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At eighteen, I walked away from Willow Creek Valley for good.
I was young, scared, and stupid, and it cost me the love of my life— Grayson Parkerson.

Fourteen years later, a crash sends me back home to recover.

Back to where we met, fell in love, and planned a future.
The one he’s now living as a single dad to his daughter.
Working at The Park Inn together gives us a chance to reconnect, and seeing him with his little girl makes me long for the days when he was mine. One look in his gorgeous blue-green eyes, and it’s like I never left. One kiss, and my world is upside down. One night together, and I know without a doubt, in his arms is where I belong.

I’m not the girl I was—intimidated by his wealthy family and desperate to escape our small town. I can imagine a new life for us here.

But he’s learned to guard his heart, and trust won’t come easily.

How can I convince him to give first love a second chance?

329 pages, ebook

First published February 23, 2021

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About the author

Corinne Michaels

65 books11.9k followers
Corinne Michaels is a New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal bestselling author of romance novels. Her stories are chock full of emotion, humor, and unrelenting love, and she enjoys putting her characters through intense heartbreak before finding a way to heal them through their struggles.

Corinne is a former Navy wife and happily married to the man of her dreams. She began her writing career after spending months away from her husband while he was deployed—reading and writing were her escapes from the loneliness. Corinne now lives in Virginia with her husband and is the emotional, witty, sarcastic, and fun-loving mom of two beautiful children.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 1,138 reviews
Profile Image for Chelsea *Slowly Catching Up* Humphrey.
1,390 reviews77.2k followers
March 29, 2021
"Naivety is a gift for the young. We allowed it to cloak us in ignorance and make us believe things were so much easier than they really were."


I have no idea why it's taken me this long to pick up one of Corinne Michaels's novels, but I'm so glad that I was able to start with this one. There's a certain brand of comfort that comes with reading a small town romance; throw in a dash of second chance relationship and I'm sold. Grayson and Jessica's love story spans the course of 14+ years, and I loved getting to know both of their families during the course of this book. The fact that this series is slated for *at least* 5 books has me PUMPED, and I'm also grateful I have so many of the author's previous series to binge while I wait for April to roll around.

As stated above, I haven't read the Arrowood brothers' series yet, but they do tie into this series. That said, you can completely read this as a standalone novel, and at no point did I feel that I was missing out by not reading those first. Fair warning though, you may decide to purchase all 4 of those books after finding out how addicting this one is, and I'm dying to read each of those brother's stories as well for deeper connection to this series.

"I sometimes have to remind myself that we aren't born with a finite amount of strength because there's always more when we need it. We have to harness it, use it, refill it once it's depleted."

While there were a couple of twists thrown in to this book, I think it's major selling feature is how comforting and reliable it is. I read this book in a 24 hour period, mainly because it felt like I was escaping to a place where I could leave all my cares and worries behind. The writing is warm, inviting, and atmospheric, the large cast was easy to keep track of, and the secondary characters were just as lovable and well written as the main couple. I cannot WAIT to get to book 2-if you know, you know-and see how that couple fares. 👀 If you're looking for a cozy read to keep you warm this winter, I cannot recommend this book, and subsequently this series, enough. Now excuse me while I go binge her Arrowood brothers series while anxiously waiting for Could Have Been Us.

"I had to pretend. Pretend I didn't love you. Pretend I didn't regret leaving and think of you. Pretend that I didn't make a huge mistake."

*Many thanks to Valentine PR for my review copy.
Profile Image for Christy.
3,712 reviews31.6k followers
February 24, 2021
4.25 stars
”Loving you has never been a question, but keeping you has always bene our downfall.”

Return to Us is the start of a new series from Corinne Michaels and I loved it! If you’re a fan of small town romances, second chance romances, and/or single dad romances, you need this book in your life!

After a life changing event, Jessica is back where she never thought she’d be. Back in her hometown of Willow Creek Valley. She’s planning on staying to recover, then getting back to her life. She hasn’t been home in over a decade, which means she hasn’t seen him in over a decade. Grayson Parkerson, her first love.

Grayson moved on with his life and is now the father of a four year old daughter. He never wanted to move on from Jess, but she left him no choice when she broke it off and left him behind. At first their meeting isn’t great, but with time, the feelings come back to them both and they can’t stay away from each other. This story is about finding a second chance at your first love.

