Thursday, June 14, 2012

ARC Review: Willow Springs

Willow Springs
Toni Blake
Contemporary Romance
Destiny Series/Book 5
Avon/June 26, 2012

This lovesick matchmaker has finally met her match…

Amy Bright might be the best matchmaker in Destiny, Ohio, but she's desperately shy when it comes to her own love life—and helpless when it comes to Logan Whitaker, the best friend whom she's head-over-heels in love with. So Amy decides to become Logan's secret admirer, sending him sensual love letters steamy enough to unseal their own envelopes. One letter leads to another, one thing leads to another, and then comes an unplanned kiss…

Overcoming a tragedy from his life as a firefighter, Logan needs a friend. Thank goodness for Amy. But when a woman from Logan's past resurfaces right as some anonymous letters send Logan's pulse hammering, suddenly he doesn't know what he needs—a reliable friend, or a passionate lover? One smoking-hot kiss could change everything…but will it ruin a one-of-a-kind friendship, or show Logan and Amy that they've already found everything they need, right here in Destiny?

I've enjoy Ms. Blake's Destiny series but had mixed feelings about Amy and Logan as a couple.  Would there be enough conflict to hold my interest?  Amy, for one, seems far too mellow to cause anything close to conflict.  Logan is a childhood friend of Amy's and seems to think of her as a sister.  The possibility for sexual tension seems fairly low.  Which is why I was pleasantly surprised at how hot these two got once they finally did get together.

Amy Bright is a sweet, funny hometown girl who's grown up into a successful local business woman and remains good friends with many of the kids she grew up with.  It's easy to see why everyone likes Amy, she's a people-pleaser.   Nothing wrong with that except she does have a tendency to go overboard and into meddling territory.  I wasn't crazy about the secret admirer idea.  It felt too much like something a teenage girl would do.  Amy's 34 years old and I wish she would have been more mature and simply told Logan how she felt.  They would have had plenty of things to work out taking a long standing friends into a romance.  Instead she does the anonymous love letters and it backfires.

Logan is in a downward spiral after a tragic fire and his friends are about the only thing keeping him afloat.  I get that the loss hit him hard but he went from such a happy, good natured person to someone who doesn't care about anything thing or anyone, not even his dog.  That seemed too extreme.  Once he does pick himself up he still has this dark cloud hanging over him but you can tell he is trying which made more sense than his I-don't-give-a-damn attitude.  He does perk up when an old friend comes back to town which is where some of that conflict comes into play.

We do get to see many familiar faces since this is a small town romance and many of the couples are friends.  I really enjoyed Amy's relationships with her girlfriends.  They are a close group of women who look out for each other.  The guys are very similar in that they look out for each other but in that "guy" kind of way.  They give each other grief and tease but it's all because they care about each other.  I think that was one of the strengths of the book and the series itself - the friendships.

Amy and Logan do eventually get it on and they really do click.  There are some misunderstandings and some wrong assumptions made but you can also see how their friendship became even more solid as their romance grew.

Willow Springs turned out to be a pretty good romance.  Amy and Logan ended up working for me as a couple and it was good to see some familiar faces.  That's one of the big appeals of small town romances, the familiar faces of previous couples as well as the continuing secondary characters.  I look forward to seeing what will happen in the next story and the role one character in particular will play. 

Rating: B 

Destiny Series ~

One Reckless Summer
Sugar Creek
Whisper Falls
Holly Lane
Willow Springs


  1. I've never tried this author but I'm so into contemps now I think I might... Nice review!

  2. Mandi ~ It's a good small town contemp series. You should give it a try! Book 3 is my favorite - hero is sexy tattooed biker. :)

  3. I think I've only read one book in this series and thought it was okay. But I'm curious about this one :) Sounds like a good romance.

    Thanks for the review, Les!

  4. Leslie, does this work as a stand-alone? I'm curious because the trope would work for me and I haven't read anything by this author yet.

  5. Nath ~ It's a good, solid series with some interesting characters.

    Hils ~ It can work as a stand-alone. Backgrounds for the reoccurring characters are worked into the story.