Lake Season

Lake Season

by Denise Hunter

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Overview

The first story in a brand-new series, Lake Season invites readers to the Bluebell Inn in a small North Carolina town where a lost letter, a chance for new love, and old secrets beckon.

When their parents die in a tragic accident, Molly Bennett and her siblings pull together to fulfill their parents’ dream of turning their historic Bluebell, North Carolina, home back into an inn. Staying in town would be temporary—three years at most—then they plan to sell the inn, and Molly can get back to chasing her own dreams.

Adam Bradford (aka bestselling author Nathaniel Quinn) is a reclusive novelist with a bad case of writer’s block. Desperate for inspiration as his deadline approaches, he travels to the setting of his next book, a North Carolina lake town. There, he meets his muse, a young innkeeper who fancies herself in love with his alter ego.

Molly and Adam strike up an instant friendship. When Molly finds a long-lost letter in the walls of her inn, she and Adam embark on a mission to find the star-crossed lovers and bring them the closure they deserve. But Adam has secrets he isn’t ready to share. Past and present collide as truths surface, and Molly and Adam will have to decide if love is worth trusting.

Praise for Denise Hunter:

“Nobody does summer romance better than Denise Hunter.” —JULIE LESSMAN, award-winning author

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780785222743
Publisher: Nelson, Thomas, Inc.
Publication date: 11/12/2019
Series: A Bluebell Inn Romance , #1
Sold by: HarperCollins Publishing
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 352
Sales rank: 8,517
File size: 5 MB

About the Author

Denise Hunter is the internationally published bestselling author of more than 25 books, including A December Bride and The Convenient Groom, which have been adapted into original Hallmark Channel movies. She has won The Holt Medallion Award, The Reader's Choice Award, The Carol Award, The Foreword Book of the Year Award, and is a RITA finalist. When Denise isn't orchestrating love lives on the written page, she enjoys traveling with her family, drinking green tea, and playing drums. Denise makes her home in Indiana where she and her husband are rapidly approaching an empty nest. To learn more about Denise, visit her website DeniseHunterBooks.com; Facebook: AuthorDeniseHunter; Twitter: @DeniseAHunter; Instagram: deniseahunter.

 

 

 

Read an Excerpt

CHAPTER 1

Ten months later

Adam Bradford was nobody's idea of a hero. His eyes swept past his reflection in the rearview mirror of his rental car as he pulled up to the curb at the edge of downtown Bluebell.

He did have that crooked nose that seemed so popular on the heroes of romance novels, but he hadn't gotten it in a fistfight. He'd gotten it at the library while unshelving a difficult-to-reach hardcover copy of Moby Dick. And while he might be trim and fit, he did not sport rippling abs, a chiseled jaw, or even the requisite cleft chin. It wasn't just his ordinary looks either. He wasn't particularly adept with people, especially the fairer sex. The irony was not lost on him. But there were certain things at which he was extremely proficient. Writing — that went without saying — academics, research, planning. Adam was a planner and a plotter, but this time his preparations had completely backfired.

He looked at the majestic white house, likely turn-of-the-century, situated on a shady lawn about twenty feet off the busy sidewalk. There was no sign indicating it was an inn, but his app listed it as such, and he was getting desperate.

He exited the sedan, maneuvered around a small Dumpster, and followed a walkway past a dirty Bobcat and up to the massive porch. The front door, an old wooden behemoth, was open, a positive sign. He stepped over the threshold to the sudden sound of a circular saw.

There was a grand staircase directly ahead and, to the left of it, a tall mahogany stand that appeared to be a check-in desk. It was unmanned, however, and devoid of a bell. He opened his mouth to call out, but before he could utter a word a head peeked around the corner to the right of the staircase.

"Oh good, you're here. Help!" Dark hair swung over the slim shoulder of a woman he guessed to be in her early twenties.

She had the kind of natural beauty he associated with soap commercials, and he could easily picture her a few years ago, walking across a football field on homecoming night on the quarterback's arm.

He pushed his glasses up. "Excuse me?"

"Can you just come here and hold this? This stupid, dumb ..." She muttered the rest too quietly to be deciphered.

The wooden floor squawked under his brown leather Clarks. He found her sitting on the floor of a massive living room amongst wooden boards of various shapes and sizes; a random pile of nuts, bolts, and screws; and an oversized white instruction sheet, unfolded and tossed to the side. A large box featuring the photo of a gleaming wooden stand sat off to the side.

"If you could just hold this end while I finish this ... I think I'm finally headed in the right direction."

He knelt, doing as she asked.

"Thank God you're here. Grace bet me I couldn't figure it out, and she's due home from school in an hour. How was I to know the directions wouldn't be in English? And the pictures! Do you see those?" She jerked her chin toward the instructions. "It's like a kindergarten class project gone awry."

She tossed her hair over her shoulder, and the clean apple-y smell of it drifted his way. He looked at the picture on the box and tried to make sense of the few pieces she'd fastened together so far.

"I'm Molly, by the way, Levi's sister, but I guess you already know that."

He tried to process the simple sentence but was distracted by that scent. And the smudge of something white — chalk? — on her nose.

