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Courting Mr. Emerson

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When the fun-loving and spontaneous artist Willow West meets buttoned-up, retired English teacher George Emerson, it's not exactly love at first sight. Though she does find the obsessive-compulsive man intriguing. Making it her mission to get him to loosen up and embrace life, she embarks on what seems like a lost cause--and finds herself falling for him in the process. A c When the fun-loving and spontaneous artist Willow West meets buttoned-up, retired English teacher George Emerson, it's not exactly love at first sight. Though she does find the obsessive-compulsive man intriguing. Making it her mission to get him to loosen up and embrace life, she embarks on what seems like a lost cause--and finds herself falling for him in the process. A confirmed bachelor, George vacillates between irritation and attraction whenever Willow is around--which to him seems like all too often. He's not interested in expanding his horizons or making new friends; it just hurts too much when you lose them. But as the summer progresses, George feels his defenses crumbling. The question is, will his change of heart be too late for Willow? With her signature heart and touches of humor, fan favorite Melody Carlson pens a story of two delightfully eccentric characters who get a second chance at life and love.


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When the fun-loving and spontaneous artist Willow West meets buttoned-up, retired English teacher George Emerson, it's not exactly love at first sight. Though she does find the obsessive-compulsive man intriguing. Making it her mission to get him to loosen up and embrace life, she embarks on what seems like a lost cause--and finds herself falling for him in the process. A c When the fun-loving and spontaneous artist Willow West meets buttoned-up, retired English teacher George Emerson, it's not exactly love at first sight. Though she does find the obsessive-compulsive man intriguing. Making it her mission to get him to loosen up and embrace life, she embarks on what seems like a lost cause--and finds herself falling for him in the process. A confirmed bachelor, George vacillates between irritation and attraction whenever Willow is around--which to him seems like all too often. He's not interested in expanding his horizons or making new friends; it just hurts too much when you lose them. But as the summer progresses, George feels his defenses crumbling. The question is, will his change of heart be too late for Willow? With her signature heart and touches of humor, fan favorite Melody Carlson pens a story of two delightfully eccentric characters who get a second chance at life and love.

30 review for Courting Mr. Emerson

  1. 4 out of 5

    Mary Jackson _TheMaryReader

    I always fly through Carlson's books they are fast easy reads. I did connect with one of the characters I to have OCD. So this was a fun read. I will tell you it is a fast one sitting read. I can't wait for Carlson's next book. The Mary Reader received this book from the publisher for review. A favorable review was not required and all views expressed are our own.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Deanne Patterson

    This is a really lovely book. I always come away from reading a Melody Carlson book feeling encouraged and like I've learned life lessons. It is wonderful to see the main characters are in their fifties instead of in their twenties like so many books are. Mr. Emerson has retired after teaching at a high school for almost 30 years. He is a square peg in a round hole type of guy after being a confirmed lifelong bachelor . He has OCD, things must be done just so and his routine can not be changed. This is a really lovely book. I always come away from reading a Melody Carlson book feeling encouraged and like I've learned life lessons. It is wonderful to see the main characters are in their fifties instead of in their twenties like so many books are. Mr. Emerson has retired after teaching at a high school for almost 30 years. He is a square peg in a round hole type of guy after being a confirmed lifelong bachelor . He has OCD, things must be done just so and his routine can not be changed. He is shown change and kindness and gasp, romance. Can he change himself and his habits in time before love slips through his fingers. I always feel so uplifted when I read a Melody Carlson book they really are good for the heart and soul! Published March 5th 2019 by Revell Books I was given a complimentary copy of this book. Thank you. All opinions expressed are my own.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Karis

    First off, the title! So packed with hidden double meanings that make me fangirl a little over the title as I realized their meanings. But the book blurb itself I wish I had paid more attention to instead of just seeing the familiar author name and picking it out to read. I mean how do you miss that the main characters of the story are in their mid-50s? But somehow I did and that took some adjusting to. Maybe that was why the POV-characters fell flat for me. My favorite character in the book was First off, the title! So packed with hidden double meanings that make me fangirl a little over the title as I realized their meanings. But the book blurb itself I wish I had paid more attention to instead of just seeing the familiar author name and picking it out to read. I mean how do you miss that the main characters of the story are in their mid-50s? But somehow I did and that took some adjusting to. Maybe that was why the POV-characters fell flat for me. My favorite character in the book was actually Collins, the high school graduate and grandson of Willow West, one of two central characters in the story. I think being a senior myself I could definitely relate more to his story and loved the scenes with him. Collin’s mother’s story arc, though quite a wild journey was a great addition to the story and one I was more invested in. Also, Lorna, Mr. Emerson’s neighbor grew on me a lot, and I ended up quite fond of her, which came as quite the surprise to me. The side characters of the story really aided in making the story more believable and gave me a breather from the confining OCD-mindset of Mr. Emerson that was constricting for me to read. I was really looking forward to seeing how the author dealt with the faith element in her book, and while it was important to the story, I was disappointed by the rather vague beliefs that Mrs. West had and didn’t always agree with her conclusions. Most of the latter part of the book Mr. Emerson wasn’t himself and Mrs. West pretty much took over a huge renovation and restoration project on an old house he owned and was absorbed in that, and while I enjoyed seeing the renovation stuff, the pacing of the story seemed off to me. (And a pet peeve of mine—having two main characters with alternating chapters or scenes in their POV, but still writing in omniscient POV. It threw me when I was in one person’s POV scene and then it switched to someone else’s perspective.) So, would I read more by this author? Yes, I’ve enjoyed her writing before. But am I going to better pay attention to back blurbs before I start a book? Naturally. FTC Disclosure: I received a copy of this book for promotional purposes from Netgalley. I was not required to write a positive review. These are my honest thoughts and opinions.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Jen.