I adored this couple together. You could tell they were really and truly meant to be. I hate that they had all this wasted time, but I loved their story. I especially loved Grayson’s daughter, Amelia. This one was sweet, swoony, and of course, emotional.

I love Corinne’s writing and I’m excited to read more in this series! The way the next book is set up has me hyped!

Audio book source: Audible (purchased)
Story Rating: 4.25 stars
Narrators: Andi Arndt and Sebastian York
Narration Rating: 4.5 stars
Genre: Contemporary Romance (Second chance/small town/single parent)
Length: 8 hours and 28 minutes
Profile Image for Jill M.
1,145 reviews72 followers
February 20, 2022
Oh. My. Heart. This book. I had tears throughout this story. All the feels.

We met Jessica in Stay for Me. You know that horrible scene that left us breathless. This poor girl has overcome so much and I'm astounded by her courage and strength. 

Dear god Grayson is the sweetest most sexy man. He has had his heart broken but still finds the compassion to be civil.

These two two belong together. The chemistry is combustible but the bond is stronger.  They are connected and no amount of time will sever their bond.

Corinne weaved a beautiful story about second chances and overcoming fears. She pulled no punches giving you an angst filled emotional story that will pull on the heartstrings and get you teary-eyed. You will get all the feels but your heart will be full when that last page is done. Oh but she'll just get you salivating for more from this small town and those Parkersons.
Profile Image for MELISSA *Mel Reader*.
1,324 reviews1,389 followers
February 24, 2021
4.5 Stars!
(ARC provided by Valentine PR)


Jessica Walker grew up in a small town in North Carolina called Willow Creek Valley. At eighteen she just wanted to truly live and experience life outside her small town. She wanted to travel and see the world. She leaves to find herself, but in the process walks away from the first boy she's ever loved. The once fearless girl who was ready to conquer the world returns to her hometown fourteen years later barely coping after an accident leaves her struggling. She survived the unthinkable, but isn't sure what her purpose is anymore. She's unsure what the future holds, but wants to return to some sense of normal and feel like herself again. Then she runs into Grayson Parkerson, the man she let go of that once owned her heart.

Grayson Parkerson is one of five siblings from a wealthy prominent family in North Carolina. He's a single father of a daughter he adores, and has a good life. Then it's turned upside down when the girl he could never forget returns to town. She's the one that got away, and if she hadn't ended things, he would have given her everything. They'd shared promises, hopes, and dreams for the future, and then she left. He never had closure and there were unresolved issues, but he needed to leave the past in the past. It's easier said than done when feelings are still there. After all this time their connection is still just as strong. She's even more beautiful than he remembered, and impossible to resist. One kiss and he's in over his head, but will he risk his heart again for a second chance at love?


-"You're the one thing that I can't seem to let go of."

-It would always be her.


Return to Us (Willow Creek Valley #1) by Corinne Michaels is a standalone, single dad, small town, second chance romance about first loves, forgiveness and regrets. Two high school sweethearts from different worlds are reunited after years apart for an emotional, beautiful love story with all the feels! I really enjoyed this book and loved this couple. I can't wait to get more in this series!


Profile Image for Angie McGuire.
1,099 reviews10 followers
June 29, 2022
Return to Us by Corinne Michaels is LIVE! https://geni.us/RTUsl

What a beautiful story. I loved these two so much. We get a new series out of this wonderful book... Well if you ever wanted to know what happened in a certain arrowwood book... With a certain flight attendant, then you should definitely read this one.

Grayson is so amazing. Truly the best and Jessica made some tough choices in her younger years, that have regret written all over them. But I see why she made them... Hindsight is always 20/20, right? I guess you need to read this book to figure out what I'm talking about because it's definitely worth it!!!
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Berry ♡ Nice.
535 reviews68 followers
February 23, 2021
What a beautiful second chance story 😍
I love a good second chance and I'm also weak in the knees for some single daddies and Grayson is a DILF *just saying*

Gaaah! The way he is with his daughter and also the woman he never stopped loving ❤

Grayson and Jessica are going to touch your heart with their beautiful journey.

Be strong and don’t let your past be what destroys what could be a beautiful future.”

AND there's this part of the story that I won't say as I do not want to spoil anything for anyone BUT it's one of the best sweetest swooning thing ever. Just thinking about it makes me smile. It was perfect.
Profile Image for Elle P. Golden.
779 reviews13 followers
February 8, 2021
This. This is what a favorite book looks like.

