My Review of Willow (Pepper Lane Club Book #1) by Grace Parks
Reading this book made me so happy! The dialogue is delightful, the characters are relatable, and the romance is so incredibly sweet. Loosing myself in the pages of this book was like watching one of my favorite romantic comedies from the late 90’s or early 2000’s. The author’s light and breezy style grabbed med immediately and I couldn’t put it down.
This book was like watching one of my favorite romantic comedies!
The romance between Willow and Thomas was just my cup of tea. It was both sweet and humorous and reading about the two of them together really warmed my heart. I particularly enjoyed the description of Thomas. He sounded very intelligent and very cute.
Reading this book was like being part of a group of amazing gal pals!
There were several times I actually laughed out loud while reading this book. I was able to imagine myself in the role of the protagonist and in many ways, for me at least, this book was classic wish fulfillment. In the pages of this brief novel, I could steal away from the stress and worry of my own life and instead that I’m part of the Pepper Lane Club. I truly felt for Willow, and I enjoyed the female friendships in this book equally as much as I enjoyed the romance. All of the characters were fun and relatable, but I particularly enjoyed the protagonist, Willow, and her twin, Riley.
This book made me so happy that I couldn’t put it down!
I downloaded this book on Kindle Unlimited because I was curious to see what it was about. I had only intended to read a few pages, but I was immediately caught up in the voice of the protagonist. I was immersed in Willow’s story. As soon as I finished this book, I went back to Kindle Unlimited in order to download Riley’s story. I’m already several chapters in and I can’t wait to hear about how Willow’s bookish twin sister finds a happy ending of her own.
I can’t wait to read more of the Pepper Lane Club!
Author Interview with Grace Parks
Rebecca: What inspired you to write The Pepper Lane Club? Do you have a group of friends like this in your own life? Is the café inspired by a real place?
Grace Parks: I have a great network of friends, but the concept of a monthly dinner with them is not possible as most of them are halfway around the world. The Pepper Lane girls are lucky to live so close to one another. I wanted to write a sweet romance series for my readers to escape the chaos of everyday life, and I loved the idea of choosing the same café as a main feature. The café was not inspired by one particular place, but rather by an amalgamation of various places I have visited over the years.
Rebecca?: When writing the Pepper Lane Club, how much outlining and planning do you do? Do you know how all six love stories will end or do you discover the story as you write?
Grace Parks: I outlined the full series at the start, but only with the basics. I had a vague idea of how I wanted each story to end, but for the most part I let the story take shape as I wrote it. I felt like a secret seventh member the whole time.
Rebecca: Your novel is a great setup that introduces all six members of the club. I’m terrible at keeping characters straight, but you managed to make each one distinct and unique. Do you have any tips for authors who are dealing with a large cast of characters?
Grace Parks: Absolutely – spreadsheets all the way! I have an Excel spreadsheet with blurbs, character details and any extra information I add along the way. I referred to this often. I have two screens on my desk. One for the writing, and one for the character spreadsheet.
Rebecca: Your dialogue is fun and snappy. It made me laugh many times. Do you have any tips on writing dialogue? How do you give each character such a unique voice?
Grace Parks: Thank you so much. I love dialogue. The most important thing is to immerse yourself into the story to the point where you feel like you are the characters themselves. I found myself laughing when they laughed, or feeling sad when they were sad. I probably looked crazy to anyone walking in on me, but that’s nothing new.
Rebecca: I’m sure that you love all your characters in the Pepper Lance Club, but is there one woman’s story that is your particular favorite or that is particularly near and dear to your heart?
Grace Parks: Ooh, this is a hard one for me. Each one has a little bit of my own character included, so I related to most of them in different ways. If I had to choose, I would say Riley and Rachel. I am, however, planning a sneaky seventh book based on a side character, but that will be revealed later.
Rebecca: What was your favorite part of writing Willow’s story? What was most challenging about it?
Grace Parks: I think the best part of writing Willow was how much fun I had with it. It’s not a heavy book, but it deals with real issues, and I loved becoming a part of her life. Writing about her dog, Truman, was my best part. As there are five books that follow Willow, the most challenging part was making sure each character had an important role to play in the story.
–From Grace, with Love…
Grace Parks is a sweet romance / chick lit author with a penchant for the happily ever after.
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Synopsis of Willow
Can a socialite and a technophobe fall in love?
A bubbly personality and a great job in social media didn’t mean that Willow Lawson had it all. Her love life was distant memory and her social life only work related. The maddening demands of life seemed to get in the way of finding time for herself or her friends.
She starts the Pepper Lane Club as a chance to step away from her busy schedule once a month to reconnect with her friends.
Thomas Greer, the proprietor of the Pepper Lane Café, annoys her. He’s her complete opposite; unsociable, serious, old-fashioned and dead set against social media.
Always game for a challenge, Willow decides to take him on as a client. She’s going to prove to Thomas that he needs her help. She knew she would be successful, she just didn’t know she would lose her heart along the way.
Can Willow fall in love with a man that doesn’t respect her profession? Will Thomas let go of his preconceptions long enough to get to know the real Willow? Enjoy this sweet romance as Willow finds love and friendship in the first book in the Pepper Lane Series.
Six women. Six stories. Six chances of love. One café.
The Pepper Lane Series follows the lives of six women as they share life, love and heartache once a month at the Pepper Lane Club. They might be an unlikely group of friends, but it takes all types to form a tribe.
Get your copy of Willow by Grace Parks!
Thank you so much Rachel, from Rachel’s Random Resources, for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review! Please make sure to check out the other folks on this blog tour!
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