I like well written series books. That take you through various characters in a town, while keeping up with what happened after the happily ever after ending of the last protagonists. Not all authors pull this off well. While still keeping the main characters in focus, they need to build the auxiliary characters well enough, that the reader cares about what happens to them in the future as well. Usually these books end up in small towns and the authors need to build that small town dynamic also. And as much as Nora Roberts and Debbie Macomber will always be my two favorite authors that do this superbly well, I do need to check out other authors from time to time, to continue having something to read. I've recently read two such continuations - coincidentally both have the word Lavender Lane in their titles.
The first is On Lavender Lane by JoAnn Ross. It's the third in the Shelter Bay series. So far all three deal with male characters recently out of the service, dealing with their own post service demons. Lucas, a former Navy SEAL medic, trying to leave behind the men he couldn't save, is at loose ends because his post military plans are to renovate old buildings with his recently retired architect father. His father dies before the book starts, and he returns to his childhood summer destination of Shelter Bay to spread his ashes. He stays to help the grandmotherly woman, who helped him deal with his sister's death and mother's desertion as a child, renovate her farmhouse. When her granddaughter - his youthful summer love- returns to her grandmother's to recover from her husband's very public affair - you know where the book will eventually take you. ( I started to read Freefall another series of hers that has these men in their service days, but it was much more graphic, and I stopped after just a few chapters - it wasn't the war zone graphics that bothered me - it was the really dark twisted rapist abductor killer and the scenes about him and his victim that made me stop. I kind of wish Goodreads had a quit reading button) An interesting twist of the first and third book was that it was the man who was interested in long term commitment not the woman, and he had to find a way to actually "woo" her. Also I like the whole reunited from childhood trope. An interesting side story was a woman who escaped a domestic violence relationship and built up the personal strength to stand up to her husband when he found her. She has a budding friendship with a farmer who delivers fresh produce to the shelter she is staying at, and I want to know if it goes farther.
The second book is the 5th in the Icicle Falls series by Sheila Roberts, The Tea Shop on Lavender Lane. This book pits the two younger Sterling sisters, Cecily and Bailey in romantic competition. Cecily, a former matchmaker who can match everyone but herself, is torn between former badboy, motorcycle riding, bar owner Todd Black and all around good guy, father, widower,safe, line manager at her family's chocolate factory Luke Goodman. When Bailey returns home from LA and is looking to start a new life, after Todd had bought a cute house in a commercial zone, she ends up going into business with him to open a tea shop, their budding friendship has Cecily seeing red. The ending isn't what I expected, but if you want to find out - you need to read the book too.
I missed book three in the series "What She Wants" because none of the libraries in my county own a copy. I have already staged requests for Book 6 in the Icicle Falls series and Book 4 of the Shelter Bay series.