Courting Mr. Emerson

Courting Mr. Emerson

by Melody Carlson

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When the fun-loving and spontaneous artist Willow West meets buttoned-up, retired English teacher George Emerson, it's not exactly love at first sight. Though she does find the obsessive-compulsive man intriguing. Making it her mission to get him to loosen up and embrace life, she embarks on what seems like a lost cause--and finds herself falling for him in the process.

A confirmed bachelor, George vacillates between irritation and attraction whenever Willow is around--which to him seems like all too often. He's not interested in expanding his horizons or making new friends; it just hurts too much when you lose them.

But as the summer progresses, George feels his defenses crumbling. The question is, will his change of heart be too late for Willow?

With her signature heart and touches of humor, fan favorite Melody Carlson pens a story of two delightfully eccentric characters who get a second chance at life and love.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781493416479
Publisher: Baker Publishing Group
Publication date: 03/05/2019
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 352
Sales rank: 7,099
File size: 10 MB

About the Author

Melody Carlson is the award-winning author of over 200 books with sales of more than 7 million, including many bestselling Christmas novellas, young adult titles, and contemporary romances. She received a Romantic Times Career Achievement Award in the inspirational market for her many books, including Finding Alice. She and her husband live in central Oregon. Learn more at

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Courting Mr. Emerson 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 33 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Such well crafted characters! Such an interesting storyline somewhat like HGTV behind the scenes.
rkfall More than 1 year ago
I found Courting Mr. Emerson by Melody Carlson to be a well-flowing read from the very start. I liked the author’s theme of a teacher who was preparing to retire early. She shared loads of emotions that go along with this change in Mr. Emerson’s life. I found myself shaking my head yes when the teacher’s thoughts of today’s changing culture come into play. How they lack the desire to connect with friends by looking them in the eye and they lack the ability, drive, desire… to have a real connection. I also really enjoyed the character of the hippie lady, Willow, and their blooming relationship. I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
rkfall More than 1 year ago
I found Courting Mr. Emerson by Melody Carlson to be a well-flowing read from the very start. I liked the author’s theme of a teacher who was preparing to retire early. She shared loads of emotions that go along with this change in Mr. Emerson’s life. I found myself shaking my head yes when the teacher’s thoughts of today’s changing culture come into play. How they lack the desire to connect with friends by looking them in the eye and they lack the ability, drive, desire… to have a real connection. I also really enjoyed the character of the hippie lady, Willow, and their blooming relationship. I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
Pattistep More than 1 year ago
It was refreshing to read this book because it has such quirky, but lovable, characters. I loved George Emerson in this story. He’s a newly retired high school teacher who has lived almost every single day of his life on a schedule of some sort, and does not see any reason to change that. He has a little bit of OCD going on, too, and that just adds interest to his story. He’s faced quite a bit of heartache in his life, and sees no reason to step outside the boundaries he’s set for himself. But that changes when Willow, a reformed former hippie, enters his life. Willow is now a responsible citizen who owns her own art gallery and loves helping others. When George and Willow team together to help Willow’s grandson, Colin, George realizes that that Willow has become very special to him. Their road to romance is a delightful one and kept me laughing in the lighter moments and sighing as George finally has to face his fears. I don’t think there’s a sequel to this book, but I’d love to read another story about George and Willow. I am going to mention this since this book does have a Christian fiction label: About midway through the book, George and Willow have a discussion about God. At this point in the story, George thinks that he might be an atheist. Willow is a believer and tells George about her belief in God. There’s a confusing statement that Willow makes about not understanding the Old Testament. I could never quite decide as to her view of scripture, if she believed the Bible literally or not. It’s a brief conversation, and the rest of the book follows George’s spiritual journey. Since I believe that every word in the Bible is inspired, I wondered about that statement. It was ambiguous, so I’ll let you as a reader decide what you think. I received a copy of this book from the publisher. All opinions are my own.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really like how the author developed Mr Emerson’s character. I think we can identify with him in some ways if we are honest. Great read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
inspiremichelle More than 1 year ago
Courting Mr. Emerson by Melody Carlson Artist Willow West meets straitlaced recently retired teacher George Emerson and sparks fly. Read this great book to see if he can let go of his uptight ways and trust himself to love once again. Willow had me chuckling at her outrageous antics. Melody Carlson was able to weave Christian values into her story without being preachy. She takes us on a tale of mid life changes with faith and amusement. Even touches on some hard subjects with grace and dignity. This book was an easy enjoyable read. The characters were realistic and lively. I give Courting Mr. Emerson 5 stars and hope she continues the story of some of the minor characters.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Britney_Adams More than 1 year ago
With a penchant for quirky characters, Melody Carlson once again treats readers to an entertaining story with an eclectic cast. The uniqueness of Courting Mr. Emerson is not only found in its characters, but also in their stories. While I would have appreciated a bit more depth in some aspects of the storyline, I did find it to be an enjoyable read overall. I received a complimentary copy of this book. No review was required, and all thoughts expressed are my own.
