- Title: Dream Lake (Friday Harbor)
- Classification: Adult Fiction
- Genre: Contemporary Romance/Paranormal
- Format: Paperback, 384 pages
- Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin (August 7, 2012)
- ISBN-10: 1250008298
- ISBN-13: 978-1250008299
- Author's Website: http://www.lisakleypas.com/
Just about everyone comes to a crossroads at some point in their lives. For some it might be which job to take. For others it might be which college to choose. Still others might have to choose between doing the right thing or the wrong. But for some, the biggest crossroad they will ever face is whether or not to entrust someone with their heart and take a chance on love. If they make the wrong choice the 'What ifs" can haunt them for life and sometimes beyond...
Before Mark and Maggie met, before there was a vineyard, the old Victorian house at the end of Rainshadow Road, which Sam would come to own, was haunted by a ghost. He knew not how he'd gotten there, why he was there, or who he had been. He just knew he'd been waiting for something or someone. The house had been abandoned and fallen into disrepair. He began to wonder if it was truly his final resting spot--his dead end, and then it happened....
Sam Nolan bought the house, and the ghost was no longer in limbo by himself. It would be some time, however, before he would finally break free from the house whose walls he'd been confined to. Not until the day he found himself able to follow Alex Nolan home. The only person who'd been able to see him since he'd died. Unbeknownst to either of them, their fates would be intertwined.
This was such a great book. In Dream Lake we get not only Alex and Zoe's love story, but another as well. The second reminded me a touch of the 1990 movie Ghost starring Demi Moore and Patrick Swayze. Who didn't love that?
Alex is a bit of a broken soul. He craves a relationship but doesn't feel he's capable of the depth such a relationship would require to thrive. He doesn't think he has it in him. While Alex had brothers and a sister, he was the last to leave his parent's home, and so for the last part of his childhood he'd had to deal with his parents who cared more about what their next drink would be then about their children. That was probably when he first erected a barrier around his heart. He sees himself as someone who hurts others and tells Zoe from the start he's not what she needs. That being with him would ruin her, change her into someone other than the loving and caring person that she is, but she understands him better than he thinks.
Zoe's past in many ways is similar to Alex's. Her relationship with her parents wasn't ideal either. While his parents abandoned him for the love of liquor, hers literally abandoned her. First her mother than later her father. She was raised by her grandmother and perhaps it was the loving relationship she shared with her grandmother that kept her from being like Alex. It was fun seeing Zoe slowly chisel away the hardness around Alex's heart and break through the barriers he raised.
As the story progresses, we learn the ghost and Zoe's grandmother, Emma, were once a couple. We'll slowly learn who he was, what happened to him and what happened between him and Emma. One hint as to why the ghost may have stuck around is a promise made so many years ago:
"I can't bear the idea of being separated from you for a lifetime or a year or even a day. So you mustn't go to heaven without me."
"Of course not, " he had whispered. "It wouldn't be heaven without you."
Why is the book called Dream Lake? Well, Zoe's grandmother, Emma, owns a cottage on Dream Lake Road and it's during it's renovation that Zoe and Alex fall in love.
As I mentioned in my synopsis, sometimes the biggest crossroad a person faces is whether or not to give someone their hearts and expose themselves emotionally to another person. Such are the crossroad the characters of the Friday Harbor series seem to face, and Ms. Kleypas cleverly chose the name of roads for her first two books of the trilogy. It'll be interesting to find out if Crystal Cove might be another name of a road because it would seem fitting. So far we only have a hint as to what the next book will hold as there was mention of a group called 'The Circle of the Crystal Cove'. Looks like Justine might be the main character of the next book.
Overall I gave this one 5 out of 5 roses. I just adore Ms. Kleypas' books. I've always said they have a magical quality about them and this series proves it both figuratively and literally. A wonderful mixture of mystery and romance set in a hauntingly beautiful tale. I enjoyed how this book's time span encompassed the other books of the series and I will need to drag out my other books so I can compare scenes. I loved how the ghost played an intricate part in setting Alex on the right path, er, road and how each had to come to terms with their own feelings. On the Lisarenee Romance Rating Scale, this one gets a STEAM--too hot for a fan, but you still have a handle on things. You should use extreme caution when reading a book with this rating in public. People may inquire as to why you looked flustered and flushed.
Disclaimer: I am one of Lisa's Divas and receive benefits such as this ARC to read and swag. For more information on what being one of Lisa's Divas entails, see my disclaimer page or visit Lisa Kleypas' webesite at http://www.lisakleypas.com/.