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Autumn by the Sea

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Abandoned as a toddler, Sydney Rose has spent years wondering who she really is, homesick for a life she's never lived. When a private investigator crashes into her world, she finds herself heading to a tiny seaside town in Maine to meet a woman named Maggie, who's searching for the granddaughter she lost decades ago. If not for Maggie, Neil MacKean might still be back in S Abandoned as a toddler, Sydney Rose has spent years wondering who she really is, homesick for a life she's never lived. When a private investigator crashes into her world, she finds herself heading to a tiny seaside town in Maine to meet a woman named Maggie, who's searching for the granddaughter she lost decades ago. If not for Maggie, Neil MacKean might still be back in Scotland, bereft and alone. Instead, he has a full life in Muir Harbor with an adopted family he loves and a blueberry farm to run. But the farm is struggling and strange occurrences have him concerned. Worse, Maggie's once again caught up in the past, convinced she's finally found her long-lost granddaughter. Worried for Maggie, Neil is suspicious of the city girl who shows up at the farm. But there's something about Sydney that tugs on him, drawing out secrets he never meant to share. While Neil grapples with the future of the farm, Sydney wrestles with a past that's messier than ever. Together, they're pulled into a mystery complete with a centuries-old legend, unexpected danger . . . and a love as deep and wild as the sea.


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Abandoned as a toddler, Sydney Rose has spent years wondering who she really is, homesick for a life she's never lived. When a private investigator crashes into her world, she finds herself heading to a tiny seaside town in Maine to meet a woman named Maggie, who's searching for the granddaughter she lost decades ago. If not for Maggie, Neil MacKean might still be back in S Abandoned as a toddler, Sydney Rose has spent years wondering who she really is, homesick for a life she's never lived. When a private investigator crashes into her world, she finds herself heading to a tiny seaside town in Maine to meet a woman named Maggie, who's searching for the granddaughter she lost decades ago. If not for Maggie, Neil MacKean might still be back in Scotland, bereft and alone. Instead, he has a full life in Muir Harbor with an adopted family he loves and a blueberry farm to run. But the farm is struggling and strange occurrences have him concerned. Worse, Maggie's once again caught up in the past, convinced she's finally found her long-lost granddaughter. Worried for Maggie, Neil is suspicious of the city girl who shows up at the farm. But there's something about Sydney that tugs on him, drawing out secrets he never meant to share. While Neil grapples with the future of the farm, Sydney wrestles with a past that's messier than ever. Together, they're pulled into a mystery complete with a centuries-old legend, unexpected danger . . . and a love as deep and wild as the sea.

30 review for Autumn by the Sea

  1. 4 out of 5

    Tejomai (bible_and_books)

    My stars!! That's one great read 😁 I'm in desperation to continue the next 2 books Melissa did nail this book... I read it freaking 1 Day😂😂 . I'm not surprised though because when I seriously like a book I cannot stop reading it . One of the most important book rating specification for me is -how I feel after completing the book.. you know I just layed down on my bed and closed my eyes and gave a squeak and closed my eyes still my mind wandering in the beautiful Muir Coast . Okay, so This book takes My stars!! That's one great read 😁 I'm in desperation to continue the next 2 books Melissa did nail this book... I read it freaking 1 Day😂😂 . I'm not surprised though because when I seriously like a book I cannot stop reading it . One of the most important book rating specification for me is -how I feel after completing the book.. you know I just layed down on my bed and closed my eyes and gave a squeak and closed my eyes still my mind wandering in the beautiful Muir Coast . Okay, so This book takes you through the lives of Sydney - who is an orphan and thinks her mother was happy for deserting her based on her last words, she doesn't have anyone other than her foster brother .. in a life where she's afraid to hope .. she decides to be content in everything her little life offers.. but deep inside she's lonely, she has burried her dreams and hopes of her girlself Maggie - A 65 year old woman who raises Neil, Liliana and Indi .. who still continues to search for her long lost granddaughter Every character has a great role and was so well written ... I loved all the characters .. don't get me started on the beautiful Muir Coast Views .. I felt like I traveled that place in my heart 💜💛 Oh guys, this tale takes you through true healing of souls, answers to deep quests , mystery and secrets which unfold truth which hurts .. ✨The book has depth in it's story line, it's characters posses you throughout the read makes you desperate for answers as much as they are??.. ✨The Romance between Neil and Sydney is so perfect just all the feels 💞😍 ✨The humor laced through all pages and banter between Lil and Wilder is like cherry on the top 🍧🍒 This book has indeed taught me so much , true strength is to hope even when everything crushes your dreams and hope .. It's how you choose to take the truth and how you love the ppl around you .. how you honor the Lord in simple acts of living for Him and showing His Love 💕 This book also left me in desperate hunger for the next 2 books and I cannot wait to read them!!! Seriously there's so much mystery still hidden in these Gems and I want to just continue reading it... I almost shouted realizing what's going in the second book 😁 The anticipation is high I highly recommend this book for everyone , it's got everything you need for an good read.. specifically recommend for Women's fiction and contemporary romance lovers *Thank you Netgally for an free ebook in exchange for an honest review

  2. 5 out of 5

    Emily

    The worst thing about NetGalley books is that the next book in the series is FOR SURE not out yet! I need book two, STAT. RTC.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Nicole