    . . What a delightful, absolutely wonderful read! This was just lovely! So enjoyable! George Emerson’s life is completely flipped upside down when Willow West steamrolls her way into his tidy existence. It’s a funny and heartwarming story. It’s also touching and honest during the tough stuff. Courting Mr. Emerson has a wonderful cast with relatable leads and strong secondary characters. This is an easy read, great for a relaxing weekend. I happily recommend this book! If you’re a fan of Melody Carlson . . What a delightful, absolutely wonderful read! This was just lovely! So enjoyable! George Emerson’s life is completely flipped upside down when Willow West steamrolls her way into his tidy existence. It’s a funny and heartwarming story. It’s also touching and honest during the tough stuff. Courting Mr. Emerson has a wonderful cast with relatable leads and strong secondary characters. This is an easy read, great for a relaxing weekend. I happily recommend this book! If you’re a fan of Melody Carlson or you enjoy sweet romances, you’ll definitely enjoy Courting Mr. Emerson! I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher as part of the Revell Reads Blog Tour. A positive review was not required. All opinions expressed are completely my own.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Cathy Daniel

    What a great book! It needs a sequel!

  6. 4 out of 5

    Melissa

    This book completely charmed me. I adored the character of George, I just want to give him a huge hug and adopt him!!! This was a sweet easy read with a lot of heart packed into its pages. I identified a lot with Willow, although I am not quite the free spirit she is, I could see myself trying just as hard to bring George out of his shell. The character of Josie was a great element to the plot of the story and I enjoyed seeing her growth in the book as well as George’s. This story just had a com This book completely charmed me. I adored the character of George, I just want to give him a huge hug and adopt him!!! This was a sweet easy read with a lot of heart packed into its pages. I identified a lot with Willow, although I am not quite the free spirit she is, I could see myself trying just as hard to bring George out of his shell. The character of Josie was a great element to the plot of the story and I enjoyed seeing her growth in the book as well as George’s. This story just had a comforting feel to it, that I can’t quite explain, but I truly loved this book. Lovely characters and a sweet plot make this a 5 star read for me and this book has a place on my keeper shelf! I received this book through the Revell Reads program and was not required to post a positive review. All thoughts are my own.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Kristina

    Courting Mr. Emerson by Melody Carlson takes readers on a journey to Warner, Oregon. Mr. George Emerson has been teaching Language Arts at Warner High School for almost thirty years. After pressure from administration plus the changes in student attitudes along with the advancements of technology, George is retiring at end of the year. Willow West is a free-spirited artist who owns the Willow West Gallery in town and is raising her grandson, Collin. Willow meets George when she requests a recomm Courting Mr. Emerson by Melody Carlson takes readers on a journey to Warner, Oregon. Mr. George Emerson has been teaching Language Arts at Warner High School for almost thirty years. After pressure from administration plus the changes in student attitudes along with the advancements of technology, George is retiring at end of the year. Willow West is a free-spirited artist who owns the Willow West Gallery in town and is raising her grandson, Collin. Willow meets George when she requests a recommendation letter from him for Collin’s college applications. Willow notices that George is old-fashioned, a luddite and set in his ways. She decides to invite him to Final Friday at her gallery. Much to her surprise, George shows up and they end the evening having coffee. This is the first in a series of encounters as Willow attempts to push George out of his comfort zone and embrace life. George finds himself uncomfortable, but he does find himself frequently thinking about Willow. As the summer passes by, George helps Willow’s daughter renovate her apartment. He starts to meet new people and new concepts including Christianity. Will George be able to open his heart to love and God? Join George, Willow, Collin and Josie on their journeys in Courting Mr. Emerson. Courting Mr. Emerson is such a sweet story. It has Melody Carlson’s trademark writing style. Courting Mr. Emerson contains good writing, thoughtful pacing and humor. I especially liked that the main characters are older. These are two people in their 50s who are getting a second chance. As we get older, people get more set in their ways as we see with George Emerson. George has suffered great losses in his lifetime and has become closed off. He is set in his way with a steady routine, but everything changes after he retires. George finds himself at loose ends and along comes Willow. Willow was raised by hippie type parents. She is an artist who is raising her grandson after her daughter took off to be a groupie. Willow’s life changes when her antagonistic daughter returns much to her son’s disappointment. Each character has their own issues that they need to work through with a little help from their friends and God. Courting Mr. Emerson is a story that you just need to read and enjoy (do not go looking for hidden or deeper meanings). Courting Mr. Emerson shows us that we are never to old to change or find love (it gives me hope). I am giving Courting Mr. Emerson 4 out of 5 stars (I liked it). Courting Mr. Emerson is the perfect story for those who delight in reading inspirational romance. If you are looking for a heartwarming story to read, then pick up Courting Mr. Emerson.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Monica

