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Restoring Fairhaven

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Love hurts, or so the songs say, so who wants it? Taking on her ailing father’s gardening business on Merriweather Island, Samantha Green only wants to escape her ex and to make her father proud. But Sam gets more than she bargained for when Greener Gardens accepts the job of restoring the gardens of a reclusive writer, Max Fairhaven, whose historical novels about romance an Love hurts, or so the songs say, so who wants it? Taking on her ailing father’s gardening business on Merriweather Island, Samantha Green only wants to escape her ex and to make her father proud. But Sam gets more than she bargained for when Greener Gardens accepts the job of restoring the gardens of a reclusive writer, Max Fairhaven, whose historical novels about romance and unrequited love litter bookstore shelves and movie marquees all over the world. Max much prefers the fictional world to the real, and the gardening girl’s interruptions means he’s driven from his writing cave far too often for his liking. How’s he supposed to craft stories with her distracting him all the time? Things change when he learns something of Sam’s family challenges, and his admiration slowly kindles. With his secretary’s goading, he’s forced to confront the past, while facing the fact that he needs to change in order to avoid a lonely future. Gentle pruning and a whole lot of banter forges a friendship between this not-so-Southern belle landscaper and the half-British author. But is their budding attraction enough to grow into a flourishing happily-ever-after? Restoring Fairhaven is the final “Merriweather book,” but don’t forget to embark on a tour of the next island in this series featuring five islands, six authors, and a boatload of happily-ever-afters. The Independence Island Series: beach reads aren’t just for summer anymore.


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Love hurts, or so the songs say, so who wants it? Taking on her ailing father’s gardening business on Merriweather Island, Samantha Green only wants to escape her ex and to make her father proud. But Sam gets more than she bargained for when Greener Gardens accepts the job of restoring the gardens of a reclusive writer, Max Fairhaven, whose historical novels about romance an Love hurts, or so the songs say, so who wants it? Taking on her ailing father’s gardening business on Merriweather Island, Samantha Green only wants to escape her ex and to make her father proud. But Sam gets more than she bargained for when Greener Gardens accepts the job of restoring the gardens of a reclusive writer, Max Fairhaven, whose historical novels about romance and unrequited love litter bookstore shelves and movie marquees all over the world. Max much prefers the fictional world to the real, and the gardening girl’s interruptions means he’s driven from his writing cave far too often for his liking. How’s he supposed to craft stories with her distracting him all the time? Things change when he learns something of Sam’s family challenges, and his admiration slowly kindles. With his secretary’s goading, he’s forced to confront the past, while facing the fact that he needs to change in order to avoid a lonely future. Gentle pruning and a whole lot of banter forges a friendship between this not-so-Southern belle landscaper and the half-British author. But is their budding attraction enough to grow into a flourishing happily-ever-after? Restoring Fairhaven is the final “Merriweather book,” but don’t forget to embark on a tour of the next island in this series featuring five islands, six authors, and a boatload of happily-ever-afters. The Independence Island Series: beach reads aren’t just for summer anymore.

30 review for Restoring Fairhaven

  1. 5 out of 5

    Kailey

    I loved this book! I loved Samantha and grew to love Max. I read this whole book in one sitting, it was that good! I finished it with a happy sigh. Carolyn Miller did such a great job with this contemporary romance! I can’t wait to read more from her! I received a complimentary copy from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are mine alone.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Becky

    You have to share about a romance that sweeps you away, brings you joy, and leaves you with hope for the future. Restoring Fairhaven by Carolyn Miller is one of those stories. The main character, Samantha Green, has just taken over her father’s gardening business while he is recovering from heart issues. Our hero, Max Fairhaven is a writer who is walking through a dark time and has almost given up on ever being happy again. Restoring Fairhaven is their restoration story. This is the sixth book i You have to share about a romance that sweeps you away, brings you joy, and leaves you with hope for the future. Restoring Fairhaven by Carolyn Miller is one of those stories. The main character, Samantha Green, has just taken over her father’s gardening business while he is recovering from heart issues. Our hero, Max Fairhaven is a writer who is walking through a dark time and has almost given up on ever being happy again. Restoring Fairhaven is their restoration story. This is the sixth book in the Independent Island Series and takes place on Merriweather Island. Carolyn Miller does a wonderful job painting a picture of the setting on beautiful Merriweather Island. This book spoke to me spiritually with Ms. Miller’s gardening analogies. With the wonderful scenery, delightful characters and great romance there is much to treasure in Restoring Fairhaven and I highly recommend it. (I was given a copy by the publisher and not required to write a positive review)

  3. 4 out of 5

    Stacey Ulferts

    Restoring Fairhaven is a touching story with relatable characters and a sweet romance.. I loved the bit of mystery that added suspense and an extra reason why I couldn’t put this book down once I started. I read it in one sitting and was sad to see it end. I loved Max and Sam. They are so good together and their story was fun to watch develop. I appreciated the faith elements and the way it was evident that God was working in their lives for good. If you’re already a fan of Carolyn Miller’s Rege Restoring Fairhaven is a touching story with relatable characters and a sweet romance.. I loved the bit of mystery that added suspense and an extra reason why I couldn’t put this book down once I started. I read it in one sitting and was sad to see it end. I loved Max and Sam. They are so good together and their story was fun to watch develop. I appreciated the faith elements and the way it was evident that God was working in their lives for good. If you’re already a fan of Carolyn Miller’s Regency novels, then you know what a wonderful writer she is. Rest assured, she does not disappoint with contemporary. I received an advance copy and all opinions are my own.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Susan

