Lavender Blue

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 08 Feb 2019

Member Reviews

I have been enjoying the Hollow Falls series by Donna Kauffman. Each book has characters from previous stories, but you don't have to read the first ones in the series to enjoy this one. Will McCall is a widower with a teenage son, Jake. He used to build, repair and play fiddles, but after the death of his wife Zoe, he never picked up another fiddle, and is now working in construction and as a handyman. Hannah Montgomery, and her friends Vivi, Avery and Chey are the newest residents to Blue Hollow Falls, recently purchasing a lavender farm, along with a rundown farmhouse. Each of these women have their own baggage, but they are eager to start a new life. Will is fixing up the farmhouse and he and Hannah seem to have an attraction to one another, although they are both fighting it. It is Jake, that binds them together. As they get to know one another better, their stories and their grief pours out of them.

This is a beautiful story. It is a story of dealing with grief, families, second chances and romance. I loved how Jake and Bailey helped Hannah share her feelings, both love and grief, while sharing about her son. Will learns that he doesn't need to feel guilt if and when he becomes attracted to another woman. While dealing with their feelings and baggage, it was wonderful to see the way their friends and family supported them and loved them. This story had me on an emotional roller coaster. There was humour, fear, sadness and grief, but overall, this was a HAE story with a lot of baggage being unpacked and put away properly. I am looking forward to the next book in this series.
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I was only able to get half through this book. It was drawn out too much and I lost interest. Sorry.
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Will finally gets his happily ever after! Will McCall is a stonemason whose wife died at a young age, leaving him to raise their son, Jake, on his own. Will’s never gotten over the loss of his wife but with the arrival of Hannah Montgomery in Blue Hollow Falls, he may finally be ready to deal with his grief and move on. 

Hannah buys a lavender farm with her three friends. She’s ready for a fresh start after losing her young son years ago. Although Hannah experienced a different loss than Will’s, she does understand grief. Together they learn how to move on with life after tragedy. There were more than a few tears shed through their journey to happily ever after. 

Lavender Blue is the third full-length book in the series and should appeal to anyone who likes small town romances. The book can be read as a standalone.
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Hannah and her three friends are working the lavender fields starting a new life.  Handsome Will McCall just wants to finish the job of fixing the chimneys.  Fate brings them together.  ARC
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I really love Donna Kauffman's writing style and how she always manages to create a town and people that draw you in and make you wish they were real. This is a book 3 in her new Blue Hollow Falls series and I really liked the first two books. Of course, I was excited for Will McCall's story, the stoic widower. I was super intrigued to find out who would be the woman to pull him from his shell...and we finally get to meet her in this story. Her name is Hannah and she is one of the new owners of the Lavender Farm that is being restored. The book definitely has the trademark sweet romance and genuine emotional connections, but this one was a little to emotional for me. This story revolves a lot around the loss of a loved one and dealing with grief, which I found to be a bit heavier than I typically look for in a contemporary romance. Though it was all very positive and I think the story contains really wonderful advice, it just made it a little hard for me to get through the story. I look forward to future stories in this series and getting to know the other ladies of the Lavender Farm.

I received a copy of this title from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review
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Kauffman is my go to author when I need a pick me up, and definitely doesn't disappoint with this novel that has quickly become a staple in my library.
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I liked this story. It is book 3 in the Blue Hollow falls series.  Hannah and her three friends have bought a large lavender farm and have hired Wilson McCall to fix the chimneys and roof.  Hannah and Wilson both are dealing with grief and Hannah has made it her mission to make Wilson smile.  Will has appeared in the previous books and it's nice he's getting his own story.  This is a story of friendship and healing.  Can be read as a stand alone book.  I received a copy of this ARC in exchange for a fair and honest review.
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Hannah Montgomery buys a lavender farm with three of her closest friends and discovers the beauty of the blooming plants soothes her artist's soul. She also begins to feel an attraction to Wilson McCall, a local stonemason, and his teenage son that might reflect on the relationship to her own deceased son. 