    Courting Mr. Emerson by Melody Carlson is touted as contemporary romance but it isn't the typical contemporary romance novel. Mr. George Emerson is a buttoned-up English teacher who is in the process of retiring from teaching and struggles with change. He is also a confirmed bachelor. Willow West is a fun-loving artist and grandmother who enjoys life. She also owns and operates her own art gallery. When George and Willow meet, Willow finds George fairly stuffy and George finds Willow to be a bit w Courting Mr. Emerson by Melody Carlson is touted as contemporary romance but it isn't the typical contemporary romance novel. Mr. George Emerson is a buttoned-up English teacher who is in the process of retiring from teaching and struggles with change. He is also a confirmed bachelor. Willow West is a fun-loving artist and grandmother who enjoys life. She also owns and operates her own art gallery. When George and Willow meet, Willow finds George fairly stuffy and George finds Willow to be a bit wild. In spite of their differences, Willow encourages George to try new things but he also struggles with his attraction to her. He really wants to make new friends but it hurts too much to loose them so he doesn't seem to know what to do. Will George and Willow be able to work a relationship out? I started off reading Courting Mr. Emerson and enjoying the story. It seemed like a light read, which I was in the mood for. Then, as the story progressed, Willow's daughter and grandson become more of a focus in the plot--along with a lot of their drama. That part of the story wasn't light or relaxing to read. Honestly, I found the whole story to be fairly melancholy. George is referenced in one place as being a bit like Eeyore and I would agree. George has OCD and I have a relative with OCD but they aren't as sad as George. George seems to have bigger problems to me. I would have enjoyed seeing more good times as a focus between Willow and George instead of mostly challenges and drama. However, I personally liked that Carlson wrote a story about a middle-aged couple as I don't see a lot of Christian fiction books about people in that age range. I just wish it had been more upbeat in tone. I think Carlson is an excellent writer but Courting Mr. Emerson isn't my favorite of hers. I received this book from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review.

  9. 5 out of 5

    V. Palmer

    If you are craving a sweet, Hallmark-ish story, then Courting Mr. Emerson by Melody Carlson is for you! I thought the later-in-life romance was so unique because I haven't seen a lot of those types of romances in Christian Fiction! The author did a wonderful job at making George and Willow act their ages as well. Their push-pull, opposites-attract chemistry was so sweet! While Willow's artistry flowed from the very core of her being, George loved the simplicity of an era gone by -- and his strict If you are craving a sweet, Hallmark-ish story, then Courting Mr. Emerson by Melody Carlson is for you! I thought the later-in-life romance was so unique because I haven't seen a lot of those types of romances in Christian Fiction! The author did a wonderful job at making George and Willow act their ages as well. Their push-pull, opposites-attract chemistry was so sweet! While Willow's artistry flowed from the very core of her being, George loved the simplicity of an era gone by -- and his strict routine! While there were moments that my heart ached or that I experienced some frustration, George and Willow's pains and joys are relatable for readers of all ages! I enjoyed seeing Willow's family and watching reconciliation unfold after so much drama. However, I found that the deeper storyline rested in George, who had suffered so much loss and struggled with obsessive-compulsive tendencies that held his life captive. As his friendship with Willow deepened, his carefully-constructed world started to unravel as he realized that there was so much more to life -- and God -- than he had realized. Slowly, George began to realize that a Greater Love has been courting him all along. I loved that because this is such a powerful truth for readers to know! Three Stars ~ Courting Mr. Emerson by Melody Carlson is a charming story of romance -- both relational and spiritual! Courting Mr. Emerson is a standalone, but the author has a wide array of titles for readers to enjoy! Disclaimer ~ In accordance with FTC regulations, I received a copy of this book from the author/publisher. I was not compensated, nor was a positive review required. All opinions expressed are my own.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Laura

    COURTING MR. EMERSON is the newest release by Ms. Carlson. Mr. Emerson is a retired English teacher, reminiscent of the British sitcom Mr. Bean. George Emerson is just as much of a stick-in-the-mud as Mr. Bean and every bit as clueless. I didn't see why George Emerson had so many ladies courting him unless as a bachelor he was prime game for fifty year old divorcees and widows desperate for a man. He would drive me batty in short order I'm afraid. Willow is an artsy crafty gypsy type with a drug COURTING MR. EMERSON is the newest release by Ms. Carlson. Mr. Emerson is a retired English teacher, reminiscent of the British sitcom Mr. Bean. George Emerson is just as much of a stick-in-the-mud as Mr. Bean and every bit as clueless. I didn't see why George Emerson had so many ladies courting him unless as a bachelor he was prime game for fifty year old divorcees and widows desperate for a man. He would drive me batty in short order I'm afraid. Willow is an artsy crafty gypsy type with a druggie grunge band daughter and a grandson every bit a nerd as George Emerson. And she didn't know how to take no for an answer. Inviting herself for breakfast armed with bran muffins she takes control of his kitchen while he showers. There is really no faith message to speak of and the romance (ahem) didn't work for me. This was a slow read with characters I couldn't relate to. However if you fondly remember Mr. Bean and like to read about 55 year olds finding love then COURTING MR. EMERSON is a book to consider. I adore the cover. I was given a copy free. All opinions are my own.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Cathryn

    This was such a sweet story. It was a quick and enjoyable read that I had a hard time putting down. It had a romance, art, home remodeling, and a good message. I found all the characters likeable and they all had an interesting addition to the story. This was a true Carlson great!

