The First Kiss of Spring (Eternity Springs Series #14)

The First Kiss of Spring (Eternity Springs Series #14)

by Emily March

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781250131706
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Publication date: 02/27/2018
Series: Eternity Springs Series , #14
Pages: 368
Sales rank: 111,507
Product dimensions: 4.10(w) x 6.60(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Emily March is the New York Times, Publishers Weekly, and USA Today bestselling author of over thirty novels, including the critically acclaimed Eternity Springs series. Publishers Weekly calls March a "master of delightful banter," and her heartwarming, emotionally charged stories have been named to Best of the Year lists by Publishers Weekly, Library Journal, and Romance Writers of America. A graduate of Texas A&M University, Emily is an avid fan of Aggie sports and her recipe for jalapeño relish has made her a tailgating legend.

Read an Excerpt

CHAPTER 1

Home.

Caitlin Timberlake exited the Telluride Regional Airport terminal and turned in a slow circle as she feasted on the scene. Colorado's Western Slope was a world of jagged, rocky mountain peaks, of icy-cold streams that burbled and frothed and grew silvery fish that tasted like heaven when cooked over a campfire for breakfast. The San Juan Mountains in summertime presented a banquet of color — hills of green and gold; red rocks and alpine meadows blanketed in wildflowers of pink, blue, purple, and yellow, all presenting majestically beneath an azure sky.

Home.

She filled her lungs with clean mountain air, smelling pine and fir and forest, and tension melted from her bones like snowfall in spring.

Home.

For the better part of eight years, she'd lived in New York City, hustling and bustling and busting her butt as a textile designer, trying to build a life for herself. She specialized in fabric design for bedding and while she liked the creative aspects of the job, work fulfillment remained elusive. After all, pretty bedspreads would never change the world, and Caitlin wanted her work to matter. She wanted her life to matter.

Caitlin's discontent had been born in the moment when she'd learned that her brother Chase had gone missing in a war-torn part of the world, and it had grown in the weeks that followed. His safe return home hadn't squelched the emotion. She'd discovered too much about herself and her wishes and desires during that troubling time.

Primarily, she'd recognized that she'd spent too much time living thousands of miles away from those she loved. It had taken her some time to figure out what she wanted to do about it and even more time to make the decision to act. A few significant hurdles remained in her way, but she was closer than ever before to becoming her own fairy godmother and making some of her wishes come true.

She exhaled loudly, grinned, and announced, "Hello, Colorado. I've missed you."

She'd have sworn she heard the wind whisper back, Welcome home, Caitlin.

"I'm doing the right thing," she told herself. Now if she could only convince her mother of that fact.

Well, that was a battle for another day, one after she'd cleared her hurdles and had her fairy wand in hand. Today it was time to shift into bridesmaid mode.

Caitlin had flown to Denver yesterday after work and spent the night in an airport hotel. This morning's flight into Telluride had landed right on time, and the hotel shuttle was waiting for her. After wrestling with her purse, her tote, her computer case, and two suitcases stuffed to overflowing with necessities for her role as bridesmaid, she wanted to kiss the friendly van driver who introduced himself as he took the burdens off her hands.

The fact that Will Gustophsen was cute and about her age didn't hurt, either.

A year ago when her college friend, Stephanie Kingston, asked her to be a bridesmaid at her destination wedding, Caitlin hadn't hesitated to say yes. She just wished she'd known sooner about all the stuff Steph needed her to bring with her and she'd have shipped it ahead.

"You here for an extended stay?" Will asked as he lifted a suitcase into the back of the van.

"Because I have so much luggage?" Caitlin smiled ruefully and explained, "I'm here for a wedding."

"Ahh. In that case, you travel light."

With the luggage loaded, she climbed into the shuttle and, as the only passenger, had her pick of seats. She buckled her seat belt, then settled back for what should be a short drive to her hotel.

As the driver turned onto Last Dollar Road and headed down the big hill he asked, "Where are you from?"

"Here. Well, not Telluride. I grew up in Denver. But I went to college in Tennessee and moved to New York City after graduation."

"Should I offer my congratulations or condolences?"

Caitlin laughed. "I'm glad I had the experience. I'm ready to come home, though."

"Back to Denver?"

"No." Her gaze focused on the small town nestled into the valley below. "I've developed a fondness for mountain towns."

Will Gustophsen glanced into the rearview mirror and wagged his brows flirtatiously. "Please tell me you're moving to Telluride."

His obvious interest soothed the spot on her heart still achy from a breakup last Christmas. Doug Wilkerson hadn't broken her heart when he dumped her, but he had bruised it. "I doubt it. This place is a little too pricy for me. Besides, I have family in Eternity Springs."

"That's a nice little town, but then so is this. It's possible to live here without breaking the bank. You just need to be smart about it." He launched into a Telluride pitch that sounded as if it had been written by the Chamber of Commerce.

Caitlin couldn't argue with him. The scenery was spectacular and the activities he rattled off sounded inviting. As they approached her hotel in Mountain Village, the pedestrian-friendly, European-style planned resort community built above Telluride and connected to the historic mining town by a gondola lift system, she was anxious to get out and explore. She'd been a kid the last time she'd visited this part of Colorado, and she was sure the place had changed. She had a few hours to kill before meeting Stephanie for a drink, so this was her time to play tourist.

