Sophie Shaw is days away from signing a contract that will fulfill her dream of owning a vineyard. For her, it's a chance to restart her life and put past tragedies to rest. But Duncan Jamieson's counter offer blows hers out to sea.
Duncan still finds Sophie as appealing as he had during boyhood vacations to the lake. Older and wiser now, he has his own reasons for wanting the land. His offer, however, hinges on a zoning change approval.
Bribery rumors threaten the deal and make Sophie wary of Duncan, yet she cannot deny his appeal. When her journalistic research uncovers a Jamieson family secret, trust becomes the hardest lesson for them both.
"Heart-tugging small town romance with real emotion. Struth is an author to watch!" —Laura Drake, author of The Sweet Spot
About the Author
When she’s not working, she and her husband happily sip their way through the scenic towns of the Connecticut Wine Trail, travel the world, and enjoy spending time with their precious pets and two grown daughters. She writes from the friendliest place she’s ever lived, Bethel, Connecticut. For more information, including where to find her published essays, please visit www.sharonstruth.com or visit her blog, Musings from the Middle Ages & More at www.sharonstruth.wordpress.com
Read an Excerpt
Share the Moon Moon
A Blue Moon Lake Romance
By Sharon Struth
KENSINGTON PUBLISHING CORP.Copyright © 2014 Sharon Struth
All rights reserved.
New Moon: When the moon, positioned between the earth and sun, nearly disappears, leaving only darkness.
The sabotaged kayaks beckoned. Sophie Shaw trod a thin layer of ice pellets on the lawn as she headed to the lake's edge, where eight boats waited to be returned to the storage rack. The fickle New England weather had offered sleet-dropping clouds an hour earlier. Now, a wink from the sun reflected against Blue Moon Lake.
She dragged the first boat up a small incline, annoyed some bored teenagers had considered destruction of property entertainment. Growing up she and her friends had respected the local businesses.
A UPS truck screeched to a stop in front of a row of shops on Main Street. The driver hopped out and ran into Annabelle's Antiques with a box tucked under his arm. Sophie glanced both ways along the road for signs of Matt, whose new driver's license and clunker car played to every mother's fears. Fifteen minutes earlier, she'd texted him for help with the boat mess. He'd replied "k."
Sophie's flats glided along the slick lawn. She gripped the cord of a bright orange sea kayak and, using two hands, struggled backward up the slope. Her foot skidded. The heel of her shoe wobbled for security but instead, her toes lifted off the ground and flashed toward the clear sky. The burning skid of the cord ripped across her palms just as her other foot lifted and launched her airborne. Thud!
Air whooshed from her lungs. Pain coursed through her shoulder blades, neck, and spine. The ground's chilly dampness seeped into her cotton khaki pants, raising goose bumps on her skin. Seconds passed without breath before she managed to swallow a gulp.
Lying flat on her back, she stared at the cornflower blue sky and spotted a chalky slice of the moon. The night Henry died, a similar crescent had hung from the heavens, barely visible nestled among the glittering stars. She prepared for the scrape that threatened to tear the gouge of her scarred heart. Seven years. Seven painful years. She closed her eyes and after a few seconds, the weight of sadness lifted off her chest.
Tears gathered along her lower lashes. She pushed a strand of unruly long hair from her face. Footsteps crunched on the ice pellets and headed her way.
"Matthew Shaw ..." Fury pooled in her jaw as she resisted the urge to yell at her son. "You'd better have a good excuse for taking so long."
A man with cinnamon hair, short on the sides with gentle waves on top, knelt at her side. She studied the strong outline of his cheeks and the slight bump on the bridge of his angular nose that gave him a rugged touch, but he wasn't familiar.
"Are you okay?" He searched her face.
The stranger hovered above. Tall treetops, clinging to the last of their earth-toned foliage, served as a backdrop to her view. A vertical crease separated his sandy brows. She couldn't pry herself from his vivid blue eyes, in part stunned from the fall, but also by her first responder.
