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Small Town Detour: A Holiday Romance

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After years of struggling financially, things are finally looking up for Willa Johansen. A new town and a new job are just the first steps to a new life. Or are they?

Life as a consultant means never being in one place too long. Clayton Hartley is going to be in and out of Fayhill in weeks just like any other job. That is until one woman catches his eye and has him rethinking his life.

Sometimes you have to take a short detour through a small town to find the future you were always meant to have.

Published January 1, 2021

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About the author

Andrea Johnston

29 books640 followers
A romantic at heart, Andrea has always been a storyteller. An avid reader since a young age, she never planned to pen her own romance novel but, on a whim, and with no plan, she discovered her passion. Known for her slow burn small town romances, Andrea prides herself on writing relatable characters that the reader cheers for and secondary characters who bring the sass and laughs to each story.

Settled in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and dog, she counts down the days when her adult children come home for a visit. Even if it means more laundry!

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Community Reviews

5 stars
22 (44%)
4 stars
18 (36%)
3 stars
7 (14%)
2 stars
1 (2%)
1 star
1 (2%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 31 reviews
Profile Image for Debbie.
1,725 reviews51 followers
December 16, 2021

Lordy how I have missed reading an Andrea Johnston book. This one did not disappoint. It had all the small town goodness that I've grown to love, with some holiday goodness mixed in.

I adored Willa - she'd gotten knocked down but the girl had spunk and determination and you couldn't help but love her. Clay - I was leary at first. Sure he was dreamy, but was he there under false pretenses and things were not going to go well? I loved their banter and how he was able to chip away at the walls around her heart.

Also Shane, Mercy and my all time fave, Vera, making appearances was the icing on the cake.

A must read holiday romance for sure!
Profile Image for Heather.
304 reviews6 followers
December 20, 2021
I was ecstatic when I found out Andrea was releasing a new book.
Willa and Clay were pure magic together. I loved visiting Fayhill and seeing all the familiar faces again. Those cats sure were feisty and sassy too.
Profile Image for Misty.
599 reviews9 followers
December 20, 2021
Always great going back to Andrea’s little towns. This was a fun, quick, sweet read just in time to get your ready for the holidays.
Profile Image for Booklover Judy Lynn.
1,145 reviews14 followers
December 17, 2021
This standalone is connected to some of the author’s other books set in Fayhill, Texas, but only through reappearing characters. It can be read as a standalone. It is written in first person from an alternating dual POV.
Willa has had to work hard to overcome a setback. She finally has her life in order and has settled into a job she loves in a small town near her best friend, Mercy. Clay arrives in Fayhill as a consultant. He has worked and traveled tirelessly for a while, and he is beginning to think he may be missing something. When he meets Willa, the attraction is instant.
This was a sweet but steamy novella set around the holidays. Fayhill is a wonderful small-town setting that I really enjoyed. I loved Willa’s determination to succeed despite obstacles in her way. I liked Clay and how he falls for Willa. There is heat and humor in this fun holiday small-town read.
I am voluntarily leaving this honest review after receiving an advance reader copy of the book.
Profile Image for Dawn.
70 reviews1 follower
December 21, 2021
Hooray another visit to Fayville, this time with Willa and Clayton. I love it when Andrea takes us back to familiar places and faces. This read did not disappoint. This was a short sweet read. I enjoyed it from the first word to the last word. Andrea once again writes from the heart and weaves a great story. I really enjoyed catching up with familiar friends while reading about new ones. This is definitely a book you will want to pick up.
December 21, 2021
Having read Ms.Johnston's work before i always look forward to picking up another book of hers! As soon as i found out that she was releasing a holiday read i could not contain my excitement! I really enjoyed it!

Willa and Clay's journey pulled me in!

With Small Town Detour, Ms.Johnston has created such a good read! Be sure to check this one out this holiday season!

*I volunteered to read and review a copy of this book from the author*
Profile Image for Melena.
2,553 reviews51 followers
December 21, 2021
A quick, fun holiday read!

Clay and Willa had a connection and it was sweet seeing them fall for each other. Their story reminded me of something you'd see in a Christmas movie.