"I get off work at six," Gustophsen said. "I'd love to show you around. Buy you dinner."

"Thank you," she responded, meaning it. Having a cute guy hit on her was nice. "But I'm afraid I already have plans this evening. The bride arrives this afternoon and the weekend is jam-packed from there."

He gave an exaggerated sigh. "Always my luck."

The friendly chatter continued until they arrived at the hotel. After he wrestled her luggage from the van and gave her his number in case her plans changed, she gave him a large tip and thanked him for the hospitable welcome.

Caitlin checked into her room and spent some time answering a few of the unending stream of work-related e-mails. She would miss a few things about her job. The mountain of e-mails that required her constant attention wouldn't be one of them.

With her professional fires put out, she shut her laptop with a satisfied thump, grabbed a hat and sunscreen, and left the hotel. She walked around Mountain Village a bit and was suitably impressed with the style and elegance of the resort town. However, she didn't feel quite at home until she took the gondola down into Telluride and wandered up and down the streets, reading historical markers and inspecting the shops, comparing them to those in another small, historic mining town near and dear to her heart.

Eternity Springs might not have a gondola and ski runs, but the bakery, handmade soap shop, and Christmas store could definitely hold their own against these. People came from all over the country to shop at Vista's art gallery and Whimsies glass studio, and her mother's Yellow Kitchen was the best five-star restaurant in Colorado.

She couldn't wait to be there.

She ate lunch at the Thai spot that her driver had recommended, then indulged in a chocolate ice cream cone for dessert. Taking a seat on a park bench near the gondola station, she savored her treat and people-watched.

The town was bustling this August weekend with tourists and locals alike out enjoying the afternoon sunshine. She grinned as a pair of preteen boys whipped past her on mountain bikes, their mud-caked clothing providing as much evidence of a fun-filled, reckless ride down the mountain as did the joy in their smiles.

Too bad her weekend was packed with wedding activities. She wouldn't mind giving that a try herself. She was impressed by the way the ski resorts had found ways to attract vacationers, athletes, and daredevil fourteen-year-old boys during the off season. Such was the way little mountain towns became tourist destinations and supported thriving economies throughout the year.

She knew that such success didn't happen on its own. She'd had a front-row seat during the revitalization of Eternity Springs and saw how people had worked together to make it happen.

Eternity Springs. It's funny how the little town called to her. It wasn't even home. Not the home of her childhood, anyway. She'd never even visited Eternity Springs until her parents lost their minds and separated after she went off to college at Vanderbilt and her mother ran away from home.

The ringing of her cell phone interrupted her thoughts. She dug the phone from her backpack and checked the number and the time. Stephanie. They were due to meet up in Mountain Village in half an hour. "Hello, bride."

"Hey, Cait. You won't believe what happened. Our plane out of Logan was late and we missed our connection. We won't get to Telluride until late tonight."

"Oh no." Potential ramifications of such a delay flittered through Caitlin's mind. "What did you have scheduled for today? What can I do to help?"

"It's all covered. I built extra time into the schedule, thank goodness. I'm just really disappointed that you and I won't have our girl-time this afternoon to catch up, and of course, missing dinner with George and Nathan. Nathan was really looking forward to spending some time with you before we dive into wedding business. Tomorrow will be jam-packed."

Stephanie had been trying to set Caitlin up with her work friend ever since Doug dumped her. However, the guy's Instagram was a total turnoff and Caitlin simply wasn't interested. Unfortunately, Stephanie was a terrier when she set her mind to something, and she'd decided Caitlin and Nathan were made for each other — despite the little issue that she lived in NYC and he in Miami.

This plane delay might be a blessing, Caitlin decided. "Don't worry about it, Steph. You and I will both be at Marsha's wedding in October. We can have a nice long visit then."

"That's true. And maybe you and Nathan can find time to grab a drink together tomorrow. It might fit after our spa appointments and the guys' round of golf. I don't want you to miss the opportunity to meet him. Telluride is such a romantic place."

Caitlin closed her eyes and worked to keep the sigh out of her voice as she said, "Telluride is beautiful, Steph. It's a gorgeous place to have your wedding. And the weather for Saturday is supposed to be spectacular."

They discussed arrangements for meeting the following day. Before ending the call, Stephanie said, "If you happen to meet a tall, dark, and handsome stranger tonight, feel free to invite him to the wedding. I had six last-minute cancellations, and I've already paid for the meals."

"I thought you have your heart set on me and Nathan."

"I do, but it never hurts for a guy to have a little competition."

Thinking about her lack of a love life put a damper on Caitlin's day. Maybe she should have taken the shuttle driver up on his offer, after all. As luck would have it, as soon as she slipped her phone into her backpack, her gaze landed on a couple about her age, holding hands and stealing kisses as they walked along the sidewalk. This time, she couldn't hold back her sigh.

