Title: Return to Willow Lake (Lakeshore Chronicles #9)
Author: Susan Wiggs
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Published: August 28th 2012 by Harlequin MIRA
My Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
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. Profoundly emotional and resonant, this is Susan Wiggs at her finest.
The Lakeshore Chronicles by Susan Wiggs is the series that started my love affair with romance novels, and now? Six years later, my love is still going strong! When I heard that Sonnet was getting her own book, I was thrilled! Her mom’s story (Nina and Greg) was one of my favorite, so I was sure to love Sonnet’s story.
The town of Avalon is such a vivid work that Susan Wiggs has created. The characters set up camp in your heart and refuse to leave. I really could gush on and on about the writing and the town.
One unique thing about this series is that Return to Willow Lake (and the previous book, Marrying Daisy Bellamy) follow the children of some of the original characters. As readers, we have watched Sonnet and Zach grow up from teenagers to successful adults. Their story is one you truly can feel invested in and find yourself cheering for a great outcome!
I mst warn you, this book is nt without a few tear-jerking moments and a few horribly embarrassing ones as well. (Including a political campaign that makes me hate slime-ball politicians and their bottom-feeding assistants even more!)
I really loved Return to Willow Lake and am anxiously hoping for a return trip to Avalon in the future! I highly recommend this series to fans of Susan Mallery’s Fool’s Gold books, or Shannon Stacey’s Kowalski series.
For Love and Books: I fell in love with the Lakeshore Chronicles when I picked up a copy of The Winter Lodge, and I’ve always been curious – is there a real life version of Camp Kioga somewhere? (This is part of why I ADORE the series – my love for summer camp!)
Susan Wiggs: I’m in love with summer camp, too! There was a fun movie years ago–“Indian Summer”–that got me thinking about old-style summer camps. Camp Kioga is based on a number of camps I researched for the book. Most seemed to be in Maine and New Hampshire. There’s something so appealing about a retreat from the world in a beautiful spot.
For Love and Books: Can you tell us anything about your writing process? Do you have detailed plots? Multiple pots of coffee? Loud music? (Pastries to inspire your writing about the Sky River Bakery? )
Susan Wiggs: All of the above! You know me well. I’m actually kind of random and disorganized about it. I spend as much time avoiding writing as I do writing. I create a playlist for each book, songs that inspire me to write about the various characters. My first drafts are all done in longhand.
For Love and Books: One thing I love about the two latest Lakeshore Chronicles books is that we’ve watched Daisy, Sonnet and Zach grow up and now have their own love stories! What has been your favorite romance within the town of Avalon?
Susuan Wiggs: Sonnet and Zach. Their relationship has been a long time coming, as you said, and also, the book was written during a really fun and happy period of my life. The two of them tugged at my heartstrings for a long time.
For Love and Books: Will there be more Lakeshore Chronicles books?
Susan Wiggs: Definitely. I’m already working on Logan’s story (Daisy’s ex). It’s a Christmas book.
For Love and Books: If you weren’t writing, what would you be doing?
Susan Wiggs: Official Puppy Holder at the animal shelter.