Friday, September 9, 2016

At Fairfield Orchard By Emma Cane

The first in Emma Cane’s sparkling new series, 
set in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains.

Fairfield Orchard #1
Emma Cane
Available Now! 
Avon Books

Emma Cane welcomes you to Fairfield Orchard, where new love blooms and romance is always in season.

For Amy Fairfield, the family orchard is more than a business. With its blossom-scented air and rows of trees framed by the majestic Blue Ridge Mountains, it’s her heritage and her future. But right now, it’s also a headache. Putting a painful breakup behind her, Amy has come home to help revitalize Fairfield Orchard. She doesn’t have time for the handsome-distracting-professor who wants to dig into her family’s history for his research.

Jonathan Gebhart knows he needs the Fairfields’ cooperation to make his new book a success. As for Amy-nothing in his years of academia could have prepared him for their sudden and intense attraction. He doesn’t want to complicate her life further, especially since she seems uneasy about him poking around in the past and he knows he’s not the sort of man built for forever. But some sparks can’t help but grow, and Jonathan and Amy may just learn that unexpected love can be the sweetest of all.

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Emma Cane grew up reading and soon discovered that she liked to write passionate stories of teenagers in space. Her love of “passionate stories” has never gone away, although today she concentrates on the heartwarming characters of Valentine Valley and Fairfield Orchard.

Now that her three children are grown, Emma loves spending time crocheting and singing (although not necessarily at the same time), and hiking and snowshoeing alongside her husband Jim and their rambunctious dog Uma.

Emma also writes USA Today bestselling historical romances under the name Gayle Callen.

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At Fairfield Orchard by Emma Cane

Isn’t the cover of this book gorgeous? It enticed me to request a copy of Emma Cane's new book. I have never read any of the author’s novels…but I am SO happy that I read this one!

At Fairfield Orchard is an enjoyable twist on the opposites attract story set in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Amy Fairfield has returned home to manage the family’s orchard for the next six months with Tyler, her twin brother. She’s quit a promising real estate career and put a bad relationship behind her to focus on her family and their business. Jonathan Gebhart is a professor who is researching Thomas Jefferson for an upcoming book. 

Even though Amy and Jonathan are total opposites; the passion between them sizzles off the pages when they meet. The attraction between this couple drew me into the story d kept me reading! Loved Jonathan and the author does a wonderful job with this hunky, caring, and nerdy hero. Amy and Jonathan become friends and their relationship develops during the course of this superbly paced novel. Both characters are attracted to each other but have work and personal issues to resolve. The conversations between Amy and Jonathan when they opened up to each other are well written and poignant. Both characters talk about their childhood, families and past relationships. Through Amy, the author provides an honest portrayal of alcoholism and its long term effects on family members.

I enjoyed reading this novel because the author blended Amy and Jonathan’s romance with the historical aspects of the novel. Amy’s grandfather and Jonathan spend time together talking about the farm’s history and Amy’s Grandmother joins the archaeology team as they search on the property. Ms. Caine does a fabulous job comparing Jonathan’s devotion to historical research with Amy’s goal of bringing the orchard into the 21st century while pleasing all of her family members. 

The conclusion of the novel was well written and perfect for this couple. I am happy that the historical research will continue into the second novel and the reader will be able to see if the changes that Amy and her brother made to the family’s business will enable the orchard to prosper. Loved the small town feel of this book, the sense of community, the neighbors, friends and family—and the heartfelt romance between Amy and Jonathan! Looking forward to the next book in this series! 

Reviewed by Susan Gorman 
A copy of the Book was provided by the publisher.

Jonathan Gebhart got out of his car and breathed in the crisp air of Fairfield Orchard, ripe with the sweet scent of apple blossoms. In the distance, the Blue Ridge Mountains undulated into the disappearing mists of midmorning, their haze the mysterious blue they were named for. But everywhere else he looked, surrounding this oasis of buildings and a barn, the foothills were covered in the pink and white of blossoming trees, following long lines like the teeth on a comb. Had Thomas Jefferson known what would become of the land when he’d sold it almost two hundred years ago? Jonathan intended to prove it wasn’t what other historians said it was.

He’d driven the half hour west from Charlottesville, Virginia, to Fairfield Orchard, rehearsing his most persuasive speech over and over. He wasn’t known as the most outgoing of guys, but he was passionate about history and hoped that would be enough. But strangely, he didn’t see a soul. A huge old barn that looked well over a hundred years old stood open and deserted. It had a lower level made of stone with its own entrance in the back, and the soaring upper level framed in weathered gray boards was stacked with crates and bins for the autumn harvest. A food shack and small store were obviously closed. There were picnic tables and benches, all positioned to take in the beautiful view of central Virginia during the harvest season. But in the spring, the public grounds were deserted.

Past a copse of towering oak and hickory trees was a dirt lane, which he followed around a curve until he saw a big house with white siding, blue shutters, and a wraparound porch around the original building. A two-story addition had been added to the right side. A battered blue pickup truck was parked nearby. He climbed the front steps, but no one answered the door. Jonathan hadn’t called in advance, assuming that a request like his was better handled in person, but that had obviously been a mistake. There must be a business office or warehouse somewhere else on the grounds.

And then in the first row of apple trees next to the house, he saw a ladder disappearing up inside, and a pair of work boots perched on a rung, their owner partially hidden by branches and blossoms and bright green leaves. He’d done his research, knew that the owner was Bruce Fairfield, a Vietnam vet in his sixties.

 “Mr. Fairfield?” Jonathan called as he approached the tree. “Bruce Fairfield?”

Sudden barking startled him, and a dog came up out of the straggly grass growing through a dark loam of what looked like fertilizer around the base of the tree. The medium-sized dog resembled a cross between a German shepherd and a coyote, its pointy ears alert.

 “What’s up, Uma?”

The voice from within the tree was far more feminine than “Bruce” should have. The dog sat down and regarded Jonathan, her spotted tongue visible as she panted, her head cocked to the side.

A woman pushed aside a branch and peered down, wreathed in pink and white blossoms, her sandy brown hair pulled into a ponytail beneath a ragged ball cap with the Virginia Cavaliers logo. She had a delicate face with a pointed chin, and a nose splattered with freckles. She was already tan from working outdoors, with eyes clear and deep blue and narrowed with curiosity. She wore a battered winter vest over a plaid shirt with a t-shirt beneath, and a faded pair of jeans with a tear at the knee. She held clippers in one hand.

“What can I do for you?” she asked, then added apologetically, “We’re still closed for the off-season.”

“I know. I’ve come from Charlottesville to speak with the owner.”

Brightly, she said, “I’m one of them.”

That rearranged his conclusion that she was just an employee.

“Hope you don’t mind if I keep working while we talk,” she added.

He blinked as her face disappeared behind the branch she released. Soon, he could hear occasional snipping, and saw a branch drop to the ground. She seemed like she was examining, more than pruning. He was used to talking to students who tried to hide their texting during a lecture, but he couldn’t force this woman to pay attention to him. At least the dog watched him with expectation.

“My name is Dr. Jonathan Gebhart, and I’m an associate professor of history at the University of Virginia, with a specialty in colonial history, particularly Thomas Jefferson.”

She gave a snort of laughter. “Of course.”

He stiffened. “Of course?”

“Thomas Jefferson founded the university, right?”

Did anyone from the area not know that?

Read more at: Excerpt 1 

1 comment:

  1. Lovely review! Thank you for hosting AT FIARFIELD ORCHARD today!

    Crystal, Tasty Book Tours


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