Thanksgiving in Welcombe Bay

Sweets By The Sea

Christian - Romance - General
279 Pages
Reviewed on 12/07/2023
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Edith Wairimu for Readers' Favorite

Set in a quaint town situated along the stunning Devon coastline, Thanksgiving in Welcombe Bay: Sweets By The Sea by Kate Darroch is a captivating romance story about recovery, healing, and second chances. After a traumatic accident, Eric Wilcox joins Alcoholics Anonymous and begins his sobriety journey while serving a probation sentence. He meets and begins to fall in love with Lily, a woman who is still traumatized by her abusive ex-husband. The novel chronicles Eric’s journey in AA, including his struggles and growth during his early sobriety days. Challenges arise as Lily and Eric navigate their personal lives and their budding romance. God’s constant love and their enduring love for each other become their guiding light even during difficult moments.

This unforgettable story is a powerful illustration of love and redemption. It offers an eye-opening look into alcoholism and the journey to sobriety. It also masterfully tackles other important topics including abuse, trauma, and recovery. I loved that both main characters face struggles that will resonate with many readers. Though fraught with obstacles, their journey is hopeful and encouraging. Secondary characters who mainly comprise members of Lily’s Christian community at Welcombe Bay are equally interesting. The story takes place in a splendid town with breathtaking scenes. Lily’s café is beautifully described and is a wonderful setting for Lily and Eric’s meetings. Thanksgiving in Welcombe Bay by Kate Darroch is an enthralling Christian romance told with faith and heart. Readers will love its authentic characters, lovely backdrop, and powerful lessons.

Nino Lobiladze

Eric Wilcox was driving while drunk. A seven-year-old girl named Angie got injured because of his reckless driving. Eric does the 12 Steps with Alcoholics Anonymous and his sponsor, Bob, is always ready to help. Eric is on probation and must perform community service over the next 18 months. Remorseful and ashamed, Eric visits Angie in the hospital. Lily Baker tries to close her divorce with a manipulative and abusive husband who scares her very much. Eric meets Lily in her seaside café in Devon's Welcombe Bay and is enchanted by her beauty and kindness. Welcombe prepares for the Harvest Festival, and Eric wants to participate and get closer to Lily, a devoted Christian and a close friend of the local vicar, Father Tom. However, the world throws many challenges at a recovering alcoholic. Will Eric resist temptation and win Lily's heart? Thanksgiving in Welcombe Bay by Kate Darroch, the first book in a series, is a captivating read for fans of drama, romance, and Christian fiction.

Thanksgiving in Welcombe Bay is a beautifully narrated, character-driven story. Kate Darroch did a tremendous job of creating complex, memorable characters. The main and secondary characters are equally realistically described and relatable. Eric does his best to become a better person and to earn Angie's and her family's forgiveness. But Kate makes us wonder whether Eric is being selfish with Angie and even a bit arrogant in his efforts to gain Lily's attention. Lily is an exemplary Christian and has a very kind soul. Yet, sometimes we think, along with Father Tom's wife, Nina, that she needs to muster more strength while dealing with her ex-husband, Gary. Nina is a remarkable secondary character. Kate adds a touch of humor to her description, revealing that Nina is proud of her husband's charitable work yet wishes for him to spend less effort on it. The author shows us the living, breathing community of Welcombe that is always ready to support those they accept as their own. I appreciated that Kate reminds us about the true essence of Christian faith in simple words: "Our faith doesn’t promise an absence of storms, but it gives us the strength to walk through them." Thanksgiving in Welcombe is a thought-provoking read about many life lessons we should learn to grow and improve our way of life.

K.C. Finn

Thanksgiving in Welcombe Bay: Sweets By The Sea is a work of fiction penned by author Kate Darroch in the Christian fiction, romance, and interpersonal drama subgenres. It is suitable for the general reading audience as a clean romance read. Readers are introduced to this heartwarming Christian novel set against the idyllic backdrop of Welcombe Bay. In a tender portrayal of second chances at lasting love, the story unfolds in a small Christian community on the beautiful Devon coastline. Focused on recovery and redemption, it narrates the journey of an alcoholic in AA finding sobriety and love, intertwined with the struggles of a woman haunted by past abuse. The holiday setting of Thanksgiving adds a touch of warmth and hope, aligning with the novel's theme that with God's love, all things are possible.