If you've some of Andrea's other books you may recognize the setting and some of the characters. This can be read as a standalone, though. This is a really quick read and perfect if you're looking for a short holiday story.

Thank you to the author for providing an ARC for an honest review.
Profile Image for samsbookstagram.
595 reviews23 followers
December 19, 2021
4.5 Stars

If you're looking for a quick infusion of sweet romance look no further! Small Town Detour is the perfect treat, full of adorable moments, fun characters, and the perfect slow-burn romance that will keep you glued to the page. It's the perfect read to cozy up with right before the holidays, and I couldn't put it down!

I really enjoyed this story and can't wait to go back and read more of these characters and world!

**ARC received in exchange for an honest review**

Profile Image for LLS.
689 reviews17 followers
December 20, 2021
After suffering from a huge betrayal from her long time boyfriend, Willa moves to Fayhill to start over and be with her best friend. She meets Clayton when his company brings him in to audit the nursing home she is the director of. This was a cute holiday story that I really enjoyed. Loved hearing from Vera again! Hoping for more from Fayhill and its residents!

Thank you for the privilege of reading this book! Well done
Profile Image for Melanie Helms.
1,051 reviews30 followers
December 15, 2021
This book was so cute and sweet! I loved Clay and Willa. It also made me want to go read Shane and Mercy's book cause i need more of Fayhill and Vera.
Profile Image for Erica |.
496 reviews
December 20, 2021
4.5 stars

What a sweet, small town holiday read! Fun characters, a delicious slow burn, and all the heart one comes to expect from an Andrea Johnston book. This was the perfect quick and cozy holiday read, and it was exactly what I needed!
38 reviews
December 21, 2021
I loved this book. Willa definitely needed a great man after what the asshat did to her. Clay and Willa were great together. I love small town romance.
Profile Image for Within The Pages Book Blog.
686 reviews20 followers
December 31, 2021
This story was the perfect read for me right now. A small town, sweet romance that sucks you in and makes you forget everything else going on around you. The characters chemistry is off the charts and the push/pull makes this one enjoyable read. Plus who doesn’t love a happily ever after for the holidays?! This is one story you want to read while curled up with your favorite drink and wrapped in a fuzzy blanket.
135 reviews1 follower
December 20, 2021
I have missed reading books from Andrea! I love the small town feels of her books! Clay and Willa are perfect! I loved it so much!! Returning to Fayhill was so much fun!!
Profile Image for Jaime Reynolds.
1,676 reviews15 followers
December 16, 2021
This story was the perfect read for me right now. A small town, sweet romance that sucks you in and makes you forget everything else going on around you. The characters chemistry is off the charts and the push/pull makes this one enjoyable read. Plus who doesn’t love a happily ever after for the holidays?! This is one story you want to read while curled up with your favorite drink and wrapped in a fuzzy blanket.
Profile Image for Aly.
29 reviews
December 16, 2021
This book has the warm and cozy feeling of going home to visit friends and family. Andrea Johnston writes small town and hilarious secondary characters as well as anyone possibly could. Catching up with Mercy, Shane, and Vera was amazing - and meeting Willa and Clay was the icing on the cake. Two naughty kittens, a little workplace drama, and two people who were meant to find each other make for the perfect holiday romance!
Profile Image for MaryLee Huerta.
98 reviews1 follower
December 30, 2021

Loved the story and the setting. The words were so visual that I felt fully involved from beginning to end. Despite the hardship, happy ending was how it finished. Grab your copy today
167 reviews2 followers
December 26, 2021
Didn't like the style

On the minus side, I didn't like the writing style. I found the present tense distracting. Many of the sentences were awkward. Lots of telling ("I feel more for her than anyone else"). I also didn't connect to their insta love, it seemed forced. In addition to all this, I didn't understand some of the back story. If Willa is capable of landing a professional job as an organiser, why did she work as a mall elf? Do such jobs really pay more than skilled jobs in America?
On the plus side, the effort into the back story was refreshing, and gave us a lot of insight into Willa. So two stars.

