Sometimes going back is the best way to start over
Candy shop owner Charlotte Caine knows temptation.To reboot her life, shed weight and gain perspective, she's passing up sweet enticements left and right. But willpower doesn't come so easily when hell-raiser Spencer Gregory comes back to Hope's Crossing, bringing with him memories of broken promises and teen angst. A retired pro baseball player on the mend from injuryand a damaging scandalhe's interested in his own brand of reinvention.
Now everything about Spencer's new-and-improved lifestyle, from his mission to build a rehab facility for injured veterans to his clear devotion to his preteen daughter, Peyton, touches Charlotte's heart. Holding on to past hurt is her only protection against falling for himagain. But if she takes the risk, will she find in Spencer a hometown heartbreaker, or the hero she's always wanted?
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Charlotte Caine considered herself a pretty good judge of character.
Being morbidly obese most of her life, until the serious changes she had made the past year and a half, had given her an interesting insight into human nature. She wanted to think she had seen the best and the worst in people. Some people pretended she was invisible; others had been visibly disgusted as if afraid being fat might rub off on them, while still others treated her with true kindness.
Given her skills in that particular arena, she liked to play a game with herself, trying to guess the candy preferences of the customers coming into her store. Jawbreakers? Lemon drops? Or some of her heavenly fudge? Which would they pick?
When Sugar Rush was slow, like right now on a lazy July day late in the afternoon, it made a pleasant way to pass the time.
By the looks of the skinny preteen with the too-heavy eye makeup, Charlotte guessed she would pick a couple packs of chewing gum and maybe a handful of the sour balls the kids seemed to love for some reason Charlotte didn't understand.
But she could be wrong.
"Is there something I can help you with?" she finally asked with a smile when the girl appeared to dither in front of the long counter that held the hand-dipped chocolates.
The girl shrugged without meeting her eye. With all that makeup, the dark hair, the pale features, Charlotte was reminded of a curious little raccoon.
"Don't know yet," she answered. "I haven't decided."
She stopped in front of the fudge, her gaze going back and forth between items inside the display.
"The blackberry fudge is particularly delicious today, if I do say so myself," Charlotte said helpfully after a moment. "It's one of my better batches."
The girl looked from the silky fudge to Charlotte. "You made it? For real?"
Charlotte had to smile at the disbelief in her voice. "Cross my heart. The brand-name candy in my store comes from a distributor, but Sugar Rush produced everything in this display case."
She didn't try to keep the pride out of her voice. She had every reason to be happy at the success of Sugar Rush. She had built up the gourmet candy store from nothing to become one of the busiest establishments in the resort town of Hope's Crossing, Colorado. She had two other full-time employees and four part-time and might have to expand that in the future, given the rapid growth in her online orders.
"Wow. That looks like a ton of work."
"It can be." She loved the candy-making part but hated the inevitable accounting required in running a small business. "It's interesting work, though. Have you ever seen anybody dip chocolates by hand?"
Her young customer shook her head even as an older couple came into the store. They had probably come from the big RV she could see parked in a miraculously open spot. She smiled at them as they migrated instantly to the boxed jelly beans displayed against the far wall.
"It's pretty cool. My crew usually starts early in the morning and wraps it up by about noon, when it starts to get too warm for things to set up."
When she first opened the store, Charlotte had made everything herself but she inevitably ran out of inventory by the end of each day. Now she had three people who came to her back kitchen before 6:00 a.m. to hand-dip the sweets. She still made most of the fudge herself, prepared in the traditional copper pots with wooden spoons.
"You're welcome to come watch," she said. "Are you staying in town long?"
"I really hope not," the girl muttered fervently, her expression dark.
"Oh, ouch." Charlotte smiled. "Some of us actually choose to live in Hope's Crossing, you know. We like it here."
The girl fiddled with the strap on her messenger bag adorned with buttons and pins. "Sorry," she mumbled. "I'm sure it's a nice town and all. But nobody asked me if I wanted to move here. Nobody cares what I think about anything."
