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Willowleaf Lane by RaeAnne Thayne
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Willowleaf Lane

by RaeAnne Thayne

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Showing 5 of 5
Wonderful absolutely wonderful. If I could I would give this book more than 5 stars. I can't help saying wonderful again. Romance at its very best. When Charlotte 's childhood love -Spence Gregory- returns to Hope's Crossing the magic begins and continues to the very last page. An absolute must read for everyone. ( )
  Bette_Hansen | Nov 3, 2015 |
Good small town reunion story. Charlotte is a lifelong resident of Hope's Crossing. She lost her mother at a young age and used food as comfort, leading her to become very overweight. Her high school years were miserable because of it, the only bright side being her crush on Spencer Gregory, the high school baseball star. Recently, she has taken control of her life, lost a lot of weight, and feels much better about herself. Then Spencer returns to town, throwing her life back into turmoil.

Spencer couldn't wait to leave Hope's Crossing when he was a teen. The son of an alcoholic mother, he spent his teen years working three jobs just to keep their lives together. When he was offered a baseball contract, he took it and never looked back. Now he is back, trying to put his life back together. His career ended with a shoulder injury, during which he got hooked on painkillers. He came through rehab stronger, but was then accused of dealing drugs and steroids to fellow teammates, lost his wife to a drug overdose, and is now the sole parent to his twelve year old daughter Peyton. With nothing left for him in the baseball world, he accepts the offer to run the new recreation center in Hope's Crossing. Peyton is angry about being taken away from her friends, and the people of Hope's Crossing aren't too sure they want Spencer running the center.

Charlotte is stunned to find out that Spencer is back in Hope's Crossing. She first met his daughter, before she knew who Peyton was, and recognized some similarities in their lives. But she's not too sure she wants anything to do with Spencer and his problems. Plus, she can't forget the way he broke her heart as a teenager. Though she is wary around him, the old feelings are still there, and she finds herself drawn back into his life. She fights it because she can't see anything between them ending well.

Charlotte is suspicious of his intentions at the beginning. She thinks he is only back in Hope's Crossing as a way to repair his reputation, but he slowly begins to show her that he wants more. I liked the way that Spencer wants to repair his relationship with Peyton, and how hurt he is by her attitude toward him. I thought he did a really good job of keeping his patience with her. He was very glad to be able to get Charlotte to help him connect with Peyton. Spencer remembers what a good friend Charlotte had been when they were in school, but now there is something more that he starts to feel for her. I liked the way he wants to show her that he's not the same jerk he was back in school.

When Spencer first came back to town, he was still feeling a bit lost. Without baseball he isn't sure who he really is. I liked the way he started to feel more a part of things while working at the center, and things really took off for him when Peyton suggested that he find a way to work with wounded veterans. That cause really appealed to him and he felt an enthusiasm he hadn't felt in years.

I loved the rekindling of the relationship between Spencer and Charlotte. I really liked that Spencer saw the woman inside Charlotte, not just the new and hot outside. I also liked the way that Charlotte was able to look past the scandal surrounding him, remember who he had been, and realize that there was more to the story than the public knew. It was really good to see how they each brought out the best in the other. I really liked how Charlotte was there for Spencer when Peyton had a health crisis, and was able to help both of them get through it. Spencer finally realized what his feelings for Charlotte were, but she still has issues with herself and can't believe that there's any chance of a future for them together. I loved the way Spencer got help from her friends and made his case in a really sweet and romantic way.

I really liked the part that Peyton played in bringing Spencer and Charlotte together. Spencer loves his daughter, but he is somewhat lost in knowing how to deal with her. There were times that Peyton was a real brat, and I felt sorry for Spencer. Charlotte recognizes a lot of the same things in Peyton that she went through herself, so she tries to help Peyton settle in. It was pretty easy to see the problem that was building for Peyton, and when it came I liked that Spencer was determined to do whatever he needed to. Charlotte's support was just what they both needed to become the father-daughter team that they were capable of.

