In the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains lies a small town with a big heart—and a chance to begin again . . .
When Hannah Montgomery buys a lavender farm in Blue Hollow Falls with three friends, she’s creating a life she never imagined—one she hopes will honor the memory of the sweet young son she tragically lost years ago. Standing on the porch of the sprawling farmhouse, looking out on row upon row of those lush purple plumes, Hannah is ready to embrace this fresh, new start . . .
Then she meets Wilson McCall. The stonemason hired to fix their crumbling chimneys and leaky roof is quieter than most folks in the Falls. Hannah’s not surprised to learn the widower struggles with his own grief. Who could blame her if she finds joy in making Will laugh again, or if she feels a poignant kinship when she sees him with his teenaged son? But her deepening friendship with Will reminds Hannah that there’s a part of her that still needs to heal—awakening a tender yearning to have a life that isn’t just good enough, but lived fully—even if that means taking risks once more . . .
Praise for Donna Kauffman
“Charming characters, emotion galore, a small town—you’re going to love Donna Kauffman!” —Lori Foster
“We all know where there's Donna Kauffman, there's a rollicking, sexy read chock‑full of charm and sparkle.” —USAToday.com
About the Author
Donna Kauffman is the USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestselling author of over 70 novels, translated and sold in more than 26 countries around the world. She is the recipient of multiple RT Book Awards, a RITA® finalist, a National Readers’ Choice Award-winner, and a PRISM Award-winner. Born into the maelstrom of Washington, D.C.’s politics, she now lives in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia surrounded by a completely different kind of wildlife. A contributing blogger for USAToday.com, she is also a DIYer, a baker, a gardener, and a volunteer transporter for the Wildlife Center of Virginia and Rockfish Sanctuary. Please visit her online at www.DonnaKauffman.com.
Read an Excerpt
It wasn't every day Hannah Montgomery got to pick lavender and watch a half-naked man rebuild her bluestone fireplace. Four fireplaces, actually. Be still, my heart. "But I'll take all of those I can get," she murmured as she walked from the fields toward what was once known as March House. Now it was the Lavender Blue Farmhouse & Tea Room. Or soonto-be tearoom, she thought, a happy, satisfied smile curving her lips.
Hannah swore she wouldn't stare this time. He was up on the roof again today, under a blazing, late May sun, restoring the stone chimneys to those four beautiful fireplaces. Well, they would be beautiful. As would the rest of the place. All in due time, she thought, surprised at how serene she felt about the whole thing, this monstrously enormous task that she and her three closest friends had undertaken.
She had goals now. Clear, direct-line-to-the-finish goals. It felt good and a little terrifying all at the same time. But even the fear of the risk she'd taken by selling her home in Alexandria, along with most of her worldly possessions, to move lock, stock, and paintbrushes to the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia felt good. Taking the risk made her feel alive. And that had been precisely why she'd done it.
He didn't look up — or down, as the case might be — as she drew near the four sets of French doors that lined the south-facing side of the sprawling farmhouse. Originally built during the Civil War, the house had been renovated, restored, and refurbished many times. There had been several additions built onto it, including the deep veranda. When the four sets of French doors that lined the exterior wall of the enclosed veranda were all opened and latched against the house, it turned the space into a porch, with an unparalleled view of the lavender fields and the mountains beyond. The veranda would be the setting for their tearoom. Eventually.
She did glance up again. One last time. Aside from being aware he was the only stonemason in Blue Hollow Falls, Hannah didn't know much about Wilson McCall. Well, other than that he did amazing things to a sweat-soaked, white T-shirt. He lifted a large, flat piece of bluestone from the chimney and balanced it carefully on the roof. The motion had her glance turning into a protracted and very appreciative gaze. My, my, my.
Vivi had been the one to hire him and he certainly seemed to have a good work ethic. Unlike most of the folks Hannah had met since moving to the Falls, Will wasn't the chatty type. Or the talk-at-all type, really.