Sympathy welled up inside Charlotte. She knew very well what it was like to be this age, feeling as if her life was spinning completely out of her control.
Who was she kidding? She had spent most of her life feeling out of control.
"So you're moving here. Welcome! You know, you might discover you really like it. Stranger things have happened."
"I doubt that."
"Give it some time. Talk to me again after you've been in town a few weeks. I'm Charlotte, by the way. Charlotte Caine."
"Peyton," the girl offered and Charlotte had the strange feeling the omission of her last name had been quite deliberate. The fairly unusual first name struck a chord somewhere in her subconscious but she couldn't quite place where she might have heard it before.
"Would you like to sample a couple flavors so you can choose?"
"Is that okay?"
"Sure. We give customers sample tastes all the time. It's quite sneaky, actually. One taste and I've generally hooked them."
Small pieces of the different variations of fudge were arranged in a covered glass cake tray on the counter-top. She removed the lid and after a moment's scrutiny, separated a few flavors onto one of the pretty plastic filigree sample plates she kept for that purpose then handed it to the girl.
"These are our three most popular flavors. Blackberry, peanut butter and white chocolate."
She waited while the girl tried them and had to smile when her eyes glazed a little with pleasure after each taste. She loved watching people enjoy her creations, even though she hardly tried them herself anymore except to test for flavor mixes.
"These are so good! Wow."
"Thanks. I'm glad you like it."
"No. Seriously good! I don't know which to choose. It's all so yummy."
"See why the samples are a sneaky idea?"
"Yeah. Totally. Okay, I guess I'll take a pound of the blackberry and a pound of the peanut butter."
"Good choices." Two pounds of fudge was a large amount, but maybe Peyton had a big family to share it with.
"Oh, and I'll take a pound of the cinnamon bears. I love cinnamon."
Charlotte smiled. "Same here. Cinnamon is my favorite."
She enjoyed finding yet another point of commonality between them. Maybe that explained her sympathy for the girl, who appeared so lost and unhappy.
While Charlotte hadn't been uprooted at this tender age to a new community, she might as well have been. Her entire world, her whole perspective, had undergone a dramatic continental shift at losing her mother. She had felt like she was living in a new world, one where nobody else could possibly understand her pain.
While Charlotte cut, weighed and wrapped the fudge, Peyton wandered around the store looking at some of the Colorado souvenirs Charlotte stocked.
The husband half of the older couple clutched a bag with saltwater taffy while his wife had several boxes of jelly beans in her arms. The two of them moved to the chocolate display and started debating the merits of dipped cashews versus cherries.
Charlotte smiled politely, waiting for the argument to play out. When Peyton approached the cash register, Charlotte held out the bag of sweets.
"Here you go," she said.
"Thanks." Instead of taking it immediately, Peyton reached into her bag and retrieved a hard-sided snap wallet with splashy pink flowers on a black background. She pulled out a credit card and Charlotte spied several more inside the wallet.
She felt a moment's disquiet. Why would a girl barely on the brink of adolescence need multiple credit cards? Had she stolen them? Charlotte wondered fleetingly, but discarded the idea just as quickly.
She had certainly been wrong about people before. She would be delusional to believe her instincts were foolproof. History would certainly bear that out. She had instinctively liked Peyton, though, and didn't want to believe her a thief.
She probably had self-absorbed, indulgent parentsdivorced, more than likelywho thought throwing another credit card at her would fix any heartbreak or trauma.
Charlotte slid the card back across the clear counter. "Tell you what. No charge. Why don't you consider this a welcome-to-Hope's-Crossing sort of thing?"
Peyton's mouth dropped open a little and she stared at Charlotte, obviously astonished by the simple kindness. "Seriously?"
"Sure. It's a gift for you and your family."
At her words, the look in Peyton's dark eyes shifted from incredulity to a quiet sort of despair before she veiled her expression.