    What a wonderful start to a new series by Melissa Tagg. With a handsome Scottish hero, a humorous meet-cute, a beloved family brought together by love rather than blood, and beautiful faith messages throughout, Autumn by the Sea is definitely my favorite Melissa Tagg book. The mystery surrounding Maggie Muir's missing granddaughter and the search for Sydney's true identity add additional elements of intrigue to the storyline. There are so many fabulous things about this book that make it one of What a wonderful start to a new series by Melissa Tagg. With a handsome Scottish hero, a humorous meet-cute, a beloved family brought together by love rather than blood, and beautiful faith messages throughout, Autumn by the Sea is definitely my favorite Melissa Tagg book. The mystery surrounding Maggie Muir's missing granddaughter and the search for Sydney's true identity add additional elements of intrigue to the storyline. There are so many fabulous things about this book that make it one of best contemporary romances I've read this year, including undeniable chemistry between the hero and heroine and of course, Tagg's spectacular kissing scenes! The cliffhanger at the end of the novel makes me so eager to read A Seaside Wonder (book two in the series), which releases in early 2022. This is truly Melissa Tagg at her best. Autumn by the Sea is highly recommended for fans of contemporary romance. I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author/publisher and was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are mine.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Sarah Monzon

    I could see this being turned into a tv drama miniseries. You’ve got location (Maine blueberry farm), plenty of family dynamics at play, and an overreaching mystery that’s going to have you coming back for the next book (or, you know, episode of someone agree with me about the miniseries thing).

  5. 4 out of 5

    Susan Snodgrass

    'Sometimes a feeling is just a feeling. Other times, it's truth wrapped in undeniable knowing.' Melissa Tagg has been a favorite of mine since I read her very first book and with each book by her I read, I become even more convinced of that fact. Here she sets her book series in Maine. I've always wanted to visit Maine and Tagg takes me there in her story. She brings us Maggie Muir, a wonderful older woman who is desperate to find her lost granddaughter. Maggie has some regrets but she will never 'Sometimes a feeling is just a feeling. Other times, it's truth wrapped in undeniable knowing.' Melissa Tagg has been a favorite of mine since I read her very first book and with each book by her I read, I become even more convinced of that fact. Here she sets her book series in Maine. I've always wanted to visit Maine and Tagg takes me there in her story. She brings us Maggie Muir, a wonderful older woman who is desperate to find her lost granddaughter. Maggie has some regrets but she will never regret searching for her Cynthia. 'You don't have to do everything on your own, Neil. You've got this amazing family. Let them help you.' We meet the three siblings Maggie has adopted years ago, Neil being one of them. Such a wonderful hero this man is. He ticks all the boxes for literary heroes, honestly he does. I especially loved his bathroom scenes. If that sounds intriguing, good. Go buy the book and read it. You'll be hooked by the first page. Tagg always writes with such heart and depth that I feel as if I'm there in her stories. And what a good place to be. God sometimes leads us places that don't seem like the right place to be, but He knows the beginning from the end and He wants the best for His children. And sometimes that best includes the pain of traveling to that good place. We see faith played out in the wonderfulness of Maine's beauty, rather than always in a church. Sometimes, too, our heart's longings are God's whispers to our souls. This one is so good, folks. I can't wait for the next one in this series. Well done! My thanks to the publisher and author for a copy of this book. I was not pressured to leave a positive review. The opinions here are expressly my own.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Caitlyn Santi

    Wowsers! Melissa Tagg has penned another winner! I have been in love with this author's books since shortly after her debut novel released, she's one of those authors whose writing I love so much that I automatically want to read everything she writes, even before I know anything about it! As with each and every book by this author Autumn by the Sea totally and completely swept me away on page one, and I hated to stop reading when I reached the end! Sydney and Neil were amazing main characters a Wowsers! Melissa Tagg has penned another winner! I have been in love with this author's books since shortly after her debut novel released, she's one of those authors whose writing I love so much that I automatically want to read everything she writes, even before I know anything about it! As with each and every book by this author Autumn by the Sea totally and completely swept me away on page one, and I hated to stop reading when I reached the end! Sydney and Neil were amazing main characters and it was an absolute joy to watch them grow as characters, and get to witness their romance bloom (Not to mention Neil's tender, caring heart, and Scottish accent that had me swooning more than once!) This book also has a fantastic cast of secondary characters whom I can't wait to read more about! I am a diehard fan of Maple Valley, but it didn't take long for me to fall just as head over heels in love with Muir Harbor, Maine. Melissa Tagg's signature charm, wit, and small town quirky delightfulness leap from the pages of this splendid story, and I can guarantee you'll find yourself wishing you could drop everything and move to Muir Harbor! I simply cannot find words to express just how much I adored every single word of this story! This book is everything I dreamed it would be and so much more! I loved the characters, the setting, the faith message, the family mystery that had my mind whirling trying to fit all the pieces together, the humor, Maggie's letters, the kissing scenes (oh my stars!), and the beautifully written ending (albeit with a slight cliffhanger! :) that has left me eagerly and impatiently anticipating the next book in the series! Reading this book brought such joy to my life, and it most definitely has a spot on my list of favorite reads of 2021! Autumn by the Sea is a spectacular contemporary romance that will delight and enthrall both Tagg's enormous fanbase and new readers as well! I truly can't recommend this book highly enough! Trust me, you NEED to pre-order your copy ASAP, this gorgeous gem is not to be missed! "Sometimes a feeling is just a feeling. Other times it's truth wrapped in undeniable knowing." I received an eARC of this book from the author. My review was not influenced in any way. All thoughts and opinions are one hundred percent my own.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Gloria

