Series: By The Lake: The Caliendo Resort #1
on December 15th 2015
Genres: Contemporary Romance
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I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Violet Caliendo escorts couples into the illusion of ÔÇ£happily ever afterÔÇØ as wedding coordinator at Willow ValleyÔÇÖs five-star Caliendo Resort. But Violet doesnÔÇÖt believe in love or ÔÇ£happily ever afterÔÇØ anymore. SheÔÇÖs guarded herself from love so deeply since her divorce that some even call her the ÔÇ£Ice Queen.ÔÇØ When she has to plan her ex-husbandÔÇÖs wedding, even her Ice Queen persona takes a hit.
With her emotions in high gear, she takes out her frustrations by having sex with her exÔÇÖs best man, Ryder Carlex. Ryder is a playboy type and Violet figures itÔÇÖs a simple one-time fling. But Ryder actually is attracted to Violet in a way heÔÇÖs never known before. Neither of them ever imagines that the sparks between them will ignite a fire hotter than anything theyÔÇÖve ever encountered ÔÇô slowly breaking down both their walls.
Will Violet be able to let go of her past and embrace a possible future with Ryder? Will Ryder let Violet into his own deep, dark secrets? Or will their trust issues forever doom them both from achieving their own ÔÇ£happily ever afterÔÇØ?
This book can be read as a stand alone, but for more enjoyment read them in the order of the series, as all the characters appear in future books.
Read the full BY THE LAKE SERIES:
MCADAMS SISTERS BOOK 1: Lakeshore Secrets BOOK 2: Lakeshore Legend BOOK 3: Lakeshore Love BOOK 4: Lakeshore CandyBOOK 5: Lakeshore Lyrics
THE CALIENDO RESORT:BOOK 1: Sunset ThunderBOOK 2: Sunset RivalryBOOK 3: Sunset SaleBOOK 4: Sunset SlopesBOOK 5: Sunset Shelter
We meet Violet Caliendo as she faces an incredibly awkward situation: planning her ex-husbandÔÇÖs wedding to the woman he cheatedÔÇªat her familyÔÇÖs resort.┬á WHEW!┬á Now, that definitely takes some balls! ┬áSeriously, this woman is as tough as nails.┬á If I were in her shoes, I would have laughed in the manÔÇÖs face and then probably kicked him the balls.┬á ItÔÇÖs difficult to write a strong character that has the perfect blend of strength and vulnerability; the author has to walk a fine line so as not to make the character too harsh or too wimpy.┬á I think Leah does a nice job achieving this balance.
As for Ryder Carlex, heÔÇÖs a pretty great male character.┬á I think I like him more than Violet.┬á┬á His level of complexity and compassion are pretty amazing.┬á Though his tumble into love is pretty quick, itÔÇÖs incredibly thorough.┬á He makes mistakes (just like anyone else), but as you unveil his story, he much more than meets the eye.┬á HeÔÇÖs a good seed; worth digging into.
I liked the characters, but had a hard time getting a good feel for the family.┬á The dynamic is warm and caring, but thereÔÇÖs a really twisted back story.┬á Since this is the first book in the series, itÔÇÖs the set up for future books.┬á It appears that it can be read as a standalone, but relationship dynamics will make more sense with the completion of the series.┬á There is some wonderful levity to the story, complementing the intensity of some of the situations.┬á Oh, and the surprise twists in the plotÔÇªI didnÔÇÖt see some of those coming!
The story and future novels definitely hold promise.┬á However, the authorÔÇÖs penchants for the repetitive mental asides were too distracting.┬á They caused me to skim through parts of the story when I really wanted to be drawn in.┬á Though I do understand this is the authorÔÇÖs personal style, it is done too much and takes away from the strength of the story and characters.┬á She writes some good characters with a great level of depth and passion.
~Review by Loredana