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New Release Review! LOVE ON THE LAKE by Helena Hunting (Lakeside #2)

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Love on the Lake, a beautiful small town standalone romance filled with laughter and tears from New York Times bestselling author Helena Hunting, is live now!

Teagan Firestone has always been the dutiful daughter, especially since her mom died. But as her father finally begins to move on, it’s her turn to do the same. Her destination: Pearl Lake, a close-knit community with an entrepreneurial spirit and secrets of its own.

One of them is Aaron Saunders, who dropped out of college to work construction for Pearl Lake’s upper class. He’s a mystery and has a playboy reputation—that is, until he meets Teagan. Neither of them is looking for love, but in a town this small, it’s hard not to let your heart get involved. 

As their romance heats up, Aaron’s elusive past comes to light and Teagan is there for him, bringing them even closer together. But when Teagan is forced to face her own demons, her inability to accept the support of friends and family threatens the life she’s worked so hard to build.

Can Aaron love her, even when she can’t love herself?

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She crooks a finger, beckoning me closer. But there’s only six inches separating us. If I take a step forward, my boots will touch her toes. So I bend instead, until my ear is next to her lips, like I’m waiting for her to tell me a secret.

For a moment I consider the fact that I’ve been up and down the stairs to the loft at least a dozen times. The only air circulation in here is from a portable fan, so I’ve been sweating and shirtless for several hours. I might not smell all that fresh.

But that thought disappears when her fingertips drag along my collarbone and I feel the warmth of her breath at the edge of my jaw.


Her palm wraps around the back of my neck. So soft. So warm.

I swallow and grind out, “I’m listening.”

Her thumb finds that spot between my ear and my jaw, and she presses, gently at first and then more firmly. Her lips brush the shell of my ear, and she whispers, “Look at me.”

I feel like a marionette, and she’s pulling all my strings. I turn my head toward her, and her lips brush across my cheek, sending a hot shiver down my spine, lighting me up like a pinball machine.

Teagan Firestone is a dangerous woman. Sweet, beautiful, broken, and yet . . . bold and resilient. She’s a lethal combination, and it’s all compounded when those soft lips meet mine.

I don’t even know what’s happening. Well, I know. I’m kissing her. Or she’s kissing me. She definitely started it.

It’s like an explosion. Like an entire warehouse of firecrackers igniting at the same time. I groan into her mouth and wrap an arm around her waist, pulling her flush against me.

Our tongues tangle, and her other hand grips my biceps, sliding up and over my shoulder. She knocks my hat off my head, and it drops to the floor behind me. And then both of her hands are in my hair, sliding through the damp strands, gripping at the crown, angling my head farther to the side. Deepening the kiss.

Dragging it out.


Absolutely loved!

On the surface–and for the first half or so of the book–Love on the Lake is a often lighthearted contemporary romance that frequently made me smile and even LOL. All along, though, there are undercurrents of *things* going on under the surface with both MCs that sharp eyed readers just know are going to blow up in their faces, probably sooner rather than later.

It’s clear that Aaron, even once he lets Teagan in (after some delicious initial grumpy growliness) has something big he’s keeping from her and everyone else. Where does he go one weekend a month, and why is he so standoffish for days after? Teague’s inner darkness is better hidden behind her outward sunny optimism for a lot of the book, though it becomes increasingly obvious to everyone that her life is actually a slow motion train wreck and things are going to come to a disasterous head…soon.

The black moment this time is actually more than a little scary–will Teagan be able to get her life back on track? Will her relationship with Aaron still be intact if and when she does?–and once you get to that point, I dare you to be able to put this book down and walk away before you find out if/how she does.

(Spoiler alert: she does, but it absolutely isn’t easy. Ms Hunting gives us a resolution and HEA that are both lovely and realistic here, and I closed my ereader with a contented sigh in the end.)

Love on the Lake is the second story in Ms Hunting’s Lakeside but it works as a standalone just fine. Van and Dillion are all over this book, though, so if you haven’t read their story yet, I’m betting it’ll be on your TBR before you finish Teagan and Aaron’s 😉

Rating: 4 1/2 stars / A

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.

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About the author:

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of PUCKED, Helena Hunting lives on the outskirts of Toronto with her incredibly tolerant family and two moderately intolerant cats. She writes contemporary romance ranging from new adult angst to romantic sports comedy. 

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