"I don't have a family," she declared, her voice small but with a hint of defiance.
Was she a runaway? Charlotte considered. Should she be alerting Riley McKnight, the police chief of Hope's Crossing, so he could help reunite her with whomever she had escaped? With the vague idea of keeping the girl talking so she could glean as much information as possible, she glanced at the other couple and saw they were busy sampling every variety of fudge.
"Nobody at all?" she asked.
Peyton shrugged, the movement barely rippling her thin shoulders inside the T-shirt that looked a size or two too large. "I had a mom but she died last year."
Ah. Maybe that explained Charlotte's instant empathy, that subtle connection she felt for the girl.
"I'm sorry. My mom died when I was about your age, too. Sucks, doesn't it?"
Peyton made a sound that could have been a snort or a rough laugh. "You could say that."
"So who do you live with, then?" she asked with studied casualness.
"My stupid dad," Peyton said and Charlotte felt herself relax. Okay. The girl had a dad. One she wasn't crazy about, apparently. No need to jump to conclusions because she said she had no family.
"Where is your dad?"
She pointed out the door. "He stopped to take a phone call. I got bored waiting around so I came in here."
"No brothers or sisters?"
"No. Just me."
"So you and your dad are moving to Hope's Crossing together?"
"Yeah." Her mouth tightened. "He took a job here even though I told him I didn't want to move. I had to leave all my friends in Portland, my best friend, Victoria, this boy I like, Carson, and the mall and everything. This dumb town doesn't have any good stores."
Charlotte, for one, had hated clothes shopping when she was Peyton's age. Even before her mom died, she had been pudgy, with plenty of baby fat that stubbornly clung on. Afterward, the pounds just piled on until she couldn't find a single thing that fit in any store except what she had considered the fat old lady stores.
Now her favorite thing was to go into a clothing store and actually have choices.
"We have a pretty decent bookstore and a couple nice boutiques that specifically cater to teens. And a killer candy store," she added with a smile.
Peyton didn't look thrilled about any of those offerings. "Yeah. I guess. It's not the same as Portland. I could buy anything there."
Charlotte wasn't sure the shopping options were the measure of what made a good town, but she decided not to offer that particular opinion.
"The good news is, as long as you've got an internet connection, you can still find everything you like. And Denver's only a few hours' drive."
"I guess that's true."
Peyton still didn't look convinced of the wonders of Hope's Crossing. Charlotte couldn't blame her. Change could be tough for anyone, especially a young girl who had no control over her own circumstances.
"Thanks for the fudge," Peyton said.
"You're welcome. Come back anytime. Next time maybe I'll have cinnamon fudge for you."
"You make that? Really?"
"Sure. It's generally something I have only around the holidays but I'll see about a special order."
The small cowbell hanging on the door rang out. Charlotte looked up from Peyton, donning her customary friendly smile of greetingthen the smile and everything else inside her froze when she caught sight of the man who'd just walked through.
Her stomach dived like the time she accidentally wandered into a black-diamond ski run when her older brother Dylan took her up to the resort once.
"There you are." The man was gorgeous, with a square jawline, a slim elegant nose and hazel eyes fringed by long lashes.
Smokin' Hot Spencer Gregory. The cameras and sports magazines had loved him, once upon a time.
"Why didn't you tell me you wanted to leave? One minute you were there, the next I turned around and you were gone."
The curious girl who had tasted Charlotte's fudge with such appreciation disappeared, replaced by a sullen, angry creature who glowered at the man.
"I did," she muttered. "I said I wanted to come in here. I said it like three times. I guess you were too busy with your phone call to notice."
He frowned. "Pey, you can't just wander off. I was worried about you."
"What did you think was going to happen in this stupid town? I was going to die of boredom or something?"
