From her free-spirited mother, Sunny Goodwin learned the value of peace, love, and Jerry Garcia. The inheritance from the father she never knew? That’s a little more complicated...
Sunny never expected to find herself owning a centuries old silk mill in the shadow of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains . . . or becoming a half-sister to a ten-year-old named Bailey. Once the shock subsides, she plans to cash in and head back home. But the overgrown greenhouse she finds on the property calls out to the gardener in her, and she senses Bailey’s need for nurturing too...
And someone else is making it hard for Sunny to leave: Sawyer Hartwell, an Iraq War hero who wants to make the old mill a creative hub for the artisans of Blue Hollow Falls . . . and wants Sunny to share his vision, and his life. But sexy as this ex-soldier may be, she’s not sure she’s ready to give love a chance...
“We all know where there's Donna Kauffman, there's a rollicking, sexy read chock‑full of charm and sparkle. Kauffman's characters are adorably human and so very magnetic.” —USAToday.com
About the Author
Read an Excerpt
Blue Hollow Falls
By DONNA KAUFFMAN
KENSINGTON PUBLISHING CORP.Copyright © 2017 Donna Kauffman
All rights reserved.
In the span of one hour, twenty-nine-year-old Sunny Goodwin had gained an eighty-five-year-old father (recently deceased), a ten-year-old half sister (very much alive), and a seventy-two-year-old stepmother (possibly immortal). She'd never heard of any of them, much less laid eyes on them. In fact, she would have sworn, with utmost confidence — on a stack of Bibles even — that since the death of her mother eight months ago, she had no living family. Or she could have, if you'd asked her anytime up until about, oh, an hour ago.
Sunny was also the proud new owner of a two-hundred-year-old silk mill. Well, part owner. Along with her new baby sister, stepmama, and someone named Sawyer, who hadn't even bothered to show up to claim his share.
"So," she murmured under her breath, still trying to absorb it all. "That just happened." She stood on the front steps of the Rockfish County courthouse, deep in the heart of Virginia's Blue Ridge Mountains, and took a slow, steadying breath. The tiny town that housed the county seat, charmingly named Turtle Springs, was tucked up into a crook of the winding north fork of the Hawksbill River, which hugged the little burg from the west. The courthouse faced the ancient, time-worn tumble of boulders and thick forest that made up the Blue Ridge Mountains, which rose up right at the edge of town to the east, with only a lone stretch of two-lane country highway separating the two.
Trying to take a moment to get her bearings back, she was instead caught up immediately in her surroundings. She breathed in the crisp scent of the late-September air, lifting her gaze to the rise and fall of the smaller hills that led up into the bigger, taller mountains, whose alternating rounded and pointed peaks marched along the horizon as far as the eye could see. The rich array of colors that all but burst forth from them made it look as if someone had tossed the most beautiful handmade quilt over the entire range, cloaking every ripple, accentuating every fold, in the impossibly rich hues and shades of early autumn. The overall pattern was so stunning, it made her heart fill right up. It was hard to believe she was in the same state she'd grown up in, a mere few hours east of that very spot. Her home in Alexandria was tucked along the far gentler curve of the Potomac, facing the equally majestic peaks and spires of the nation's capital just on the other side of the river.
Tearing her gaze away from the oil painting view, Sunshine Meadow Aquarius Morrison Goodwin stared down at the official legal documents she held in one hand, and the key to the mill dangling from the other. Then she shook her head, a rueful smile curving her lips as she looked up at the wide open sky, her thoughts pushing beyond that gorgeous expanse of aquamarine blue to the heavens beyond. She was sure Daisy Rose Rainbow Love Garcia Goodwin was loving every moment of this. Thanks, Mama. She jingled the keys, then curled her fingers around them. Thanks for the warning.
Sunny's mother had spent a good part of her younger years out here, though a bit farther down the range, and higher up in the hills. Daisy Rose had been born Deirdre Louise Goodwin, daughter of Chuck Goodwin, who'd run his own contracting business, and Betty Dayton Goodwin who had been Chuck's secretary before they married, and a mother and homemaker from about eight months on after they said their I do's.
