Cover Image: The Desert Flowers - Willow

The Desert Flowers - Willow

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Member Reviews

The third book in the series and this time it is Willow's (the third Desert Flower) turn to take centre stage. At 26 years of age, Willow is the youngest of the Desert Flowers group and has her own set of aspirations and challenges to fulfill and overcome while helping her mentor, Alec Thurston, to fulfill his own last wishes pertaining to his hotel The Desert Sage Inn. In the first two books we see that there are already a couple of potential love interests for Willow to consider but I liked how the author decided to bring in a completely new character to the group to vy for Willow's heart and trust. In the end, just like the other two Desert Flowers, Rose and Lily, Willow ends with the best option in both her professional and personal life.

I received an e-Arc of the book from the publisher Wild Quail Publishing and the author Judith Keim via NetGalley.
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This is (finally) Willow’s story of the Desert Sage trilogy. I would definitely recommend reading them in order - this is the 3rd. The other 2 books started reading potential suitors for Willow, and I was pleasantly surprised at how this ended up. She is a very likeable character, who has had a lifelong passion for the hotel business - will she finally get her chance at her dream job? 

This is a book with strong female characters, and a nice “clean” romance. I like that it also focuses on more than romance - also on career aspirations. 

The one criticism I have of this series is that Alec Thurston is at the center of the series, but I never felt connected to him, and I think it would have been better to have him play a slightly more prominent role in the present, and not just each character’s past. I was pleasantly surprised to know that the author intends to continue with these characters- so stay tuned!

I received a copy of this book through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
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Last in the trilogy of the Desert Flowers. This wrapped up all of the loose ends of the women who loved Alec Thurston. Rose and Lilly had a romantic relationship with Alec in the past. However, Willow was like a daughter to him. Her family has worked for Alec at his luxury hotel. Willow was being groomed for running the hotel when Alec retired. But now Alec is dying and he is selling out. He asks his Desert Flowers to help him out with the blending of his hotel and the new group taking over.
Although each book is titled for one woman, there are alternate chapters with each of the other two. Their lives are entwined and they are great friends. This is a relaxed-paced book that is an enjoyable read.
Pick this series up from the first, Rose I’m sure you will enjoy them. am going to go back and read it now that I have read numbers two and three in this series.
I have not read Rose, the first book in the series yet because I received Lily and Willow through NetGalley ARCs. This did not affect my view of this book.
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This is a first time read for me by this author, so I have not had the opportunity to read the previous books. I think I would have benefited from reading those, but I was still able to enjoy this story nonetheless. It is an emotional story full of hope, heartbreak, and love that is sure to tug at your heartstrings. Alec is the owner of the Desert Sage Inn and he is dying of cancer and in the process of transitioning his inn to new owners. Willow grew up at the inn since her parents worked there. Alec was her mentor and friend and always encouraged her to follow her dreams and be successful. She is now in Boston, but when Alec asks her to come back and help him, she doesn't hesitate. She is one of the three Desert Flowers, a nickname given by Alec.  Rose and Lily are the other two. The three girls bond together and form beautiful friendships as they go on their own journeys. Their love for Alec is what brought them together, and the love they develop for each other is what bonds them. A very beautifully written story with realistic and endearing characters you are sure to fall in love with. This was a sweet story, full of heart and I had a really nice time reading it.

