Author: Susan Wiggs
Publication: August 28, 2012
By: Harlequin MIRA2.75 Stars
Sonnet Romano's life is almost perfect. She has the ideal career, the ideal boyfriend, and has just been offered a prestigious fellowship. There's nothing more a woman wants - except maybe a baby.sister? When Sonnet finds out her mother is unexpectedly expecting, and that the pregnancy is high-risk, she puts everything on hold - the job, the fellowship, the boyfriend - and heads home to Avalon. Once her mom is out of danger, Sonnet intends to pick up her life where she left off. But when her mother receives a devastating diagnosis, Sonnet must decide what really matters in life, even of that means staying in Avalon and taking a job that forces her to work alongside her biggest, and maybe her sweetest, mistake - award-winning filmmaker Zach Alger. So Sonnet embarks on a summer of laughter and tears, of old dreams and new possibilities, and of finding the home of her heart. At once heartbreaking and uplifting, Return to Willow Lake plumbs the deepest corners of the human heart, exploring the bonds of family, the perils and rewards of love, and the true meaning of home.
Thanks to Netgalley and Harlequin for this ARC.
This was my first book by Susan Wiggs and even though it's #9 in the series, I didn't feel it was necessary to have to go back and read the other books first because there was enough explanation to catch a new reader up.
This isn't my usual genre but I thought the summary sounded interesting and so I gave it a try. As an MC, I found Sonnet to be frustrating and wishy-washy (for lack of a better term) when it came to Zach, Orlando and even her father. I understood her need to win her father's approval and acceptance which to Sonnet, meant winning his love but after awhile you need to grow a backbone.
I found the romance lacking, in fact, there was more romance between Nina and Greg than their was between Sonnet and Zach but it wasn't the kind that steams up your windows. It was the kind of romance that is found in a relationship that's withstood trials and is focused on the long haul. Not a bad thing, but I just expected more for Sonnet and it was, "meh".
I will say that what this lacked in heart racing romance, it made up for in the mother-daughter relationship. The bond between Nina and Sonnet is exceptionally strong and very emotional at times. (very) I struggled to get through the "hair" scene and was literally choke sobbing. Sonnet's willingness to put her plans on hold to help her Mom without so much as batting an eye was inspiring. Their relationship is a supportive one and only grows stronger with each new challenge. The end was left open, maybe for the next installment? All in all, this was a decent read but not necessarily the one for me.