page and I found that I want to read the whole series and there was nothing to make me lose interest in a heartwarming story that gave a hard tug on my heartstrings.

Plus, may I just say, I LOVE and want a coffee shop like in this book?!

I voluntarily received and reviewed a complimentary e/copy of this book which I received from the author/publisher. All views expressed are only my honest opinion.
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I have enjoyed all the Hope Harbor books (in fact all Irene Gannon's books) and this one is no exception. While it could easily be read as a standalone, it was great meeting up with old friends like Charley with his well-timed, astute advice. Katherine is as prickly as the local blackberries and uncertain of her future direction, Zach is happy with his new relaxed life. I enjoy how in the midst of a good read you get these nuggets of wisdom that really make you think about what it means to live an authentic Christian life.
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#BookReview: BLACKBERRY BEACH (A Hope Harbor Novel) by Irene Hannon 4 stars

I am glad I picked this one up as my first ever book by this author. It’s a sweet romance set in Hope Harbor, Oregon. It’s such an idyllic place. Perfect for vacation or a permanent home. Being there during the blackberry season sounds marvelous. Blackberries grow wild close to our house and we just pick as many as we can. Like Zach, we also made a cobbler. It’s delicious. It was the perfect neighborly gift to Kat. 

Zach and Kat’s attraction is there but I am glad that they are sensible enough not to set high expectations. I enjoyed that they have their own POV’s. That made it easier for me to get a deeper understanding of their personalities. They are different but similar in many ways. I love that Kat is sticking to her principes. I also appreciate that other members of Zach’s family have their POV’s. I enjoyed the additional love story that also bloomed in Hope Harbor.

I’d love to visit The Perfect Blend and the lavender fields. Stephanie sounds like a wonderful aunt. I just enjoyed getting to know everyone in Hope Harbor and their worthy cause. This is book seven so I’m sure some characters in this book have appeared in the previous books. Charley is very perceptive but a mystery to me. I love to hear what he has to say. I loved it when Kat realized the “why’s” in her life. It’s relatable.

If you love small town romance by the beach, add coffee and truffles, fun characters and some life changing decisions, this one's for you.

Thank you Revell for the complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are my own.
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One of the wonderful things about this story is how the characters find out what is most important in their lives. Some may think fame and fortune will bring us happiness while others think being successful is more important. As the  characters maneuver in Hope Harbor we focus on Katherine and Zach. 

I liked how Katherine was introduced into the story with a hint of mystery surrounding her. The author gives us a person who wants to get away from all the responsibilities her life has brought her and rethink her future. Katherine was aloof and I think that is perhaps why I liked her so much. I’m not much into sharing anything personal so I was able to relate to her in that respect. 

Zach has changed his career and by doing that has caused his relationship with his father to fracture. What I liked most about Zach was how he was determined to find something that made him happy. His coffee shop is the perfect place for him to unwind and  mingle with the townspeople and be content as a store owner. 

There is much this book offers in the way  of lessons. One of the most important ones is finding  your place in live that makes you happy. Allowing yourself to trust others is another key lesson in the story. I think Katherine is a perfect example of learning to trust those around her that want the best for her. Zach feels  a stirring inside that draws him to make a choice to reconcile with his dad. This story has emotions that touch your heart and help you see how important it is to follow God’s direction. There are a few other things going on in the story but I won’t ruin it for anyone. This is one of those books that you can feel the turmoil of the  characters and watch them as they overcome obstacles to find  peace, hope and faith. 

I received a copy of this book from Revell Reads Program. The review is my own opinion.
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Irene Hannon invites us all back to Hope Harbor with her latest offering, "Blackberry Beach." Zach Garrett is still getting over his hurt, while Katherine Parker is the new neighbor who is just trying to figure things out. The two appear to get more of each other than they would prefer when they are recruited to help rehab a foster home. Then, this slow moving romance begins to set in. Is it possible that these two will find precisely what they need at a time when neither is seeking a relationship?

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher and was not required to post a favorable review. All opinions are my own.
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Zach Garrett and Katherine Parker came to Hope Harbor for different reasons.  Zach left a rat race life in Chicago and found peace and contentment by opening The Perfect Blend, a coffee shop.  His life was good, but he knew he was missing something. When Katherine came into his shop he was intrigued.  But, Katherine was in town for her own reasons and temporarily. She guarded her privacy fiercely, but Zach didn't give up.  Eventually, a relationship developed but could compromises be reached?  When Zach's aunt Stephanie arrives in town for a temporary visit, she also found a surprise romantic interest. Could this couple who have very different backgrounds find a future together?

The author brings to readers a beautifully told character driven story about relationships.  The well drawn characters are intelligent, insightful, kind and caring.  It is easy to want the best for them.  They had important decisions to make.  Choices, trust and perceptions are examined.  Difficult situations are handled with empathy and compassion even though outcomes are unknown.

Blackberry Beach is wonderfully told heartfelt love story.  It is well worth reading.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Revell through NetGalley. The opinions expressed in this review are my own.
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