BLUE HOLLOW FALLS
From her free-spirited mother, Sunny Goodwin learned the value of peace, love, and Jerry Garcia. The inheritance from the father she never knew? That’s a little more complicated . . .
Sunny never expected to find herself owning a centuries old silk mill in the shadow of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains . . . or becoming a half-sister to a ten-year-old named Bailey. Once the shock subsides, she plans to cash in and head back home. But the overgrown greenhouse she finds on the property calls out to the gardener in her, and she senses Bailey’s need for nurturing too . . .
And someone else is making it hard for Sunny to leave: Sawyer Hartwell, an Iraq War hero who wants to make the old mill a creative hub for the artisans of Blue Hollow Falls . . . and wants Sunny to share his vision, and his life. But sexy as this ex-soldier may be, she’s not sure she’s ready to give love a chance . . .
“Kauffman is masterful at scene painting, which draws the reader into the idyllic setting of Blue Hollow Falls…Compelling and cute…The start of a promising series…Fresh in ideas and scenery.”
“The first book in a new series by Kauffman has an interesting cast of characters, picturesque scenery and some humorous moments. While the main characters have plenty of chemistry, the romance is quite mild, so those readers who prefer less romantic descriptions should enjoy Kauffman’s latest. One thing that this small-town story does have a lot of is charm, and it’s obvious that Kauffman has poured time and heart into this tale. Fans who have enjoyed her Blueberry Cove books will want to pick up Blue Hollow Falls, as this book has a similar feel.”
“When U.S. Botanical Garden horticultur- ist Sunny Goodwin inherits part of a silk mill in the Blue Ridge Mountains and dis- covers a ten-year-old half-sister she never knew about—all on the same day—she plans to sell her share and get on with her life. Still, she agrees to visit Blue Ridge Falls to see what she’s got, and the mill and the people who’ve suddenly become her family—and eventually a stunning if somewhat dilapidated greenhouse with potential—force her to reconsider. Then there’s Sawyer Hartwell, one of the other mill co-owners, one of the most attractive men she’s ever met, and one of the most off-limits. Fascinating detail about orchids and the silk trade and characters who leap off the page (a child wise beyond her years and a family-focused “matriarch,” among others) add depth to this compelling story. VERDICT A gorgeous setting (complete with a stunning waterfall), a welcoming town, and quirky, lovable characters make Blue Hollow Falls a dream destination for readers and this appealing romance a perfect launch for a promising new series. Kauffman (Starfish Moon) lives in the Blue Ridge Mountains of western Virginia.”
“After her free-spirited mother’s death, Sunny (Sunshine Meadow Aquarius Morrison Goodwin) discovers that she has inherited a run-down mill in the Blue Ridge Mountains and a ready-made family: Bailey, her 10-year-old half-sister, and Addie Pearl, the ex-wife of the father Sunny never knew. Then there’s Sawyer Hartwell, a hot Iraq War hero who is trying to turn the mill into a haven for local artisans. Sunny’s career with the U.S. Botanic Gardens researching rare orchids means that her life is firmly ( we can’t resist) planted in Washington, D.C., but her attraction to Sawyer, her need to be there for Bailey, and the allure of the beautiful if neglected mill greenhouse keep drawing her back. Kauffman launches her Blue Hollow Falls series with an endearing tale.”
“In Blue Hollow Falls (Blue Hollow #1) by Donna Kauffman, free of any responsibilities she once had, Sunny Goodwin is determined to live her life on her terms now. Except, when the father she never knew passes away and she receives her inheritance, Sunny discovers she has half-sister and ownership in an old silk mill. Shocked by the discovery, she’s uncertain what to do, even though the property calls to her in a way she never could have imagined and she’s determined to get to know her younger sister. Will Sunny give up everything she’s worked hard for and give Sawyer Hartwell a chance, or will her need to be free from the kind of responsibility she once had keep her from finding happy ever after with the man she’s coming to care for?