    Bravo! I absolutely adored this book. Carolyn Miller has been a favorite author of mine since I read her very first regency. However, I was a little hesitant on if I would like a contemporary as well. No worries! Ms. Miller's talent as a storyteller transcends genre, penning a story that both entertains as well as inspires its readers. With endearing characters, a charming romance and a faith thread filled with hope, Ms. Miller checks off all the boxes I was looking for in this story. The title, Bravo! I absolutely adored this book. Carolyn Miller has been a favorite author of mine since I read her very first regency. However, I was a little hesitant on if I would like a contemporary as well. No worries! Ms. Miller's talent as a storyteller transcends genre, penning a story that both entertains as well as inspires its readers. With endearing characters, a charming romance and a faith thread filled with hope, Ms. Miller checks off all the boxes I was looking for in this story. The title, Restoring Fairhaven, is an apt description of the restoration that takes place within Sam's and Max's hearts. This series has been a win for me, bringing several hours of escape from the stresses real life can bring. I highly recommend it! I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author/publisher and was not required to write a review. All opinions expressed are my own.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Deana Dick

    I really enjoyed this book and thought the characters were fun to get to know. Sam is someone who is unselfish, very focused and has a big heart. Her faith shines throughout the story and is evident in her everyday life. Giving up everything to run your dad’s company is a big decision. Sam never hesitates and she dives right in. I did like learning about landscape and how hard it is to satisfy customers. There is a lot put on her and the stress of her dad’s illness does take a toll on her at tim I really enjoyed this book and thought the characters were fun to get to know. Sam is someone who is unselfish, very focused and has a big heart. Her faith shines throughout the story and is evident in her everyday life. Giving up everything to run your dad’s company is a big decision. Sam never hesitates and she dives right in. I did like learning about landscape and how hard it is to satisfy customers. There is a lot put on her and the stress of her dad’s illness does take a toll on her at times. What I liked was when she felt discouraged she turned to God for strength. Max was hard to get a read on at first. He was stern, not friendly and stayed to himself. Oh how I loved that he was a famous author. Can you imagine being in the home of your most beloved author? It was funny that Sam didn’t even know who he was and was not impressed when she found out. It took sone time for Sam to break down the emotional walks Max had. When Max opens up to Sam, thst was a turning point in their relationship. I really liked Max’s assistant and would love to see her get her own story. Hint. Hint. She is dedicated to her job and pretty sneaky about playing match maker. Oh no I won’t say much more. There is one little part in the story that I didn’t quite understand why it was put in. The mystery surrounding the calls Sam gets just didn’t seem to fit the storyline. While it was a nice distraction from the romance, I would have preferred it not be in the story. I thought the story was good and I read it in a few hours. The theme of forgiveness, trust and letting go of the past was well defined and showed strength and faith during stressful times. I’m excited to read the next installment in the series. I received a copy of this book from Celebrate Lit. The review is my own opinion.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Patti Whitson Stephenson She Lives to Read

    I love to write longer reviews, but this will be a short one, as I am attempting to type with a sore hand. I plan on coming back later and updating this review with more detail. Carolyn Miller is a talented author and did a great job with this book. I loved this storyline, and I especially loved the characters. Both Samantha and Max were wonderful characters who grabbed my attention from the very first pages of the book. It was fun following their story, especially after their relationship got of I love to write longer reviews, but this will be a short one, as I am attempting to type with a sore hand. I plan on coming back later and updating this review with more detail. Carolyn Miller is a talented author and did a great job with this book. I loved this storyline, and I especially loved the characters. Both Samantha and Max were wonderful characters who grabbed my attention from the very first pages of the book. It was fun following their story, especially after their relationship got off to a very bumpy beginning. This is a great addition to a series I’ve come to love. I received a copy of this book from the publisher.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Lori

    Carolyn Miller has done a fabulous job with this sweet read. I enjoyed it so much that I felt like I was a part of the novel. Each of these characters brought something different to the story. Miller does such an excellent job that kept me entertained through the whole book. I didn't want this book to end. I was sad to say goodbye to Samantha and Max. Just two of the delightful characters that are in this book. Like Max I too prefer the fictional world compared to the real one. He does have the righ Carolyn Miller has done a fabulous job with this sweet read. I enjoyed it so much that I felt like I was a part of the novel. Each of these characters brought something different to the story. Miller does such an excellent job that kept me entertained through the whole book. I didn't want this book to end. I was sad to say goodbye to Samantha and Max. Just two of the delightful characters that are in this book. Like Max I too prefer the fictional world compared to the real one. He does have the right idea you know. I love Sam because she has such a big heart. Willing to take on something to help out and all. I was right proud of her. Like Sam's dad, I too have heart issues so I understand where he's coming from. It's no fun. Overall, a very enjoyable story that will hold your attention until the end. I highly recommend this book. My thanks for a copy of this book. All opinions are my own.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Becky Lewis

    I enjoyed this island Cinderella/combination Beauty and the Beast story, Restoring Fairhaven, by Carolyn Miller. After a couple of deep historicals, this lighter, easy-to-read contemporary romance of Samantha Green of Greener Gardens landscaping business and Max Fairhaven, a famous author, was just what I needed. Miller includes a good look at a struggling landscaping business that Sam reluctantly takes over for her father. It is a wonder what a change the love of God and a good woman can affect I enjoyed this island Cinderella/combination Beauty and the Beast story, Restoring Fairhaven, by Carolyn Miller. After a couple of deep historicals, this lighter, easy-to-read contemporary romance of Samantha Green of Greener Gardens landscaping business and Max Fairhaven, a famous author, was just what I needed. Miller includes a good look at a struggling landscaping business that Sam reluctantly takes over for her father. It is a wonder what a change the love of God and a good woman can affect in a man’s soul. I also appreciated seeing how love caused Max to want to give of himself, to move beyond the little world that had bound him after the death of his wife, Meggie. There were a couple of ongoing sinister elements that I thought were ended and dismissed too quickly given the importance they played in the drama. Come to think of it, if this is indeed a fairytale retold, it would make much sense for at least some of the bad elements to quickly disappear. This is book six in The Merriweather Island: Independence Islands series. This book seemed to be able to stand on its own. I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author and publisher through Celebrate Lit. These opinions are solely my own, voluntarily submitted.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Chloe Flanagan

