5 silken sheets
I adore Lisa Kleypas’ writing. If she published her shopping lists, they’d be worth reading.
When I told my book-buddy she HAD to read Dream Lake, she was unconvinced. An alcoholic builder for a hero? How was that sexy? Trust me, I replied. This book is way more than the sum of its parts.
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They say that opposites attract. But what happens when one has been devastated by betrayal and the other is so jaded that his heart is made of stone? Enter the world of Friday Harbor, an enchanting town in the Pacific Northwest where things are not quite as they seem and where true love might just have a ghost of a chance….
Alex Nolan is as bitter and cynical as they come. One of the three Nolan brothers who call Friday Harbor home, he’s nothing like Sam or Mark. They actually believe in love; they think the risk of pain is worth the chance of happiness. But Alex battles his demons with the help of a whiskey bottle, and he lives in his own private hell. And then a ghost shows up. Only Alex can see him, Has Alex finally crossed over the threshold to insanity?
Zoë Hoffman is as gentle and romantic as they come. When she meets the startling gorgeous Alex Nolan, all her instincts tell her to run. Even Alex tells her to run. But something in him calls to Zoë, and she forces him to take a look at his life with a clear eye and to open his mind to the possibility that love isn’t for the foolish.
The ghost has been existing in the half-light of this world for decades. He doesn’t know who he is, or why he is stuck in the Nolans’ Victorian house. All he knows is that he loved a girl once. And Alex and Zoë hold the key to unlocking a mystery that keeps him trapped here.
Zoë and Alex are oil and water, fire and ice, sunshine and shadow. But sometimes it takes only a glimmer of light to chase away the dark, and sometimes love can reach beyond time, space, and reason to take hold of hearts that yearn for it…
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There are few authors I’d pay more than $5 for. That tends to be my upper price limit for Kindle books, but Lisa Kleypas is on that list, and is pretty much a one-click no-brainer for me. Whether she’s writing contemp or historical, I know I’ll get believable characters, delicious sexual tension, and a story to make me lose track of time.
She weaves several stories together in Dream Lake. You have the primary romance between Zoe and Alex, the ghost and his search for his lost love, and then the stories of Alex’s brothers, Sam and Mark. They have their own books in the series, prior to Dream Lake, but this book plays catch-up a little, and their romances are woven through like shining strands of gold thread in a scarf. Just a hint though, and from Alex’s jaded perspective.
I love the Friday Harbor series. More than a contemp romance, there is just the tiniest hint of something other-worldly. Lucy and her magical stained glass that changes color, depending on mood. Justine and her spell-book, and Zoe, with her cooking. Her food heals souls, or at least, that’s how it seems.
“Maybe it’s something to do with the impression people have gotten lately… that if your life was graphed in a pie chart, half of it would be ‘shitfaced’ and the other half would be ‘hungover’.
When he sees the ghost in Sam’s house, at first he thinks it’s an alcohol-induced illusion. When the spirit sticks with him, he has to accept that either he’s insane, or there really is some kind of spirit world.
I loved the way the ghost gradually started to remember things:
the feel of sunlight, the hot slight weight of it on his skin
coffee, its bittersweet, earthy scent, the way a spoonful of cane sugar and a dollop of cream turned it into liquid velvet
Lisa Kleypas has a beautiful way with words. Her books are lyrical, almost melodic, the way they dance across the page. Her description of Alex, through Zoe’s eyes, is haunting.
How could she explain her reaction to Alex Nolan? Striking, unsettling, his features austerely perfect, his eyes bright as if lit with the last spare voltage of his humanity. He looked thoroughly disillusioned, everything that had been tender and hopeful in him now crushed into diamond hardness.
She felt as if she had to relearn how to breathe.
Thirty-two bars of music. The length of an average song. That was all the time it had taken for the earth to spin off its axis and go tumbling into a net of stars.
Falling in love with a man who doesn’t understand the meaning of love is catastrophic.
“You are my everything that’s ever been my favorite thing,” she wanted to tell him. “You are my love song, my birthday cake, the sound of ocean waves and French words and a baby’s laugh. You’re a snow angel, crème brulee, a kaleidoscope filled with glitter. I love you and you’ll never catch up, because I’ve gotten a head start and my heart is racing at light speed.”
Sometimes silence was easiest, when the only word left was good-bye.
There are some truly heart-wrenching moments in this book. I reached for the Kleenex several times.
“I found all your memories tonight. I’m keeping them safe for you – they’re waiting inside me like a heartbeat. And I’ll give them to you when the time is right.”
You don’t need to read the preceding books to be able to enjoy Dream Lake, but if you love intense contemp romance, you’ll definitely enjoy them.
5 silken sheets
4 sexy lips
Plot – beautiful
Characters – delicious!
Warnings – tissues may be needed…
Genre: Contemporary romance
Published: August 2012; $5.99
Publisher: St Martin’s Press (a Macmillan imprint)
Author website: LisaKleypas.com