For several long seconds she stared, and then mumbled, "I think so. Just a little shocked."
A whiff of his musk cologne revived her with the subtle charm of a southern preacher casting his congregation under his spell.
He frowned. "Does it hurt to move anything?"
"Sometimes it did before I fell."
The stranger's face softened and his lips curved upward. "A sense of humor, huh? That's a good sign."
"I suppose." His deep voice relaxed her like a cup of chamomile tea, the balanced and certain tone of his words easing her wounded spirit. Maybe this guy was a sign her rotten luck might change. "So, where's your white horse?"
"In the stable. Today I came in the white Camry." He motioned with a wave of his hand to a corner of the parking lot.
She pushed up on her elbow to look and a sharp pain jabbed her neck. "Ow!"
"Careful." His smile disappeared. "I was on my way over to help when you fell. You hit pretty hard."
The heat of embarrassment skittered up her cheeks. Not only had he witnessed her spastic aerobics, but she never played the distressed-damsel-on- the-dirty-ground card. A woman proficient at fly-fishing, who learned how to drive in a pickup truck and who, in her job as a journalist, had uncovered a corrupt politician, should be up and running by now.
"Go slow." His request suggested doling out orders came easy. "May I help?"
She nodded. He slipped a gentle hand into hers. The chill coating her skin melted against his warm touch. His well-groomed nails and thick fingers suggested he didn't work outdoors, rather the clean hands of a man who spent his days in an office. No wedding band either. He helped her sit and studied her as if a question perched on the edge of his thoughts.
"Can I call someone?" He blinked. "Your husband?"
"Oh, I'm not married." She caught the slight twitch of his mouth. "My son's supposed to be on his way to restack the boats."
Since her divorce from Mike, she'd concluded the available men in Northbridge were as predictable as the assortment at the dollar rental video store, filled with decade-old hits she'd seen so many times they held little interest. This man was a refreshing change.
"Ready to try to stand?" He took her by the elbow and she nodded.
Once on her feet, their hands remained together.
He glanced at them and let his drop. "You'll probably think this is crazy but —"
"Sophie?" The owner of Griswold's Café stood across the street and wiped his hands on a stained white apron. He'd placed the call to her father to alert them about the vandalism at Dad's boat shed. "You okay?"
"I'm fine." She waved. "Thanks."
She returned to the newcomer's gaze, as blue as the deep Caribbean Sea and as shiny as a starburst.
He raised his dirt-stained hands. "You might want to check yours."
Sure enough, her palms carried the same smudges from the impact of her fall. "Hold on. I have something to clean us off."
She trotted to her car, hoping the backside of her blazer covered any mess on the back of her pants.
After finding a package of wipes in the center console, she cleaned herself spotless and peeked in the rearview mirror. Her dark chocolate curls scattered with the freewill of a reckless perm. She neatened them with her fingertips then grabbed her cell and tried to call Matt but landed in his voice mail. The second she hung up, the phone rang. Bernadette's name showed on the display.
"Is your speech ready for tonight? You're our star speaker."
Bernadette always latched onto a crusade. The first was in third grade, a petition over the slaughter of baby seals for their skins. For tonight's public hearing, Bernadette had promised everyone the fight of her life. Her special interest group's concern about the large-scale development on Blue Moon Lake proposed by Resort Group International was a sore topic for many local residents, especially Sophie.
"Better find a new star speaker. There's a change of plans." Sophie readied herself for a negative reaction. "I'm covering the story for the paper now."
"You? Has Cliff lost his mind?"
"No. The other reporter can't do the assignment. Her father had a stroke earlier today. Cliff wanted to take the story himself, but I insisted he stick to his job as editor and let me do mine. I even made a five dollar bet I'd get a headline-worthy, bias-free quote from the company president."
"Do you think you can? I mean, RGI stole that land right out from under your nose. What was it ... three days before signing the contract?"
