Book Review Mini Triple Feature: Misty Willow series by Johnnie Alexander

Posted July 29, 2019 by meezcarrie in Christian, contemporary, Johnnie Alexander, romance / 8 Comments

As y’all may remember, I reviewed books professionally for RT Book Reviews (aka Romantic Times) for three years until it shut its doors. Unfortunately, I wasn’t allowed to share these reviews with you here on the blog as long as they still belonged to the magazine. However, now that it has closed its doors and deleted its website (including my reviews) from its corner of cyberspace, I’m free to share my reviews for those books here too! I’m starting out with the Misty Willow contemporary romance series that I loved by Johnnie Alexander!

about the book

Misty Willow #1

GENRE: Inspirational Contemporary Romance
RELEASE DATE: January 5, 2016
PAGES: 365

Shelby Kincaid is ready to move on from her grief. With high hopes for the future, she longs to purchase her family’s ancestral homestead so she can raise her young daughters in the only place she ever truly belonged. She plans to transform the abandoned house into the perfect home of her memories. But she’ll have her work cut out for her.

AJ Sullivan never wanted the homestead. Inherited as a punishment from his grandfather, it has sat empty for fifteen years and fallen into ruin. He’s glad to finally unload it. But a clean break isn’t possible when he can’t get the young widow Shelby off his mind.

Welcome to Misty Willow, a place that will have as great a hold over the reader as it does over its inhabitants. With writing that evokes a strong sense of place and personal history, Johnnie Alexander deftly explores the ties that bind us to home–and the irresistible forces that draw us to each other.

“To cross the threshold into the house was to cross the threshold into a new chapter of her life.”

Young widow and single mom Shelby Kincaid has dreamed for years of taking her family home back from the Sullivans, and it seems she finally has her chance. Though instantly drawn to the home’s current owner, Shelby struggles to resist the chemistry. For his part, AJ Sullivan can’t get her out of his head or heart despite his aversion to the house and its memories.  With more reasons to avoid a relationship than to pursue one, will AJ and Shelby be able to put the past behind them and focus on the future?

This absorbing novel does more than just weave a story of romance; it creates an atmosphere of coming home.  The town and its people feel like long-lost friends, and readers cannot help but invest emotionally in the plot’s outcome. An added element of historical mystery swirls through the pages, alongside the more modern tensions also in play, and brings extra dimension to an already compelling story.

(I was paid to write a review for RT Book Reviews. All views expressed are nevertheless only my honest opinion.)

My Rating: 4 stars / Loved it!

KissingBook Level: 3 / May forget to breathe on occasion


about the book

Misty Willow #2

GENRE: Inspirational Contemporary Romance
RELEASE DATE: September 20, 2016
PAGES: 360

An Unlikely Couple Struggles to Reconcile the Burdens of Their Past

Dani Prescott came to the children’s hospital to spy on Brett Somers–so how did she end up on a date with him? Weeks earlier she’d seen an interview in which he blamed her mother for the plane crash that had killed his parents. But the crash had killed her mother as well, so Dani can’t believe the story Brett’s trying to sell to the media.

Vowing to find a way to discredit the privileged–and maddeningly handsome–Brett, Dani has been following him and taking photos, hoping to find something she can use against him. But when she catches his eye instead, she quickly finds herself offering up a fake name and agreeing to a date. Brett knows this mystery girl is hiding something–but he’s got his own secrets to keep. What will happen when he discovers who she really is? Will Dani and Brett look beyond their own heartaches to discover a love that could heal their deepest pain?

Fresh, flirty, and fast-paced, When Love Arrives is an engaging story that will have readers falling in love with the characters as they navigate the tricky waters between romance and revenge.

“She was on this lonely street to spy on Brett Somers. How in the world had she ended up on a date with him?