Ms. Kauffman has an extraordinary talent for writing small town romances, and this first book of her new series, is a worthwhile read that I could not get enough of, due to the wonderful main and secondary characters that prove family is more than blood and the vivid descriptions this author pens that had me imagining what the small town of Blue Hollow Falls was like. The way this story started was delightful and had me liking the heroine immediately, as her life has changed in ways she couldn’t have imagined. Especially since she’s gone from being on her own to gaining an instant family in a half-sister she never knew existed, her stepmother, and the gorgeous Sawyer; an ex-soldier that has settled back in Blue Hollow Falls and is determined to make the old mill they’ve each inherited part of into something for artisans of the small town to come together and help get their creative juices flowing.
The dialogue was well-written and so entertaining due to the main characters back stories, the challenges Sawyer and Sunny face on their journey to happy ever after and the secondary characters who I loved just as much as the main ones. Sunny is finally free of the responsibility she had to her free-spirited mother, and she’s looking to take a break from anything resembling responsibility. How can she possibly stick to her plan when she has a younger sister she wants to get to know? What will she do about the mill and all the possibilities it offers for her life and maybe her career?
As for the main characters, I was charmed by both the hero and heroine. Sunny is strong and brave the way she’s finally following her own path, instead of looking out for someone else. It may make her seem a bit selfish, but I didn’t think so, because of what she’s willing to do for her half-sister and her determination to have a good relationship with the young girl who hasn’t had a lot of love in her life. I also like the heroine’s passion for her career and how the secondary characters are willing to use her ardor to show Sunny how much they want her to stay.
While the hero, he had it tough growing up, but he was lucky to have found a good home with the heroine’s dad’s ex. I also liked how kind and caring Sawyer was and the bond he shared with the heroine’s half-sister. It was adorable and heartwarming and just what the young girl needed to get her to open up instead of being so closed off. Because she’s never had anyone care about her as much as Sawyer and Sunny and the secondary characters do. I also liked that Sawyer managed to overcome what he’d seen and done while in the military where other soldiers have failed.
Overall, Ms. Kauffman has delivered a superb read in this first story of her Blue Hollow Falls series where the chemistry was strong and delightful and had me determined to discover what decisions Sunny or Sawyer would make to have a future together. The way this story ended had me thrilled by the sacrifices both the main characters were willing to make, as it illustrates how badly they want a future together. Yet, I also liked what Sunny’s half-sister did for her, because she too wants a relationship with her older sister. However, it was the epilogue that left me with a huge smile on my face, because it shows the wonderful bonds people living in small towns share and what they’re willing to do to make their friends happy. I would recommend Blue Hollow Falls by Donna Kauffman, if you enjoy small town romances or books by authors Jill Shalvis, Marina Adair, Samantha Chase or Sherryl Woods.”
“Donna Kauffman begins her new Blue Hollow Falls series with some serious style.
Sunny and Sawyer’s story, grabbed me from the start, but a large part of my enjoyment also came from the introduction of so many likeable secondary characters as well. The author does it so smoothly that it’s like being acquainted with and getting to know people that you grasp pretty quickly are likely to become lifelong friends, with each new book that is released. And all of this story is told around the rebuilding of a derelict Silk Mill, which in itself added even more unique qualities to the locale. But it’s not just the silk mill that gets rebuilt, it’s also the gradual building of a family.
It was comforting to know she wasn’t alone and, at the same time, made it that much harder…
Sunny, discovering that she has a ten year old step-sister she didn’t even know about is pretty much the catalyst that keeps the plot moving alongside the Silk Mill’s renovation in Blue Hollow Falls. A town that is hours away from her home, but one that becomes a second home to her when she finds out that along with her new sister Bailey, she has been bequeathed part ownership in the mill and surrounding land.