    What a wonderful read! This is a story that when you finish, you have a smile on your face and feel an ahh moment. A family is not just a family by blood but also by choice and love. Maggie Muir lost her love to war before they could marry. She has created her own family through fostering and adopting children, now adults. But her first daughter died while home after being gone over two years. She had a baby girl with her that Maggie did not know about. But she disappeared. Maggie has searched f What a wonderful read! This is a story that when you finish, you have a smile on your face and feel an ahh moment. A family is not just a family by blood but also by choice and love. Maggie Muir lost her love to war before they could marry. She has created her own family through fostering and adopting children, now adults. But her first daughter died while home after being gone over two years. She had a baby girl with her that Maggie did not know about. But she disappeared. Maggie has searched for many years for baby Cynthia, employing a PI and now his son, Wilder Monroe, Maggie's son's best friend. Maybe Sidney Rose, living in Chicago, is that baby girl. So after some convincing by Wilder, Sidney goes to the Maine coast to see if the family she always wanted is with Maggie. But the mystery of if she is that baby girl is still a question and the queries continue. Who is the father? Sidney has to endure suspicion from the adult children who want to protect Maggie. It is fun to watch as Sidney gradually works her way into the family and especially her relationship with Neil, who came to Maggie from Scotland and is the one who works the Muir land and blueberry farm. We also get a glimpse into each of the daughters and I already look forward to reading their story. This rich and multilayered story has love, loyalty, romance, and faith threaded with suspense, tension, and mystery. For those who enjoy family relationships and romance with faith and mystery, this is a wonderful read. I received a complimentary ARC from Larkspur Press via NetGalley. All thoughts expressed are mine only.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Andria

    From the moment I started reading this beautiful book I didn't want to put it down for anything. From start to finish I felt connected to the characters, so wonderfully written and full of life. Autumn by the Sea balances mystery, love & family, and romance all in one. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who needs a good happily-ever-after and a great swoon-worthy romance. I have loved every book I've ever read by Melissa Tagg, but this one is truly special. It will touch your heart. I From the moment I started reading this beautiful book I didn't want to put it down for anything. From start to finish I felt connected to the characters, so wonderfully written and full of life. Autumn by the Sea balances mystery, love & family, and romance all in one. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who needs a good happily-ever-after and a great swoon-worthy romance. I have loved every book I've ever read by Melissa Tagg, but this one is truly special. It will touch your heart. I can hardly wait for the next book in the series.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Karen R

    A perfect read to snuggle up with on a cold autumn day! Sprinkled with hints of romance, an unsolved mystery, and set at a blueberry farm on the picturesque coast of Maine, it checks all the boxes for fans of contemporary, inspirational romances. A young woman searches for answers to her true identity and family of origin. "...Maggie would say that's what love does. It keeps hoping even when answers don't come easily." This first book in the Muir Harbor series was intriguing as the clues to the m A perfect read to snuggle up with on a cold autumn day! Sprinkled with hints of romance, an unsolved mystery, and set at a blueberry farm on the picturesque coast of Maine, it checks all the boxes for fans of contemporary, inspirational romances. A young woman searches for answers to her true identity and family of origin. "...Maggie would say that's what love does. It keeps hoping even when answers don't come easily." This first book in the Muir Harbor series was intriguing as the clues to the mystery are slowly revealed, and the Muir family is introduced. The use of letters to tell Maggie's backstory was interesting. She had an inspiring legacy of taking in foster children and orphans, creating her own loving family. Extending that acceptance and love to Sydney, who craved answers to her own origins, was a good example of Christ-like love. The parable of the lost sheep was a perfect parallel to her story. The main characters had me hoping for a happy ending to their search and budding romance. A dangling thread of the backstory has me looking forward to the next installment in this charming series. Recommend! 4.5 stars (An ebook was provided by the publisher via NetGalley. All opinions expressed are my own.)

  10. 4 out of 5

    Shirley Chapel

    The Author had me wrapped up in this book by the second chapter. I have read Melissa Taggs' books before but this story was definitely different from her other books and I absolutely loved it. The story was filled with unpredictable twists and turns with mystery and suspense added that kept me turning the pages . I didn't want to see the book come to an end but the writer skillfully left a few loose ends to carry over to the next book in the series. I like it when a book ends this way and I will The Author had me wrapped up in this book by the second chapter. I have read Melissa Taggs' books before but this story was definitely different from her other books and I absolutely loved it. The story was filled with unpredictable twists and turns with mystery and suspense added that kept me turning the pages . I didn't want to see the book come to an end but the writer skillfully left a few loose ends to carry over to the next book in the series. I like it when a book ends this way and I will be sure to read book two in January of next year. I liked all the characters because each one was important to the story. Romance was a part of the book too. Over all I thought Autumn by the Sea was an entertaining read and the cover was beautiful. Sydney Rose was dropped off at a Foster care center by a woman who was thought to be her mother. Unfortunately no one adopted her so she didn't have a family growing up except her Foster parents. She had searched for and found the woman thought to be her birth mother but she was in hospice and died shortly after Sydney had gone to see her. So other than a friendship with a Foster brother that she seen from time to time Sydney was alone in the world. Then a Private Detective contacted her out of the blue informing her that a woman who might be her grandmother wanted Sydney to come to Maine to visit with her. Maggie Muir had been searching for her granddaughter for years ever since her daughter had died in a accident. But Sydney's birth mother had died years ago so how could that be? But Sydney had a picture she had taken from her birth mother and there were two other people in the picture too. On the back the names were written and one name was Maggie Muir's late daughters name. Is it possible that the woman who bought her to the Foster Care Center wasn't her real mother after all? Should Sydney make the trip to Maine to find out if she might be part of a family there? I recommend this book to readers of Contemporary Romance and fans of Melissa Tagg. This is the first book of the Muir Harbor series. This book will be released on September 28th of this year. I received a complimentary advanced reader's copy of this book from the Author and Publisher through NetGalley. A favorable review was not requested. All opinions expressed here in this review are my own. #AutumnbytheSea#NetGalley

