by Mary McNear
Synopsis: It’s summertime on Butternut Lake, where the heat of noon is soothed by the cool breezes of the evening, where the pace grows slower, and sometimes, just sometimes, the summer light makes everything clearer…
For the lovely Billy Harper, Butternut Lake is the place she feels most at home, even though lately she feels the only one listening to her is Murphy…her faithful Labrador Retriever. Her teenage son, Luke, has gone from precious to precocious practically overnight. Her friends are wrapped up in their own lives, and Luke’s father, Wesley, disappeared before his son was even born. No wonder she prefers to spend time with a good book, especially ones where everything ends in perfection.
But Billy is about to learn that anything is possible during the heady days of summer. Coming to terms with her past—the death of her father, the arrival of Cal Cooper, a complicated man with a definite interest in Billy, even the return of Wesley, will force her to have a little bit of faith in herself and others…and realize that happiness doesn’t always mean perfection.
My Review: I have not read any of the Butternut Lake Series before, but I had no problem following this story. I loved my visit there and will have to go back and read the rest of the series now.
This is the story of Billy and her son Luke. Billy was an eighteen year old when she found herself pregnant after her first sexual encounter. She raised Luke with the help of her parents, grandma and PopPop, and now Luke is thirteen and having issues. PopPop died a year earlier and he is struggling with his emotions. He has started to associate with some troublesome teens and get himself in hot water. Billy does not know what to do, she feels like a jailer, constantly punishing him. As the summer rolls along, their relationship takes some turns as Billy struggles with the idea of contacting Luke’s father, he really wants to meet him.
Of course this book is a family drama as well as a romance and Billy meets Cal. She has not dated much and is unsure of what to do. This is a love at first sight situation, but they do not act on it right away. There is a build up to their relationship that, even though quick, it is tender and has some bumps along the road. I enjoyed the three main characters in this story. They were real, their struggles were real. Billy is a wonderful mom, who despite this, her son has some problems. At times he might seem selfish, but he is only 13 and that is the way 13 year olds are. Cal is also struggling with his life. He is not sure what is next, what direction to take or where to live. Despite all that, he is funny, easy going and caring. Of course being an avid reader, I loved that Billy is a librarian, and a good one at that. There are several books mentioned in this story, many classics, that I will check out. They are integrated into the story nicely. The secondary characters add much to the story, even though they are not in it for long periods of time. Overall a wonderful summer read. I recommend this to anyone who enjoys a good family drama as well as some romance and happy endings. I received a copy of this book from the publisher and I am glad that I got this opportunity to read it.