Wildflower Wedding by LuAnn McLane #Review

Wildflower Wedding by LuAnn McLane #ReviewWildflower Wedding by LuAnn McLane

Series: #6 Cricket Creek
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Published by Signet on April 1, 2014
Pages: 304
Format: Paperback
Source: Publisher
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three-half-stars  

This was my April TBR pile vote winner book which was originally chosen because I was trying to expand my horizons. I actually picked up this harmless, innocent book with trepidation. Paranoid, much? Yeah, I do when it comes to simple, sweet, stand on its own Contemporary Romance. For years, I always needed the romance to come with another element or genre blend to pick it up, but it has been a personal goal to expand my reading tastes to include the sweet, heartwarming types too. Suffice to say, that is exactly what this is: a sweet, heartwarming, ‘what you see is what you get’ romance- or rather pair of romances. Yep, bonus for me, there were two romances to enjoy.

The setting is a small town in Kentucky called the adorable name of Cricket Creek. The town made it through the recession and is now revitalizing in leaps and bounds including Gabby Goodwin’s cute flower shop in Wedding Row and Reese Marino’s Italian pizzeria in the restaurant quarter. As with the town, its residences are getting their second chance and revitalizing too it seems. Reese and Gabby along with Reese’s Uncle Tony and Tessa are feeling it in this installment.

I accidentally grabbed the sixth book in the series, but I had no trouble getting up to speed and enjoying the story though some of the previous characters do slide in and out of the scenes.

The story opens when Reese Marino moves back to his childhood town along with his uncle to open their pizza place and move closer to Reese’s mom and give them all a fresh start. Reese was once an angry, brooding teenager after his dad left him and his mom with no explanation, but he straightened out with Tony’s help. Tony went through a hard time when his wife cheated on him and left when the family business became a struggle. So all of them: Reese, Tony and Tessa are going into this new venture together.

Reese discovers that the girl he always had a thing for is also a new town business owner and he would love a shot at Gabby Goodwin, but unfortunately she is timid about his past and seems to want a stable guy like the mayor. It is frustrating, but he decides to keep trying with her. He’ll show her that he has staying power unlike his own father.

Gabby can’t believe how being around Reese stirs her up again like he did when they were kids. He looks as good as ever and he seems to have really changed, but dare she count on that? Her mother cautioned her about trusting bad boys or even reformed ones. No, Drew is the safer bet and the guy she should want. Only Drew doesn’t stir a thing inside her.

Trish is starting over after many years of marriage. She let her dreams go and remade herself all for a guy who cheated on her and replaced her with a younger model. Maggie tells her that it was on Steve and that Trish is beautiful and wonderful and so needs to get back in the game with a guy who will appreciate her. Meanwhile, she is starting over in Cricket Creek and picking up her dreams of writing again. It doesn’t hurt that her tenant in the next bungalow over is a hotter than sin Italian with an adorable dog. Tony has his own issues just as she has hers and it would probably be a really bad idea to start something up, but somehow her heart just isn’t listening to her head.

This story is one of those curl up in your seat and get cozy for some ooey-gooey sweet stuff. The setting is a cute little perfect town, adorable characters, and people with a few hang-ups, but no real barriers to romance and happiness. The pace is even and gentle. The four primary characters share the narration. I was glad for all their perspectives as it made for some lively change. This book really didn’t have any spikes other than one crisis near the end for Reese and his mom. It really does just meander along for the most part.

I enjoyed my bit of time immersed in the drowsy little world of Cricket Creek and meeting its characters. I really loved Reese and Tony and Trish with their stronger emotions and more colorful personalities. Tony and Trish were so hilarious the way sparks shot between them and they were constantly rubbing each other wrong or fighting off the irresistible attraction. Reese is still carrying around a lot of anger toward his dad and he really puts himself out there even after getting snubbed big not once, but twice by Gabby. He feels it, but thinks she’s worth it. Gabby was just meh for me. I didn’t take to her from the start. She’s just a little timid mouse and yeah…that’s it. Reese made all the grand gestures it seems and it was like she sat back and let him do it to test him or like it was expected that he should have to court her when really, what was so special about her and it wasn’t like Reese owed her? He courted her back in high school too with the same results- Gabby not believing he was sincere or real. Honestly, I really didn’t see the attraction he felt for her.

This brings me to the romance. Tony and Trish are fire, spice and fireworks and perfect second chance late Summerish-Autumn romance for these two middle-agers that learn they have a lot of living to do now that the exes are in the rear-view mirror.