She blinked at him, obviously waiting for a response.

Heat flushed his neck. "Adam Bradford. Um, what language?"

"What?" She spared him a glance, her eyes returning to focus on the screw she was forcing into a too-small hole.

"The directions — what language?"

"Oh, they're in French. This is North Carolina, people. I mean, Spanish maybe. But French? I don't know a single soul who speaks it."

With his free hand he reached for the instructions. As he began reading them to himself it didn't take long to see they were going to have to start over.

"See what I mean?" she said. "Impossible."

When she finished with the screw he let loose of the board and scratched his chin. "I, ah, have good news and bad news."

She looked up at him, and he immediately got caught in her wide amber eyes.

"Let's have the good news first. I'm an optimist when I'm not under pressure to prove myself. And okay, there's a bet on the line. But it's only an ice cream cone. And my dignity. Mainly, my dignity." He noted flecks of color in her irises, ranging from milk chocolate tones to gold. All that intriguing complexity was framed by luscious dark lashes. Utterly mesmerizing.

"Um ... the good news?"

He cleared his throat, a hot wave of embarrassment sweeping into his face. "I — I can speak it. That is, I'm fluent. In French, I mean." Just not his mother tongue, apparently.

"Are you kidding me? That's awesome. What does it say?"

He gave her a look of warning. "That's the bad news. I'm afraid we'll have to start over."

Her face fell, turning her mouth down in an adorable pout. "Oh, doggonit. It took me forty-five minutes to get this far."

Could she be any cuter? Adam dragged his gaze from her lips. "It'll go fast, now that we have directions."

"Good point."

They made quick work of separating the pieces she'd assembled, being careful not to strip the screw holes. Then he set to work on the instructions.

"Read it out loud, in French," she said brightly.

Okay ... maybe she was the curious sort, an eager learner. He could respect that.

He did as she asked, translating internally as he went, and directed her through the beginning stages of the project. While the sketches were, indeed, a jumble of splotchy lines, the written instructions were clear and concise.

As they made quick work of the assembly Adam was barely cognizant of the background noises: intermittent hammering, voices coming from upstairs, and the saw he'd heard earlier, periodically making him raise his voice to be heard.

Molly held pieces in place while he worked in the screws and tightened bolts. She had small hands with long fingers that tapered down to neat, unpainted fingernails. She wore only a utilitarian silver watch that complemented her creamy skin.

She'd make a nice protagonist, he found himself thinking. Though she was delicate in size, he sensed the kind of inner strength imperative in a heroine. Creativity surged inside. It was the first time since he'd turned in Under the Starry Sky that he'd felt anything like the stirrings of inspiration. He wished for a pad and paper, because Adam Bradford had just found his muse.

* * *

Molly watched as Adam deftly put the last piece in place. The stand was becoming heavy and unwieldy, but she could see it would serve its purpose nicely. She needed the piece to stand just inside the entry, large enough to hold a welcoming bouquet of fresh flowers and a guest book. The Queen Anne style fit in with the home's décor without breaking their budget.

Adam flipped the stand upright, his biceps bunching beneath his button-up. He said something in French.

She looked at the stand. It appeared to be complete, and there were no parts left unused. "Is there more? We're all out of parts."

He ducked his head. "No. I said, 'That should do it.'"

"Oh, good." Her impulsive request that he read the directions aloud had come from a spontaneous desire to hear the language from a man's lips — she'd always thought French to be the premiere language of love. Her eyes drifted over his features. He had brown hair, neither short nor long, and a little messy, as if the wind had caught it on his way in.

The sharp turn of his freshly shaved jaw was his most masculine feature. A pair of scholarly glasses hid a pair of magnificent blue eyes. They were a less intense blue than her siblings' — the color of faded denim, jeans gone soft from many washings.

"I guess your dignity is salvaged after all," he said as he stood.

He helped her to her feet, his hands engulfing hers with warmth. He let go as soon as she got her balance. He wasn't particularly tall, but at five two she barely reached his chin.

She glanced at her watch. "And in the nick of time."

He lifted the stand with ease. "Where would you like me to put this?"

She directed him to the spot by the door, and he set it in place about an inch from the freshly painted wall.

It looked just as she had envisioned. "Perfect. Levi said you were a godsend, and for once he wasn't exaggerating."

"He did? I am? Who's Levi?" He pushed his glasses up on the bridge of his nose in a gesture that was already becoming familiar. She hadn't noticed his glasses slipping, but it was probably just a nervous habit. He did seem a little flustered.

Wait a minute. Molly blinked. "My brother, Levi? The one who asked you over to help me ... He's no fan of my dignity, but he owed me one."

Adam shook his head. "I'm afraid I don't know what you're talking about. I don't know your brother; I just came to see about getting a room."

Her lips parted as she froze. "Oh no. I'm so sorry! I've taken up half your afternoon."

"It's no problem at all."

"And I can't even give you a room. We're not open yet."

"I couldn't help but notice all the construction. Is this place turn-of-the-century?"

"1905."