It's a beautiful story and a realistic one of the pain of losing a loved one. I have not read any of the previous Blue Hollow Falls stories, but I had no problem following the characters. Thanks to the publisher and to NetGalley for an ARC; all opinions are my own.
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Blue Hollow Falls is growing and expanding. An combination of four women who come together to grow and harvest an existing lavender field into numerous businesses. Lavender the plant being used in scents for oils, tea and baking. All while bringing life back into an old house and these women. Blue Hollow Falls is part of a revitalization of the arts in the Blue  Ridge Mountains. Being a fan of author, Donna Kauffman I have read previous books of the series, this can be read as a stand alone. Yet most will want to go back and read previous books. I enjoy reading what became of an interesting small character in one book and now develops into their own story and meet new characters with the knowledge I will read about them in the future. A definite 2 thumbs up!
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LAVENDER BLUE by Donna Kauffman entertains, filled with family and misfits who find their way to this loving artists’ community. Kauffman has a knack for writing about the place I’d like to call home. I was easily taken in by the characters’ welcoming nature, while enchanted by their comradery and empathy when healing wounded hearts.

Even though this novel is filled with light, that doesn’t mean there isn’t deep emotion. Far from it. But the light is always there, teasing the shadows to dispel. There may be some triggers for anyone who has suffered loss recently. This book features recovery but determining whether you’re ready to witness it in multiples should be considered before reading it.

Four friends from grief counseling move to the Blue Ridge Mountains to run a lavender farm and open a tea room. Each with their own set of issues and talents, their armor-in-common binds them together. Illustrator and painter Hannah Montgomery hopes to create an artistic place for her talent to regroup, as well as learn the lavender business, after losing her young son Liam. Her friends Vivienne, Avery, and Cheyenne each lost someone close to them, so this new venture between them is self-preservation as much as financial.

Blue Hollow Falls is the perfect place to start a new business, especially an artistic one. The artist community is growing, expressly with Addie Pearl motivating the expansion. I really loved the music scenes and felt my loss for not reading BLUESTONE AND VINE, first. I’ll remedy that soon.

Getting acquainted with Will McCall and his son in BLUE HOLLOW FALLS set the stage nicely for their stories in this book. I was quite excited to see Will as the choice for Hannah. It was far from an easy journey, though, since he’s still overcome by the loss of his wife. Will’s grief nestles into his quiet demeaner. Hannah’s loss is just as fresh, but she has done the work toward healing. Can Hannah be the light Will is seeking, or is he too far behind Hannah’s recovery to make her feel safe in a loving relationship?

There are so many things to love in LAVENDER BLUE. An artist-themed story is always a preference and one of my favorite herbs is lavender. Having spent years taking classes and teaching them in herb-related themes, the location feels like home. Farming in general is a hot button, so I would have grabbed this title without Hannah’s background. Add in the artists’ community and a tea room and I’m ready to move in. Even though every theme and idea hit my favorites, this book didn’t match my love for the first novel, BLUE HOLLOW FALLS.

I think what put me off the most is Hannah going gaga over Will’s body, ogling him and going on about it every chance she gets in her mind. I get it. She’s into him – it just became a repetitive thought process. Being the type of reader who doesn’t like too much inner dialogue, it tends to annoy me if it’s repetitive. Other than that, I loved everything else about this book.

But I was shocked by something Addie Pearl did – she irritated me, and it seemed over-the-top busybody-ish. Almost mean and I wasn’t expecting that from her. Even though I adored Addie Pearl toward the end, I felt that if I was Hannah or Will, I’d be a bit more miffed than they were. Being especially fond of all the characters in this community, I can feel a bit protective. It’s that kind of place where you don’t want to close the book and see them go away.

If you’re new to the series, I highly suggest you read it from the beginning just for pure enjoyment. I skipped book 1.5 and book 2, in order to review this quickly and wasn’t confused, but I feel like I missed out on some of the fun. I’m glad I have the other two books in my purchased TBR so I can catch up. If you just want to know what all the fuss is about, it won’t hurt to start the series here and work backwards. LAVENDER BLUE is a fun book, so it’s worth the read no matter where you start.

