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Thursday, April 2, 2009

Shadow Lake by M. Jean Pike

Shadow Lake by M. Jean Pike
Publisher: Black Lyon Publishing
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short (146 pages)
Heat: Sweet
Rating: 4 books
Reviewed by Camellia

They weren’t looking for love.
So love found them.

Sexy campground owner Shane Lucy needs summer help. Divorced and raising a teenage son alone, the idea of finding love is the last thing on his mind. Yet there’s something sincere and kind about lovely Emma, something genuine unlike anything he’s encountered before.

Emma Beckman is trying to pick up the threads of her unraveled life. Recently widowed, she ventures into Shadow Lake for the prospect of tranquility and a new summer job. Her new boss is a prospect all his own—a magical, beautiful prospect … of love on the lake.

Widowed, “broke”, with no apparent marketable skills, and only a few miserable job experiences, Emma Beckmam struggles with life while her self-esteems plummets. Finding her niche in life proves difficult even though she is a willing worker with a “heart of gold” and “will of iron”.

Shane Lucy, divorced and bitter, owns the campground where Emma seeks work. Their association with each other gets off to a rocky start, jarring both of them into a new awareness about themselves and their individual situations. Long hours of hard work have not helped Shane come to terms with his ex-wife’s rejection nor has it made him a better father to his teenage son.

Even though the plot of Shadow Lake is predictable, Ms. Pike touches on some relevant issues of modern society such as the sub-culture of teenagers, the often fragile psyche of teenagers along with guilt issues a widowed spouse has especially if the death is a suicide.

Some of the secondary characters add much to the story. Mick’s growing pains touch the heart while Dusty’s battle with despair and loneliness makes one long to help him in his fight. The self-absorbed Blair is so clearly drawn by Ms. Pike as is Skye Blue who brings a humor to the happenings that makes one smile.

Shadow Lake, a story about letting go of the past and moving on with life, leaves the reader with a keen awareness of how one person’s actions can influence another’s life—either positively or negatively. Of course, the good feeling that comes when love wins against tremendous odds slips in and makes a rainy day turn bright and shiny.