She climbed the steps to the veranda, then turned to look back out over the fields. She could feel her heart swell inside her chest at the panoramic view of the Blue Ridge Mountains, laid out before her. Their timeworn, ancient tumble, the endless rippling of granite and slate, pine and cedar, never ceased to move her. In the months since she'd moved in, she'd watched in awe as the fields that spread out before her began to regain their color with the advent of spring. That awe deepened further as the proof-of-life green had slowly marched its way up into the hills, higher and higher in elevation as spring moved toward summer. Around boulders, into every fold, through every nook and cranny, color bloomed, bright and bold, cheerful and happy, as new shoots reached for the sun. If that hadn't been a sign of hope and proof of the resilience of the life she'd come to champion, she didn't know what was.
She actually laid a hand over her heart, feeling the thumping beat of it. She'd lived in the newly christened Lavender Blue Farmhouse for five months now, and she already knew she'd never, not ever, take that view, that confirmation of life, for granted. "Look at it, Liam," she whispered. "Look what we're doing here. Can you believe it?"
"You going to bring those stalks into the house or do I have to wait until you quit mooning over those hills?"
Hannah laughed and turned to find her friend, fellow life warrior, and new business partner, Vivienne Baudin, standing in the doorway that led from the broad veranda into the biggest kitchen Hannah had ever seen in her life. Born in New Orleans, Vivienne had known early on she was destined for the bright lights of Broadway, where she'd happily spent more than forty of her sixty-seven years. A former Broadway showgirl turned costume designer, now lavender farmer, she tackled every part of her life with gusto. One only had to glance at the wild swirl of carefully arranged, lavender-hued, silver curls piled up on top of her head like a showgirl headpiece to know that while the showgirl might have left New York, she would never quite be leaving Vivi. And Hannah wouldn't have it any other way.
"I tried to pick the ones that were just opening, like Avery's chart showed," Hannah said, handing the big basket over to Vivi. "Let me know if I'm not getting the right ones."
Vivi grinned. "Honey, like I could tell the difference." She took the basket and leaned down to breathe in their scent. "We'll do something with you, my pretties," she said, closing her eyes in momentary appreciation. Then she straightened and let out that marvelous, smoky, infectious laugh of hers as she added, "Even if it's wrong, we'll have fun figuring out how to make it right." And that, Hannah thought, pretty much summed up Vivi's entire worldview, which was why they'd become such fast, if unlikely friends.
Hannah — thirty years Vivi's junior — was a painter, a former children's book illustrator, and now, too, a lavender farmer. As recently as Christmas, neither of them could have told anyone a thing about how to make tea, soap, essential oils, or anything else from stalks of lavender.
But they could now.
Time would tell if the end result was anything worth crowing about. Much less packaging up and selling. But that didn't matter. Not yet. Now was the time for building and restoring, for repairing and learning. The time for opening their doors, their lavender fields, their tearoom, and welcoming the world into their new home would come soon enough. Hannah didn't want to rush any of it.
A loud crash on the roof above made both women jump and look up. A moment later a rumbling reverberation came from the dining room that made the black-and-white tiled floor of the kitchen vibrate beneath their feet. "What in the world?" Hannah said, pressing her hand over her racing heart.
"Dear Lord. Sounds like half the roof just came down the chimney into the dining room fireplace," Vivi said, her hands also clasped against her chest. "I'll go that way," she said, motioning toward the door to the dining room. "You go on out there and find out what on earth is happening."
Hannah nodded, still processing the sudden turn of events. "Be careful," she told Vivi. She turned and headed straight back through the door to the veranda, to the set of open French doors, where she was immediately grabbed by both arms and tugged sideways, pinned between the open door and a warm, damp, and very hard chest.
"Watch out," came a deep voice next to her ear, followed a split second later by the sound of heavy debris rolling off the roof and bouncing into the yard just a dozen feet away.
