Willow Park Romance # 1
By: Sarah Hegger
Releasing March 31st, 2015
In this evocative new series from author Sarah Hegger, a woman returns home after a long absence—and wonders if two wrongs really can make a right...
Nine years ago Lucy Flint ran away to Seattle, taking her friend's boyfriend and leaving her high school sweetheart without a word of explanation. Now she's back in Willow Park, Illinois, to help care for her ailing father—and it's no surprise that her ex, Dr. Richard Hunter, is still angry.
Still, she's a different Lucy now. Sober, wiser, ready to make amends to the long—make that very long—list of those she mistreated during her wild younger days. Falling for Richard all over again would mean wreaking havoc in both their lives and possibly squandering her opportunity for redemption. But here, in the place where everything went wrong, is the one person who always felt right, and a second-chance that could be the best mistake she ever made…
You can view the book trailer here;
Book Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wnj4IHOhcuU
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They say you can't go home, but if home is Willow Park, it's even harder.
When Lucy Flint returns home after leaving nine years earlier, she planned to never return. She left behind a past riddled with guilt, recriminations and addiction. Her life took her to Seattle, where she learned to get sober and committed to remaining so. But fate handed her a lemon when she needed to return to Willow Park to help make arrangements for her ailing father. Lucy has always had a tumultuous relationship with her dad, and that hasn't changed. Her mom doesn't help, and knowing that the man Lucy had tossed to the curb when she'd left lived next-door doesn't help. She may still love Richard Hunter, but his hurt and anger doesn't make it easy to make amends the way she needs to.
What I love about this book is Sarah created each character with flaws, but those human traits are so masterfully rendered that you find yourself rooting for them all to triumph. The relationship between Lucy and Richard, and Richard's ex-wife, one of Lucy's dearest friends, is hurtful at the same time it is hopeful. Lucy left a swath of destruction behind her, and she is out to make amends. The fact that Richard is her father's doctor puts them in close proximity and the embers that remained from their past love are fanned into flames again.
The secondary characters are well developed and Sarah's writing borders on poetic. I am eager awaiting book 2 in this series, Nobody's Fool
I give this book 5 happy sunflowers.
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Lucy was so absorbed in her own private misery she heard nothing until he spoke.
“I’m afraid I don’t know the password.” She looked up and for the first time that morning, her face split into a smile. He certainly didn’t need the password and even less so when he came bearing a steaming mug of pure heaven. Lucy drank in the sight of him and stopped. He was wearing some kind of Lycra tight things.
“You planning a pas de deux?” She motioned to his muscular legs.
“Ha, ha.” He handed her one of the mugs.
Lucy groaned her appreciation as the aromatic waft touched her nostrils. Sweet God in Heaven, he’d even put cream into it. If this wasn’t love, it damn well should be.
“I was on my way for a run when I saw you out here.”
“What the hell are you doing going for a run?”
“What the hell are you doing sitting out here in an old children’s fort?”
Lucy shook her head at him. “I asked you first.”
“I’m in training. Your turn.”
“I’m in mourning.”
“Is that why you look like crap? No offense.”
Lucy let out a shocked little gasp of laughter. “I am so taking offense at that.”
“Hmmm?” Richard crouched down at her side. He tilted forward and reached out with one hand to catch a tear from her cheek. His knees bracketed the side of her leg from hip to knee.
Lucy grew suddenly lightheaded. He was awfully close. It would be laughably easy to lean slightly to her left. She would tuck her face into that sweet spot between his neck and his shoulder. His chest would be broad and impenetrable beneath her cheek. She would feel the warmth of his body as his arms closed around her. And everything would be all right.
“Lucy?” He frowned at her. Clueless as to what was going through her mind. “What are you doing out here in your pajamas?” He looked down at her legs and then turned his head to the side and looked some more. “Is that SpongeBob SquarePants?”
“This is pretty desperate stuff, Luce.” He took a sip of his coffee and nudged her cup to her lips. Lucy sipped obediently and cradled her hands around the warm ceramic. “Sitting out here in the snow in your Patrick pants and crying.”