There was one especially tender moment between Will and Hannah that spoke to me. Hannah made me cry, even though I tried to hold it together. She’s normally a very bubbly person, so when her emotion hits, it’s hard not to feel deep compassion for her. I love Donna Kauffman’s way of setting a scene between two people. She inserts their movement with the dialogue just enough so I can see their facial expressions as if they’re in front of me. Will and Hannah had so many telling, tender scenes like that.

About halfway through, this book slowed, and I had a hard time staying focused. That could have been my flighty January brain, or repetitive thoughts from the characters, that bogged me down. Repetitiveness is one of my pet-peeves, so whether that slowed the book for me or not, it was why I dropped my rating a point because of my own picky preferences.

I adored Will and Hannah, especially Hannah’s bubbly personality. Vivienne, Cheyenne and Avery are great additions to the cast. I’m especially excited that Avery’s story is next in LAVENDER & MISTLETOE because I do love a female Brainiac. I am sad that it’s only a novella because I’m sure I’m going to want more.

LAVENDER BLUE by Donna Kauffman is a fun novel to take you to a good down-home rendition of music, art, festivals and community. Grief recovery is a stand-out theme throughout, but it’s cathartic and not overly sad, with laugh-out-loud moments to buoy the mood. Hannah’s light is a big reason for the beauty of this book. A cute addition to the Blue Hollow Falls series.

Review by Dorine, courtesy of TheZestQuest.com.
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I love the Blue Hollow series.  This book is a perfect addition to the series.   The writing style is wonderful and the characters come to life on every page.  I love the Va. setting.  I recommend this book.  Thank you netgalley for providing the free arc.  The opinions are my own.
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I don't always like Donna Kauffman books but this was fabulous. Every page was wonderful and entertaining.There were so many great characters I don't think you can make any more important than another. I hope there is more to come.
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I enjoyed this book but haven't read the first two books in the Blue Hollow series. I think I would have appreciated the backstory and relationships a little more had I read the first two books. The descriptions of Virginia were lovely. 

Many thanks to Netgalley, the publisher, and the author for my ARC. All opinions are my own.
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Absolutely loved this book! This series is a true escape to VA for me.  There was a great mix of love, suspense, and just really great story telling. So many charecters that can still be explored and written about I can not wait for the next book!
If you are looking to fall in love with a beautiful escape town, this is your series! This one is Will's story. He has played a part in every book up to this one where he is the focus. I wonder who will be next?
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Tragedy has affected their lives years ago and forever. The problem is how to deal with your grief. Do you bury it or do you work through it and come out the other side? Donna Kauffman returns to Blue Hollow Falls for the third time with Lavender Blue. A story of coming through your grief and finding love once again even when you think your not going to. 

Hannah Montgomery and her 3 friends have moved to Blue Hollow Falls to start over after tragedy has affected their lives. They're taking over an inherited Lavender farm and starting a lavender based product business and tearoom. Wilton (Will) McCall is the local stone mason who's working on their chimneys. Hannah and  Will are attracted to each other but haven't acted on it because of their pasts. When a chimney collapses and Will protects Hannah the sparks start to fly and a friendship starts up. She helps him out by picking up his son. Hannah is cautious about meeting the boy because of her past. Will's son is a great kid and she soon is as involved with the son as the father. As they get to know each other She works out what happened to Will's wife by the few things that have been said. When he confides in her about his late wife, she helps him deal with his grief. Hannah has a rough moment with her own grief and reveals her past to him. The launch party to introduce their new business takes off and is a huge success. Hannah and Will decide that they should go on a date. They end up sleeping with each other and she gets worried when their has been no contact made for 3 days. A young friend of the son gets Will involved in an old hobby he had. He starts coming out of the walls he'd put around himself. A mutual friend brings them together so they can talk through their feelings. They begin a relationship. All is going well except for the fact that Hannah can't spend time with Will and his son together, only separately. It worries them both. Hannah is painting when a storm blows in. Will's son shows up to take care of some sheep. A lightning strike causes an accident that Hannah must deal with. She realizes what is holding her back with Will and his son. Will and Hannah tell each other they love the other. Will surprises his son at a performance. Hannah and her friends are their to cheer the McCall men on. 
 
