Secrets and Solace*

Taboo Topic Explored in Second Installment of Love at Lake Solace Series

The second book of the Love at Solace Lake series features Harper’s sister Scarlet and Ethan’s brother, Cam. If you enjoyed the love story between Harper and Ethan, you get to see their wedding from Scarlet’s perspective before they leave on their honeymoon to Paris. Scarlet and Cam must work together in several circumstances, and they have an almost immediate mutual dislike even though they are also somewhat drawn to each other. Scarlet doesn’t appreciate that Cam seems to think Harper is just after Ethan for his money. Ethan doesn’t like this either, and after a particularly rude statement during the wedding brunch, Ethan tells Cam that he will not put up with this treatment of his wife. Cam has a young daughter, Tessa, born out of wedlock and is an alcoholic who has been dry for three years.

Alcoholism is not a typical backdrop or source of conflict in a romance, but the author has done a good job showing how this has impacted Cam in the past and affects him in the present, decreasing his feelings of self-worth, which causes problems in his relationships with women. He’s a good father to Tessa despite his alcohol issues and problems with women.

Both Cam and Scarlet have secrets, Scarlet’s having to do with her parents’ death. She witnessed an argument that occurred between them just before their accident, and she believes she is responsible for what happened. I love how these first two stories in the series start with each girl’s memory of the day their parents died; we are privy to the same sentinel moment from different perspectives.

What will happen as Scarlet, who’s working on publicity for the lodge, works with Cam as he is renovating the lodge? Will they continue to butt heads? Will they come to a greater understanding of each other? And will that lead to more? Will secrets cause more distance between them?

I love the complex world the author has woven for this series. So far, each sister is totally unique in her fears, goals, and motivations. Their men, too, are unique–a lottery millionaire and an alcoholic contractor. Yet, overarching these stories is the underpinning mystery about the girls’ parents’ relationship and deaths as well as the modern story of renovating the lodge that pulls all these people together in a satisfying way.

If you enjoy the first book of the series, which I thought was a well-written book, you will enjoy this love story of the siblings of the first couple. If you like steamy romance that isn’t afraid to embrace difficult topic, you might enjoy this book.

I received a free copy of this book, but this did not affect my review.