Right now, Charlotte would give anything to be wearing something sultry and sleek. Black, skintight, with some strategically placed bling, maybe. Instead, after all these years she had to face him with little makeup and her hair yanked back into a ponytail, wearing jeans and a simple blue T-shirt, covered by an apron that had Sugar Rush emblazoned across the chest.
At least she wasn't wearing the ridiculous hairnet required while making fudge. Small favors, right?
She had barely registered the thought when the full implications of the moment washed over her like molten chocolate.
Peyton. Peyton. Why hadn't she figured it out?
That's why the name had seemed familiarsomewhere in the recesses of her brain, in the file marked Spencer Gregory that she had purposely buried as deeply as she could over the years, she suddenly remembered Spence had a twelve-year-old daughter. Named Peyton.
And the said Peyton had just mentioned that her father had taken a job in Hope's Crossing and they were moving to town.
Oh. My. Fudge.
Spencer Gregory, the only person on the planet she could honestly say she despised, was back in Hope's Crossing. Permanently.
Why on earth hadn't anybody bothered to tell her this particular juicy rumor? She had to think that, by some miracle, the news hadn't made the rounds yet. Otherwise it would have been the topic of conversation everywhere she went.
The bag with its silvery Sugar Rush logo still lay on the countertop. She picked it up and held it out.
"Here you go," she said to Peyton. Her voice came out cold and small and she widened her smile to compensate.
"Um. Thanks. Thanks a lot." The girl finally reached out and grabbed it and shoved it into her messenger bag.
"How much does she owe you?" Spence reached into his wallet with what one of the women's magazines had once declared the sexiest smile in sports.
If she had known Spence Gregory would be eating some of her fudge, she might have had second thoughts about tossing it around indiscriminately.
What People are Saying About This
Hope's Crossing is a charming series that inspires hope and the belief miracles are possible." Debbie Macomber, #1 New York Times bestselling author
"Small-town sensibilities drive this very sweet romance in which two people learn that everything that makes them good friends makes them easy to love."
-Library Journal on Blackberry Summer
"Thayne's depiction of a small Colorado mountain town is subtle but evocative. Readers who love romance but not explicit sexual details will delight in this heartfelt tale of healing and hope."
-Booklist on Blackberry Summer
"Plenty of tenderness and Colorado sunshine flavor this pleasant escape."
-Publishers Weekly on Woodrose Mountain
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
My experiences with this series are very hit and miss. I like the setting and enjoy Thayne's writing for the most part, but not every book works for me. This one leans more toward the "miss" side of the equation. It's not the characters or their actions this time, it's mostly that the book doesn't quite feel complete. There are several instances in the book where something is mentioned or happens that makes me think I'd missed something--each time I stopped, went back, double-checked--and not once did I find what I was looking for. To add to the unfinished quality of the book, it ends abruptly. VERY abruptly. I kept trying to turn the page only to find there were no more pages to turn! The characters literally reach their HEA point while on their first date. Even for characters with a history, this is a bit of a stretch. Still, I enjoy this series and will come back for more, hoping that the next one works better for me.
Take two teenagers who had rough childhoods and then give them a second chance and you have another great romance novel from RaeAnne Thayne. Hope’s Crossing is filled with remarkable characters who try to do the right thing. It makes you want to see if your own hometown can do the same.
A romance book with turns in it ado over of love very good book to read curled up by the fire
I loved this book! It is absolutely the best in the series. 256 pages of love.
Book five of the Hope's Crossing series is like a long awaited letter about a group of dear friends. This time around we're learning more about Charlotte Caine. Life as a teen-ager who had just lost her mother was very difficult, so she ate away her pain. Unfortunately, life as an obese teen was even harder. As she helped the town's "super jock", Spencer Gregory, with his homework, she fell for him in a big way, but he just saw a good friend. Now Spencer has returned to Hope's Crossing from a stent in big league baseball, where he was a super star before he was injured, but he's returning with his own disgrace of public scandal involving drugs and his dead wife. His 12 year old daughter Payton, is non too happy about leaving her friends either. Once again, Thayne develops serious issues within this love story. "Everybody who went through tough things had to take his own road back. Others could push and guide and help but nobody could chose another's journey for him." Issues of wounded warriors, eating disorders, and self-loathing are developed in extremely interesting ways within this story of community, friendships, hope, and all different forms of love. This series continues to impress me more and more with every book!
