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Finding Refuge in Bellbird Bay (Bellbird Bay #5) by Maggie Christensen

Finding Refuge in Bellbird Bay


Thirty-five years ago, tragedy forced Bev Cooper to cut short her university studies and seek refuge in her hometown of Bellbird Bay. Today, as the owner of the thriving Pandanus Garden Centre and Café, Bev has moved beyond the past and is happy in her solitary existence.

Following the tragic death of his son’s wife, Iain Grant takes early retirement and moves with his devastated son and granddaughter to the peaceful coastal town of Bellbird Bay hoping it will provide the change of scene they all desperately need.

When Iain’s son accepts a position at Bev’s garden centre, the pair find themselves drawn into each other’s lives. But as they begin to enjoy an unexpected attraction, issues from the past threaten to derail their growing relationship.

Will the healing atmosphere of Bellbird Bay work its magic and provide a second chance in life, or will Bev find it too difficult to put the past behind her and enjoy her own happy ever after?

A heartwarming tale of family, friends, and how a second chance at love can happen when you least expect it.


I’m late to the party for this series, but I was delighted to see a romance between a mature couple for a change.

Bev Cooper has been through some traumatic times in her life such as losing her fiance and then her baby. For 35 years it has created a barrier for her to become close to anyone because she’s afraid they will leave her. She put all her efforts into building her beautiful garden center to keep from feeling lonely. So when Iain Grant and his broken family moved to Bellbird Bay, Bev was surprised at her reaction to her new young employee, Bryan Grant, Iain’s son. Bryan was the spitting image of Bev’s dead fiance and all her old unhappy memories resurfaced. Her attraction to Iain was unexpected as well. Would she be able to let someone in again?

Iain’s son and granddaughter are his life now after his daughter-in-law was unexpectedly killed in a freak accident. So he took early retirement as a renowned architect in Sydney and moved his little family to Bellbird Bay which, as a child, held a special place in his heart. He never expected to fall for Bev Cooper with her quiet beauty and sad demeanor. Will his family recover from such a devastating loss? Did he make the right decision to move to a different setting?

I enjoy how Iain loves a challenge as he woos the elusive Bev and helps her build her new wedding venue by fighting a particularly nasty hotel owner determined to shut Bev’s new venture down. Bev is also headstrong and won’t let the setbacks deter her determination in creating the best wedding venue for her twin brother and best friend. The love story between Iain and Bev is slow but well worth waiting for. Iain is a rock for his family. He is so patient and kind with his son who is lost and it’s great how the townspeople of Bellbird warmly welcome them all into their community. As Bev opens up to her friends and family about her past, the weight is removed and her outlook on life starts to change. Even better, there is an important and remarkable element in her past that links her to Iain and his family that adds to their HEA. I’ll let you read the book to find out.

The people of Bellbird Bay are so friendly and easy to get to know; not like some small towns that are hard to fit into. Bev grew up in the town so it’s nice to see the friendly camaraderie between locals. The location sounds gorgeous as well. I wouldn’t mind retiring to such a hospitable place.

I am delighted to recommend this heartwarming, feel-good story about living in the present by accepting our past. I look forward to reading the rest of the books in this series.

Thank you to Ms. Christensen for giving me the opportunity to read this book with no expectation of a positive review.

Bellbird Bay Series:

1. Summer in Bellbird Bay (2022)
2. Coming Home to Bellbird Bay (2022)
3. Starting Over in Bellbird Bay (2022)
4. Christmas in Bellbird Bay (2022)
5. Finding Refuge in Bellbird Bay (2023)
6. Escape to Bellbird Bay (2023)
7. Second Chances in Bellbird Bay (2023)
8. Celebrations in Bellbird Bay (2023)


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Maggie ChristensenAfter a career in education, Maggie Christensen began writing contemporary women’s fiction portraying mature women facing life-changing situations, and historical fiction set in her native Scotland. Her travels inspire her writing, be it her trips to visit family in Scotland, in Oregon, USA or her home on Queensland’s beautiful Sunshine Coast. Maggie writes of mature heroines coming to terms with changes in their lives and the heroes worthy of them. Maggie has been called the queen of mature age fiction and her writing has been described by one reviewer as like a nice warm cup of tea. It is warm, nourishing, comforting and embracing.

From the small town in Scotland where she grew up, Maggie was lured to Australia by the call to ‘Come and teach in the sun’. Once there, she worked as a primary school teacher, university lecturer and in educational management. Now living with her husband of over thirty years on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast, she loves walking on the deserted beach in the early mornings and having coffee by the river on weekends. Her days are spent surrounded by books, either reading or writing them – her idea of heaven!

Follow Maggie on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, Instagram, Bookbub, and her website.


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