Friday, January 17, 2014

Cedar Creek Seasons

Authors: Eileen Key, Becky Melby, Rachael Phillips and Cynthia Ruchti
Publisher: Barbour Books
September 2012
ISBN: 978-1616266455
Genre: Contemporary romance novella collection

Romantic in every season of the calendar, charming Cedarburg, Wisconsin, works its magic on everyone. . .from free-spirited forty-something Willow, who meets her opposite; to twenty-five-year-old musician Francesca, who’s working with a man who sings off-key; and from silver-haired Claire, who gets surprised by a long-ago love; to thirty-something Beth, a shop owner who really doesn’t have time for a relationship. And be forewarned: you may leave your heart in Cedarburg, too!

A Contest of Wills by Becky Melby. Minutes after braving frigid waters in the annual Polar Bear Dip near Cedarbrook, free-spirited, forty-something Willow Miles literally grabs the nearest man to solve her car trouble. Predictable Wilson Woodsworth offers Willow and her children a ride—simple kindness that plunges them both into uncharted waters. When a contest to win retail space in the coveted historical district draws the unlikely pair into some outlandish schemes, will they find that opposites attract?

In Tune with You by Rachael Phillips. Twenty-five year old Chesca Appel, part-time choir master and music box manager, plans a magnificent cantata to celebrate Easter. Then her pastor requests two unexpected additions: drama and children, neither of which she feels capable of handling. Enter Seth Amundsen, a tune-deaf football coach who loves both. He, the rowdy children, his alluring ex-fiancée, her vengeful mother, and a basket full of trouble all join to make the cantata more memorable than Chesca ever imagined.

Silvery Summer by Eileen Key. With art, culture, the scent of strawberries, summer at its finest, and love in the air, newly retired Claire Parsons can’t resist wondering if she misjudged Cedarburg’s—and Eli Mueller’s—influence over her. They both broke her heart once. Does she dare let them work their magic on her at this stage of life? Will love come full circle in Cedarbur?

Maybe Us by Cynthia Rutchi. With college five years behind her, Beth Schurmer can’t afford to invest in a love interest….plus her Yarn Shop and caring for her grandfather. Love has threatened to bankrupt her more times than she can count. It’s a good thing her neighbor, chocolatier Derrick Hofferman, feels the same way. But as autumn comes to Cedarburg, Beth considers that wool of three strands might have merit after all. 

My thoughts: 

A Contest of Wills is cute—but I got a little tired of the sexual innuendos in the beginning and the chili variations turned my stomach. Wilson was a solid hero. One couldn’t help but like him. Willow, while fun, acted like a spoiled brat at times.

In Tune with You has the immature hero. But one can’t help but love him, despite him eternally frustrating the heroine. This cantata would’ve been fun to watch. Equally fun to read about.

Silvery Summer, I thoroughly loved. Claire is older and has a bit of a temper issue, but Eli was a sweetheart. Claire was his one and only for ever and for always and when she came to town he was prepared to do what it took to win  her heart. Totally sweet. 

Maybe Us—okay, Cynthia Rutchi is a stellar author. Her story was awesome! Of course, what’s not to love about a fudge-making hero who’s kind to veterans and a former EMT?

CEDAR CREEK SEASONS is a novella collection – part of Barbour’s romancing America series, set in Wisconsin. Great collection of stories. If you like novella collections you won’t want to miss this one. $7.99. 352 pages. 

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