Thank you to Helena Hunting, Montlake, and NetGalley for the advance reader copy of Love on the Lake, the second story in the Lakeside series.
I adored the first Lakeside book, Love Next Door so I was very excited to review the next instalment. This is also our first Helena Hunting release of the year and I could not be more excited to be working with her again this year!
I am a member of Helena Hunting’s review team, but I stand by my reviews remaining honest and true.
“Teagan Firestone has always been the dutiful daughter, especially since her mom died. But as her father finally begins to move on, it’s her turn to do the same. Her destination: Pearl Lake, a close-knit community with an entrepreneurial spirit and secrets of its own.
One of them is Aaron Saunders, who dropped out of college to work construction for Pearl Lake’s upper class. He’s a mystery and has a playboy reputation—that is, until he meets Teagan. Neither of them is looking for love, but in a town this small, it’s hard not to let your heart get involved.
As their romance heats up, Aaron’s elusive past comes to light and Teagan is there for him, bringing them even closer together. But when Teagan is forced to face her own demons, her inability to accept the support of friends and family threatens the life she’s worked so hard to build.
Can Aaron love her, even when she can’t love herself?”
Check out my more detailed thoughts below…
- Characters: Our heroine is Teagan, she is Donovan’s sister whom you may remember from Love Next Door. We meet Teagan as she is moving out of her dad’s house and into the apartment above Donovan’s garage. The Teagan we met in the previous instalment seemed like an entitled rich girl, and now being in her head was so enlightening. I loved that she was caring, hardworking, and selfless. Helena matched these what are often seen as positive qualities and turned them on their head in the later parts of the book. Our hero is Aaron, the foul-mouthed construction worker, he works at the company that Dillon and her father run. This muscular, tattooed man comes across as a grump at first, but really he was that classic boy who did not know how to express his feelings so let’s just be moody with her instead. I did really love both of these characters and was invested not only in their romance but their personal journeys.
- Setting: This story is set in Pearl Lake. As Teagan picks up odd jobs all over town, you get to know more about Pearl Lake and its inhabitants. The town dismissed her at first, but as the story progressed she wormed her way into all their hearts. I loved this as it was very much the same journey I was having with Teagan. It was so wonderful to see Teagan and Aaron interact with the cast of side characters, I adored how Teagan formed a stronger sisterly relationship with Dillon and befriended her besties.
- Pacing: Pacing was pretty good overall. My one issue was that it felt like more time was given to Aaron’s problems than Teagan’s. We got more on-page time to see his healing process while Teagan’s used a lot of flashforwards. Despite the rushing, I really think Helena did a good job describing Teagan’s suffering and experiences.
- Romance: These two were sure hot and heavy. I loved that from the very beginning Teagan went after what she wanted. Some characters kiss and go on a first date, but that did not make as much sense for Teagan and Aaron. Their first kiss cascaded quite quickly into a delicious hookup. I adored their relationship journey, how they came to be boyfriend and girlfriend. That Teagan wore her heart on her sleeve while Aaron kept up his guard. I wanted them to work out so badly, I became such a fervent fan of them and this story!
Love on the Lake receives five out of five stars.
You can pick up the story here.
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Thank you again to Helena and her team for the review opportunity. Thank you for reading and supporting my blog!