"That makes sense. The architecture bears out the trend of the time — reviving previous styles from the nineteenth century. I noticed some regional characteristics — the roofline, for example — but also some eclectic flair brought over from abroad. Tourism of the time was broadening the scope of architecture in the US."

Molly gave a bemused smile. "You must be an architect."

A flush crawled up his neck. "No, actually, I'm not. Don't mind me, I'm just full of useless information."

"You're probably a whiz at Trivial Pursuit. But back to our situation with the inn ... We were supposed to open this weekend but ... life happened."

"I was afraid of that. I've already checked every place I can think of. Everyone's full up."

"It's the start of Memorial Day weekend — our busiest of the year.

People book out months in advance — sometimes a whole year." "Well, that explains it. I actually booked a house on the lake, but there was a mistake with the reservation."

"I feel so bad that we can't accommodate you, especially after you went out of your way to help me."

She thought of the two completed rooms upstairs sitting clean and ready. It was true the kitchen wasn't finished, but they were only days away from completion. What could it hurt?

"Well, thanks anyway. It was nice meeting you, Molly." He was already moving toward the door. Someone had closed it while they were working on the stand, and the air was getting a little stuffy.

"Wait," she said. "Listen, maybe we can offer you a room for a night or two."

"I'm actually planning to stay in town a while — through the end of July probably."

"I see. Well, you could always move someplace else after the weekend. There'll be plenty of vacancies starting Monday night."

He shifted in the doorway. "Are you sure? I don't want to be in the way."

She gave him a wry look. "Have you looked around? We're going to be in your way."

His laugh was warm and mellow, pleasant. "At this point I'll be happy to have a roof over my head."

"There is a roof, but I can't guarantee there won't be people stomping across it. And saws buzzing, and hammering and whatnot.

But everything shuts down by suppertime, and mornings usually don't start till eight or nine. Can you live with that?"

He gave a nod. "I'm grateful. Thank you."

"It's the least I could do after all your help."

As if on cue Grace burst through the front door, backpack swinging from her thin shoulders, wearing her volleyball clothes. Molly had completely missed the sound of her loud car pulling up to the house.

"Hey," Grace said in greeting. Her long blonde ponytail swung as she looked to the space where the new piece of furniture now stood. Her face fell.

"You owe me a cone," Molly said smugly. "Double scoop with sprinkles."

"Fine. But I got an A on my math test, so you have to pay for pizza tonight."

"Well worth it. Great job, kid." Molly high-fived her sister, then shifted her attention to Adam. "Grace, meet our first guest, Mr. Bradford. This is my sister, Grace, straight out of volleyball practice."

He extended his hand. "It's just Adam. Nice to meet you."

Molly found his shy demeanor inordinately appealing. Maybe because it was so different from Dominic's arrogance.

"You too," Grace said before addressing Molly. "I thought we weren't open yet."

"We're not exactly."

"She took pity on me," Adam said. "There's no place else to stay."

Molly and Grace exchanged a look. Yes, their brother was going to throw a fit, but Molly was willing to risk it after Adam had been so generous with his time.

"Are you sure it's all right?" Adam had apparently picked up on the unspoken message passing between the sisters.

"Absolutely. Let's get you checked in." Molly stepped behind the counter and opened the registration page.

"Need some help with the system?" Grace joined her behind the counter, dropping her bag.

"I think I remember." Molly went through the check-in process step by step, taking Adam's credit card and having him sign in. She quoted what would be their regular rate and offered him 50 percent off for the inconvenience.

He thanked her as he pocketed his credit card.

Molly opened the antique key cabinet and withdrew the key for room seven. "Here you are. Let me show you around, then I'll take you to your room."

"I have to get my bag. I'll be right back."

Molly watched through the picture window as he strode across the porch and down the steps. He was dressed business casual in khakis and a blue shirt. She wondered what he was doing at Bluebell Lake alone and for so long. The area attracted mainly couples and families with children who enjoyed frolicking at the beach and riding Jet Skis across the twelve-hundred-acre lake.

Grace nudged her. "What's up with that?"

"What do you mean?"

"Levi's going to have a conniption when he finds out we have a guest."

Molly wiped the dust from the registration stand. "Oh well. This inn belongs to all of us, not just him." She watched as Adam withdrew a suitcase from a small blue sedan. "He kind of looks like that actor from The Notebook, don't you think?"

"Ryan Gosling? Are you kidding me?"

"Well ... at the end of the movie, when he was all lovelorn and kind of scruffy looking."

Grace snorted. "A nerdy Ryan Gosling maybe."

"He's not nerdy. Scholarly maybe." Molly didn't know why she felt the need to defend him. She watched him bump the car door shut and start making his way back to the house.

"I think somebody's smitten with our new guest."

Molly rolled her eyes. "You know my heart belongs, now and forevermore, to Nathaniel Quinn."

"Most women fall in love with the heroes of romance novels, not the authors."

"Book boyfriends aren't real; authors are." Molly waggled her head at Grace and walked away.

CHAPTER 2

Let's start with this side — it's not under construction." Molly beamed at Adam as he entered the foyer, her smile so warm and bright it could probably burn off the morning fog. He noticed a shallow dimple in her left cheek. "It's my first tour, so you'll have to be patient with me. Little warning: sometimes I talk too much."

