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Willow Springs

3.47  ·  Rating details ·  108 ratings  ·  38 reviews
Crissa, beginning a new life in Willow Springs, finds herself caught between a local miner and a handsome Express rider. Laugh and cry with Crissa as she escapes her past to find true love.
Paperback, 228 pages
Published August 12th 2014 by Cedar Fort Publishing & Media (first published August 1st 2014)
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Average rating 3.47  · 
Rating details
 ·  108 ratings  ·  38 reviews

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Katie W
I just had a family reunion and hearing the stories of my great-grandmother's life made me really appreciate how difficult it was for the immigrants coming to America in the 1800s. Crissa's family came from Sweden and due to a debt, she was placed in a position that she never would have dreamed herself in. She finds herself in Willow Springs, trying to get a new start in life, and lands right in the center of a lot of unwanted attention.

There were moments in the story where I almost felt lost--I
Tressa (Wishful Endings)
This book was a crazy, roller-coaster ride! I began reading Willow Springs thinking it was going to be a nice historical romance, with some twists and some tension, but all of it fairly tame. I was wrong. The twists were pretty big and the tension was pretty intense in places! There was also plenty of drama. I wasn't quite sure if everyone could make it to the end unscathed and if they even should after what happened.

Let me just get this off my chest... Drake and Crissa skirted around each other
Crissa is trying to start a new life in Willow Springs. She's working at Henders Inn and has caught the attention of Garth Wight, a miner she's not interested in and views as harmless. A Pony Express rider, Drake Adams, comes to town and catches her eye. His father, Warren Adams, pretty much owns the town. Drake has decided to retire and is settling down about an hour away from Willow Springs. They are attracted to each other, but things get complicated when Crissa's past starts to catch up with ...more
Jul 05, 2014 rated it it was amazing


Willow Springs is a western romance. It is exciting, full of drama, action, romance, and rich characters. You won't want to put the book down. You are never sure what is going to happen next.

Crissa Engleson has had some hard knocks in her young life. It only gets more exciting the more you read.
She has landed in Willow Springs, UT all by herself. She is on the run from her past. She has two men who want her. Crissa gets a job in the inn. Crissa makes good friends all the way. She is a
Jul 17, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Crissa is trying to make a new start in a new small town in rural Utah in the 1800's. The town is usually quiet mining town, except for when the miners come into town and stir up trouble. Crissa, an immigrant from Sweden, has been taken in by the Inn Keepers family and is enjoying working in the Inn's restaurant.
When she first sees Drake Adams it is love at first sight. But can the son of the richest man in the area really love a poor immigrant and if he does, will Crissa's dark past catch up
Lisa  (Bookworm Lisa)
Crissa is a beautiful woman with a good heart. She loves her friends. She has a deep loyalty to the people she holds dear.

With all of the good things that Crissa has going for her, she has faced abuse from the people who are supposed to care for her. Her life story comes out piece by piece as the story progresses.

Two men want her attention and affection. The first is Garth, a miner. He is a drunk who tries to force her to have feelings for him. There are many layers to his story that add outra
Apr 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing
The quote on the book cover IS SO TRUE!

"New love and old secrets collide on the Utah frontier"

The author creatively weaves you down the story on one path of thinking only to throw in a twist, or another secret, that expertly guides you down another path of thoughts...


Crissa has come to Willow Springs to escape the secrets of her past.

Caught between the love she has for Drake and the secrets that Garth uncovers she is forced to marry to keep her secrets from
Sep 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing
If you are looking for a good clean romance, with unexpected twists, you should read this! I had to sneak away to finish it during a family reunion over Labor Day.
Oct 26, 2014 rated it really liked it
he cover of Willow Springs certainly captured my eye, it's beautiful, and the historical setting had me anxious to read Willow Springs. Well I will say I was pleasantly surprised by the caliber of this book. The writing was very descriptive, creating strong characters, some good others bad, and some were a bit of both if that makes sense. The plot grabbed me from the beginning with plenty of twists, a bit of suspense and while I knew there would be a romance, I will say the story was far from pr ...more
Beth Pearson
Nov 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Wow! I would normally be giving this story 4 stars for the content, but I have to give this book 5 stars cause it really sucked me in and I had to stay up to 2 in the morning to finish it. You expect you know what is going to happen in this story...Young, beautiful woman comes to live in small town mining town in Utah and all the local miners are rude, lewd and trying to go to bed with her. Of course, the rich man's son is gorgeous and fabulous and against her friend's advice about a poor immigr ...more
Mar 12, 2015 rated it really liked it
I can't decide how to rate this one. I really liked it yet there were many things that just bugged me for some reason. Crissa was such a strong leading lady yet there were many times she didn't act in character. That sounds confusing but without giving things away I just felt her actions often conflicted with her thoughts. In one situation she was strong and stood up for herself with courage and then the next situation she cowered and allowed herself to be bullied. All though I totally understoo ...more
Margie Vickers
Oct 17, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Drake and Crissa, a love story with twists and turns.