  12. 4 out of 5

    Shirley Chapel

    What can I say about this story? That I absolutely loved every page would be no exaggeration . It was sad. It was witty. It was romantic. A story about when a man and woman meet who are two opposites. George Emerson worked for almost 30 years as an English teacher at the local high school. He never married and was always a loner. Willow West is an artist who owns an art gallery down town. She is a type of person who loves to have fun and enjoys every moment of life. George , who has been hurt so What can I say about this story? That I absolutely loved every page would be no exaggeration . It was sad. It was witty. It was romantic. A story about when a man and woman meet who are two opposites. George Emerson worked for almost 30 years as an English teacher at the local high school. He never married and was always a loner. Willow West is an artist who owns an art gallery down town. She is a type of person who loves to have fun and enjoys every moment of life. George , who has been hurt so many times in life wants nothing more than to be left to himself and his own orderly quiet lifestyle. What happens when the two meet? Well that's what this book is all about. Written by Melody Carlson who is an award winning author of over two hundred books , hasn't disappointed readers of her latest release, Courting Mr Emerson. I can't recommend it highly enough as it deserves 6 stars. All readers of Christian Fiction , fans of the author or contemporary romance fiction will love this book. I borrowed a copy of Courting Mr Emerson from the local library. A review wasn't requested. All thoughts I've shared here are my own .

  13. 4 out of 5

    Mary

    I received this book from LibraryThing in exchange for a fair review. This was an good story. George Emerson is retiring after 29 years of teaching, not necessarily by choice though. He feels out of touch with the school and the district is "encouraged" him to make the decision. This hit a little close to home as I'm just a couple of years younger than the main character and also in education. The female character is Willow West, a supposed free-spirit who is raising her grandson. But to me she w I received this book from LibraryThing in exchange for a fair review. This was an good story. George Emerson is retiring after 29 years of teaching, not necessarily by choice though. He feels out of touch with the school and the district is "encouraged" him to make the decision. This hit a little close to home as I'm just a couple of years younger than the main character and also in education. The female character is Willow West, a supposed free-spirit who is raising her grandson. But to me she wasn't at all free-spirited in the traditional meaning of the word - as she seemed far too responsible for that definition. My main problem in the book is purely personal and would probably not affect most readers. Willow's grandson is a senior and high school and is planning on attending the local community college and the author describes this as "settling, not good enough" and implied that a community college is for those students who weren't good enough for a four year college. These aren't the exact words since this is an ARC copy some of this might change in the final copy but it's a summation. The reason this bothers me is because my job is a Career Coordinator at a high school and I have been fighting this idea that a community college is "settling". But again, that is a personal reason so many won't have the same issue, they may even - sadly - believe the same thing. This did have a strong Christian viewpoint so if that's not something you enjoy I wouldn't read this and because of that Christian viewpoint not any sex scenes or necessarily the heat of young adults (although I hate using that term as anymore that can be anything from junior high to high school and rarely means 20's - I'm old). I would have liked more passion between the main characters but I enjoyed the building of the relationship.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Suzie Waltner

    I adored this sweet, endearing read. With two main characters who are more experienced in life than the average leads in romance, Melody Carlson proves love can bloom at any age. Finicky, prickly, set-in-his-ways George Emerson is oddly lovable with his stable routines and old-fashioned wardrobe and sensibilities. Willow West is an excellent contrast as she befriends and challenges him. Even the supporting characters from George’s neighbor to Willow’s family and employees add depth to the story. T I adored this sweet, endearing read. With two main characters who are more experienced in life than the average leads in romance, Melody Carlson proves love can bloom at any age. Finicky, prickly, set-in-his-ways George Emerson is oddly lovable with his stable routines and old-fashioned wardrobe and sensibilities. Willow West is an excellent contrast as she befriends and challenges him. Even the supporting characters from George’s neighbor to Willow’s family and employees add depth to the story. This story is a beautiful example of one of the many ways God pursues his children. Sometimes it’s the quiet, steadfast presence that shows nothing can severe our relationship with him. There’s no limit to the number of times we mess up or the number of apologies we must make, God remains faithful. For anyone who feels stuck in the routines of their life, has given up on finding love, or just wants a sweet and moving story, Courting Mr. Emerson will leave you a bit wrung out but uplifted and hopeful for what’s to come. Disclosure statement: I receive complimentary books from publishers, publicists, and/or authors, including NetGalley. I am not required to write positive reviews. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Karen R

    I thoroughly enjoyed this book! A refreshing read, with strong, fully developed characters who have real life struggles, yet they are dealt with some humor and grace. Great writing that just carries the story along with fun dialogue and situations. George is so wonderfully awkward, I just couldn't wait to see how he would break out of his shell. Willow is amazingly flexible and lives her faith with so much grace. It was nice to have a story with characters closer to my age. The younger ages were I thoroughly enjoyed this book! A refreshing read, with strong, fully developed characters who have real life struggles, yet they are dealt with some humor and grace. Great writing that just carries the story along with fun dialogue and situations. George is so wonderfully awkward, I just couldn't wait to see how he would break out of his shell. Willow is amazingly flexible and lives her faith with so much grace. It was nice to have a story with characters closer to my age. The younger ages were there too, from teens and up, dealing with life choices. Highly recommend to readers who enjoy character driven stories set in small towns with just a hint of romance.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    I am a huge fan of Melody Carlson. Her books are novels that I can fly through in a day because they are just so good! Courting Mr. Emerson is a little bit of a different read as I had to adjust my mindset regarding the age of the romance between the characters. It wasn't the age that I had difficulty adjusting to, but more their lifestyle that I had to make the transition. Once I was able to make the transition, this was a quick and amazing read. I can't wait to read the next book by Melody. Sh I am a huge fan of Melody Carlson. Her books are novels that I can fly through in a day because they are just so good! Courting Mr. Emerson is a little bit of a different read as I had to adjust my mindset regarding the age of the romance between the characters. It wasn't the age that I had difficulty adjusting to, but more their lifestyle that I had to make the transition. Once I was able to make the transition, this was a quick and amazing read. I can't wait to read the next book by Melody. She is an awesome writer. Grab a copy today. You will love this one.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Martha

