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Winter Stroll by Elin Hilderbrand

Winter Stroll is the second installment of Elin Hilderbrand's Winter Street trilogy.  I reviewed the first installment previously on the blog, and you can click here to read it.  Winter Stroll was released last year, and I'm just now getting around to reading it.  Which is fine because the third and final book in the trilogy was released this fall, so I can read that soon.  Keep an eye out for that review because it will be coming up in a few weeks.  

I have been reading and reading and reading some more.  I only have one class this semester, so there is more time for my own reading.  As it stands, I'm about three books behind in my review writing (sorry).  And since we're coming up on the end of the year in a couple months, we'll have to start thinking about staff picks from the past year around here.  The 2016 Staff Picks will run starting after the first of the year.  So just a little programming notes for you to look forward to.

Back to Winter Stroll.  I was initially reluctant to read it because Mitzi (who is Crazy and Drama) and also because I peaked at the blurb for the concluding book, Winter Storms, and I saw some spoilers to which I was all hell to the NOPE.  No, thank you.  (Because I was done.)  Then I read the first paragraphs of Winter Storms, and I thought, well, let me finish Winter Stroll even though I can't with some of these people's Drama.  Just a little insight into my reading process.

It's a year later in Winter Stroll, and it's been a rough year (and about to get even rougher in Storms) for Kelley.  Mitzi left him for Santa Clause (you read that right); their son, Bart, a U.S. Marine, is still missing in action in Afghanistan, and the inn is still getting back on its feet financially.  And before this book is over all hell will have broken loose for this family.  Which is too bad for them, but let's be honest, it's entertaining for us.

Kevin and Isabelle's infant daughter, Genevieve, will be baptized on the weekend, and Mitzi invites herself to the baptism.  Because of course, she does.  These. People.  Mitzi and George (!) both have some nerve to return to the island and wreak more emotional havoc on this family and themselves.  I won't mention what happens when Kevin's toxic ex-wife returns to the island.

The oldest Quinn sibling, Patrick, is in jail where he's been for the past several months.  His boys are struggling to cope and are acting out.  His wife, Jennifer, is barely hanging on.  And then she starts taking pills to cope and becomes addicted.

There's trouble in paradise when Ava's boyfriend Scott must tend to a sexy, single, female colleague's health crisis off island.  As a result he misses a big, family party at the whale museum and Genevieve's baptism; while unbeknownst to him, Ava's old flame, Nathaniel, returns to woo her back (!!!).  I have so much to say about this love triangle.  I'll save some of it for the next review.  But.  Ava either needs to send Nathaniel packing under no uncertain terms or tell Scott he's back or break up with Scott until she knows what she wants because I cannot deal with this drama.  And Scott needs to ditch that female colleague because his prioritizing her over Ava, WHO IS HIS GIRLFRIEND, is damaging their relationship.  And if Ava chooses Nathaniel, I will never forgive Elin Hilderbrand.  However, Scott is not right for Ava either because he's making time with that female colleague.

The only one for whom life and love both are going well is Margaret who is solidifying a proper relationship with her pediatric surgeon boyfriend.  At least things are going well and are drama free for one Quinn this holiday season, right?  Thank God for that.

--Reviewed by Ms. Angie

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