Adam hitched his laptop bag higher on his shoulder. "I'm sure you'll do fine."

"I'll show you the library first. The dining room won't be of much use to you anyway. Where are you from, Mr. Bradford?"

"Adam, please. I'm from New York. I flew in early this morning, and I've been trying to find a vacancy ever since."

"Well, your search is over. You're a little ways from home."

"Yes, I am." He struggled for something else to say and came up empty.

Molly seemed awfully young to be running an inn. He followed her to the left of the stand and down a short hall. This part of the house seemed untouched by the construction. It featured the high ceilings of a bygone area, original mahogany woodwork, and squeaky wood floors.

"So what's the history behind this place?" he asked.

"Well, as I said before, it was built in 1905," she said over her shoulder. "Bluebell's first inn. Early on it became a stagecoach stop, and it's been many things over the years, including a saloon, if you can believe it. It was even a post office for a while. In the sixties — the lake's real heyday — other hotels opened, but the Bluebell Inn remained the place to stay."

"Unfortunately, the area declined in popularity in the seventies, and the inn was purchased by the governor's family and made into a summer home. They lived here until my parents bought it."

"If only the walls could talk," he said. "I'll bet they'd have some good stories."

Her smile widened. "I know, right? The last innkeeper's wife kept a journal, though, and we have it right here in our library. Fascinating stuff and as close to talking walls as we're going to get, I'm afraid."

(Continues…)


Excerpted from "Lake Season"
by .
Copyright © 2019 Denise Hunter.
Excerpted by permission of Thomas Nelson.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Customer Reviews