Crissa leaves the east because she is accused of a crime she didn't commit. She ends up in Utah working in a boarding house. She thinks she has left her troubles behind, but finds new trouble. She also falls in love with a pony express rider, but another man kidnaps her and blackmailed her about her former life. New author to me but one I will follow now. I would recommend to any western reader.
Sep 15, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2014-books-read
Very impressed with debut novel. I had no idea Willow Springs actually existed, but I love the fact that Carolyn weaved the history of this town and the challenges of living in the old west into this love story. I can't wait to see what she writes next.
Dorry Lou
Nov 22, 2014 rated it really liked it
Crissa Engleson a Swedish immigrant comes to Willow Springs in Utah hoping to forget her past and start anew. Lots of twists and turns, some surprises and suspense. I really enjoyed the book and recommend it to anyone that likes historical romance.
Sep 12, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Loved it!!!
The story and characters are captivating. I couldn't put it down.
Aug 20, 2014 rated it liked it
Where to begin? Wow, this a whirlwind of a book! So much plot packed into a small amount of time. Lots of drama, twists and turns. Carolyn Steele's Willow Springs reminded me a lot of Carla Kelly's romance novels, also by the same publisher. If you a re fan of the Wild, and I mean, Wild West, books set in the 1800's, you will like this one. Crissa is a Swedish immigrant who leaves her homeland bound for America. Once arrived, her life is about as complicated and cursed as they come. Luckily she ...more
Aimee (Getting Your Read On)
Crissa is hiding something. You know from the beginning of the book that she holds secrets and as the story progresses you find out bits and pieces. Crissa is a kind soul, I think. She is gentle and has a lot of love to give. She is also strong. Living through painful and hard things makes you strong. Fortunately Crissa doesn't allow the hard things to make her hard or bitter.

I enjoyed this book. It held my interest and I wondered how it would all work out in the end. This is a book of secrets.
May 15, 2015 rated it liked it
I liked “Willow Springs”. Carolyn Steele is a new author for me and I think she did a good job keeping my attention by creating a tangled web of conflicts. If nothing else, I had to finish the book because I couldn’t figure out how this tangled web was going to play out.

Crissa Engleson, a Swedish immigrant, left Boston to escape major family problems. Blending into life out west in the small gold mining town of Willow Springs, Utah seemed to be just the escape Crissa sought. As life unfolds for
Aug 16, 2014 rated it liked it
Good clean western romance. Carissa, a immigrant from Sweden finds herself in willow springs trying to hide from the past that follows her and make a fresh start. As the story progresses you learn more of her abused past by those who should have lived her and her devotion to those that really loved her.
Dec 30, 2014 rated it liked it
This book for me was a very average romance. I did however enjoy it enough with the various twist and turns. It did take many events for the characters to end up together and for me that was realistic. This book dealt with some issues that immigrants face. For those who like a happily ever after there is that as well.
Dec 05, 2014 rated it liked it
There were a lot of plot events going on in this story--almost too many for me. Not that I couldn't keep them straight but that I thought it might have been laid on a bit thick. This was a nice story, though.
Dec 08, 2014 rated it liked it
Very complex plot line.
Heather Green
Dec 03, 2016 rated it did not like it
I was excited to read this book because the cover was eye catching and I enjoy books from the 1800's, but this was a major disappointment. The history of Utah Territory was interesting, but the book was poorly executed. The MC's were already claiming love for each other 27 pages in. They'd spoken, what, twice? Crissa was very emotionally immature where relationships were concerned. Molly telling Crissa to leave town after the altercation with Garth seemed a bit drastic and extreme. Crissa was al ...more
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Jul 05, 2020 rated it really liked it
Very exciting book about a Swedish immigrant who moves to a small town in Utah to start over when she needs a place to recover from her past in the 1800's.
She finds employment at an inn waiting tables and cleaning up. She's not interested in looking for a husband after her past experiences, but men keep thinking she is. Trouble seems to find her. She escapes it, but then is left to figure out why things happened and if they're connected.
This is a mix of western, romance, mystery, and has a litt
Karen Gatzemeier
Great book!!

I really enjoyed getting to know the characters from this book and a little bit more about Willow Springs. Thanks for sharing this story with me.
Miranda A. Uyeh
Aug 23, 2014 rated it liked it
First of all, that “blurb” is NOT a blurb. It’s a premise … of some sort.

This is one of those books where everything you thought would happen, didn’t, and everything you thought wouldn’t, did. It was engaging in the sense that you followed through because you wanted to know what would happen, and more interestingly, HOW it would happen. For a small, uneventful town, Willow Springs was the setting of a quite dramatic set of people, sometimes even, too dramatic for their own good, so that they end
Aug 27, 2014 rated it liked it
If you're into the 1800s, Western frontier kind of setting then this is right up your alley. It's got Pony Express, guns, outlaws, bodices, the prairie, secrets, and even wild romance. Pretty exciting stuff but this novel was tamer of it's time so I believe it may have been its shortcoming. True to the era, rape, sex, and violence was exposed but the account was too domesticated that from time-to-time it didn't feel authentic to me. I wasn't sure if I was in the American frontier or a modern sub ...more
Becky Zabriskie
Oct 08, 2014 rated it did not like it
It took me a long time to get into this book. I don't really go in for the whole fall in love at first sight for no reason at all, which was the case in this book. Also there was a lot of dead bodies and rather than just doing the sensible thing and fighting to prove innocence or going to the "sheriff" they run, bury bodies, etc. I was also really annoyed by the main character and how she hated/cared for certain people depending on the moment. She despised a certain man (and for good reason) but ...more
Oct 18, 2014 rated it it was ok
I never give up on a book halfway, but I did this time. What a lame book. It just doesn't make any sense, like someone messed with the timeline or deliberately took out dialogue or information that was needed. I checked it out because I read a positive book review. Reviewer must have been a relative.
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