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?
|Love on the Lake
|Lakeside (Book 2)
|Small Town Romance
|Point of View:
|First Person, Present Tense, Dual Viewpoint (H & h)
|15th March, 2022
Emotional, soulmates romance
I am a huge fan of Helena Hunting and love that she can turn her hand to any and all styles of romance and pull it off with aplomb. The same is true for this book as she brings us a romantic, emotional and deep story with a hugely relatable heroine and one of the most perfect of book boyfriends you could ever imagine.
This book is the second in Ms. Hunting’s Lakeside series after the wonderful Love Next Door which features Teagan (from this book)’s brother, Van. While I still recommend reading the first book (because it’s awesome!) you really don’t have to, to like and understand this story, which features a brand new couple complete with their own HEA.
Our heroine of the story is Teagan who is surprisingly normal for someone who has her background. Having once been a rich socialite type, a change in fortunes has her reassessing her life and bringing her to Pearl Lake to be near her brother and hopefully find her place in the world. She’s a hard worker, kind, self-aware and boy is she relatable – despite the fact that I have probably zero in common with her.
Aaron. Ah Aaron. He may not have started off this way, but by the end of the book he became one of the best book boyfriends ever. At the start, he’s rude and grumpy and although I couldn’t understand why – I knew what he was doing. He was pulling the pigtails of the girl in the school playground to hide the fact that he secretly likes her. He has his demons – and his secrets – but as he starts to open up to Teagan, he slowly comes into his own and becomes the kind, caring, understanding – but still grumpy alpha – that I dream of having for my very own.
Teagan and Aaron’s relationship goes from 0-60 in record time and soon they’re having sex and in a relationship. The speed of getting to this point did take a tiny bit away from the sexual tension but there was still some smoking chemistry between our couple and I loved them together in all ways.
As the book goes on it becomes more understandable as to why the relationship happened so fast – as the book is really more about overcoming the obstacles and demons of both Aaron and then Teagan herself. While Aaron’s issues are difficult – and I can completely understand why they have debilitated him – it’s Teagan’s that really hit me right in the solar plexus of my feelings. Without spoiling things, when everything came into the light with her, I was a bit surprised. And then felt pretty stupid because the red flags had been a-waving almost from the first page. Somehow that made things all the more realistic and while realism is always a good thing – I found it quite emotional to read through.
Having said that, due to her struggles and the separation between Teagan and Aaron that it caused – it made for a really sweet and fulfilling ending. In fact, I felt it was one of the most ‘real’ HEAs that I’ve read and I have no doubt that not only are Teagan and Aaron absolutely perfect for each other – they will be together forever. And if that’s not the kind of feelings that you look for in a romance, I don’t know what is.
I really wanted to give this 4.5 stars as it really was an enjoyable book that I read the heck out of. In the end I went for 4 stars as the emotional elements properly drained me – but I would still recommend this superbly written book to anyone looking for a delightful small-town romance.
*I received this book in exchange for my honest review*
NYT and USA Today Bestselling author, Helena Hunting lives outside of Toronto with her amazing family and her two awesome cats, who think the best place to sleep is her keyboard. Helena writes everything from contemporary romance with all the feels to romantic comedies that will have you laughing until you cry.