Brett Somers thinks he met Dani Prescott in the parking lot of the children’s hospital as a coincidence of serendipity. What he doesn’t know is that she followed him there in hopes of selling his picture and humiliating him for publicly accusing her mother of killing his own parents. When she accidentally catches his eye, one impromptu date develops into something completely unexpected. Falling in love was not on Dani’s agenda, but what will happen when Brett finds out the truth?

Brett Somers may be the quintessential reformed rogue, but Johnnie Alexander gives his story depth as well as charm. Dani Prescott’s character plays nicely off of Brett’s personality, though her motivations did seem somewhat overly reactionary. Still, their interactions are full of flirtation and sparks and heart and all the elements that define great romance. Along with a multi-layered plot and warm supporting characters, the author’s mastery of setting helps the reader feel part of the story. The theme of redemption from regret is well-written, and the underlying subplot related to Brett’s sister sets a poignant stage for the next Misty Willow book.

(I was paid to write a review for RT Book Reviews. All views expressed are nevertheless only my honest opinion.)

My Rating: 4 stars / Loved it!

KissingBook Level: 3 / May forget to breathe on occasion


about the book

Misty Willow #3

GENRE: Inspirational Contemporary Romance
RELEASE DATE: May 2, 2017
PAGES: 352

When Amy Somers loses her job as a lobbyist, she moves to Misty Willow, well aware that she’s crossing bridges she’d burned years before. With all the mistakes she’s made and the uncaring things she’s done–even to her own family–she can hardly believe that happiness will find her, especially when Gabe Kendall, her first crush and her first kiss, rides back into her life atop a buckskin mare.

A former Marine, Gabe is at loose ends after serving a prison sentence for being in the wrong place at the wrong time. He sees beyond Amy’s hard exterior to the girl he once knew and loved, and he longs to see her open her heart. Yet with his vision clouded by shame for his past and fears about the future, he finds it difficult to see the path ahead.

But the memory of that long-ago kiss just may have the power to reignite a romance that brings out the best in both of them.

“He could understand her forgetting the arrowhead he’d given her . . . . . But who didn’t remember their first kiss?”

Amy Somers is recovering at Misty Willow from the choices that sent her to a clinic and cost her a career. Gabe Kendall, Amy’s first love, returns to town after a prison stint that wasn’t his to serve. Both are hiding the real pain of their past, making sure no one gets too close, and yet they’re unable to stay away from each other.  As Gabe works to save his family’s property, Amy struggles to believe she deserves a second chance at happiness.

First loves and present pain blend together in a sweet romance with a touching message of faith and forgiveness. Amy’s backstory is emotional and important, though some of her current decisions may leave readers shaking their heads. Gabe has an even more painful past than Amy’s, and watching these two wounded souls find each other again is bittersweet but heartwarming. Readers are advised to keep a good supply of tissues on hand as some scenes are gasp-inducing in their tragedy. Visiting with familiar faces from the series rounds out the story.


about the author

Johnnie Alexander creates characters you want to meet and imagines stories you won’t forget. Her award-winning debut novel, Where Treasure Hides (Tyndale), is a CBA bestseller. She writes contemporaries, historicals, and cozy mysteries, serves on the executive boards of Serious Writer, Inc. and the Mid-South Christian Writers Conference, co-hosts an online show called Writers Chat, and interviews inspirational authors for Novelists Unwind. She also teaches at writers conferences and for Serious Writer Academy. Johnnie lives in Oklahoma with Griff, her happy-go-lucky collie, and Rugby, her raccoon-treeing papillon.

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Other Books by Johnnie Alexander

Check out her recent guest post on RimSP!

What about you? Have you read this series? What interests you most about the books? (Or, what did you love most about them if you’ve read them)

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8 responses to “Book Review Mini Triple Feature: Misty Willow series by Johnnie Alexander

  1. Sylvia M.

    I loved this series too. The viewpoints jumped around quite a lot in a way I wasn’t expecting. I did actually like the kids in the first book and thought they actually acted their ages. That seems to be difficult for writers to pull off, but Johnnie did it.

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