Standalone. 1st person dual pov in present tense. No violence. Mildly steamy.
Profile Image for Megan | A Page to Turn.
558 reviews16 followers
December 15, 2021
Going back to Fayhill was exactly what I needed this holiday season - I loved re-visiting with old friends, but also meeting some new ones! Willa is one of Mercy's friends from Austin and when life throws her one too many curve balls she decides to try something new and finds a whole new life in the town that loved and accepted Mercy! I absolutely love the small town feels, real life situations and a Hallmark-type romance you look for in Andrea's books, it felt like coming home again. Add in a dash of workplace drama and the holidays, plus two cute kittens and you have an entertaining love story. But I am one of the hopeless romantics that believes that you can fall in love with a person in a matter of days. Sometimes, you just know.
Profile Image for Stephanie Smith.
90 reviews
December 23, 2021
This was the perfect short and sweet holiday romance with just the right amount of small town charm! I loved seeing some familiar characters as readers returned to Fayhill, but I loved having some new characters added in! The pacing was spot on and even though it was a novella, the characters were fully developed and came to life right off the pages! If your looking for a great holiday novella to get you into the Christmas spirit, I highly recommend you grab a blanket, warm cup of hot chocolate, and settle in to read this beauty! It's worth it!
Profile Image for Crystal Andrews.
263 reviews2 followers
January 8, 2022
Oh my heart!

I am happy to be able to return back to Fayhill for this heart-warming story! It takes place over the Christmas and the New Year holidays although it can certainly be read at any time. I love the update with Shane and Mercy, but was so thrilled for Willa and Clay! Andrea Johnston has such a way with words that she has me wanting to visit or vacation with my friends in Fayhill. And I surely will be on the lookout for an invitation, should there be wedding bells anytime soon.
Profile Image for Stefanie.
862 reviews
December 27, 2021
Very cute novella based in the town of Fayhill. You get more diner. More Vera. More Mercy and Shane. And we get to meet Clay and Willa. Willa has had a rough go of it but thankfully she came to Fayhill to start over. She doing fantastic until a small bump in the road. A big cooperate employee by the name of Clay. Is he here to take her job. Fire her. This story was very cute. The shenanigans of Peanut Butter and Jelly were quite funny. Glad it helped Willa and Clay. Cute story.
Profile Image for Jenny.
675 reviews11 followers
December 27, 2021
Taking a detour and ending up where you’re meant to be.

A light, sexy, sweet and completely heartfelt small town romance. Clayton and Willa were amazing! If you’re looking for a feel good romance make sure you grab this book, you’ll love it.

You cannot go wrong with anything this author writes, this book is another great example of her talent.
Profile Image for AmyLynn.
540 reviews9 followers
December 23, 2021
Small Town Detour was a fun, sweet read with all the feels. I loved Willa & Clay's story. It's a heartwarming holiday read that will also have you laughing out loud. I couldn't put this book down. You will want to pick this one up.
Profile Image for ToniAnn.
481 reviews12 followers
January 8, 2022
What a light hearted book! Willa and Clayton were the perfect couple for this short story. Their story was such a fun read. Sometimes it only takes a a few days to fall in love. All the time, it takes you seconds to realize how much that person means to you!
71 reviews2 followers
January 16, 2022
Warm fuzzies!

So happy to have Andrea Johnston Bank in my life! Willa and Clay's story is perfect and brought me warm, fuzzy feelings. Sidenote: I loved the Thank Yous from Andrea at the end of story, too.
Profile Image for Catarina Águas.
1,670 reviews44 followers
December 11, 2022
It was such a cute romance. Perfect for the holidays. Willa took years to be in a spot of her choice and make her life what she wanted and not what she had to. Clay was a good man who needed a home, and she was the perfect person to show him where it was
Profile Image for Heathers2boys0206.
86 reviews23 followers
December 25, 2021
Sweet holiday read!

I loved the trip back to visit Mercy and Vera! Sweet story to read Christmas Eve! Andrea is so talented!
Profile Image for Samantha.
244 reviews
December 25, 2021
absolutely love Andrea's work, her slow burn was flawless like usual. I love getting to know these two, Clay and Willa are Teo darn cute. This is a must read.
Profile Image for Laura Danielle.
426 reviews5 followers
November 17, 2022

I love how this story ties in with the other books I have read. I love the characters and I hope there is more to come.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 31 reviews

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