  11. 4 out of 5

    Madison

    Autumn by the Sea is another delicious contemporary romance by one of all-time favourite authors. Seriously. Melissa Tagg never disappoints. Autumn by the Sea is the perfect blend of mystery, romance, longing for family and meant to be. The characters just worm their way into your heart. The setting is rugged and charming. And that meet cute?!!?? Seriously?!? So cute. Sydney Rose has only ever wanted a family and somewhere to belong. Maybe that’s why when a stranger approaches her and tells her Autumn by the Sea is another delicious contemporary romance by one of all-time favourite authors. Seriously. Melissa Tagg never disappoints. Autumn by the Sea is the perfect blend of mystery, romance, longing for family and meant to be. The characters just worm their way into your heart. The setting is rugged and charming. And that meet cute?!!?? Seriously?!? So cute. Sydney Rose has only ever wanted a family and somewhere to belong. Maybe that’s why when a stranger approaches her and tells her that he thinks she’s the long-lost granddaughter of Margaret Muir, Sydney Rose jumps on a plane to Maine to discover if maybe, just maybe, she has a family after all. Sydney was not expecting the charming, if a little in need of some love, house on the coast, or Maggie, with her heart so welcoming and so hurt by the past. Nor was Sydney expecting Maggie’s three adopted adult children who are not exactly excited to see Sydney. Just it only takes days for Sydney to feel at home. If she and Neil, Maggie’s eldest adopted and the one holding Muir Farm together, can uncover the truth of the past, maybe Sydney could stay and find her place to belong. Autumn by the Sea is truly a delightful novel. I really enjoyed the mix of mystery in the book. Not only is Sydney trying to uncover the truth of her heritage, mystery surrounds Maggie’s daughter’s disappearance, as well as the strange occurrences around the farm that have Neil worried. The romance between Neil and Sydney is incredibly touching. They are not quite enemies to lovers, but they don’t have the smoothest start. Once they get past their initial meeting (beat that meet-cute, I dare you), Neil doesn’t hide his dislike of Sydney’s appearance in his life. He has enough to worry about. But as Sydney learns more about the farm and everything that Neil is doing to keep his family afloat, Sydney’s admiration for him shines through and it isn’t long before they are seeing where things lead between them. Theirs is a very short courtship, but it works. Maybe it’s the depth of what they share with each other or just the Melissa Tagg’s ability to bring them both to the page and bring their chemistry and connection to life that it makes everything so believable. There is a lot more to the story than just the romance and the mystery behind Sydney’s family. Neil’s siblings, relationships and even Maggie herself have secrets and more hurt in their past to sort out. The teaser at the end has me just desperate for the next book and I sense that a certain family legacy story is going to resurface. Another beautiful book to savour, perfect for contemporary romance fans who love books with lots of heart. The publishers provided an advanced readers copy of this book for reviewing purposes. All opinions are my own. Find more reviews, reading age guides, content advisory, and recommendations on my blog Madison's Library

  12. 4 out of 5

    Nicki Olsen

    Many times I feel sorry for my favorite authors. I wait not-so-patiently for a new book to come out as they tirelessly pour their heart into the pages between beyond gorgeous cover designs. I devour said long-awaited book in one glorious sitting. And then I put the pressure on by continuing the cycle. In the case of most, however, I guess that predicament is remedied by rereading old friends while awaiting new ones. Melissa Tagg has been at the top of that list ever since her very first story an Many times I feel sorry for my favorite authors. I wait not-so-patiently for a new book to come out as they tirelessly pour their heart into the pages between beyond gorgeous cover designs. I devour said long-awaited book in one glorious sitting. And then I put the pressure on by continuing the cycle. In the case of most, however, I guess that predicament is remedied by rereading old friends while awaiting new ones. Melissa Tagg has been at the top of that list ever since her very first story and this new series is no exception! Autumn by the Sea was enchanting in every way. The characters draw you into their story without pause and the setting is absolutely perfect. I'm sure I am not the first to think that Maple Valley is completely irreplaceable, but I have to confess to already googling luxury treehouses and wild blueberry farms along the coast of Maine. Maine has long been a magical place in my mind and Melissa absolutely did justice to my seaside fantasy. Also...for those of you who are longtime Melissa fanatics as I am, she managed to include goats in her storyline again so no worries about that! Neil is...wow. Neil is Scottish brogue speaking, flannel-wearing, come to my rescue without a second thought swoon-worthy and Sydney was the most perfect match up to his dreamy yet wounded character. Maggie is the grandmother figure most people dream of and the whole family just pulls you into the magic and effort of farm family living. Melissa not only wrote another beautiful romance novel with adorably quirky characters and swoon-worthy meet-cutes, but she added a healthy thread of intrigue and mystery that kept me guessing throughout the book and still has me hanging on for more. I have already planned my pre-order of my paperback copy to add to my full Melissa Tagg library and I once again put on the pressure by anxiously awaiting book two in this delightful series. For now, I will settle down with old friends and share this new one with anyone desirous of an escape in the form of a beautifully well-written story. Another standing ovation for a longtime favorite! *I received this book free of charge from the author in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts were my own.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Aimee (Getting Your Read On)