Moonpie72 More than 1 year ago
I have said it before and I will say it again, Melody Carlson is one of my favorite authors! Any book I see with her name on it I HAVE to read! This book was a fun read and a bit different as the main characters are in their 50’s. George Emerson has reached his retirement after 30 years as a high school language arts teacher. He is stuck in an 80’s time warp, maybe even further than that! He has eschewed any type of technology despite his intelligence and education. This guy puts the “N” in nerd. Uncomfortable in his own skin, especially in social interactions, he is a loner and confirmed bachelor. Willow West is the totally opposite end of the spectrum! She was raised in by hippies and her wild youth labeled her with name Wild West Willow. You get the idea! She is now a Christian and her youthful exuberance is now channeled as a buoyant, impromptu, woman who totally enjoys life! These two oil and water no make that gas and fire personalities, meet when Willow asks Mr. Emerson for a referral letter for her grandson’s college application. They learn they both attended high school together. She finds herself interested in him but she is not sure exactly how. She describes him as “Mr. Bean”. George is not sure how he will spend his new freedom retired. He envisions his rigid, OCD life continuing to be a cocoon of comfort. Willow on the other hand sees him needing to try new experiences and add excitement to his life. Though I do not think consciously, she makes it a project to help him do just that. This is where the rushing wind meets a brick wall. George sees her as fascinating. Because of the lack of the courage to say “no” he continually finds himself in circumstances and experiences he would have never chosen! After he has survived each one George finds he actually enjoyed himself but vows never to give in again! Both grow more attracted to each other but their disparities usually end up in misunderstandings and hurt feelings, only to be followed by an apology. Ms. Carlson does a beautiful job of helping the reader clearly see the George and Willows extremely different viewpoints. The characters were fun, quirky and real! I thought it was beautiful that Willow’s interest in George was one of compassion and concern. As the story unfolds her concern is for his soul as he professes to be an atheist. He was a beautiful example not to give up on an unbeliever no matter how impossible salvation may seem. You will find yourself laughing, crying and feeling joy as you read this book. Thank you Ms. Carlson for another amazing book! I received this book from Revell Publishing in exchange for an honest review. The opinions I stated are my own.
Bookworm_Debbie More than 1 year ago
This is a delightful contemporary romance! I love Willow West. She is a very friendly and outgoing person. She has a huge job on her hands with trying to get various people that have extremely different personalities to get along with each other. Most of the characters in this book have quirks that I was able to quickly identify someone in my life that they reminded me of. The biggest problem is getting them to get along, in relationship, with each other. I was captivated by the story of how Willow handled it and yet found space for herself. She is very open about her relationship with God yet she isn’t preachy about it. This is a major plus in my mind. I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher, through NetGalley. I was not required to write a positive review. All of the opinions expressed are my own. Disclaimer: *Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a copy of this book for free in the hope that I would mention/review it on my blog. I was not required to give a positive review, only my honest opinion - which I've done. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.*
Virginiaw More than 1 year ago
This is a wonderfully sweet romance. This centers abound Mr. Emerson and Willow. These two characters are complete opposites who keep running into each other and when they try to get closer they cause something to go wrong. This will make you laugh and cry. I just kept rooting for Mr. Emerson to become less rigid. I really enjoyed this book. I received a copy of this book from Revell for a fair and honest opinion that I gave of my own free will.