Of everything this author wrote (and I loved every single book), Return To Us managed to beat all the previous books and secure itself the pole position (I can't even believe Wyatt is not the first anymore. A close second, but still).

Return To Us is the reason why I love second chance romance so much. And it still was different from other second chances, because we normally see a hotile couple acting out due to pain and resentment.
This time, instead of the animosity, Jessica and Grayson were rightfully wary, but they took tentative steps around each other. They didn't ignore or tried to protect themselves by being cold or giving the silent treatment. They gravited towards each other and they were sweet, nice, reminiscing, respectful, not holding a grudge, even being afraid to be vulnerable.

The fact that they were so undeniably connected, that they were so deeply in love that even the past couldn't tarnish their feelings, that they were so willing to be there for the other that they could get over old mistakes made it all more difficult for them to stay away, and that was a breath of fresh air where second chances are concerned.
And because of that, the feelings that were barely buried resurfaced and returned with a vengeance (a vengeance that they didn't have against each other).

Yes, they were scared and yes they had pre conceived ideas about how the other one would react, but the fact that they couldn't stay mad at the other made it all even more special.

That kind of respect, connection, chemistry, hope and love is what I yearn in a romance book, and this book had it all and even more.

What a way to start a new series. I can't wait to see what Corinne Michaels will bring next.
Profile Image for Peggy Hogan.
599 reviews9 followers
February 23, 2021
This was such an amazing second-chance romance!! Beautifully written, Corinne Michaels expertly tells the story of high school sweethearts Grayson and Jessica, and how they have to come to terms with her up and leaving, being gone for 14 years, and whether or not they still have feelings for each other after all that time, and after everything each of them has gone through. This story is so believable/realistic, I felt like I was actually living the story, I was so immersed in the story, it was hard to put it down. Absolutely recommended!

I received an ARC from the author, and this is my honest review of Return To Us.
Profile Image for Crystal.
318 reviews18 followers
February 8, 2021
What a way to kick off a new series. I’m the first to admit that I am always a little iffy breaking into a new series. Not this time. I am freaking obsessed. Going to say this now, I think Willow Creek will blow Arrowood out do the water!!

Why, why does Corinne always gut me in the best way possible with her second chance romances?

“Things happen. Life isn’t easy, but the struggle allows the beauty to shine through. Without that pain, we wouldn’t know what joy feels like. I’m finding ways to endure them both and not let one determine the other.”

Jessica and Grayson were absolutely wonderful. I was so taken with this book, obsessed is probably a better word for it. I can not wait for the next book! Return to Us is a standalone. The series seems as it will be a different family member each book. I won’t spoil who comes next, but don’t wait. Jump on Jessica and Grayson’s story now!

Profile Image for Amour.Rebelle92 (Bran.d).
810 reviews10 followers
February 23, 2021
OH🔥MY🔥GOSH🔥Corinne has done it again! Grayson checks all the boxes
☑️sexy AF🔥
☑️single dad😍
☑️soooo amazing with his sweet daughter🥰
☑️still loves Jessica💘
☑️swoon worthy🥵
☑️overprotective big brother (👀Stella’s book is going to be so awesome)
☑️and he freaking saves people in his spare time🤩

Holy sh!t Jessica deserves the best marriage & all the cutest, sweetest kids because the universe owes her big time!!

💓Quotes that’ll make you swoon💓
I can see it now. The future—this, her, us as a family, and it’s terrifying me. Everything feels frozen as I stare at the two people I love. Amelia is my world, and Jessica is my soul.

“I guess it’s not a secret so much as a question. A long time ago, I met a girl, and she stole my heart. I thought I’d learned to live without it, but then she brought it back, and I realized how much I needed it—but mostly I needed her.”
Profile Image for Michelle.
452 reviews6 followers
February 10, 2021
5 beautiful, second-chance stars.

Jessica Walker has had it rough. Hurt by those she isn't supposed to be, she makes the decision to leave her hometown and never look back, that is until circumstances out of her control force her back home. To the hometown that the man she left behind, Grayson Parkerson, still resides. When they bump into each other, is this the closure they need or a new beginning?