    First impressions can be thorny, as Max, a brooding author who’s allergic to distractions learns when he clashes with Samantha, his sassy, overstressed landscaper. But as Samantha’s team trims and reshapes the vegetation on Max’s grounds, the initial brambles of prejudice and misunderstanding are cleared away from Max and Samantha’s relationship, revealing a view of potential friendship and even romance. But to realize that future, they’ll need to trust God with the pain of past loss and present First impressions can be thorny, as Max, a brooding author who’s allergic to distractions learns when he clashes with Samantha, his sassy, overstressed landscaper. But as Samantha’s team trims and reshapes the vegetation on Max’s grounds, the initial brambles of prejudice and misunderstanding are cleared away from Max and Samantha’s relationship, revealing a view of potential friendship and even romance. But to realize that future, they’ll need to trust God with the pain of past loss and present misfortune. As its name implies, Restoring Fairhaven is indeed a story of restoration—not only of shrubs and flowers, but of hearts and minds as well. Carolyn Miller does a masterful job of showing the power of genuine love and resilient faith to transform brokenness and rekindle hope. Max and Samantha are excellent characters for depicting this process because they feel so authentic. Both have real flaws, and the struggles the plot unfolds around them are equally real. This makes the trajectory of transformation they both undergo feel that much more believable. Rich, lovely descriptions and knowable secondary characters round out this sweet and touching romance. I received a complimentary copy of this book but was not obliged to leave a positive review. All opinions are my own.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Joanne

    Restoring Fairhaven is my first book by Carolyn Miller and the final book in the first set of Independence Islands books set on Merriweather Island. As with the other books, I appreciated the fact that it’s a beach read without being overtly beachy. In fact, there’s a serious lack of the typical exotic beach location that you’d expect from a beach read. These books are about ordinary people living their everyday lives with the ocean for a backdrop. If you’ve hesitated to pick them up because they Restoring Fairhaven is my first book by Carolyn Miller and the final book in the first set of Independence Islands books set on Merriweather Island. As with the other books, I appreciated the fact that it’s a beach read without being overtly beachy. In fact, there’s a serious lack of the typical exotic beach location that you’d expect from a beach read. These books are about ordinary people living their everyday lives with the ocean for a backdrop. If you’ve hesitated to pick them up because they’re beach reads (aka. fluff and nonsense) then you’re in for a pleasant surprise because they’re not that at all. Not that I don’t enjoy a bit of fluff and nonsense every once in a while, but if that’s not your cup of tea, then this book—these books—are perfect for you. Restoring Fairhaven caught my interest from the very start, there were aspects of the story that kept me guessing until the very end, I enjoyed the characters—main and side—and will definitely be reading Ms. Miller’s next contribution to the series. Like I said, this was my first Carolyn Miller book, and knowing she’s a fellow Aussie I read it with that little tidbit in mind. The book is set in the US, and I only came across one tiny nuance of culture difference that—I hesitate to guess—most people probably wouldn’t pick up. Apart from that one instance, the book sounded no different to the other books in the series that are written by Americans. Which was good and sad at the same time. I was hoping for more of an Aussie influence. I requested a copy of this book to review. The opinions expressed here are my own. Restoring Fairhaven is my first book by Carolyn Miller and the final book in the first set of Independence Islands books set on Merriweather Island. As with the other books, I appreciated the fact that it’s a beach read without being overtly beachy. In fact, there’s a serious lack of the typical exotic beach location that you’d expect from a beach read. These books are about ordinary people living their everyday lives with the ocean for a backdrop. If you’ve hesitated to pick them up because they’re beach reads (aka. fluff and nonsense) then you’re in for a pleasant surprise because they’re not that at all. Not that I don’t enjoy a bit of fluff and nonsense every once in a while, but if that’s not your cup of tea, then this book—these books—are perfect for you. Restoring Fairhaven caught my interest from the very start, there were aspects of the story that kept me guessing until the very end, I enjoyed the characters—main and side—and will definitely be reading Ms. Miller’s next contribution to the series. Like I said, this was my first Carolyn Miller book, and knowing she’s a fellow Aussie I read it with that little tidbit in mind. The book is set in the US, and I only came across one tiny nuance of culture difference that—I hesitate to guess—most people probably wouldn’t pick up. Apart from that one instance, the book sounded no different to the other books in the series that are written by Americans. Which was good and sad at the same time. I was hoping for more of an Aussie influence. I requested a copy of this book to review. The opinions expressed here are my own.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Nola Lorraine

