Dockside: Lakeshore Chronicles
Mira, 2007 (2007)
Reviewed by Joan Burton
ina Romano is about to make her dreams come true. Since she was a young girl, she has fantasized about owning the Inn at Willow Lake. Growing up in Avalon, she worked summers in the kitchen helping her mother, who was the head cook. She also helped deliver baked goods to the Inn with her best friend Jenny and her grandfather. Jenny's grandparents owned the Sky River Bakery in Avalon. Now in her thirties with her daughter Sonnet about to start college, Nina has applied for a bank loan to purchase the Inn and restore it to its former glory.
oon Nina learns that the Inn has been sold out from under her to Greg Bellamy, whose wealthy family at one time owned the Inn and its surrounding grounds. Greg, divorced and a father of two, also wants to restore the Inn. As young teens, Nina and Greg had undergone some conflict but Nina always had a secret attraction to him. Greg has returned to Avalon to restore the Inn and make a home for his pregnant teenage daughter Daisy and his young son Max. He is looking for someone to manage the Inn, and who better than Nina.
t first Nina refuses Greg's offer because she is so upset by the outcome. After Greg makes several attempts to win her over, she accepts the position. As the renovations begin, Nina and Greg have their differences on how things should be done and on the interior design. Greg soon steps back and gives full rein to Nina when he realizes her natural talent for the job. Nina is living on the property in a converted boathouse and at times finds working and living so close to Greg confusing. A single mother for so long, she struggles with her feelings for Greg. After a difficult divorce, Greg is wary of becoming involved again and wants to concentrate on raising his kids.
s the summer is in full swing with the Inn filled to capacity, Greg's children are drawn to Nina. Daisy finds her easy to talk to. After all, Nina had been in her exact situation, young, single with a child on the way. Young Max can confide in her about things he thinks his father would not understand. Greg resents this at first, but soon knows that Nina has his children's best interests at heart. With a family wedding to take place at the Inn over the summer and a new baby on the way, Greg learns to let his children make decisions on their own and to take a chance at love again himself.
is a good summer read about family, friends and taking a leap of faith.
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