I received a complimentary copy from Netgalley and am voluntarily leaving my review.
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Loved reading this series and cannot wait to read "The Desert Flowers - Mistletoe and Holly".  The desert flowers are doing so much good with what Alec left them. Willow, the last of the desert flowers, has two guys that are vying for her attention. Willow is not quite ready for anything until her job is settled. In the end, when Willow finally figured out the man for her, I was really happy. Now that Rose is married, I hope that Willow will get her happily ever after as well.  Just love Ms. Keim's writing and the feelings of strength and love in numbers.
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Lovely to be back with the desert flowers for Willow's story.   A very enjoyable trilogy full of love and warmth for Alec who is dying and needs help to tie up the ends of his hotel business.   Great characters and storyline make this a heartwarming story
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Willow is the third book in this series, I really enjoyed seeing her growth, as she navigates love and work, as she and the other Desert Flowers prepare to lose the man brought them altogether. I liked that Rose and Lily were part of the story, their progress interspersed throughout the book. I really enjoyed the friendship and family values, hope to see more from these three characters.
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The Desert Flowers—Willow is the third book in the Desert Sage Inn series by Judith Keim.  Alec Thurston had dedicated his life to developing his Desert Sage Inn, located near Palm Springs, and the memory of his wife and unborn child who were lost in a fire.  Through the years he has developed a beautiful resort with many amenities. He has also cultivated strong feelings for three different ladies, Rose Macklin, Lily Weaver, and Willow Sanchez.

When Alec is diagnosed with an untreatable cancer and has decisions to make about his estate and legacy, he contacts the three women and asks for their help.  As he was never anything but kind to each of them, they put their lives on hold and return to the resort to help him with a transition to the buyers of the resort. 

Willow Sanchez is Alec’s relation by marriage, the daughter of his wife’s cousin, and somewhat of a protege to Alec. Because of him she attended the Cornell School of Hotel Administration. She then went on to teach at Boston University in the School of Hospitality. 

Willow is paired on the transition team with her college nemesis, Brent Armstrong, an entitled, chauvinistic, demeaning menace who thinks he can say and do whatever he wants. His cousin Trace Armstrong seems to be a nice enough fellow, but not a real buffer to Brent. Willow is much stronger and much more accomplished since she was an underclassman at Cornell and is determined to not let Brent get to her. Since the acquiring company is owned by the older Armstrong brothers, Willow feels she will not be made manager of the resort when it reopens as a Blaise Hotel so she begins talking to other resorts in the area as she is home for good.

When asked to be Alec’s stand in for his golfing group, she finds herself paired with young attorney Craig Kincaid. While they don’t hit it off at first, a friendship blossoms and builds when there is an accident at her home.

In this third book of the series, we see each woman come more into her own and view new beginnings even as they must take this tearful journey as they slowly lose a dear friend.  This is a very well written book with well developed and likable main characters. It has been both interesting and enlightening as this saga unfolds. I very much enjoyed this book and I do recommend it!
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Judith Keim is one of my goes to authors, where I know I can always read a book that has the ability to touch the core of me. This was an amazing book, full of hope, dreams, heartbreak, and probably the strongest emotion is the love found in the book between the Desert Flowers and Alec who is dying from cancer. This book certainly could be read as a standalone  book in my opinion. I definitely would recommend this book to everyone to read.

I received an ARC from NetGalley and the publisher and am voluntarily leaving a review.
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This last entry in the Desert Sage Inn series is full of heart. There are some truly touching emotional moments here, a range of experiences both painful and uplifting. Judith Keim is quite talented at drawing out these tender encounters and giving them room to breathe. Love is the ultimate theme of this book: finding it, sharing it, and accepting it, in all its forms. 

It's always a treat for the protagonist of a women's fiction or romance novel to have her desire for independence actually respected—and achieved! Willow Sanchez is, blessedly, determined to find herself and her own way. She buys her own home and enjoys time spent there alone; she fights for the position she's due as a professional and for her own ideas to be heard; she rejects the entanglements of her (rather odious) male colleagues and communicates her boundaries clearly. It was so nice to see, and it rounded out Willow's character in a realistic way. 

I'm predisposed to enjoy a series set in my favorite place on Earth, the California desert, and this book didn't fail to give me the sagebrush, sand, and mountain vistas I crave. The sun and heat were sensual and pervasive, and even the interior notes of hand-thrown pottery and woven rugs made me wish I was in Indio. 

