RELEASE DAY REVIEW by Lorna: Starlight on Willow Lake (Lakeshore Chronicles #11) by Susan Wiggs (@susanwiggs , @Mollykatie112)

Starlight#1 New York Times bestselling author Susan Wiggs sweeps readers away to a sun-drenched summer on the shores of Willow Lake in a stunning tale of the delicate ties that bind a family together…and the secrets that tear them apart 

When caregiver Faith McCallum arrives at the enchanted lakeside estate of Avalon’s renowned Bellamy family, she’s intent on rebuilding her shattered life and giving her two daughters a chance at a better future. But she faces a formidable challenge in the form of her stubborn and difficult new employer, Alice Bellamy. While Faith proves a worthy match for her sharp-tongued client, she often finds herself at a loss for words in the presence of Mason Bellamy—Alice’s charismatic son, who clearly longs to escape the family mansion and return to his fast-paced, exciting life in Manhattan…and his beautiful, jet-setting fiancée.

The last place Mason wants to be is a remote town in the Catskills, far from his life in the city, and Faith McCallum is supposed to be the key to his escape. Hiring the gentle-hearted yet strong-willed caregiver as a live-in nurse gives his mother companionship and Mason the freedom to return to his no-attachments routine. For Faith, it means stability for her daughters and a much-needed new home. When Faith makes a chilling discovery about Alice’s accident, Mason is forced to reconsider his desire to keep everyone, including his mother, at a distance. Now he finds himself wondering if the supercharged life he’s created for himself is what he truly wants…and whether exploring his past might lead to a new life—and lasting love—on the tranquil shores of Willow Lake.

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AND LORNA’S REVIEW!

Starlight on Willow Lake
by Susan Wiggs

Series
Lakeshore Chronicles #11

Genre
Mystery
Romance

Publisher
MIRA

Publication Date
August 25, 2015

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Susan Wiggs. She’s one of my all time favorite traditionally published (non-paranormal) authors, and this is the latest in my favorite series by her. I received this book from Net Galley in exchange for a fair and honest review. Upon finishing the book, I looked at a friend and said that I had just read the best Susan Wiggs book, ever. And then I thought about it, and realized I probably felt that way a lot after reading one of her books. These are the kind of books that you start reading and get completely immersed into the world of Willow Lake and its inhabitants.

Faith lives hand to mouth in the small town of Avalon near Willow Lake. She’s a Licensed Practical Nurse(LPN) and is raising her two girls alone after her husband died leaving atronomical medical bills. She’s being evicted and doesn’t have a job. So when she gets an interview to take care of a quadriplegic woman, she jumps at the chance. Even better, it comes with room and board. Then she sees the house-or rather mansion, which she really wasn’t expecting. Alice Bellamy was in an avalanche while skiing with her husband. Her husband died and she is now stuck in a chair, after years of being an athlete in many different arenas. She’s cranky and can’t keep a caregiver due to her attitude. Alice’s son Mason, is a deal maker in New York City. He rarely visits Alice, although he has set her up with the best of everything. When he meets Faith, he immediately feels connected. But he does have a fiancee, Regina, back in the city. Regina is everything Faith isn’t, so Faith has no illusions that she could ever be in Mason’s league.

The characters, as usual, are all well developed by the author. Faith is strong, capable and independent. She’s had to be, with the hand she has been dealt. Mason has a backstory that takes place in Paris when he was seventeen. I found myself totally immersed in his story from that time period, as much as I was in the now time period. Events that happened then, affected Mason’s entire future life with his family. So we get to see why he is so standoffish with his mother, and with his father in the past. Alice was such a good character. She’s going through everything you would go through when losing all your function below your chest and is admittedly very unhappy. So she spends her time making everyone else around her unhappy. She loves her children, but after finding out things about her husband she never knew, is now just wanting to end it all. Faith, of course is having none of it. Faith’s daughters, Cara and Ruby, round out the story nicely and in fact, Cara’s point of view is told at some points in the story, along with Mason’s and Faith’s.

It’s always fun to revisit Willow Lake. I have read all of these books in the order they were released. It’s not absolutely necessary to read them in order, but the characters in all of them are loosely connected, and sometimes lesser characters in one book, end up with their own book, so it’s nice to know their backstory before reading it. But as I said, not completely necessary. Some premises might be a bit better than others, but all of them keep the reader entertained and turning pages. But then I have never read a book by this author that I didn’t love, in this series, or any of her stand alones.Yes, there is always a romance, but the author always makes the stories shine with wonderful back stories or even heartbreaking ones, to keep readers coming back for more. Catching up with previous characters are also parts of each of these reads and that’s always fun for a returning reader.

I would recommend these books to any adult romance reader, 16+.

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Lorna Finished

The review copy of this book was supplied by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.

 

About Susan Wiggs

Susan WiggsSusan Wiggs’s life is all about family, friends…and fiction. She lives at the water’s edge on an island in Puget Sound, and she commutes to her writers’ group in a 17-foot motorboat. She serves as author liaison for Field’s End, a literary community on Bainbridge Island, Washington, bringing inspiration and instruction from the world’s top authors to her seaside community. (See www.fieldsend.org) She’s been featured in the national media, including NPR’s “Talk of the Nation,” and is a popular speaker locally and nationally.

According to Publishers Weekly, Wiggs writes with “refreshingly honest emotion,” and the Salem Statesman Journal adds that she is “one of our best observers of stories of the heart [who] knows how to capture emotion on virtually every page of every book.” Booklist characterizes her books as “real and true and unforgettable.” She is the recipient of three RITA (sm) awards and four starred reviews from Publishers Weekly for her books. The Winter Lodge and Passing Through Paradise have appeared on PW’s annual “Best Of” lists. Several of her books have been listed as top Booksense picks and optioned as feature films. Her novels have been translated into more than two dozen languages and have made national bestseller lists, including the USA Today, Washington Post and New York Times lists.

The author is a former teacher, a Harvard graduate, an avid hiker, an amateur photographer, a good skier and terrible golfer, yet her favorite form of exercise is curling up with a good book. Readers can learn more on the web at www.susanwiggs.com and on her lively blog atwww.susanwiggs.wordpress.com.

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