Shawna's Reviews > Willow Springs

Willow Springs by Toni Blake
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Oct 12, 2011

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bookshelves: contemporary-romance, series-destiny, author-toni-blake-lacey-alexander, small-town-lovin, favorite-romance-series, firefighter-paramedic-emt, unrequited-love-crush, friends-to-lovers, arc-review-copy-galley, rt-book-reviews-4-stars, animals-matter, 2012-reads, 3-to-4-stars, angsty-dark-heavy-lotsa-drama, brothers-sisters-cousins-family, childhood-ties-friends-sweethearts, hero-asshat-award-hall-of-shame, hero-attractive-handsome-heartthrob, hero-bad-boy-playboy-player, hero-brooding, hero-i-wanna-smack, hero-beta, hero-nice-guy-gets-the-girl, hero-not-enough-groveling, hero-undeserving-of-heroine, heroine-doormat-spineless-weak, heroine-girl-next-door, heroine-good-girl-nice, heroine-in-pursuit, heroine-makeover, heroine-naïve-virgin-like-a-virgin, heroine-odd-spinster-wallflower, heroine-plain-jane-uglyducklingswan, heroine-prim-proper-decorous, heroine-redhead, hh-bad-communication-conflict-mgmt, hh-post-traumatic-stress-disorder, humorous-at-times-or-fluffy-fun, love-triangle-vying-courtships, made-me-cry, offlimits-bf-likekidsister-jailbait, steam-3-hot, steam-2-warm, i-read-no-longer-own-sold-swapped
Recommended for: Fans of contemporary, small town, & friends to lovers romances
Read from May 25 to 27, 2012

3 ½ stars – Contemporary Romance

I’m a big fan of Toni Blake’s Destiny series and friends to lovers storylines, so I was really looking forward to Amy and Logan’s book. And while I enjoyed the comfy familiarity of once again visiting small town Destiny, Ohio and spending time with its endearing characters, I was disappointed with the romance this time around.

The H/h pairing of town good girl and resident matchmaker, Amy, and her hunky firefighter lifelong best friend, Logan, had potential for a great romance but unfortunately didn’t quite deliver and fell rather flat. Their relationship progression from friends to sudden attraction following an awkward kiss to unexpected “is this love that I’m feeling” just didn’t seem believable, especially with Logan spending a significant amount of time flirting with and circling around a woman from the past whose surprise appearance in Destiny and competition for Logan’s attention makes Amy rather miserable. The triangle went on far too long, and I just didn’t buy the character motivations, romance, or eventual HEA.

My biggest complaint was with Logan’s character, or more accurately, his shortage of appeal. I’m a hero-centric romance reader and Logan was sorely lacking as a romantic hero. He was immature, selfish, oblivious, inconsiderate, and pretty much an a**hat for most of the book. His constant ineptitude regarding Amy’s feelings was frustrating, and I wanted her to realize that she deserved better. I actually found myself thinking she should have explored things with Lucky’s biker friend, Duke. (I hope Ms. Blake gives us his story at some point!) I also felt like there wasn’t nearly enough of Logan’s POV, which probably exacerbated his a**hat status.

So, not as good as previous books in the series, but I’m still a fan and look forward to returning to Destiny when Half Moon Hill comes out. I can’t say I “really liked it” for 4 stars but it’s better than just a 3...therefore I’m rating it 3 ½ stars.

Big thanks to Lindsey and Ms. Blake for providing me with an ARC!

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Comments (showing 1-9 of 9) (9 new)

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Diana Awww. I was excited to read this one, my first by the author, but I was disappointed in my reading, and I remember I kept hoping for ... more. I couldn't get on board with the hero, for instance. For every time I found myself liking him, there'll be double the reason to dislike him, even disTRUST him, and that's just not right in my book. Like you said, maybe if we had more insight into his thoughts (but that wouldn't really change his actions though, would it. Maybe that would have just made me dislike him even more.) Then there's the heroine, who I really wanted to like. I kept rooting for her, and I was with her on her journey to discovering her own strengths, finding out what she's capable of giving. And I did like her, but at some point I got turned off by her inconsistency. That, plus the fact that a lot of the scenes felt rushed to me. She tells him her feelings, something happens, then she retracts it and try to disengage from him and just submit to the heartache because she thinks he's not in love with her? Then there's the antagonist in the story; I just didn't find anything redeeming about her, and I can't picture her being sympathetic at all. Felt bad for the brother who tried (but even that frustrated me: I just felt like the B-plot could've been handled better.) I don't know. I'm willing to try another story in this series, but I don't know where to proceed now.

Shawna Diana, It sounds like we had similar feelings about this one, although I probably enjoyed it a bit more having warm fuzzy sentiment with the series.

I'd recommend One Reckless Summer or Whisper Falls, both of which are wonderful reads!
One Reckless Summer (Destiny, #1) by Toni Blake Whisper Falls (Destiny, #3) by Toni Blake

Diana Thanks, Shawna. I have One Reckless Summer, didn't realize it's the same series. I'll try reading that one too. Hopefully it'll be better for me. I got curious about Lucky too, so that'll be a good read. I'm even interested in hearing Duke's story, if it's in the works, haha.

Shawna YW, Diana! I hope they're more enjoyable for you. Lucky is a very memorable, yummy hero. And I hope she writes a story for Duke...he definitely intrigued me!

Dorsey aka ❤️ Wrath Lover and KA Addict ❤️ Shawna excellent & accurate review. You put in words exactly how I myself felt about this book. I was so disappointed with how "wishy washy" Logan was...I expected so much more from him and I found myself rooting for Duke after awhile!!!

Diana Shawna wrote: "YW, Diana! I hope they're more enjoyable for you. Lucky is a very memorable, yummy hero. And I hope she writes a story for Duke...he definitely intrigued me!"

ORS was loads better than WS. Thanks for the rec for that one, I feel better now, somehow, lol.

Shawna Thanks, Dorsey! Yeah, a**hat Logan and the lukewarm romance was definitely disappointing, but I still enjoyed catching up with the characters and town. And I really hope we haven't seen the last of Duke.

Diana, I'm glad you enjoyed "One Reckless Summer" more. Whisper Falls is really good, too, maybe even my favorite of the series.

Lizz You put my thoughts into words!! I love this series, but this book fell flat for me.

Shawna Yeah, it was disappointing 'cause I had high hopes for their story. Hopefully the next book will be better!

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