Hi guys and gals!
Welcome back to the Friday edition of Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers.
Well now, I don't know about all of you, but I've had a BUSY week! Between staying on top of my reading/reviewing commitments (made it!), trudging through the craziness of work (umm, survived it?), concerning over my Mom's surgery (past and present), and life in general, it's been a week indeed. There was a little sunshine breaking through the clouds though, but more on that proud moment another day. Instead, let's take a page from all I just shared and step right into today's post.
Today, we're playing host to the final stop along the TLC Book Tours promotion for author Susan Wiggs' latest addition to The Lakeshore Chronicles. It may be book eleven (yes, ELEVEN) but seeing as how I'm new to the series and haven't read a stitch of the previous releases, I can quite honestly say that it works VERY WELL as a stand alone. Ready or not readers, here comes today's blog tour star and book of choice fresh from my mind to your eyes...
The Lakeshore Chronicles, Book 11
About the book...
When caregiver Faith McCallum arrives at the enchanted lakeside estate of Avalon’s renowned Bellamy family, she’s 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 stubborn and difficult new employer, Alice Bellamy. 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, and Faith McCallum is supposed to be the key to his escape. Hiring the gentle-hearted yet strong-willed caregiver as a live-in nurse gives his mother companionship and Mason the freedom to return to his no-attachments routine. For Faith, it means stability for her daughters and a much-needed new home. When Faith makes a chilling discovery about Alice’s accident, 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.
When contemplating how to describe this one, words truly failed me. Okay, that's technically not true. The words were coming, flowing much like the waters of Niagara Falls...and in just as large a quantity. So, in an extreme effort to control the length of this post and still share some of the more magical moments with all of you, I do believe we'll tackle this one through the updates from my GoodReads timeline. *ahem* Here we go...
|page 60||15.0%||"I love the whole lot of them already and truly think Faith is gonna be the fix for this family. Just have a feeling..."|
Okay, so I'd only truly just begun but they had already made a lasting impression on me. From the entire Bellamy clan to Faith and her darling girls, the town and townspeople, there was no end to the enchantment and attachment I was already feeling towards each and every one.
|page 78||20.0%||"Oh my goodness. Ruby you are the sweetest thing ever. *wipes tears* Perhaps you and your sister are just as much a part of the solution to this family..."|
Notice the limited number of pages that passed between this and the last update? That's me sharing in moderation as as not to inundate your timelines with every little thing that dazzled. But this one? There was no way I could let it slip by. By this point, we've seen everyone's true colors (for the most part) and though I love them all, Ruby just stole the show right here. Her honesty and innocence, the fact that she states her mind in the most nonjudgmental way, makes it easy to fall under her spell.
|page 112||29.0%||"Oh my. I have a feeling I should just keep the tissues close at hand. The story of Faith and Dennis...heart breaking."|
Another touching moment, this time form the memories of Faith and her dearly departed, Dennis. Oh my goodness, I could tear up just thinking of it now. It was so tender and sweet. The love they had for each other and those final moments...I just...*gasp...sob*
|page 117||30.0%||"Isn't it funny how we remember little details like that even later on? (second grade teacher's name...mine was Ms Dorothy)"|
That's something this story definitely reminds us...it's not the biggest and grandest gestures that we remember in the end, but those little quiet moments that we never saw coming.
|page 121||31.0%||"I'm pretty solid in my belief of what happened with the stair incident. The real question is what provoked it all of a sudden..."|
Notice we're still in the beginning portion of the book, right? See? I told you it was hard to exercise restraint when updating my reading progress with this one. At this junction in the story, we're diving deeper into the secrets keeping the Bellamy family at arm's length from each other...the devastating effects they had over time. Word to the wise...the truth shall set you free is not just an expression, but something best followed in the here and now versus years later.
|page 149||38.0%||"So many pieces just slid into place without anything being fully spelled out. What a road ahead..."|
Now was when we started getting to the good stuff...or rather even better stuff. Family starts to come together, things left to fester in the dark are brought to light, and new strength is found where once it seemed hopelessly lost.
|age 328||85.0%||"So many hopes in the air right now... *fingers crossed*"|
...and then we came to the end. Oh so many pages between there and here but with the story unfolding at a more rapid pace, I had no choice but to immerse myself fully in the story, updates be darned! But don't worry, I'm not quite finished with you or the book yet.
This is a book where you'll come for the story but you'll stay for the characters. Faith, Mason, and Alice share the lead roles equally, with Cara and Ruby not so far behind. I adored Alice in her full blown matriarch role and by "full blown" I mean in the attitude department. She didn't bat an eye at putting someone in their place, even if it was misguided at times...but all it took to break the seal on her heart was the kindness of a little girl and a true connection with her family. Speaking of family, Mason could be bull headed at times and definitely had a "hero" complex (but in the most wonderful way possible), but I loved him nonetheless. Saying the heart that beat within was made of gold sounds cliche, but the truth is the truth. Faith and her girls were an AMAZING bunch, having survived so much but still managing to be one unit connected through unending love. It was touching to see their independence crumble just a bit when the warmth of love unexpected broke through their carefully built walls.
To conclude because my promise to keep this short seems to have fallen by the wayside, a fabulous read for fans of Women's Fiction and Contemporary Romance of all ages. There's no need for a language or content warning because it may have sparks but remains clean. I, for one, can't wait to check out the rest of the series to see what I've been missing and I think many of you might just be joining me on that quest.
About the author...
Susan Wiggs is the author of many beloved bestsellers, including the popular Lakeshore Chronicles series. She has won many awards for her work, including a RITA® Award from the Romance Writers of America.
Special thanks to Lisa at TLC Book Tours for the review copy as well as the chance to bring this tour to you. (THANKS!) For more information on this title, the author, the series, the publisher, or those promotions on the horizon, feel free to click through the links provided above. This title is available now via MIRA Books, so be on the lookout for it on a bookstore shelf or virtual retailer of your choosing. Be sure to check out the other stops along the tour for more bookish fun! Now, for some EXTRA SPECIAL news...
Thanks to the generosity of TLC Book Tours and MIRA Books, I have the privilege of giving you a chance to win a copy of this very title to call your own! All you have to do is fill out the Rafflecopter form below and you're in it to win it. Open to US/Canada residents only; no P.O. Boxes please. Entries accepted through midnight 09/25/15. Winner will 48 hours to respond to "you're the winner" email with their full name and mailing address, or a new winner will be selected.
Until next time...GOOD LUCK...and happy reading!