About the Book:
Olivia Bellamy has traded her trendy Manhattan life for a summer renovating her family's crumbling holiday resort. Tempted by the hazy, nostalgic memories of summers past - childhood innocence and the romance and rivalries of her teens - it's the perfect place to flee after her broken engagement. But what began as an escape may just be a new beginning...As Olivia uncovers secrets buried thick with dust, one by one her family return, their lives as frayed at the edges as the resort. Her father and the mystery woman in the tattered black and white photograph. Uncle John, who's trying to be a father again to his teenage kids. Connor Davis, the first love she never forgot. Laughter is ringing around Willow Lake once more. This could be Olivia's summer of a lifetime!
I'm old. I have to admit it, I'm old; I'm the age of the parents of romance novel heroines, not the age of the heroines. This isn't a completely new revelation, but when reading a book with dated flashbacks, when those flashbacks take you to the ancient days of the 1970's and involve people's parents, well, it sort of reminds me that even though I have a seven year old, I'm not as young as I used to be.
Summer at Willow Lake features Olivia and Connor, a couple in their late twenties in 2006. They met at her grandparent's summer camp where they were both campers, and later, counselors. She was from a family with money, and was the granddaughter of the owners. He was there on scholarship, the son of the alcoholic caretaker. He was the handsome heart throb of every female his age; she was overweight and insecure and never really fit in. Somehow they became friends and stayed that way, until that final summer.
Ten years later, the camp has been closed for some time and she has just ended her third engagement. Her career is "fluffing houses", staging them for sale. Her grandmother asks her to refurbish the camp, which has been mothballed for almost ten years, in time for her fiftieth wedding anniversary. It just so happens that the only contractor in town is Connor.
Besides Olivia and Connor's romance, we learn of Olivia's father's first romance and see the beginnings of the romance of Daisy (see my review of Marrying Daisy Bellamy) and of Olivia's cousin Dare.
I found the story to be enjoyable but the setting implausible. The summer camp has been out of business for ten years, but all the equipment is in good shape, all it needs is cleaning. While Grandma had other plans for the property, Daisy believed her when she said she wanted it refurbished for a party--and this was a big operation, we aren't talking about a small amount of money.
The book contains several intimate scenes that happen outside of marriage. We watch them undress,but after that we have to use our imaginations about what happened.
The book is the first in a series and as such we are treated to teasers about a lot of people, though Olivia and Connor get their happily ever after in this book.
Because of the implausibility of some of the setting, I'l give the book a B.
My copy was a freebie from Amazon but it's not free now.