The ending of the story was great. The veteran's center was really coming together quickly. It was also interesting to see Spencer's former teammates come out to support him, and show how much they respect him. There was an interesting twist involving one of those teammates, which led to a very satisfying revelation. ( )
  scoutmomskf | Oct 17, 2015 |
The very first book I read by RaeAnne Thayne was Blackberry Summer, the first book in the Hope Crossing series. I will admit I fell in love with the cover first, the covers for this whole series have been beautiful, but when I opened the book and started reading, OH my! I was quickly hooked on Ms. Thayne's work. Since then I have been impatiently awaiting each new release. Willowleaf Lane the fifth book in the Hope's Crossing series and is just as fabulous as the rest of the series. I love small town series where everyone knows everyone else. I also love that most small town romance stories also include the support of the community. Someone is always there when someone in town is in need. I love how they whole community will pull together to help each other out.

Charlotte Caine is not thrilled when she finds out that Spencer Gregory, her old crush, is back in town. However his daughter Peyton soon finds a special place in Charlotte's heart. Charlotte feels a connection to Peyton because she lost her mother at a young age just as Peyton has. I love how Charlotte does all these really sweet things to help Peyton feel welcome and make her feel more at home in Hope's Crossing. Peyton has some problems she needs some help dealing with. I admired how Charlotte steps in to help Peyton & Spencer. Charlotte is wonderful woman with a heart made out of gold. I totally loved Charlotte and her willingness to do anything to help her family and friends.

Spencer Gregory has been through a lot since high school. His life was going great, he was playing pro ball, everything was wonderful, until everything starts to fall apart. This guy certainly has more then his fair share of bad luck. When he returns to his hometown he fully expects everyone to give him the cold shoulder that he has been receiving else where. It isn't too long until he finds out that he does have a few supporters left in Hope's Crossing. He has plenty of drama that unfolds in his life after he returns home and it's nice he has a few people in his corner.

Charlotte does her best not to fall in love with Spence again but the guy is just too darn wonderful to resist. I found it adorable to watch Spencer work trying to get Charlotte's attention and affection. I love reunion stories where the guy realizes the love of his life was right there all along, he just didn't know it.

Charlotte and Spencer's story was another fascinating tale that I enjoyed during my recent visit to Hope's Crossing. If you enjoy a touching reunion romance story, a small town romance series, a few dramatic problems, and a just plain enthralling story then you should check this one out. If you haven't read the rest of the series I would highly recommend those as well.

So now that I have devoured Willowleaf Lane I will now start my wait for the next fabulous book by Ms. Thayne. ( )
  MinDaf | Jul 21, 2013 |
My experiences with this series are very hit and miss. I like the setting and enjoy Thayne's writing for the most part, but not every book works for me. This one leans more toward the "miss" side of the equation.

It's not the characters or their actions this time, it's mostly that the book doesn't quite feel complete. There are several instances in the book where something is mentioned or happens that makes me think I'd missed something--each time I stopped, went back, double-checked--and not once did I find what I was looking for. To add to the unfinished quality of the book, it ends abruptly. VERY abruptly. I kept trying to turn the page only to find there were no more pages to turn! The characters literally reach their HEA point while on their first date. Even for characters with a history, this is a bit of a stretch.

Still, I enjoy this series and will come back for more, hoping that the next one works better for me. ( )
  beckymmoe | Jul 4, 2013 |


4 STARS

I just love the covers of Hope's Crossing books. It is surprising how much a cover makes me want to pick up the book even when it is a ebook.
Hope's Crossing is such a nice community coming together and helping each other when they can. I like the idea that Charlotte as she is running past houses she is thinking do they need help or what can I do for them. Great attitude.

The plot is that Spencer has come back to run the new community rec center after his professional baseball career is over with a injury and prescription abuse. Then he had two years of everyone thinking he got steroids for other team members. Also his wife suicide some wondered if he murdered her. He wants to get his life back.