    When her father is hospitalised with heart problems, Samantha Green drops everything and returns to Merriweather Island to take over the family landscaping business. Not all of the employees are on board with this, especially Don who was certain the boss would hand Greener Gardens over to him. Dogged by abusive phone calls, Sam determines to work hard and show that she is up to the job. The restoration of the gardens at the Fairhaven estate seems to be just the ticket, but the gruff owner--famou When her father is hospitalised with heart problems, Samantha Green drops everything and returns to Merriweather Island to take over the family landscaping business. Not all of the employees are on board with this, especially Don who was certain the boss would hand Greener Gardens over to him. Dogged by abusive phone calls, Sam determines to work hard and show that she is up to the job. The restoration of the gardens at the Fairhaven estate seems to be just the ticket, but the gruff owner--famous author Max Fairhaven--isn't happy with the intrusion into his quiet life. He's still grief-stricken over the death of his wife a few years previously, and the perky blonde gardener is the last thing he needs. Sam is also recovering from an abusive relationship with her ex and the last thing she wants is a new relationship. But this is a romance novel after all, so we know Sam and Max won't be able to avoid each other for long, especially when Max's assistant Callie has matchmaking in her sights. But can Max and Sam overcome the past and move forward into what God has for them? Author Carolyn Miller is best known for her Regency romances, so this contemporary novel is an interesting departure. I liked the character of Sam and the way she rose above the challenges thrown at her. It took me a little longer to warm to Max, as he was initially such a grump. As the facade is stripped away and we see his broken heart though, we realise there is more to him than meets the eye. There was a lovely analogy as the restoration of the gardens parallelled the restoration of the couples' hearts. The writing is also good, with touches of both poignancy and humour. I also enjoyed the snappy dialogue. Although the subplot with the phone calls is resolved, I felt there could have been the opportunity for a bit more suspense there. But then I tend to read more romantic-suspense novels, so I was probably looking for that (even though I knew this novel was not in that genre). I also felt the subplot with the sister could have done more. However, it was an enjoyable book overall and showed God's grace as He worked in the lives of the main cast. If you like contemporary romance, there is much to enjoy in this book.

  12. 5 out of 5

    MaryAnn Bell

    Love hurts, or so the songs say, so who wants it? Taking on her ailing father’s gardening business on Merriweather Island, Samantha Green only wants to escape her ex and to make her father proud. But Sam gets more than she bargained for when Greener Gardens accepts the job of restoring the gardens of a reclusive writer, Max Fairhaven, whose historical novels about romance and unrequited love litter bookstore shelves and movie marquees all over the world. Max much prefers the fictional world to the Love hurts, or so the songs say, so who wants it? Taking on her ailing father’s gardening business on Merriweather Island, Samantha Green only wants to escape her ex and to make her father proud. But Sam gets more than she bargained for when Greener Gardens accepts the job of restoring the gardens of a reclusive writer, Max Fairhaven, whose historical novels about romance and unrequited love litter bookstore shelves and movie marquees all over the world. Max much prefers the fictional world to the real, and the gardening girl’s interruptions means he’s driven from his writing cave far too often for his liking. How’s he supposed to craft stories with her distracting him all the time? Things change when he learns something of Sam’s family challenges, and his admiration slowly kindles. With his secretary’s goading, he’s forced to confront the past, while facing the fact that he needs to change in order to avoid a lonely future. Gentle pruning and a whole lot of banter forges a friendship between this not-so-Southern belle landscaper and the half-British author. But is their budding attraction enough to grow into a flourishing happily-ever-after? Restoring Fairhaven is the final “Merriweather book,” but don’t forget to embark on a tour of the next island in this series featuring five islands, six authors, and a boatload of happily-ever-afters. The Independence Island Series: beach reads aren’t just for summer anymore. My Thoughts: This I believe was my favorite of the series, it was such a delight to read. This was the story of beginning again, starting over, and letting God take control. It's also a story about trust. Both Samantha and Max had a past that was hard to let go of and with the help of God, we see how two wounded people come together. This is a short read and hard to put down, the reader will certainly identify with the characters. The author has done a great job of bringing the characters, the storyline ad the readers together. This is certainly worth the read. Don't forget to read the others in the series as well!

  13. 5 out of 5

    Donna C

    What I think you should know: Mishaps off the Mainland is a contemporary Christian Romance by Carolyn Miller. It is the sixth and final “ Merriweather” book in the Independence Island Series. This story does very briefly mention some of the residents featured in previous books, but nothing that would prevent this book from being a standalone. I would recommend reading the prior books as they are very enjoyable! This story features Sam Green, who recently returned home to take over Greener Garden What I think you should know: Mishaps off the Mainland is a contemporary Christian Romance by Carolyn Miller. It is the sixth and final “ Merriweather” book in the Independence Island Series. This story does very briefly mention some of the residents featured in previous books, but nothing that would prevent this book from being a standalone. I would recommend reading the prior books as they are very enjoyable! This story features Sam Green, who recently returned home to take over Greener Gardens for her ailing father. What you might need to know: *Spoiler Alert* Max lost his wife prior to the start of the book, he has settled into Depression and does not wish to be disturbed. Sam just got out of a frightening relationship and it has shaken her trust in herself as well as men. **** What I think about this book: This was an interesting read that was reminiscent of Beauty and the Beast. Upon returning home Sam has more challenges than she anticipated, not only does she have to turn around a struggling business, but she has to face employees who did not want her to return. I really enjoyed the interactions between Sam and Max, even when they were frustrated with each other. I do wish that the book had been a little long to allow us to see mysteries being resolved instead they were just tied up neatly with an explanation at the end of the book. I enjoyed this book and look forward to moving to the next island! I received a complimentary copy of this book from Celebrate Lit, this in no way influenced my review. All opinions are my own.

