The First Kiss of Spring by Emily March
One of my favorite book locales to visit is Eternity Springs, the place where hearts go to heal. There's something uniquely special and ethereal about this town and one very special resident, Celeste Blessing. The town has a way of attracting broken, damaged souls whose goodness just needs a little love and nurturing in order to shine, and Celeste has a special wisdom and gentle, guiding hand to nudge them in the right direction. Emily March's books are some of the few that find a permanent place on my bookshelf. If you'e never been to Eternity Springs, book your next staycation there right away! You won't want to miss this five-star read. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Reading an Emily March novel is like finally coming home after a long absence, returning to people and places that have carved out a place in my heart and will always be a part of me. This time we get Caitlin Timberlake's story, a character we've seen grow from a teenager to a self-assured, competent woman who will always be Ali and Mac's little girl, much to Caitlin's frustration. After living in New York she returns home to Eternity Springs to open a much needed daycare. She longs for a family of her own one day in the not too distant future, and she’s set her sights on Josh, much to her father's frustration.
Josh Tarkington has left his home and tragic past in Oklahoma and made his new home in Eternity Springs where his foster brother resides. He’s doing his best to put his difficult childhood and unfortunate genetics behind him, but the wounds linger and the damage is deep, overshadowing every aspect of his life, especially romantic relationships. There’s no one more in need of the healing and redemption that Celeste Blessing and Eternity Springs can bring about, if he'll only open himself to it. But that also means opening his heart to Caitlin, and he swore he would never love or be responsible for another person ever again.
This book had a unique twist that completely tickled me. Usually, when the main character is at the climax of his or her conflict, Celeste gives her profound, wise advice and the main character finally figures it out. Not so this time. I don't want to spoil it for you, but let's just say sometimes listening says more than speaking. This scene was somehow tender, poignant and humorous all at once, and it, alone, makes the book worth reading.
I was fortunate to read an early copy of this book but of course I purchased it because it’s Emily March. She’s an author who is an absolute must read for me, and I get her new releases as soon as I can get my hands on them. Her books are everything that is wonderful about a small-town romance, and more. Each character is so carefully crafted, full of complexity and so realistic I feel as if I’m living along side them. The setting of Eternity Springs is so detailed, vivid and colorful, I feel like a part of the town. The storyline is always heartfelt, compelling, and emotional, with touching truths and wisdom and the perfect amount of humor sprinkled throughout. If you haven’t read Emily March, you’re really missing out, because nobody does small-town romance better! Eternity Springs is a magical place where miracles happen and hearts heal, and you’ll experience the peace and contentment it brings when you visit.