by Jenni Moen
Series: Woodland Creek
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Purchase*: Amazon *affiliate
I feel his emotions in living color. As if they are my own. If he’s angry, I rage with him. If he’s grieving, I do too. When he thinks about the past, I’m right there, walking beside him. I am the window to his soul, and yet, in spite of that, he’s a riddle with no solution. A puzzle with too many missing pieces. We always want what we can’t have. All I wanted was some peace and quiet. To fall in love with someone untouched by the magic of Woodland Creek. I craved normalcy. But not as much as I craved him. When he returns to town a broken hero, there’s no choice to be made. I will reach him when no one else can. Together, we will face a future he doesn’t want. Why? Because our love is pure magic
I have read and enjoyed Jenni Moen’s contemporary romances and was eager to try her latest a paranormal romance. Dearborn is a standalone paranormal romance set in the world of Woodland Creek, Indiana. Woodland Creek is a town where the ley-lines attract all types of shifters and supernatural folks. Dearborn drew me in with its magical elements, secrets, romance and unique characters.
First, I have to tell you I am in trouble. I loved the world of Woodland Creek, and there are thirty books by thirty different authors where I can visit again! (Click link below for more information.)
Willow our heroine is an empathy. She owns and runs a diner in Woodland Creek. I adored Willow from the start, and we quickly learn that despite her ability she is often lonely and craves normalcy.
Quinn Dearborn is a lifetime resident of Woodland Creek, who despite a chance at a promising football college career ended up joining the service. He has returned home a broken fragment of the confident young man he was. Quinn is struggling with PTSD and after months of promises, he finally joins his old high school friends for breakfast at the diner. His emotional state has a physical effect on Willow and she in turn calms him just with her presence.
Moen did a wonderful job of introducing us to the characters. I adored Willow’s friends and the banter between them. A grumpy old man who dines at the diner and hates small talk offered clues to helping Willow and Quinn. Quinn was sexy and adorkable all at the same time. The two of then experienced some bumps, but none of the drama was drawn out making their relationship feel genuine.
The tale that unfolds offered a wonderful, slow-building romance wrapped in a mystery surrounding Quinn. Woodland Creek is a fascinating town, as are the supernatural families who reside there. Once I slipped into the story, I never wanted to leave. The climactic reveal and final scenes had me twisted in a knot, holding my breath and crossing my fingers. It was brilliant and while foreshadowing gave us subtle clues the how and why came together effortlessly. The ending left me with a smile and wanting more stories set in this world.
Dearborn offered a delightful tale in a world I would love to visit repeatedly.
Read an Excerpt
When I forced my eyes back to his face, I found him carefully watching me as if he was trying to gauge what I was thinking. A small smile pulled at the corners of his mouth.
“Let me help.” My voice was breathless. I needed to get a grip. He was just a man.
A very wet, very handsome, very sexy man. But still just a man. It wasn’t as if I’d never been around a man before.
I blotted at his face with the dry towel, taking care to get the water out of the fuzzies of his beard. The towel slipped from my fingers, but they remained on his face, brushing lightly against the coarse bristly hair. The feel of them against my fingertips was as if someone defibrillated my already racing heart.
I stared at the lips he’d denied me the night before.
They twitched as desire coiled around us, begging one of us to make the first move.
It would have to be him. After last night, I wouldn’t make the first move.
Kiss me, Quinn. Kiss me so I’ll know. Don’t turn away again.
He sat still as a tree, and I held my breath, waiting for him to bend. My hand slipped from his beard and trailed down his neck. Apparently, it hadn’t gotten the memo that we were waiting for Quinn to make the first move.
“Willow?” he muttered.
It was only my name, but it held every question I didn’t want him to ask, every doubt I didn’t want him to acknowledge.