"Oh!" she said, jumping at the loud sound it made, the word muffled against the hard, T-shirt-clad shoulder as he instinctively jerked her closer and turned to shield her from the falling stone, brick, and other debris. Her body reacted instantly — and quite favorably — to the sudden, full-body contact. It took her mind a few seconds longer to catch up. Will McCall, he of her rooftop fantasies, had her pinned to her own French door. So she could be excused for being a little muddled.
"Chimney's coming down," he said by way of explanation, not letting her go quite yet.
"Intentionally?" she asked, her voice still a bit high pitched, her body and mind at odds over the clamor happening on the rooftop and the one happening inside her own body. The sudden change to her previously uninhabited personal space was as jarring as the pieces of chimney thumping into the side yard. Likely because it had been a very, very long time since her personal space had been so thoroughly ... inhabited.
"No," he said, as succinct as always. "Sorry for the scare. You okay?"
"Startled, but yes, I think so," she said, knowing she sounded a bit breathless, and perhaps not entirely due to almost being pummeled to death by falling chimney debris. "I might not have been if it wasn't for your quick reflexes." She lifted her gaze to his. "Thank you."
Now that the immediate danger had been averted, she tried not to stare. Again. Of course, she'd been trying and failing to not stare at the man for two weeks running now, and this moment proved to be no different. But now that all of him was right up close and personal with all of her, it was kind of impossible not to. Her first thought was that he was older than she'd realized. Closer to her own age, maybe even a few years older. There were lines at the corners of his eyes, which might have come from working in the sun. Not from smiling, she thought. At least she couldn't recall seeing him look anything other than serious and focused on his work. Green, she noted, as her gaze got hung up in his, filling in another detail she'd wondered about. Beautiful, dark, almost gemstone-rich, green eyes.
His hair was dark — which she'd already surmised — and average in length, cut close on the sides and back, a little longer on top. But now she could see how thick it was, and just on the side of unruly, maybe because of the heat. Maybe because he raked his hands through it. Her fingers itched to do the same. He was clean shaven, though there was a hint of shadow already coming through on the hard lines of his jaw, and it wasn't two in the afternoon yet.
She already knew the way his T-shirt clung to every ripple and curve of the muscles in his back, chest, and shoulders. Shoulders she was now getting intimately acquainted with, given her palms were plastered to both of them. Throwing around big chunks of granite and bluestone all day long apparently did a body good. Really, really good. That led her to wonder what he'd look like with that dirty, white T-shirt stripped off and —
She jerked her gaze back to his, feeling a hot flush rise to her cheeks at being caught staring. Only he didn't look amused. Or insulted, for that matter. Just concerned. Clearly, he wasn't experiencing the same awakening of the senses she was. The "ma'am" part should have made her feel ancient, only from him it had merely sounded polite. The kind of politeness instilled by generations of southern mamas ... or maybe by the military, since he had no southern accent that she could discern.
"I'm sorry — I'm fine," she assured him, quick to smile, while trying not to get lost in those emerald-green eyes of his again. They really were something. "You — this just caught me more off guard than I thought," she said, having completely forgotten about her close brush with the falling chimney until that moment. "And it's Hannah, please."
"Will," he replied, not quite gruffly, but close. He finally, carefully set her back a step, keeping hold of her elbows, concern still clear on his face. He was taller than she'd expected, too. Though why she'd expected anything one way or the other, she couldn't have said. He was a good three inches taller than her own five-foot-nine, which was nice. Even if it didn't matter. At all.
His concerned look didn't ease, but he did turn his attention toward the side yard.
She glanced past him and gasped at the array of broken stone and brick that littered the side yard she'd traversed less than thirty minutes ago. "What happened?" She automatically started to slide out from her spot between him and the pinned back door, only to have him hold her right where she was.
