Dream Lake is the latest book in the Friday Harbor series by Lisa Kleypas.
Zoe Hoffman is sweet and romantic. Alex Nolan is a broken man, the product of two alcoholic parents with a problem of his own. Zoe knows she should stay away from the handsome Alex - he tells her so himself, but she is drawn to him.
The ghost has been living at Rainshadow Road, the house Alex’s brother Sam bought and is re-modeling, for a long time. No one can see or hear him, until Alex shows up to help Sam. Alex can see and hear the ghost. Alex thinks he’s going crazy, the ghost thinks he has to help Alex with something.
When Zoe’s grandma’s health takes a turn for the worst, she decides to bring her to live with her at Friday Harbor. To do that, she will have to fix up the old house on Dream Lake and she will need Alex’s help. As the renovations are under way, Zoe and Alex become closer.
Alex is a broken man; Zoe is a cheerfully sweet and positive person. Typically those two personalities should clash and never mix but in Dream Lake Alex and Zoe fit perfectly. I loved both of these characters. The timeline is running parallel to the previous book in this series, Rainshadow Road and Kleypas spends the extra time building Alex’s character, his eventual realization that he has a problem and his recovery. It fits into the rest of the story seamlessly and we see a man broken by his past and his lack of hope for the future slowly ebbing away until he realizes he doesn’t want to be that man anymore.
Zoe is a cook and her creations are works of art and for Alex, a little magical. They help him through some of the dark days of his recovery. But not until Alex is hired to do the renovations on the lake house do they start to get to know each other better. Unlikely friends, they both recognize their mutual desire but Alex believes Zoe deserves better than him.
I loved both Zoe and Alex’s story and the second story of the ghost and Emma. Both were beautiful, magical and yes heartwarming. I was intrigued from page one, when the ghost begins the story, and I only grew more and more attached as the book progressed. I found myself simultaneously wanting to read it as fast as I could and take my time and delay the ending.
I loved the elements of magic in the story too from the ghost to Zoe’s cooking. The second storyline was heartbreaking and sweet. I wanted to know everything about the ghost and his past just as I wanted more of Zoe and Alex.
Zoe and Alex are complete polar opposites and that is what makes their story so addictive, so compelling. There is a glimpse of interaction between them in Rainshadow Road and Alex comes off as such an ass, almost as if he is already unredeemable, almost. But Lisa Kleypas is a skilled writer and she can find what is left in a damaged man and breathe new life into him until he is a truly unforgettable hero.
Dream Lake has made it into my cherished favorites and reiterated to me why I love Lisa Kleypas’s novels so much. I can’t wait for the next installment in the Friday Harbor series.