shore leave cafe book coverReviewed by Amanda Schafer

Shore Leave Café is a family owned café in Landon, Minnesota that is run by the women of the family. We learn about Joelle in Summer at the Shore Leave Cafe, how she left her husband in Chicago months after finding him cheating on her with his secretary. Jo takes her three daughters to Flickertail Lake for the summer and finds peace and healing but she also finds passion. Joelle finds a passion with Blythe that she didn’t know still existed within herself. But when Jo’s ex-husband shows up at Shore Leave and challenges Bly they get physical and Bly ends up in jail. Not only jail, but sent back to Oklahoma where he is wanted for another crime. Before she knows what’s happened, Jo finds out that Bly has already left the state to turn himself in to the authorities in Oklahoma.

Immediately, Jo decides to go after him. She has to go and tell him she loves him and that she can’t live without him. In Second Chances we learn of his past and wait while he serves his time in the jail in Oklahoma. Jo comes back to Landon where she continues to impatiently wait for Bly’s return all while having to deal with her ex-husband and his constant comments of wanting to fix their marriage. Jo realizes she doesn’t want him back because she is deeply in love with Bly. Also facing Jo is the fact that during this summer of her own passion, her oldest daughter Camille has discovered a passion that got her pregnant and now the father of the baby wants nothing to do with her. The family rallies around Camille and supports her through her pregnancy.

notion of love book coverIn A Notion of Love, we back up many years to learn of Jillian’s history. Jillian is Joelle’s sister. She was once married but her husband died in a tragic accident. Left to raise their son by herself, Jilly throws herself into her life with her son and ignores all thoughts of men or remarriage. Until she realizes that Justin has been in her mind all these years. She never realized how much she loved him until now. During the same summer that Joelle is experiencing her own new-found passion, Jilly and Justin are rediscovering a love they never before acknowledged.

Winter at the White Oaks Lodge shifts gears a bit and shows us the blossoming love between Camille and Mathias as Camille struggles to be a single mother and give up her dreams of college. Camille digs into the family history in Landon after finding a picture in a trunk in the attic and it causes her to realize that she’s met Mathias in a former life. She can’t explain it, but she knows that she knows him from another time. They determine to go to Jalesville, Montana where some of the family still live and see if they can track down the rightful owner of the picture and learn more of their history.

wild flower book coverIn Wild Flower, when Camille dreams of a woman begging for help, they know they are on the right track to figure out this mystery of their past.  Camille and Mathias head out to Montana and instantly feel like they *know* the people there and truly connect with them. But still, they feel this sense of unrest because they can’t get to the bottom of the picture Camille found. Giving up and knowing they need to get home, they start out when Camille feels a Notion to veer from their path. She and Mathias find a hidden cave where they believe they’ve found answers when Mathias is bitten by a rattlesnake. Camille is able to get him to safety and saves his life…and a few months later they are married in Landon at Shore Leave.

Several years later, our story picks up with Tish, Camille’s younger sister. She is graduating law school and has been given the assignment of helping out a situation in Jalesville, Montana where land is being bought up and the landowners are fighting it. Unhappy to be sent out to the middle of nowhere, Tish figures she will just put in her time and move back to Chicago where she can get her fancy lawyer job and finally begin her successful career. However, there’s the little matter of Case Price. Case fell in love with Tish’s picture when Camille was there years ago and determined he was going to marry her. But Tish gave him the brush off at Camille’s wedding, and none to kindly. Knowing she was wrong and how much she must have hurt him, Tish tries to just put it behind her but when she sees Case again, she realizes she is attracted to him and wants to get to know him better. Finally allowing herself to admit the truth, Case and Tish fall fully in love with one another and Tish determines to stay in Jalesville with Case forever. But a dreadful barn fire might end it all for her.

Abbie Williams has written six great books in very quick order! They are easy-reading, women’s fiction full of hot passion and great storytelling. The books started out with a very large amount of sex scenes in the first two books and quickly began to fizzle after that. By the time I reached the sixth book, there was very little in the way of “sex scenes” but plenty of sexual tension. I’m not sure why she changed the format and I admit it was a bit disappointing. However, the storylines were great and I really can’t wait to see what happens with Tish and Case…hurry and finish the next book, Abbie!

Rating: ★★★★☆ 

Amanda lives in Missouri with her engineering husband, two sons, and one daughter. In between homeschooling and keeping up with church activities she loves to read Christian Fiction, Women’s Fiction, and any Chick-Lit. She never goes anywhere without a book to read!

Review copy was provided free of any obligation by Abbie Williams. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.