Julie12 More than 1 year ago
I have one word for this book - DELIGHTFUL!! I always look forward to reading Melody Carlson's books and this one is another wonderful book! I love the quirky character of George Emerson and his love for solitude and routine. He is an introvert that has his life set to a rhythm that is steady, if somewhat boring, but it's what he knows. He is a high school teacher who has lived in the same house and had the same job for thirty years. As it's time for him to retire from his job, he meets up with the grandmother of one of his students, who just happened to go to high school when he did. Willow West is the complete opposite of George. She is an extrovert artist who goes with her own style and flamboyancy. She wooshes into George's life and brings with her fresh air and bright colors but George isn't sure he's ready for it all, even though in so many ways it makes him feel more alive. I absolutely loved the touched of faith that Melody brings into her books. They are so natural and it shows people living out their faith in their every day lives. There is dilemma and difficult people to keep us guessing about where everyone will end up which made it a real page turner for me. I absolutely love this book and I highly recommend it and give it 5 stars. *This book was provided to me by Revell. I received a copy of this book to review but I was not financially compensated in any way. The opinions expressed are my own and are based on my observations while reading this book.
PrincessGlor More than 1 year ago
This book completely charmed me. I adored the character of George, I just want to give him a huge hug and adopt him!!! This was a sweet easy read with a lot of heart packed into its pages. I identified a lot with Willow, although I am not quite the free spirit she is, I could see myself trying just as hard to bring George out of his shell. The character of Josie was a great element to the plot of the story and I enjoyed seeing her growth in the book as well as George’s. This story just had a comforting feel to it, that I can’t quite explain, but I truly loved this book. Lovely characters and a sweet plot make this a 5 star read for me and this book has a place on my keeper shelf! I received this book through the Revell Reads program and was not required to post a positive review. All thoughts are my own.
ARS8 More than 1 year ago
Courting Mr. Emerson was a delightful read about two fifty-somethings finding a love match. And I do believe it is my favorite Melody Carlson novel to date. Mr. Emerson is retiring from his school teaching position. Not by choice, but because that is what is best for the school. He thrives on schedules and routines and is quite lost as to what he should do with himself now. He is a confirmed bachelor, set stubbornly in his ways, and deals with OCD. Some would think he was an odd duck, but I understood him. He also surprises himself with some of his other gifts. Willow West is a widow who has been raising her grandson who is graduating now and one student that Mr. Emerson thinks shows progress. Willow is an artsy and lighthearted character who brings quite a refreshing change to Mr. Emerson’s life. Willow the art gallery owner has gotten under his skin and Mr. Emerson is not sure how he feels about it. I enjoyed this sweet story that was a refreshing read with an old fashion love story. I received a copy of this novel from the publishers. I was not required to post a positive review and all views and opinions are my own.
amybooksy More than 1 year ago
Courting Mr Emerson is the newest release by Melody Carlson. I found this romance to be a little different than most I often read with the characters being in their fifties instead of twenties or thirties. I found it to be unique, refreshing and realistic. However, the story was a little slow at times and I found myself wanting to skim over a page or two. There were some fun and sweet scenes that made me giggle, though. I am giving Courting Mr Emerson three stars. I received this book from the publisher. This review is 100% my own honest opinion.
JLYoung More than 1 year ago
I've read another book by Melody Carlson so I was excited to see her newest book. I'll admit I didn't read the back cover, I just went off the author... which might not be a good idea for me in the future. There wasn't really a problem with writing style. I felt like it was easy to read and the writing carried the reader through the text nicely. However, I just felt so disconnected from the characters and their situation from the get go. I think this book would be well received by someone in a different life stage from me, a mom with elementary aged kids. I had a hard time getting into the plot and found myself getting distracted easily. I'm sure this is just a plot preference issue. The writing is well crafted. But I found the young people full of irritating drama and the older people just meh. I'm sure if I had read the back cover better I would have realized this book might not have been in my preferred genre but it was nice to give it a try. I will pick up Melody Carlson's future books, and read the back first, because she does write lovely stories. I received this book from the publisher. I was in no way required to write a positive review. All thoughts are my own.