Reese and Gabby is a more cautious gentle pressure while Gabby resists and denies giving a little at a time. I was glad that Reese was all that he should be. He waited patiently, he took her mistrust and he kept trying. Right when he thinks he has her, she jumps to conclusions not once, but twice. Sure she’s sweet- to everyone else, but I just couldn’t get into the romance when she always was poised to pull the cord on the relationship. He never did wrong by her and he knows what it’s like to have someone leave, but that doesn’t stop her from treating him like he was a bad sort. So yeah, that part was disappointing.

All in all, I liked the small town with its interesting characters, I liked the gentle storyline for a change up, one of the romances did it for me. I would recommend this for Contemporary Romance fans who want an uncomplicated, easy-going, slightly spicy story.

My thanks to Penguin Group for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for my honest review.

Romance Roundabout #187 CR

Cliché Klatch #106 ‘Really Tore Him Up’

Mt. TBR #86

New to Me #93 author/series

Books N Tunes #34 Frank Sinatra ‘As Time Goes By’

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I was born and raised near Sacramento, CA. I have read since I was four years old and developed tastes that run the gamut of literature. I went away to college and have a degree in education, a certificate in family history research, and a certificate in social work. I worked for a non-profit agency with low income families for 20 years which included being responsible for the children’s library and promoting/teaching adult literacy. I have lived in Southeast Michigan for the last 18 years and I am currently a book addicted homemaker with a cat and husband who keep me grounded. Recently, I made it a challenge to review each book that I have read as a favor to author friends who said reviews are important. I have done reviews for Good Reads, Amazon, eBay, and Smashwords, but mostly at Goodreads and Amazon.
  • I think I’d like the easy-going, uncomplicated setting and most characters, but I would probably want to bash Gabby more than once ! Pretty cover 🙂

    • Yeah, this is good for just a certain mood when you don’t want a challenging read and you want to get away to a make-believe perfect down. I can’t see myself only reading a feel-good like this all the time, but to mix things up, it was great.

  • Oh I love the sound of Cricket Creek…I mean who wouldn’t want to live there.

    • Exactly! It was this dream town with lovely people.

  • The heroine needs a hard shake. What’s with the trust issues lady? It’s great that this can stand alone. I am gravitating towards those more and more lately.

    • I get discouraged when I see an interesting series, but its already really long and can’t be read out of order.

      And yes, she really did make a mountain out of a mole hill.

  • Lindy Gomez

    I enjoy a goo small town romance. Gabby doesn’t sound like a character that I would care for either. Poor Reese! She should put in some effort as well, and not expect anything. I can understand having trust issue’s, but since someone left him too, she should understand that he could empathize with her, and give him her trust until he did something to break it. Great Review Sophia 🙂

    Lindy@ A Bookish Escape

    • It was a nice drowsy romance. Yeah the gal was annoying.

  • okay first off…Frank Sinatra…..FAVORITE singer of all time. I like the sweet romances but honestly they never fully satisfy…its like eating tofu instead of steak. When I started reading romances I read like Johanna Lindsey, Kathleen Woodiwiss, and Bertrice Small, where they are tough and gritty, they aren’t easy romance, that are fluffy and lighthearted….but it takes quite a bit of conflict and opposition for them to get their HEA. So even though the lighthearted and sweet romances are the thing now, I still am on the lookout for a hard to win romance because that is what made me fall in love with romances in the first place. Because in reality that is life…finding love and keeping is can be tough and hard at times. Sorry to ramble…but its been on my mind of late.

    • Aw, glad I gave you a fix of your favorite Ol’Blue Eyes. I’m more a fan of his contemporary Dean Martin, but Frank is really good stuff too.

      Oh, I get what you’re saying. It’s part of why I struggle with these easygoing ones. I’ve tried four different authors in this niche and its a push to stay engaged for the whole book. I have an appreciation for these now that I didn’t before and think they make a nice change-up for now and then. However, for the most part I guess I need the stronger conflict, too.

  • Oh I remember the poll for this one, can’t remember if I voted for this one though. It soudns like a fun and sweet romance and that’s fun there are actually two romances. I like that you get all their four point of views, although I do wonder how the author manages to combine the two romances in one book. The small town that is revitalizing sounds like a fun setting. I like the sound of Tony and Trish their romance more than the romance between Reese and Gaby, it just sounds weird that Gaby is so reluctant and keeps thinking the worst of Reese. Great review Sophia!

    • I think the romances end up working b/c of how close everyone is in this town. They are like one big bundle of friends and social activities so everyone meets eventually and there are lots of times to meet. Yeah, it was probably obvious that I was a bigger fan of Tony and Trish’s romance b/c I got tired of Gabby dragging her feet for no reason.

  • This sounds wonderful, I need something sweet like this! Great review missy!

    • You’re welcome! 😉 Always happy to help people find books to try.