Maybe even the biggest sacrifices were worth it…
Initially she’s looking to off-load, cut and run back to her life in D.C. But town stalwart Addie Pearl and ex-wife of her know deceased absentee father, takes Bailey under her wing, dragging Sunny initially unwillingly along with her. But with the mill and the people of Blue Hollow Falls she finds a peace and stability that has been missing from her life, and it doesn’t take long for her to start looking for excuses to spend more time there. It doesn’t hurt that Sawyer Hartwell, who has been like the son Addie never had since early age, is giving good vibes, rocks a tool-belt and is a general all-round (hot and sexy) nice-guy.
“You’re complicated… Doing anything about you, much less with you, would be beyond complicated.”
The development of Bailey from the quiet, introverted ten year old little girl who has spent her formative years in the foster care system, into the quirky, happy child as the story progressed was also something that kept the feels on the emotional level, her and Sawyer together at points literally bought tears to my eyes.
“I can make you one promise that I know I can keep”
This is really the beginning of the building of a non-blood family, it seems that most of the residents that we are introduced to in the telling of the story are transplants from elsewhere as well, and all of them definitely have their own stories just begging to be told too. Seth Brogan is up next in the Christmas novella; The Inn at Blue Hollow Falls I loved his cheeky persona in this book, and as seems to be all the rage right now he is conveniently bearded and man-bunned up as well so will appeal to the masses that’s for sure!”
“Freed from two decades of playing the parental role for her free-spirited mother, Sunny Goodwin, a horticulturist for the U. S. Botanic Garden in Washington, D. C., is celebrating her freedom despite her very real grief for her mother. Sunny was brought up by her mother who after Sunny’s birth left the Virginia commune where she had lived for nearly twenty years to rear her daughter in a row house in Old Alexandria deeded to her by Doyle Bartholomew Hartwell. Eight months after her mother’s death, Sunny discovers that Hartwell was her father and that he has left her part ownership in an old silk mill located in Blue Hollow Falls, a Virginia mountain town that is a world away from Sunny’s urban life. Her inheritance also includes Bailey Sutton, a ten-year-old half-sister who is an old soul; Addison Pearl “Addie” Whitaker, a stepmother who insists Sunny is family; and Sawyer Hartwell, a handsome veteran who Sunny suspects may be her half-brother.
Sunny never plans for Blue Hollow Falls and the people there to become a significant part of her life. She does feel a connection to Bailey, but the feelings Sawyer evokes are not at all fraternal. Sunny is eager to return to her own world, but Addie has claimed Sunny as part of her makeshift family, and Sunny finds the pull of family hard to resist. Blue Hollow Falls and its residents offer Sunny peace and a sense of belonging that she needs, and Sawyer’s plans for the old silk mill offer their own fascination. When Sawyer proves to be her father’s adopted son and no blood relation, the pull grows even stronger. Can she reconcile her two worlds, or will she be forced to choose one and reject the other?
Kauffman excels at creating a powerful sense of place through geographical and historical details of Blue Hollow Falls. Sunny and Sawyer are likable characters who deserve happiness and readers will find it easy to root for their HEA. I especially appreciated that Sunny’s work as a horticulturist and Sawyer’s vision for transforming the old mill are essential parts of the story rather than mere throwaway references to their jobs. Earth mother Addie and young Bailey are also well-developed characters who add to the story’s emotional appeal. Seth Brogan, Sawyer’s war buddy and fellow Blue Hollow citizen, is a charming flirt with hidden layers, and he clearly merits his own story, as does the mysterious Will McCall.
Blue Hollow Falls is a promising introduction to this series. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and look forward to more stories set in this Virginia town. If you like contemporary romance rooted in community and connection in the vein of RaeAnne Thayne and Sherryl Woods, I recommend that you add this book to your TBR stack. The charms of the Blue Ridge Mountains claim the heart of another heroine in the next in the series, a Christmas novella, The Inn at Blue Hollow Falls, an October 31 release that I have added to my must-read list.”
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