Those were almost Cliff's exact words, along with some mumbling about how the paper's cheap new owner had cut his staff and he saw no other choice. "Two days."
"Honey, why would you want this story?"
"I have my reasons. This won't be the first time one of us needed to report on something close to us."
"Yeah, but wouldn't some public chastising against the corporate giant be good for your soul?"
"In a way." Sophie hesitated then decided to tell her best friend the truth. "Look, this is a chance to redeem myself. Prove to Cliff I really can stick to my journalist's creed after ... well, you know, what happened with Ryan Malarkey."
"Mmm, forgot about him. He makes all us lawyers look bad." A long pause filled the air. "Guess that's a valid reason."
Sophie still harbored guilt from the last time a story got personal and she'd been fooled into violating her hallowed reporter vows. "Hey, on a lighter note, it's raining men over here at the lake."
Bernadette laughed. "What?"
"Some kids vandalized Dad's kayak shed. He asked for my help and this handsome guy appeared out of nowhere to help me. Fill you in later. He's waiting."
On her way back to the stranger, she studied his profile. Men this desirable didn't drop out of the sky around here. Why was he in town? Visitors to Northbridge weren't unusual in the summer, but not late fall. He faced the water, looking in the direction of the rolling hillside of Tate Farm, the property under discussion at tonight's controversial public hearing.
She neared the visitor and he turned around.
"Are you the owner of this place?" He pointed to the wood-sided shed with a sign reading "Bullhead Boat Rentals."
"No. My father runs it with my brother. Dad's too old to be walking around in this icy mess and my brother is gone for the day." She handed him a wipe. "They also operate the local tackle shop and Two Rivers Guided Tours, guided fly-fishing trips."
"I remember the tackle shop." He cleaned his hands and tucked the dirty wipe in his jacket pocket. "My family came here for a couple of summers. Close to thirty years ago."
Sophie studied him again. Summer vacationers passed through here with the blur of a relay race.
He brushed a dead leaf off the knee of his faded, well-pressed jeans. "Such a great little town." He scanned the main street, unhurried and relaxed, then took a deep breath, as if to savor a nostalgic moment. "Quintessential New England."
Although she'd lived all her forty-four years in Northbridge, she looked around with him. A few cars parked on the road near a long row of pre-WWI buildings, now housing retailers who had serviced the town's residents for countless decades, such as Handyman Hardware and Walker's Drugs. The retail stretch was sandwiched between her favorite place to eat, Sunny Side Up, a metal-sided, trolley car-shaped diner and the weathered façade of Griswold's Café. The popular hangout for waterfront meals had a karaoke night the locals rarely missed.
She examined his profile again. Surely she hadn't forgotten someone with such a sexy full lower lip and strong chin?
"I can't imagine anybody being unhappy here," he said, his tone quiet.
She held in the urge to retort with a cynical remark. Every time she stuck a foot out of town, circumstances jerked her back. "Too bad you picked today to return. Most of our visitors enjoy the warmer weather."
"I'm house hunting."
"Oh. Well, we have a lot of summer residents."
"I want a year-round place."
The absent wedding ring held renewed interest. "Where are you from?"
She adjusted her crooked scarf. "Living here will be a big change."
"I know. I've always loved this place, though." He reached out and tenderly brushed a leaf off Sophie's shoulder. His gaze flowed down her body like a slow trickle of water.
An unexpected burn raced up her cheeks.
He lifted his brows. "Hey, I never knew the lake went by another name. The town website said the original name came from an old Native American word."
She nodded. "Puttacawmaumschuckmaug Lake." The long name rolled off her tongue with ease, the pronunciation a rite of passage for anyone born and raised around the body of water. "It either means 'at the large fishing place near the rock' or 'huge rock on the border.'"
"What?" He chuckled. "Puttamaum ..."
She shook her head and repeated the difficult word.
