Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publication Date: 4/1/13
Source: Received from publisher for review
Rating: 3.5 stars
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Cricket Creek, Kentucky, is a sweet river town known for its baseball, shopping, and weddings. After the recession, business is finally bouncing back, but old insecurities—and heartaches—are slower to heal…
Growing up on the wrong side of the tracks, Gabby Goodwin had more to prove than the rest of Cricket Creek. Even now, as the successful owner of the local flower shop, she hasn’t forgotten her humble beginnings. So when her high school crush, the former class bad boy, walks back into her life, she keeps him at arm’s length, protecting her heart—and her pride.
Reese Marino gave up most of his wild ways years ago, graduating from college and becoming part owner of his uncle’s pizza parlor. The fact that Gabby still treats him like a troubled teenager drives him mad, but that’s not the only thing about the sassy florist driving him to distraction. Despite Gabby’s reluctant attitude, Reese is determined to win her over and show her that love often blooms right where you least expect it.
The Cricket Creek series is comfort. You have a small yet thriving town, full of kind people who look out for one another. There's very little high drama, and love. Wildflower Wedding is only the second full-length novel of the series that I've had the chance to read (in addition to a Christmas novella) but I can still say I recommend the entire series.
In Wildflower Wedding, you get not only one love story, but two. I've noticed this pattern with the series, and I like it. With the primary love story, we have Gabby and Reese. They both grew up on the poorer side of town, and were friends. As they got older, Gabby tried to stay out of trouble while Reese searched it out. Both held affection for the other, but believed theirs was unrequited. With Reese's return to Cricket Creek, these two finally get a chance.
The secondary love story involves Reese's uncle Tony and Trish. Both are new to town, and skittish after painful divorces. I really liked their initially antagonistic relationship, and loved how they slowly warmed to one another. I wish the blurb mentioned this couple as well as Gabby and Reese, because I do believe they're an asset to the story. I enjoyed their love story just as much as the Gabby and Reese's.
I wish I could live in Cricket Creek! Between Wedding Row and the newly formed Restaurant Row, there's a lot going on. I want to go to the barn weddings, baseball games, and girls nights out. I love the strong female relationships in this series, and the sense of kindness each character exudes. If you're looking for a comfort read that will leave you peaceful and happy, take a trip to Cricket Creek.
"Yeah, all I ever wanted was you." He closed his eyes and sighed. "I'm not a little boy or a mad-at-the-world teenager. I'm a grown man and my feelings for you are real." He opened his eyes and looked at her. "But I wanted to wait to tell you how I feel. I wanted to gain your trust and show you I'm not that messed-up kid anymore."
Embarrassment vanished. She felt bold and beautiful. After living a life of restraint, trying to please instead of being herself, this felt even better than a flying leap. This felt airless, like soaring.
Tonight could not come soon enough.
The Cricket Creek Series
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About the author
LuAnn McLane writes southern bent romantic comedy for NAL and is currently penning her third novel in her Cricket Creek book series. Her books have appeared on best selling lists including Barnes and Noble, Rhapsody and Doubleday Book clubs. She recently collaborated with country superstar Wynonna Judd with the novel Restless Heart. She lives in Florence, Kentucky and when she isn’t writing… she enjoys family, friends, cooking, reading, music, travel and University of Kentucky basketball.