“What do you recommend?” Lucy gave a watery chuckle.
“A good, stiff shot of—” He stopped suddenly and looked stricken.
“I tried that.” Lucy took another sip of the coffee. “It didn’t work so well for me.”
“Shit, Lucy, I’m sorry.”
“Forget it.” Lucy waved a hand dismissively. “I’m not going to go flying off on a five- day bender because somebody makes a remark.” She sniffed and he handed her a dishcloth. Lucy took it with a laugh. She scrubbed her face with the cloth. “I’m feeling sorry for myself.”
“So you decided freezing your ass off would be a suitable fate?”
He surprised a snort of laughter out of her. “No, I was getting some space. Dad is bad this morning.”
“Yeah,” he exhaled softly. “I tried having a talk with your mother yesterday. She doesn’t seem to want to hear it.”
“I know,” Lucy said, shrugging. “Every time I try to get her thinking about making any sort of choices, she digs in her heels.”
“Lucy”—he rapped her knee gently—“are you sure your mom wants to do something about this?”
“Nope.” Lucy sipped her coffee and sighed. “She sounded so desperate on the phone. I thought if I came here, I could help her, be here for her to lean on, like I should have done all these years.”
He took a sip of his coffee. “People have to want you to help them for that to work.”
“Now you sound like Mads.” Lucy laughed softly. “My sponsor,” she told him when he gave her a questioning look. “She is always saying stuff like that to me.”
He opened his mouth to speak and then shut it again. He’d done that before and she suddenly wanted to know.
“Nothing.” He shrugged, not at all convincingly, and Lucy continued to glare at him.
“What was it like?” he asked suddenly. “Getting sober.”
“Pretty hellish,” Lucy answered, grimacing. “But the worst part is staying sober. Being here”—she motioned to the house behind them—“brings all the stuff up again, all the reasons why I drank.” He waited for her to say more. “Having to face up to all the stuff I did. What a total screwup I was. That’s the hard part.”
“You weren’t that bad,” he tried, but Lucy gave a snort of laugher.
“I was a nightmare.”
“Okay,” he said, grinning sheepishly. “There were certain parts of your past behavior that still make me want to break out into a cold sweat.”
“Is that all?” Lucy said a little breathlessly as they skirted closer to dangerous territory.
“It wasn’t all bad.” His voice deepened slightly or perhaps it was her imagination, but Lucy forgot how to form a sentence. Not when he looked at her with those summer-sky eyes gentle on her face. She had been sure she’d banished that look from his eyes forever.
“You look tired.” He reached out a finger and gently traced the dark patches under her eyes.
Lucy forgot to breathe. His touch against her skin was blissful.
His eyes grew dark and he didn’t rush to take his fingers away, but traced the line of her cheekbone to the edge of her mouth. His focus narrowed onto the small spot occupied by his index finger.
“I’m not sleeping too well,” she admitted.
“Don’t be too hard on yourself, Lucy. I think if you look fast, you’ll see that even we are becoming friends again.” The blue of his eyes grew hotter, more intense. “Or something.”
Born British and raised in South Africa, Sarah Hegger suffers from an incurable case of wanderlust. Her match? A hot Canadian engineer, whose marriage proposal she accepted six short weeks after they first met. Together they’ve made homes in seven different cities across three different continents (and back again once or twice). If only it made her multilingual, but the best she can manage is idiosyncratic English, fluent Afrikaans, conversant Russian, pigeon Portuguese, even worse Zulu and enough French to get herself into trouble.
Mimicking her globe-trotting adventures, Sarah’s career path began as a gainfully employed actress, drifted into public relations, settled a moment in advertising, and eventually took root in the fertile soil of her first love, writing. She also moonlights as a wife and mother.She currently lives in Draper, Utah, with her teenage daughters, two Golden Retrievers and aforementioned husband. Part footloose buccaneer, part quixotic observer of life, Sarah’s restless heart is most content when reading or writing books.
She loves to hear from readers and you can find her at any of the places below.
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