    It's the beginning of a new series by author Melissa Tagg! She's an author I'm always watching because I love her books. She really has a knack for developing not only characters, but a sense of community and family as well. This book really sets the stage for future books. If ever there was a gentle way to tell a story, this is it. The story grows slowly and really allows time to get to know the characters. I feel like this was Sydney and Neil's story but it was also the beginning of everyone's It's the beginning of a new series by author Melissa Tagg! She's an author I'm always watching because I love her books. She really has a knack for developing not only characters, but a sense of community and family as well. This book really sets the stage for future books. If ever there was a gentle way to tell a story, this is it. The story grows slowly and really allows time to get to know the characters. I feel like this was Sydney and Neil's story but it was also the beginning of everyone's story. The foundation has been laid, the mystery has begun and even though this story came to an end, it really isn't over. Some things are resolved, but so much isn't. It's so good to know there is another book coming! Some of my favorite things from this book: Neil Blueberry Farm Setting by the ocean The definition of family in this book Tree House! Tree House kisses! Neil (what? He deserves to be here twice, at least.) The growing mystery "Lass" Hidden treasure?! I hope so. Content: kissing, some mild Christian elements - I received a complimentary copy of this book. All opinions expressed are my own.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Brittany

    Autumn by the Sea is an absolutely wonderful way to kick off a new series. Set in beautiful, coastal Maine, filled with interesting characters who have been brought together as a family through adoption, this book is a delightful blend of romance with a hint of mystery from the past. The meet cute between Sydney and Neil is one of the best I have ever read and it had me laughing and swooning at the same time! These two characters were so enjoyable to read about. They had both searched for belongi Autumn by the Sea is an absolutely wonderful way to kick off a new series. Set in beautiful, coastal Maine, filled with interesting characters who have been brought together as a family through adoption, this book is a delightful blend of romance with a hint of mystery from the past. The meet cute between Sydney and Neil is one of the best I have ever read and it had me laughing and swooning at the same time! These two characters were so enjoyable to read about. They had both searched for belonging in their lives and had both felt the sting of loneliness and rejection from family in the past. Some questions are answered in this novel and some look like they will continue through and into future books in the series. I loved the romance that brewed between Neil and Sydney and I am really looking forward to returning to this family in future novels. I received a complimentary copy of this book. All opinions are my own. You can read this review on my blog: https://brittreadsfiction.wordpress.c...

  15. 4 out of 5

    Kav

    eriously the most eye-popping meet cute I've ever read!!!! Funny and cringy and blush worthy. Bwahahahaha! And Tagg just keeps on giving all the way through to the very end. I mean, doesn't that cover set the tone for autumnal reading? Cue the cozy fire and a cuppa of your choice (I'll make mine hot cocoa with marshmallows, please) and be prepared to lose yourself in small town Maine. Blueberry farming no less!!! I've been in love with blueberry harvesting ever since I read Blueberries for Sal w eriously the most eye-popping meet cute I've ever read!!!! Funny and cringy and blush worthy. Bwahahahaha! And Tagg just keeps on giving all the way through to the very end. I mean, doesn't that cover set the tone for autumnal reading? Cue the cozy fire and a cuppa of your choice (I'll make mine hot cocoa with marshmallows, please) and be prepared to lose yourself in small town Maine. Blueberry farming no less!!! I've been in love with blueberry harvesting ever since I read Blueberries for Sal way back when...and then kept on reading it to my own daughter and then all my kindergarteners when I was a school librarian. Sometimes old-fashioned simplicity is best...but I digress. Love, love, love these characters! Their farm! the small town! The mysteries (and, yes, some aren't explained...yet.) Tagg has the ability to transform a reader into a participant and I really felt like I was right there in Muir Harbor, experiencing it all from the fresh eyes of one very confused, warily hopeful Sydney. And I was emotionally invested in this heroine from the very nail-biter of a first chapter. Sydney's past has always been a mystery and the hope that she might find answers in this quaint New England town is...well, almost too much to hope for! :-) "I think Maggie would say that's what love does. It keeps hoping even when the answers don't come easily. It invites strangers in. It doesn't give up. Love keeps searching." (p 165) Who is Maggie, you ask? The wisest most open-hearted woman on the planet -- and possibly, maybe, Sydney's grandmother. But there are three other grandchildren who are all kinds of skeptical about that. This isn't their first rodeo when it comes to long lost heirs. And Neil in particular has his dander up. Cue the fireworks, lightning bolts and every other kind of pyrotechnics you can think of 'cause Sydney and Neil have chemistry! And watching their barriers crumble while they sizzle their way to each other makes for one toe-curling reading extravaganza. Their romance is all wrapped up in multiple mysteries -- not the high-octane suspense kind though. More questions without answers. Perplexing occurrences. And family history conundrums. Some of them are answered in this book. Others are still a big '?' so I'm anxiously keeping an eye out for A Seaside Wonder, the second book in the Muir Harbor series to release...gah, I don't know when -- it's another mystery!

  16. 5 out of 5

    Sarita

    Rating 4.5 I love it when the story within is even more beautiful than the cover. I still have a few Melissa Tagg novels to read, but to date, this one is probably the best I’ve read. Small town setting, a very close family, mysteries and a great romance. Some loves take months or years to blossom. But some blow in like a storm over the sea, so fast and furious and wonderful it about bowls you over. I just loved the Muir family who grew via circumstances and adoption. Maggie was a sweet motherly/gra Rating 4.5 I love it when the story within is even more beautiful than the cover. I still have a few Melissa Tagg novels to read, but to date, this one is probably the best I’ve read. Small town setting, a very close family, mysteries and a great romance. Some loves take months or years to blossom. But some blow in like a storm over the sea, so fast and furious and wonderful it about bowls you over. I just loved the Muir family who grew via circumstances and adoption. Maggie was a sweet motherly/grandmotherly figure and so wise. I enjoyed the letters she wrote to Robert and I feel there is still so much to be revealed to the readers. Lilian and Indi was great secondary characters and I’m hoping that Lilian’s story will be an enemy to love one! Sydney and Neil - I loved them as individual characters and even more together. Sydney’s quest to find answers about her parents and where she belongs was emotional but captivating. Neil with is quiet strength to protect and provide for everyone, but yet with his own hurts and dreams will make lots of readers love him. The mystery thread in the plot is new for me with this author, but she should definitely continue! I was intrigued, confused, hopeful along with Sydney and at the end frustrated because I want to know what Maggie remembered!!! And the teaser at the end makes me want to read Indi’s story now!!!!! *I received a complimentary copy via Netgalley. All opinions expressed are my own.*