She was alone. Again. Still. How was it that she could live and work in a city of more than eight million people and always feel alone? Even when she was dating someone? But she did feel alone and she was tired of pretending otherwise. Tired of pretending, period. Hadn't she been partially relieved when after eight months of dating, Doug sat her down and gave her the "just friends" talk?

Thinking about relationships while sitting in a mountain town caused her thoughts to drift back toward her parents. In hindsight Caitlin could see that she shouldn't have been so hard on her mom when Ali ran off to Eternity Springs. If Ali Timberlake's feelings back then had been anything like those Caitlin experienced now, then Cait could better understand her mom's actions. Ali had tried to explain, using terms like "lack of fulfillment," "yearning for more," and "unwillingness to settle." Caitlin hadn't wanted to hear what her mother had been trying to say. For a while, neither had her father.

But Ali hadn't let anyone stop her, had she? She'd left Mac, left Denver, and eventually opened a restaurant in Eternity Springs. She'd made new friends and a place for herself in the community. In proving to herself that she could live without Mac, Ali had realized that was the last thing she wanted to do. Living alone in Denver, Mac had come to a similar conclusion.

"And all was well that ended well," Caitlin murmured, tearing her eyes away from the lovers. Guess her parents hadn't lost their minds when they separated, after all.

Caitlin polished off her ice cream, licked her sticky fingers, and decided she'd had enough sightseeing. She'd go back to the hotel, maybe change into her swimsuit and do a few laps in the indoor pool. Shoot, maybe she'd change her clothes and rent a bike and act like a fourteen-year-old boy.

Making her way to the gondola entrance, she took a place at the end of the line. A group of college-age tourists fell in behind her, laughing, talking loudly, smelling strongly of weed.

Caitlin stepped forward and as the gondola attendant opened the cabin door for her to climb inside, the constant stream of foul language coming from two girls behind her put her off. She stepped aside. "I'll let them go first."

They giggled and stumbled and f-bombed their way into the cabin. The attendant met Caitlin's eyes and rolled his, then shut the door.

As she watched the next cabin approach, a male voice spoke behind her. "This is one of the pet-friendly cabins. I hope you don't mind sharing with my dog?"

Caitlin glanced over her shoulder and saw a tall man with sun-streaked dark hair and striking high, defined cheekbones. But it was his eyes that demanded a woman's attention. Framed by long, thick lashes, they were the color of a stormy spring sky, and they were mesmerizing. She stared into them just a little bit too long.

What had he said? His dog. "I love dogs."

Embarrassed, she finally jerked her gaze away from those fabulous eyes and toward his dog. Because he'd asked if she minded sharing, she expected to see a big, hairy, scary-looking dog. Instead, she saw a pretty miniature long-haired red dachshund with her hind legs propped up by a doggie wheelchair.

* * *

The hot blonde went gooey. They always did. It was one of the few perks Josh Tarkington had found of being the owner of a dog with a broken back.

"Oh no." Her moss green eyes softened, her bee-stung mouth rounded. "What's wrong with him?"

"Her," Josh corrected as the cabin arrived and the attendant opened the door for them. "She's a girl. She jumped down from a sofa and hit wrong. She's paralyzed from the middle of her spine down."

"That's so sad," the blonde said, stepping into the cabin and taking a seat.

"She's actually a happy girl." Josh scooped up the dog and wheelchair and set her on the seat opposite the woman. He shrugged out of his backpack, sat beside his dog, and smiled at his gondola companion. "The woman who owned her at the time of the accident said Penny was depressed for about three days, but after that she recovered her usual sunny disposition."

A large group of children and adults asked to wait for the next cabin since they traveled together, so the attendant shut the door with Josh and the blonde as the only passengers.

"Her name is Penny?" she asked.

He nodded, and when the woman extended her hand to let the dachshund sniff her, Josh noticed she wore no ring on her left hand. "Copper Penny. I'm Josh, by the way."

She lifted her gaze from the dog and smiled at Josh brightly. "Nice to meet you, Josh. My name is Caitlin."

"Are you a local, Caitlin, or are you visiting?"

"I'm here for a college friend's wedding. I live in New York. How about you?"

"I'm playing tourist here this weekend. This is my first trip to Telluride."

"It's the first time I've been in years. It's gorgeous here, isn't it?"

"Definitely." Josh said it without looking away from her.

Judging by the flutter of her smile and sudden shift of her gaze, his subtle flirtation did not go unnoticed. Caitlin returned her attention to the dog and asked, "So, how long have you had this precious Copper Penny?"

"Not quite a month. Her owner had to move into an assisted living center that doesn't allow dogs, so she asked our local vet to find Penny a home. I'd gone to the adoption center to get an appropriately manly dog. I'm still not sure how I walked out with a crippled doxie."

"Obviously, you needed a little good luck."

Josh needed a couple of seconds to make the connection. "Ah, as in 'See a penny, pick it up?'"

"And all the day you'll have good luck," Caitlin finished.

(Continues…)



Excerpted from "The First Kiss of Spring"
by .
Copyright © 2018 Geralyn Dawson Williams.
Excerpted by permission of St. Martin's Press.
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.