Charlotte owns a candy store and makes her own fudge and other candy. In the past two years she has lost 80lbs. A young girl enters the shop. Peyton
does not want to live in Hope's Crossing. She misses her friends. She starts talking to Charlotte and tastes the different fudges. Peyton tells Charlotte that her mother had died and is living here with her father. Charlotte who's own mother died when she was around the same age gives her the candy she was going to buy as a welcome to town gift. Peyton is shocked that she just gave her the couple of pounds of fudge.

Peyton's dad comes into the store and Charlotte recognizes him. But Spencer is shocked when he finds out who she is. Spencer's mom used to work for Charlotte's dad café when she was sober. Charlotte would help him pass English. She is angry at Spencer and is rude to him.

Spencer wants to add on to the community rec. program. When Peyton suggest to do something for wounded vets and their family he jumps on the band wagon. It snowballs from there.

I got caught up in the story. Did not want it to end. (though I loved the ending). It dealt a little with eating disorders both the opposite of each other. With drugs addiction and wounded soldiers. I thought the issues were touched on just the right amount for the story. Made me think a little about each issue and it was good entertaining book at the same time. It also made me want some of the fudge.

I was given this ebook to read and asked to give honest review of it when I was finished by Netgalley.
publication: June 25th 2013 by Harlequin HQN 384 pages ISBN:0373777698

Description below taken off on Netgalley.

Sometimes going back is the best way to start over
Candy shop owner Charlotte Caine knows temptation. To reboot her life, shed weight and gain perspective, she's passing up sweet enticements left and right. But willpower doesn't come so easily when hell-raiser Spencer Gregory comes back to Hope's Crossing, bringing with him memories of broken promises and teen angst. A retired pro baseball player on the mend from injury-and a damaging scandal-he's interested in his own brand of reinvention.

Now everything about Spencer's new-and-improved lifestyle, from his mission to build a rehab facility for injured veterans to his clear devotion to his preteen daughter, Peyton, touches Charlotte's heart. Holding on to past hurt is her only protection against falling for him-again. But if she takes the risk, will she find in Spencer a hometown heartbreaker, or the hero she's always wanted?

About the author:

RaeAnne Thayne finds inspiration in the beautiful northern Utah mountains, where she lives with her family. Her books have won numerous honors, including three RITA Award nominations from the Romance Writers of America and a Career Achievement Award from RT Book Reviews magazine. RaeAnne loves to hear from readers and can be reached through her website at www.raeannethayne.com. ( )
  rhonda1111 | Apr 20, 2013 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0373777698, Mass Market Paperback)

Sometimes going back is the best way to start over 

Candy shop owner Charlotte Caine knows temptation.To reboot her life, shed weight and gain perspective, she's passing up sweet enticements left and right. But willpower doesn't come so easily when hell-raiser Spencer Gregory comes back to Hope's Crossing, bringing with him memories of broken promises and teen angst. A retired pro baseball player on the mend from injury-and a damaging scandal-he's interested in his own brand of reinvention.  

Now everything about Spencer's new-and-improved lifestyle, from his mission to build a rehab facility for injured veterans to his clear devotion to his preteen daughter, Peyton, touches Charlotte's heart. Holding on to past hurt is her only protection against falling for him-again. But if she takes the risk, will she find in Spencer a hometown heartbreaker, or the hero she's always wanted?

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:19:58 -0400)

"Candy shop owner Charlotte Caine knows temptation. To reboot her life, shed weight and gain perspective, she's passing up sweet enticements left and right. But willpower doesn't come so easily when hell-raiser Spencer Gregory comes back to Hope's Crossing, bringing with him memories of broken promises and teen angst. A retired pro baseball player on the mend from injury-- and a damaging scandal-- he's interested in his own brand of reinvention. Now everything about Spencer's new and improved lifestyle, from his mission to build a rehab facility for injured veterans to his clear devotion to his preteen daughter, Peyton, touches Charlotte's heart. Holding on to past hurt is her only protection against falling for him-- again. But if she takes the risk, will she find in Spencer a hometown heartbreaker, or the hero she's always wanted?"--Author's web p.… (more)

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