Grayson Parkerson comes from money and on the surface has everything he needs, but he's also been hurt by those he isn't supposed to be. He runs into the first woman that ever broke his heart, and his entire world is flipped upside down. I must admit, he quickly became one of my favorite heroes not only by Corinne, but overall! He's fiercely protective and loyal, and would do anything for those he loves, especially the women in his life. He'll make you swoon if you have a pulse. If you don't, he probably still will make you swoon.

"Strength isn't measurable." I loved this quote. It stuck with me hard. No matter what life throws at you, there isn't some bucket of strength you can use and then it's depleted. You can always choose to be strong. You can always harness strength you didn't even know you had and both characters show that repeatedly throughout this one.

Corinne Michaels has a way with words that makes everything she writes have so much credibility and authenticity. You get lost in the worlds she creates and have a hard time coming out of them and remembering they aren't real (they aren't...right?). I got lost in Grayson and Jessica, and loved every minute of their second-chance. There were a few times I wanted to slap Jessica across the head and give her a wakeup call (though slapping her across the head may have made things worse...) but she eventually got there on her own. It was so easy to root for her to continue to persevere through the hand she was dealt, and one of the best parts to me is that she persevered on her own. Grayson's love helped shine the light, but ultimately Jessica found her own way.

I also really loved so many of the secondary characters, and I cannot wait for more of the Parkersons + Jack & Delia.

Run, don't walk! You need to 1-click this one the second it comes out. I always say YMMV, but I'd be shocked if you don't love this book.
Profile Image for Jaimie.
784 reviews12 followers
June 29, 2022
Oh my!!! I love love love Grayson and Jessica!! I am pretty sure they have become my favorite couple!!
The love and conmection these two have is amazing to read. The chemistry is off the charts with these two!! The way they have that they reconnect after all that time apart makes for such a sweet story! Plus you add in a sweet little girl that you just love and adore instantly!!

Jessica is such an independent character and you know the struggle she has with being 'stuck' in one place. But you have to listen to your heart sometimes.
Grayson being a HOT single dad and a firefighter, enough said there!!
The obstacles that they go through to be together are not easy, but their kind of love can last through anything.... Or can it??

I could not put this book down. And it was a nice bonus seeing an Arrowood!!
This book had my emotions all over the place... ALL THE FEELS with this book!!❤
Profile Image for READ ME ROMANCE.
532 reviews120 followers
February 13, 2021
Return to Us is the first book in the Willow Creek Valley Series featuring five siblings who each find love. It’s a total stand-alone with interconnecting characters from the Arrowood Brothers series which I loved. If it’s written by author Corrine Michaels, know that you will laugh, cry, scream, and sigh. In this second-chance romance, the hero and heroine, Grayson Parkerson and Jessica Walker, reconnect after being apart for 18 years.

Jessica returns to her hometown where her mother and sister still live to recover from injuries sustained in a plane crash. She was a flight attendant and although lonely at times, she loved being independent and traveling. And most importantly, her busy schedule helped her forget letting her one true love Grayson, now a single dad, go. He remained in Willow Creek Valley, but never forgot Jessica and often wondered what could have been. He and his four siblings all work for and part own the family’s hospitality business running resorts throughout the US, and I loved the dynamics and interactions of the entire Parkerson clan.

I adored Grayson and felt all of his pain as he reflected on his love of Jessica all those years ago. Corinne’s writing is so convincing and filled with details and flashbacks into their relationship when they dated in high school and his first two years of college. When it was Jessica's turn to head off to college two years later, she decides to attend far away feeling she had no other option, breaking his heart and leaving him confused in the process. Que the tears.

The heart wants what the heart wants and this love story will take you into their world and make you feel every emotion as they reconnect as adults. Jessica is trying to heel physically and emotionally from her tragic ordeal, and Grayson couldn’t be more understanding or supportive. He’s the perfect man who can’t stay away. He is a loving father to his adorable four-year old daughter, Amelia, but very protective of his heart as he’s been left behind by two women, Jessica and Amelia’s mom, and his relationship with his parents is toxic. He also has his daughter to consider now... Queue the angst!

I loved how they slowly began to trust one another again, and how they were honest with their feelings disclosing their fears. I admire how Jessica is seeing a psychiatrist to deal with her emotions after the plane crash, as mental health is as equally important as one’s physical health. It’s obvious that the author is a true romantic as these two were soulmates destined to be together despite their many obstacles. Their love was very powerful standing the test of time and persevering even after almost two decades of being apart. Their pull and physical attraction were electric and there were lots of steamy scenes as well!