"Nope. It's a toughie. That's why a reporter who visited here at the turn of the century suggested in his column we change the name. He said the water's beauty was as rare as a blue moon, and the phrase stuck."
He grinned, easy and confident. "My kids will love this place."
Kids? Sophie buried her disappointment. "Are you and your wife looking at the other towns bordering the water?"
"No. I like Northbridge. Oh, and I'm not married," he said matter-of-factly. His gaze arm-twisted her for a response.
She wanted to fan her hot cheeks but instead regrouped while pointing across the lake. "If you have a spare few hundred thousand and want to help the town out, take a look at Tate Farm. A developer wants to buy it to put up a large resort. Maybe you can outbid the guy."
"Uh-huh. There's a public hearing tonight."
The hearing would be her first chance to meet the corporate vipers from Resort Group International face-to-face and she couldn't wait to hammer firm president, Duncan Jamieson, with some tough questions. With any luck the zoning board would vote down their request so the offer she'd made, along with her dad and brother, would be back in play.
The stranger's brows furrowed and he stroked his chin.
"Don't worry. I'm confident our zoning board will vote no on their proposal and keep the nasty developer away. By the way, I'm Sophie."
He dropped his gaze to the ground for a millisecond then looked back up. "I'm Carter."
If Nana were still alive, she'd have said in her thick Scottish brogue, "Verra good sign, Sophie. Carter comes from the word cart: someone who moves things." Nana held great stock in the art of name meanings.
He'd certainly moved Sophie.
Matt's rusty sedan whipped into the lot, ending the lusty thoughts. Her son hurried over, unease covering every corner of his face. "Sorry I'm late."
"What took you so long?"
"Grandpa called to make sure I helped you." He dragged his hand through his messy dirty-blond hair. "We were talkin'."
She had her suspicions about the topic but rather than ask, she introduced him to Carter.
He turned to Matt. "What do you say we let your mom take it easy and we'll finish this job?"
Matt nodded and trotted to the boats.
At her car, Carter opened the driver's door. "Better hop in." His tone lowered. "Your hands were cold before."
Sophie's knees softened and she tried to speak, but no sound came out. Turmoil reigned inside her body as he jogged away from her and caught up with Matt.
She tried to shake off the lost control caused by this stranger. This little incident had stolen some of her strength and lately every morsel was necessary to stay afloat. On the roller coaster of life, she had been taking a wild ride. First due to a chance to own the vineyards, giving her a helping hand from her inner grief and fulfilling a life-long dream. Then two weeks ago, RGI had barged into town and yanked her offer from the table.
Carter pointed to a kayak and said something. Matt laughed. The scene made her miss having a man in their household. Her heart softened, awed by the way this knight who'd arrived in a shiny white Camry galloped in and took charge ...and how she'd simply let him. Was something good finally stepping into her life?
Disappointment skimmed her chest. Who was she kidding? Nothing would come of this.
Her cynical nature hadn't developed overnight. Rather, she had soured over time. Lost opportunities, gone due to circumstances beyond her control: Mom's cancer, Sophie's unplanned pregnancy, her subsequent marriage to Mike, even her lost bid on the land RGI now wanted.
Time to forget this guy and concentrate on her job. She'd have to work harder than ever to stick to her journalistic creed, but any teeny, albeit truthful, crumb of negative news about RGI or its president, Duncan Jamieson, could sway the scale on the zoning board vote. Then the greedy developer would disappear from Northbridge forever.
Her family wanted that land. Land their ancestors were the first to settle back in 1789. Land where the winery plans of their dreams could come to life. The most important reason, though, was protecting the sacred place where her firstborn son, Henry, had died.
Excerpted from Share the Moon Moon by Sharon Struth. Copyright © 2014 Sharon Struth. Excerpted by permission of KENSINGTON PUBLISHING CORP..
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.