Dee Dee, as her mother had been known during her childhood, had grown up in the fifties and sixties and by her twentieth birthday, she'd become a bona fide peace-loving, war-protesting, commune-living, flower child — much to her suburban middleclass parents' bewilderment — and had remained such all of her life. More in spirit than actuality during Sunny's lifetime, but once a free spirit, always a free spirit. The legal name change had come when Dee Dee had turned eighteen. She'd just moved into a hippie commune that specialized in, uh, herbal farming, located about an hour south of Turtle Springs, nestled way up in the higher elevations of the Blue Ridge.
Daisy Rose had explained her chosen nom de plume to her young, inquisitive daughter, saying she'd wanted to honor her flower power culture, the full spectrum of the colors of the universe, the commune's mantra that love conquered all, and, last, but never least, her personal spiritual guide, Jerry Garcia. Yes, the Grateful Dead's own Brother Jerry.
Sunny, unfortunately, had had no say in hers. It came with the birth certificate. Daisy Rose — and her mama had always been Daisy Rose to everyone, including her daughter, as she was firmly against people being called by titles or labels, no matter how beloved the job itself might be — had explained to her only child that she'd named her daughter to honor the glory of Mother Nature, the celestial alignment of the stars and the moon on the day of her daughter's birth, and, because Daisy Rose had still been grieving his loss some twenty-odd years after his death, her not-so-spiritual, but still mystical and, yes, oh-so-sexy, personal guide, Jim Morrison.
It could have been worse, Sunny had reminded herself. So many, many times. Her mother could have been more deeply infatuated with Blue Oyster Cult. Or Engelbert Humperdinck. Their music had also been on rotation during the soundtrack of Sunny's childhood. Her mother's tastes were nothing if not as eclectic as her name.
In Sunny's younger years, usually after a particularly challenging day being tormented by her classmates over her name, she'd promised herself she'd be like her mother and change it the moment she reached legal age. Only, in Sunny's case, she'd be changing it to something as normal and mundane as possible. She'd spent long hours doodling in her school binders, trying this name and that on for size. But the world worked in mysterious ways, and by the time Sunny had reached her eighteenth birthday, the roles of mother and daughter had long since reversed.
Her mother's ongoing health issues had put Sunny in charge of her care, and pretty much everything else, by the time Sunny had hit puberty. And somewhere along the line, Sunny's own eclectic string of names had gone from being fodder for peer group torture to something of a cause célèbre amongst her now older and envious classmates. Yes, envious. They'd all been at the age of trying to figure out who they were, and Sunny had already cornered the market on being unique, no self-realization required.
It hadn't hurt that her closest acquaintances had also met her mother by then and fallen under Daisy Rose's charming, ditzy dreamer, Peter Pan spell. Her friends had adored her mother. In fact, Sunny wasn't too sure that some of her friends hadn't put themselves in her orbit expressly so they, too, could spend time with her infectiously likable mama. Everyone wished their mother was like Daisy Rose. Everyone, that is, except the only one who actually had her for a mother.
Not that Sunny hadn't loved her mother; she had. Deeply, and with all her heart. She wasn't immune to Pan's spell, either. But Sunny knew, in great and sometimes alarming detail, just what the cost was for the person responsible for being ... well, responsible. A trait Daisy Rose hadn't been blessed with, even in passing. Love might conquer all, but love didn't pay the bills. Or cook the meals. Or clean the house. Or oversee medication dispersal. While simultaneously being the overmedication police.
Sunny had wished, many times, that she could just up and run away from home, from being responsible, or come home to a mom who was normal, or at least more like the other kids' mamas were. But no matter how trying Daisy Rose could be, she'd always had an unflappable faith in things working themselves out for the best, and she'd had a way of making Sunny believe that, too.
Questions about her father, whom Sunny had wasted a fair amount of her youth praying would come rescue them, had always been met with a wave of a heavily beringed hand and a smile ... and no explanation of who he was, much less where he'd gone. "You're my miracle baby," Daisy would always say. "A gift from the stars." Daisy Rose proclaimed that the universe had decreed she and Sunny were their own special tribe of two, and wasn't that just grand?