Grayson is so strong and sexy, and gives back by serving as a firefighter. I loved how protective he was of Jessica, especially when she needed him most. He was all in, a man in love, and it was really beautiful to read how patient Grayson was and how they forgave each other and the three of them became a family. Wait until you read the part as to why he built his mountain house. Queue the swoon and sweetness! If he were mine I'd squeeze him tight and never let go!

I loved all of his siblings and the secondary characters, and can’t wait to read about his sister, Stella, finding love with Greyson’s best friend, Jack!
Profile Image for Jessica .
2,016 reviews12.8k followers
June 13, 2022
This was a miss for me. It wasn't bad, but it wasn't good either. I was pretty bored during the entire book and really struggled to finish. This is a second chance romance and it just felt like a very surface-level story. She broke his heart. She's back in town. They make up but have a hard time trusting each other. I really wanted to care more, but there wasn't a lot more to the plot or the characters. I did appreciate how the heroine was recovering from a traumatic brain injury and was facing frustration over her inability to speak completely and think completely. But with the hero, he was a pretty boring character and his only trait was that he was heartbroken. He was a single father, but that wasn't really fleshed out and I wanted even more from him and his daughter. The daughter was just there and I didn't really get a sense of her as a character or her relationship with the hero. There was a bit more to his plot at the end with his family business, but there really wasn't that much more to him. I really expected to love this book, but it just felt like it had all of the perfect elements but didn't execute them well enough.
Profile Image for Tammy.
651 reviews43 followers
February 10, 2021
This book can be like your first love; you fall in love the minute you start reading and know that this will be your one true love.

Corinne Michaels never, ever disappoints. Was there a point in the book that I hated her, wanted to scream and throw my kindle - Absolutely!

This is a book about your first love, second chances, and knowing when your with your one true love. I absolutely loved Jessica, Grayson, and Amelia.

This is a book that is a must read and then re-read - definitely worth more than 5 stars. It’s so good and this could already be my favorite book of 2021.

ARC provided by author for an honest review.
Profile Image for Lisa Stinson.
988 reviews12 followers
February 25, 2021
What can I say except...Corinne has done it again. Her story telling knows no bounds and I am so very excited about this new series with the Parkerson family. First we get to know and fall in love with Grayson and Jessica (who we met Jessica when she was involved in the plane crash with Jacob Arrowood). Two high school sweethearts that are from very different families.

Grayson has always had everything handed to him from his wealthy parents. He is supposed to take over the family business after college and he is also supposed to marry someone within their financial status. His parents don't care that he fell in love with Jessica, who doesn't come from the same social status as Grayson. Her father left her, her mother and her sister. Now her mother has to work as many jobs as possible to keep a roof over their heads and food on the table. The Parkerson's look down on all of them.

Jessica made the decision when she was just 18 that she would leave and walk away from Grayson so that he wouldn't have the chance to do that to her later. She broke both their hearts by doing this but she felt that this pain would be easier to bear by doing it herself instead of Grayson leaving her. She goes back home to heal after the plane crash. She wasn't expecting Grayson to be there nor was she expecting him to be a single father to the most adorable little girl.

Return to Us is a beautifully written romance about two people who truly love each other but want to try and do what they each think is best. But in the end, the pull of the heart is stronger than any will they may have to try and stay away. I am so very excited about this new series that I can already tell will be filled with second chances and friends to lovers.

I absolutely can't wait to read Jack and Stella's story next.
February 10, 2021
I would have to say second chance romances are probably my favorite genre. There is just something about real love surviving the test of time! Corinne knocked it out of the park with Grayson and Jessica's story. I started this book late at night and picked up where I left off first thing in the morning. I spent all day curled up on the couch reading this story while the snow fell outside my windows. I could not put it down! Jessica goes through a life-altering event that most people would not survive. she return home to heal and comes face to face with the love of her life that she walked away from years before. Grayson is a single dad doing the best he can for his daughter and the last thing he needs is an old loving coming back to town disrupting his and his daughter's life. But the connection between these two is too much to ignore and they cant stay away from each other. You will go on an emotional ride in this story, what else is new with a Corinne Michael's book though! You cant help but root for them and pray they find a way through their feelings, their fears, and another life or death event to find their way back to each other!! This first story in this series is absolutely amazingly beautiful and I cannot wait to read the rest of them!

