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WILLOW SPRINGS (Avon Romance) Mass Market Paperback – 26 Jun 2012
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"The sweet fifth installment of Blake's Destiny contemporary series offers the captivating story of bookstore owner Amy Bright....it's impossible not to empathize with and cheer for Amy in this charming tale."--Publishers Weekly (starred review)
The sweet fifth installment of Blake s Destiny contemporary series offers the captivating story of bookstore owner Amy Bright....it s impossible not to empathize with and cheer for Amy in this charming tale. --Publishers Weekly (starred review)"
From the Back Cover
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, with whom she's head-over-heels in love. So Amy decides to become Logan's secret admirer, sending him sensual love letters steamy enough to unseal their own envelopes.
After a tragedy on the job, firefighter Logan is battling demons. Thank goodness Amy is there for him. 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. 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?See all Product description
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A fireman is all Logan had ever wanted to be, but after a tragedy on the job, he is rethinking his career choice. After a month of depression, Logan is finally getting better - thanks to Amy. She never gave up on him. Logan is beginning to notice Amy in a different way. Somehow, when he was not looking, Freckles had blossomed. Logan probably would have continued to look differently at Amy if things in town had remained the same as always. Instead, Anna Romo shows up in town. Anna is the little sister of his best friend, Mike. She had been abducted at the age of five. Now, after twenty-five years missing, Anna has returned. And she is knock-out hot!
Feeling unable to compete with Anna's beauty, Amy is left in the shadows. Knowing she must do something or forever regret it, Amy decides to become Logan's secret admirer, sending him sensual love letters. The steamy letters do manage to capture his attention, but unless something happens soon, Amy will lose her heart's desire to Anna and have no one but her cats to love.
* ONE STAR! I have always enjoyed stories by Toni Blake. This is the first time that I feel let down. I cannot help but find it too hard to believe that no one had ever thought of Amy as a potential girlfriend. She was pretty, inside and out. She was honest, loyal, trustworthy, friendly, and (I repeat) pretty. So how could she be over thirty-years-old and still be an innocent virgin? I simply could not bring myself to really believe it. As for Logan, he often came across to me as shallow. He was warming up to Amy when the sight of a more beautiful woman suddenly had him turning his attention elsewhere. He even asked Amy to help set him up with Anna. (Granted it was before he found out Amy was his admirer, but even after he knew, Logan was blinded by Anna's looks.) No guy could possibly be this dense. Anna's character is harder to describe. Anna had no idea that anything was blooming between Logan and Amy. When she did know, she never bad mouthed Amy or tried to steal Logan away. She just waited for him to decide what he wanted. So I never felt any hatred toward Anna. Besides, Anna was still reeling from learning that the woman who had raised her was not her real mother AND that she had another entire group of strangers in Destiny who were her biological family. As for Logan, while he was thinking about being in a relationship with Amy, it actually crossed his mind that if it did not work out, then at least he would still have Anna. Well, (in my eyes) that belittled Anna too. For the first time in all of Blake's wonderful stories, I found the lead male to be a major prick.
I seldom review a book that I do not consider to be worth three, four, or five stars; however, the character of Logan just "burned my biscuits" (as my grandmother would say). Please, if you are considering a good book to buy, I would recommend any other title by this author. Toni Blake really is a fabulous storyteller. *
Reviewed by Detra Fitch of Huntress Reviews.
In spite of my love for Amy, this book has to lose a star because of Logan's idiocy in the middle of the book.
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
Logan is a Destiny firefighter and Amy's childhood friend. He had recently experienced a traumatic fire where he lost friends and he is recovering from the fallout. When the story starts Amy snaps him out of his funk and he kisses her but immediately blames it on the alcohol.
So...I really didn't like this story and I'm a Toni Blake fan. There were so many elements that didn't work for for me.
1. Amy and Logan have been very close friends since childhood and their newfound attraction doesn't seem likely to me because they've known each other for SO many years and never saw each other that way at all. They were next door neighbors and played together as kids, with no break in their friendship over all that time. I can't imagine that having known each other so young they wouldn't have fallen prey to the Westermarck effect. I'm not a fan of the fact that all of a sudden Amy developed all of these deep sexual and emotional feelings for Logan after one drunken semi-kiss.