This was a satisfying and heartwarming read. Thanks to the author, publisher, and NetGalley for this copy in exchange for an honest review.
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Willow, is one of the Desert Flowers, and her life is up in the air. She doesn't know what job she will have when the Desert Sage Inn is sold, she doesn't know where she will live, she has no love life, but she has to figure out where she goes from here.  She does, and she finds the path her journey will follow. 
Willow, Rose, and Lily have created a strong bond working for Alex, they support one another, and decided that they each wanted to stay in the area, after Alex passed away.  Judith Keim writes another series, of women supporting each other, finding a strong connection, and through the ups and down of life, help each other along the way.
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This book focused on Willow - the third Desert Flower.  Rose and Lily have found the perfect man for themselves.  Will Willow be next?  There is happiness and sadness.  Have a box of tissues nearby.  I'm really looking forward to the next book.

I received a free ARC, and this is my honest opinion.
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Although this Desert Sage Inn book is the third in the series, it could stand alone.  This one is mostly about Willow Sanchez, one of  hotelier Alec Thurstan's 'Desert Flowers,' as he called his proteges.  Rose and Lily were the other two right hand women assisting him with the transition of the sale of his hotel, the Desert Sage Inn.  It was painful for these Desert Flowers, especially for Willow, as Alec was like a second father to her and he was now terminally ill.  There was great sadness that I could feel but also there were joys and energy of life.  Pedro and Juanita Sanchez, Willow's  parents, completed Alec's family of five other loving, and caring members in his circle.  

The question was, would Willow be part of the management team at the Desert Sage Inn under the new owners?  I sure hoped she would get that position as she wanted to stick around. However, was there something else in the wind?  Would she even find love despite her independent streak? Trace and Craig were certainly interested parties.

Even though there was sadness and loss, I really enjoyed this book and paradoxically felt that it was a happy read.  I could feel present in the story, waiting and hoping right along side Willow; waiting patiently impatient and  in suspense, for answers.

I do have issue with the pre-marital intimacy that happened between characters but other than that, it was interesting to learn of some of the hotel life and dynamics from the operational side of things.  I believe the story finished up very satisfactorily with the Desert Flowers finding a good cause along with Pedro and Juanita, to keep the memory of Alec alive and engaging in good works that he would have truly sanctioned.

                                             ~Eunice C.,  Reviewer/Blogger~

                                                         January 2022

Disclaimer:  This is my honest opinion based on the complimentary review copy sent by NetGalley and the publisher.

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As always, Judith Keim has written a book of hope, dreams and love.  The Desert Flowers - Willow is the third book in this trilogy and the only reason this is a 4 star read for me is because it definitely would have helped reading books 1 and 2 prior to read book 3.

Each book follows a different woman, Rose, Lilly and Willow.  Each helping a dear friend Alec through the sale of his Desert Inn. He calls the women his Desert Flowers. Each story is filled with hope, desires and love.

Judith Keim’s writing is just what the doctor ordered when looking for something extremely positive and happy to read.  I can’t recommend her writing and her books enough.

Thank you to #netgalley and #wildquailpublishing for an ARC copy of this book.  All opinions expressed above are my own,
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What a wonderful end to a beautiful series. We have been on the same journey as Rose, Willow, and Lily as they come together to help their mentor and friend with his dying wishes.  
This leads each woman  in their own journey, along the way they find their own strengths and their own dreams and ever a happy ever after!
What a testament to the power of love. They come together due to their love of Alec and they thrive and strengthen in their love for each other.
Judith Keim writes so beautifully  it’s like poetry for the landscape, for the people, for the strength of these three women and basically the power of love.
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This was a nice conclusion to this series. Everything gets wrapped up in a nice little bow. It sounds like we might get to check in with the characters that we got to know in these three books. This was such a good series!
Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for the early copy
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I love Judith Keim’s writing. i’ve read and enjoyed all of her series.  This series is of writes strong women supporting each other,  building a strong connection, with each other and through an problems or adversities  of life, are there to support and help each other. I highly recommend this book, and any other book Judith Keith writes.
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