  14. 4 out of 5

    April

    Restoring Fairhaven by Carolyn Miller is a Christian Romance set on Merriweather Island, which is part of the (fictional) Independence Islands off the east coast of America. This is a Christian romance set on Merriweather Island, one of several in the fictional Independence Islands. It's definitely sweet with some mystery in there for spice. Some might find the pairing of a gardener and a reclusive author a bit cliche but I love it because Ms. Miller makes the characters relatable, which mitigates Restoring Fairhaven by Carolyn Miller is a Christian Romance set on Merriweather Island, which is part of the (fictional) Independence Islands off the east coast of America. This is a Christian romance set on Merriweather Island, one of several in the fictional Independence Islands. It's definitely sweet with some mystery in there for spice. Some might find the pairing of a gardener and a reclusive author a bit cliche but I love it because Ms. Miller makes the characters relatable, which mitigates some of the "I think I've read this before" vibes. The witty banter and funny situations they find themselves in together make this a fast but good read. It has a Christian story element as well. Restoring the garden is a way to show how both main characters find faith and each other again. I also love the slogan for this series: Beach reads aren't just for summer anymore. Each story takes place on an island in the Independence Island chain, e.g. Merriweather, Elnora. It definitely has that Atlantic coast island feel to it. If you've ever been to the islands off of Savannah, like Tybee Island, you may have some idea of the weather, culture, etc. I'm giving this a solid four stars. A great sweet romance with a definite Christian flavor that you don't have to wait for the warmer months to read. I received a complimentary copy of this book and all opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Kendra Neal

    We head back to the Merriweather Island in the sixth and final book in the Merriweather Island series, with Restoring Fairhaven by Carolyn Miller. Samantha Green comes back home to run her Dad's Garden Business after he has medical issues. She is glad to be home after having her heart broken and wants to do her best for her Dad's business. Max Fairhaven, a local writer whose books are Historical Romance, decides to hire the services of the Gardening Business to take care of some landscaping needs. We head back to the Merriweather Island in the sixth and final book in the Merriweather Island series, with Restoring Fairhaven by Carolyn Miller. Samantha Green comes back home to run her Dad's Garden Business after he has medical issues. She is glad to be home after having her heart broken and wants to do her best for her Dad's business. Max Fairhaven, a local writer whose books are Historical Romance, decides to hire the services of the Gardening Business to take care of some landscaping needs. Max is the type of person who likes to keep to himself, so when Sam is around and she continually interrupts his routine, he is a little put off. He does start to come around and change his attitude when he learns of the health issues for Sam's Dad. The 2 begin to form a friendship. Max is challenged to face the past and release himself from things that have been creating the "hermit" in him. Will the friendship flourish when Max lets go of the past? Will they have a chance at a relationship? I really enjoyed this book. Carolyn Miller really made the story flow well. The Characters, who seem to be complete opposites, come together well and form a friendship. Sam is a girl with an amazing work ethic. Max finds himself needing to let go of the past. I am very sad that this the last book for the Merriweather Island series. I have really enjoyed the series, but it ended with another AMAZING story!

  16. 4 out of 5

    Rebekah

    Sam returns to the islands to run the ailing family business, Max just wants to be left alone. Along the way, she'll restore his garden; but, can Max be restored? What about restoring Sam's family business? What about her father's health? One theme running through Restoring Fairhaven is that restoration comes through trust and mercy. Carolyn Miller weaves this story of restoration with humor and a little light mystery, leaving the reading guessing at the solution to the mysteries until the end of Sam returns to the islands to run the ailing family business, Max just wants to be left alone. Along the way, she'll restore his garden; but, can Max be restored? What about restoring Sam's family business? What about her father's health? One theme running through Restoring Fairhaven is that restoration comes through trust and mercy. Carolyn Miller weaves this story of restoration with humor and a little light mystery, leaving the reading guessing at the solution to the mysteries until the end of Restoring Fairhaven. While Restoring Fairhaven is an enjoyable, light read, there is an odd hole in the story. Samantha has sworn off men because of a bad relationship; but, the book shows no change in Sam before she simply jumps into another relationship. There is a similar hole in the relationship between one character and their parents, where the character mentions a need for restored relationship; but, when the parents appear in a scene, there is no explanation of how the relationship was restored. I've read another one or two books by Carolyn Miller and had not seen similar holes. This reader, for one, needs to be shown not told. If you're reading the Independence Island series, you won't want to miss this light, easy, sweet read. Disclaimer: I purchased a copy of this ebook book and am sharing my personal opinion.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Erin

    I love this series! The books are always well written and really just read quickly and make it so you can’t wait until the next book starts up. This book probably was the most relatable to me because my dad is a horticulturist which means I’ve had a lot of exposure to that job title and plants, etc. Also, I love watching places come to their full potential. I’ve always hated driving past a house and seeing it falling down instead of being kept up. While Fairhaven isn’t falling down the gardens ar I love this series! The books are always well written and really just read quickly and make it so you can’t wait until the next book starts up. This book probably was the most relatable to me because my dad is a horticulturist which means I’ve had a lot of exposure to that job title and plants, etc. Also, I love watching places come to their full potential. I’ve always hated driving past a house and seeing it falling down instead of being kept up. While Fairhaven isn’t falling down the gardens are definitely overrun and been let go. It’s fun to watch them come back to life as well as the people with them. Everyone wants a little romance to go with their restoration right? You’re going to love this novel. It read really fast and you can’t help but feel connected to Sam. I cried with her when she figured out how her dad was really doing and that her mom had been hiding it from her. And then there’s her flighty younger sister who you just want to shake some sense into. I have voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received through Celebrate Lit. All views expressed are only my honest opinion. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way. All opinions expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC regulations.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Joan