This teaser for Return to Us is … ahhh! I can’t wait for this book and Corinne is always known for bringing hope and the feels. I’m so ready for a whole new family to fall for!

Pre-Order here: https://geni.us/RTUsl
Profile Image for Meghan901.
985 reviews20 followers
February 12, 2021
All. The. Stars.

Return to Us by Corinne Michaels is the first book in the brand new series Willow Creek Valley. All I can say is WOW! This book is hands down Ms. Michaels best book to date. It had everything I look for in a romance novel-

A swoony hero ✔️
A strong heroine ✔️✔️
A beautiful love story ✔️✔️✔️

Once I started reading, I couldn't stop. I was completely swept up in this small town romance and I never wanted it to end. Grayson and Jess’ connection was so strong and powerful. You could feel it coming through the pages. Neither distance nor time could change the way they felt about each other. Their journey to a HEA is not an easy one. But it sure was worth it.

I honestly don’t even have the words to describe how much I loved this book. It was heartbreaking at times but it was also full of incredible friendships and so much love. Ms. Michaels outdid herself with Return to Us and I am so looking forward to reading the next book in the series!

Profile Image for Sue.
589 reviews7 followers
February 11, 2021
Return To Us is book 1 in the new Willow Creek Valley series by Corinne Michaels. I have been so excited for this book and I was not disappointed. Corinne Michaels is one of my favorite authors whose books you want to re-read multiple times just because they make you feel so good. This book is Grayson and Jessica’s story and is a beautifully written second chance romance that has all the feels; then throw in Grayson’s 4-year-old daughter, Amelia and it just couldn’t have been better. I highly recommend this book and can’t wait for the next one!!
February 11, 2021
Whew, I was not ready for Return To Us (Willow Creek Valley #1) and all the emotions that came along with it. This excellent, small town second chance romance is SO freaking good and yanked at my heart strings like no other.

I felt this book deep down to my soul as we’ve all experienced the heartache of breaking up with your first love and it truly hurts the most. I’m a sucker for a good second chance romance and Corinne Michaels certainly didn’t disappoint me. And she couldn’t have written a more realistic and relatable hero and heroine such as Grayson and Jessica. I really couldn’t help but instantly fall in love with them and I was rooting for them all the way. These wonderful and inspirational characters both had life altering and devastating things happen to them in their pasts (especially Jessica, I could feel her pain, my heart broke for her several times over and it left me in tears) and are still suffering from them. I wanted to crawl inside this book and give them a hug. It’s obvious that their feelings never died and the love, passion and beautiful moments between them are amazing.

Corinne Michaels seriously did an outstanding job with Return To Us and it’s definitely worthy of more than five stars. Just make sure you have a lot wine and tissues handy when reading it.
Profile Image for Tracey Vuolo.
587 reviews12 followers
February 13, 2021
Return to Us blew my away right from the start. Grayson and Jessica’s love burns like a fire you can’t put out! This story has two of my favorite tropes rolled into one - second chance and single dad and I was consumed by every page!!! Every time I think I can’t love a new couple more than the last one that Corinne writes, she proves me wrong and it makes me deliriously happy. Can we just talk about how sexy Gray is because not only is he a fantastic business man, he’s also a firefighter. Every time he called Jess, love and pulled her close I fell even harder. Jessica is amazing and independent. I love her spirit and her beautiful heart. She may be recovering from a crash, but she’s not the only one that had lots of healing left to do. You need to read this book for the dressing room, the beach house, the sand castles, Melia, the lake, the dreams, the picture, the test and the fire alone. This story will rock your world and keep you coming back for more because when never-ending love remains, no amount of pain, trauma or catastrophe can stand in the way!

Tracey, Life Reads With Friends
512 reviews
February 8, 2021
Another fantastic book by Corinne Michaels. Jessica has returned to her small hometown after she has endured a traumatic event ( if you read Stay for Me you have briefly met her). When she runs into Grayson, her childhood sweetheart and love, she knows things won’t ever be the same. Grayson has tried to move on since Jessica left, but she has never really left his heart. This is an endearing, heartfelt second chance story, that pulled me in from the start. I loved watching Jessica and Grayson work through their past and find a path to their future. Grayson is also a swoony single dad. Do not miss out on this book and I can’t wait to read the other Parkerson sibling’s up coming stories.
Profile Image for Jo.
680 reviews77 followers
February 12, 2021
When you think you have found your favourite Corinne Michaels book boyfriend along comes Grayson Parkerson.