    This quirky romance, is not really a romance as much as a tale of two people falling in love despite the determination of one to not go there.  I loved that this story was not about young people, but explored life and what it could be between two people with totally different lifestyles.  I enjoyed the storyline with the family dynamics.  Don't read this book if you are just looking for a cute story with no depth. This story hides the depth between still surfaces. I loved it!  I obtained this book This quirky romance, is not really a romance as much as a tale of two people falling in love despite the determination of one to not go there.  I loved that this story was not about young people, but explored life and what it could be between two people with totally different lifestyles.  I enjoyed the storyline with the family dynamics.  Don't read this book if you are just looking for a cute story with no depth. This story hides the depth between still surfaces. I loved it!  I obtained this book from the publisher and NetGalley. My opinions contained herein are my own. 

  18. 5 out of 5

    Amy

    Courting Mr Emerson is the newest release by Melody Carlson. I found this romance to be a little different than most I often read with the characters being in their fifties instead of twenties or thirties. I found it to be unique, refreshing and realistic. However, the story was a little slow at times and I found myself wanting to skim over a page or two. There were some fun and sweet scenes that made me giggle, though. I am giving Courting Mr Emerson three stars. I received this book from the p Courting Mr Emerson is the newest release by Melody Carlson. I found this romance to be a little different than most I often read with the characters being in their fifties instead of twenties or thirties. I found it to be unique, refreshing and realistic. However, the story was a little slow at times and I found myself wanting to skim over a page or two. There were some fun and sweet scenes that made me giggle, though. I am giving Courting Mr Emerson three stars. I received this book from the publisher. This review is 100% my own honest opinion.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Doreen

    This was a delightful book. I loved Mr. Emerson and Willow. Mr. Emerson is an English teacher who hates modern technology and compares women to baked goods. He is very particular and lives an orderly, well-managed life. Willow is the opposite. She’s an ex-hippie, artist who is vibrant and full of well-meaning intentions. It reminded me a bit of when Father Tim met Cynthia in the Jan Karon books. While the book has a light-hearted feel, it also touches on some deep themes of meaning and purpose in This was a delightful book. I loved Mr. Emerson and Willow. Mr. Emerson is an English teacher who hates modern technology and compares women to baked goods. He is very particular and lives an orderly, well-managed life. Willow is the opposite. She’s an ex-hippie, artist who is vibrant and full of well-meaning intentions. It reminded me a bit of when Father Tim met Cynthia in the Jan Karon books. While the book has a light-hearted feel, it also touches on some deep themes of meaning and purpose in life, estrangement and reconciliation, and deeply forged faith that can take you through life’s losses and hardships. I thoroughly enjoyed it and I would recommend it. Thank you to Revell for providing me with an e-copy of this book. All opinions are my own.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Maureen Timerman

    I chose to read this book because of the author, I have enjoyed several past books of hers and this one was no exception. We meet a hurting man, George, and because of past deep hurts he has put up walls around himself, and we witness a little chipping at the boards. The other main character has also weathered life with loss and hardship, while being a gifted artist we see her reach out to George, and in turn George reaches out to her love ones. We also see what could be Willow tormenting George, I chose to read this book because of the author, I have enjoyed several past books of hers and this one was no exception. We meet a hurting man, George, and because of past deep hurts he has put up walls around himself, and we witness a little chipping at the boards. The other main character has also weathered life with loss and hardship, while being a gifted artist we see her reach out to George, and in turn George reaches out to her love ones. We also see what could be Willow tormenting George, oh my, that poor man. In the end we see that the one Being who can help George is God, but he claims not, will Willow be able to reach him, or will he continue to isolate himself? I received this book through Net Galley and the Publisher Revell, and was not required to give a positive review.

  21. 4 out of 5

    The Sherlock

    This book is the most adorable romance on the face of the planet! I absolutely loved the main couple. Mr. Emerson was an instant favorite! I love the fact that Willow is a bit of a wild child. Overall, the book was super cute! It’s slightly different from the norm due to the fact that the couple is older! I think this improved the book and I loved that the mc’s were more mature!

  22. 5 out of 5

    Rose

    Courting Mr. Emerson was a pleasant surprise. With a cast of quirky characters and fun banter between them,this novel was an engaging read. Light-hearted moments were perfectly balanced with the more serious ones and the character growth was amazing. Josie. The character that I really wanted to dislike but couldn't. When we first meet her, her life is in shambles but we get to experience her change and growth. Her unpredictability kept me wanting to see what she would do next. Personally, I really Courting Mr. Emerson was a pleasant surprise. With a cast of quirky characters and fun banter between them,this novel was an engaging read. Light-hearted moments were perfectly balanced with the more serious ones and the character growth was amazing. Josie. The character that I really wanted to dislike but couldn't. When we first meet her, her life is in shambles but we get to experience her change and growth. Her unpredictability kept me wanting to see what she would do next. Personally, I really loved the whole house-fixing-up thing. I really enjoy that so when I read about it, I was thrilled. The only complaint I have is that this story was a bit unoriginal. Carlson already has a book about fixing up a house and a different one about an art gallery owner. It is time for some new ideas. Personal Rating: 4 Stars Content Rating: 5 Stars *I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Leslie M.