Sunny hadn't always thought so, but her mother was a force of nature whose unending sweetness and perennial optimism would seemingly indicate a doormat type, while in reality, Daisy's ferocious need to believe in all things good had been far more steamroller than pushover. No matter what life handed her, Daisy Rose Rainbow Love Garcia Goodwin had faced it with a smile on her face and a twinkle in her eye. Mother Nature would take care of them. Things were tough, yes, but they had each other, and that made them rich beyond the stars.
Stars were big with Daisy. She'd always claimed she had these mystical powers and would pass along her "revelations" to all of Sunny's friends, who had affectionately called her Mrs. Goodwitch, even though there had never been a Mr. Goodwitch. And the only Mr. Goodwin had been Sunny's grandfather, Chuck, who, along with her grandmother, Betty, had passed on before Sunny had been born.
Sunny knew from her mother's stories that their sudden, untimely passing in an automobile accident had been the reason Sunny had been born at all. Apparently, her grandmother, Betty, had held out hope that someday Daisy would meet a "normal" guy, fall in love, get married, and somehow morph into the regular, everyday suburban housewife Betty had always hoped she'd be, a daughter she could connect with, have something in common with. She'd be Dee Dee again, give them grandchildren, and through that miracle of birth and raising her own kids, she'd see her free love, flower power, commune living past as just a crazy phase she'd been going through. The immaturity of youth.
Daisy had indeed met her share of men — more than her share, if all of her colorful stories and the trunk full of scrapbooks she'd created were any indication — but Daisy had also always been careful to the point of being a little paranoid about things like sexually transmitted diseases, and unwanted pregnancies. Betty, perhaps, could at least take credit for instilling that bit of wisdom in her daughter. When her parents died so suddenly, so tragically, Daisy's attitude changed somewhat, and she became convinced that she had to bring two souls into the world to somehow make up for the two souls who had departed before their time. Something about life cycles, the universe, and balancing the scales.
At thirty-seven years of age, Daisy had gotten pregnant with Sunny, only it hadn't been an easy pregnancy. The birth, overseen by a midwife who had come by the job title simply by being the one in the commune who had helped deliver the most babies, had been nothing short of harrowing, coming very close to costing Daisy Rose not only the life of her baby, but her own life as well.
Shortly afterward, amongst a host of other postpartum complications, Daisy had had a complete hysterectomy — performed in a hospital, thank God — meaning Sunny's soul would be the only one brought forth to balance the spiritual scales. But even a life-threatening birthing followed by drastic emergency surgery hadn't resolved all of her mother's medical issues. Daisy Rose had never regained full health and her physical limitations were many. Commune living, therefore, hadn't been a wise option for her and her newborn daughter.
Sunny had been forever grateful, more times over than she could count, that one of her mother's free-love, commune-living beaus had been so smitten with her that he'd deeded her his family's empty, unused Old Town Alexandria row house after Sunny's near-tragic birth. He'd renounced city life, but knew it was Daisy's best bet to be as healthy as possible, while giving her daughter a decent chance.
Had it not been for her mother's benefactor, Sunny knew they'd have been forced to find a way to exist in commune living, or a shelter. Or worse. As a child, Sunny had often wondered if that mystery man had been her father — who else would give Daisy a whole, perfectly good house? But when she'd learned from snooping through those copious boxes of mementos and endless piles of journals and scrapbooks that their erstwhile benefactor was close to twenty years her mother's senior, Sunny's adolescent brain had assumed he couldn't be. Too old. Standing on the courthouse steps, she stared down at the papers in her hand once again.
She'd been very wrong.
Doyle Bartholomew Hartwell, eighty-five-years-old upon his death and eighteen years older than her mother, had, indeed, been Sunny's father.
No point wishing now she'd pushed her mother harder, or pushed her own curiosity further. Both of her parents were gone now. And what would have been the point in hunting for a man who'd obviously thought enough of her mother to take care of her and their child, but not enough to marry her, much less bother to ever meet his own daughter?