This addition to the series is about renewal and redemption. This very intense book involves a hero and heroine who have both experienced some very bad situations in their lives. They not only find healing, but redemption along the road to each other.
I love the characters in this series. They could very well be your neighbors. I'm looking forward to the next book
I got a nice warm and fuzzy reading this book and I was so happy to see these two get their happy ending. - Full review available at BookTrib's website or RomanticReadsandSuch on Wordpress.
Fun series in a small town.
4.5 Star Review In Willowleaf Lane (Hope's Crossing #5) by RaeAnne Thayne, Life has finally started to turn around for Charlotte Caine. She's the proud owner of the busy gourmet candy shop Sugar Rush in her hometown of Hope's Crossing, Colorado. And she has revamped her image, having lost more than eighty pounds over the last few years through diet and plenty of exercise. Charlotte has spent her lifetime being painfully shy and fighting her emotions with overeating. When her brother Dylan almost lost his life in an attack in Afghanistan and had to endure painful surgeries and rehab once stateside, she decided she needed to improve her own life and hold on to every precious moment she has. Even though she feels mentally and physically stronger than she has in probably her whole life, she still feels like that shy, overweight girl who was emotionally wrecked by her high school crush, Spencer Gregory. He was a few years older than her, was friends with her older brothers, and worked at her father's cafe. Charlotte helped him with his writing assignments after school at the cafe when she was fifteen and fell in love with him. Spence seemed to appreciate the help and was always kind to her until she overheard him talking about her to one of his friends. That was the lowest point of her life and helped to shape who she would become. She knew she shouldn't take to heart what an arrogant jock said about her, but it was all her teenage heart and mind could think of. Years later, Charlotte still feels the emotional pain of that day. When Spencer returns to town after a huge scandal ends his pro-baseball career, she has to face him on an almost daily basis seeing how he moved almost next door to her on Willowleaf Lane. His twelve year old daughter Peyton reminds her of herself at that age, having also lost her mom tragically, so she befriends her in the hopes of easing her pain a little bit. But Charlotte isn't ready for the feelings that resurface when she is reintroduced to Spencer for the first time in years. He obviously doesn't recall the heartbreak he caused her which just angers Charlotte more. But as she gets to know him as an adult, not a self-assured teen, she's intrigued by the kind, caring person she sees. He appears completely different than the image the media has sold over the years and she's not sure which version to believe. Spence comes up with an idea to use his position as the director of the new rec center in town to expand it into helping wounded vets. Charlotte is afraid he is just trying to clean up his image but finds that Spence is sincere and comes up with a great plan. She agrees to help him with the project. Every time they meet the intimacy between them becomes more intense, culminating in a powerful kiss. Charlotte can't imagine why he would be interested in her after all this time and downplays the attraction to him just being bored. But it's obvious their feelings are growing stronger. They keep getting thrown together and she wonders if fate is trying to tell her something or if she will just end up heartbroken once he leaves again. Spencer Gregory comes from humble beginnings but worked hard to become a pro baseball pitcher for the Portland Pioneers. Too bad he lost sight of some of the more important things in life along the way. He wasn't able to spend as much time with his daughter Peyton as he would have liked. Now that he's lost his job, thanks to a stint in rehab for prescription pills and a scandal over selling pharmaceuticals to his teammates, he's back in his hometown to take over as the director of the new rec facility. His supermodel wife tragically died about a year ago, leaving him alone to care for Peyton and try to reconnect with her. She's fighting the move to Hope's Crossing and making his life interesting to say the least. Spencer is thrilled when he finds out that his former friend Charlotte Caine lives on the same street where he's renting a house and that she seems to have a connection with Peyton. Having her as a third party seems to lessen some of the tension between he and his daughter. Charlotte has changed in physical appearance considerably but she is still kind and compassionate. He knows she was always