    Miller has given readers a fun Christian romance. The plot revolves around restoration. One aspect is the restoration of landscape a wealthy author has ignored for years. The other restoration is of the broken hearts of two people. I really liked the witty dialogue. That helped reveal more about Sam and Max. It was interesting to see how their personalities quickly changed once they reluctantly came to see potential romance. Overcoming obstacles to romance is an important aspect of a romance plot Miller has given readers a fun Christian romance. The plot revolves around restoration. One aspect is the restoration of landscape a wealthy author has ignored for years. The other restoration is of the broken hearts of two people. I really liked the witty dialogue. That helped reveal more about Sam and Max. It was interesting to see how their personalities quickly changed once they reluctantly came to see potential romance. Overcoming obstacles to romance is an important aspect of a romance plot and I felt things went a little too smoothly for this romance. A huge misunderstanding or other obstacle would have provided material for more character transformation. There is a bit of mystery involved as Sam received threatening phone calls. The calls were quite disturbing and I felt the resolution to them was easy and quick, not fitting the previous gravity given them. I always like it when I learn something when reading fiction and I had hoped to learn a bit about gardening or landscaping. No such information was included. Nonetheless, this is a fun and enjoyable book, pure romance. I received a complimentary digital copy of this book from the publisher. My comments are an independent and honest review.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Helen

    Restoring Fairhaven is book 6 in the Independence Island series. This is a series that is being written by six different authors and covers five different island. This is also a great stand alone Christian contemporary romance story. Sam’s father had a heart attack and she has moved across country to come home to Merriweather Island to take over the family’s landscaping business. The business is struggling and Sam takes on a big job for a famous author, Max Fairhaven. He is a withdrawn, unhappy p Restoring Fairhaven is book 6 in the Independence Island series. This is a series that is being written by six different authors and covers five different island. This is also a great stand alone Christian contemporary romance story. Sam’s father had a heart attack and she has moved across country to come home to Merriweather Island to take over the family’s landscaping business. The business is struggling and Sam takes on a big job for a famous author, Max Fairhaven. He is a withdrawn, unhappy person that writes stories without happy endings. This is a wonderful addition to the Independence Island series. This is a quick to read story that focuses on family dynamics. Sam’s mother doesn’t want her to talk with her father about the business, yet she expects Sam to take care of it. And her younger sister, who despite knowing her father is ill, refuses to answer their calls. The story is well written with just a few main characters and is easy to follow along with. I enjoyed the mystery in the story as well as the references to the lion. This is a great series to read to just get away from all the stress in the world today. I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from Celebrate Lit. All views expressed are only my honest opinion.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Connie Carpenter

    If you have not been reading the Independence Island Series, you are missing out. Restoring Fairhaven by Carolyn Miller is book 6. While they are all written as stand alones they all tie so well together. In this story we meet Samantha Green. She has taken on father’s gardening business on Merriweather Island. She has escaped a horrid past - and wants to make her dad proud. Samantha realizes that she may have bitten off more then she can chew when the business is going to restore and rejuvenate If you have not been reading the Independence Island Series, you are missing out. Restoring Fairhaven by Carolyn Miller is book 6. While they are all written as stand alones they all tie so well together. In this story we meet Samantha Green. She has taken on father’s gardening business on Merriweather Island. She has escaped a horrid past - and wants to make her dad proud. Samantha realizes that she may have bitten off more then she can chew when the business is going to restore and rejuvenate the garden of writer, Max Fairhaven. Max is a unique character. He prefers to be lost in his stories creating his characters. It's comical how frustrated he gets when Samantha has to keep bringing him to reality. Both do not realize that they need each other - both need restoring as the garden does. I love how the story built on this. The author has crafted some amazing characters. I was not so sure about Max at first - but he grew on me. I love how Samantha was so determined to prove herself. The author did a great job at building the romance and threw in some humor along the way. I love this series. I love these islands and I want to go and visit. I received a copy of this book through the Celebrate Lit blogging program - all thoughts are my own.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Pam

    On our last visit to Merriweather Island, readers spend some time with Samantha Green who has returned to the island to run her father’s landscaping company while he recover from serious health issues. Hoping to make her father proud of her Samantha accepts a huge landscaping makeover job for the neglected estate of famous author Max Fairhaven who has become quite reclusive and who hopes all the outside activity will not interfere with his writing. Who would ever expect the sparks to fly with th On our last visit to Merriweather Island, readers spend some time with Samantha Green who has returned to the island to run her father’s landscaping company while he recover from serious health issues. Hoping to make her father proud of her Samantha accepts a huge landscaping makeover job for the neglected estate of famous author Max Fairhaven who has become quite reclusive and who hopes all the outside activity will not interfere with his writing. Who would ever expect the sparks to fly with the casual landscaper with dirt under her fingernails and the oh-so-proper Englishman? Restoring Fairhaven was entertaining up to the very last page. I thoroughly enjoyed the often clever and witty conversations between Max and Sam and loved witnessing their growing friendship and attraction. It was fun to see Max gradually come out of his shell under Sam’s influence and in turn seeing how Sam was able to become more trusting due to Max’s acceptance. A beautiful setting, real life situations and problems, and evidence of an unseen Hand working in their lives makes this novel a delightful read. I voluntarily reviewed a copy of this book provided by Celebrate Lit. A favorable review was not required. All views expressed are my own.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Jane

    Restoring Fairhaven is book 6 in the Merriweather Island portion of the Independence Islands series. This series is written by a variety of authors and covers five islands off the coast of Georgia. Because it is written by a variety of authors, each book can be read as a stand alone. I have found there to be some character overlap but haven’t felt like I was missing part of a story because I hadn’t read all of the books. In Restoring Fairhaven, Carolyn Miller takes Sam, a young landscape architec Restoring Fairhaven is book 6 in the Merriweather Island portion of the Independence Islands series. This series is written by a variety of authors and covers five islands off the coast of Georgia. Because it is written by a variety of authors, each book can be read as a stand alone. I have found there to be some character overlap but haven’t felt like I was missing part of a story because I hadn’t read all of the books. In Restoring Fairhaven, Carolyn Miller takes Sam, a young landscape architect, who is covering for her dad who is ill, and Max, a well-known best-selling author, who is recovering from the death of his wife, and mixes them together in this happily ever after story. There is mystery involved when Sam begins receiving disturbing phone calls - who is behind them, may surprise you in the end. Restoring Fairhaven is perfect for the reader who is looking for a light, clean romance to read on a lazy afternoon. Restoring Fairhaven is an adult novel, but I would have no problem placing it in a K-12 Christian school library - it is a clean romance that older teens will enjoy. I received a complimentary copy of Restoring Fairhaven. This is my honest review.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Ibjoy1953