2. Amy's situation sems very contrived to me. She is described as being pretty and fit. She seems to have a very modest sense of style but I can't really imagine that no one has asked her out on a date in a decade plus just because she doesn't wear sexy clothes. She is a lonely romantic but she isn't really shy. She has quite a few friends, her own business, and ties to her community so I can't imagine that she hadn't been getting some offers intermittently. There is one guy who is Lucky's friend who flirts with her and it seems somewhat incredible to me that this hadn't happened before. She is certainly outgoing enough when she matches people up so she clearly has some people skills. The 34 year-old virgin storyline just doesn't ring true and Amy is a bit too prudish for my liking. If someone else had kissed her before Logan maybe she would have fallen in love with them instead.
3. Logan is not a likeable character in this book. The fire that caused his withdrawl seemed pretty gory but his attitude didn't really make me respect him as a person. Furthermore he isn't even that into Amy untill well into the book and he fights it so hard that I didn't want them to end up together. He's interested in Anna when she shows up but then ends up stringing her along when "it doesn't feel right." Overall I didn't really feel that much passion between Logan and Amy. Even the sex scenes were tepid compared to the chemistry Toni Blake has given us before. I really liked Amy as a character and wanted her to get swept off her feet. In the end she had to put herself out there for him way more than he did for her and I just felt sad. I kept hoping that the "real" love interest would show up and snap Amy out of her obsession with Logan. The way that Logan's feelings were described it seems to me that if Amy had never expressed an interest and had fallen for someone else instead he would have never missed her or thought of her as a viable mate.
Anyway, these are just some things out of many that bothered me about the book. I hope Toni Blake brings back the chemistry from earlier novels because the last two books fell flat for me. I'm hoping that Tessa's brother will come back from Afganistan and maybe get paired up with Anna. Lucky's badass biker friend is also a good candidate for a story but I think pairing him up with Anna would be a bit of a cliche. Toni Blake is a good writer and I will keep reading her books because even though I didn't like this one, it was still better than alot of what's out there.
Amy is a doormat. Her entire personality flies in the face of the character she was in previous books. In spite of being a smart enough woman to own her own business, she is a doormat for her friends and for Logan. Further I could not get over how immature her emotions and thoughts were. Yes we all get jealous but the entirety of her behavior felt more like a teenager... Not a thirty something who runs her own business.
Logan left an awful taste in my mouth. I kept waiting for someone else to sweep Amy off her feet, maybe even Duke or someone. Logan kept being extremely selfish and considering he kept considering Amy such a close friend and potentially more... It was a struggle to finish when I wanted him out of the picture the whole time. He would kiss and have sex with her in private and not show a remote inkling when around other people until the very end.
This love story did not feel right. I did not end the book feeling any warmth, only anger at Amy for letting Logan treat her that way.
Reviewed by Kay
I had put off reading this book because my TBR list was so out of control. I try to read current books to review but honestly, I love this series so here goes.
Amy owns the book store in Destiny and she is kind of renown for her matchmaking abilities in town. She's done a pretty good job of it too. For everyone but her, She is also a cat lover (she won me over for this reason alone) also and adopts out strays from her store. She has a good circle of friends but Logan is her best friend. They grew up two houses from each other and formed a bond early. She sees herself as unlovable due to being plain but I pictured her as the girl next door type.
Logan Whitaker is a fire fighter in Destiny. He recently was at a fire that left him with some emotional scarring. He took a leave of absence from the local fire department to deal with the tragedy. He withdrew from family and friends, even Amy. He has some life altering decisions he comes to on this leave.
I adore this series and stumbled on to it by accident and I've never been so happy I did. It is a gem, truly. Sweet, precious and endearing. I really enjoyed the story here with the exception of Logan. I found him to be not only selfish and stupid but in my opinion almost a cheater. A douche bag who practices douchebaggery. No redemption for him with me. Do I buy the 34 year old virgin? Not really but I played along. Other than those things, this was another good edition to a great series.