Review: “Return to Us” by Corinne Michaels

Series: Willow Creek Valley, #1

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Steam: 🔥🔥🔥

Release Date: February 23rd, 2021

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At eighteen, I walked away from Willow Creek Valley for good.

I was young, scared, and stupid, and it cost me the love of my life – Grayson Parkerson.

Fourteen years later, a crash sends me back home to recover.

Back to where we met, fell in love, and planned a future.

The one he’s now living as a single dad to his daughter.

Working at The Park Inn together gives us a chance to reconnect, and seeing him with his little girl makes me long for the days when he was mine. One look in his gorgeous blue-green eyes, and it’s like I never left. One kiss, and my world is upside down. One night together, and I know without a doubt, in his arms is where I belong.

I’m not the girl I was-intimidated by his wealthy family and desperate to escape our small town. I can imagine a new life for us here.

But he’s learned to guard his heart, and trust won’t come easily.

How can I convince him to give first love a second chance?


“Grayson, it’s you. You’re why I came here.”

I’m that reader that has stared at Corinne Michaels’ list of books and wanted to read all of them. But I haven’t gotten around to it. So when a new series was announced, I jumped at the chance to read an advanced copy. And now I understand the hype around Corinne Michaels’ books. Her stories are so beautifully crafted, her characters are well thought out and complex and her plots are so captivating. I was hooked to Jessica and Grayson’s story from the minute we’re introduced to them and I loved watching them fall in love too.

Jessica Walker and Grayson Parkerson have history, almost 15 years of history. They were in love as teenagers and they were slated to go the distance. Till Jessica made the tough decision to end the relationship before Grayson’s family could make him do it to her. Now after all these years, after an accident that almost took her life, Jessica is back in Willow Creek to recuperate and get back on her feet. Except, Grayson is still in town and now he’s a single father to a beautiful little girl and all those feelings they both locked away years ago are starting to surface.

Corinne Michaels’ has written two wonderful characters in Jessica and Grayson. I love that even though they’re both estranged in a way, those feelings and that sense of friendship is not gone yet. They both want to be around each other because that magnetic pull still exists. I also loved how all their friends are still cheering them on, so from the sidelines you’ve got these groups of people who are just waiting for the two of them to get their shit together and make it work. 

“I didn’t have to be embarrassed, he just loved me. The poor, sad, and angry parts were held together by him.”

As a second chance romance, you obviously get a front row seat to watching Jessica and Grayson resist each other, but give in eventually. But it’s how careful they are and all the choices they have to make that really hook you. 

They have chemistry that will make you swoon, they also have a bond that is unbreakable. I’m sensing that this is something that Corinne Michaels’ is famous for – creating these characters with flaws and pain, but pairing them with those who can balance and support that pain. Because Jessica and Grayson are long lost puzzle pieces who just fit together so perfectly. But more than the chemistry, it’s all those damn feels! My god. I love that as a second chance romance, things are hard, then easy, then complicated and then hard all over again before it all settles into place. And as a single father, Grayson’s got so much at stake, but he’s still going to put everything on the line because he’s finally getting another shot with the only woman he’s ever loved.

“He and I have always been this way. We don’t know how to love with reservations.”

I am also obsessed with the Parkerson family, so I cannot wait to see what the siblings get up to. They’re all so intriguing, supportive and well written even as secondary characters. As a fan of book series that feature family members or friends groups, I am going to thoroughly enjoy meeting every single member and watching their love lives grow. It’s always great to read a book and discover an author who can bring in all these important secondary characters, but not have them take away the attention from the leads and Corinne Michaels does that so effortlessly.

Guys, I am now officially a Corinne Michaels fan and I am going to spend one whole month just going through her backlist. I just need to find the time to make it happen.

Thanks to Corinne Michaels and Valentine PR for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

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