    It is both exciting and sad to read the last Merriweather book. I have do much enjoyed each one of these stories. But then we have another series to follow so that’s exciting too. I will forever hand on to my Merriweather series though! And I love anything Carolyn Miller writes so I knew this one was going to be amazing! I really enjoyed following Samantha and Max. Their story was so fun to follow. I love the attraction between these too and are they really ready for it, well we can see what hap It is both exciting and sad to read the last Merriweather book. I have do much enjoyed each one of these stories. But then we have another series to follow so that’s exciting too. I will forever hand on to my Merriweather series though! And I love anything Carolyn Miller writes so I knew this one was going to be amazing! I really enjoyed following Samantha and Max. Their story was so fun to follow. I love the attraction between these too and are they really ready for it, well we can see what happens. If you read the story because I don’t give spoilers! Ms. Miller did do a fantastic job creating wonderful characters that will quickly grab at your heartstrings and keep them. The plot flows so well and I love the descriptions of the beautiful gardens, which probably come from Ms. Miller’s own gardens. If you love a good contemporary sweet and clean read. This is a very good place to start. And I gladly give this one Five Stars! A special thanks to the author/publisher for a copy of this book. I am not required to write a positive review, the opinions here are mine alone. I am disclosing this with my review in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255

  24. 5 out of 5

    LisLovesReading E.Espinoza

    Restoring Fairhaven: Merriweather Island, by Carolyn Miller, is the sixth book in the multi-author Independence Islands series. An adept writer, Ms. Miller is undeniably skilled at creating charming stories that are truly enjoyable. Restoring Fairhaven is a special novel that features a satisfying combination of witty humor, authentic emotion, and sweet romance. Set on a small Atlantic island off the coast of Georgia, this novel offers a contemporary story of friendship, faith, and new beginning Restoring Fairhaven: Merriweather Island, by Carolyn Miller, is the sixth book in the multi-author Independence Islands series. An adept writer, Ms. Miller is undeniably skilled at creating charming stories that are truly enjoyable. Restoring Fairhaven is a special novel that features a satisfying combination of witty humor, authentic emotion, and sweet romance. Set on a small Atlantic island off the coast of Georgia, this novel offers a contemporary story of friendship, faith, and new beginnings. With well-developed characters who are authentic and relatable, this novel is memorable and engaging. As they face heartache, fear, and uncertainty, these characters turn to their faith and make space for God’s grace and provision to nurture healing and wholeness. Page after page, this book offers an entertaining story that is relevant and full of hope.   Restoring Fairhaven is a genuinely appealing novel that is compelling and uplifting. Thoughtful and well-written, it is a great addition to a wonderful series and a real pleasure to read. I gladly recommend it.   *I was given a copy of this book by the publisher/author. A review was not required. The review I have written is voluntary and contains opinions that are entirely my own.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Kathleen

    If you enjoy contemporary romance, don’t miss Restoring Fairhaven. When her father suffers a heart attack, Samantha Green returns home to take over the management of Greener Gardens, the family landscaping business. Recovering from an abusive relationship, she has no desire to let another man into her heart. Max Fairhaven’s beachfront estate has been neglected since his wife’s death three year’s ago. When Greener Gardens is offered the job of restoration, Samantha jumps at the opportunity. Her c If you enjoy contemporary romance, don’t miss Restoring Fairhaven. When her father suffers a heart attack, Samantha Green returns home to take over the management of Greener Gardens, the family landscaping business. Recovering from an abusive relationship, she has no desire to let another man into her heart. Max Fairhaven’s beachfront estate has been neglected since his wife’s death three year’s ago. When Greener Gardens is offered the job of restoration, Samantha jumps at the opportunity. Her client is a world renown author whose work has been made into movies numerous times. Samantha is less than impressed with his gruff, forthright manner and refuses to allow him to bully her. Her quick responses often demonstrate the author’s gift of amusing dialogue. As the layers start to peel away, Samantha begins to see the real Max Fairhaven. Throw in some troubling news regarding her father’s health and some threatening phone calls and Carolyn Miller’s Restoring Fairhaven proves to be an interesting story.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Connie Saunders

    'His smile, the way he spoke in a kind of gentle whisper, squeezed a lump of tenderness in her throat. She swallowed. Maybe she had heatstroke. She was imagining all kinds of weird and wacky things.' Restoring Fairhaven is an enjoyable contemporary Christian romance with a gal who loves to garden, a reclusive male author, and a very likeable matchmaker. Samantha Green accepts a job to restore the gardens of a famous author and this is when the fun and romance begins! Both Sam and Max Fairhaven ha 'His smile, the way he spoke in a kind of gentle whisper, squeezed a lump of tenderness in her throat. She swallowed. Maybe she had heatstroke. She was imagining all kinds of weird and wacky things.' Restoring Fairhaven is an enjoyable contemporary Christian romance with a gal who loves to garden, a reclusive male author, and a very likeable matchmaker. Samantha Green accepts a job to restore the gardens of a famous author and this is when the fun and romance begins! Both Sam and Max Fairhaven have experienced deep hurts in the past but when they learn to let go and embrace the future, a different restoration begins to take place. Author Carolyn Miller has written a lovely story filled with great characters, a sweet romance, and a light mystery to keep us intrigued but it is the faith message that I truly loved. Miller reminds us that personal restoration is always possible because God is the true restorer! I voluntarily accepted a copy of this book from the publisher via Celebrate Lit. There was no obligation for a favorable review. These are my own thoughts.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Patti Pierce

