REVIEW: Christina Phillip’s ‘Willow’
Secret Confessions: Sydney Housewives – Willow
Willow has loved Seb for as long as she can remember, but he has a past that she can’t handle, so she’s never done anything about it. But to not have him in her life is unthinkable, so she holds on to him the only way she can – through friendship. Now his writing career is taking off, and Willow finds herself increasingly jealous of his groupies and increasingly unable to keep her feelings to herself.
An unexpected visit leads to an unanticipated kiss – and Seb and Willow end up in her bed. It’s the best thing that’s ever happened to Willow, but can she trust that Seb wants more than a bit of afternoon delight – and can she trust herself to let go of the past in order to gain a future?
What AusRomToday thought:
The Secret Confessions series is certainly one that has brought up many varied relationship complexities however perhaps none more complex as falling in love with your mother’s ex-toyboy. Yes, this is the backdrop chosen for Willow and Seb’s relationship.
Without traipsing too deeply into this particular aspect of the story, I will disclose that initially I felt this was perhaps a story arc that would inhibit my enjoyment in reading Willow’s story. I mean really, how on earth can that kind of complexity begin to be sorted within a short story?! However, Phillips not only overcame the complexity of the relationship but also provided just enough context, fed to the reader at just the right time to answer, and in part alleviate, what otherwise could have been an uncomfortable and awkward sticking point in Willow and Seb’s relationship and thus the reader’s relationship with the characters.
Willow and Seb’s relationship and budding romance was extremely well-paced and adequately allowed for the build-up of anticipation between them. Theirs was a slow-burning romance, one that had been building over the previous three years, and Phillips was strategic in the placement of back-story so as to slowly introduce the reader to the characters and their history together. Upon finishing it did feel as though we’d all come through the journey together and certainly there was a tangible connection to the characters.
I really liked Willow and Seb though I can’t entirely pin-point why. Perhaps it was that they’d overcome a huge relationship hurdle and still progressed forward with one another… Perhaps it was Willow’s easy-going, unpretentious nature… I’m not sure, but they’re good, solid characters who’d certainly make for a great stand-alone read that further explored their relationship independent of the Secret Housewives series.
– J’aimee Brooker, AusRomToday
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