Author Kate Darroch masterfully navigates delicate themes such as alcoholism and abuse within the framework of a Christian community, infusing this delightfully romantic narrative with a sense of hope and healing. The author's loving and detailed depiction of the characters and the small seaside community creates a comforting atmosphere, drawing readers into a tale of kindness, openness, and the transformative power of love. I was especially impressed by the sense of atmosphere in the coming together of cultures, as the gorgeous scenery of the Devonshire coast played host to the comings and goings of our central couple and their cohorts. The characters also have some superb dialogue exchanges, making it easy for readers to connect with their struggles and triumphs, and moving the plot smoothly forward without too much chunky prose. Overall, I would certainly recommend Thanksgiving in Welcombe Bay as a charming and engaging read for romance fans, but also one that leaves a lasting impression of warmth and compassion.

Delene Vrey

Thanksgiving in Welcombe Bay: Sweets By The Sea by Kate Darroch tells the story of Eric Wilcox, an alcoholic journalist from Exeter who has landed himself in a heap of trouble. He was driving drunk when he had an accident, which caused a little girl a fright and a broken leg. Now, he has mandated community service and must attend AA meetings and complete the twelve-step program. Wishing to make amends, Eric travels to Sable Barns Hospital to visit Angie, the little girl with a broken leg. On his way there, he stops in Welcombe and meets Lily in the little shop Sweets by The Sea, and is immediately smitten. But Eric still has a long way to go in his twelve steps and has to learn the hard way that honesty and humility take a lot of courage but are essential in relationships. Lily Baker, who inherited the little coffee shop from her grandparents, comes from an abusive marriage and is still suffering from PTSD due to the abuse she suffered from her ex-husband. When she meets Eric, she instantly takes a liking to him. However, she is unsure that Eric is someone one can count on, and when a gossiping friend spreads misinformation, she is disheartened. What will happen to the budding relationship between Lily and Eric?

Thanksgiving in Welcombe Bay by Kate Darroch is a charming, well-written second-chance Christian romance about broken and lost people trying to find their self-worth and meaningful relationships. The author does an excellent job of presenting the motivations behind the characters' actions. The good and bad traits found in all people are presented so the reader recognizes the same characters in their community. I liked that the book is not a sermon from beginning to end, as many Christian books are. Through the story, one is made aware that everyone is flawed and that different types of people can still work together as a community and as friends. The plot develops well and relates the occurrences realistically as the characters face real consequences for their actions. The author uses fantastic imagery and motifs, such as the motif of sewing in the Gratitude quilt that the ladies finish for the harvest festival, applying it to relationships that sometimes need a few extra stitches to strengthen them.

Courtnee Turner Hoyle

Kate Darroch invites her readers to Thanksgiving in Welcombe Bay, where Lily Baker always serves the best pie in her cafe, Sweets by the Sea. After a horrific event, Eric Wilcox tries to atone for his mistakes, and he takes a slight detour into Welcombe Bay as he waits for a bus back to Exeter. Even though he was counseled not to enter into a relationship for a year, Eric hopes to win Lily's attention, but he worries about revealing his secret. It has been years since Lily left an abusive marriage, but she still has a court date looming ominously before her. It seems like the worst time for them to start a relationship, but Lily and Eric try to find love as the Harvest Festival approaches.

Kate Darroch delivers a sweet romance within a beautiful region. The author sweeps readers away with her descriptions of the breathtaking views from Lily's cafe and the wholesomeness of the community. Christianity is a theme in this work, and Lily's reliance on God for her strength is clear. The characters have strong ties to their friends, and Darroch shows how much can be accomplished when a group of kind-hearted individuals pull together to help. The lovely fall atmosphere is a great backdrop for this Christian romance, as the author touches on sensitive subjects, but supportive people are always there for Lily and Eric with a helping hand, cuppa, or comforting scripture. Thanksgiving in Welcombe Bay is a great selection for readers who enjoy clean romance with a strong sense of prayer and community.