Lavender Blue is a sweet loving story of a life lived after grief and how everyone handles it differently. Two people who never thought to find love again come together like they were always meant to be. They wonder if the grief will stop them from being together. And if you really love someone you can work through your problems to find a solution. I'm looking forward to reading the next book in the Blue Hollow Falls series. Who next to find the love of their lives? Return to Blue Hollow Falls, Virginia and find out.
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It’s been a long while since I’ve read such a poignant story. In fact, I read a good deal of this book through teary eyes. I couldn’t help it. What is more sad than a woman who’s lost her son falling in love with a man and his teenage son, who lost their wife/mother?

Hannah has recently moved to the mountains of Virginia with three of her friends, all of them mourning the loss of someone close to them. Vivi is in her 60s, Cheyanne is late 20s, and Avery’s in her early 20s. Hannah is somewhere in her 30s. These four ladies, all at different stages of their life have purchased a lavender farm, and will each be responsible for a different part of making the farm profitable. But before they can do that, the main house on the farm is in need of massive repairs.

Enter stonemason, Will, hired for repairs around the house. He’s quiet and a bit mysterious, and totally hunky. He catches the eye of Hannah, but she’s not sure how to spark a friendship with him. When it does finally happen, Will is able to admit to himself that his interest in Hannah is more than just friendship, and together they commit to navigating a new life through their painful pasts.

There were several things I liked about this story. I loved how Will didn’t spend an exorbitant amount of time debating whether or not he was ready to move on. His wife had been gone for over ten years, so he knew it was time. He knew it was okay for him to be with someone else. He didn’t even spend much time debating whether or not his son would be okay with him having someone in his life. That’s not to say he didn’t consider any of those things, because he did. Because he needed to. Because he would. But he had his thoughts, then opened himself up being with Hannah.

I loved how level headed these characters were. Hannah was kind and compassionate towards Will and what he’d been through, and what moving on would be like for him. Will was aware of the pain Hannah had been through and was concerned about her spending time with his son, Jake. And Jake, he was precious (if maybe a little too self-aware and mature for an actual 14 year old).

But the downside to this book was the pacing. This is a longer book (368 pages), and it felt long. It took me four nights read. (For reference, the book I read right before this one was 336 pages and I plowed through it in less than two nights.) I feel like the book kept getting bogged down in irrelevant details. For instance, each of the three other women got fairly extensive characterizations, which okay, that’s nice. But they felt more like an advert for coming books about those characters than a way for the reader to get more “color” in the story. Instead of building on the plot, those things brought me out of Hannah and Will’s story. 

I liked the main characters in this book, and the realistic way Hannah and Will’s relationship progressed. However the execution of that relationship lost me on multiple occasions and frequently wasn’t able to hold my attention. The conversations between the characters often swung from formal and stodgy (making me think I was reading a story that took place in the late 1800s), to realistic and witty. It made me feel like the story didn’t know who it was supposed to be. Heavy and sad, lighthearted and heartwarming, or something else entirely. 

The thing that took my rating down to two stars, though, was the abrupt ending that left me feeling like things were still hanging rather loosely between our hero and heroine. We get an epilogue that takes place one year after they’ve declared their love, but no sense whatsoever of where Hannah and Will’s relationship is. Apparently Will has worked through some of his pain and is now able to share music with his son. That’s great! But have they gotten engaged? Are they living together? Married? Maybe it’s just me, but I read romance for the happily-ever-after, dammit. Nothing throws a wet blanket on my reading vibes than a loose ending, and that’s how I feel about the end of this book. 

*thank you to NetGalley and Kensington Books for providing an ARC in exchange for an honest review
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“Now was the time for building and restoring, for repairing and learning. The time for opening their doors, their lavender fields, their tearoom, and welcoming the world.”

‘Lavender Blue’ is a sweet story with many likeable characters set in a gorgeous rural location - stunning lavender fields of Virginia. I mean, what is there not to love about this book cover? At its heart, this is a book about grieving and healing and I think Kauffman does a worthy job for such heartwrenching issues. This book is the third in a series but can most definitely be read as a standalone. I have not read any others and had no problem at all following along with the story. 