What People are Saying About This
Superb... throw in a hunky dad, a small town and a savvy heroine who gets the job done and you've got me hooked! --Rachel Brimble, author of A Man like Him
Heart-tugging small town romance with real emotion. Struth is an author to watch! --Laura Drake, author of RITA-award winning The Sweet Spot
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
For me, the earmark of a good book is when I find myself so immersed in a story that, when finished, I feel lost for several days afterwards without it. "Share the Moon" is just such a book. Not only does the backstory of Sophie Shaw and her family coupled with the budding romance between her and Duncan Jamieson appeal to our emotional side, but the plot, with its many twists and turns, keeps you guessing right up to the end. In addition, Struth creates a myriad of relatable & memorable characters throughout the book whose individual stories we want to get know better. "Share the Moon" was romantic, intriguing, humorous, and an easy & enjoyable read from start to finish. Looking forward to book #2 in the Blue Moon Lake series.
I enjoyed every page of this New England, small town, love story. Sophie’s a beautiful, divorced reporter with a heavy heart. Hunky CEO, Duncan, moves from New York City to small town, Northbridge, Connecticut, to slow down his life and raise his son. Their paths cross when Duncan’s hope of building a small lakeside resort collides with Sophie’s dreams of a vineyard on the same beloved lakeside spot. Public hearings, small town gossip from years ago, less-than-honest zoning board members, a vulnerable brother, a zany environmentalist best friend and romance all combine to make Sharon Struth’s Share the Moon a page-turning joy. I can’t wait for her next book!
Charming small town, filled with secrets and puzzling mysteries, fueled on by gossip and tales. In Share the Moon you settle right into the small town living, the close knit friends known each other all their lives, families who for centuries have lived in the town. You can relate to the people, and fit right in with the circle of friends. I enjoyed reading about the growing attraction and relationship between Sophie and Duncan, and how the story unrevealed over time. They are both in their mid forties (not let the cover fool you), they have past marriages, children, and history, even between themselves from long time ago. The interest and allure just keep growing, even though all the odds are against them. The conflict of interest in their respected jobs, and family dreams, have set them against each other, creating friction. They are at opposite ends of every single issue in town. And every time they take a step towards each other, for a closer relationship, more secrets from the past are revealed, always putting a wedge between them, making them wonder the trustworthiness of each other. But they are willing to compromise, work on difficult issues, face them head on, and support each other where it is needed. A touching, charming, and colorful romance, in a vibrant and vivid small town America ~ Four spoons
Share the Moon was a wonderful sweet book. I enjoyed reading this story. Following along in Sophie and Duncan's story was sweet and interesting. Meeting the other characters in their life was fun. I really fell in love with the childhood memories, they were sweet, it made me happy to see Duncan's crush on Sophie when they were kids. It was a perfect circle, knowing each other as kids than growing up living their own lives, than back to where it all began and falling in love to complete the circle. Sharon Struth is Amazing. Thank you for this story.
This was an engaging book filled with new love, mystery, beautiful settings, & second chances. I enjoyed it very much mainly because the characters were "real", they had past hurts & made mistakes but used those to grow & create a new life together. I also thought the mystery surrounding much of the story was well written & kept me guessing on how it would be resolved. This was the first in a new series & the first book I've read by this author..... I look forward to the next book in the series & will also check out the authors other books. " I was given a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review."
3.5/5 This is the first book in the Blue Moon Lake series. Duncan and Sophie are both vying for the same vineyard. They both have their own reasons for wanting the vineyard. Sophie is upset when she finds out Duncan out bid her. They can't deny though the sparks between them. Then secrets start to unravel and their trust is put to the test. This is a great romance. There is just enough spark to keep you loving th romance with out to much of the other stuff. The cover does not match the story which I didn't really like. Besides that I think this story is a great story for anyone who love romance and mystery.
Duncan and Sophie are both dealing with loss in their past and the effects it has on their family. Duncan had a crush on Sophie when his parents used to summer in her small town years ago and they are attracted to each other as soon as he comes to town. Then they find out that they are competing for a piece of land but for very different reasons. This is an enjoyable read. I found it a little bit drawn out, but it does have a little bit of a mystery with a twist thrown in that I'm sure you will not be expecting.
