Review: Return to Us by Corinne Michaels (Willow Creek Valley #1)

Note: An advanced reader copy (ARC) was provided by the author via Valentine PR.

Corinne Michaels starts off 2021 with a brand-new series! Willow Creek Valley is a spin-off of sorts of her Arrowood Brothers series, but it's safe to say that the series starter (and the forthcoming books) may be read as a complete standalone. I was only able to read two of the four Arrowood Brothers books (the second and third ones), missing out on the final out which has the story line that leads into this new book. Yes, my curiosity has definitely been piqued, and I do intend to read the books I have yet to peruse (I mean, hello, any book I've missed by this author automatically goes on my to-be- read list!), but again, you don't necessarily need to read Stay for Me in order to understand or appreciate Return to Us, book one in Willow Creek Valley.

After fourteen years, thirty-two-year-old Jessica Walker is back in Willow Creek Valley, North Carolina. Still recuperating from injuries she sustained after a plane crash where she was the flight attendant, she doesn't know how long it'll be when she can go back to the life she had in California. What she does know is that in a town as small as her hometown, sooner or later, she would see Grayson Parkerson--the boy she loved and has never forgotten. The same boy whose heart she broke alongside her own when her fears got the better of her. Now thirty-four, firefighter Grayson's world is all about his four-year-old daughter, Amelia. The last thing he needs is to revisit anything he once shared with the girl he thought he would spend forever with, but the more time they spend together, the more his bruised heart hopes that maybe now, she'll choose to stay.

There's something about a second-chance romance--particularly a superbly written one!--that just gets to me. And then there's the additional aspect of Grayson being a single parent, and all of this being the brainchild of Corinne Michaels? Yes, please, and thank you! I loved Jessica and Grayson's story, and while shards of their heartbreak from a decade and a half ago were still there, they also realized that their love was one that could overcome nearly everything--even certain family members who don't deserve to be called family. Amelia was definitely a scene-stealer each and every time she was on the page, and the supporting characters--Grayson's siblings, Joshua, Alexander, Oliver, and Stella, Grayson's best friend, Jack, Jessica's sister, Winnie, and Jessica's best friend, Delia--have me excited for whatever stories may await them as the Willow Creek Valley series evolves and progresses. For now, check out Return to Us, which receives five stars.

Release Date: 23 February 2021

Date Read: 20 February 2021

Learn more about Corinne Michaels.

Pre-order Return to Us on Amazon | Apple Books | B&N | Kobo.


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