Review: Wishing on Willows by Katie Ganshert

Does a second chance at life and love always involve surrender?
A three-year old son, a struggling café, and fading memories are all Robin Price has left of her late husband. As the proud owner of Willow Tree Café in small town Peaks, Iowa,  she pours her heart into every muffin she bakes and espresso she pulls, thankful for the sense of purpose and community the work provides.
So when developer Ian McKay shows up in Peaks with plans to build condos where her café and a vital town ministry are located, she isn’t about to let go without a fight.
As stubborn as he is handsome, Ian won’t give up easily. His family’s business depends on his success in Peaks. But as Ian pushes to seal the deal, he wonders if he has met his match. Robin’s gracious spirit threatens to undo his resolve, especially when he discovers the beautiful widow harbors a grief that resonates with his own.
With polarized opinions forming all over town, business becomes unavoidably personal and Robin and Ian must decide whether to cling to the familiar or surrender their plans to the God of Second Chances. 

Last year, I hated that I didn’t love Katie’s debut novel, Wildflowers from Winter. I didn’t NOT like it, but I didn’t love it like I wanted to. But when I discovered my favorite secondary character would be the heroine in Wishing on Willows, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it.

I had to wait a whole year…

But it was worth the wait.

I loved Robin and I loved seeing the characters from Wildflowers. Ian and Robin meet and sparks fly – but not necessarily the good kind as Ian wants nothing more than to drive Robin and the cafe she and her late husband had dreamed of out of it’s home.

Both Robin and Ian feel pressured to fulfill the dreams of those around them. In Robin’s case, it’s the dream she shared with her late husband. For Ian, it’s the pressures of his parents and their company which depends on him to land this deal.

They both try to take matters into their own hands, but ultimately, they realize only God holds the key to their problems.

Can they come to a true compromise? Both giving something while both also gain something in the process? And can they fall in love even if they can’t?

Just as well-written as Katie’s first project, Wishing on Willows doesn’t disappoint and I can’t wait to see what else she has in store for us in the future.

Overall rating: 8.5 out of 10 stars