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The Forever Christmas Tree

(Bell Sound #1)

4.14  ·  Rating details ·  148 ratings  ·  45 reviews
The Christmas bells are chiming across the Outer Banks town of Bell Cove, North Carolina, but there’s one local ‘grinch’ who’s not listening . . .

He’s got bad-boy looks and a Bah Humbug attitude, so when the local paper asks the villagers to vote on the “Biggest Local Grinch” as a fund-raising project, Ethan Rutledge isn’t surprised to hear he’s made the ballot. He might o
ebook, 368 pages
Published September 25th 2018 by Avon
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4.14  · 
Rating details
 ·  148 ratings  ·  45 reviews

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Shelleen Toland
He’s got bad-boy looks and a Bah Humbug attitude, so when the local paper asks the villagers to vote on the “Biggest Local Grinch” as a fund-raising project, Ethan Rutledge isn’t surprised to hear he’s made the ballot. He might own the local Christmas Tree Farm, but the holiday hasn’t been welcome in his home since Wendy Patterson left him heart-broken twelve years ago.

But now Wendy’s back, fresh from a tour of duty as a female Navy SEAL. She’s bold, beautiful, and has five Navy buddies trailing
DNF @30%.

The "hero" was a total dick. Books like this one are why I have a "Would fist fight hero" shelf.
2.5 Stars rounded Up

The Forever Christmas Tree” had me conflicted for the pros and cons I felt throughout reading. What I like about this book is the esprit de corps the townsfolk of Bell Cove shared. Despite the constant squabble, the community also showed they care about one another; coupled with a certain wacky, devil may care attitude, and a dash of nosiness of the small town people. All these things combined with the holiday spirit delighted me.

However, I had issues with the leading chara
Amanda Powell
Jul 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone who loves a good romance
Wendy Patterson wanted to become a doctor and take over her father's practice but due to a broken heart, left her home town of Bell Cove to become a female Navy SEAL. Ethan Rutledge gave up hopes of being a veterinarian to take over the family Christmas Tree farm, because of one mistake. Can love be better the second time around or were they doomed from the start?
Throw in a few SEALS, some dancing seniors, a town full of busy bodies and a town fund raiser project that happens to be a Grinch con
Dec 31, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good second chance story in a small town. Twelve years earlier, Wendy left town after her boyfriend cheated on her and got another girl pregnant. Broken hearted she left for college, where she was later recruited for the WEALS, the female SEALs program. She hasn't been back to Bell Cove since then, though her family has visited her. But after a rough mission, she was ready for a break. The one thing she didn't look forward to was the possibility of seeing Ethan again.

Ethan hasn't been the most c
Sep 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
When she gets a short break after one of her missions, Wendy Patterson – a WEALS, a female Navy SEAL – decides it’s time to go back home and decide what to do with her house, currently occupied by her Aunt Millie. Unfortunately going back to Bell Cove also means having to see Ethan Ruthledge, whom she hadn’t seen in twelve years when she left town. Ethan has been shanghaied on the town council: money is needed for various projects, and Ethan is being such a grouch that his friend Laura of the lo ...more
Aug 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
A wonderful Christmas romance with a Grinch contest. That was a fun idea. I loved that a fundraiser turned out to be a fun filled event. Everyone in Bell Cove joined in and dressed up for the cause. Love is everlasting even when you thought it ended. Wendy and Ethan were sweethearts for many years. A mistake got in the way of their happiness. 12 years later Wendy comes back to find out Ethan didn't become a Veterinarian like he wished for. Wendy's life didn't turn out like she wanted neither. Sh ...more
Feb 03, 2019 rated it liked it
I adore Sandra Hill's books however The Forever Christmas Tree had me conflicted. As others have said, I loved the town and all it's nosiness. Too funny. There were, however, some pretty mean-spirited characters, more so than I think you would find in a small community. I also had trouble getting past the long ago reasons for the break up of the main characters, Ethan Rutledge and Wendy Patterson. I found Wendy far too inflexible for my taste; I'm the sort of reader who doesn't automatically ass ...more
Oct 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fun, Fun, Fun

What a great Christmas romance, but the little town of Bell Cove with all its zany characters made this book a joy to read! It is a second chance romance, but felt so much more than that! I always enjoy Sandra Hill and have read most of her books, but I did truly love this one and hope we get more Bell Cove stories in the future.
Nov 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This was another wonderful book by Sandra Hill love all her books they make me happy sad but they always work out can't wait to find the rest of her books too read
I feel like this could have been fairly good if it had been properly edited. But since I don't think it was, I'm just going to quote one of the characters from the book to sum up my feelings: "You two remind me of a bad romance novel."