Sunny looked at her name, all five parts, typed in on the line of the deed that said "co-owner." She smiled. Love it or hate it, she'd never changed it. Her own personal tribute to her frustrating, challenging, yet beloved mama. That said, if Sunny were ever of a mind to add to the planet's population, she wouldn't be passing that tribute down to her own progeny.
The heavy, double oak doors to the courthouse were suddenly thrust open behind her, bumping her off balance. She grabbed the handrail to steady herself, and turned to find her brand-new extended family emerging from the big, red-brick building. I won't need to populate anything, she thought, still feeling more than a little bewildered by the day's events. My life just got populated without my even trying.
"There you are," her newly inherited stepmother said. Addison Pearl Whitaker was another aging hippie, but that was where the comparison to Sunny's own mother began and ended. Where her mother had been all fluttery scarves, flowing gypsy skirts, and love beads, Addie Pearl was more the tie-dyed, oversized T-shirt, faded old green Army shorts, and well-worn leather work boots type. Her gun-metal gray hair was long — very long — and plaited in a single, narrow braid all the way down her back, past her wide waist, to the equally wide, but flat-to-almost non-existent fanny below it. Her face was well-tanned, well-worn, and deeply creased, but her eyes flashed the most peculiar shade of crystalline lavender, which made her look both kind and a bit spooky all at the same time. Her smile, which she flashed naturally and quite often as she spoke, showed two rows of well-maintained, perfectly aligned dentures. She used a walking stick made from a hand carved oak tree branch, though Sunny was fairly certain from the woman's sturdy arms and legs, not to mention her bubbling energy, that she could climb Everest without aid of walking stick or Sherpa. Her posture was a wee bit stooped, but even standing perfectly erect, Sunny figured Addie would top out a good five or six inches shorter than herself, no taller than five-foot-one or two at most.
Addie Pearl, as she'd asked them to call her, was followed out by ten-year-old Bailey Sutton. Apparently, Doyle had continued to father children out of wedlock all the way into his mid-seventies. At least that they knew of. Only, in Bailey's case, her mother had taken Doyle's support money, dumped her infant daughter into the foster care system, and headed off for parts unknown, never to be heard from again.
Bailey looked tall for her age, thin but in a wiry way, not frail. She had naturally pale skin, freckled cheeks and nose, strikingly bright blue eyes, and a waterfall of strawberry blond hair — heavy on the strawberry — that hung in rumpled waves down to the middle of her back. She had on old but clean blue jeans, a western-style, teal blue and green plaid shirt buttoned up over a pale yellow T-shirt, and beat-up cowboy boots on her feet. All she was missing was the wide-brimmed cowboy hat, and Sunny didn't doubt she had one tucked away somewhere. Possibly with a horse or three.
Sunny looked behind Bailey, assuming the young girl's caseworker, who'd accompanied Bailey to the legal proceedings, would be stepping out next. Only, the door closed behind Bailey. And stayed closed.
Sunny looked at Addie Pearl. "Where's Miss Jackson?"
Addie shrugged one knobby shoulder, but the gleam in her ethereally colored eyes was an undeniably satisfied one. "On her way back to where she came from, I guess."
Excerpted from Blue Hollow Falls by DONNA KAUFFMAN. Copyright © 2017 Donna Kauffman. Excerpted by permission of KENSINGTON PUBLISHING CORP..
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I enjoyed the characters in this story. Nice upbeat plot.
Interesting characters and location make you want to read more. I'm hooked!
