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The Sweet LIfe Sharon Struth
The Sweet Life
Series Book One

Willow's Way Sharon Struth
Willow's Way
Series Book Two

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Willow's Way -- Sharon Struth

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Willow's Way

A Long & Short Reviews Book of the Month.

The breathtaking promise of the English countryside can lift even the heaviest spirits . . . 
 
Willow Armstrong, the once-famous “Queen of Weight Loss” and president of Pound Busters, succumbed to stress eating after her divorce. Now the scandal of getting caught on camera binging on pizza, and the internet-wide mocking of her new curves, may destroy her career. Add in a business advisor who drained her finances, and Willow is out of options—until she learns she’s inherited a house in England’s most picturesque locale, The Cotswolds.
 
Willow’s trip across the pond to sell the property and salvage her company soon becomes its own adventure: the house, once owned by grandparents she never met, needs major work. Plus, single dad Owen Hughes, the estate’s resident groundskeeper and owner of a local tour outfit, isn’t thrilled about the idea of leaving . . .
 
Yet as Willow proceeds with her plans, she’s sidetracked by surprising discoveries about her family’s history--and with Owen’s help, the area’s distinctive attractions. Soon, she’s even retracing her roots—and testing her endurance—amid the region’s natural beauty. And the more she delves into the past, the more clearly she sees herself, her future, and the way home . . .

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reviews

Willow’s Way Editorial Reviews

"The setting is almost like another character in the book....I felt like I had stepped into the pages of a Maeve Binchy book had she written English settings instead of Irish. I would have loved to live here." 
--Long and Short Reviews

“With an enjoyable cast of characters, a richly vivid English countryside setting, and a realistic story of struggle and rediscovery, Willow's Way is a heartwarming women's fiction tale that will keep the reader engaged from beginning to end!” 
--Jersey Girl Book Reviews

“ Struth is adept at bringing feeling to the themes introduced in this story that are far more relatable than not. As we get to know the characters, she allows the charm of the narrative to shine through, and it immerses the reader vividly into the story.
--The Book Review Directory

"Struth deftly addresses image issues and fat shaming, and the disastrous impact these can have on young people as they are growing up. Willow's inability to see herself as a person of worth because of her size is heartbreaking, and the change in location and culture definitely seems to work for her and in so many ways. The budding romance between her and Owen is a joy to behold, as are her growing attachments to Owen's daughter, Jilly, and her dog, Henry. Is being elegantly gaunt worth a lifetime of deprivation and unhappiness? Struth's story answers that question most eloquently. Willow's Way is very highly recommended." 
--Reader's Favorite Review 

“Willow's Way is well written and invites the reader to have a nice little few hours of pleasure.  This is one to pour a glass of wine and plan to while away the hours.”
--My Reading Journey

“The second book in Struth’s The Sweet Life series is filled with finely drawn characters who will win readers’ hearts, internal conflicts that foster growth in Willow and, to a lesser degree, in Owen, and a setting so expertly rendered that the reader dreams of signing up for a Jane Austen tour. I especially liked that Willow’s new direction mirrors the changes that have taken place in her but does not eradicate all that she was. 

There is a genuine sweetness to the story, but it is never cloying. The connections to The Sweet Life, the first book in the series, are loose but clear enough to place them in the same world. And Struth evokes the Bath area as vividly in this one as she did Tuscany in the earlier book. Wherever she goes next, I’m signing up for the trip.

If you like women’s fiction with likable, sympathetic characters, a strong romantic element, and a strong sense of place, I highly recommend this book.”
--The Romance Dish

excerpt

Willow Armstrong could hardly breathe as she stared at the video playing on her laptop. Stupid. She’d been so stupid. Once again, she’d let urges rule her choices, and this time, she’d been exposed.

Willow squinted at the blurred image. Maybe that wasn’t even her. Heck, she’d seen clearer pictures of Sasquatch. “Are you sure that’s me, Becky? I mean, lots of people in Manhattan could own a black Lexus.”

Her assistant remained silent on the other end of the phone for a little too long then said, “Give it a sec. Keep your eyes on the rearview mirror.”

The camera zoomed on the inside of the car and the front mirror came into focus. Willow paused the tape and leaned on the marble kitchen counter to get a closer look. A shiny object hung off the car’s rearview mirror. Was that…?

Nooooo!

Dread wormed through her, twisting and turning like a knife in her gut. The silver folded-fork symbol associated with Willow’s weight-loss empire, Pound Busters, dangled off the mirror.

She groaned. “I can’t believe this.”

“I’m sorry. I figured you’d want to know.”

“You made the right call.”

“Now I’m not sure. Why don’t you shut it off?” Becky couldn’t hide her worried tone.
Willow’s heart warmed for her concerned assistant, who had given Willow ten dedicated years of service. Loyal right to the end. And this could be the end.
On the screen, the arrow hovered over the play button. Terrified to see what the rest of the world would,she froze, her handstilled on the computer mouse.

Thirty minutes and four thousand “likes” ago, Celebrity Secrets had posted the video to their Facebook page. Dear God! Over seven hundred comments she didn’t dare read, and some three hundred shares, all over a slip into Tony’s Slice of Heaven. The mouth-watering goodness of the slice barreled toward her with a vengeance. Just a few moments of cheesy bliss. Was it too much to ask for?

“You there, Willow?”

“Yes.” She drew in a breath that somehow boosted her courage. “I really should watch this.”

She hit the play button. The camera moved and refocused, closing in on the shadowy figure in the driver’s seat until the picture became perfectly clear.

 

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