Apart from the fact that Ethan, the male lead, was in general pretty badly written, the first half of The Forever Christmas Tree was still alright - there were only minor things that bothered me, mostly relating to the endless re-introduction of characters we had m
Ann Lorz
Reviewed for Romancing the Readers Blog: https://romancingthereaders.blogspot....

I was pretty excited to start a new series by Sandra Hill. I knew it would be good because I've enjoyed everything she's written so far. This new series seemed promising since it starts off with a Christmas story by one of my favorite authors.

Now even though this ones a new series it starts off with characters from a prior series. In fact Wendy's in that series. So this new series started out with the best of both
Wendy left her small North Carolina Outer Banks island home twelve years ago because the love of her young life, her forever love, cheated on her and got another girl pregnant. He ruined their plans and she wanted nothing but to get away.

Now a Navy SEAL, Wendy is finally returning home to visit her beloved Aunt for Christmas. She's coming home with backup, all of her Navy SEAL teammates, and is determined she'll not let Ethan knock her back.

But Ethan is now a widower, and he's still feeling it f
Candyce Kirk
Oct 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
I have really come to love Christmas romances the last couple of years, so I was really excited for this one. Wendy is going home to Bell Cove for the first time in twelve years, but is nervous about it. Things happened many years ago with a special someone and she's not sure how to handle that yet, even though she thinks he will be living somewhere else living his happily ever after.

Ethan's life turned out different than planned, but it gave him Cassie, that is something he would never change.
Cara Ross
Sep 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I have never read a Sandra Hill book before, but when I read the synopsis for The Forever Christmas Tree, I knew I had to read it, and I have to say that after the first chapter it firmly had me gripped.
The story starts when Wendy return home to Bell Cove for the first time in 10 years, after she was back in the States after her latest mission for the WEALS (women's branch of the SEALS), but she is not coming alone, she is also bringing some of her fellow WEALS and SEALS with her, but as soon a
Dec 28, 2018 rated it it was ok
I probably should have DNFed this one...still not sure why I didn't.

Overall the book felt like it was trying really hard to be more than it was...and failing spectacularly. Neither of the main characters were terribly sympathetic, IMHO. Their inner dialogue drove me crazy, and the head-hopping just about gave me whiplash--I blame the writing here; these things might have worked, because I could see what the author was trying to do with them, but sadly they really didn't. Add in that there were
TJ Nichols
Jul 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I just finished this book and its another winner from Sandra Hill. The Forever Christmas Tree takes place for the most part at the Outer Banks, NC. Having vacationed there several times over the years it was refreshing to read about a place that held such great memories for me. The story is engaging and the charactors well defined. I think one of Ms. Hill's hallmarks is her characters - after reading the Viking/SEAL and Navy SEAL books I would know JAM, Geek or K-4 if I bumped into them on the s ...more
Nov 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
I love to read books by Sandra Hill and this was no exception. She has such a way describing the town and the people that you just know them personally. Ethan Rutledge of the Rutledge Christmas tree fame was about to get appointed the Grinch award of Bell Cove and he really didn't know why except he always seemed to be mad. His first and true love, Wendy, had left town when he had made the mistake of his life but to him, it wasn't a mistake because he had a lovely daughter. When Wendy returned t ...more
Sandra R
Oct 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
Hmm. Probably a 3.5. As usual from this author the story is very well written and quite entertaining, but as a romance I thought it was really lacking. This is a book with a really large ensemble cast of characters - which means you have to have your wits about you reading it and placing all the people. This book is obviously setting up a series to give our remaining navy weals and seals (from Viking series II) a conclusion and a HEA - which is excellent of course, as I loved that series.