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Lake Season 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 47 reviews.
vics49548 23 hours ago
Book 1 of author Denise Hunter’s new Bluebell Inn series takes us lakeside to North Carolina. The descriptions of the area make it sound lovely. Maybe a great place to vacation! I love that the siblings in the story are dedicated to caring for each other, even sacrificing dreams to give the youngest what she needs during a time of tragedy. That was very heartwarming. Throw in a bit of mystery and you have a fun twist. I’d really like to tell you that I thoroughly enjoyed this book and give it four or five stars, but I just can’t. Typically I find Hunter’s books delightful, however this one just didn’t grab me. And the main characters irked me for some reason. It doesn’t mean the book is bad; it was simply a personal preference. Maybe it was just my mood at the time so I plan to go back at a later date and try again. If anything changes I’ll update my review. If you’ve enjoyed Ms. Hunter’s books in the past then give this one a shot. Hopefully you’ll be like many others and love it. I received a complimentary copy of this book but was not required to leave a review.
NKBookReviewer 23 hours ago
Lake Season, A Bluebell Inn Romance, by talented award winning author Denise Hunter is a Contemporary Christian Romance. It was a delightful family story with a sweet romance. As I read it I could picture seeing this pop up as a Hallmark movie one day. Author Hunter is a prolific wordsmith. I have read many of her works and can honestly say that she has never disappointed me. Her style of writing draws readers into the the story. I felt like I was there. The conversation was natural and not stiff. Lake Season is a beautiful novel. This is the story of Molly Bennett and her siblings. Both of their parents were killed in an accident and the children want to see their parents’ dream to fruition. Enter a romance writer, hidden love letter from years ago and this becomes a captivating book that is such a page turner it cannot be put down. I loved this tale and truly hope to see it on Hallmark. I highly recommend it. It definitely gets a 5 star rating from me. A copy was provided by Celebrate Lit but these are my honest words.
NKBookReviewer 23 hours ago
Lake Season, A Bluebell Inn Romance, by talented award winning author Denise Hunter is a Contemporary Christian Romance. It was a delightful family story with a sweet romance. As I read it I could picture seeing this pop up as a Hallmark movie one day. Author Hunter is a prolific wordsmith. I have read many of her works and can honestly say that she has never disappointed me. Her style of writing draws readers into the the story. I felt like I was there. The conversation was natural and not stiff. Lake Season is a beautiful novel. This is the story of Molly Bennett and her siblings. Both of their parents were killed in an accident and the children want to see their parents’ dream to fruition. Enter a romance writer, hidden love letter from years ago and this becomes a captivating book that is such a page turner it cannot be put down. I loved this tale and truly hope to see it on Hallmark. I highly recommend it. It definitely gets a 5 star rating from me. A copy was provided by Celebrate Lit but these are my honest words.
bmrawlins 1 days ago
Denise Hunter is a master at creating swoon-worthy love stories. There is so much emotion packed into this split time line tale. Three siblings come together to see their parent’s dream come to fruition and restore the lake house. Molly and Adam have an instant chemistry and many misunderstandings and adventures ensue. I loved how everyone came together and demonstrate that ultimately, love always wins. There were some delightfully unexpected twists and turns that kept me riveted and determined to finish it one setting. This new series will not disappoint and fueled my excitement for the next installment. I received a complimentary copy of this book from Thomas Nelson via NetGalley. All opinions expressed are freely given.
boclairedesigns 2 days ago
Hands down one of the best books I've read in a very long time. The only drawback is that its the first in the series so I'll have to wait to read more about this amazing family! This is a story of redemption on many levels: for Molly and her siblings as well as for Adam, a reclusive writer who visits their town to try to break his writer's block. Molly finds an old letter in the walls of the Inn she and her siblings are renovating in honor of their parents who died tragically. She and Adam work together searching for the writer of the letter and the intended recipient, never knowing how close they were to the situation. This is a Christian romance, but the spiritual aspects are woven into the story in a natural and believable manner. Truly a talent of the writer who delivers a page turner, that I recommend you run out to get! e I received a free ARC eBook from Net Galley and the publisher for my honest opinions.
Anonymous 2 days ago
"Lake Season" is the first book in Denise's new Bluebell Inn series which follows the Bennett siblings. Being a Denise Hunter fan for many years, I had high expectations. I certainly was NOT disappointed. The first chapter caught my attention and just wouldn't let it go. My admiration for this group of siblings grew, as I saw the responsibility each family member took, and the love they had for each other. I can't imagine a group of such young people coping on their own without their parents to guide them. Obviously, their parents had instilled Godly values in each to allow them to care and love one another so deeply. The main theme of the book shines through loud and clear, exhibiting how fear is able to hold us back and how the power of God gives courage to overcome it. God has a path in life for all of us but we DO have to allow Him to give us the trust that we need in others as well as in ourselves. The characters were so realistically and vividly described, that the reader easily can identify with each of them in a deep way. Molly became my friend, as I walked alongside her in her rocky journey in life. I could feel every fear, challenge and joy as she handled whatever life presented. As Molly tried so hard to please others, I felt so sorry for this young woman who had no life of her own. When Adam, the reclusive neighbour comes into the picture, there were even more challenges for Molly. Adam's friendship was so valued as proven when the mysterious letter appeared and was shared with him. The plot was one that was well developed with many unexpected twists and turns. Love, humor and mystery made this book, one that I could not put down. The mystery of the letter and trying to find its owner, finally meeting with some success, was a very special moment that brought tears to my eyes. The dual storyline kept me intrigued from beginning to end of this book. Unravelling the mysterious letter had these two new young people find out that they could find the courage to change improve their lives. Denise, you have written a topnotch book!! Definitely worthy of a five star rating. This book was received from CelebrateLit. The thoughts and opinions expressed are honest and my own.
Anonymous 3 days ago