"Don't," he warned. "There's more to come down yet." Trying hard to ignore his broad, warm palm wrapped around her bare arm, and the feeling of her chest rubbing up against his chest, and the skitter of sensations that sent through her, she shifted her gaze past his shoulder to the yard again. "We heard a loud crash and a rumbling sound in the dining room, but I had no idea what —" She broke off and her eyes widened as she looked at him again. "Wait, are you okay?" She looked him up and down, or as much as she could given the tight quarters, searching for signs of injury. "You didn't tumble off —"
"No," he assured her. "I thought I could contain it, but when I realized the whole chimney was going to go, I climbed down to warn you not to go outside for a bit. Only it followed me down before I could knock on the door."
"I think it came down inside as well," she told him, relieved that he hadn't been hurt. "It sounded like the Thunderdome opened up a location in our dining room."
The corner of his mouth might have curved the slightest bit for the briefest of moments at her Mad Max reference, but she wasn't sure because a second later he was shaking his head, his jaw flexing, possibly due to the words he looked ready to mutter, but didn't, in deference to her presence. "I'll head in and check that out, but you'll all need to use the front entrance to the house until I give the all clear."
Hannah nodded her assent, then grew worried again. "Wait, Vivi went to check the dining room fireplace. Should she not be in there? Is there a chance —" But Will was already moving her safely inside the enclosed veranda, then letting her go and heading through the door into the kitchen. She followed right behind him. "Stay here," he told her in a tone that left zero opening for argument, then cut through the spacious kitchen toward the arched doorway that led into the formal dining room. "Ms. Baudin," he called out as he went. "You shouldn't be —"
Vivi met him in the arched doorway, bringing him up short. "I'm fine, I'm fine. And I believe I've mentioned, it's Vivienne," she told him. "Or Vivi. Sounds like you're calling my mama otherwise. God rest her soul."
Hannah's worry immediately lifted. She hid her amusement at the abashed look on Will's dirt-streaked face. A moment ago he'd looked like a five-star general commanding the troops. Only Vivi could reduce a general to a chastised schoolboy.
"Sorry, ma'am." At her perfectly arched eyebrow, he said, "Miss Vivienne."
Vivi accepted the polite, southern form of address with a smile and a regal nod that did her showgirl background proud. She always carried herself as if she was casually balancing a thirty-pound headpiece. In heels. "As I was about to say, it appears half the chimney is now filling the fireplace grate and a good part of the stone hearth. What on earth happened?" "It collapsed," Hannah said. "Almost took Will with it."
Vivi's eyes traveled from Will to Hannah, paused consideringly, then moved back to Will. "You're okay, though?"
Will nodded. "The stonework on the front room chimney that I restored first was bluestone veneer on block, redone from the original brick back in the mid-eighties. It was just as stated on the plans I got from the county. Supposedly all four had been redone the same way. Only when I went to repoint the joints on the dining room chimney, I learned — too late — that they had just slapped the stone to the front of the brick, which had been crumbling due to leaks that weakened the structure from the top down. Hence the remodel in the eighties. For some reason, they didn't replace the brick on that one, just put the stone over it. Only whoever did the job didn't do anything to shore up the disintegrating brick joints first. Maybe they thought attaching stone to it would do the trick, and, I'll admit, it's held up for a long time. But once I started to remove the stone, they all started to go. The brick behind the stone essentially crumbled. There was no way to know until the stone being removed revealed the brick, and by then it was already too late."
"Well, I don't see how you could have known otherwise," Vivi said, seeming calm about this unexpected state of affairs. "I'm just grateful you weren't injured. Will you be able to rebuild using the bluestone?"
