06 March 2019

The Secret of Willow Inn | Book Review


Two women fighting for their dreamsone who’s long lost hersare united by tragedy and a long-held secret.

Pregnant with her first child, Emily Hayes is eager to help her mother finish transforming an estate into the Willow Inn and write a novel about Willow Falls’ colorful history. A tragic event threatens her parents’ plans to refurbish an abandoned hotel and transform the obscure Georgia setting into a tourist destination.

Sadie Lyles left Willow Falls a murderer who’d killed the town hero. She returns as a despised felon and seeks solace in the town’s café. Emily struggles to unite the close-knit community and becomes Sadie’s biggest advocate. She strives to uncover the truth about the crime and save her town from dying.

To appease her father, Rachel, a VP in his Atlanta real-estate-development firm, relegates her acting dream to secret performances for imaginary audiences. After meeting charming, flirtatious Charlie Bricker, manager for Willow Falls’ future vineyard, she vows to break free from her father’s control.

The tragedy and Willow Inn’s secret past launch Emily and Rachel on a collision course with destiny and truth.

Publisher: Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas
Release Date: January 10, 2019


Visit Willow Falls with Pat Nichols in The Secret of Willow Inn and meet opinionated cast of small-town characters. With them, uncover the truth behind the secrets, experience the tragedy, and feel the hope as the story unfolds in surprising ways. It’s a trip worth taking.

At the center of it all are Emily Hayes and Rachel Anderson. Though they have different backgrounds, they can’t help but find several important commonalities over the course of the story. I loved getting to know them—their dreams and worries, flaws and strengths, and how they fit within the Willow Falls community—and with their experiences driving the plot of the novel, I enjoyed seeing their growth.

And of course, the drama of small-town life heightens and enhances the emotions of The Secret of Willow Inn. It’s a fun, heartwarming book to read, and I’m sure that other readers of small-town contemporary fiction will enjoy it, too.


Thanks to JustRead Tours, I received a complimentary copy of The Secret of Willow Inn and the opportunity to provide an honest review. I was not required to write a positive review, and all the opinions I have expressed are my own.


Pat Nichols is proving it’s never too late to follow your dreams.

During the spring, summer, and early autumn of her life this side of heaven, she and her high-school-sweetheart husband struggled and triumphed through life’s peaks and valleys. They raised two children, welcomed four grandchildren—one is with the angels—bought a Corvette, and ticked off every item on their travel bucket list. Now approaching her winter years, she ignores the minor aches that come with age and is grateful she can still paint her own toenails and dance with her hubby.

Following twenty-five years in six different management positions with an international beauty company, Pat launched career number two as a novelist and freelance editor. She chose women’s fiction to honor her daughter’s strength in the face of significant health issues and the loss of a child. Her corporate experience, working with hundreds of amazing women from all walks of life, inspires her to create stories about women who confront challenges in the pursuit of their dreams.

Although she writes five days a week, she and Tim—her best friend and number one fan—continue to celebrate their fifty-plus-year marriage. They lead a small group, volunteer for church guest services, participate in two social organizations, and spend time with family and friends. She thanks God for the blessings that brought her joy and the challenges that continue to strengthen her faith, skills, and resolve.

Pat was born in Illinois, grew up in Orlando, and has called Georgia home since the eighties. She lives in an Atlanta suburb, is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers, Word Weavers, Christian Pen, and Gwinnett Church (a campus of Northpoint Ministries).

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