Dream Lake by Lisa Kleypas

In the third entry into the Friday Harbor series, we are introduced to Zoe Hoffman, an almost comically beautiful, divinely talented chef for a local bed and breakfast. After having her heart broken from a surprise ending to her first marriage, Zoe is ready to give up on love.

Alex Nolan, who’s never believed in love, is recovering from the disastrous divorce of his first marriage by drinking away his problems. Zoe knows she can’t help him fight his demons, but she can’t help but want to care for him. Slowly they try to find their own way together, but will it be enough?

Dream Lake is the third installment into the Friday Harbors series by Lisa Kleypas, following Christmas Eve at Friday Harbor (featuring Mark Nolan) and Rainshadow Road (featuring Sam Nolan) and will be followed by the final installment Crystal Cove (we’re out of Nolan brothers, maybe Lucy and Zoe’s friend Justine?). This series is full of warmth and welcoming. Zoe and Alex’s relationship realistically evolves in fits and starts, with a bit of magic mixed in (though not nearly enough to fall in the paranormal genre). Overall, Dream Lake is both charming and romantic (without being cloying or kitschy). I’d rate it 4/5 and recommend the whole series. Although my favorite is Rainshadow Road, Dream Lake is a close second. Look for Dream Lake to be released on Aug, 7, 2012.

Be forewarned, Kleypas excels at describing food, so Zoe’s culinary adventures will make your mouth water. She can even make oatmeal sound divine. It reminded me of this wonderful recipe for Strawberry Vanilla Bean Baked Oatmeal on A Cozy Kitchen.

You have to try it, it’s delicious (even if you don’t like traditional oatmeal)!

Photos: goodreads.com, Adrianna/A Cozy Kitchen

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