Denise Hunter is fast becoming an author whose back catalogue I would like to own. I've only read one of her other books, but several are on my Christmas list. I don't typically read summery novels in the winter, but I liked the back cover copy. And I wasn't disappointed. The love story was well paced and just the right amount of attraction and tension, the mystery was intriguing and there was a fantastic twist I did not see coming. If you're looking for a new series that'll transport you to a beautiful lakeside time and warm your heart this is the one. I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
Fallbrookfamily 3 days ago
Molly and Adam captured my heart in this sweet mystery/romance by Denise Hunter. I really loved the story thread in this one and the fact that it was based on a lost and then found letter. I also really enjoyed that Adam was a reclusive author trying to keep his identity a secret because of self-esteem issues. I can relate to wanting to be in the background so as not to be noticed. Great read, highly recommended.
ibjoy1953 3 days ago
MY THOUGHTS ON THIS BOOK  Being alone, after the deaths of both parents, Molly Bennett, her brother and sister decided to fulfill their parents dreams opening a bed and breakfast. When Adam Bradford drops in unexpected and desperate for a place to stay, Molly agrees to let him stay in one of their finished rooms. But she never expected what would happen. This is such a wonderful read! Life was not easy for the three siblings, but their determination paid off. Author Dennis Hunter does a wonderful job creating her characters for this book, and they develop so well as the plot moves forward. Reading the story was such a smooth and calming feeling. Even though there are several twists that have readers wanting to know what happens, this story has a wonderful ending. I’m trying to write this review and not give away anything to ruin it for you. You need to read the story for yourself. This is just a wonderful story that deals with issues that have happened to people in real life. And I like the way Ms. Hunter deals with the issues. And to use Scripture throughout the book is an added blessing. Lake Season is an awesome book that can be read anytime! I sure hope you enjoy it as much as I did. A copy of this book was given to me by the author or publisher. I am not required to write a positive review. The opinions here in this review are totally mine alone. I am disclosing this with my review in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.
SBMC 4 days ago
"That's where it had all begun. Where he'd found Molly. Where he'd mistaken her for his muse, only to find she was actually the keeper of his heart." I love Denise Hunter's books. They're gut-wrenching, soul-stirring, heart-breaking, redemptive and utterly romantic. This first book in the new series is no exception. The author does throw in a bit of split-time twist to the plot, which is something new in her writing style and surprised me (in a most pleasant way) when I stepped back in time to 1962. Her attention to detail in the plot and characterization is incredible and her writing is easy to follow and the plot moves at a good pace. Her characters are so lovable - Molly, our heroine, is the bubbly sunshine of an innkeeper who subconsciously builds a wall around her heart for fear of sudden loss and betrayal, and Adam, our beautifully flawed hero, is a best-selling romance author hiding under a pseudonym for fear of disappointing others. Their present day relationship as innkeeper and guest converges with the past when Molly finds an old unsent/unreceived letter from 1962 in the wall of the inn and both Molly and Adam are driven to find the two people who were involved. Their romance is incredibly sweet and their path to finding freedom from their fears is satisfying and rewarding. I can't wait for the second book in the series where we'll get to know Molly's older brother Levi better. And it promises another split-time plot! I received a copy of the book from Thomas Nelson via Celebrate Lit Tours and was under no obligation to post a positive review. All comments and opinions are solely my own.
Tama_Fortner 4 days ago
Molly Bennett sacrifices her dream career to join her siblings in restoring their parents’ historic inn. Adam Bradford (aka bestselling author Nathaniel Grey) comes to Bluebell Inn seeking inspiration and a cure for writer’s block. Upon discovering a long-lost letter, Molly and Adam embark on a search into the past to right an old wrong. As their growing friendship forces them to face their own doubts and fears, will the lake season be the beginning or the end of something more? As always, Denise Hunter does a masterful job of creating true-to-life characters who grapple with the genuine fears and insecurities of real life. Adam was a refreshing change from the stereotypical hero, and I loved the glimpses into a writer’s life. The revelation—which I won’t reveal—left me with chills as the hand of God was vividly displayed at work in the “lives” of Molly and Adam. You won’t regret this charming read! *I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
bsnksmom 4 days ago
Every time I read a Denise Hunter book, I think THIS is her best one. Lake Season truly lived up to that! When the Bennett siblings lose their parents in a tragic accident, the three of them come together to fulfill their parents' dream for their house. Because the youngest sister is still in high school, Molly and Levi agree to put their futures on hold to let Grace finish school in Bluebell, NC. In the meantime, they work to finish renovating their home into an inn. Before they can open, their first lodger, Adam Bradford, shows up on their doorstep. Bighearted Molly offers a room , and writer Adam finds his muse. Writing under a pseudonym, Adam is Molly's favorite author. He's such a favorite that she tells everyone that she doesn't need to date because she's in love with Nathaniel Quinn. Adam, however, hides behind his alter-ego, avoiding publicity at all cost, so even a superfan like Molly has no idea who he is. When the house renovation reveals a lost letter in the wall, the mystery of it piques the writer in Adam and the romantic in Molly. As they work together to find both the writer and the recipient, can they get past their own trust issues to put the pieces together? The twists in this story hit often, and sometimes hard. I loved that Hunter uses a bit of time slip - not a lot - but enough to flesh out the letter writer and her beau. I highly recommend reading this with a box of Kleenex, because tears are almost guaranteed! I loved this book and could not put it down until I finished. I cannot wait for the next installment of the Bennett family saga!!!
WishEnd 4 days ago
LAKE SEASON is one of those stories that is a delight to read! It has wonderful characters who will pull on readers' emotions, and a small-town setting full of family and friendships. Fans of inspirational romance and the genre should definitely not miss this one! I pretty much could not stop smiling through most of this story. I just loved every minute! I loved getting to know these characters and seeing the romance blossom. I literally laughed out loud at moments and wanted to cry at others. It's a story with all the feels about a place and family that I can't wait to come back to next year with the next book! I also liked that the inspirational element wasn't preachy or overly strong, but felt naturally part of these characters' lives. This makes a good read for general romance and women's fiction readers as well. In the end, was it what I wished for? I thoroughly enjoyed this story! Delightful characters, a charming setting, some heartbreak, a bit of a mystery, and a sweet romance made for the perfect read. I'm looking forward to the next book in this series! Content: References to a unwed pregnancy, but clean. Source: I received a complimentary copy from the publisher through Celebrate Lit, which did not require a positive review. All opinions are my own.