At the same time, Hannah asked, "Are the other two chimneys like that one? Or the first one?"(Continues…)
Excerpted from "Lavender Blue"
Copyright © 2019 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
A town of artisans, craftsmen, farmers and ranchers didn't grab your attention, then Kauffman’s ability to pen characters that you want as your friends and neighbors, children you can’t help but love and some interesting livestock that puts the icing on the cake. Lavender Blue brings us back to the Blue Ridge Mountains where Hannah Montgomery, a co-owner of a new lavender farm is looking for a new start. When she meets Wilson McCall, the relationship is a bit rocky by Wilson’s emotional scars. Hannah does have her own emotional scars, but I found her outlook refreshing and cathartic and not debilitating as in Wilson’s mindset. Don’t be surprised if you are pulled through the emotional gambit, Lavender Blue slowly peels Wilson’s and Hannah’s heart-wrenching circumstances to the surface but it sure made for some marvelous reading. I received this ARC copy of Lavender Blue from Kensington Books - Zebra. This is my honest and voluntary review.
How do you deal with grief...This story is a contrast of two people who dealt with it very differently, one chose to get stuck in his grief and the other by giving to others. I love the sensitive touch Donna gives dealing with this difficult subject. She gives us a deep, sensitive and emotional story filled with love and healing. Hannah Montgomery lost her son 7 years ago. Wilson "Will" McCall lost his wife/soul-mate about 7 years ago as well. Hannah is in Blue Hollow Falls with 3 friends who met in The Friday Morning Grief Group. They've decided to be "Life Warriors" and dubbed themselves "The Fearsome Foursome". They've chosen to pay tribute to their loved one by being bringers of light, positive thinking and spreaders of joy. Awesome, just awesome! They've gone into business together at Vivi's inherited lavender farm in Kentucky's Blue Mountains and decided to open a Tea House & sell various lavender products at their new venture. Will retired from his career in the military to raise his young son, Jacob now 14 after his mother passed away. He's a very talented stone mason and has bottled up his grief, burying it away undealt with. He's a man of few words and doesn't make friends because he's withdrawn from people. His mother's dear friend Addie Pearl Whittaker, whom we've met in previous books is a font of wisdom in this story and I loved her character dearly. She tells Will that he's got his feelings about Zoey bottled away but they're still fresh because he's never dealt with them. Jake has inherited his mother's gift of singing and Will's of fiddle playing. He's a natural talent and Will can't deal with it. Will used to make beautifully crafted fiddles and perform with Zoey. Will finds himself hurting Jake because he can't watch and cheer Jake on when he performs. Will keeps getting bombarded with grief he doesn't know how to deal with so he closes it off and retreats hurting those around him who care. Then he meets Hannah and is drawn to her joy. There is chemistry between them. Will feels something for a woman for the first time since Zoey. Hannah finds herself pulled toward Will as well but Jake's the same age as her son would have been posing a situation she has to look at. As their relationship grows Will finally opens to Hannah to find how she did the "work" to find joy in her life once again since he feels stuck. She gives him the gift of another way to see things he hadn't considered. I am so glad I rediscovered Donna's author's voice when I ARC read Kate Pearce's Anthology A Season To Celebrate. I'm really looking forward to reading Avery, Cheyenne and Vivi's love stories.
I LOVED, LOVED, LOVED Hannah and Will’s story in Lavender Blue by Donna Kaufman, book three in her Blue Hollow Falls series and I really struggled to put it down; visualizing the beauty of this place through its descriptive words. This is a story of two grieving souls struggling, along different paths after losing a loved one. Grab a box of tissues and curl up while enjoying this wonderful story enriched by friendship, love, grief, humor, and healing. Will McCall, a widower, is a stone mason, learned at his grandfather’s knee. After the death of his wife and also his mother Will left the military returning to Blue Hollow Falls to raise his son. His grief truly broke him, leaving him lost and with living an empty existence. Hannah Montgomery and her friends, also survivors of grief, moved to town to open a lavender farm. Hannah, an illustrator for children’s books, lost her seven-year old son in a car accident, which was also the end of her marriage. Will, repairing the stone work around the old farm house, finds Hannah intriguing and interesting, wanting to spend time with her. Hannah is interested in the quiet, hot man in the white t-shirt. Hannah is the yin to Will’s yang, wanting to help heal the brokenness in Will from his loss. She is the perfect antidote in assisting him move forward, working through those powerful emotions holding Will’s heart hostage and putting it back together again; open to loving another. Will’s teen son Jake, neighbor Bailey and Addie Pearl all play a role in supporting these two in healing as well as a loving relationship. Healing from grief appears in a variety of forms, and love blooms when you least expect it. Ms. Kauffman, a talented story teller, wrote a joyful, funny, tender sweet, emotional and heartwarming tale that is not to be missed. She provided a story rich with sexy banter, a little steam, emotion, and endearing characters not only giving Hannah and Will a chance at having a solid, loving future together but also a wonderful community of supportive friends. I highly recommend Lavender Blue to other readers and look forward to the next book in this outstanding series. I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book.