PreppyBookQueen More than 1 year ago
I always enjoy how fast paced Melody Carlson's books are, and I usually find myself devouring her stories fairly quickly. Courting Mr. Emerson was no exception, and I really found myself enjoying this contemporary romance novel about two protagonists who are falling for each other in their later years. Very rarely have I ever picked up a read that included a romance between two adults in their mid fifties, and I found this to be a refreshing change. George Emerson's life is turned upside down when the rambunctious Willow West crashes into it. As a high school English teacher who's about to face mandatory retirement, Mr. Emerson is looking forward to his future including rest and relaxation. However, when Willow and her grandson Collin enter his life, Mr. Emerson encounters more than he's prepared for. Willow owns a local art gallery, and after approaching the "set in his own ways" Mr. Emerson about a letter of recommendation for her grandson Collin, decides on a whim to invite him to a gathering at her gallery. Mr. Emerson is definitely out of his comfort zone, but decides on a whim to attend, and soon finds his life colliding with Willow, her hard working and likable grandson, and Josie, her daughter who takes a lot of getting used to, and is in need of a lot of guidance to get her back on the straight and narrow. Willow and George are perfect examples of opposites attracting, but are they too opposite for a relationship between them to ever truly workout? Courting Mr. Emerson at first glance may appear to be a fluffy romance read, but it's honestly so much more than that. Melody Carlson makes this contemporary romance fun, lively and comical when it needs to be, but also touches on deeper themes including estrangement, death, reconciliation, mental illness and having the extreme type of faith that can see you through the worst of life's circumstances. While I can understand that the romance element may not work for everyone, I personally really enjoyed it, and enjoyed the fact that its extremely slow moving, and gives the feelings plenty of time to develop between the characters. As always, Melody Carlson's writing style is quick paced, engaging, and enjoyable, and I really adored my time reading this one. With quirky characters, serious elements, a well developed plot, an emphasis on faith, and lots of witty banter, Courting Mr. Emerson was a pleasant surprise, and another lovely release by this amazing author. I rated it four out of five stars, and I encourage anyone looking for a romance read this spring to go ahead and pick it up. If you're like me and you haven't ever tried a romance with a more middle age couple before, then this would be the perfect book to start with! I received a complimentary copy of this novel from the publisher (Revell) as part of the Revell Reads Blog Program. All thoughts and opinions are my own. I was not required to give a positive review.
Teadrinker More than 1 year ago
Mr. George Emerson is a buttoned-up English teacher who is in the process of retiring from teaching and struggles with change. He is also a confirmed bachelor. Willow West is a fun-loving artist and grandmother who enjoys life. She also owns and operates her own art gallery. When George and Willow meet, Willow finds George fairly stuffy and George finds Willow to be a bit wild. In spite of their differences, Willow encourages George to try new things but he also struggles with his attraction to her. He really wants to make new friends but it hurts too much to loose them so he doesn't seem to know what to do. Will George and Willow be able to work a relationship out? I started off reading Courting Mr. Emerson and enjoying the story. It seemed like a light read, which I was in the mood for. Then, as the story progressed, Willow's daughter and grandson become more of a focus in the plot--along with a lot of their drama. That part of the story wasn't light or relaxing to read. Honestly, I found the whole story to be fairly melancholy. George is referenced in one place as being a bit like Eeyore and I would agree. He also has Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), but with his sadness, he also seems depressed to me. I would have enjoyed seeing more good times as a focus between Willow and George instead of mostly challenges and drama. However, I personally liked that Carlson wrote a story about a middle-aged couple as I don't see a lot of Christian fiction books about people in that age range. The ending also seemed rather abrupt although George did make a lot of changes and that was good. I just wish the book had been more upbeat in tone. I think Carlson is an excellent writer but Courting Mr. Emerson isn't my favorite of hers.If you give it a try, you might feel differently. I received this book from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review.