Kauffman’s newest is just as much women’s fiction as it is romance, which works so-very-well. While Sunny and Sawyer dance around their attraction, there is an entire group of adorable characters who are finding their way in a new family dynamic. Shortly after losing her mother and finding herself pretty much alone in the world, Sunny discovers that she actually has a family and inherited a share of an old silk mill. She’s spent most of her life being a care-giver to her mother and now she’s finally (and guiltily) exploring her freedom. With the addition of siblings and assorted non-blood family, though, she’s got to decide whether she’s ready to get involved again. Sawyer may find himself drawn to Sunny but she’s dealing with so much and her life is a few hours away. Getting involved can only lead to complications … but he’s finding her hard to resist. As appealing as these two are, though, it’s the secondary characters that tend to steal the show. I love seeing Bailey, Sunny’s half-sister, reveal her too cute middle-aged woman in a little girl’s body personality. And it’s obvious that both Sawyer’s and Sunny’s delightful best friends are due for their own story (not sure yet if it is together or separate). As the start of a new series there is a good amount of description and quite a few characters introduced, which may be a bit much for some. But those who enjoy stories with small-town romances and family-dynamics will appreciate the world that Kauffman creates and look forward to what comes next. *** I voluntarily read a Review Copy of this book. All opinions stated are solely my own and no one else’s. ***
Blue Hollow Falls by Donna Kauffman Blue Hollow Falls #1 This introduction to a new small town romance series starts with Sunny Goodwin finding out she has family she had never heard of and an inheritance that she would need to deal with. Many characters are introduced for future books in the series but the main love interest for Sunny is Sawyer Hartwell. Their romance’s biggest issue to overcome is the distance between where she lives in DC and his home and the inherited sawmill in Turtle Creek, VA. There is information about the silk industry in America, orchids, raising animals and in the future I expect to hear about making wine and all it entails. Bailey, half-sister to Sunny, is a sweetie that I hope to hear more about in the future as the series progresses. At times the book dragged for me with more dialogue and description than essential though it did set the scene for the future. This HFN story with “I love you” expressed doesn’t have a wedding scene but it just might in one of the future books. Turtle Creek is a dream place in the mountains with good people that help out – kind of a fairytale place – one where the universe steps in to help out. Thank you to NetGalley and Kensington Books – Zebra for the ARC – This is my honest review. 3-4 Stars
**I received an advance copy of this book in exchange for an honest review** This book is another example of Donna Kauffman’s great story telling. She creates characters that everyone can relate to, that you can feel for, or would love to know personally. The sexual tension between the H/h is always smokin’ hot. The secondary characters are just that – characters. You wind up hoping that they will all get their own story eventually. If you liked any of the other series written by Ms Kauffman, you’ll love this first installment of her new Blue Hollow Falls series.
I loved Blue Hollow Falls by Donna Kaufman. Sunshine, “Sunny”, Goodwin is a botanist at USBG, living in Arlington, Virginia, alone since the recent death of the mother she was caretaker for, when she discovers she’s inherited one-third of an old mill from a father she never knew about. Sawyer was adopted by Doyle Bart Hartwell and his former wife Addie as a young child. Neither Addie nor Sawyer knew about Sunny and another sister, ten-year old Bailey, who also inherited a share of the mill. Bailey was abandoned by her mother and lived in foster care until Addie took over that position. The mill is not the only building on the land, there is also a run-down glass greenhouse, over one hundred years old, and that has been left to the elements. Sawyer and Sunny have an attraction that makes both of them glad not to be related by blood. I highly recommend this outstanding book to other readers. It was difficult for me to put this book down. Ms. Kaufman is a wonderful story teller drawing me into her books, making me forget the world around me. I could visualize the town and its surrounding beauty of the mountains and hills of Blue Hollow Falls through her written word. She created a place where I would love to live, seeing the restoration of the mill. I could even work as a crafter selling the baby blankets (quilts) I sew. This is the first book in a new series and I can’t wait for the next one to be published. I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book.