A wonderful story for two broken souls who take the chance of falling in love again. Hannah has arrived in Blue Hollow Falls to buy a lavender farm and to start a new life. Wilson is a stonemason, that has been hired to fix the chimneys of the farm. Soon a friendship develops between the two but are they both willing to open their hearts up again. Loved these characters, very heartwarming and full of emotion. Loved Will's son, Jake.He is so open to Hannah and Will's friendship that is growing into so much more. Loved this story, so much more than a romance, I highly recommend.
Lavender Blue, the third book in Donna Kauffman's Blue Hollow Falls series, is a wonderful, heartfelt read about dealing with loss, moving on from the past, and being open to finding love again. Hannah Montgomery has come to the Blue Ridge Mountains to start fresh as a partner with three other women in Lavender Blue Farmhouse & Tea Room. The quartet met in a grief group where Hannah was learning to deal with losing her son and, subsequently, her marriage. They formed a unique sisterly bond and decided to tackle new goals, take new risks and jump into life full on. Wilson "Will" McCall, a stonemason and former marine, is working on the renovation of the tea room. A widower, he is raising his son, Jake, as a single parent. Will is attracted to Hannah but feels he would betray his wife's memory to pursue her. Kauffman deftly builds the attraction between Hannah and Will and brings them both out of emotional hibernation. They are helped along by a charming, quirky cast of characters that butt their noses in with the best of intentions. You will also really enjoy Kauffman's descriptive prose that paints visual pictures of the lavender fields and surrounding town. I received a copy from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review
I keep falling in love with the Blue Hollow Falls Series every time I read another book in the series and Lavender Blue is no exception. Here you will get to know Will and Hannah and hopefully fall in love with a fictional town like I have.
It feels like I have been waiting forever for Lavender Blue and Will’s story but in truth, it hasn’t been that long. It is just that this third book of the Blue Hollow Falls series (no worries, it is a standalone, however I cannot imagine NOT reading about this small mountain community) with some novellas in between. For me, Will has stood out from the beginning so I was anxious to read his story and why he was the way that he was. My complaint to the author is that while I fell in love with Blue Hollow Falls, and the main characters of the other stories, I picked a favorite right from the first book. And then I had a second favorite. And then…well, you get the idea. The stories and people just keep getting better and better! Lavender Blue is about Wilson (Will) McCall, his son Jake, and Hannah Montgomery. Hannah was a new character for me; she and some friends (talk about “characters”!) purchase a lavender farm and the story really focuses around the property. That’s where the title comes from. I can’t do the story justice so I will give you some highlights – Will lost his wife oh so long ago, while he was serving overseas. He never had the chance to say goodbye and feels such grief, even after so many, many years. His son Jake…he is such a wonderful young man! Will has done an amazing job of raising him, with the help of the good folks in Blue Hollow Falls. Jake plays a big part in this story, as he should, because Will and Hannah grow closer and a teenage boy in the mix is a pretty big deal. Read LB for the wonderfully woven tale of why and how this comes to be. Hannah and her friends are also dealing with some huge life-changing issues so all the people in Blue Hollow Falls weave themselves into each other’s lives…and of course, stick their nose into the budding relationship between Hannah and Will. I just adore these busybodies! And the animals, well, they play a part as well and I can just picture how soft and cuddly and crazy they are, from the book descriptions. I cannot say enough about Blue Hollow Falls and all the people I’ve come to know and love. Lavender Blue made me read-sniffle again, but in an entirely good way, and I missed everyone when I finished the story. Definitely recommend this book and the entire series. My own paperback arrived today, release day, however I did receive an advance copy of this book from the publisher. This is my unbiased and voluntary review.