Blooming-with-Books More than 1 year ago
Courting Mr. Emerson By Melody Carlson George Emerson has finally bowed to the pressure to retire as a High School English teacher. He didn't have to but the budget cuts had him being encouraged to do so. And then the attitude of most of his students was less than encouraging. But now retirement is stretching out before him. George has always been a very set in his ways conservatively dressed person. He has few friends and no family, all in all, a very lonely person, at least that is Willow West's impression of him when she comes seeking a recommendation letter for her soon to graduate grandson. Collin is a very serious and conscientious student and George is more than happy to provide him with the letter his grandmother requested. And when His grandmother asks that he attend a graduation party for Collin, George reluctantly agrees though social gatherings are not his thing. Willow sees it as her mission to help George Emerson loosen up as he enters retirement. And when he goes from Mr. Emerson to George she sees that as a huge step in the right direction. Now if she can get him to dress casually when attending social events it will be a great victory. George is in a quandary where Willow is concerned sometimes he feels drawn to her and at other times she annoys him to no end especially when she pushes her way into his life and day with suggestions on improving what he doesn't feel needs change. George has no interest in adding people into his life. He's had others in his life - friends, family, and pets - and lost them all. To his way of thinking, God either doesn't exist or God hates him. After all, everyone else must have been good enough for God if he is to believe what his Grandmother told him but he wasn't good enough for God to want him. But Willow sees it differently - if only she can get George to see it too. Courting Mr. Emerson is an interesting book. Some moments I really enjoyed it and others I was a bit Georgish in my feelings towards the story. But overall it was an enjoyable read though at times I may have felt like slamming the door in Willow's face if I'd been George (not that I would have, but she probably would not have made it past the front door). Willow seems like a caring person just a bit too caring if you don't like feeling closed in. As I said I'm more of a George than a Willow personality type so I can sympathize with his feelings at times. And a word of warning: don't plan a hot air balloon trip as a surprise. I was provided a complimentary copy of this book by the publisher with no expectations but that I offer my honest opinion. All thoughts expressed are my own.
Becky5 More than 1 year ago
Why should you read Courting Mr. Emerson? The first line might snag your attention. It sure did mine. “George Emerson didn’t need anybody.” Melody Carlson’s narrative has an easy flow about it. Like a weekend afternoon car ride on a warm spring day. This is going to be fun, enjoyable, humorous, etc., ...until it isn’t. Which brings me to the two next reasons to read Courting Mr. Emerson. Because this is a romance between two mature adults, we have a departure from the usual beautiful, young heroine and wonderfully handsome, young Adonis. Some readers will especially appreciate this. I know I did. Which leads into the next motive for reading this wonderful book. After a few chapters, it stops being the “joyride” I described above. Instead, real life hits from many angles and Willow, George, Collin, and others have to figure out how to navigate around obstacles to find the peace and relationships they desire. One thing is for sure... I thought this would be a cute, breezy romance. Instead, it is a slightly humorous romance filled with broken people with weighty problems, who need God to help them. Quotes I would like to share: “I don’t know if you can measure’s probably relevant, different for everyone...The thing is, you have to keep going.” “...when I discovered God was really real, well, I grabbed on tight and I’ve been holding on ever since.” “ atheist is simply a seeker who is hoping that God will show up.” I received a complimentary copy of this book through NetGalley and the publisher. I was not required to leave a positive review and all opinions are my own.
