Book Review: Falling for Alaska by Belle Calhoune

Posted March 25, 2024 by meezcarrie in Belle Calhoune, Book Review, clean, contemporary, romance / 4 Comments

Falling for Alaska book review

Falling for Alaska by Belle CalhouneFALLING FOR ALASKA by Belle Calhoune
Moose Falls, Alaska #1

GENRE: Contemporary Romance (Clean with mild language)
RELEASE DATE: March 26, 2024
PAGES: 304

Don’t miss the first trip to Moose Falls, Alaska where a down-on-his-luck football player and a sassy restaurant owner find themselves going from enemies to lovers in this small-town romance — perfect for fans of Brenda Novak and Annie Rains!

A small-town restaurateur and a big city former football player go head-to-head in this heartfelt enemies-to-lovers romance . . .

As the oldest of three brothers, former pro-football player Xavier Stone is no stranger to making tough calls. Like returning to his small hometown of Moose Falls, Alaska to help run his grandmother’s hard cider company and gastro pub. He agrees to keep an open mind, but between working with his estranged father and confronting heavy childhood memories with his brothers, Xavier’s ready to rush back to civilization. Even the stunning woman who runs his grandmother’s restaurant seems to instantly dislike him . . .

True Everett knows better than to let a ridiculously handsome man distract her, especially when it’s the same guy who stands between her and owning Northern Exposure, the tavern she manages. She didn’t pour her soul into the restaurant just for Xavier to swoop in and snatch away her dreams. But amid all the barbs—and, fine . . . all the sparks—flying, True glimpses the man beneath the swagger. That version of Xavier, the real one, might just steal True’s heart.

I knew I wanted to read Falling for Alaska from the moment I laid eyes on that gorgeous cover, and honestly I wished I could live right there in said cover, if such a thing were possible. The next best thing though is letting Belle Calhoune take me on a visit to Moose Falls through the magic of fiction – and this charming introduction to such a quaint town makes me want to return as soon as possible! I loved Hattie Stone, especially her joie de vivre even in the face of a terminal illness and her desire to see her broken family restored while she still has time. This spirited grandmother is the kind of anchoring character I love to see in a series, and although I have a feeling she will eventually break my heart in future books I’m enjoying my time with her in the interim.

“And with those simple words, True made him feel that he could do anything. Leap tall buildings in a single bound. Climb Mount Everest. Dunk on LeBron James. Eat all his lima beans.”

While we get to know all three of Hattie’s grandsons in Falling for Alaska, the focus is primarily on the oldest, Xavier – a former NFL player who struggles to reconcile the happy memories coming back to him in Moose Falls with the long-held hurt of abandonment that has heretofore tainted them. Enter True, the warm and friendly manager of his grandmother’s tavern, a woman who also knows parental absence (though on a decidedly different level than Xavier) and is raising her precocious little brother Jaylen alone. There is instant heat between Xavier and True (and not just from the ghost peppers), and their romance is sweet & swoony & a little sassy (which I love). My absolute favorite scenes in this book though are the ones between True and Jaylen. They have such an endearing and affirming sibling relationship, and Jaylen’s sense of humor had me cracking up!

Bottom Line: Falling for Alaska may kick off a brand new series and story world for this author, but thanks to Belle Calhoune’s solid sense of place and character development skills you feel right at home from the very beginning. The necessary establishing details and character backstories are woven seamlessly into the engaging narrative, making us care immediately about these Stone brothers, their feisty grandmother, True and her little brother Jaylen, and a host of other supporting characters – all without bogging the reader down with information dumps that slow down some series starters. I very much enjoyed the author’s writing voice, the swoonilicious romance, and all of the delightful & diverse characters, making me eager to continue the series and see who gets to fall in love next!

Reviewer’s Note: Readers of this blog may want to be aware that there are a very few mild curse words scattered infrequently throughout this novel, and the closed-door mention of an intimate relationship between two supporting characters.

(I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the publisher. All views expressed are only my honest opinion.)

My Rating: 4 stars / enjoyed it!

KissingBook Level: 3+ / will forget to breathe on more than one occasion

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Belle Calhoune

Belle Calhoune grew up in a small town in Massachusetts as one of five children. Growing up across the street from a public library was a huge influence on her life. Married to her college sweetheart and mother to two daughters, she lives in Connecticut. A dog lover, she has a mini poodle and a black lab.

She is a Publishers Weekly bestselling author as well as a member of RWA’s Honor Roll. In 2019 her book An Alaskan Christmas was made into a movie (Love, Alaska) by Brain Power Studios and aired on UPTV. She is the author of over 40 novels and published by Grand Central Publishing and Harlequin Love Inspired.

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What about you? What makes you want to read Falling For Alaska by Belle Calhoune?

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