SHARE THE MOON is a love story between middle-aged two people who've been hurt by what they thought was love but in truth was obligation and duty. The premise of the story is all about waiting for the love of your life but neither the hero or heroine have done that, settling for who they thought was the right one for them at the time. Now they find themselves alone and vulnerable, desperate to trust another with their hearts. Family drama takes a front seat in the book. While Duncan’s family mystery was intriguing to read, I was disappointed that the love story often took a backseat to the investigation into the mystery itself. There are good supporting characters that guide but don't lead the story. I was interested in knowing more about Duncan’s brother and his story. The town set-up is definitely worthy of more novels and there are stories in the secondary characters worth telling. I hope to see them in the future. It’s a good story, full of emotion and drama. I recommend it for a light read.
Share the Moon is a great easy read. I really liked both Sophie and Duncan. The story has it all and kept me reading into the wee hours. It is nice to read a story that the main characters are older than the normal. I wouldn't say I live in a small town but I really enjoy the dynamics of a small town. In Share the Moon Sophie is trying to purchase land that is very important to her but Duncan also wants the land. I am not great at reviewing because all I have to say is I like or I don't. This is definitely in the like column.
I received an Advanced Released Copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Let me say that Sharon Struth has once again written an exceptional piece of fiction. Share the Moon is the first book in the Blue Moon Lake series and it is about family, forgiveness and love. In the small New England town of Northbridge, Sophie Shaw is hoping to purchase land that holds a special place in her heart. Just days away from signing the contract, Duncan Jamieson, president of RGI a development company, comes in and outbids her threatening to take away her dreams and something she holds so sacred to this land. Unaware of Sophie’s offer, Duncan has his reasons for wanting to own the land but has also come to Northbridge looking for a place to settle down and call home. Sophie is a journalist for the town newspaper and is assigned to report on the proceedings surrounding the RGI development deal. She and Duncan’s path seem to continually cross both professionally and personally and she begins to see a different side to him than what she expected. She no longer sees him as the ruthless business man but learns that he has a more sensitive very appealing, sexy side. However, when someone leaves Sophie notes insinuating that Duncan and his family are hiding things, she has to decide how to proceed. Does she put her trust in Duncan or use whatever tactics necessary to get his bid thrown out? Share the Moon is beautifully written and the characters are so well developed that you can’t help but be drawn in. You immediately connect with them and can feel their emotions as they both struggle with self growth, acceptance, letting go and moving on. Sharon’s descriptive writing style pulls you in and makes you feel like you are a part of the quaint little town of Northbridge. Make sure to get your copy and come along on the journey.
A wonderful small town romance that was touching and full of suspense. Great characters and a H/h that you couldn't help but cheer for. I really enjoy this authors writing style and will definitely look for more book by her. I highly recommend this one.