Be still my heart!!!!

Single dad. Firefighter. Alpha yet protective and sentimental.

Jessica is a fighter. She is strong and tenacious.

The two of them together are electric - they are perfect for each other and just need to both get over the past and what fears they have to make it through to the other side.

I absolutely love that Corinne's books are full of Easter eggs which makes you feel like you're meeting up with old friends when reading any of her books.

And I am SO excited for the rest of the series ... these Parkersons are going to be phenomenal!!
Profile Image for AJ.
2,803 reviews913 followers
April 12, 2021
5 amazing second-chance stars!

Oh, I love this book! A blissfully romantic second-chance-single-parent-romance with all the feels, and a hero that absolutely stole my heart! Grayson and Jessica’s story is absolutely beautiful, and a fave for 2021!

In a delightful tie-in, Jessica was introduced in Stay for Me (the final book of the Arrowood series). She was involved in the big climactic event at the end of the book, and I love that Corinne decided to tell Jessica’s story, including her recovery as such a big part of her journey. You don’t need to have read Stay for Me before starting this one, but be aware that Jacob Arrowood does appear as a side character in this book (again, I loved this, such a treat!), so there will be some very minor spoilers for his story.

Jessica has survived a horrific trauma, but a brain injury has left her (temporarily) partially incapacitated, and with nightmares and horrific migraines. Unable to work, and needing time for her body to recover, she returns home to her family in the small town of Willow Valley Creek, the place she left when she was 18, leaving behind the love of her life (and the man she still loves), Grayson Parkerson, a decision which turned out to be her biggest regret.

Grayson never had plans to leave his home town, and when Jessica left him to create a bigger life for herself, he was shattered. He never got over it, but he did move on, and now he’s a single father to an adorably precocious 4 year old daughter, Amelia. But Jess coming back to town is about to upend his life in a way he never saw coming.

From the moment we see Grayson and Jess together, I had chills. Seriously. The chemistry, the longing, the depth of feeling is there from the very first glance, and I was captivated. It’s initially awkward, but they loved too deeply and meant too much to each other to just ignore their past, so neither of them shy away from it, and it sets up an absolutely fantastic dynamic as they fall back into each other’s lives.

There is SO much emotion between these two. They accept it, they don’t hide it, and it leads to so many wonderful moments where they revisit their past memories, talk about their lives, and hold nothing back in sharing all that they are feeling.

“You’re the girl who I have never really forgotten. I’ve tried, fucking hell, I’ve tried. You’re everywhere, and I can’t forget, Jess. I can’t pretend that I don’t want you and us.”

I was in a world of swoon, and loving every moment of these two together, and when little Amelia gets involved, their interactions are even better, with the little girl shipping her Dad and his new friend from the start. It’s a great set-up, every moment getting closer and closer to the inevitable, and when they finally realise that there’s no stopping it, they stop trying to fight it, and they dive right in.

“Please tell me this is real.”
I bring my fingers to his face. “Look at me.” He does. “It’s real. Make love to me, Grayson. Make it be us again.”
He pushes deeper, seating himself fully inside me, our eyes never leaving each other. “It’s always been us.”

Holy freaking swooooooon!

It’s a beautiful reconnection between two people who are truly meant to be, and I was reveling in it all. But the problems that tore them apart are still very much there. Jessica is only in town until she is well enough to return to her normal life, and there’s still the problem of Mayson’s wealthy family looking down on Jessica and never accepting her into the family. But they’re older now, they’ve experienced life without each other, and they know the significance of what they have together.

We don’t know how to love with reservations. The day I fell in love with Grayson Parkerson, he stole every part of me. He loved me so wholly that there wasn’t a chance of anyone else being able to hold her heart in its completion.

“I’ve never stopped loving you, Jessica. Not one single day.”

But when put to the test, will Jessica finally choose Parker? And can he trust that she’ll stay? It’s emotional and dramatic, with all the feels, and I was glued to my kindle as it all played out.

I love these characters. Jessica’s journey is realistic and understandable, and I felt for her and all that she goes through. Grayson is sheer perfection as the man who finally gets his second chance with the girl that owns his heart. Amelia is freaking adorable, and there’s a big cast of friends and siblings that are absolutely fantastic, and who will be featuring in future books. I’ve already lined up a number of the couples in my head, and I’m so excited for more of their stories. The events of this book create a great start for the rest of the series, and I can’t wait to continue on.