In this third book of the series we are introduced to Hannah Montgomery who has, along with three friends, purchased a lavender farm. She is trying to make a new start for herself and hopes to honor the memory of her son at the same time. Enter Wilson McCall a man with his own tragedies and grief to deal with. Wilson has been hired to fix several items in the house that comes with the farm. As time goes by and the two spend more time together Hannah is able to bring some laughter into Wilson's life. The two feel a connection but will their grief be to much of a barrier or will they be able to break through and both find true happiness. Along the way she realizes that she must heal herself if she will ever be able to move forward and share happiness with another. Will Wilson come to such a realization or will his grief get the better of him? This was such a charming and heartfelt read that will have you crying, laughing and rooting for love.
This book was packed full of emotion. Grief, anger, love, panic and friendship all showed up in this book. I'll have to admit it started off kind of slow for me, but I also had lots of distracting life issues going on at the time. I definitely got more into it in the last half of the book. I did love Hannah and Will together. They had both suffered tremendous loss in their lives and were still pretty deep in the grief process. I loved how they were able to help each other through to the point that they could at least see light at the end of the tunnel. Their passionate feelings for each other came as a surprise to them...a lovely surprise. The building of that passion and emotional feelings were accomplished in a superb fashion by Kauffman. I was totally vested in their relationship. This book made me laugh and cry. As always, the secondary characters were well developed by Kauffman and very interesting in their own right. Love must come to them as well--and I can't wait!
I have been looking forward to reading Will's story since I first “met” him in Blue Hollow Falls. In the previous books of this series, we were able to get a glimpse of the person Will is and the past grief that he has endured. In Lavender Blue, we get to know Will on a much deeper level. As always, Donna Kauffman develops such a depth in her characters that you feel connected to them and their story. Lavender Blue addresses the heartache of two different people who, prior to meeting, have taken different approaches to grief. However, nothing prepared me for how emotionally gut-wrenching Lavender Blue is. I was crying almost the whole time. This book really brings to light to the question "is love worth it?" and the answer is "yes!" I also love the new set of characters she has introduced in Lavender Blue! I can't wait to read their stories next. Get it! Read it! I bet you won't be able to put it down.
I feel like every time I review one of Donna's books I say it was my favorite, but I think this may really be my favorite. Though part of the Blue Hollow Falls series it can be read as a stand alone. I knew after hearing more of his story in Bluestone & Vine that widower, Will McCall's story was going to hurt my heart a little and I was right. Immediately after meeting Hannah Montgomery and learning about her background and own experience with grief I knew that she could be the one to help put Will's heart back together again. Hannah and her friends (also survivors of grief) moved to town to open a lavender farm. I'm hoping that we get to find out more about the friends in future stories. We get to reconnect with Will's son Jake and with neighbor Bailey (who is just delightful). I love all of the intricate details Kaufman included about processes, whether stone-masonry, lavender picking, wood working, farming or painting. I feel like I could attempt some of these things after learning about them in this novel. This book was emotional and heart wrenching at times but also breathtakingly beautiful. Having experienced tragedy in my own life I feel like I would have better learned how to handle by grief from reading this story than the countless books on grief I consumed over the past 10 years. I really resonated with both characters and while watching them attempt to heal themselves also found a great deal of healing myself. Grab a box of tissues, grab a blanket and hunker down to enjoy this wonderful story full of love, grief, humor and healing.