    Review to come.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Sara Wise

    ** “But then that’s life. You can’t let it beat you up. And as I remind myself every single day, God knows what he’s doing. Even if I don’t.” ** Melody Carlson’s “Courting Mr. Emerson” is a delightful tale of life and love that will leave you with a goofy little smile on your face. George Emerson is in his mid-50s and facing retirement as a teacher. Prim and proper, traditional, particular and sensible, George just isn’t sure what he will do to fill his very structured time once he retires. That is ** “But then that’s life. You can’t let it beat you up. And as I remind myself every single day, God knows what he’s doing. Even if I don’t.” ** Melody Carlson’s “Courting Mr. Emerson” is a delightful tale of life and love that will leave you with a goofy little smile on your face. George Emerson is in his mid-50s and facing retirement as a teacher. Prim and proper, traditional, particular and sensible, George just isn’t sure what he will do to fill his very structured time once he retires. That is, until Willow West walks into his life, asking for a letter of recommendation for her college-bound grandson, Collin. Artist Willow is everything George is not — spontaneous, carefree, a person who literally grew up on a hippy commune. And she seems to be able to continuously draw him into situations he would never dream of doing. As George and Willow’s paths keep crossing, they find themselves drawn toward each other, yet driven apart by their differences, much like oil and vinegar. Can they put aside their differences and come together? Will they each be able to draw out the best in the other? Told in back-and-forth perspectives between Willow and George, “Courting Mr. Emerson” is a sweet tale filled with laugh-out-loud moments, tear-jerker times, and moments of conviction. It’s a story of overcoming loss, second chances and finding love again, even in our more senior years, and finding and offering forgiveness. Melody Carlson also does a fantastic job of developing delightful characters, full of quirks, crazies and relatabilities. You will love both wild and free “overly enthusiastic” Willow and quiet and sensible George. And you will root for them from the very beginning. But besides being a sweet love story, “Courting Mr. Emerson” also offers some amazing lessons, reminding us that God can fill our emptiness; we can only live one day at a time; the theme of religion versus relationship (with God); and putting your trust in God and His very existence and realness. As Willow tells George: “But George, if God is real — like I believe he is — I will be exceedingly thankful that I did believe in him. Not only because of a satisfying early life, but because I’d like to continue a loving relationship with God throughout eternity.” I think fans of Jan Karon’s Mitford series will enjoy this book, as it has a bit of a Father Tim/Cynthia/Mitford vibe. One disclaimer, there are brief references to pot usage. Five stars out of five. Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group, provided this complimentary copy for my honest, unbiased review.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Kirby

    I always enjoy how fast paced Melody Carlson's books are, and I usually find myself devouring her stories fairly quickly. Courting Mr. Emerson was no exception, and I really found myself enjoying this contemporary romance novel about two protagonists who are falling for each other in their later years. Very rarely have I ever picked up a read that included a romance between two adults in their mid fifties, and I found this to be a refreshing change. George Emerson's life is turned upside down wh I always enjoy how fast paced Melody Carlson's books are, and I usually find myself devouring her stories fairly quickly. Courting Mr. Emerson was no exception, and I really found myself enjoying this contemporary romance novel about two protagonists who are falling for each other in their later years. Very rarely have I ever picked up a read that included a romance between two adults in their mid fifties, and I found this to be a refreshing change. George Emerson's life is turned upside down when the rambunctious Willow West crashes into it. As a high school English teacher who's about to face mandatory retirement, Mr. Emerson is looking forward to his future including rest and relaxation. However, when Willow and her grandson Collin enter his life, Mr. Emerson encounters more than he's prepared for. Willow owns a local art gallery, and after approaching the "set in his own ways" Mr. Emerson about a letter of recommendation for her grandson Collin, decides on a whim to invite him to a gathering at her gallery. Mr. Emerson is definitely out of his comfort zone, but decides on a whim to attend, and soon finds his life colliding with Willow, her hard working and likable grandson, and Josie, her daughter who takes a lot of getting used to, and is in need of a lot of guidance to get her back on the straight and narrow. Willow and George are perfect examples of opposites attracting, but are they too opposite for a relationship between them to ever truly workout? Courting Mr. Emerson at first glance may appear to be a fluffy romance read, but it's honestly so much more than that. Melody Carlson makes this contemporary romance fun, lively and comical when it needs to be, but also touches on deeper themes including estrangement, death, reconciliation, mental illness and having the extreme type of faith that can see you through the worst of life's circumstances. While I can understand that the romance element may not work for everyone, I personally really enjoyed it, and enjoyed the fact that its extremely slow moving, and gives the feelings plenty of time to develop between the characters. As always, Melody Carlson's writing style is quick paced, engaging, and enjoyable, and I really adored my time reading this one. With quirky characters, serious elements, a well developed plot, an emphasis on faith, and lots of witty banter, Courting Mr. Emerson was a pleasant surprise, and another lovely release by this amazing author. I rated it four out of five stars, and I encourage anyone looking for a romance read this spring to go ahead and pick it up. If you're like me and you haven't ever tried a romance with a more middle age couple before, then this would be the perfect book to start with! I received a complimentary copy of this novel from the publisher (Revell) as part of the Revell Reads Blog Program. All thoughts and opinions are my own. I was not required to give a positive review.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Narita