    Imagine having a dream job, but then circumstances force you to come home to take care of your father’s business. Samantha Green finds herself in that exact situation. She comes home to Merriweather to run her father’s landscaping business and discovers more trouble than she bargains for while her father recuperates from a heart attack. Max Fairhaven, a famous author, lives in an estate on Merriweather that he once shared with his now-deceased wife. Both Samantha and Max suffered heart-breaks in Imagine having a dream job, but then circumstances force you to come home to take care of your father’s business. Samantha Green finds herself in that exact situation. She comes home to Merriweather to run her father’s landscaping business and discovers more trouble than she bargains for while her father recuperates from a heart attack. Max Fairhaven, a famous author, lives in an estate on Merriweather that he once shared with his now-deceased wife. Both Samantha and Max suffered heart-breaks in the past, but together these two create a powerful and moving story. The characters come to life on the pages of this book. I found myself unable to put this book down. As part of the Independence Islands series and the last book in the Merriweather series, I feel it is a fitting conclusion to this Island’s saga. I can not wait to read the next book in this series for the next island. So check out this book and this series for yourself. I received a complimentary copy of this book, but this in no way influenced my review. All opinions are my own.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Mary

    I enjoyed this quick, lighthearted (but also serious) read. As a writer, reading a book about an author has a fun appeal. In this novel, Max Fairhaven, a best-selling author, grows increasingly irritated by the gardeners caring for his neglected landscaping. He frequently butts heads with Samantha Green, who dropped everything to come take over for her ill father and try to keep his business afloat. The island setting delights but isn’t crucial to the plot. The growing attraction between the wid I enjoyed this quick, lighthearted (but also serious) read. As a writer, reading a book about an author has a fun appeal. In this novel, Max Fairhaven, a best-selling author, grows increasingly irritated by the gardeners caring for his neglected landscaping. He frequently butts heads with Samantha Green, who dropped everything to come take over for her ill father and try to keep his business afloat. The island setting delights but isn’t crucial to the plot. The growing attraction between the widower and the entrepreneur surprises them both and is sweet to watch. I also like his indomitable personal assistant, Callie. These three main characters seem alive and intriguing, honest and someone you want to get to know better. The simple plot may be predictable but that doesn’t make it any less enchanting. It touches the heart and makes you want to be a better person. I received a copy from Celebrate Lit. All opinions are my own.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Trixi

    This story begins when Max Fairhaven & Samantha Green meet after she takes the job of restoring the once beautiful Fairhaven Gardens. He's a reclusive author who prefers the company of his fictional characters to real life people. She's just doing her job and trying to run her father's landscaping restoration business after he lands in the hospital with a heart attack. That, my reader friends, is where the fun begins! Be warned; there's plenty of snappy dialogue between Max & Sam. One thing I ab This story begins when Max Fairhaven & Samantha Green meet after she takes the job of restoring the once beautiful Fairhaven Gardens. He's a reclusive author who prefers the company of his fictional characters to real life people. She's just doing her job and trying to run her father's landscaping restoration business after he lands in the hospital with a heart attack. That, my reader friends, is where the fun begins! Be warned; there's plenty of snappy dialogue between Max & Sam. One thing I absolutely love in a story is witty banter between the hero and heroine. The sparks that fly between these two are hilarious! But then something happens, somehow Samantha begins pulling out the human heart beating beneath Max's gruff exterior. Sure there's plenty of attraction between the two, but it goes deeper as the wounds each have are revealed layer by layer. The relationship changes and grows as they start to open up to each other & they find they have more in common than they thought. I adored watching these two fall in love, it was a slow burn, but oh so full of anticipation it made me giddy. Not only is this about restoring Max's garden, but also about restoring hearts. Both Max & Samantha have scars only God can heal. Facing those hurts and scars is painful for them, but I thought Miller did an excellent job of showing that sometimes we have to face the pain head-on for healing to take place. With faith in God, the confidence of a blossoming friendship, and opening themselves up to love, this hard-won romance was deliciously delightful! I loved this inspirational contemporary romance penned by Miller & will happily look for more in the future! *I was provided with a complimentary copy and was under no obligation to leave a positive review. All opinions expressed here are my own. *

  30. 4 out of 5

    Ava

    Restoring Fairhaven is the latest book in the Independence Islands series. If you're not familiar with the series, the books are set on different fictitious islands that are located off the coast of Georgia. This is the last book in the series of books about Merriweather Island. If you want to read my reviews of the other books, go to my former blog (http://21stcenturykeeperathome.blogsp...) and scroll down to the list of book reviews. I really enjoyed reading this book. The characters are real a Restoring Fairhaven is the latest book in the Independence Islands series. If you're not familiar with the series, the books are set on different fictitious islands that are located off the coast of Georgia. This is the last book in the series of books about Merriweather Island. If you want to read my reviews of the other books, go to my former blog (http://21stcenturykeeperathome.blogsp...) and scroll down to the list of book reviews. I really enjoyed reading this book. The characters are real and funny and I enjoyed the interaction between Sam and Max. It was a great, quick, light read. I was surprised to see that the author's other books have all been Regency-themed (not my personal favorite genre); she did quite well writing contemporary fiction. I received this book from Celebrate Lit after requesting it with the goal of reading and reviewing it.

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