  17. 5 out of 5

    Meagan

    A: Beautiful cover, amirite?! Tagg’s sister hand-lettered the title, too, and did a bang-up job! B: A book set during autumn (my favorite season) has to be good, right? (It better. LOL. High expectations/hopes.) And enter a love interest a) from Scotland, and b) named Neil (I suddenly channeled Neil MacNeill from Christy; pardon me while I swoon), and … Houston, it keeps getting better! Melissa Tagg is one author on my shortlist of “must buy/read everything they write.” Naturally, then, I leaped a A: Beautiful cover, amirite?! Tagg’s sister hand-lettered the title, too, and did a bang-up job! B: A book set during autumn (my favorite season) has to be good, right? (It better. LOL. High expectations/hopes.) And enter a love interest a) from Scotland, and b) named Neil (I suddenly channeled Neil MacNeill from Christy; pardon me while I swoon), and … Houston, it keeps getting better! Melissa Tagg is one author on my shortlist of “must buy/read everything they write.” Naturally, then, I leaped at the chance to read/review this–a new book and the first in a new series! Yay! I conveniently hit the climax right during a bout of insomnia, so didn’t feel too bad about staying up past my bedtime to see how far I could get; while I did set it aside to enjoy finishing the next morning, I was thoroughly appreciative of new material to distract me from staring at the ceiling calculating how much sleep I wouldn’t be getting. :D Tagg seamlessly weaves together romance, mystery, family, and hope in this release–and definitely queues up more books in the series quite nicely. Can’t wait to revisit Muir Harbor (and these characters) in subsequent books! I received an eARC of the book from the publisher via NetGalley. All opinions are my own.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Becky

    "Maybe there were times when her deepest desires were the echoes of divine whispers." Since being introduced to the world of Christian fiction over a year ago, Melissa Tagg has been one of my favorites. I really thought it couldn't get any better than her Maple Valley series, but the first book in her Muir Harbor series has become my new favorite! Autumn by the Sea introduces us to Maggie Muir and her 3 adoptive children; Neil, Lilian, and Indie. Neil is the main focus of this book and is paired "Maybe there were times when her deepest desires were the echoes of divine whispers." Since being introduced to the world of Christian fiction over a year ago, Melissa Tagg has been one of my favorites. I really thought it couldn't get any better than her Maple Valley series, but the first book in her Muir Harbor series has become my new favorite! Autumn by the Sea introduces us to Maggie Muir and her 3 adoptive children; Neil, Lilian, and Indie. Neil is the main focus of this book and is paired with the lovely Sydney Rose. From the moment they first meet you just known sparks are gonna fly! When Neil pulls out his Scottish accent......*swoon....I don't know how any girl could resist!!! Autumn by the Sea is full of suspense, mystery, and sweet romance. The small cliffhanger at the end....I cannot wait for A Seaside Wonder to come out in January 2022!!! If you're a fan of Melissa Tagg....I PROMISE you don't want to miss this new series! I received a complimentary copy of the novel from the publisher via NetGalley. All expressed opinions belong to me.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Toni Shiloh

    Melissa Tagg has a way of drawing the reader in to a new place, a new adventure, and feel like you’re right along for the ride. Autumn by the Sea is no exception. From its gripping opening, intrigue around who Sydney Rose is, and a place that looks the perfect picture of sanctuary in a seaside town in Maine, I was hooked. I have always wanted to visit Maine so I was delighted to in the pages of this book. Add to it a group of people who give hints to future books in the series and I was there. The Melissa Tagg has a way of drawing the reader in to a new place, a new adventure, and feel like you’re right along for the ride. Autumn by the Sea is no exception. From its gripping opening, intrigue around who Sydney Rose is, and a place that looks the perfect picture of sanctuary in a seaside town in Maine, I was hooked. I have always wanted to visit Maine so I was delighted to in the pages of this book. Add to it a group of people who give hints to future books in the series and I was there. The meet cute was in traditional Melissa Tagg style and one I’d love to see on the big screen (I’d have popcorn and all the laughs). The romance was sweet and sigh inducing. All in all, a fantastic start to a new series. *I received a complimentary copy from the publisher. My review was not required nor influenced.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Tracey

