4 star

A Kiss to Build a Dream On

White Pine, Book #1

By Kim Amos

ISBN13: 9781455557448

Author’s Website: http://www.kimamoswrites.com

Brought to you by OBS reviewer Andra



If pride goes before a fall, Willa Masterson’s trip back to White Pine, Minnesota, should be one heck of a tumble. The girl who left her hometown— and her first love, Burk Olmstead—in the rearview twelve years ago was spoiled and headstrong. But the woman who returns is determined to rebuild: first her family house; then her relationships with everyone in town . . . starting with a certain tall, dark, and sexy contractor.


Burk has no reason to believe Willa has changed, and every reason to discourage her from converting the Masterson house into a B&B. He has plans of his own for that house, and they certainly don’t include a no-vacancy sign. But Burk didn’t count on how distracting Willa’s bright green eyes or her all-too-familiar touch would feel—or how impossible she will be to resist.


In the beginning of A Kiss to Build a Dream On Willa comes home to Midtown Repossession at the apartment she shares with Lance in New York City. Two months later Willa returns to her home town in Minnesota after her life is essentially decimated by her boyfriend Lance’s bad decisions (he has lost all investments from Willa as long as a LONG list of clients and is facing prosecution). And what is waiting for Willa in White Pine? Why her family home (which has essentially been empty for three years) and of course, her high school sweetheart – Burk.   Willa’s plan is to revamp the family home into an upscale B & B…using Burk (a local contractor). Now here is what I am thinking…that can’t be a good idea. Hiring the guy you were madly in love with before you left White Pine’s behind for greener pastures… but I guess the using goes both ways as Burk figures he has Willa all figured out. She would leave town during the renovations (she never sticks around after all) and then he could get the Masterson home for a steal… after all…

”If by some chance she managed to do something he hated in the short time she was here, he could always change it back when she left. Because she would leave. She always did.”

One of the things I liked most about this book is the evolution of Willa as a person. We are introduced to a seemingly self-centered person but through circumstances brought upon her as a result of Lance’s greed, she is left essentially penniless and homeless in New York City. So Willa retreats to her home town of White Pine – to start over again with the only asset left to her; a run-down family home. She realizes quite quickly that in order to fit in, she will need to eat a big helping or two of humble pie and apologize (sincerely to those she did wrong by before she left town so abruptly 12 years ago. And the list is not short; though only mentioning two from the Knots and Bolts crew:

  • Audrey Tanner – now the high school girls’ track coach. Audrey recruits an out of shape Willa to assist in the coaching… too funny 🙂
  • Betty Lindholm (proprietor of Knots and Bolts) – who Willa teased mercilessly about her jutting teeth.

My thoughts on Willa reflecting on her past with her mom; while holding her favorite mug – a chipped ceramic behemoth that had been her mom’s. The mug was one of the few items that Willa was able to salvage from New York and bring with her back to White Pine. We get a glimpse of Willa’s depth and a glimmer of her life with her mom:

“When she wanted to remember the best parts of her mom, it was through this mug. Like how her mom would use it to fix Willa warm soup for fighting off the flu, or bring her hot tea as they sat outside in the sharp springtime air, both of them shivering but desperate to enjoy the outdoors after a long winter.”

At times both Willa and Burk acted like high scholars…. not using their words, assuming things about the other without verifying true intentions/feelings. I interpreted this behavior as a result of Willa leaving Burk (her true love) abruptly right out of high school so that she would not be hurt by her assumption that he would indeed leave her…as everyone in her life had to that point in time. In all fairness, the past is the past…. and you can certainly see the growth and evolution of Willa and eventually Burk.

And if you thought that Willa saw the last of Lance then you will be sorely mistaken. The scene with Willa and Lance in White Pine is intense and written in a thought provoking (and kind of scary) manner… elicited many emotions while I was reading this section.

And to really shake things up…getting on the right “love track” was not just solely for Willa and Burk…. I love the other romantic liaisons and how they evolved! Had quite a chuckle actually when Willa became a love guru to the pastor. Lest we forget, the passion and intensity between Burk and Willa is HOT. The love scenes were well written, even with surprises thrown in. Loved it when she referred to Burk with the pet name from high school during one particular amorous encounter:

“My king, she murmured, her hands flattening along his abdomen, then unbuttoning his pants. Burk’s throat tightened at the name she used to call him, after they were crowned king and queen at prom senior year.”

The depth of characters, in addition to the story line, hunky guys and sympathetic gal pals created a positive and fun reading experience. My enjoyment of the first in this new series is such that I cannot wait for the next in the series! I want to know more about the inhabitants of White Pine, Minnesota.

*OBS would like to thank the publisher for supplying a free copy of this title in exchange for an honest review*