    I have said it before and I will say it again, Melody Carlson is one of my favorite authors! Any book I see with her name on it I HAVE to read! This book was a fun read and a bit different as the main characters are in their 50’s. George Emerson has reached his retirement after 30 years as a high school language arts teacher. He is stuck in an 80’s time warp, maybe even further than that! He has eschewed any type of technology despite his intelligence and education. This guy puts the “N” in nerd I have said it before and I will say it again, Melody Carlson is one of my favorite authors! Any book I see with her name on it I HAVE to read! This book was a fun read and a bit different as the main characters are in their 50’s. George Emerson has reached his retirement after 30 years as a high school language arts teacher. He is stuck in an 80’s time warp, maybe even further than that! He has eschewed any type of technology despite his intelligence and education. This guy puts the “N” in nerd. Uncomfortable in his own skin, especially in social interactions, he is a loner and confirmed bachelor. Willow West is the totally opposite end of the spectrum! She was raised in by hippies and her wild youth labeled her with name Wild West Willow. You get the idea! She is now a Christian and her youthful exuberance is now channeled as a buoyant, impromptu, woman who totally enjoys life! These two oil and water no make that gas and fire personalities, meet when Willow asks Mr. Emerson for a referral letter for her grandson’s college application. They learn they both attended high school together. She finds herself interested in him but she is not sure exactly how. She describes him as “Mr. Bean”. George is not sure how he will spend his new freedom retired. He envisions his rigid, OCD life continuing to be a cocoon of comfort. Willow on the other hand sees him needing to try new experiences and add excitement to his life. Though I do not think consciously, she makes it a project to help him do just that. This is where the rushing wind meets a brick wall. George sees her as fascinating. Because of the lack of the courage to say “no” he continually finds himself in circumstances and experiences he would have never chosen! After he has survived each one George finds he actually enjoyed himself but vows never to give in again! Both grow more attracted to each other but their disparities usually end up in misunderstandings and hurt feelings, only to be followed by an apology. Ms. Carlson does a beautiful job of helping the reader clearly see the George and Willows extremely different viewpoints. The characters were fun, quirky and real! I thought it was beautiful that Willow’s interest in George was one of compassion and concern. As the story unfolds her concern is for his soul as he professes to be an atheist. He was a beautiful example not to give up on an unbeliever no matter how impossible salvation may seem. You will find yourself laughing, crying and feeling joy as you read this book. Thank you Ms. Carlson for another amazing book! I received this book from Revell Publishing in exchange for an honest review. The opinions I stated are my own.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Aurelia Mast-glick

    I don't know if you've ever had that feeling of putting down a book and going, "Oh, I really don't know what I think of this book I just finished, what just happened?" That's kind of my thoughts on this book, I experienced a range of emotions during the reading of this book and ended the book on a laugh, a laugh that was more like, "Oh really, are you serious?" And yet, I'm not sure why. And then I saw that the genre above the bar code was labeled contemporary romance and that explains a few thi I don't know if you've ever had that feeling of putting down a book and going, "Oh, I really don't know what I think of this book I just finished, what just happened?" That's kind of my thoughts on this book, I experienced a range of emotions during the reading of this book and ended the book on a laugh, a laugh that was more like, "Oh really, are you serious?" And yet, I'm not sure why. And then I saw that the genre above the bar code was labeled contemporary romance and that explains a few things to everyone, now doesn't it? So to be fair, I think I've read a few too many predictable Christian fiction books while hankering to branch out a bit. And I have read a few of Melody's books that are pretty old, particularly Armando's Treasure and recall it as being an amazing, completely non-romantic story. Now granted, it's been a few years since I read it, so maybe I am all wrong, but I have high regard for the book in my mind. Anyway, despite all that, I will try to be very honest and give a review based on the worth of the book itself and not my own personal journey in reading. So by chapter four, I wrote in my book journal: "I'm only four chapters in and loving the prose. The word usage is fun. And it's unusual in that the main characters are in their 50s". And that is still true. I did love the word usage, but I have to be honest, by the middle of the book, I was a bit bored. George was a seemingly obsessive-compulsive man forced into early retirement and Willow is a free-spirited artist and basically nothing seemed to be happening in the book except, well I can't say because I try not to give spoilers away in the book. But then, another character shows up and interrupts life and adds some interesting elements to the plot and definitely helps the story along, in my opinion. I think the book feels like it went from basically nothing happening to the "romantic" ending without giving enough detail of the personal journey George was on. It's not written in first person, but I think we could have used some insight into more of the internal struggle George was going through in the last quarter of the book or so. I'm not sure. I really want to like this book, because the writing is excellent. I love the word usage, like I already mentioned and I really want to like all of Melody Carlson's work, but I'm just not sure where I'm at on this one. I think it comes down to this, it was a well-written book but at this point in time, it didn't click with me. That's not to say I wouldn't be able to read it again at a later time and really like it. I received this book from Revell and was not required to write a positive review.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Meagan Myhren-bennett