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The First Kiss of Spring 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 37 reviews.
gaele More than 1 year ago
Eternity Springs does it again – taking the bruised, broken and fearful and restoring hope, love and courage to its citizens. Caitlin has returned home after years designing textiles: she’s braving her parents’ displeasure to open a Day Care center in town. She wants to be home and close to family after her brother’s near-loss as a photojournalist, and she’s itching for a new challenge. Her first trip back to Colorado nearly a month earlier, she met a man and his wheelchair-bound dog, Penny, and it awoke a sense of possibility and excitement in her for the next chapter: new career, new business, new love, marriage and family of her own. No one was more surprised than Caitlin when she is locked in a secret room in the house she is looking to convert to her daycare, only to be rescued by the man she met a month ago, his grey eyes and the overwhelming chemistry are just as strong. Josh has had a rough life: we are treated to much of his thoughts and feelings on his past through journal entries: these give us a sense that he’s got plenty he hides from everyone around him, and helps to show why he claims to want no attachments or relationships where others count on him. Unfortunately for him, the existence of Penny the paralyzed dachshund with her custom-made wheeled buggy and necessary daily physical care she requires belies that statement. And, this is where Caitlin decides that she will change his mind: Josh is the one for her – she knows this as well as she knows there will be snow in winter, and she is determined to convince him. Slowly and surely, we see Josh and Caitlin start to fall for one another: she’s far more aware of her developing attachment and her love for him –his own self-esteem issues, guilt and secrets that he fears will get out and destroy him yet again, combined with his own sense of being ‘bad luck’ for those around him have the two separating: heartsick and battling demons, until sense, time and some potential tragic news for Caitlin brings them together again. March skillfully wove the issue of abuse and addiction into Josh’s story and attitude, from true tragic events that happened to send him into drugs and alcohol to retreat, to his own shame, guilt and sense of ‘wrongness’ in what he sees as weakness and an inability to overcome his family history. From his own real fights and fears to those he brandished before him to keep Caitlin away, his character and caring nature showed through more clearly to everyone who encountered him. These two make a lovely couple – both before they both realized they were in love and after: their own desires and wishes for the future almost mirror one another, and it’s only when the need to ‘direct’ things (from both sides) is less important than the need to be together, do we see just what a formidable and perfect match they are. I received an eArc copy of the title from the publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.
GratefulGrandma 6 months ago
I love a small town romance and this series fits the bill. I have read several books in this series and even though I have read them out of order, and not read them all, I never have an issue following the story. The first time Caitlin and Josh meet, they are sharing a gondola ride, with Josh's dog, Penny, who uses a wheelchair after breaking her back. When there is a major power outage, they are stuck for several hours together before getting rescued. They get to know a bit about each other and the next thing you know, Caitlyn has invited Josh to be her plus one at a wedding she is standing up in. As the story progresses, Caitlyn decides that she wants to marry this man, he on the other hand, does not want a commitment. He is looking for a friend with benefits. I liked the way this book is written. Each chapter opens with a journal entry taking us into the past of one of the characters. We do not know who wrote these journals. This adds some angst to the story as these memories contain issues with child abuse, suicide and drug addiction. The romance plays out quickly at first, then due to situations in the story, it looks like it may not pan out. Their journey is rocky, there are family issues and secrets that come out that cause problems that must be dealt with. Like most second chance romances, they must review their life choices, often starting something new, move back home and listen to their hearts as well as to each other. There is so that happens in this story which makes it an enjoyable story. I recommend this one to anyone who enjoys contemporary and/or second chance romances. I requested and received a copy of this book from the pubisher, St. Martin's Press, to read. The rating, ideas and opinions shared are my own.
Anonymous 10 months ago
I love all Eternity Springs stories. Because of these stories, I wish I could live in a small, caring town.
Meemo_B More than 1 year ago
Thanks to Netgalley and St. Martin's Press for providing a copy for an unbiased review. This book was a bit of a one-off for me for a couple of reasons. (1) I rarely like to jump into the middle of a series - I do love a good series, but I like to start at the beginning and read through in order. (2) I tend to shy away a bit from books that I think may get to be a bit too sweet or uplifting. “Eternity Springs” - it just sounded a bit too inspirational for my taste, especially when there’s a whole series. I figured it’s probably just not for me. But I’d heard a lot about this series from some of my bookish friends, so requested the ARC as a way to give it a try. And much to my surprise, I thoroughly enjoyed it. Not overly sweet, not overly uplifting, just a nice love story, with a bit of mystery about the background of the male lead, and most of the predictable miscommunications etc that go with romances. And a lot of fun, interesting recurring characters that I’ll be seeing again (and again) as I go back and start the Eternity Springs series from the beginning. Yep, I’m hooked. I guess that’ll teach me to judge a series by its name!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Best series ever!
JenniferSchultheisJS More than 1 year ago