All I
Tobi Forget the Housework, I'm Reading...
This is a solid second chance romance. It's a bit slow to read. As a reader there were way too many details I felt unnecessary even with it being the first in a series. I found myself skipping the details I didn't care about and reading the dialogue. I was a bit confused with the POV at time. Most of the story is alternating POV's between the main characters but suddenly in one chapter they're joint POV, taking turns every other line, in one spot and in the epilogue it's third person POV. Quite ...more
Cindy Reifel
Jul 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If you love Debbie Macomber, Robyn Carr or Sherryl Woods, you will LOVE this Christmas story!
Ethan and Wendy were high School Sweethearts until he went to a party one night, got drunk, slept with someone else and, you know the rest. Wendy was so devastated by everything that happened that she moved away, for 12 years! Now that she's back, they both realize that the steamy attraction never ended. Problem is that, Wendy has decided long ago that she will NEVER allow herself to open up to Ethan aga
Sheila Penwell
Jan 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is the first time I have read this author. I bought the book because of the title. I really loved this story. The 2 main characters(Wendy and Evan) were very strong and the reasons why they broke up I think was basically the reasons that the story ended the way it did. Of course, there were lots of people setting them up. When Wendy decided to go home for Christmas she never thought about them getting back together. I highly recommend this book.
Mrs. Garen L. Herd
Good read

Sandra Hill writes with such humor and heart ❤. I've read all her Viking series and Cajun series. In this one, our heroine is a Weals (female Navy Seal) and our hero is her high school sweetheart. She and her teammates go to her home for the Holidays on the Outer Banks. There are old friends, wacky seniors living in her house with her aunt, a Grinch competition, loads of Christmas celebrations, and lots of romantic angst. And some explicit sex. Highly recommend.
Linda George
Dec 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018
This was an enjoyable Christmas second chance romance novel. Ethan Rutledge and Wendy Patterson were sweethearts twelve years ago when Ethan, at a drinking party, had a one night stand that resulted in a pregnancy and Wendy leaving town. Back for the first time since that summer, Wendy runs into the widowed Ethan and sparks fly. This novel introduces a cast of characters that I expect to see in this new series Bell Sound.
Georgialee Griffith
Ring in the season with a Seal or Weal!

I really couldn't put it down! I was so sleepy when I finished I felt drunk! It was 5:30 a.m. Not the first time with this series either.
I did want to shake /slap some sense into them.
If you like to laugh, wait until you meet Aunt Mil and her friends. They didn't have any problem saying whatever they were thinking. I'd like to go to one of their dance classes!
I hope we see more of the Seals, Seals and Vikings soon!!
Joyce Grubb
Oct 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A Wonderful Christmas story

A military Deal and a Christmas Tree Farmer. A mistake when they were young. She left the state and joined the military and never went back home. Years later she and her Seal buds came home on Christmas Leave. And She found out she still was crazy about him. Oh My.
Sep 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The Forever Christmas Tree is a great start to the Bell Sound series. I loved the little town of Bell Cove! The First Annual Bell Cove Grinch Contest was entertaining, and I couldn't wait to see who would be crowned. I enjoyed Ethan & Wendy's second chance love story, and I look forward to reading the stories of Wendy's Navy SEAL friends.

I voluntarily read & reviewed a complimentary Advance Reader Copy.
Jul 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Such a sweet story from Sandra Hill's newest series, Bell Sound. I love that even though this is a new series, it brings in characters from some of her other series. You do not have tor read the other series or books to TOTALLY enjoy this one. A quick read but that is because the story is so good and so well written. Sandra Hill is a go to author for me when I want a feel good story.
Diana Woodward
Nov 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Love Me Truly

Great story and continue to be a "to good to put down book". Look forward to reading the next story. I don't think I've read a boring, slow or bad book from Sandra Hill.
Nov 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
A fun easy read with senior citizens, Navy Seals with their female counterparts, Weals, Charlie Brown Christmas trees all on and OBX island. This is the first in a new series called Bell Sound. The next book is on pre-order so I had to order it.
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the GoodReads database with this name. See this thread for more information.

Sandra Hill is a graduate of Penn State and worked for more than 10 years as a features writer and education editor for publications in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Writing about serious issues taught her the merits of seeking the lighter side of even the darkest stories. Sh

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