    A Melissa Tagg book is always a treat! Autumn by the Sea was just such a treat and well worth the wait! Tagg spins a tale so full of appeal and charm I knew I was in for a blissful reading experience. From the first meet-cute between Sydney and Neil to the final epilogue I was riveted to the mystery of Sydney Rose's identity. Sydney and Neil have great chemistry and their journey to a relationship was so adorably fun. I loved everything about Autumn By the Sea, the characters, the family dynamic A Melissa Tagg book is always a treat! Autumn by the Sea was just such a treat and well worth the wait! Tagg spins a tale so full of appeal and charm I knew I was in for a blissful reading experience. From the first meet-cute between Sydney and Neil to the final epilogue I was riveted to the mystery of Sydney Rose's identity. Sydney and Neil have great chemistry and their journey to a relationship was so adorably fun. I loved everything about Autumn By the Sea, the characters, the family dynamics, the mystery and the autumn seaside setting that will have readers longing for sweater weather and walks in the woods. Some of my favorite quotes: *"Some love takes months or years to blossom. But some blow in like a storm over the sea, so fast and furious and wonderful it about bowls you over." *"Sometimes a feeling is just a feeling. Other times it's a truth wrapped up in undeniable knowing." *"Maybe there were times when her deepest desires were the echoes of divine whispers." The theme of what makes a family, by blood or by choice, plays out so well in this heartwarming story. Well done Melissa Tagg! I love Muir Harbor and can hardly wait for a return visit to read sister Indi's story in A Seaside Wonder. I appreciate the publisher and Netgalley making a copy of Autumn By the Sea available for review. All thoughts and opinions are my very own.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Margaret Nelson

    Having read all of Tagg’s books, I was looking forward to seeing what this new one would be like. I loved it! It has a whole different flavor from her other books. I think some of it is the setting – the Maine coast, blueberry farm, etc. The characters quickly became friends (which is true of her other books) and I wanted to know how things worked out for them. The mysteries to be solved felt a bit different from her other books – maybe a little more intricate? – and I’m eager to read the next i Having read all of Tagg’s books, I was looking forward to seeing what this new one would be like. I loved it! It has a whole different flavor from her other books. I think some of it is the setting – the Maine coast, blueberry farm, etc. The characters quickly became friends (which is true of her other books) and I wanted to know how things worked out for them. The mysteries to be solved felt a bit different from her other books – maybe a little more intricate? – and I’m eager to read the next in the series to continue finding out the solutions. I liked all the different kinds of love shown by the different characters and in the various relationships. I’ve really enjoyed all of Tagg’s books, but I think this one has quickly become my favorite. #AutumnbytheSea #NetGalley

  22. 4 out of 5

    Charlotte Eure

    Once you start this book you will not want to put it down. Melissa has a way of pulling you into the story so much that you feel as if you are a part of it. If you like a book with a bit of mystery, a hint of romance, and a strong sense of family and community relationships then this book is for you!

  23. 4 out of 5

    Laura

    This was the first time that I read anything by this author and I look forward to reading more of her books in the future. I thoroughly enjoyed going on the Muir Farm and being part of their family. I loved the character of Maggie and how despite the difficulties in her life, she continued to try to help those around her and take care of her family. The character of Neil was pretty fabulous too. He had been through many trials as well but he worked so hard to care for Maggie and his family. This i This was the first time that I read anything by this author and I look forward to reading more of her books in the future. I thoroughly enjoyed going on the Muir Farm and being part of their family. I loved the character of Maggie and how despite the difficulties in her life, she continued to try to help those around her and take care of her family. The character of Neil was pretty fabulous too. He had been through many trials as well but he worked so hard to care for Maggie and his family. This is one of the novels that you will cry for the characters as they are in the valley and cheer them on when they are on the mountaintop!! Thanks so much to netgalley and the publisher for the arc. The opinions are my own.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Beth

    Autumn by the Sea proves once again that Melissa Tagg stands out in the world of contemporary Christian fiction. Her sense of place is impeccable. Muir Harbor is the perfect setting for this story; it’s somehow cozy but also a bit unpredictable as well. This backdrop was wonderful for a blueberry farm, but also for the mystery that Sydney is trying to solve about her family and her past. I enjoyed the differences between the characters – the family that proves blood isn’t what truly connects us. Autumn by the Sea proves once again that Melissa Tagg stands out in the world of contemporary Christian fiction. Her sense of place is impeccable. Muir Harbor is the perfect setting for this story; it’s somehow cozy but also a bit unpredictable as well. This backdrop was wonderful for a blueberry farm, but also for the mystery that Sydney is trying to solve about her family and her past. I enjoyed the differences between the characters – the family that proves blood isn’t what truly connects us. They have fabulous quirks that bring them to life and make me eager to know their story. I adored Maggie and her desire to make a family for herself in spite of what she has lost. The romance is delectably sweet and such a highlight of the story. As is her way, Tagg has written a completely charming and believable love story that doesn’t waylay the plot in any way. I’m so happy this is the start of a new series, and I will absolutely be reading the next book! If you haven’t read anything by Tagg yet (seriously, get on that!), this is a great place to start. I received a complimentary copy of this novel; these are my honest thoughts and opinions.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Erin

    What if a private investigator showed up one day and told you he might know your biological family? That's exactly what happens to Sydney Rose, a Chicago waitress who was raised in foster care. She's always longed to know about the parents who abandoned her. Is it absolutely crazy to trek off to Maine to meet the woman who might be her grandmother? Crazy or not, Sydney takes the risk and ends up with a two-week visit to Muir Harbor, Maine. Maggie Muir, who has been searching for the granddaughter What if a private investigator showed up one day and told you he might know your biological family? That's exactly what happens to Sydney Rose, a Chicago waitress who was raised in foster care. She's always longed to know about the parents who abandoned her. Is it absolutely crazy to trek off to Maine to meet the woman who might be her grandmother? Crazy or not, Sydney takes the risk and ends up with a two-week visit to Muir Harbor, Maine. Maggie Muir, who has been searching for the granddaughter who disappeared as a toddler, welcomes Sydney onto her blueberry farm with open arms. Her other adult children are skeptical, but so is Sydney. She's willing to see where things go, but she knows this enchanting small town on the Atlantic ocean might not hold the answers she seeks. Neil MacKean is keeping secrets. Maggie's blueberry farm has been falling into some pretty severe financial straights, and he isn't sure how to tell her. He's also been planning ways to diversify the farm and bring in tourist income—even though Maggie has disapproved of the idea in the past. Surely if she can see how much he believes in the project, she'll see how beneficial it could be for her whole family. The way Sydney did when he showed it to her. Every lead to track down Sydney's past only seems to uncover more questions. I enjoyed the mystery woven through the pages. It's gentle but steady. The characters really come alive in charming ways, and you desperately want everyone to find their happy ending. This is the first book in Melissa Tagg's new Muir Harbor series, and I can't wait to come back again and see how the rest of these stories unfold. I received my copy of the book from the author. All thoughts in this review are my own. This review originated at http://reviewsbyerin.dreamwidth.org