SemmieWise More than 1 year ago
** “But then that’s life. You can’t let it beat you up. And as I remind myself every single day, God knows what he’s doing. Even if I don’t.” ** Melody Carlson’s “Courting Mr. Emerson” is a delightful tale of life and love that will leave you with a goofy little smile on your face. George Emerson is in his mid-50s and facing retirement as a teacher. Prim and proper, traditional, particular and sensible, George just isn’t sure what he will do to fill his very structured time once he retires. That is, until Willow West walks into his life, asking for a letter of recommendation for her college-bound grandson, Collin. Artist Willow is everything George is not — spontaneous, carefree, a person who literally grew up on a hippy commune. And she seems to be able to continuously draw him into situations he would never dream of doing. As George and Willow’s paths keep crossing, they find themselves drawn toward each other, yet driven apart by their differences, much like oil and vinegar. Can they put aside their differences and come together? Will they each be able to draw out the best in the other? Told in back-and-forth perspectives between Willow and George, “Courting Mr. Emerson” is a sweet tale filled with laugh-out-loud moments, tear-jerker times, and moments of conviction. It’s a story of overcoming loss, second chances and finding love again, even in our more senior years, and finding and offering forgiveness. Melody Carlson also does a fantastic job of developing delightful characters, full of quirks, crazies and relatabilities. You will love both wild and free “overly enthusiastic” Willow and quiet and sensible George. And you will root for them from the very beginning. But besides being a sweet love story, “Courting Mr. Emerson” also offers some amazing lessons, reminding us that God can fill our emptiness; we can only live one day at a time; the theme of religion versus relationship (with God); and putting your trust in God and His very existence and realness. As Willow tells George: “But George, if God is real — like I believe he is — I will be exceedingly thankful that I did believe in him. Not only because of a satisfying early life, but because I’d like to continue a loving relationship with God throughout eternity.” I think fans of Jan Karon’s Mitford series will enjoy this book, as it has a bit of a Father Tim/Cynthia/Mitford vibe. One disclaimer, there are brief references to pot usage. Five stars out of five. Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group, provided this complimentary copy for my honest, unbiased review.
AdventurousBookworm More than 1 year ago
Courting Mr. Emerson was a pleasant surprise. With a cast of quirky characters and fun banter between them, this novel was an engaging read. Light-hearted moments were perfectly balanced with the more serious ones and the character growth was amazing. Josie. The character that I really wanted to dislike but couldn't. When we first meet her, her life is in shambles but we get to experience her change and growth. Her unpredictability kept me wanting to see what she would do next. Personally, I really loved the whole house-fixing-up thing. I really enjoy that so when I read about it, I was thrilled. The only complaint I have is that this story was a bit unoriginal. Carlson already has a book about fixing up a house and a different one about an art gallery owner. It is time for some new ideas. Personal Rating: 4 Stars Content Rating: 5 Stars *I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
lolly-pops More than 1 year ago
COURTING MR. EMERSON is the newest release by Ms. Carlson. Mr. Emerson is a retired English teacher, reminiscent of the British sitcom Mr. Bean. George Emerson is just as much of a stick-in-the-mud as Mr. Bean and every bit as clueless. I didn't see why George Emerson had so many ladies courting him unless as a bachelor he was prime game for fifty year old divorcees and widows desperate for a man. He would drive me batty in short order I'm afraid. Willow is an artsy crafty gypsy type with a druggie grunge band daughter and a grandson every bit a nerd as George Emerson. And she didn't know how to take no for an answer. Inviting herself for breakfast armed with bran muffins she takes control of his kitchen while he showers. There is really no faith message to speak of and the romance (ahem) didn't work for me. This was a slow read with characters I couldn't relate to. However if you fondly remember Mr. Bean and like to read about 55 year olds finding love then COURTING MR. EMERSON is a book to consider. I adore the cover. I was given a copy free. All opinions are my own.
bmrawlins More than 1 year ago
This is one of the best executions of opposites attract I’ve read in a long time. The tension of push and pull had me torn between groaning out loud and giggling out loud. The chemistry between Willow and George is instant but the story is a slow burn, peppered with many real-life obstacles. Willow’s free spirit and creative energy is just what structured, straight-laced, borderline OCD, George needs to break out of his self-imposed box. Add in the healing power of the Holy Spirit and you end up with a thoroughly enjoyable, redeeming love story. I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.