“I’ve become a firm believer that not everything that’s ever happened to us in life needs to be worked on or sorted out.”

Although it tackles the different ways people deal with loss, it balances this nicely with some light romance. It is, in fact, a mutual sharing of grief that brings the two lead characters together and their romance is of a more mature kind which makes for a nice change. However, as stated, much of the book is dedicated to learning to move on from sorrow and let yourself live happily again. I appreciated Will and Hannah’s honesty and the processes and considerations they granted each other to work through and come out the other side in starting afresh. 

“... if it’s not affecting your life, your ability to live it as you please, then”—she shrugged—“who cares? The past is the past is the past. Focus on the now, look toward the future.”

That being said, there were parts where it became a bit too much and repetitive concerning the sorrow, doubts and reluctance. There are many conversations where matters are discussed over and over - still, it’s a good way for readers in similar situations to view how such matters can be handled. It has some solid thoughts on how to deal with grief over the loss of a loved one. 

All up this is a pleasant enough read with the themes of sorrow, friendship, love, family and friends. A well balanced heartwarming and sweet tale of healing, providing thoughtful and compassionate characters that will appeal to many. 

“I’ve spent many an hour pondering that landscape and my place in it. Puts the world in perspective.” She smiled. “I call it time well spent.”


This review is based on a complimentary copy from the publisher and provided through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. The quoted material may have changed in the final release
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I enjoyed this story.  It starts with with 4 women who all have the loss of a loved one in common.  They have come together to start a business revolving around Lavender.  Hannah lost her 7-year-old son several years ago.  As the women fix up the farm house and plan their business adventure, Hannah meets Will, a stonemason who has suffered his own loss.  Can the two of them heal and fall in love again?

This is a nice romance and I love the characters. They story and writing moves along nicely and really grabbed my attention.  I wonder if the author is planning to tell each woman's story.  The only thing I didn't care for and stopped me from giving it a 5 star rating were the love scenes.  There was only one or two, but they were a bit more detailed than needed.  In fact I don't think they added to the story..
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I LOVED, LOVED, LOVED Hannah and Will’s story in Lavender Blue by Donna Kaufman, book three in her Blue Hollow Falls series and I really struggled to put it down; visualizing the beauty of this place through its descriptive words.  This is a story of two grieving souls struggling, along different paths after losing a loved one. Grab a box of tissues and curl up while enjoying this wonderful story enriched by friendship, love, grief, humor, and healing.  
Will McCall, a widower, is a stone mason, learned at his grandfather’s knee. After the death of his wife and also his mother Will left the military returning to Blue Hollow Falls to raise his son. His grief truly broke him, leaving him lost and with living an empty existence. Hannah Montgomery and her friends, also survivors of grief, moved to town to open a lavender farm.  Hannah, an illustrator for children’s books, lost her seven-year old son in a car accident, which was also the end of her marriage. Will, repairing the stone work around the old farm house, finds Hannah intriguing and interesting, wanting to spend time with her. Hannah is interested in the quiet, hot man in the white t-shirt.
Hannah is the yin to Will’s yang, wanting to help heal the brokenness in Will from his loss. She is the perfect antidote in assisting him move forward, working through those powerful emotions holding Will’s heart hostage and putting it back together again; open to loving another. Will’s teen son Jake, neighbor Bailey and Addie Pearl all play a role in supporting these two in healing as well as a loving relationship. Healing from grief appears in a variety of forms, and love blooms when you least expect it.
Ms. Kauffman, a talented story teller, wrote a joyful, funny, tender sweet, emotional and heartwarming tale that is not to be missed. She provided a story rich with sexy banter, a little steam, emotion, and endearing characters not only giving Hannah and Will a chance at having a solid, loving future together but also a wonderful community of supportive friends.  I highly recommend Lavender Blue to other readers and look forward to the next book in this outstanding series. 
I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book.
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This is another great addition to the Blue Hollow series. Wonderful cover and it's a quite an emotional read.
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