This is a contemporary romance collection based around a group of friends who spent their childhood at Summer Lake. Having kept in touch over the years and now in their early thirties, they are all being drawn back to Summer Lake.
Book 1 – Love like you’ve never been hurt
Emma Douglas has learnt to be cautious of love. Moving to Summer Lake following the death of her parents, she was always a shy, reserved person despite making some life-long friends who affectionately nick-named her ‘Mouse’. In the wake of a disastrous marriage she swore she would never love again. Bumping, literally, into her best friend’s work partner stirs emotions she wished would stay hidden. Can Jack Benson make Emma believe in love again or will she run at the first sign of trouble? Love and trust are hard earned but it takes a persistent man to bring Emma out of her mouse hole.
Book 2 – Work like you don’t need the money
Pete Hemming has been one of Emma’s best friends since she first moved to Summer Lake. With Emma’s wedding to his business partner, Jack, approaching he takes his best man duties very seriously, especially when he has to transport the maid of honour from LA to Summer Lake. The attraction between Pete and Holly Hayes, Emma’s LA best friend, is undeniable but Holly refuses to accept that anything permanent could ever happen between the pair due to their financial and social differences and with Pete’s plan firmly in place he has no room in his life for romance. Will some home truths from those closest to them bring the couple to their senses or are they both just too stubborn to appreciate love when it comes along?
Book 3 – Dance like nobody’s watching
Missy Malone has lived in Summer Lake all her life and been best friends with Pete, Emma and Ben for most of it. Life hasn’t been easy for her being a single parent to a fourteen year old boy but she has worked hard and is proud of the cleaning business she has established. Her son, Scot, gets lost in his world of computers and when Jack suggests that his brother, Dan, might be able to mentor him, Missy agrees. Dan Benson is a super tech geek and connects with Scot instantly, he also finds an unknown attraction to Missy. Having never really been in love before, Dan struggles to express his emotions but Missy seems to understand him. Can two people who are so different be so right for each other and will Missy risk getting involved with Dan if it could cause damage to his relationship with Scot?
This is a great collection of stories and the relationship between all the characters continues to grow and develop with each story. Emma and Jack bring the reader into the world of Summer Lake where we meet Emma’s friends Pete, Missy and Ben, and also Emma’s friend Holly and Jack’s brother, Dan. There is a real sense of friendship within these books and they are well-written and engaging. Each story deals with different issues that can arise with new relationships and the bonds that connect friends old and new.
Each couple is wonderful in their own right. Jack is awesome and shows his love for Emma even when many men would have left due to her insecurity issues. He earns her trust and proves that she can love again. Pete lives by his plan, which does not involve a long-term romance for another four years. It takes a good talking to by all of his friends to make him realise the he making a huge mistake if he lets Holly go. Holly has her own issues to deal with and overcome. Missy has had to be independent for a very long time, bringing up her son and making ends meet. When Dan comes into her life she struggles to give up her independence, even when her health dictates that she must, and Dan finds himself overwhelmed with emotions that are all new to him. Never have two people been so opposite but worked so well together.
There is some sizzling sex within these books but what else can you expect when you have well built alpha males (some with Texas cowboy breeding!) who find the women they are destined to spend their lives with.
This is a twelve book series and although most of them are considered standalone I would advise that you read them in turn as all the characters appear in each book. Having read the first three I will definitely been reading the rest of the series soon.