Summer at Orchard House (Blue Hills #1) by Ellyn Oaksmith #bookreview #contemporary #romance

Title: Summer at Orchard House

Author: Ellyn Oaksmith

Publisher: Bookouture

Publication Date: July 13, 2020

Page Count: 301

My rating:  4 stars

About the book:

The Alvarez sisters have grown up and moved away—but now their dad is in crisis, the family business is collapsing and it’s time to go home to Lake Chelan.

Carmen Alvarez is the reliable one. When her vulnerable father’s livelihood is threatened, she’s the person her sisters call. Abandoning her job in Seattle, Carmen races home to the family vineyard her dad built up from nothing to set things straight. But soon she’s fallen back in love with the dusty sage hills, the turquoise blue lake, the fragrant June orchards… Maybe she’s not just home for the summer?

Standing in the way of Carmen’s happiness is one very attractive obstacle: new neighbor Evan Hollister, who’s after her dad’s land. He’s arrogant, entitled and spoiled—everything Carmen hates—and she is all set to have a bit of fun driving him out of town so things can get back to normal. She isn’t ready for their relationship to get complicated…

But Evan is the least of Carmen’s worries. The business is falling apart and it starts to look like Carmen might lose much more than just her pride: employees have quit, the bank keeps calling and everything her father worked so hard for is slipping away. As she is pushed to breaking point, Carmen will learn that her true family are the people who will see her through the worst of times, and that love can be found in the most unlikely of places.

A heart-warming romance about embracing the unexpected, Summer at Orchard House will make you laugh, make you cry, and remind you that it’s never too late to start again. For fans of Robyn Carr, Carolyn Brown and Debbie Macomber.


Summer at Orchard House by Ellyn Oaksmith is the first book in the new contemporary romance Blue Hills series. This first book is a tale of enemies to lovers story but it would be my guest this will be a romance series that changes the main characters between the books probably focusing on other Alvarez sisters so the type of couple may change too.

Carmen Alvarez grew up in Lake Chelan on her family’s vineyard alongs with her sisters but all the girls have moved away as they got older. Unfortunately for the sisters their father, Juan, is showing the first stages of memory loss which is making his business struggle and he now owes the bank quite a bit of money which is past due.

Being the sister without a family and in a job she doesn’t enjoy Carmen drops everything to return to Lake Chelan before her father sells the vineyard. When arriving Carmen finds her father sitting with Evan Hollister, their new millionaire neighbor who desperately wants their fertile land. While Carmen stops the sale she and her sisters still need to come up with the cash to save their home pitting them against Evan and his vineyard.

Summer at Orchard House was an enjoyable opener to this new contemporary romance series bringing in a loving family, some fun hijinx and a slow builing romance. I would warn that there is times there is some switching to Spanish phrases within that don’t translate but it should still be pretty understandable in each situation. Otherwise, a fun read and I’d be happy to continue on to the next book in the series.

I received an advance copy from the publisher via NetGalley.

Find this book online: 

Goodreads  / Amazon

About the author:

Ellyn Oaksmith is the USA Today and Kindle bestselling author of the Blue Hills Vineyard Series, featuring the Alvarez family. The books are set in gorgeous Lake Chelan, in the Pacific Northwest. The series includes Summer at Orchard House (July 13th, 2020) and Promises at Indigo Bay, (September 15th, 2020.) In writing her first series, Ellyn chose a real setting with great meaning for her personally and a fictional family like her own, full of smart, independent, funny women and the men who love them.

After Ellyn funded her graduate studies at the American Film Institute by working on fishing boats in Alaska as cook, she began her writing adventure as a screenwriter in Hollywood. Writing, re-writing and pitching movies to producers and navigating the Los Angeles freeways before Google Maps was a challenge. Meeting movies stars was a surreal and fun perk.

After returning to her native Seattle, Ellyn’s first romantic comedy in book form was published by Avon/Harper Collins. Four other romantic comedies with whip smart, ambitious heroines followed before Ellyn joined Bookouture to launch her first series.

She lives in Seattle, Washington with her husband and their polydactyl cat, Forest. Ellyn is an avid competitive rower.

Author website:
Facebook: @EllynOaksmith
Instagram: @EllynOaksmith

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