MKWD52 4 days ago
Lake Season is the first in the Bluebell Inn Romance series. I usually don't enjoy a first book in a series a lot because I am getting to know the characters and am not connected to them very much. In this book I got connected to the characters from the get go. I enjoyed this story and hated for it to end but with a series I will get to see the characters again in subsequent books. I enjoyed the friendship of Molly and Adam that grew into love. Molly with her family are running an inn that was formerly a post office and a home. It was a dream of Molly's parents to open this inn in this small town once the father retired from his career as a physician but they were tragically killed in an auto accident before the dream could be fulfilled. Adam shows up at the inn and rents a room. Molly and Adam quickly become friends when they get involved solving a mystery. What Molly does not know is that Adam is keeping a secret. She does not know that Adam is her favorite author. What will she think when she realizes Adam has been hiding who he is? I also loved the time slip storyline. There are some twists that I did not see coming. I can't wait to read the next book in the series. The next one will be centered around Molly's brother Levi. I was hoping it would be her baby sister but I guess she has some more growing up to do. I am so enjoying this series! I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own. Lake Season will be released on November 12. Thanks to Netgalley and Thomas Nelson for providing me a digital copy to read and review.
CindyFW 4 days ago
This is a great introduction to a new series about the Bennett siblings. After their parents sudden death, they decide to take over the project of finishing up the remodel to their historic home and opening it as an inn, which will require sacrifices from them. Molly is the second sibling and I liked the way she took charge of some things and still tried to keep the peace with her brother and sister. Understandably, the death of her parents has left a mark on her and this affects the way she relationships. Poor Adam is such a recluse and sometimes struggles with meeting new people, and even avoids some social interactions. He's kept his identity a secret and his readers don't know who he really is. Molly's a luff of fresh air in his life and he's inspired by her personality. I liked how he dove right in to help her solve the mystery of the letter and the twist is great. Looking forward to reading the next story. I received a copy from the publisher through NetGalley and this is my honest opinion.
Nursebookie 5 days ago
When their parents die in a tragic car accident, Molly Bennett and her siblings Grace and Levi work together to finish what their parents started, converting their home in the historic Bluebell, North Carolina into an inn. Molly puts on hold up her coveted internship in Italy for her hospitality degree, Levi moves back home to help, along with their youngest Grace as she finishes high school. Adam Bradford (aka bestselling author Nathanial Quinn) has a bad case of writer’s block and decide to write his next best seller in a lake town to gain more inspiration. His books have been turned into movies and he has yet to reveal himself to the public. He meets Molly, as a guest in her inn, and their attraction to each other was unmistakable. Adam knew that Molly would be his muse. Molly Bennett in her spare time, loves reading her romance novels by Nathanial Quinn, who is her favorite author, and have read his books over a dozen times. What happens when she overhears that one of her guests may be the elusive author? Also, during the renovations, Molly finds a long-lost love letter in the walls of her inn, where it was a post office at a time. Knowing Adam is doing research about Bluebell, she partners with him to find the couple. I enjoyed this book! The love story that develops between Molly and Adam was so sweet and tender that gave me flutters. I love how they met, and how their attraction for each other developed - though with some misunderstanding along the way. I enjoyed how the story was told in two time frames and how it collided beautifully into the present. What a fantastic read that I highly recommend.
Mgt_Nelson_12 5 days ago
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It's very heart-warming. Have your tissues handy, and be prepared to laugh too. There's a mystery from the past that ends up having an interesting resolution. I liked Hunter's treatment of loss and love, trust and fear. The characters were fun to get to know. I look forward to more in this series! "I received a complimentary copy of this book through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own." #LakeSeason #NetGalley
Texas109 5 days ago
****Lake Season is two love stories, one past, one present. Innkeeper Molly finds a letter stuck in the wall from when her inn was a post office. Finding the lady who wrote it and the man it was addressed to becomes her obsession. Adam has come to town to work on a new novel. He is highly successful under his nom de plume, who just happens to be Molly’s favorite author. Will he be able to reveal his true identity to her as they work together to find the writer and intended recipient of the letter? Molly has been deceived before by a boyfriend and has major trust issues. Adam never lived up to his fathers expectations and has insecurity issues. The journey through the story is a pleasant if somewhat angsty one with some big reveals that took this reader by surprise. The writing is good even though I sometimes wished the story was a little tighter. I got impatient and wanted the mystery to be resolved because I was caught up in the story...not the author’s fault. I voluntarily reviewed an advance copy of this book from NetGalley.
Librarycataloger 6 days ago
"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose." Romans 8:28 NIV There are so many things to like about a book that often mentions this Bible verse. Three siblings determined to fulfill the dream of their recently deceased parents. A highly successful author who keeps his identity a secret because he has never been able to live up to his father's expectations. A love affair that occurred over fifty years ago and recently discovered when a letter is found in a wall of an inn that is being renovated. As Molly Bennett and Adam Bradford try to find how Ben and Lizzie's lives turned out, they themselves begin to see each other as more than an innkeeper and her guest. But there are so many obstacles! Can Molly escape her grief and get over the hurt caused by her boyfriend? Would her trust be further damaged if she knew that Adam is the author that she adores? Will Adam ever feel worthy? Did Ben and Lizzie find happiness? Denise Hunter has written a wonderful story filled with romance, faith, mystery, and a reminder that God orchestrates every part of our lives.These two romances, past and following Molly and her siblings Levi and Grace as they continue managing the Bluebell Inn. I highly recommend Lake Season to all who enjoy contemporary romantic fiction. I received a copy of this book through Celebrate Lit and NetGalley. The opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.