This book is Corinne Michaels at her best – wonderful characters, a captivating story, and a low-angst, emotional romance with ALL the feels, I adored this book and read it in one sitting, unable to put it down.

Absolutely fantastic – 5 stars!

Paperback Giveaway~Enter for a chance to win: https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/sh...

An Advanced Review Copy was generously provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.

Profile Image for Marybeth .
1,496 reviews
February 13, 2021
I just have so much love for this book and would give it more than five stars if I could. I am all about the second chance romance. And just when I think I can’t possibly love characters more, Corinne Michaels gives us Grayson and Jessica. Grayson checks off all my boxes: single dad (and an awesome one at that), firefighter, hard worker, close to his siblings, sweet, and let’s not forget sexy. Jessica has been through hell and is still in an uphill battle so she returns to Willow Creek Valley after many years away. She is such a strong and amazing person but she is struggling with her new reality. She hurt Gray when she left all those years ago and you can feel it is going to be hard for him to let her get close again because of that. But she is back and there is no denying the feelings are still there and there are forces throwing them together.
This second chance love story is heartwarming, sweet, sexy and hot all mixed together into a goulash of goodness. I felt all the emotions. I can’t forget to mention Gray's four year old Amelia though because she just steals every scene she is in. She is so adorable! And definitely helps bring Gray and Jess closer.
From beginning to end I truly enjoyed every moment of this book! The ending is perfect and the lead in to the next book is quite intriguing. I can’t wait for more from Willow Creek Valley.
Profile Image for Dawn Clements.
135 reviews9 followers
February 10, 2021
Another 5 star review for the amazing Corinne Michaels. She truly is the queen of second chance romance.

I can’t recommend Return to us enough.
Jessica & Grayson will steal your hearts & stay with you long after the last page is read 🥰

Return to us is the story of a special once in a lifetime love. That will pull on your heartstrings.
A love that song writers write love songs about. An emotional ride.

An unbreakable love, overcoming heartbreak & fears.
Profile Image for Syndi.
2,799 reviews617 followers
June 3, 2021
I think the whole package is OK. Acceptable. I usually like Miss Michaels books. She has this talent writing sweet romance. Return to Us is a spin off of Sugar Loaf series. Here the story took place between Jessica and Grayson. This is second chance romance with single father.

What I can not get my head wrap around it is that I do not understand the dilemma Jessica facing with regard stay with Grayson or leave. It seems to me there are no valid/ dramatic obstacle for Jessica to stay. The excuse of Grayson's mother is non a big of deal.
And yet Miss Michaels goes round and round with dilema stay or leave. For more than 8 hours.

Overall the book is OK read. I do like the sweetness of the writing.

3 stars
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Sarah/DragonflyReads.
677 reviews162 followers
February 24, 2021
The latest standalone and series starter in Willow Creek Valley, Corinne Michaels gives a feels-heavy story with Return to Us.

Grayson and Jessica are high school sweethearts. She broke his heart and left town after high school. He never stopped loving her. Return to Us is a small town, drama-fueled second chance romance with plenty of twists, tons of sweet moments, and a decent amount of steam. I’m sure this will be another fantastic family saga from Corinne Michaels!
Profile Image for Susan.
961 reviews9 followers
February 14, 2021
I absolutely loved Return to Us, the first book in Corinne Michaels's new series!

We met Jessica briefly in Stay for Me after a tumultuous experience she had with Jacob. When she returned to Willow Creek, she had to face her past, particularly her past with Grayson Parkerson, her ex-boyfriend.

Right from the beginning, I fell in love with these two. I related to Jessica in so many ways- particularly her recovery from her TBI. And Grayson... oh, how I loved how he still cared for Jessica after so many years apart.

I cannot wait for the next book in the Willow Creek Valley series! I so want Jack's story!!

Paperback Giveaway~Enter for a chance to win: https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/sh...

Pre-Order here: https://geni.us/RTUsl

This teaser for Return to Us is … ahhh! I can’t wait for this book and Corinne is always known for bringing hope and the feels. I’m so ready for a whole new family to fall for!

Pre-Order here: https://geni.us/RTUsl

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