The First Kiss of Spring by Emily March is part of the Eternity Springs series but can certainly be read as a standalone. Readers that love contemporary romance will love this author and this book! While Caitlin attends her best friend’s wedding she meets Josh. A fling between them would be perfect, but when Josh finds out where Caitlin is from, he stops things from getting out of hand. Josh and Caitlin could really be something special but Josh has secrets. He keeps his past locked away, but when Caitlin decides to come back to Eternity Springs and follow her dreams, she also decides she wants Josh to be part of her new life. Can Josh share his fears with her and open up to Caitlin? Filled with heartwarming moments, vulnerable characters who aren’t perfect, and emotional entanglements, The First Kiss of Spring will keep you turning the pages!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
As I love all of the Eternity Springs books!
gmcootie More than 1 year ago
Whoa, just whoa. The First Kiss of Spring is my first visit to Eternity Springs. Judging by the cover and the blurb I thought this was just going to be a sweet romance, something good for a weekend read. Well, let me tell you, I was wrong. The very first page - Journal Entry - showed me that this story was going to have some teeth and some secrets. It was sweet, very, very sweet, but it also had heartache and painful pasts and fear of moving forward. Josh Tarkington and Caitlin Timberlake get stuck in the air in a gondola, and the chemistry and easy banter between them is instant. Neither of them is looking for a relationship. Caitlin has recently been dumped, and Josh is convinced he has bad luck with terrible consequences and has vowed to never, ever, ever get involved again. Well, so much for that. Their relationship has a lot of ups and downs and twists and turns. Josh is willing to be "very good friends" and Caitlin sees that as her way to win him over. Neither is prepared for what will happen next. The First Kiss of Spring is the 14th book in the Eternity Springs series. Having read any or all of those books prior to this one would have given me some insight into and backstory on some of the main characters, and believe me, I am going back to the very beginning to catch up. But this is completely satisfying as a stand-alone. The characters are well developed and complete; enough of their history is provided to let you know who they are and how they might behave, and the storyline moves so smoothly you never wonder what you might have missed. As I said, this is a sweet, sweet, story. Josh and Caitlin are perfect together, even if they haven't figured it out yet. We know. And it's fun to watch - the beautiful small-town Colorado setting, the comfortable easiness of their relationship, the hot sex, their surprise when they realize they aren't as in control of their destiny as they thought they were: "Long after she'd drifted off to sleep cuddled against him, Josh stared up at the ceiling. He'd done it. He'd thrown sense out of the window. He'd gone and done the one thing he'd sworn he wouldn't do. He was in love with her. He'd fallen in love with her. Stupidly, ridiculously, idiotically in love with her. Passionately in love with her. He loved her. So what now? Could Celeste be right?" and "She loved him. Madly, truly, deeply loved him, and she'd be lost without him." Aww, who can resist? Not me. I received a copy of this book from the publisher and NetGalley. I loved it, and highly recommend it and the entire series.
Jolie More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed reading The First Kiss of Spring. This book is book 14 in the Eternity Springs series. If you have followed me for long enough, you know my views on picking up books mid-series. They revolved around not being able to understand the different storylines/characters. This book avoids that for the most part. I wouldn’t say that this is a stand-alone book but I would say that if you were to read it, you wouldn’t get lost. The characters from the other books do make appearances but they do not take over the storyline. I knew that there was going to be some serious subjects discussed in this book. When drug addiction was introduced, I did an eye roll. I also said to myself “This is not going to be relatable and the character will be cured“. I was wrong to have that viewpoint. The author did a great job of bringing up that addiction cannot be cured in one rehab session. She portrayed the challenges a recovering addict faces while out in the real world. Also how one misstep can lead to them to relapse. The First Kiss of Spring is set in the fictional town of Eternity Springs, Colorado in the present day. As a first time reader of this series, the author did a great job of introducing the town and the legend of the town. I won’t tell explain the legend. That is something better read. I didn’t like Caitlin at first. She came across as self-centered and childish the first half of the book. Her attitude with her parents rubbed me the wrong way. She acted like a bratty teenager. She even slammed the door when taking off out of the house. Her attitude during that first half of the book factored into my rating. She did grow up during the last half of the book and I started to like her. But I would read those scenes almost expecting the Caitlin from the first half of the book to reemerge. Josh was such an enigma during the first half of the book. He came across as this happy-go-lucky guy who had a disabled dog. But, the author let clues drop that Josh wasn’t as happy as he seemed. When Josh’s background was revealed, I wanted to hug him and cry. He felt that he wasn’t good enough for Caitlin. A feeling that was reinforced by Caitlin’s father every time he saw him. When Josh finally came clean to Caitlin about his past, I wasn’t sure what to expect. Not what happened, that’s for sure. As with every good book, the secondary characters are essential to the book. I loved how the secondary characters played a huge part in this book. But not so big that it took over Josh and Caitlin’s story. Josh and Caitlin’s romance was sweet. Even though I thought that Caitlin was a spoiled brat, she did love, Josh. She didn’t give up on him. He was her other half and she knew it. It took him a bit longer to realize it. Then stuff happened. Bad stuff and it did drive a wedge between them. Caitlin was determined not to let him go or be alone. This is the part of the story I loved. She was the epitome of true love in those scenes. Even down to the “tough love” parts. The sex scenes were hot. I was fanning myself after some scenes. Josh and Caitlin had some crazy hot sex. I can’t get into the end of the book without revealing some major plot points. I will say that the ending was very well written and that the feels were anywhere. The storyline, along with the sub-storylines, were all wrapped up in a way that satisfied me. But, I am wondering if there will be a book 15. I got the feeling at the end of The First Kiss of Spring that this series is not done.
