Wishing On Willows

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Title: Wishing On Willows
Author: Katie Ganshert
Publisher: WaterBrook Multnomah
Published: March 19, 2013
Pages: 320

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Robin Price is the single mother of a three year old son, the proprietor of a struggling cafe, and all that plus fading memories are all she has left of her late husband. Being the proud owner of Willow Tree Cafe, she pours her heart into every muffin she makes and espresso she pulls. She loves the sense of purpose and community her cafe brings. But the cafe that represents her and her husband’s dreams is threatened when a condo is proposed where her shop and a vital town ministry are.

Ian McKay is the developer in charge of building the condo and his plans for an easy buyout and build is thrown a monkey wrench by none other than the beautiful owner of Willow Tree Cafe. She doesn’t plan on selling or giving up without a fight and neither does Ian. He’s determined to get her to sell and make his father proud and maybe make up for his past mistakes. With the future of his family’s business on the line he has a lot to lose if he fails.

As time passes and Robin still refuses to sell and Ian refuses to give up, Ian starts to wonder if he’s met his match and Robin tries to hold onto her husband’s memory and fight the attraction growing between her and Ian. Ian’s resolve weakens further when he finds out her grief resonates with his and with opinions separating the town, Robin and Ian must decide whether to cling to the familiar or give up their plans for God’s.

Will Robin save her cafe or will she lose it all for growth? Will Ian get his condos or will he lose to his beautiful headache? Or is there a way they can both get what they want? Will Robin choose her husband’s memory or will she choose a second chance at love? Will Ian decide to take another chance at love and risk getting his heart ripped out again or will he choose to live with his regret? Will they choose their plans or God’s?
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When I read this author’s first book I wasn’t expecting much out of it, but I found out pretty quickly that this author has an uncanny ability to portray grief in a believable way. This book is no different, in fact it’s even better. The storyline, grief, and romance are the caliber of someone who’s been published for years and that alone makes me a fan. This author amazed me with her ability and the fact that she hasn’t been published before now.

The romance is subtle and takes more of a backseat to the healing in this book and usually that makes me dislike a book but somehow it worked in this one. I also liked that this romance revolved around two people with completely different visions for the town. This romance broaches a lot of subjects that many authors have tried to broach, some succeeding and some not and this author definitely falls under succeeding. She nailed this romance.

The storyline of this novel is simple yet there’s a complexity to it that only appears with great characters with emotions and problems that make you think and feel along with them. I loved how each character has many different facets and is definitely more than one dimensional. The emotions that were spun into the story were portrayed so well that I saw myself feeling what the characters felt. This mountain of a feat is one of the main reasons why I’ve fallen in love with this author’s work.

The idea of this book is great too. A widow with a struggling cafe fights against and falls in love with a developer who’s determined to build a condo where her cafe stands. The execution was great too. I don’t really have a complaint about this book. Everything flowed together perfectly and the flow of the story never felt too slow or fast. If this is how this author’s stories are on her second novel how are they going to be on her sixth or twelfth? I can’t wait to find out.

Though this author is a new author, don’t write her off. She is a rare gem that captures your attention and won’t let it go. I love this author and she has made it onto my favorite author list with this book. If there’s one thing I know, it’s that I fully intend to get my hands on as many of her books as possible. If you only read one new author, let it be this one. Her books are more than worth the time.

Overall, this is a great book especially for a second novel. It will capture you and make you feel with the characters. This book is perfect for emotional fiction lovers or romance lovers. I think it’s best for adults only on this one. I give this book a four out of five.

*I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through The Christian Manifesto in exchange for this review. All opinions expressed are my own.*

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