Book Beat - Cedar Creek Seasons

In real life, few people are drop-dead gorgeous. Real-life people have quirks and imperfections and lumps and wrinkles. And real-life people fall in love.

I thoroughly enjoy romances that celebrate real-life people in all their glorious, humorous imperfections, and Cedar Creek Seasons is such a book - four delightful stories set in the four seasons of Cedarburg, Wisconsin, featuring four women in various seasons of life.

In "Contest of Wills" by Becky Melby, Willow Miles celebrates her fortieth birthday with a Polar Bear Dip and meets famous local artist Wilson Woodhaus when the door of her minivan falls off. Their budding romance is threatened when they enter the same competition.

"In Tune with You" by Rachael Phillips introduces us to proper choir director Chesca Appel, busy preparing the perfect Easter chorale. When her pastor pairs her with Seth Amundsen to add drama to her production - Seth ends up adding humor, romance...and a donkey named Stupid.

In "Silvery Summer" by Eileen Key, recent retiree Claire Parsons accompanies her niece to her former hometown of Cedarburg for a craft fair. Everywhere she turns, she's confronted by Eli Mueller, who broke her heart decades before.

"Maybe Us" by Cynthia Ruchti features Beth Schurmer, who has put her personal dreams on hold to care for her beloved grandfather and his yarn shop. The shopboy-next-door, Derrick Hofferman, is a klutzy seven-foot-tall brownie maker who charms Beth and her grandpa - but what is he hiding?

All four novellas overflow with humor and quirkiness. The characters ring true - as rumpled and odd and wonderful as your friends. The writing is fresh and fun and truthful. These four authors collaborated earlier on A Door County Christmas, and I certainly hope they'll collaborate again in the future!

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