DaniC More than 1 year ago
What first drew me to this book is its lovely cover. I wish my house and yard looked that pretty! I was so taken with the cover that I didn’t realize that THE FIRST KISS OF SPRING is the fourteenth book in the Eternity Springs series. It appears that I have only read 1 other book in this series, so I was a bit worried I would be a little lost. I am happy to say that this book works great as a standalone! Then the book started hitting one of my sensitive issues – child abuse. It didn’t go deep, just touched on it enough to let you know it happened. Thankfully it was not enough to make me stop reading. THE FIRST KISS OF SPRING by Emily March is an easy to read small town, contemporary romance. I enjoyed getting to know the characters. Josh has his own unique issues and reasons not to want to ever get into another serious relationship again. Caitlin is finally following her dreams and she has decided she wants Josh by her side. But how long is she going to have to wait for him? I am happy to say that I liked THE FIRST KISS OF SPRING so much I will be getting some of the others in this series very soon. I can’t wait to see what I missed!
Virginiaw More than 1 year ago
This is a sweet romance with a bit of sex. The story is wonderful. I really enjoyed the characters of Josh and Caitlin. They are both great. They each had some growing up to do right after they met each other. I received a copy of this book from St. Martins Press for a fair and honest opinion that I gave of my own free will.
_NormaJean More than 1 year ago
I love small town stories with strong characters, a fast moving and interesting plot and a little humor. Emily March has covered all the bases in this return to Eternity Springs. Ms. March has the ability to touch all emotions and engage readers in her story. She is a master storyteller. Caitlin Timberlake is a strong woman who returns from working in New York to settle in her hometown. She has a definite plan for her future and the future of the town. Josh Tarkington moves to Eternity Springs from Oklahoma. He has overcome a troubled past to start his own auto repair shop. After surviving several tragedies, he is ready to settle down and live a quiet life . . . A quiet single life. This book follows the rocky romance of Caitlin and Josh. Caitlin wants what most young women want . . . marriage and children. Josh wants to be friends with benefits. I recommend this book to anyone who likes contemporary romance. Ms. March never disappoints. I received a copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. I honestly loved this book!
LynnB888 More than 1 year ago
A heartwarming town, a close-knit family and secrets galore! I was intrigued from the first page. There are two sides to this story. There's the flirty, happy-go-lucky romance that brings a smile to your face often as you read it ... and there's a glimpse into a childhood of terror that through luck and hard choices came out on the other side. It's a little unorthodox of a method of giving us past recollections, and a tad confusing, but the overall story line was rich. The characters were really easy to fall for and the outlying community of family and friends added enrichment to the story. A satisfying read! A chance meeting at an out of town wedding has Caitlin Timberlake setting her sites on the new man in town ... before she's even relocated! She's ready to leave the big city lights of New York City and head to Eternity Springs, Colorado to be close to her family again and to embark on a new and exciting venture! It doesn't hurt that she met a sexy man who happens to live in the same town! Mechanic Josh Tarkington is all for a casual fling with the vivacious Caitlin, but he's had his fill of hoping for forever, so he's not willing to risk trying again. If she's happy to settle for that, he's her guy! As the story unfolds, we get to know Josh's past and how it shaped him into the person he is today, and why he's so gun shy of life outside his circles.
Lashea677 More than 1 year ago
She's found her man and wants his heart. He knows his limits and doesn't have a heart to give. Emily March goes beyond the romance. Caitlin and Josh are only a tiny piece of a puzzle. There path is full of snow drifts not easily plowed, but waiting to be explored. Amidst the bad choices, heartbreaking moments and personal setbacks, lies a chance at redemption. Eternity Springs is the beginning of the rest of your life. No matter the road travelled, count on Emily March's Eternity Springs to point a wanderer home. The First Kiss of Spring is a sentimental, second chance love song.
MJHughes12 More than 1 year ago
This small-town romance tackles some big issues…but once again Eternity Springs works its magic to keep the hope of love alive. Josh has had to deal with so much in his life. You would think that someone with his background would have an easy life, but instead his is one of darkness and secrets…and has him convinced that bad luck follows him everywhere he goes – so much so he won’t even consider opening his heart to someone and dragging them into the “quagmire of misfortune and bad luck that sucked at his shoes wherever he went.” Caitlin has decided to come home and follow her dream of opening her own business. Even though she knows she will have to face disappointment from her parents, she misses Eternity Springs and knows that the path to her happiness is returning home. When she meets Josh in Colorado at a wedding and finds out he lives in Eternity Springs, she also gets the feeling that he may be part of that path. From the first moment Josh and Caitlin lock eyes, you can feel the heat between these two. I never doubted the connection these two had, but some of their story was a bit dark and dealt with some serious and troubling issues. Josh’s past has come to rule his present, and although Caitlin has worked her way into his life, he can’t move forward until he comes to terms with his issues. This love story is not one for the faint of heart, but seeing these two finally come together was so satisfying. There was a lot going on with Josh’s past and at times it seemed to slow the story down, but the end result was worth it all. As usual in Eternity Springs, the town and its residents play a big part in this story. And my favorite, Celeste, was full of good advice and introspect. Emily March has crafted such an endearing small town in Eternity Springs, one that makes me wish I could find it on a map so I could move there. Although there was a bit of darker material in this book, the hope and magic of the town were there to help Josh and Caitlin find the happy ever after. Another wonderful read!
