Starlight on Willow Lake
by Susan Wiggs
Release Date: August 25, 2015
Book #11 in the Lakeshore Chronicles
Number of pages: 382
Contemporary Romance M/F
Read 6/16/19 to 6/18/19
Faith McCallum is intent on rebuilding her shattered life and giving her two daughters a chance at a better future. But she faces a formidable challenge in the form of her new employer, Alice Bellamy. Recovering from a tragic accident, she opens her historic lakeside home to Faith and the girls. While Faith proves a worthy match for her sharp-tongued client, she often finds herself at a loss for words in the presence of Mason Bellamy—Alice’s charismatic son, who clearly longs to escape the family mansion and return to his fast-paced, exciting life in Manhattan…and his beautiful, jet-setting fiancée.
The last place Mason wants to be is a remote town in the Catskills, far from his life in the city, but his mother’s devastating mishap—and a long-buried family scandal—has called him home. Faith McCallum, with her legendary nursing skills, is supposed to be the key to his escape. But when Faith makes a chilling discovery about Alice, Mason is forced to reconsider his desire to keep everyone, including his mother, at a distance. Now he finds himself wondering if the supercharged life he’s created for himself is what he truly wants…and whether exploring his past might lead to a new life—and lasting love—on the tranquil shores of Willow Lake.
Growing up with a disabled father, there were parts of this story that really hit home for me. Susan Wiggs really did a wonderful job with the emotions that Faith had as a loving wife that had too much put on her shoulders because of her husband’s stubbornness. Not to mention the emotional fallout his passing had on his daughters, one who doesn’t even remember her dad before he got sick.
Faith is such a no nonsense, take charge kind of woman. I love her interactions with Alice Bellamy at the beginning, and seeing Mason realize that some tough love is exactly what his mom needs. Although Alice’s kids have all been supportive and given her every opportunity for rehab and a high living standard, nobody has yet had the backbone to push her to do more. Not only does Faith expect more from Alice, but so do Faith’s daughters. Again, growing up with a disabled father, I know we tend to look at things a bit differently. Things others think are so difficult are just common place. I loved that the author wrote the girls this way.
Mason has held onto too much for too long. While he has always loved his mom and was close to her when he was younger, he has some secrets that would devastate her and it changed their relationship years ago. Rather than risk his mom finding out these secrets, he put distance between them. Something she always felt but could never understand. Mason has put himself in a box of what is proper and what is not. What type of woman he should marry, what type of boss he should be, what type of job he should have, on and on. He never wants to do be perceived as doing the wrong thing. This has really held him back in all of his personal relationships, romantic and otherwise.
The natural chemistry and connection between Faith and Mason is beautiful. I don’t always agree with how they deal with this, or should I say don’t deal with it, but it’s very real and honest. And while they each feel it they cannot fathom that the other can possibly feel the same. While all the while anyone within a 5-foot radius of them can see the sparks flying.
There are so many characters in this town and the Bellamy family that I would love to see get their HEA. Although this is the last book in the Lakeshore Chronicles as of right now, I am holding out hope there will be more someday.