Friday, December 27, 2019

Lake Season by Denise Hunter

Lake Season by Denise Hunter

I already miss these characters and this setting! Lake Season is book one in Denise's new Bluebell Inn Romance series.

Here’s the summary:

When their parents die in a tragic accident, Molly Bennett and her siblings pull together to fulfill their parents’ dream of turning their historic Bluebell, North Carolina, home back into an inn. Staying in town would be temporary—three years at most—then they plan to sell the inn, and Molly can get back to chasing her own dreams.

Adam Bradford (aka bestselling author Nathaniel Quinn) is a reclusive novelist with a bad case of writer’s block. Desperate for inspiration as his deadline approaches, he travels to the setting of his next book, a North Carolina lake town. There, he meets his muse, a young innkeeper who fancies herself in love with his alter ego.

Molly and Adam strike up an instant friendship. When Molly finds a long-lost letter in the walls of her inn, she and Adam embark on a mission to find the star-crossed lovers and bring them the closure they deserve. But Adam has secrets he isn’t ready to share. Past and present collide as truths surface, and Molly and Adam will have to decide if love is worth trusting.

And now, my review:

I’m looking forward to reading this whole series. This first book was delightful. It read fast and kept me interested. Here we meet the cast: a sibling trio who run an inn on a lake in North Carolina. This is a getaway setting to help readers escape. First, we get to experience Molly’s story. She’s has a crush on her favorite author, who just happens to stay at her inn incognito. I loved that premise.

The hero is a best-selling novelist, which was super fun to read about. I wonder if Denise let us in on her own writing process a bit. She has had several of her novels made into TV movies, which has been a delight for this fan. Perhaps this one will be a movie one day too.

The lost-letter aspect kept me intrigued. Their inn used to be a post office. This semi-historical element served as the B story and kept me hooked.

The hero is a nerdy bookish type. I loved him! He’s relatable in a few ways, and I instantly sympathized with him. He’s insecure about disappointing people, so we get why he’s hiding his true identity from his fans. I liked how awkward he was in social situations and how romantic he was. He doesn’t see his own lie, of course, which is his inner journey. I liked that he’s learned, a man of words in more than one language.

The heroine doesn’t know she’s his muse (see summary above), even while they grow closer. Denise is a master at writing romance. Every. Single. Book. Reading these two characters’ romance was delightful. The heroine is bookish too, which draws these two together.

One area that I’d hoped to read and that wasn’t included was around the revelations of their secrets. I would have loved to see a stronger reaction in their romantic relationship when the truth came out. I need to be vague here so I don’t spoil anything, but this felt like a missed opportunity.

The heroine has surprises for Adam, and he has his big secret. It was fun watching this unfold.
The heroine is paranoid of leaving things unsaid between her and her loved ones. She has been wounded by loss and is anxious and insecure, even though she’s surrounded by loving family and friends. This will be relatable to anyone who has suffered similar losses without warning.

Well done! Highly recommended!

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