RomanticReadsandSuch More than 1 year ago
From the very first meet-cute to the HEA ending, I adored this book!  It's packed with real emotion, lovingly mixed with flirtatiousness and fun.  Although I have to say that the blurb kinda gave me the wrong impression.  Based on the description of Caitlin I was expecting someone a little harder and more corporate, but she's not that at all.  The woman is planning to open a daycare and you can't get much gooey-er than that!  She's definitely a lady with a plan, though, and she's not going to let much deter her.  It's so much fun seeing her "lay siege" to Josh.  And readers are going to be absolutely delighted at his struggles as he fights THAT losing battle :)  But Josh does have his reasons for not wanting to get involved - and they are really good ones, the poor guy - but he has it bad.  And though he tries to resist, he'll quickly find Caitlin difficult to ignore.  Unfortunately those demons of his are really hard to shake.  I have to give him massive props for everything he's done so far ... too bad he doesn't see it, too.  Pride, insecurity, and doubt sure can cause a whole mess of trouble.      *Minor spoilers ahead so stop now if you don't want to know any more!*    I will admit that it seemed to me when the going got tough Caitlin didn't fight like I expected her to.  She knows that something is wrong with Josh but her own doubts and hurt feelings get the better of her.  It is suggested that she's not done but her actions don't really back that up.  Luckily Josh gets a little help in figuring things out and proves himself to be the man we know he is, but that it took him a little longer to recognize.  It's so awesome to see and I love him even more for doing it.  (I guess I just really wanted her to a little more soul-searching of her own and find a bit more strength too.)     Full of sweetness and fun, but with a few bumps to make it interesting, The First Kiss of Spring is a real delight.  With her deftness at creating characters to cherish and story-lines that captivate until the very last word, March is continuing to show her fabulous talent.  I am so starting to fall under her spell! (I think this one is a little easier for new readers to follow.  Like A Stardance Summer there are returning characters but enough of this one focuses on the main couple that it makes it easier to jump in.) *** I voluntarily read a Review Copy of this book. All opinions stated are solely my own and no one else’s. ***
CathyGeha More than 1 year ago
The First Kiss of Spring by Emily March Eternity Springs #14 Do you believe in love at first sight? Caitlin Timberlake may or may not have “known” Josh Tarkington was “The One” at first sight but she was definitely sure they were meant to be together very soon after that first meet-cute. I mean, Josh was gorgeous, had a way with words, was fun, adopted a disabled dog, was s*xy and absolutely perfect…well…nearly. He has secrets and no desire for a relationship with strings and is up-front in saying so BUT Caitlin knows what she knows so gave up her job, moved to Eternity Springs, started a business, put her heart on the line and laid siege to Josh’s heart. What I liked: * Josh’s journal entries that gave hints at his past and what he had to deal with * Josh’s character: strength, charm, honesty and openness in not being willing to discuss his past * Caitlin’s openness, warmth, charm and ability to know what she wanted * The effort of both Caitlin and Josh with honest communication that eventually allowed their HEA * The side story of Caitlin’s parents and a medical issue they were dealing with What I disliked: * The childhood Josh experienced * The unwillingness of Josh to be honest with himself, his doctors and Caitlin after his accident * The streak of bad luck Josh had before meeting Caitlin I truly enjoyed this book and with a few days between reading and writing this review I realize how well written it is. The issues Josh had to contend with were not easy and though some reviewers felt they were glossed over I don’t agree. I believed in Josh and knowing gradually learning just what he went through made me understand him and his beliefs and needs as well as his unwillingness to share unless he truly trusted someone. Did I like this book? Definitely Do I recommend this book? Yes Will you like this book? My guess is yes but every reader’s tastes aren’t the same – if you don’t like the mention of child abuse and overcoming addiction then perhaps you won’t but the story is solid and very well told so perhaps you will. Thank you to NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press for the ARC – This is my honest review. 4-5 Stars
thicks More than 1 year ago
I have completely fallen in love with the residents of Eternity Springs and I couldn't be happier. I have never read this author and as much as I love a small town romance, she has sunk her claws into my heart with this read so I will definitely read more. I love the characters and really love the handling in this story of addiction and it's impact. The characters made this an enjoyable red the addiction and the process made it difficult but so worth it. Josh is a fighter and has been fighting for so long on his own that it was wonderful and less painful watching how this author handled his healing. I love Celeste and know someone who she reminds me up with the same heart and words of wisdom everyone needs and appreciates. And how can I not mention the simple love and acceptance, tenderness and yes naiveté yet all that was needed in just the right way, Caitlyn is awesome and over the top and just what Josh needed. Great story and yes as a standalone you wont need anything else from Eternity Springs but I think I will try to worm my way into more from this author so I can meet more of the residents and get more wisdom from Celeste (not to mention find out about Mac). Awesome read.
