I enjoy reading fun stories, where the characters feel like people you’d like to know and you enjoy seeing them chasing dreams, navigating challenges and orchestrating happy endings. Denise Hunter delivers all those characteristics in Lake Season, the first installment of her new Bluebell Inn Romance series.
Synopsis from the Publisher
A lost letter, a new love, and old secrets beckon this summer at the Bluebell Inn.
When their parents die in a tragic accident, Molly Bennett and her siblings pull together to fulfill their parents’ dream: turning their historic Bluebell, North Carolina home back into an inn. The situation would just be temporary—three years at the most—then they would sell the inn and Molly could get back to chasing her own dreams.
Adam Bradford (aka bestselling author Nathanial Quinn) is a reclusive novelist with a bad case of writer’s block. Desperate for inspiration as his deadline approaches, he travels to the setting of his next book, a North Carolina lake town. There he immediately meets his muse, a young innkeeper who fancies herself in love with his alter ego.
Molly and Adam strike up an instant friendship. When Molly finds a long-lost letter in the walls of her inn she embarks on a mission with Adam to find the star-crossed lovers and bring them the closure they deserve. But Adam has secrets of his own. Past and present collide as truths are revealed, and Molly and Adam will have to decide if love is worth trusting.
Lake Season provided an immersive reading experience from the prologue where we learn that the three siblings Molly, Grace and Levi have just lost their parents and are preparing to keep the family dream together by foregoing their individual interests and rallying together to open the historic inn that has been their childhood home. It elicits questions and emotional connections that will certainly carry over to the next books in the series. While this is undoubtedly a romance novel, there is an intriguing mystery at its center and the main characters are sufficiently bookish to appeal to even the most literary readers. The narrative includes discussion of different religious beliefs, and this is manifested both in how characters view each other and how their faith fuels their decisions, both of which add even greater depth to the story.
While the majority of the narrative unfolds in the present day, there is a dual timeline that provides the reader more detail about the characters at the center of the mystery and it was a pretty clever way to marry the two plot lines and build connection with characters who we wouldn’t otherwise get to know so intimately.
As this is the first book in a new series, I loved the bits of extraneous information that we got about supplementary characters and I imagine how these will be linked to and expounded upon in forthcoming books – Levi as the sensible, older brother giving up a career to move back home to help his family, Grace as the younger sister who was left back in elementary school and so is a high school senior at age eighteen, Skye and Jordan in their best friend roles who offer romantic advice but haven’t had much success with personal relationships themselves. The development of even the supplementary characters in this book and the springboard for future interest is a testament to Denise Hunter’s skill and her history as the author of over thirty books. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this one and recommend it to you as well.
- Title: Lake Season
- Author: Denise Hunter
- Format: Paperback
- Pages: 352
- Publication Date: November 12, 2019
- Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Note: I received a complimentary Advanced reader Copy in order to complete this review. However, all opinions expressed above are my own and I have not otherwise been compensated. Thank you to TLC Book Tours and Thomas Nelson Publishers for the opportunity to read and share my thoughts about this delightful book.