beautiful and remembers her gorgeous blue eyes looking at him while helping him with his high school assignments. He's not proud that he was a typical teen and was focused on looks, not personality, but he is definitely not the same person he was back then. Against his better judgement, he tries to pursue Charlotte. He has no idea what he expects to happen, considering he'll probably only be in town for six months, but he can't help himself. He's never felt so strongly about a woman before. Time and again, Charlotte sends him mixed signals, giving in to his kisses one minute and then pushing Spence away the next. He's frustrated and confused until she confesses to overhearing a conversation he had with a friend back in school. He can't believe Charlotte will even speak to him again after that. He then realizes how wonderful a person she truly is and resolves to make it up to her some way, if it takes the entire town to do so. The Hope's Crossing series by RaeAnne Thayne just keeps getting better with every new book I pick up. Her writing is very fluid and descriptive, making it very quick to read, and the characters all are well defined with intriguing backstories. Charlotte and Spencer are no strangers to loss and devastation. Their lives haven't been perfect by any means, but they have both fought to make their way and have worked hard for everything they have. I definitely identified with Charlotte's struggles with her self-image and was happy that she had found the strength to take control of her bad habits and turn her life around. Spence was a little bit harder to love at first, but with every bit of information we learn about the past decade of his life, I found myself better understanding some of the choices he made. I was a little disappointed in the lack of an epilogue to this story, but I'm sure we'll catch glimpses of Charlotte and Spencer in future Hope's Crossing books. Definitely recommended for contemporary romance fans.
The very first book I read by RaeAnne Thayne was Blackberry Summer, the first book in the Hope Crossing series. I will admit I fell in love with the cover first, the covers for this whole series have been beautiful, but when I opened the book and started reading, OH my! I was quickly hooked on Ms. Thayne's work. Since then I have been impatiently awaiting each new release. Willowleaf Lane the fifth book in the Hope's Crossing series and is just as fabulous as the rest of the series. I love small town series where everyone knows everyone else. I also love that most small town romance stories also include the support of the community. Someone is always there when someone in town is in need. I love how they whole community will pull together to help each other out. Charlotte Caine is not thrilled when she finds out that Spencer Gregory, her old crush, is back in town. However his daughter Peyton soon finds a special place in Charlotte's heart. Charlotte feels a connection to Peyton because she lost her mother at a young age just as Peyton has. I love how Charlotte does all these really sweet things to help Peyton feel welcome and make her feel more at home in Hope's Crossing. Peyton has some problems she needs some help dealing with. I admired how Charlotte steps in to help Peyton & Spencer. Charlotte is wonderful woman with a heart made out of gold. I totally loved Charlotte and her willingness to do anything to help her family and friends. Spencer Gregory has been through a lot since high school. His life was going great, he was playing pro ball, everything was wonderful, until everything starts to fall apart. This guy certainly has more then his fair share of bad luck. When he returns to his hometown he fully expects everyone to give him the cold shoulder that he has been receiving else where. It isn't too long until he finds out that he does have a few supporters left in Hope's Crossing. He has plenty of drama that unfolds in his life after he returns home and it's nice he has a few people in his corner. Charlotte does her best not to fall in love with Spence again but the guy is just too darn wonderful to resist. I found it adorable to watch Spencer work trying to get Charlotte's attention and affection. I love reunion stories where the guy realizes the love of his life was right there all along, he just didn't know it. Charlotte and Spencer's story was another fascinating tale that I enjoyed during my recent visit to Hope's Crossing. If you enjoy a touching reunion romance story, a small town romance series, a few dramatic problems, and a just plain enthralling story then you should check this one out. If you haven't read the rest of the series I would highly recommend those as well. So now that I have devoured Willowleaf Lane I will now start my wait for the next fabulous book by Ms. Thayne.