Did you ever read a book and never want it to end and then you reallllllly wanted to continue reading about other characters in the story? If so, it is my opinion that Blue Hollow Falls by Donna Kauffman will be the next “gotta read” book on your list. I read an excerpt on a blog that was so descriptive that it sucked me right into the story…and then I remembered that it was just a small taste of what was to come. I was also fortunate to win an early copy of the book and couldn’t wait to tell others about it. I really won’t do the story justice so let me tell you a bit about the characters: First, we have Sunny – her name is Sunshine Meadow Aquarius Morrison Goodwin; now you know why she is known as Sunny! – and the story begins as she receives an inheritance from a father she never knew. Her mother has just recently died and to say she was a free spirit (hello? Look at Sunny’s name!) would be an understatement. Ms. Kauffman wrote an amazing character as Sunny is strong, flawed, growing, and much more all rolled into one. Next is Sawyer Hartwell – who is this guy? Is he Sunny’s ‘kin’; is he some random stranger; what? What he IS is an Iraq War Hero, part of the new cobbled ‘family’ that Sunny inherits from her never-known father and is drop-dead gorgeous! He truly is an alpha but with the right mix of humility and a little bit of broken-ness. One of the first things that I read, that made me laugh, was: “He was, in a word, gorgeous. …. And me with no fan.” And Addie Pearl – Addison Pearl Whitaker – is a hoot. Bailey is a ten year old half-sister (never before known to Sunny) who has been in foster care for a very long time. Not anymore, as Addie Pearl has decreed! Bailey is not only adorable but she is wise beyond her years and has the adults always looking around for an adult that is hidden in a Bailey-suit. And Seth; ah Seth! I’ll describe him as an irascible sidekick to Sawyer but he really is a true friend to all. As this is the first book in the series, I am hoping we’ll get stories all about these folks. Truly great characters that will keep you reading long past the time you need to stop for the day. This is Sunny’s and Sawyer’s story. What a great balance of these characters in their relationship beginnings! Sawyer is an alpha but uses his military leadership experience to temper any jerk tendencies (as I like to call ‘em) with heart and love. Sunny is also strong in that she sticks to her decisions and works thru her issues but is willing to listen and open her heart and mind to this new group of people who will become more and more important to her as time goes by. The story is rich in its descriptions, with details so sharp that my allergies were kicking up just reading about the meadows and fields of flowers. I really can’t say enough about this book but you will have to read the story for yourself. I laughed, I sniffled, I laughed again, and sometimes I cheered. I also cannot wait to read more about these folks and Blue Hollow Falls. I highly recommend this book.
Oh, this story was so fun and such a great start to a new series! Sunshine Meadow Aquarius Morrison Goodwin just recently lost her carefree, hippie like mother after a long illness. Sunny also just found out that the father she never knew left her an inheritance; she had a 10 year old half sister, Bailey; and a 72 year old stepmother, Addie. Sawyer Hartwell also got part of the inheritance but she hadn't met him yet and didn't know how they were related. After leaving the courthouse, they made their way up to the old silk mill in Blue Hollow Falls, VA that Sunny was now part owner of where she instantly fell in love with the site. As they arrived, Sawyer walked out of the barn and Sunny lost her breath...this man was beyond gorgeous. I just loved Sunny's reaction to seeing Sawyer for the first time. Evidently, sparks were flying. As Sunny tries to get to know her new family, she knows she cannot start anything with Sawyer, even after she finds out they are not related. She needs to be mindful of Bailey and what could possible hurt her. Plus, Sunny's life is in Washington, D.C., not Blue Hollow Falls, VA. As Sunny starts to spend more time with Sawyer, she realizes keeping things platonic isn't working out and they finally decide to take the next step! It was fun how everyone around them was pushing for it to happen and they were the stubborn ones! I just LOVED Seth's "talks" with Sawyer! ;) I really enjoyed how Sunny finally got her happy ending along with a family that she always wanted. It was a great, emotional journey that I loved being a part of. I just adored Sunny and Sawyer as well as Bailey, Addie Stevie and Seth...and I can't wait for Seth's story!
5☆ Wow! What a wonderful story about friendship, love and family set in the beautiful small town of Blue Hollow Falls. After reading this heart warming story, I want to move to Blue Hollow Falls myself. I loved the development of Sunny and Sawyer's relationship. It was oh so sweet and cute. There were some sexy times but overall their relationship was more of a realistic and sweet journey for a romance novel. Throw in a cute kid, some well-meaning but meddling friends and you have a really fun love story to read. But, there is a small tissue warning. I was tearing up all over the place while reading this book. There were a lot of moments that really touched my heart. This just goes to show that Donna Kauffman is such a wonderful writer. I enjoyed my time here in Blue Hollow Falls so much and can't wait to see what else this new series has to offer.