    Courting Mr. Emerson By Melody Carlson George Emerson has finally bowed to the pressure to retire as a High School English teacher. He didn't have to but the budget cuts had him being encouraged to do so. And then the attitude of most of his students was less than encouraging. But now retirement is stretching out before him. George has always been a very set in his ways conservatively dressed person. He has few friends and no family, all in all, a very lonely person, at least that is Willow West's Courting Mr. Emerson By Melody Carlson George Emerson has finally bowed to the pressure to retire as a High School English teacher. He didn't have to but the budget cuts had him being encouraged to do so. And then the attitude of most of his students was less than encouraging. But now retirement is stretching out before him. George has always been a very set in his ways conservatively dressed person. He has few friends and no family, all in all, a very lonely person, at least that is Willow West's impression of him when she comes seeking a recommendation letter for her soon to graduate grandson. Collin is a very serious and conscientious student and George is more than happy to provide him with the letter his grandmother requested. And when His grandmother asks that he attend a graduation party for Collin, George reluctantly agrees though social gatherings are not his thing. Willow sees it as her mission to help George Emerson loosen up as he enters retirement. And when he goes from Mr. Emerson to George she sees that as a huge step in the right direction. Now if she can get him to dress casually when attending social events it will be a great victory. George is in a quandary where Willow is concerned sometimes he feels drawn to her and at other times she annoys him to no end especially when she pushes her way into his life and day with suggestions on improving what he doesn't feel needs change. George has no interest in adding people into his life. He's had others in his life - friends, family, and pets - and lost them all. To his way of thinking, God either doesn't exist or God hates him. After all, everyone else must have been good enough for God if he is to believe what his Grandmother told him but he wasn't good enough for God to want him. But Willow sees it differently - if only she can get George to see it too. Courting Mr. Emerson is an interesting book. Some moments I really enjoyed it and others I was a bit Georgish in my feelings towards the story. But overall it was an enjoyable read though at times I may have felt like slamming the door in Willow's face if I'd been George (not that I would have, but she probably would not have made it past the front door). Willow seems like a caring person just a bit too caring if you don't like feeling closed in. As I said I'm more of a George than a Willow personality type so I can sympathize with his feelings at times. And a word of warning: don't plan a hot air balloon trip as a surprise. I was provided a complimentary copy of this book by the publisher with no expectations but that I offer my honest opinion. All thoughts expressed are my own.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Tabitha Bouldin

    The first thing you should know is that the main characters are in their fifties. Although that did not bother me, it might be a deal-breaker for some. If you’ve seen the movie with Jack Nicholson, “As Good as it Gets”, then you have a good idea of what you’ll find in this book. I was rather confused as to why George is retiring from his teaching position when he is only fifty-five. Even though he’d been teaching for thirty years, fifty-five seems young for retirement since he truly loved his jo The first thing you should know is that the main characters are in their fifties. Although that did not bother me, it might be a deal-breaker for some. If you’ve seen the movie with Jack Nicholson, “As Good as it Gets”, then you have a good idea of what you’ll find in this book. I was rather confused as to why George is retiring from his teaching position when he is only fifty-five. Even though he’d been teaching for thirty years, fifty-five seems young for retirement since he truly loved his job. That’s really beside the point. Let me get back on track. George and Willow might be the stars of the show, but the secondary characters make quite an impressive appearance which helps to broaden the scope of the story. In the beginning chapters, George tells us that his students have likened him to Rowan Atkinson’s “Mr. Bean” character. Since I have been a fan of Mr. Bean for several years, the connection endeared me to George from the get-go. Enter Willow, the sweet, quirky, widow who is determined to pull George out of his stuck-in-the-mud ways. Willow has her own problems, including a grown daughter with narcissistic tendencies. Willow’s messy life is the opposite of what George wants. With his OCD tendencies and need to escape the things that overwhelm him, George finds himself trying to keep his distance while wishing he could step closer. It was interesting to see the interactions between Willow and George. She pushes and he runs. She apologizes and they do it all over again. Slowly, George begins to accept some changes. I have to say it, it’s been bugging me and causing a nervous tic. George is an English professor with OCD…having the title on the book written the way it is (in all lowercase) would have sent him off the rails. Overall, I thought Courting Mr. Emerson was a very sweet read. With a simple, engaging plot and minimal romance, it kept me entertained. I had a few eyebrow lifting moments over their discussions of religion, but I’ll leave my personal feelings out of it and let you make up your own mind. I received a copy of this book from the publisher. I was not required to leave a review. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Debi Lantzer

    I was invited to join the Blog Tour Team for Revell Books, a division of Baker Publishing Group for today's post about Courting Mr. Emerson by Melody Carlson.  This is the first book by Ms. Carlson that I have read, and I found it to be a light easy read. I especially enjoyed the fact that the main characters were all in their late 50's -- seeing as I am in my late 50's, it made for a great connection. I could really relate with George Emerson, who is a bit OCD - set in his ways and enjoys a stea I was invited to join the Blog Tour Team for Revell Books, a division of Baker Publishing Group for today's post about Courting Mr. Emerson by Melody Carlson.  This is the first book by Ms. Carlson that I have read, and I found it to be a light easy read. I especially enjoyed the fact that the main characters were all in their late 50's -- seeing as I am in my late 50's, it made for a great connection. I could really relate with George Emerson, who is a bit OCD - set in his ways and enjoys a steady routine.  Mr. Emerson, a retiring high school English teacher, finds myself at loose ends once retired.  He has suffered great losses in his lifetime and has become closed off with his heart.  Then there's Willow - a free spirited kind of woman raised by her parents who were "hippies" in their time.  Her daughter has run off to be a groupie, and Willow is an artist who is raising her grandson.  With her grandson's graduation coming up, Willow's daughter and her boyfriend return.  Of course, the boyfriend leaves, and the daughter is stuck with no place to live and no financial way to survive. Courting Mr. Emerson allows readers to see how God can work in mysterious and unexpected ways! Readers will enjoy observing how this story plays out.  As I said earlier, I really enjoyed the maturity of these characters and their life experiences making them who they already were. Both main characters - George and Willow - are very vibrant and well-written characters who are unique and realistic. I appreciated how the author guided readers to see how each of us has our own journey to understanding who God is and what He’s done for each of us, and how everything happens on His timeline instead of what we might expect or hope. I was provided with a complimentary copy of this book from Revell Books, a division of Baker Publishing Group in exchange for this, my honest review. I was not required to post a positive review, but chose to.

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