Find this review and more at Lusty Penguin Reviews! Share the Moon, the first book in the Blue Moon Lake series, is a delightful and touching story of trust, second chances, and true love by Sharon Struth. Sophie Shaw, reporter for the local paper, has finally met a man who makes her heart skip a beat, Duncan Jamieson. That is, until she discovers Duncan owns the development company that outbid her family for the land at Blue Moon Lake where Sophie’s family planned to open a vineyard. The land by Blue Moon Lake is significant to Sophie as that land used to belong to her family before it was lost in a game of cards. Of even greater importance, the memorial garden for Sophie’s eldest child, Henry, is on the land too. Sophie needs to put her feelings about Duncan aside since she covers the various legal and zoning proceeding associated with the resort. Furthermore, Sophie knows she needs to tread carefully because her previous lover not only burned her personally but professionally too. At their first meeting, Duncan recognizes Sophie from his summer visits to Northbridge even though she doesn’t remember him. Trust is a huge issue for both of these characters. As such, Duncan knows that his little white lie about his name when he introduces himself to Sophie starts this potential relationship off on the wrong foot. Sophie and Duncan are compelling characters, and I absolutely adored that they are forty-year-old characters balancing teenage children, jobs, and extended family. Sophie is dealing with life as a divorced mother who has lost a child. As a people pleaser, she always has a hard time standing up for herself, with which I could empathize. And even though it has been years since Henry’s death, Sophie is still grieving, and she realizes her grief is affecting her other two children. While Duncan, on the other hand, is a widower coming to terms with his failures as a husband and father during his marriage. Sophie and Duncan’s relationship seems to take two steps forward and one step back as they both learn to trust one another personally and professionally along with learning to respect each other’s feelings. Watching Sophie and Duncan work through these issues is a beautiful thing, which, at times, will have you reaching for tissues. Realistic situations, an enticing couple, and surprising plot twists make Share the Moon an unforgettable romance. I, for one, am looking forward to future stories in the Blue Moon Lake series. I received an eBook copy of the book for the purpose of an honest review. I was not compensated for this review, and all conclusions are my own responsibility. Find this review and more at Lusty Penguin Reviews!
Sharon Struth brings a lovely story of second chances with this first novel in her new Blue Moon Lake series. Sophie is a reporter for the local paper, and her family used to own land on the lake, where they hoped to build a vineyard. An older woman (40’s), Sophie is hoping to reclaim the land as she still hopes to build that vineyard, and her oldest son’s memorial garden is on this land as well. Her last relationship ended badly, and she hasn’t been looking at men in ‘that way’ in a while, until she meets Duncan. Duncan is a developer and owns the parcel of land that contains Sophie’s dreams. He recognizes Sophie, but doesn’t share pertinent information about his connection to the proposed development with her. These two are delightful characters, a bit older than most romance readers are used to: they have previous marriages, extended families, teenaged children and a lifetime of regrets and insecurities that prey on their ability to trust and move forward. Sophie is still grieving her divorce and the loss of her eldest child, but realizes that her being stuck in that grief is affecting her other children. Duncan is a widower and is dealing with his own failures as a husband and father during his marriage. These two have a rocky and tumultuous relationship that jumps forward and back repeatedly as they learn to trust and communicate with one another. Wholly gripping, their flaws and strengths are laid out for readers to see and empathize with, and perhaps even recognize. You will be cheering and jeering in alternate measures, with several tears of the happy and not so variety mixed in. Plot twists that take the story in unexpected directions and the sense of family and home that is highly intertwined in the story make this an unforgettable and enjoyable romance, full of everything that a reader could wish for. I received an eArc copy of the title from the publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.
A small town, a big lake, old secrets and ever-raw losses--Share the Moon, first in the Blue Moon Lake Series by Sharon Struth, grabs all of those in a top hat, stirs it up a bit, and manages to pull out magic. There is not a detail of setting or character left for us to guess at. Struth gives her readers exactly what is in her head to create a fully-realized town and the people in it. We know every facial tick, every thought--what we don't know is the mystery hiding just behind each face, in each head. Struth gives her readers just enough to pull us along, to make sure we keep turning the pages--and just when you think the mystery is solved, it takes another turn. I found myself stealing reading time just to get one more chapter in. The characters, real people and not some over-idealized props, make believable mistakes, assumptions and decisions. On that note, I felt a little misled by the cover. While it has its obvious perks, from it I got the impression the characters were younger; one of the best things about this book is that the characters were not the usual twenty-to-thirty-somethings that seem to dominate the romance genre. Sophie and Duncan, both in their forties, sizzle, and not just when they are together. The romance is beautiful, just enough heat without getting into the nitty gritty. I would say it's a great summer romance read, but it's not just for summer. Whether cozied up by a fire, reading in time with the book, or on the beach, imagining colder weather, it's just the right time.