Wonderfully sweet and heartwarming. It's a story of two lost souls who have suffered great loss and are trying to find their way through the grief. Hannah Montgomery has come to Blue Hollow Falls to start over along with three friends. Together they have bought a lavender farm Wilson McCall is working on the farm when he meets Hannah for the first time. He's a widower left to raise his teenage son on his own. It's been years since he lost his wife but he's never moved on. Now Hannah is stirring his heart back to life. These two quickly form a friendship but it's not long before they are both yearning for more. Trusting and loving again may be more than either of them can handle though. Beautifully written with many emotional highs and lows. Don't miss this must read. I highly recommend it.
Lavender Blue by Donna Kauffman .... This is the 3rd book in the Blue Hollow Falls series and I want to thank the publisher and #NetGalley for letting me preview and review this book. Will ( a widower who came back to Blue Hollow Falls to raise his son Jake) Hannah ( a mother who is dealing with the loss of her young son Liam.. and starting a new business with three friends..on a lavender farm) Donna does a great job of pulling you into the book and keeping you there. There are tears, laughter, angst, some steamy stuff all leading to a very HEA. I can't wait for the next book in this series. Reasons I enjoyed this book: Steamy Funny Happily Ever After Romantic Entertaining Page-turner Wonderful characters Tear-jerker Easy-to-read Original Great world building
4.5 - "Here is my truth..." Stars! We return to Blue Hollow Falls for the third book in the series; Lavender Blue. Donna finally gives the readers widower Will McCall’s story, this is a guy who has intrigued from the beginning, and the author has kept the information release in regard to him and his son Jake, at more of a slow trickle rather than a steady flow. Which essentially means I have been itching to read this book since before it was even written! "It’s hard… Asking for help." I knew before starting that Lavender Blue would be an emotional read. The one thing you do get to know about Will if you have read the previous books in the series, is that apart from his apparent love for his son, this is a man that keeps his emotions about everything firmly on lockdown. Not one to waste breath on words either, so if one word will suffice as an answer you won’t find him spilling unnecessary sentences if the conversation doesn’t require it. They were not going to be wallowers. They were going to be warriors… Life warriors. Hannah Montgomery, and her friends Vivi, Avery and Chey are new to the area, having bought a rundown farmhouse and the surrounding lavender fields, the four women are looking for a fresh start, opening new businesses and moving on with their lives. The one thing that binds them all – Grief, each of them has suffered loss, and they have built the foundations of their friendship by giving each other the strength they need when they are struggling with their losses. Something that also draws Hannah to Will, and vice versa. His one baby step forward today had turned into a full on marathon and he wasn’t quite sure how he felt about any of it… Although a romance, this is also a story about learning to live with loss, and move on from grief. Hannah you could almost say has embraced hers, while Will has locked it away in a box, and refused to deal with it. But it’s starting to now have an effect on his relationship with his son, and seeing how Hannah deals with her loss gives him hope and the push that he needs to open up and try to deal with the loss of his wife all those years ago. This can always be a tricky subject in relation to writing a romance where a dead spouse plays a part, but I think because the author touched upon Will’s guilt for having feelings for another woman other than his wife, it wasn’t overplayed, I think the length of time passed also helped in that regard as well, because although the grief for him is still fresh the loss of his relationship isn’t. The whole thing had felt healthy, natural, and very real… Not the fluffiest of reads, but then I wasn’t expecting it to be, Jake added the light to Will’s dark, and Hannah’s openness made it easier to digest the loss she was dealing with too. The romance isn’t heavy in this one, but when it came, it was touching, sweet, emotional and Will was everything I expected him to be in regards to how he treated Hannah. "Sometimes three really is the perfect size crowd…" According to Amazon Lavender & Mistletoe is the next book due for release from the series, which is in September, I am hoping that we do get to return to Blue Hollow Falls before then though, because this is a series I am coming to love more and more with each new addition to it.