4 STARS I just love the covers of Hope's Crossing books. It is surprising how much a cover makes me want to pick up the book even when it is a ebook. Hope's Crossing is such a nice community coming together and helping each other when they can. I like the idea that Charlotte as she is running past houses she is thinking do they need help or what can I do for them. Great attitude. The plot is that Spencer has come back to run the new community rec center after his professional baseball career is over with a injury and prescription abuse. Then he had two years of everyone thinking he got steroids for other team members. Also his wife suicide some wondered if he murdered her. He wants to get his life back. Charlotte owns a candy store and makes her own fudge and other candy. In the past two years she has lost 80lbs. A young girl enters the shop. Peyton does not want to live in Hope's Crossing. She misses her friends. She starts talking to Charlotte and tastes the different fudges. Peyton tells Charlotte that her mother had died and is living here with her father. Charlotte who's own mother died when she was around the same age gives her the candy she was going to buy as a welcome to town gift. Peyton is shocked that she just gave her the couple of pounds of fudge. Peyton's dad comes into the store and Charlotte recognizes him. But Spencer is shocked when he finds out who she is. Spencer's mom used to work for Charlotte's dad café when she was sober. Charlotte would help him pass English. She is angry at Spencer and is rude to him. Spencer wants to add on to the community rec. program. When Peyton suggest to do something for wounded vets and their family he jumps on the band wagon. It snowballs from there. I got caught up in the story. Did not want it to end. (though I loved the ending). It dealt a little with eating disorders both the opposite of each other. With drugs addiction and wounded soldiers. I thought the issues were touched on just the right amount for the story. Made me think a little about each issue and it was good entertaining book at the same time. It also made me want some of the fudge. I was given this ebook to read and asked to give honest review of it when I was finished by Netgalley. publication: June 25th 2013 by Harlequin HQN 384 pages ISBN:0373777698
I was blessed to recieve an advanced readers copy of Willowleaf Lane. I love this series and with each book it gets better and better. The theme of each book seems to focus on surmounted obsticles however in this installment RaeAnne Thayne has surpassed her ability to bring the characters to life to the point where you REALLY feel the emotion! Great read, great story so grab the popcorn and enjoy
Willowleaf Lane by Raeanne Thayne Like this series because it's so real, the problems, the solutions and the community working together. This one is about Charlotte Caine and she now runs the Sugar Rush, where she makes gourmet sweets. She also has other sweets from other distributors on hand. Spencer Gregory is back in town with his daughter Peyton who stops in to buy chocolate but is given them as a welcome to the town gift. He doesn't realize that they knew one another when she was 15. Then she was much overweight and he wouldn't have given her the time of day. He was the high jock who went on to college and got hurt there. He's back now to be in charge of the rec center that is just being built. She had tutored him so he could pass and go onto college with his sports scholarship. He didn't treat her very well. Love hearing about the plans for the center for injured vets and their families. She realizes he's not in it for the publicity. Nice to learn of the struggles of Peyton and how she fits into everything... Angel of Mercy-just love this and how others in town pull together when they are needed. Loved hearing about beading and books and all the yummy food! Due to Peyton's illness they are drawn together more and she finds out what really happened once he left the town when he was 19. Didn't care for how the book ended and I'm pretty sure there will be more in the series.. I received this book from Net Galley in exchange for my honest opinion
I loved this latest book in the Hope Crossing series. If you love reading about small towns than this series is for you. This is book #5 in the series. The author RaeAnne Thayne sent me a copy of the book for my honest review. Charlotte, Spenser and Peyton have a lot of ups and downs in this book. It will make you laugh and cry. It will make you fall in love with the town Hope Crossing. I hated to see the book end. I hope there will be many more books to the series.
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*moans and unbuttons your pants*