GreenGablesBookReviews 6 days ago
“Lake Season” by Denise Hunter available November 12, 2019 Levi, Molly and Grace are mourning the devastating deaths of their parents in “Lake Season” by Denise Hunter. What do they do now? Grace is still in high school, Levi has a job and his own life and Molly is nearly finished with college. They have a lot of decisions to make. Do they sell the house-make Grace move and leave her friends to go to school in a strange town? How can they make this work for each of them? They quickly realize they cannot stand another loss in selling their family home. They decide to work together and finish what their parents started. They will all stay together and work together to make the house the Bluebell Inn, as their parents had dreamed of. They know it will be a big commitment, and they know it is the right thing to do. When Molly finds a letter that was lost years ago during the renovation, no one knew the ripple effects it would cause. “Whoever knew that a stranger walking through the door to the Bluebell Inn could have such an impact on Molly’s life? A person that she shares the mystery of the letter with, has feelings for, is hurt by, but that she cannot get out of her mind? Could Molly and Author Adam’s lives have intersected for a reason? Such a great story, a heartwarming, clean romance, with a small-town feel. I loved this story! 5 stars!”-Green Gables Book Reviews Thank you to NetGalley for the opportunity to read “Lake Season” before its release date! “Lake Season” by Denise Hunter Pages-352 Published by-Thomas Nelson Sold by-HarperCollins Publishing
GratefulGrandma 7 days ago
This is the first book in a new Denise Hunter series, set in a small lake town, Bluebell, North Carolina. The story opens with the death of the parents of the three Bennett siblings, Molly, Levi and Grace. They decide to complete the renovation to the inn that their parents had begun on their home, which was originally an inn that opened in 1905, but also served some time as a post office. Their first guest is Adam Bradford, a reclusive author who writes under a pseudonym. He is trying to cure writer's block. Molly loves his work, but has not idea that he is her favourite author. When she finds a letter during renovations, she and Adam decide to research the letter and try to find the writer and the recipient. All this helps Adam, who believes he has found his muse in Molly. I love the Bennett family and look forward to Levi's and Grace's stories in future books. The friendship that begins right from the start between Adam and Molly is wonderful and progresses well. Adam is aj smart and talented writer, but is shy and insecure. Molly is a strong female character that gave up her dreams for her family. She is witty, wary and a bit quirky. I enjoyed the dual timeline in the story with its own romance. This story will have your emotions all over the place, from laughing out loud to crying. This is a multi-layered story with wonderful writing, well developed characters, humour, angst, family, history and romance. I read through this book in one sitting as I was quickly turning pages to discover the secrets that may or may not result in a happily ever after. Will Molly be able to forgive Adam for keeping his secret? I have come to expect wonderful stories from Denise Hunter and this story is another winner. I recommend you pick this one up if you are a fan of Denise Hunter or Contemporary and Clean Romance. I received a copy of this book from the publisher upon request. The rating, ideas and opinions shared are my own.
candicervaldez 7 days ago
This book was just so-so for me. There were some good parts when Molly and Adam had great chemistry, but the rest of the story line lagged and had me rolling my eyes at times. Molly had a hard time forgiving Adam for not telling her that he was an author, but he wrote under a fictional name and didn't tell anyone. They weren't dating and i don't understand why she felt like he owed that to her, and she wouldn't let it go. After a while, it got on my nerves. It was constantly tied back to her previous relationship, but we are never told what Dominic(her previous boyfriend) had done. This just fell a little flat for me. I was still read the rest of the series though. I received a copy of this book from NetGalley. All opinions are my own.
Empm1128 7 days ago
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Thomas Nelson through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own. First novel in Bluebell Inn series showcases Molly Bennett. Molly and her 2 siblings inherit an Inn from their parents who died suddenly in a car accident. Their first guest is reclusive author, Adam, who hides under the pseudonym Nathaniel Grey. Molly finds a letter in the wall during Inn renovations and the mystery surrounding the letter is revealed in the alternate story of Lizzie and Benjamin. The two timelines come together at the end to reach a somewhat surprising but satisfying conclusion. Looking forward to the stories of Molly’s siblings in the upcoming novels.
Phyllis_H 8 days ago
A sweet summer romance My rating is 4.5 stars Adam was adorably bookish. I loved that his nose was crooked from being broken - by a large book! He had a habit of spouting random facts when he was nervous. And with the research he did for his books, he had plenty of random facts to spout! He was also very insecure as his father had always made him feel as if he was lacking because he was more cerebral than athletic. So he wrote under a pseudonym, fearing that his readers would reject him for not being more like the heroes he wrote about. Paralyzed by grief, letting fear dictate her actions and color her perception of the world, Molly struggled with trust. Especially after being hurt and lied to in such a big way. The mystery of the letter from the past was very cleverly woven into the story. I liked the excerpts from Ben and Lizzie’s summer romance. There was just enough to not distract from the main storyline and enough to make me want to find out what happened to them. And I will say that I was completely shocked by the truth Adam and Molly discovered! This was a very enjoyable story, filled with romance and mystery. There are hints of spiritual elements that come through especially as Molly learns to overcome her fear and her grief and as Adam learns to be confident in the man he is. If you enjoy sweet summer romances, Lake Season is a great story to add to your library. Read my review of Lake Season by Denise Hunter at AmongTheReads.net I was given a copy of this book. I was not required to give a favorable review nor was any money received for this review. All comments and opinions are my own.
MelissaF 8 days ago
Love a Denise Hunter book and this one did not disappoint. It’s a tad out of season to be reading right now, but I didn’t mind visiting the lake on these cold November days. The reader knows things are going to explode, but when and how will Molly react is the big question. I love how Denise used Molly’s past hurt from a previous relationship to add tension to the secret Adam is keeping. You just know it won’t go well when she finds out. But Adam is so sweet, I don’t want Molly to get mad at him. The added layer of this letter Molly finds and the lost love there keeps things interesting as well. Overall, a great read! A copy of this book was given to me by the Celebrate Lit Team. All opinions are my own.