Dream Lake - Friday Harbor, Bk 3 Author:Lisa Kleypas Dream Lake takes readers once again to the exquisite setting of Friday Harbor, and tells the story of Zoe Hoffman, an innkeeper who has all but given up on love. She’s a gentle, romantic soul, but has been so hurt in the past that she dare not trust her heart with anyone. Especially not Alex Nolan. Alex is the most haunted of all the Nolan... more » brothers. He drinks to keep his demons at bay and not only has he given up on love, he has never, ever believed in it. Zoe and Alex are oil and water, fire and ice, sunshine and shadow. But sometimes, it takes only a glimmer of light to chase away the dark.« less
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Zoe Hoffman has had a lot of obstacles to overcome in the man department. But she has never lost her positive attitude or her big heart. Built like a 1940s pinup she has dealt with all the stereotypes and attitudes that come with being a beautiful blonde. Shes leery, but not jaded. Shes been hurt, but deep down remains hopeful.
Alex Nolan is the youngest of the 4 Nolan siblings, and the one who took the brunt of their parents abuse and neglect. He has a chip on his shoulder that has been weighing him down most of his life, and he has added to that chip with a divorce and a heavy dose of Jack Daniels.
This is the 3rd book in the Friday Harbor series, and I think the most emotional. Zoe was a character I just really felt for and related to and as a result I was pretty weepy and empathetic throughout this tale. There is a ghost who haunts Alex and it adds what most readers would define as a paranormal element to this romance. But to me it just seemed to fit with the story. The past haunts and shapes us in many forms, this one happened to be of the ghost variety. It added a nice mystery to the story, while helping Alex to see reality in a different light.
I am beginning to think Lisa Kleypas is unable to write anything I dont love. Her characters, the settings, the plots all of it is awesome. It is hard to find fault with perfection. So why not the 5 full stars? I am not a fan of books that back track too much, and a lot of this book takes us back before Alexs siblings found their happily ever after. At first I was confused, and then once I caught on, I just found it unnecessarily repetitive. When reading a series I just happen to prefer that one take place right after the other.
I really hope Kleypas fans who hate the paranormal genre will still give this series a try. Yes, it has some magic and now a ghost, but it just doesnt feel heavily paranormal. It feels more like life touched with a bit of the unexplained. I think this book, and this series will charm you.
Liked but did not love this book.
Third book in the Friday Harbor series and last of the three brothers Nolan. Alex has a failed marriage and failed business and a drinking problem. He says he likes to be in charge in bed and enjoys his sex with pain. He also has a ghost who follows him around. Zoe is a brilliant chef with a gay ex-husband and a grandmother who is soon to die from dementia. Somehow this all adds up to a lovely and fairly typical Kleypas novel. What I absolutely loved about the book is the descriptions of food! I spent the entire book hungry!
I actually liked the the story of the strange friendship between Alex and the ghost. However I felt like Zoe and Alex kind of got short shrift. Their story didn't get enough airtime and with so many changes in their lives - him quitting drinking, both of their financial troubles, her grandmother's illness and impending death - it seemed like there should have been more with them, and I wish there'd been a fast-forward in time that let us see them after this rough patch. Alex is supposed to be this really successful guy, Zoe a brilliant chef but they're both totally living off of other people's generosity. I wish that part of the story had been resolved. Plus they are both under duress and significant life change - does the relationship that begins in that situation really last?
Considering that Alex describes himself as needing to be in charge in the bedroom and feels he's "dangerous" sexually, none of that came out in the love scenes. It seemed a little odd that Kleypas threw that in there but never resolved it. The love of a good woman changes his sexual appetite? I don't get it.
Something just felt off about this book for me. Good but not great.
After not so spectacular reviews of the two previous Friday Harbor stories, I'm shocked to find how much I enjoyed this one. I felt the characters really came together and the touch of paranormal character added to the story. It is a bit reminiscent of "Christmas Carol" in a way.
The timeline of the story incorporates the last two books so you get a quick recap of the romances of the elder two Nolan brothers. Nicely done so you can read the books out of order.
I enjoyed both Zoe and Alex but think I was more captivated with Tom and Emma's story. It was definitely a page turner.
Zoe Hoffman is a caretaker for her Grandmother, Emma, who is suffering from dementia. Deciding her Grandmother's old cottage will need updated, Zoe hires contractor Alex Nolan. Just getting over a disastrous marriage, Alex is broke and drowning his troubles in a bottle of whiskey. On top of that, a ghost no one but Alex can see has been following him everywhere. The ghost doesn't know his name of why he is stuck with Alex, but he knows Alex holds the key to finding out his past.
This is the 3rd book in the Friday Harbor series and my favorite so far. I didn't care for the paranormal element in the previous book, but I absolutely loved the ghost in this one. Zoe and Alex are both well drawn characters. Alex's alcoholism and Zoe's pain over her Grandmother's condition made the characters feel real. Add to that the red hot chemistry between the two and I couldn't put this book down. My rating: 5 Stars.
Sharon K. reviewed Dream Lake (Friday Harbor, Bk 3) on
Helpful Score: 1
I would give this book a ten-star rating if I could, I couldn't put it down. The ghost drew me in first and then Alex was introduced and the ghost bonded with him. When it became clear that Alex had a problem with alcoholism, I thought 'do I want to continue reading?' and then Zoe and her "suzy homemaker' personality appeared. This book was all about real people, their challenges, their doubts in themselves,their triumphs and their pain. I laughed and I cried. I think the best part was when Alex looked in the mirror and really saw himself and what he had become - The Man In The Glass.
Not my favorite of Lisa Kleypas's contemporary novels. However what has really stuck with me is the detailed descriptions of food. Kleypas lovingly describes food in almost all of her books and this one takes it to a whole new level. I felt hungry for about 350 of the 384 pages of this book. This could possibly be described as food porn.
As to the story, meh. Alex and Zoe had so much going on in their own lives, it seemed almost secondary that they fell in love. And while they both turned some major corners in their lives, especially Alex, you wonder if a relationship started under those circumstances is really lasting. It seems possibly as ephemeral as the passing of time itself. The characters were likeable (yes Alex became likeable) but were they really meant for each other? It's hard to say.