What an excellent beginning to a brand new series. When Sunny comes into an unexpected inheritance not to mention a 10 year old half-sister she isn't quite sure what to do. The old mill that she inherited also comes with other share holders who are already on the road to turning it into something great. Her father's ex-wife and his adopted son Sawyer complicate things for Sunny in an a way she never bargained for. She has to decide does she want to be a part of it all or does she want to just let it go. I loved the fast moving story line and how well it all flowed together. The characters were well developed and the emotional connections they had felt real. It was such a charming read and I can't wait to see what comes next.
A fantastic story to kick-off what should be an exceptional new series. The setting is a small mountain town in the picturesque Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. The town is full of delightful quirky characters with a determination to bring the town back to life. The author's writing brought the place to life in my mind. The main characters in this story are Sunny Goodwin and Sawyer Hartwell. Sunny is a strong independent woman who after caring for her mother for many years now finds herself with a small inheritance from a father she never knew, a ten year old half sister from said father, and a family she never realized she wanted. Sawyer is a war vet who has found his place in Blue Hollow Falls. He has a vision for the old mill Sunny has inherited and he wants to share that vision with Sunny. An excellent book and one I would recommend to everyone.
Donna Kauffman is a master as I truly loved her new series Blue Hollow Falls! I could not put this book down. The characters were interesting, funny and lovable. Sunny and Sawyer are different but complement each other. I cannot wait until the second book to see what happens next. The setting is in a small town in Virginia surrounded by beautiful mountains and you wish you could visit this imaginary place. I voluntarily received an electronic copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
4.5 - "I wasn't expecting you..." Stars! Donna Kauffman begins her new Blue Hollow Falls series with some serious style. Sunny and Sawyer’s story, grabbed me from the start, but a large part of my enjoyment also came from the introduction of so many likeable secondary characters as well. The author does it so smoothly that it’s like being acquainted with and getting to know people that you grasp pretty quickly are likely to become lifelong friends, with each new book that is released. And all of this story is told around the rebuilding of a derelict Silk Mill, which in itself added even more unique qualities to the locale. But it’s not just the silk mill that gets rebuilt, it’s also the gradual building of a family. It was comforting to know she wasn’t alone and, at the same time, made it that much harder… Sunny, discovering that she has a ten year old step-sister she didn’t even know about is pretty much the catalyst that keeps the plot moving alongside the Silk Mill’s renovation in Blue Hollow Falls. A town that is hours away from her home, but one that becomes a second home to her when she finds out that along with her new sister Bailey, she has been bequeathed part ownership in the mill and surrounding land. Maybe even the biggest sacrifices were worth it… Initially she’s looking to off-load, cut and run back to her life in D.C. But town stalwart Addie Pearl and ex-wife of her know deceased absentee father, takes Bailey under her wing, dragging Sunny initially unwillingly along with her. But with the mill and the people of Blue Hollow Falls she finds a peace and stability that has been missing from her life, and it doesn’t take long for her to start looking for excuses to spend more time there. It doesn’t hurt that Sawyer Hartwell, who has been like the son Addie never had since early age, is giving good vibes, rocks a tool-belt and is a general all-round (hot and sexy) nice-guy. "You’re complicated… Doing anything about you, much less with you, would be beyond complicated." The development of Bailey from the quiet, introverted ten year old little girl who has spent her formative years in the foster care system, into the quirky, happy child as the story progressed was also something that kept the feels on the emotional level, her and Sawyer together at points literally bought tears to my eyes. "I can make you one promise that I know I can keep" "What is that?" "That I will always be honest with you." This is really the beginning of the building of a non-blood family, it seems that most of the residents that we are introduced to in the telling of the story are transplants from elsewhere as well, and all of them definitely have their own stories just begging to be told too. Seth Brogan is up next in the Christmas novella; The Inn at Blue Hollow Falls I loved his cheeky persona in this book, and as seems to be all the rage right now he is conveniently bearded and man-bunned up as well so will appeal to the masses that’s forsure!