  26. 5 out of 5

    LA (that.bookmom)

    "Sometimes a feeling is just a feeling. Other times it's truth wrapped in undeniable knowing." After all the creepy thrillers I've been reading, this was the perfect book to add into the mix! It was so cute and sweet. I could definitely see this being a really good Hallmark movie (lost city girl visits cute family farm! It's perfect lol). I loved all of the characters and the family they had made together (found family trope 🙌🏻). I loved the undeniable chemistry between Neil and Sydney and the l "Sometimes a feeling is just a feeling. Other times it's truth wrapped in undeniable knowing." After all the creepy thrillers I've been reading, this was the perfect book to add into the mix! It was so cute and sweet. I could definitely see this being a really good Hallmark movie (lost city girl visits cute family farm! It's perfect lol). I loved all of the characters and the family they had made together (found family trope 🙌🏻). I loved the undeniable chemistry between Neil and Sydney and the light mystery surrounded the story as Sydney figures out who she is. This book was so beautifully written and I was excited to find out more about these lovely characters every time I picked it up. And that cover?! The cover is what drew me in on Netgalley since Autumn is my favorite season, and this book was just as cute as I hoped it would be. I'm looking forward to book 2 and learning more about Indi. I was definitely getting some "frenemies to lovers" Wilder + Lilian vibes so maybe that will be a thing in book #3 Thank you to @melissatagg @victoryeditingngc & @netgalley for this e-ARC in exchange for an honest review! This book is due for publication on September 28, 2021.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Heidi

    This is a wonderful start to a new series by Melissa Tagg. Autumn by the Sea has everything I look for when I pick up one of her novels: undeniable chemistry between the hero and heroine, a cast of well-developed, loveable characters and a unique small-town setting. Melissa adds an element of mystery to this one, which is quite intriguing. I loved Maggie and her adopted children, their devotion to one another and loyalty to Maggie and the farm. Neil and Sydney are magic together and I swooned num This is a wonderful start to a new series by Melissa Tagg. Autumn by the Sea has everything I look for when I pick up one of her novels: undeniable chemistry between the hero and heroine, a cast of well-developed, loveable characters and a unique small-town setting. Melissa adds an element of mystery to this one, which is quite intriguing. I loved Maggie and her adopted children, their devotion to one another and loyalty to Maggie and the farm. Neil and Sydney are magic together and I swooned numerous times as their romance developed. There's an epistolary element to this story that kind of threw me, and I got a little bogged down in the middle as the pacing slowed. However, things pick up quickly and I was fully engrossed in the third act. It's been a long time since I read a novel that ends with key elements unresolved. I'm not sure how I feel about that. Thankfully, there's a sneak peek of the next book provided and the wait is short for its arrival. Thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for the complimentary copy. All opinions shared here are my own.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Mhughessc

    "Autumn by the Sea" is the first book I've read by Melissa Tagg, and she has gained a new fan! This book centers around the Muir family: matriarch Maggie and her adopted children Neil, Indi, and Lillian. However, her grandchild Cynthia has been missing for years and Maggie will stop at nothing to find her. Far away in Chicago, a PI traces down Sydney Rose, believing that she might be this missing grandchild. When she arrives on the Muir farm, she learns what family really is and has a strong con "Autumn by the Sea" is the first book I've read by Melissa Tagg, and she has gained a new fan! This book centers around the Muir family: matriarch Maggie and her adopted children Neil, Indi, and Lillian. However, her grandchild Cynthia has been missing for years and Maggie will stop at nothing to find her. Far away in Chicago, a PI traces down Sydney Rose, believing that she might be this missing grandchild. When she arrives on the Muir farm, she learns what family really is and has a strong connection with Neil that continues to grow. I really enjoyed not only the romance but also the mystery in this novel. I was really excited to discover that this book is the first in a series, and I will definitely be requesting the next book to read! Thanks to NetGalley for the ARC. All opinions are my own.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Kristen

    Great story! This book has plenty of tension, questions, laughs, smiles, chemistry, mystery, secrets, and love. It explores what makes a family, the importance of asking for help, and knowing when to let go. I love the characters, all the twists and turns, think Muir Farm would be a fun place to visit, and anxiously look forward to a return visit.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Pam

    I believe this is Melissa Tagg's best book yet and I can't wait for book 2!! I dove right in and fell in love with all the characters. I could picture everything clearly in my mind. Such a beautiful story about loving children that you didn't birth and those children feeling loved all through adults. I can't wait to see what happens next in Muir Harbor!! I was fortunate enough to receive an advance copy through Netgalley. I believe this is Melissa Tagg's best book yet and I can't wait for book 2!! I dove right in and fell in love with all the characters. I could picture everything clearly in my mind. Such a beautiful story about loving children that you didn't birth and those children feeling loved all through adults. I can't wait to see what happens next in Muir Harbor!! I was fortunate enough to receive an advance copy through Netgalley.

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