thicks More than 1 year ago
I have completely fallen in love with the residents of Eternity Springs and I couldn't be happier. I have never read this author and as much as I love a small town romance, she has sunk her claws into my heart with this read so I will definitely read more. I love the characters and really love the handling in this story of addiction and it's impact. The characters made this an enjoyable red the addiction and the process made it difficult but so worth it. Josh is a fighter and has been fighting for so long on his own that it was wonderful and less painful watching how this author handled his healing. I love Celeste and know someone who she reminds me up with the same heart and words of wisdom everyone needs and appreciates. And how can I not mention the simple love and acceptance, tenderness and yes naiveté yet all that was needed in just the right way, Caitlyn is awesome and over the top and just what Josh needed. Great story and yes as a standalone you wont need anything else from Eternity Springs but I think I will try to worm my way into more from this author so I can meet more of the residents and get more wisdom from Celeste (not to mention find out about Mac). Awesome read.
melissacab6 More than 1 year ago
"The First Kiss of Spring" by Emily March I received a copy of the book from the publisher St. Martin’s Press through Netgalley. This is a book in the series Eternity Springs. Even though this is part of a series it can be read alone. I have read every book in the Eternity Springs series. I love them all for their uplifting stories. Josh and Caitlin's story like the other stories in the series show that everyone has issues and that we can overcome them and that we are not alone. Be prepared to get emotionally involved in the characters. I recommend this book & the entire series.
IrishEyes430 More than 1 year ago
This is the first book I have read by this author and I loved it! Caitlin comes back to her hometown after resigning from her very successful job. She has plans of a new career, unbeknownst to her family. Upon arriving in town, she meets Josh who is the local mechanic. While attracted to each other, neither of them is looking for a relationship. As their friendship unfolds, there are sporadic journal entries yhat provide a clue to Josh’s mysterious past. A lovely heartwarming story!!!
DiiMI More than 1 year ago
His past is one of the best kept secrets in Eternity Springs and Josh Tarkington wants to keep it that way. His greatest fear? His past has cost him dearly and he has vowed never to taint anyone with his affections or to risk having his heart shredded again. Josh didn’t count on a chance encounter with the lovely Caitlin Timberlake who has come home to find that everything she left behind just may be exactly what she needs in her small town. Caitlin is an idealist, perhaps sometimes a little too much and Josh is the guy who finds a gray cloud in front of any silver lining he might dream of. Talk about opposites attracting each other, like moths to a flame, a flame that threatens to burn with both passion and pain! Looking for a sweet romance that has a tsunami of turmoil to overcome? THE FIRST KISS OF SPRING by Emily March satisfies that need for romance, pure and simple. It also satisfies a need to watch two people earn that romance, sometimes the hard way, sometimes by finally being open and honest, taking a chance on love, just one more time and daring to give it their all! Will they find that what they have a chance to live is worth the risks or not? This definitely is a light-hearted romance, but it does have its dark streaks, and there are intense moments of heart wrenching soul searching and love blind, head-in-the-clouds dreaminess. Like I said, two opposites drawn to each other, exploring not only their own feelings but if they have what it takes to take a chance on love together! Expect some very high drama along with that sugar. I received a complimentary ARC edition from St. Martin's Paperbacks. This is my voluntary review!
Robindpdx More than 1 year ago
This was a sweet, well-written book. This book can be read as a standalone story, though it is #14 in the Eternity Springs series. Caitlin and Josh get stuck on a gondola together and realize they are interested in each other. Caitlin sees her encounter with Josh as a sign that she needs to make a major life change, and she moves back to Eternity Springs to open a day care center. She and Josh start dating, but then tragedy strikes and they are tested beyond imagining. I enjoyed this book and look forward to reading more books in this series as well as others by this author.
JennieF More than 1 year ago
ARC for honest review with no compensation received from NetGalley The First Kiss of Spring is a wonderful addition to the series Eternity Springs by Emily March and you don't want to miss it! We find Caitlin Timberlake grew up in Eternity Springs but left for the bright lights of New York City. Now years later she decides to come back home to build a new life which she hope consists of a family, new business and an everlasting love with the mechanic in town...but Josh Tarkington has lots of secrets and has worked so hard to overcome his past but knows that at some point it will come back so having a fling with Caitlin is all he has to offer..no forever love... Can Caitlin show Josh how to overcome his past and heal so they can find their forever love together??
Sheila Lee More than 1 year ago
I will not restate the plot nor reveal any spoilers in this review. Emily March has written another fabulous book! I have read all of her books and have never been disappointed. She has written another winner in First Kiss Of Spring. It is written in an unusual way....a journal entry from an unnamed person followed by a chapter of events featuring Eternity Springs, Colorado. The author gives her characters great depth and does not whitewash their flaws. She addresses some serious issues and delivers a hope for spring. She relies on her gift of words instead of f-bombs and explicit sex scenes. A clean read with a lot of heart. Thank you Emily March for a quality story that leaves you with a HEA ending!